Executive Trustee for the United Religions Initiative
The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian Jr. is the Executive Director of the United Religions Initiative, (URI) a global grassroots interfaith peacebuilding network of more that 640 groups working in 87 countries to end religiously motivated violence and create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. The URI Network of Cooperation Circles is supported by a global support office based in San Francisco, USA and other regional offices. Prior to joining URI in October 2013, Kazanjian served as the Dean of Intercultural Education and Religious and Spiritual Life, co-director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program, and director of the Peace Studies Program in India at Wellesley College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts USA. In addition he is the co-founder and co-President of Education as Transformation Inc., an international organization that works on issues of religious diversity and spirituality in higher education. Kazanjian is also a visiting faculty member and Fulbright Scholar at the Malaviya Center for Peace Research at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India, where he served as Fulbright Professor of Peace & Justice Studies.
Kazanjian’s work at Wellesley College and through Education as Transformation is widely acknowledged as the catalyst in the national and international movement to include religion and spirituality as core issues in higher education, and has led to interfaith and intercultural growth and understanding. Specializing in inter-religious dialogue and conflict transformation, diversity and democracy, and peace building, Kazanjian is a recognized thought-leader and the author and editor numerous books and articles, including Education as Transformation: Religious Pluralism, Spirituality and a New Vision for Higher Education in America, (New York: Peter Lang, 2000), Beyond Tolerance: a Campus Religious Diversity Kit, (Washington: NASPA, 2004), the Studies in Spirituality and Education series published by Peter Lang Press, and Building a New Global Commons: Religious Diversity and the Challenge for Higher Education, Victor Kazanjian, James P. Keen and Peter Laurence, Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue.
Victor Kazanjian is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church and was trained as a community organizer working to address the systemic causes of poverty and injustice through the support of religious and community-based groups. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also a graduate of Harvard University.