The Board of Directors of
The Interfaith Observer (TIO)
Kay Lindahl, founder of The Listening Center, is a skilled presenter and workshop leader who teaches that listening is a sacred art and a spiritual practice. She is the author of the award winning book, The Sacred Art of Listening. Kay is also a dedicated spokesperson for the interfaith movement and is on the Board of Directors for Women of Spirit and Faith, an Ambassador for the Parliament of the World's Religions, a past trustee of the Global Council for the United Religions Initiative, and is Past Chair of the North American Interfaith Network. Lindahl has presented her work in diverse settings – local, regional, national and international. Locally she has created programs, board retreats, training for spiritual directors, in-service training for non-profit organizations and lectures on college campuses. She is the founding president of the The Interfaith Observer (TIO) Board of Directors.
Elder Don Frew is a Wiccan priest. Since serving two terms as president of Covenant of the Goddess (CoG, the world’s largest Wiccan organization), he has been an official CoG interfaith representative. Don’s interfaith involvement began in 1986 in the Berkeley Area Interfaith Council. In 1993 and 1999 he was a member of the Assembly of Religious Leaders at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He has been secretary of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio’s Board of Directors for 11 years and served nearly that long on United Religions Initiative’s Global Council. Don’s leadership has guided a number of major ventures, including the ongoing Lost & Endangered Religions Project and the 2004 international Interfaith Sacred Space Design Competition, both sponsored by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio.
Donald E. “Bud” Heckman
Rev. Bud Heckman is the Executive Director of the Tri-Faith Initiative and co-founder and convener of the Interfaith Funders Group, as well as an independent consultant in the field of interfaith relations. Rev. Heckman served on the Interreligious Cooperation Task Force for President Obama through the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. An ordained Christian minister from the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church, Rev. Heckman has served formerly as: executive director of the International Shinto Foundation, director of outreach and the Mosaic Initiative at El-Hibri Foundation; senior advisor to Religions for Peace USA; executive director of Religions for Peace USA; director for external relations for Religions for Peace International; and chief development officer of Hartford Seminary. A frequent speaker and writer on interfaith relations, Rev. Heckman is editor of an award-winning reference book for the field called InterActive Faith: The Essential Interreligious Community-Building Handbook (2008). He lives in Manhattan.
Philip Goldberg has been studying India’s spiritual traditions for more than forty years, as a practitioner, teacher and an author. He is the author or coauthor of nineteen books, including Roadsigns on the Spiritual Path (2006) and his latest, American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West (2010), which was named one of the top ten religion books of the year by both the Huffington Post and the American Library Association’s Booklist. He is currently working on a biography of Paramahansa Yogananda to be published in 2018.
As a public speaker and workshop leader, he has given presentations at venues throughout the US. India and other locations, and has appeared in national media. An ordained Interfaith Minister and spiritual counselor, he is cohost of the popular podcast Spirit Matters and blogs regularly on Spirituality & Health and Huffington Post. His websites are www.AmericanVeda.com and www.PhilipGoldberg.com. He serves as secretary of the founding Board of Directors of The Interfaith Observer (TIO).
Elizabeth Dabney Hochman
Elizabeth Dabney Hochman is the founding editor of KidSpirit Online and KidSpirit Magazine, a nonprofit web community and magazine that empowers teens to explore life’s big questions in a spirit of openness. A graduate of Princeton University, with a Masters in Music from the Mannes College of Music in New York City, she has over fifteen years’ experience as an opera singer. From her experience working with adolescents through KidSpirit, Ms. Dabney Hochman has published a number of articles on spiritual development in youth, including “KidSpirit Magazine: Youth in dialogue about life’s big questions,” in New Directions for Youth Development (Jossey-Bass, 2008); and “Six Steps to Nurturing the Spirit in Adolescents,” in Good Things to Do: Expert Suggestions for Fostering Goodness in Kids (Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education, 2009).
Jan Chaffee, as a young girl in Ohio, decided San Francisco was where she wanted to live. Turning 21, she made the move and her family followed. She spent twenty years as a legal secretary, most of it with Louis O. Kelso, the pioneering economist who created the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and other corporate financing techniques that build private ownership of productive capital into employees and other citizens. In 1996, with her husband Paul Chaffee, Jan helped found the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, managing Chapel use for a dozen years and its funds for 15 years. As such, she was on the front-end of interfaith celebrations, weddings, concerts, funerals, programs, staffing, and administration. With Paul, she retired from the Center at the end of 2010. Today Jan oversees The Interfaith Observer’s finances.
Publisher & Editor
Paul Chaffee is the founder of The Interfaith Observer (TIO). He was the founding executive director of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, serving for 17 years. He sat on United Religions Initiative’s original Board of Directors for six years, was a trustee of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) for ten, and was a Parliament Ambassador for the Parliament of the World’s Religions for three. Paul led the teams which planned the initial URI-North America summit in 2001 and NAIN’s 20th anniversary NAINConnect in 2008. Over the years Paul has started and/or edited numerous newsletters, including Bay Area Interfaith Connect, published each month by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio. His publications include Accountable Leadership (2nd edition, 1996), Shared Wisdom (2004), and Remembered Light (2007). Ordained in the United Church of Christ. Rev. Chaffee was honored as a Distinguished Alum at Pacific School of Religion in 2007 and as an Interfaith Visionary by the Temple of Understanding at its 50th anniversary in 2010.
Associate Editor & Webmaster
Megan Anderson is a graduate student at Claremont School of Theology, pursuing an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Religion, Society, and Social Change. Specifically, she is interested in the intersection of religion, social factors, justice, and the environment and how these impact efforts to promote sustainable behavior and the creation of an ecological civilization. In addition to her work as associate editor and webmaster for TIO, Megan also works in program development for Toward Ecological Civilization (EcoCiv).
She has a B.A. in mathematics and theology from the College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University where she completed an honors thesis titled “Interfaith Youth Core: Theology and Religious Commitment in One of America’s Most Prominent Youth Interfaith Organizations.”