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About Us

Presiding Council

The Presiding Council is the primary advisory body committed to advancing the core principles of the Universal Peace Federation. Members are elected for a period of two years. The Chairman of the UPF also serves as Chair of the Presiding Council.

Dr. Charles S. Yang, Chair
Dr. Charles S. Yang is Chairman of Universal Peace Federation and The Washington Times Foundation. Dr. Yang heads the steering committee of the Universal Peace Federation’s Middle East Peace Initiative, which conducts interfaith activities for the purpose of overcoming the conflicts between religions. He was a longtime special assistant to the late Dr. Sun Myung Moon. As chairman of The Washington Times Foundation, Dr. Yang directs the activities of Northeast Asia Peace Initiative, with forums held in Tokyo, Washington, Seoul, Bangkok and Manila, and plans for Moscow and Beijing in 2014.

Dr. Thomas G. Walsh
Dr. Thomas Walsh is the President of the Universal Peace Federation. With academic training in the field of religion, he earned his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. He has been a teacher, author, and editor with specialization in areas of interfaith, religious studies, peace studies, philosophy. and social theory. He serves on the International Council of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations and on the board of directors of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom. He has contributed to and edited more than 20 books related to interfaith, peacebuilding, and renewal of the United Nations; among these volumes are Renewing the United Nations and Building a Culture of Peace and The Millennium Declaration of the United Nations: A Response from Civil Society.


Tageldin Hamad
Tageldin Hamad is Secretary General of Universal Peace Federation International and Director of the UPF Office for UN and International Affairs. He is also Secretary General of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO). Tageldin Hamad served as Secretary of the Executive Committee of DPI-NGOs at the United Nations and was the Organizing Chair for the Summit of World Muslim Leaders conferences held in Jakarta and London.


Hon. Jose de Venecia, Jr.
The Hon. Jose de Venecia, Jr., served five terms as Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1992 to 2007. He served as the Vice President of the Christian Democrats International as well as Chairman of the CDI Asia Pacific and is Chairman of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties. As Speaker of the House of Representatives, de Venecia spearheaded the proposal to create an interreligious council in the United Nations.


Rt. Hon. Hamilton Green
Rt. Hon. Hamilton Green served as Prime Minister of Guyana from 1985-1992 and as Mayor of Georgetown, the capital city of Guyana, from 1994 to 1995 and from 1997 to the present. He was first elected to the Guyanese Parliament in 1968 and held a number of Ministerial portfolios during his long and distinguished career. Rt. Hon. Green was educated at St. Stanislaus and Queens College. He is a fitness enthusiast, plays the piano, and reads history and philosophy in his spare time.

H.E. Abd-Elaziz Hegazy
H.E. Abd-Elaziz Hegazy served as Prime Minister of Egypt from 1974 to 1975. In addition, he served as Deputy Prime Minister for Economy and Foreign Trade and as Minister of Finance in the Egyptian Government. He is a former Visiting Professor of Cairo University and former Dean of the Faculty of Commerce at Ain Shams University. H.E. Hegazy obtained his Ph.D. from Birmingham University, UK. Dr. Hegazy received awards including the State Prize for Social Sciences and and State Decorations from Gamal Abdel Nassar, Anwar Sadat, and Hosni Mubarak. He also works as Accountant and Management Consultant in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.


Sra. Graciela Rompani de Pacheco
The widow of Jorge Pacheco Areco, who was president of Uruguay from 1967 to 1972, Graciela Rompani de Pacheco is a businesswoman with training in administration and marketing. The former First Lady is President and Founder of Ventura, a non-profit association that administers three kindergartens in the most disadvantaged zones around Montevideo, and President and Founder of Ventura Grameen, which gives microcredits to women in the poorest neighborhoods. A graduate of the School of Social Services, she is Founder and Director of the Alvarez Caldeyro Barcia Foundation, an institution that seeks to improve the health of poor mothers and children; it is connected to the Pereira Rossell Hospital, where one in six Uruguayans are born. She is President of Embajada de Mujeres de America and Vice President of Fundación Sino-Uruguay.


H.E. Stanislav Shushkevich
H.E. Stanislav Shushkevich was President of the Republic of Belarus from 1991 to 1994. He is Director of the Center for Political and Economic Studies at the European Humanitarian University in Minsk and Chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party. Dr. Shushkevich served his nation as a political leader since 1990, when he was elected a Deputy and later First Vice Chairman of the Parliament. The following year he was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus. A physicist, Dr. Shushkevich was Senior Engineer and Head of Research and Development Laboratories at the Minsk Radio Plant and the Belarusian State University. He also served as Vice Rector and Head of the Nuclear Physics Department at the Belarusian State University.


H.E. Johnson Toribiong
Johnson Toribiong was born in Airai, Palau, in 1946. He is a former President of Palau (2009-2013). He studied at the University of Washington. Before becoming president he served as Palau's ambassador to Taiwan.