International Board Members
Ann Farr (United Kingdom)
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma (Philippines)
Carmen Artigas (Uruguay)
Elena Vilenskaya (Russian Federation)
Franco Dinelli (Italy)
Fr. Jan Peters (The Netherlands) - Treasurer
Fr. Neles Tebay (West Papua)
Norbert Richter (Germany)
Rania Murra (Palestine)
Teresia Wamuyu Wachira (Kenya)
Bishop Kevin Dowling was elected to the Pax Christi International board in 2004 and became Co-President in 2010, bringing with him a wealth of experience in working for human rights and social justice. He has been Chairman of the International Sudan Ecumenical Forum through which he engaged in the Sudan Peace Process. As a trustee of the Ecumenical Solidarity Peace Trust, he is involved in research of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
Bishop Dowling‘s authentic commitment to the most marginalized people in his own diocese of Rustenberg and to peace in violence-torn countries from South Sudan to Zimbabwe, from Croatia to El Salvador, is a constant reminder of who we are as a movement and the profound nature of the just and sustainable peace we seek. He was re-elected in 2013 as co-president. ^ Back to top
Marie Dennis has been co-president of Pax Christi International since 2007, a position she shares with Bishop Kevin Dowling from South Africa. From 1989-2012, 15 years as director, Marie worked with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, charged with bringing the global experience of Maryknoll missioners into the process of shaping public opinion in the United States and policies of the U.S. and other governments, the United Nations and international financial institutions. Marie is a laywoman and a mother of six. She holds a masters degree in moral theology from Washington Theological Union and honorary doctorates from Trinity Washington University and Alvernia University.
Author or co-author of seven books, Marie serves on the steering committee of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network and as a contributing editor to Sojourners magazine, and recently ended her service on the national board of JustFaith Ministries. She has previously served on the White House Task Force on Global Poverty and Development; the advisory committee of Orbis Books; and the boards of the Washington Office on Latin America, the Latin America Working Group, the International Resource Center, the Washington Office on Africa and the Jubilee USA Network. A Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace, Marie has served on the board of Pax Christi International since 1999. ^ Back to top
Ann Farr studied scripture and theology and taught Religious Education, Human Rights and English before specialising in Special Needs Education. An executive member of the British section of Pax Christi, Ann has worked ecumenically in justice, peace and development education, undertaking various projects to incorporate the work of Pax Christi with parishes and schools in a number of dioceses. She is a member of the Chapel of Unity Commission at Coventry Cathedral and is involved in campaigning for justice for women, fair trade, welfare and housing rights and against nuclear weapons, the arms trade and the recruitment of young people into the military.
A scholarship to South Africa in 1988, led to solidarity, awareness raising and anti-apartheid work. More recently, Ann has focused on peace work relating to Palestine and Israel. She has made several visits to the region and served as an Ecumenical Accompanier with the WCC's Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) in a small village, surrounded by illegal Israeli settlers. Since then she has led group visits to the region, been involved in advocacy in many parts of the UK and Ireland and lobbied in the UK and EU Parliaments. ^ Back to top
Archbishop Ledesma has been the Bishop-President of Pax Christi-Philippines for many years. Many consider him to be the country’s “peace bishop”, active in matters that promote peace within the country. He is active in the Philippine Ecumenical Platform for Peace which works to find peaceful solutions to the conflict between the government and the National Democratic Front. He is also co-convener of the Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC) which promotes interreligious understanding. The BUC popularised the commemoration of the Mindanao Week of Peace which raises awareness on the plight of the Bangsamoro minorities in Mindanao; aims at challenging biases between two peoples of differing faith and culture; and aims at correcting historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro.
Archbishop Ledesma is also a member of the the National Peace Council which supports the peace process in Mindanao. He is a favorite adviser of peace advocates in the country and a primary resource person on Catholic peacebulding. ^ Back to top
Mrs. Carmen Artigas has a law degree and an extensive background in the field of human rights as well as peace and security. Since 1981 she has been involved in many United Nations initiatives that enabled her to acquire extensive experience on justice and peace issues in Latin America.
She has used her valuable skills to shape the policy debate in in areas such as humanitarian assistance, human trafficking, social protection, etc. She is currently working as a Legal Officer for the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Acting in her personal capacity, Carmen Artigas was elected onto the board of Pax Christi International in 2013. Her commitment to peace and justice will be a valuable asset to the Pax Christi International team. ^ Back to top
Elena Vilenskaya is co-founder of the NGO Soldiers’ Mothers of Saint-Petersburg, begun in 1991, and co-founder of the House of Peace and Non-violence, started in 2002. Both organisations are members of Pax Christi International. Elena is a convinced believer of non-violent methods, has extensive experience in defending the human rights of conscripted soldiers and officers in Russia, and advocates for peace education for Russian school children and young people.
Elena has coordinated seven projects in Russia, led by Pax Christi Flanders and financed by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Including participants or partners from Chechnya and the North Caucasus has been a major preoccupation; she has made multiple efforts to initiate processes of dialogue and reconciliation with people from Chechnya. Besides her skills in human rights, peace education and non-violence, she is has expertise in networking and a deep knowledge of the political structures in Russia. ^ Back to top
Franco Dinelli joined Pax Christi in 2002 after a period of seven years spent abroad. He is the coordinator for Pax Christi Central Italy since 2013. Since 2009, he has been involved in the campaign, “Ponti non Muri”, visiting the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the state of Israel several times and organizing conferences for the promotion of the rights of the Palestinian people. He is also involved in the issue of world disarmament, and is presently actively participating in the campaign, “No War, No NATO”, for a neutral Italy and Europe.
Franco has a bachelor degree in Physics from the University of Pisa, a Ph.D. in Materials Science from Oxford University, and works at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Pisa. He has recently joined USPID, Italian Scientists for Disarmament (the Italian affiliation of the Pugwash Conference). In 2017 he will also lecture at the University of Pisa for the faculty of Political Sciences in the course of “Sciences for Peace”. ^ Back to top
Fr. Jan Peters s.j. is vice-president of Pax Christi Netherlands, president curator of the Netherlands Institute for the Middle East in Leiden and in Istanbul, as well as member of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic University in Rotterdam. Jan has also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Amsterdam School of Catholic Theology.
He participates in committees for dialogue with Islam and dialogue with Eastern churches. For six years, he served as president of the International Federation of Catholic Universities. In 2010, he was elected to the Pax Christi International Board because of his extraordinary long term involvement with Pax Christi and his experience of and dedication to human rights. In June 2013 he was re-elected for a second mandate as Pax Christi International Treasurer. ^ Back to top
Fr. Neles Tebay is a lecturer and professor at the Fajar Timur School of Philosophy and Theology in Abepura, Papua. He is actively involved in several peace initiatives: coordinator of the Papua Peace Network (PPN), a member of the Interfaith Forum for Religious Leaders, and a dedicated member of the Ecumenical Fellowship of Churches in Papua. For 10 years he has actively contributed to weekly journal publications in Jayapura, West Papua, as well as in Jakarta, Indonesia.
He has trained for various peacebuilding initiatives at the international level (United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Indonesia and Norway). He has been elected to be member of the Advisory Council at the National Commission on Human Rights in Indonesia from 2013 to 2017. Recently, he was elected to the Pax Christi International Board adding a spiritual and insightful dimension to the network. ^ Back to top
Norbert Richter is currently the chairman of Pax Christi Germany. He has previously served as a member of Pax Christi Germany’s Executive Board and has been a member of the Board of Pax Christi in the Diocese of Essen since 2002. He is a certified mediator and educated in nonviolent communication, and he is interested in ways to communicate and impart active nonviolence in church and society.
Norbert holds a graduate degree in business management and is a Service and Compliance Manager with Pioneer, a Japanese electronics corporation. His peace work includes raising awareness of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through trips to the region. ^ Back to top
Rania Murra is the director of the Arab Educational Institute in Bethlehem, Palestine. She also coordinates the Women’s Center, where she promotes the empowerment of Palestinian women, Muslims and Christians, residents and refugees living close to the Wall and in the larger Bethlehem area. She has a degree in English language and literature with a minor in translation, and she has an extensive background of teaching English.
Nowadays, she is studying Gender and Development. In 2013, she was elected as a board member of Pax Christi International. She brings her valuable skills and experience in dialogue, communication and education. ^ Back to top
Teresia Wamuyu Wachira is a member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM), commonly known as the Loreto Sisters. She did her M.A. in Applied Theology, Peace and Justice Studies, and her Ph.D. on experiences of violence in schools in Kenya. She has been a teacher and principal in Loreto schools in Kenya, specializing in the education of young women and training them for peacemaking and reconciliation work.
Teresia is currently a Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies at St. Paul’s University in Nairobi. Teresia was a participant in the conference on nonviolence and just peace jointly held by Pax Christi International and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Conference in Rome in April 2016. . ^ Back to top