by ICJS Newsroom

BALTIMORE—The Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies (ICJS) Board of Trustees welcomes four new members and installed a new slate of officers, including a new Board president, Lee Sherman.

Mr. Sherman is a longtime nonprofit executive, currently serving as the executive director of Har Sinai-Oheb Shalom Congregation. He has been an ICJS trustee since 2020 and a longtime participant and supporter of ICJS

ICJS Executive Director Heather Miller Rubens noted these changes come at a key moment for interreligious engagement in the United States.

“How should diverse citizens bring their religious selves to everyday life? How do we respond to the rise in religious bigotry and violence? These are urgent questions. Americans committed to living in a multireligious democracy need a new way forward,” she said. “I’m excited to work with Lee, and our new board officers and trustees, as ICJS works to dismantle religious bigotry in our communities and build an interreligious society where people of every religion—and no religion—can flourish.”   

Other new ICJS officers include Vice President Kristen Kinkopf, executive director of The Richman Foundation; Treasurer Arun Subhas, a managing partner at Ernst & Young LLP; and Secretary Meghan Casey, an attorney with Gallagher, Evelius & Jones. 

The new trustees include Lisa Akchin, founder and principal of On Purpose LLC, a marketing and leadership consultancy; Adnan Hyder, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Global Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University; Ajmel A. Quereshi, who serves as a Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court, District of Maryland; and Rabbi Deborah Wechsler of Chizuk Amuno Congregation.

All of the new trustees were elected to three-year terms. More detailed biographies are included below.

Lisa Akchin is the founder and principal of On Purpose LLC, a consulting practice focused on guiding leaders, teams, and organizations in understanding assets and opportunities and co-creating communications and stakeholder engagement strategies that achieve goals. She served as Associate Vice President of Engagement and Chief Marketing Officer for the University of Maryland Baltimore County until her retirement in 2022. Her volunteer leadership experience includes serving on the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners, as President of Beth Am Synagogue in Baltimore and as a member of the Baltimore Collegetown Network. She holds a B.S. in Mass Communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and an M.S. in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of Maryland. She completed The LEADERship Program of the Greater Baltimore Committee in 2000 and the Leadership Maryland Program in 2019. 

Adnan A. Hyder, M.D. M.P.H. Ph.D., is a public health professional, academic, and global health expert for the past three decades. He currently serves as Senior Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Global Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University. For over 30 years, Dr. Hyder has worked to improve public health in the United States and in countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and pioneered empirical work around ethics, injuries, health systems, and non-communicable diseases. He has worked in over 85 countries around the world and currently serves as International President of the World Health Summit for 2023, Chair of the Board for Health Systems Global, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Youth for Road Safety and a Board member of SafeKids Worldwide. Dr. Hyder received his medical degree from the Aga Khan University, Pakistan, and his M.P.H. and Ph.D. in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.

Ajmel A. Quereshi serves as a Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court, District of Maryland. He clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Honorable James G. Carr of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. In between his clerkships, he served as a Skadden Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland. He subsequently served as a visiting assistant professor and director of the Civil Rights Clinic at Howard University School of Law.  After leaving Howard, he served as staff counsel at the ACLU’s National Prison Project. In 2015, he joined the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where he served as senior counsel until joining the court. He received a B.A. in Sociology, English, and History from Marquette University and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Rabbi Deborah Wechsler, the first woman to serve as a rabbi of Chizuk Amuno Congregation, has served in that role since 1999. Prior to becoming a pulpit rabbi at Chizuk Amuno, she served as an educator at the 92nd Street Y in New York. Her impact and accomplishments are demonstrated in successful b’nei mitzvah, adult learning programs, and many learning and life cycle experiences. She has published sermons and opinion articles in The American Rabbi, The Orchard, The Forward, Hadassah Magazine, and the New York Jewish Week. She received her rabbinic ordination, as well as an M.A. from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. 


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To disarm religious bias and bigotry, the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies (ICJS) builds learning communities where religious difference becomes a powerful force for good. ICJS envisions an interreligious society in which dialogue replaces division, friendship overcomes fear, and education eradicates ignorance. Through educational programming, public-facing scholarship, and relationship-centered fellowships and workshops, ICJS models a new conversation in the public square that affirms religious diversity in the United States. ICJS is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. More information is at