CarterBaldwin Executive Search is proud to partner with The Templeton Religion Trust in the appointment of Dr. Iqbal Akhtar as Program Director. Akhtar will identify opportunities for grantmaking, partnerships, and collaborations for enhancing the quality of engagements across deep religious differences for the Trust’s Covenantal Pluralism Initiative.
Akhtar joins Templeton from Florida International University, where he spent 10 years as an associate professor. While at FIU, he secured and managed a $3.5M endowment to develop the first Jain Studies Center in a North American university and initiated the first Western Indian Ocean Studies center in the US. Prior to FIU, Akhtar served as executive director of The East West Foundation and as chairman of the Children’s College Foundation, serving underprivileged children in Slidell, LA.
He completed two Fulbright fellowships, one of which was focused on a Pakistani civic initiative to develop a religious tolerance program. In his second fellowship, he developed a national network of Pakistani scholars focused on studying non-Muslim heritage and funding both interfaith and intrafaith dialogue and education.
Akhtar earned his AB in political science and Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern studies from Washington University, an MA in political science/international relations from Tulane University, an MA in religious studies from the University of Denver, and his PhD in divinity from the University of Edinburgh. He speaks English, Gujarati, and Spanish.
About Templeton Religion Trust
Templeton Religion Trust is a global charitable trust chartered by Sir John Templeton in 1984 and operating from headquarters in Nassau, The Bahamas. The Trust has been active since 2012 and supports research, advocacy, and public engagement projects as well as storytelling (via its website and social media channels) seeking to enrich the conversation about religion. Templeton’s aim is to improve the well-being of individuals and societies through spiritual growth and an ever-improving understanding of spiritual realities and spiritual information – “changing the conversation about religion” by fueling curiosity, inviting participation, practicing transparency in storytelling, and remaining nimble with a long-term view.