Roundtable XVII: Speaker Bios

p. Valerii Antoniuk

p. Valerii Antoniuk presently serves as the Head of the All Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christian-Baptists; he is also the current Chairman of the All Ukraine Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO). His untiring efforts to strengthen interdenominational and interfaith dialogue using the resources of AUCCRO has drawn wide spread praise.

Ayder Bulatov

Ayder Bulatov PhD (Religious Studies) currently heads the Crimean Scientific Center of Islamic Studies. Dr. Bulatov was born in Tajikistan; in November 1992, he moved with his family to their homeland in Crimea (Ukraine). Since June 1999, he has worked in government positions in inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations with responsibilities for Islamic Studies and the analysis of the problems of inter-ethnic and inter-confessional conflict resolution; he has been particularly involved in resolving disputes in the area of interfaith relations in Crimea.

Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich

Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich currently serves as the Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine. In 1992, he founded the Union of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine; he currently serves as the organisation”s president. Additionally, Rabbi Bleich was a co-founder of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine in 1999 and continues to work for its success. In his various named roles, he has contributed significantly to the improvement of inter-religious and inter-ethnic relations in Ukraine and around the world. Since 1998, Rabbi Bleich is a member of the Council of Churches and Religious Organizations of Ukraine.

Valeriy Chaly

His Excellency Valeriy Chaly presently serves as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States. He came to the post immediately after having held the position of Deputy Head of Administration of the President of Ukraine. Before his political and foreign services appointments, Amb. Chaly worked a number of years as Deputy Director General of Ukraine”s leading NGO, the Razumkov Center, gaining recognition in Ukraine as well as internationally for his efforts at the institution.

Ariel Cohen

Ariel Cohen is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law. He currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS); CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Eugene Czolij

Eugene Czolij was called to the Quebec Bar in 1982 and is a senior partner at Lavery, de Billy, one of the largest law firms in Quebec. He pleads before the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as all court levels in Quebec. In 2008, he was elected as president of the Ukrainian World Congress and was re-elected for a second term in 2013. The UWC is the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians.

Bohdan Futey

Bohdan Futey has served as Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims since 1987. Judge Futey is actively involved with Democratization and Rule of Law programs organized by the
Judicial Conference of the United States, the Department of State, and the American Bar Association in Ukraine and Russia. He has participated in judicial exchange programs, seminars, and workshops and has
been a consultant to the working group on Ukraine”s Constitution and Ukrainian Parliament.

Liudmyla Fylypovych

Liudmyla Fylypovych is Head of the Department of the Philosophy and the History of Religion at the G.S. Skovoroda Philosophy Institute, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Professor Fylypovych (Doctor of the Philosophical Sciences since 2001) is considered a leading expert in religious studies, history of religions, ethnology of religion, alternative and new religions, contemporary religious situation in the world and in Ukraine, religious spirituality, freedom of religion, church-state relations, interreligious dialogue, religious and religious studies education.

Andrew Harris

Andrew Harris MD began serving as the Representative (R) from the 1st Congressional District of Maryland in 2011; a son of immigrants who fled communist Eastern Europe immediately after World War II, he has spent a lifetime serving his neighbors, country and community-as an obstetric anesthesiologist, a Naval officer and as an elected official. He is presently posted on the Committee on Appropriations and on the following subcommittees: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; and Homeland Security.

o. Iurii Kovalenko

o. Iurii Kovalenko is Archpriest of the UOC-MP and Rector of the Open Orthodox University of Saint Sophia the Wisdom. From 2008 until 2014, Father Yurii served as press secretary of Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchy (Metropolitan Volodymyr) and as Chairman of the Synodal Information Department. After the election of a new Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-MP (one less amenable to Ukraine”s Revolution of Dignity), he lost his official positions, but continued to participate public enlightenment activities; his work helped to found the religious educational institution (OOU) where he is now a leading officer.

David J. Kramer

David J. Kramer is presently Director for Human Rights & Democracy at the McCain Institute. Prior to joining the Institute, he was President of Freedom House, which he joined in October 2010; he concurrently taught at the Elliott School for International Affairs at The George Washington University. Earlier, Mr. Kramer served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from March 2008 to January 2009. He also was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus affairs.

William Miller

William Miller is presently a Senior Scholar at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center. Earlier, he served as the second US Ambassador to Ukraine. During his tenure, Ambassador Miller was eyewitness to some of the most fundamental transformations of the Ukrainian State, including the ratification of Ukraine”s Constitution.

p. Mykhailo Panochko

p. Mykhailo Panochko is Senior Bishop of the Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith of Ukraine (CCEFU); he was first elected to the post in 1998 and has been reelected four times (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). He began his ministry work in the town of Sulymiv in Western Ukraine in the 1970s, when the Soviet Union still existed; not surprisingly, his first years as pastor were trying. His experience thought him to fully appreciate “freedom of conscience”.

Roman Popadiuk

Roman Popadiuk, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, is Senior International Adviser at Morgan Lewis Consulting; concurrently, he is Chairman of the World Affairs Councils of America. A retired member of the career Senior Foreign Service, Dr. Popadiuk brings more than 30 years of experience in the areas of national security, political risk analysis and communications strategy including serving on the National Security Councils of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

o. Ihor Shaban

o. Ihor Shaban PhD is Chairman of the Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. In addition to his work on the Commission, Rev. Shaban currently teaches at the Theological Seminary of UGCC (Kyiv) as well as the St. Thomas Aquinas Institute of Religious Sciences (Kyiv) and has authored over a dozen important articles focusing on Ukrainian Catholicism”s attempts at inter-denominational and interfaith dialogue

e. Vitalii Skomarovskyi

e. Vitalii Skomarovskyi, currently fulfills the duties of apostolic administrator sede vacante of Kyiv-Zhytomir diocese of the Roman Catholic Church of Ukraine, having served a Ordinary bishop of the Lutsk diocese immediately prior to his present posting. Concurrently, Bishop Skomarovskyi serves as Secretary General of the Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops of Ukraine, the Head of the Mass-Media Committee, Committee of Men and Women”s Congregations of the Conference.

Andriy Yurash

Andriy Yurash PhD is Director of the Department for Religious Affairs and Nationalities of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine; concurrently, he is Associate Professor at the Ivan Franko National University of L”viv and the Mykhajlo Drahomanov National Pedagogic University in Kyiv. Dr. Yurash is also a member of the International Editorial Board of the journal Religion, State & Society, the International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA), and the Ukrainian Association of Religious Studies Academics.

o. Roman Zaviyskyy

o. Roman Zaviyskyy DPhil is currently Dean of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of Ukrainian Catholic University. After graduating from the Lviv Theological Academy (now UCU) in 1999, Rev. Zaviyskyy earned a master”s degree and licentiate at the Catholic University of Leuven (formerly known as Louvain) in Belgium. He then taught theology at UCU and in 2005 started doctoral studies at Oxford. In July 2011 he become the first Ukrainian citizen to defend a doctorate in theology at Oxford University. Dr. Zaviyskyy is also a trustee of Ukr-Aid, a charitable organization.

a.e. Yestratij (Zoria)

a.e. Yestratij (Zoria) is Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhin for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchy; concurrently, he is a Representative of the Kyiv Patriarchate to the European Institutions. Since his ordination as a monk in 1998, Archbishop Yestratij has taught at Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy (KP), served as Press Secretary of the Kyiv Patriarchate, fulfilled the role of vicar bishop of Kyiv and served as Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Kyiv Patriarchate (2010).