Rev. Charles Gibbs
Executive Director, United Religions Initiative
Reverend Charles P. Gibbs has been Executive Director of URI (United Religions Initiative) since its inception 14 years ago. URI is a global network of 500 grassroots organizations, called Cooperation Circles, dedicated to peace and justice through interfaith and cross-cultural cooperation. Its nearly half a million members are overcoming distrust and hostility every day for the good of their communities -- mediating religiously motivated conflict; building schools, orphanages and health clinics; campaigning for citizenship rights and more in 78 countries. They touch the lives of an estimated 2.5 million people.
Reverend Gibbs has overseen the growth of the organization from 83 member organizations in 2000 to more than 500 today, and helped create its award-winning Traveling Peace Academy. During this time, he has worked with religious, spiritual and other leaders around the world, and has written extensively about interfaith peace and cooperation as a key foundational element for tackling poverty, disease, environmental degradation and other critical issues that cross religious, cultural and geographic lines. He and colleague Sally Mahé co-authored a book, Birth of a Global Community, about the creation of URI. He brings to his leadership role an abiding belief in the sacredness of all beings, a belief that underpins his commitment to the inclusive, grassroots approach that has made URI and its work so successful.
Before coming to URI, Rev. Gibbs served for six years as Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in San Francisco. For six years previous to that, he served as the Executive Director of the San Rafael Canal Ministry, an interfaith ministry of service and outreach, primarily among immigrants and refugees, in Marin County, California. Rev. Gibbs taught writing at the University of Minnesota and worked in the theater prior to his ordainment.