Some Changes at the Ikeda Center

As the spring becomes summer you’ll notice some exciting leadership changes here at the Ikeda Center. After many years dedicated to the advancement of the Center’s peace and dialogue work, Richard Yoshimachi has stepped down as President and Executive Director. Yoshiki Tanigawa now serves as President, Virginia Benson of the Ikeda Center is Executive Director, and Jason Goulah of DePaul University has been appointed executive advisor to the Center. Their objectives will be to explore promising new directions for the Center’s programs and extend the intergenerational reach of its networking.

Mr. Tanigawa is Secretary General of Soka Gakkai in Japan and Vice President of Soka Gakkai International; Ginny (Straus) Benson was the Center’s inaugural director, working with the founder during the early years of the Center’s development; and Dr. Goulah is tenured faculty in the College of Education and Director of the Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education at DePaul University, in Chicago. Also joining the Center this spring, as Treasurer, is David Saito.

As we look to the future we are grounding ourselves in the vision offered by Daisaku Ikeda in his 1993 Harvard University address, “Mahayana Buddhism and 21st Century Civilization.” In his talk he articulated key aspects of Buddhist philosophy and practice that could make a vital contribution to the emergence of a peaceful global civilization in the new century. Soon after, he established the Center as an oasis of open-minded and open-hearted dialogue where he envisioned globally minded scholars and activists engaging together in a quest for solutions to the manifold challenges facing humanity.

With renewed determination to accomplish the founder’s vision of peace in the face of the global chaos and rising anxiety of the present time, the Center’s new leadership team will continue working with like-minded scholars and peace builders from all walks of life to bring the seeds we have planted thus far into fuller bloom.

We invite you to visit our staff page for more details.



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