Board of Directors

Chris Gankon is the President/CEO of the International Peace and Development Initiative. The nonprofit organization focused on peace and development advocacy for the Global South (Africa, Asia, and Latin America), beginning with Nigeria. Chris believes that peace is synonymous with development, and there is no development without peace. Chris has been married to his sweetheart for about 25 years, and they are blessed with three sons.

Chase Andre serves as Secretary of the organization. Chase teaches rhetoric and intercultural communication classes for the Biola University Department of Communication Studies and holds a master’s degree in intercultural studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. Chase lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two young children and are active members of New Life Community Church in Lincoln Heights. 

Saji Varghese serves as Treasurer of the organization. He has a B.A. in Accounting and an MBA in Business. Saji has been working as a tax professional for about 20 years. He is married to his lovely wife, Anu, and they are blessed with two sons. He is also the Senior Pastor of the Rock of the Nations. Saji is passionate about seeing peace and development in the Global South.

Mihretu P. Guta serves as one of the Board of Directors of International Peace and Development Initiative. He completed his PhD in Philosophy at Durham University, UK. He subsequently worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Durham Emergence Project (funded by the John Templeton Foundation). His main research focuses on metaphysics, philosophy of mind and the philosophy of neuroscience, with special emphasis on the emergence of consciousness and its relation to the brain. He is widely published in as diverse areas as metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of neuroscience, philosophy of religion and philosophical theology. Currently, he teaches philosophy both at graduate and undergraduate levels at Biola University and at Azusa Pacific University. He is also affiliated with the Philosophy Department at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He passionate about peacebuilding in Africa and the USA.