Private Staff Pages

Wilmette Institute Board and Staff

The Wilmette Institute is coordinated by a Board appointed by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and consisting of Iraj Ayman, Roger Dahl, Nancy Davis, Manuchehr Derakhshani, Betty J. Fisher, Gayle Morrison, Keyvan Nazerian, Mark Rossman, Robert H. Stockman, and Geoff Wilson. The Board meets once every two or three months. It has three officers: a chair (Nancy Davis), a secretary (Robert Stockman), and a treasurer (Geoff Wilson). It in turn appoints task forces, which report to the Wilmette Institute Board: Curriculum, Development, Publicity, and International Relations.

Robert H. Stockman is the Director of the Wilmette Institute. Omid Nolley is the Wilmette Institute Registrar.


The following persons have taught one or more courses for the Wilmette Institute in the last four years. Note that the list is incomplete and undergoing expansion; we apologize for the untidy appearance. Aiphabetized biographies follow the lists of faculty per department.

Faculty of Religion, Philosophy, and Theology:

Necati Alkan
Ted Brownstein
Zaid Lundberg
Susan Maneck
Brian Miller
Fiona Missaghian-Moghadam
Moojan Momen
Anne Pearson
Julio Savi
Michael Sours
Robert Stockman
Peter Terry
Ismael Velasco

Faculty of the Study of Individual Development,
Marriage, and Family Life:

Iraj Ayman
Lily Ayman
Saba Ayman-Nolley
Rodney Clarken
Kurt Hein
Bill Huitt
Michael L. Penn

Faculty of the Study of Governance and Community:

Bill Allmart
Theresa Mullen
Gayle Morrison
Martha Schweitz

Faculty of the Study of Global Civilization:

Jaleh Dashti-Gibson
Jena Khodadad
Nader Saiedi
Richard Thomas

Faculty of Bahá'í History and Scripture:

Iraj Ayman
Sheila Banani
Ghasem Bayat
Christopher Buck
Rodney Clarken
William Collins
Roger Dahl
Nabil Fares
John S. Hatcher
Kurt Hein
Richard Hollinger
Sandra Hutchison
Todd Lawson
Diana Malouf
Susan Maneck
Geoff Marks
Moojan Momen
Brent Poirier
Farhad Rassekh
Nader Saiedi
Michael Sours
Robert H. Stockman
Peter Terry
Duane Troxel
Ismael Velasco
Ramsey Zeine

Skills Development Faculty:

Roya Ayman
Saba Ayman-Nolley
Kim Douglas
Susan Maneck
Keyvan Nazerian
Peter Oldziey
David Rouleau
Morris Taylor
Ramsey Zeine


Mr. Arash Abizadeh received his Master of Philosophy in politics from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and his Ph.D. in political theory at Harvard University. He has taught at Wesleyan University and currently teaches at McGill University, Montreal. He is also a member of the editorial board of World Order magazine. His research interests currently focus on the treatment of discourse and diversity in democratic theory. He teaches political theory as it relates to Bahá'í administration for the Wilmette Institute.

Mr. Necati Alkan (Biography Forthcoming)

Mr. William Allmart (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. Iraj Ayman received his Ed.D. from Edinburgh University in Scotland and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Southern California in 1958. He completed post-doctoral studies at Harvard University. He is professor emeritus of the University of Teacher Education in Iran and has been a visiting Professor of education and management at U.C.L.A. and at the University of the Philippines. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Religious Education Association of the United States and Canada and is coordinator of the Wilmette Institute. He teaches classes in spiritual development and the nature of education for the Wilmette Institute.

Ms. Lily Ayman completed her undergraduate studies in foreign languages at Moscow University and in philosophy and educational sciences at Tehran University. She has pursued graduate studies in education and psychology at London and Edinburgh Universities and in Children's Literature at Columbia University. She has been coordinator of programs on education and family life at Landegg Academy, Switzerland; Head of the Department of Life-long Education and Training, National Center for Adult Education and Training, Tehran, Iran; and Lecturer in Children's Literature at the College of Education, Tehran University. Most recently she has taught Persian at the University of Chicago. She has served as executive officer of a number of professional organizations. Lily Ayman has authored a number of books and has published extensively in the field of education. She teaches about parenthood and family life for the Wilmette Institute.

Dr. Roya Ayman received her B.A. (honors), M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Utah, the last in social and organizational psychology. She is Associate Professor and Director of the industrial and organizational psychology program at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. She has published extensively in professional journals and has co-authored several textbooks in the field of leadership. She gives workshops for the Wilmette Institute on public speaking, consultation, and skills for organizing meetings.

Dr. Saba Ayman-Nolley received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. She is Associate Professor of psychology and international and intercultural studies and Chairperson of the Psychology Department of Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. Her fields of specialization are developmental psychology and early childhood development and education. Her research areas include children's social development and their development of creativity. She has served as the coordinator of the special education program for the six Head Start programs at the Fort Peck Indian reservation in Montana. She teaches psychology, personal development, marriage, and family life for the Wilmette Institute.

Ms. Sheila Banani (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. Ghasem Bayat is currently President and CEO of Premiere Consolidated Oil and Gas in Houston, TX. His international career in the oil and gas industry spans over 25 years. He received his BS in National Gas Engineering from AIT in 1972 and his PhD in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, UK in 1977. He teaches classes on Bahá’í history and scripture for the Wilmette Institute.

Mr. Ted Brownstein holds a master’s degree in Biblical Hebrew from University of Wisconsin – Madison, 1985. He was a lay Christian minister from 1970-1996 and part-time lecturer in Biblical Literature at University of Wisconsin-Baraboo, 1985-1987. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Magdalene Carney Bahá’í Institute in Florida. Research and teaching interests include Ancient Near Eastern Religion, Creation Myths, Hebrew Bible, Biblical Archaeology, Christianity, and interfaith dialogue.

Dr. Rodney H. Clarken received his Doctor of Philosophy in 1983 from Wayne State University and his M.A. in General Experimental Psychology in 1982 from the University of Detroit, as well as his M.S. in Teaching from the University of Wisconsin in 1976. He is currently the director of Field Experiences and a Professor at the School of Education at Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI. He has been coordinator of the Wilmette Institute course on Individual Development and has been faculty in courses on Marriage and Family Life, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, The Advent of Divine Justice, and The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.

Mr. William Collins holds B.A. from Middlebury College in French and Russian, an M.S.L.S. in Library Science from Syracuse University, and an M.Sc. in history and political science from Syracuse University in 1995. He was director of the Bahá’í World Center Library, 1977 to 1990. He teaches classes on the life and writings of Shoghi Effendi for the Wilmette Institute.

Mr. Roger Dahl (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. Jaleh Dashti-Gibson received her BA in Modern Languages (French) from Texas A&M University and her MA in International Peace Studies and Ph.D. in Government (International Relations) from the University of Notre Dame in 1998. She currently works as an academic advisor for freshmen at Notre Dame and has taught courses in international law, international organization conflict resolution, peace studies, and university writing. She has taught about political order for the Wilmette Institute.

Ms. Kim M. Douglas received her B.A. in English in 1987 and her M.F.A in Creative Writing in 1990 from the University of Arizona in Tucson. She currently teaches College English with an emphasis on Developmental, Expository, and Creative Writing at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She worked as the Editorial Assistant and Consultant at the Bahá’í Publishing Trust in Wilmette, Illinois from 1985 to 1990. She has taught expository writing in the Wilmette Institute's summer program.

Mr. Nabil Fares (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. Kurt Hein holds a B.A. in International Development from the School of Community Service and Public Affairs, University of Oregon, 1970; a Master of Education from Lewis and Clark College, 1974; and a Ph.D. in Development Communication from Northwestern University, 1985. He has worked as an international consultant and professor in mass-communication, formal and non-formal education, and community development for governmental ministries and agencies, NGOs, public schools, private schools and universities at local, regional, national and international levels in 25 countries. He has worked for Radio Bahá'í Ecuador, Radio Bahá'í South Carolina, and published a book about Bahá'í radio as a social and economic development tool. For the Wilmette Institute, he coordinated the course "The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh," and has been faculty in "The Secret of Divine Civilization", "The Mission and Destiny of America," "Marriage and Family Life," "Living the Spiritual Life," and "Bahá'í Administration and Community Development."

Mr. Richard Hollinger (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. William Huitt (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. Sandra Hutchison (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. Jena Khadem Khodadad has a PH.D. from Northwestern University in Cell Biology. Currently she is Professor (Lecturer and Science Researcher) at Rush Medical College in Chicago, Ill. She teaches units on science and religion at the Wilmette Institute.

Mr. Zaid Lundberg received his MA in the History of Religion from Lund University in Sweden in 1996. He currently teaches Religious Studies and Psychology in high-school and adult education, and he has authored many publications for the Bahá’í Faith. He teaches courses on world religions, Bahá’í Theology, and scripture for the Wilmette Institute.

Dr. Brian Miller (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. Fiona Missaghian-Mogaddam (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. Moojan Momen (Biography Forthcoming)

Ms. Gayle Morrison received her Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara in1967. She has done graduate study in Southeast Asia Studies at Yale University and received an M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts in 1970. She is the author of To Move the World: Louis G. Gregory and the Advancement of Racial Unity in America (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1982). From 1985 to 1995 she was a member of the Continental Board of Counselors for Australasia and an Auxiliary Board member for Protection from1981 to 1985. Currently she is coordinating editor of the Bahá’í Encyclopedia project. She teaches about Baha'i institutions for the Wilmette Institute.

Ms. Theresa Zingery Mullen holds a B.S. in Drama Education from Northwestern University and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. She has been the manager of the Office of Assembly Development at the United States Bahá'í National Center for the last eight years, where she creates and publishes reference and training materials as well as conducts training for Local Spiritual Assemblies and of a nationwide cadre of facilitators. Previous to that she worked five years in the fund development office in Wilmette. She has also worked for the Peace Corps in small business development in the Dominican Republic. She teaches Assembly and Bahá'í community development for the Wilmette Institute.

Dr. Keyvan Nazerian has a doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from University of Tehran and a Master's degree and Ph.D. in microbiology from Michigan State University. He pioneered to Italy, 1960-63 and Sweden 1972-73. He was associate professor of microbiology at Michigan State University, 1975-85. He served on the National Teaching Committee of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, 1980-86, and has been a staff member in the National Teaching Committee Office since 1995. He gives classes and workshops on teaching the Faith for the Spiritual Foundations for a Global Civilization.

Dr. Peter Oldziey has an Ed.D. in Education from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He wrote and helped publish The Garden of Bahá'u'lláh: Visual Lessons for Study of the Bahá'í Faith (New Delhi: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1988), a work based on theories he developed in his doctoral thesis on development of educational materials that symbolize spiritual concepts in a way that permits dialogue with a nonliterate population. Dr. Oldziey has also written a case study of the Hoosick Falls, N.Y., teaching project. He teaches workshops on teaching the Faith for the Wilmette Institute.

Dr. Anne Pearson received her Ph.D. in religious studies with a specialization in Hinduism from McMaster University in 1993. She has been a lecturer on Hinduism, women and religion, and world religions at McMaster University and Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. She teaches women in religion, world religions, and Hinduism for the Wilmette Institute.

Mr. Brent Poirier lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico where he practices estate planning and immigration law. He has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Law Degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He has taught undergraduate international business at New Mexico State University. He is a member of the Auxilary Board for Protection, serving the states of Colorado and New Mexico, as well as Navajo and Hopiland. He teaches classes on Bahá’í history and scripture for the Wilmette Institute.

Dr. Farhad Rassekh (Biography Forthcoming)

Mr. David Rouleau is coordinator of the Office of Bahá'í Administration at the Bahá'í National Center and is one of the most experienced local spiritual assembly trainers in the country. He teaches local spiritual assembly skills for the Wilmette Institute.

Dr. Julio Savi is a physician residing in Bologna, Italy. He has translated many Bahá'í scriptures and works about the Bahá'í Faith into Italian. He is the author of several books and articles, among them The Eternal Quest for God, a work about Bahá'í theology. He teaches Bahá'í theology and scripture for the Wilmette Institute.

Dr. Nader Saiedi (Biography Forthcoming)

Ms. Martha Schweitz (Biography Forthcoming)

Mr. Morris Taylor (Biography Forthcoming)

Mr. Peter Terry (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. Richard Thomas (Biography Forthcoming)

Dr. Robert H. Stockman received his doctorate in the history of religion in the United States from Harvard University in 1990. He is an instructor of religious studies at DePaul University, where he teaches world religion. He is also Coordinator of the Institute for Bahá'í Studies in Wilmette and Administrator of the Wilmette Institute. He teaches primal religions, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Old and New Testaments for the Wilmette Institute.

Dr. Duane Troxel received his BS from Moorhead State University in 1967, his ED in Educational Communications and Technology from the University of Hawaii in 1971, and his Doctorate of Instructional Technology from Temple University in 1978. He has served on the first National Bahá’í Assembly of Nigeria, as well as the National Bahá’í Assembly of Hawaii. More recently he was a Professor and Director of the Graduate Faculty at Landegg Academy, and a Professor at the European University in Warsaw, Poland. He teaches classes on Bahá’í history and scripture for the Wilmette Institute.

Mr. Ismael Velasco (Biography Forthcoming)

Mr. Ramsey Zeine is a retired architect and former chair of the National Spiritual Assembly of Lebanon. He has extensive experience in fostering efforts to teach the Faith and helping Bahá'ís to teach more joyfully and effectively. He teaches workshops on teaching the Faith for the Wilmette Institute and has been faculty in courses on Baha'i scripture.