Board & Executive Team
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Greg Mitchell is a public affairs professional who has been working in or around governments since 1991, having cut his political teeth running successful congressional campaigns for Congressmen Carlos J. Moorhead and James E. Rogan in California, serving as Chief of Staff to Rogan in Washington, DC, and running the Internet Campaign for a statewide ballot initiative for school vouchers.
Under Greg’s leadership, the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable in Washington became the premiere space for bringing people of all faiths/beliefs together and empowering them to take multi-faith actions to stand up for and protect each other. This model has proven it is possible for people of all faiths/beliefs to engage each other cooperatively across their deepest differences and take actions together, as equal citizens. The practical results: mutual respect, trust, and reliance between faith/belief communities, and between these communities and governments.
In 2018, Greg founded IRF Secretariat to build and manage a global network of such multi-faith, inclusive, equal citizenship roundtables, institutionalize the cooperative engagement model to build religious freedom, social cohesion and civil societies, and strategically coordinate actions across the “bottom up” of civil society sectors and the “top down” networks of governments to increase impact. This is the path to sustainable peace and prosperity.
Greg and his wife, Renee, have three young children—Roman, Gisele and Leonardo—and live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida in the U.S.
Nadine is the President of the IRF Secretariat, an international organization focused on building infrastructure to support the religious freedom movement globally, running the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable in Washington, DC and in over 30 countries globally. She also serves as a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center. In May 2022, Nadine finished her second term as a White House appointee on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), serving her last year as Chair.
In 2023, Nadine was given the “Hevrin Khalaf Peace Award” from The Future Syria Party in Raqqa, Syria. In 2022, Nadine was awarded the IRF Impact Award for current or former government officials at the IRF Summit in Washington, D.C. Because of her strong commitment to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for all communities, she was especially honored by separate awards from both Christian and Muslim communities. In July 2023, she was given the “Humanitarian Award” by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, focusing on her work evacuating the community from Afghanistan. In 2022, she was awarded by Justice for All for “Advocacy for all, especially Muslims.” In 2021, she was awarded the “Cedar of God Award” by In Defense of Christians for her “tireless work throughout her career for religious freedom for Christians both in the Middle East and globally.”
In the past five years, Nadine has traveled extensively, spending about a month each year in Syria and Iraq. She is a sought-after speaker on religious freedom, building inclusive societies, U.S. foreign policy, and various other topics. Her writings have been published in numerous publications domestically and internationally.
Drawing on her extensive network, she has helped build unique coalitions on issues such as paid family leave, health care, tax reform, and international religious freedom. Nadine has advised several major organizations on faith engagement, working family policy, and strategic partnerships through The Clapham Group. She has partnered with The Shai Fund in the evacuation of those fleeing severe persecution, including resettling Afghan refugees since August 2021. She has decades of experience in fundraising and grassroots organizing as senior advisor to several presidential candidates, U.S. Senators, and grassroots organization Patriot Voices. She worked on Capitol Hill in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) and is on the board for both The Sinjar Academy and Freedom Research Foundation. She is a graduate of Penn State University. She is married with three adult children and lives outside of Philadelphia in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Chief of Staff
Sharyn Runyon brings over three decades’ experience in administration and corporate and non-profit public relations. Her expertise encompasses various facets of PR work, including media handling, campaign strategies, crisis communications, and event planning. With her certification in diplomatic protocol, she brings a refined touch to her work, excelling in writing, video interviews, editing, and still photography.
Throughout her career, Sharyn has actively engaged in non-profit endeavors, collaborating with diplomats, scientists, and renowned Hollywood celebrities on media projects, special initiatives, and charitable events. Her executive background extends to successfully establishing and managing teams of hundreds of staff members and volunteers. She has raised millions of dollars for vital causes such as education, drug rehabilitation, and human rights programs.
In recognition of her outstanding dedication, Sharyn Runyon was honored with a Religious Freedom Award in 2001. This prestigious accolade was bestowed upon her for her organization’s unwavering support of first responders during the tragic events of 9/11 in New York. In addition, she played a pivotal role in the establishment of a remarkable worldwide disaster response team comprising 35,000 members. Her achievements also include serving on three scientific Flag Expeditions for the world-renowned Explorers Club.
Outside of her professional pursuits, Sharyn treasures her enduring marriage to Bill Runyon, of over 40 years mother to two and a doting grandmother to four. Beyond her career, Sharyn’s passions lie in the realms of environmental conservation, education reform, spirituality and freedom of belief. With her skill set, profound dedication, and genuine love for making a difference, Sharyn Runyon is an invaluable asset in promoting international religious freedom and fostering a brighter future for all.
Global Operations Director
Kaylee has six years of experience working in the non-profit sector, advocating for orphans, persons with disabilities, refugees, immigrants, women, and religious groups. She currently directs the International Religious Freedom Roundtable as the Global Operations Director at IRF Secretariat. Kaylee recently concluded her four years at the Institute for Global Engagement’s Center for Women, Faith & Leadership, where she traveled to Uzbekistan, Jordan, Norway, and South Africa, providing peace-building and leadership development workshops for multi-faith women’s groups.
Kaylee has also organized many embassy dinners, facilitating conversations around sustainable educational resources to underprivileged communities in Latin America. Kaylee engaged with faith-based organizations, universities, and churches through public speaking engagements during the Afghanistan Crisis in 2021, gathering support for incoming refugee families. In her recent transition to the IRF Secretariat, she is eager to continue emphasizing the vitality of religious freedom in the U.S. and worldwide.
Vice Chair and head of Corporate Council
Simran Stuelpnagel is a management consultant and corporate strategy executive. He was the SVP for Akal Security, a Sikh-owned firm, which became the largest employer of retired American police officers and largest PMC in the US — while members of many faiths could not serve in uniform with their religious articles intact. Akal protected U.S. government interests in more than 350 American cities and 120 countries, and in his final year, Simran won $220M in federal direct contracts. He initiated the effort that led to the DC Metropolitan Police to become the first major US police department to allow Sikhs, Jews, Rastafarians and others to serve in uniform without compromising their faith.
Simran’s advisory roles span corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors, most notably as the Advisory Chair of EOR Systems, a private military and intelligence contractor, and as Global Affairs Advisor for the SSSC Trust, which includes Yogi Tea, the largest herbal tea company in the world, recognized as the most faith friendly company in Europe in 2023 by the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, the Kundalini Research Institute, which has trained over 50,000 yoga teachers in 100 countries, and Sikhnet.com, the largest Sikh communication platform with over 12 Million unique visitors a year.
Simran’s professional journey has been enriched by his affiliations. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London, a Miller Center Fellow at Hebrew College in Massachusetts, and was a Resident Fellow at Harris Manchester College at Oxford University. He advises the Sikh American Veterans Alliance, the Sikh Military Foundation, and the UK Defense Sikh Network. He is the Treasurer for the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, was a board member of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, and Secretary Clinton named him a Member of the Strategic Dialogue at the US Department of State. Significantly, his analysis of military acquisitions was taught at the University of Virginia’s graduate program in Defense Contracting in the MBA program. He also received a commendation for extreme bravery in a warzone by the Deputy Commander of the British Field Army, Major General Celia Harvey. Simran grew up in Hamburg, Germany and was educated in Amritsar, India and Washington, DC, shaping a global perspective and a deep dedication to his causes.
Vice Chair and head of Academic Council
Bishop Dr. Paul Murray
Bishop Dr. Paul Murray is a founding board member of the IRF Secretariat and serves as their Vice Chairman and Treasurer. In addition, he is the chairman of the Global Academic Council. A passionate advocate for religious freedom and human rights, Murray is a regular presenter on international program panels and a conference speaker addressing religious freedom attacks, global challenges, and religious liberty violations domestically.
Dr. Murray is the International Vice President of Religious Freedom Initiatives with the Global Peace Foundation. As Dr. Murray operates within this religious freedom space, he serves as a member of the National Advisory Board of the National Committee for Religious Freedom (NCRF), a Board Member of the First Amendment Voice Alliance (FAV), a Member of the Committee on Religious Liberty; and Co-Chair, Capital Area Coalition on Religious Liberty.
In addition, serving in Christian leadership for more than 25 years, Dr. Murray is the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church. He is the award-winning author of Broken: Picking up the Pieces after the Fall and a soon-to-be-released First to Serve. A prolific speaker, Murray has ministered on TBN, Daystar, and CTN and was profiled on the cover and feature article of BOSS Magazine. Murray holds a Doctorate in Pastoral Leadership from Howard University, School of Divinity, a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling, a Master of Art in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Services from the University of Phoenix.
Senior Advisor on Global Policy
Sir Charles Hoare Bt.
Senior Advisor for Global Strategy & Development
Charmaine Hedding, Senior Advisor for Global Strategy & Development, brings over two decades of expertise in international development management. A relentless advocate for religious freedom, she is dedicated to protecting persecuted minorities and fostering understanding among diverse communities. With a background in the business sector, Charmaine emphasizes sustainable programming, including economic revitalization for survivors of genocide and trafficking.
Her commitment extends to responding to humanitarian disasters, designing relief programs, and capacity-building in complex emergencies. Holding a Master of Social Science in Development Management, she is the founder and President of Shai Fund, actively contributing to various non-profit boards and advisory boards in the fight for religious freedom at the local community level.
Senior Advisor for Global Engagement
Dr. Christine M. Sequenzia is a trusted government relations and public affairs professional who successfully transitioned her legislative experience working for the U.S. Congress into careers with several of the largest global humanitarian nonprofit organizations. She is a strategic advocate, impassioned speaker, and fervent friend of the exploited and marginalized.
Dr. Sequenzia’s experience is primarily with addressing religious freedom, human trafficking, and poverty by engaging global governments, civil society, and corporations. As the Vice President for Global Engagement with the International Religious Freedom Secretariat, and as co-chair of the Campaign to Eliminate Blasphemy and Apostasy Laws, she has traveled to over 15 countries and finds joy in building resilient communities where human dignity for all thrives. Dr. Sequenzia has served survivors of terrorism in the Middle East, directed projects in economically deprived regions of Southeast Asia, managed medical teams serving Central American women and girls caught in sexual exploitation, and successfully led multidisciplinary teams toward human rights policy wins at the recent United Nations General Assembly.
She has spent nearly two decades working and writing for members of the U.S. Congress, international non-profit organizations, and private publications. Dr. Sequenzia has been profiled in The Hill, CQ Today, CQ Weekly, Politico, and the InterPress Service UN Bureau, in addition to appearing as a human rights policy expert for global TV networks in the U.S. and internationally.
Dr. Sequenzia is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, earning both a Doctorate of Ministry and a Master of Divinity in international development and political theology. She also received a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University and completed Cornell University’s High-Performance Leadership program.