Chelsea Clinton has quietly taken an NYU job leading interfaith efforts, one that has been in the works for about a year but kept secret from the public.
The former first daughter was named co-chair of the Of Many Institute for multifaith leadership. Clinton is also a co-founder of the institute, which aims to create a groundbreaking academic and programmatic model for multifaith education at the university level. “The Institute supports a new generation of religious and civic leaders who, deeply rooted in their own religious and spiritual traditions, reach across faith boundaries to solve social problems together,” the institute says in its mission.
Chelsea Clinton’s NYU job at the center entails creating academic courses and eventually a minor in Multifaith and Spiritual Leadership, all of which are designed to help young people develop a greater sense of understanding and empathy.
The center also aims to foster multifaith relationship-building and dialogue and transforming the national discourse on faith to “reflect the work of religious peacemakers on campus through sustained engagement with community organizations and other colleges seeking consultation and replication.”
This kind of level-headed discourse is sorely needed, the institute notes in its mission statement:
“The September 11th attacks, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the Park 51 controversy are all occasions that required institutions in the US to lead nuanced public discussions guided by well-informed multifaith leaders dedicated to building bridges, promoting peace and coexistence and forging a shared future. From these times of crisis, far too few of these leaders have emerged as a sustained presence, and even fewer institutions have become equipped to support such multifaith action. The result has been ongoing misunderstanding, divisiveness, and outright hostility between faith groups worldwide.”
Clinton already had a role at NYU as vice provost, but the new job was kept largely a secret for the past year.
Chelsea Clinton talked about her NYU job in a Time interview in September, saying she took the job to fund her doctoral studies.
“And I hope that my colleagues and friends at NYU will really have built a platform around multifaith education and multifaith leadership,” Clinton told the magazine when asked about her five-year plan.
Chelsea Clinton has another NYU job coming soon. She’s scheduled to address members of the class of 2013 at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service this week.