Senior Advisory Council (formerly the President's Council)

The purpose of the Senior Advisory Council (formerly the President's Council) is to be a group of influential, major URI supporters who have relevant organizational wisdom, and who are partners with the Global Council and the Executive Director in providing guidance and leadership to URI.


William K. Bowes, Jr.

Honorary Member (In Memoriam)

William K. Bowes, Jr. had three careers – each somehow leading to the next. After twenty-five years of investment banking in San Francisco, he founded U.S. Venture Partners in 1981, providing him with the opportunity to help create initiatives at their earliest stage. “Venture Philanthropy” followed naturally and included “start-ups”; financing initiatives inside established institutions; and larger “transformative” investments in institutions, including the United Religions Initiative. The following board and advisory council assignments are indicative of areas of interest: the University of California, San Francisco Foundation, Exploratorium, Grace Cathedral, Environmental Defense Fund, Stanford’s Bio-X, Asian Art Museum, QB3, Institute for Systems Biology, San Francisco Jazz, Xoma Corporation, Creative Capital, Harvard Business School Visiting Committee, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Mr. Bowes passed in 2015, and is survived by his wife, Ute Conchita Bowes.

Margaret G.  Gill 

Honorary Member (In Memoriam)

Margaret Gill has been Chair and President of the Stephen and Margaret Gill Family Foundation since 1999. She was the Senior Vice President of Legal, External Affairs & Secretary from 1994 to 1999 with Air Touch Communications. Prior to this she was Associate of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro from 1966 to 1972, and Partner from 1973 to 1993. She was the Practice Group Manager and Senior Partner, Corporate and Securities Group (46 attorneys in 6 offices) from 1983 to 1993. She is on the Board of Directors/Trustee for Con-Way, Inc., Episcopal Church in the Diocese of California (President through 2008), the San Francisco Ballet (Vice Chair, Chair of the Governance Committee, Chair of the 75th Anniversary Celebrations), and Episcopal Charities (President 2001-2006). She is a member of the International Women's Forum and Women's Forum West, and the Wellesley College Capital Campaign Class Committee in California.

Rupert H. Johnson, Jr.

Honorary Member

Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. is Vice Chairman, Member - Office of the Chairman and Director of Franklin Resources, Inc. He serves as an officer, director, and trustee of some of the subsidiaries of Franklin Resources, Inc. and of 47 of the investment companies in Franklin Templeton Investments. He is also Chairman and Director of Franklin Templeton funds. Mr. Johnson joined Franklin in 1965 after serving as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Johnson is a graduate of Washington and Lee University. He is a member on the board of the BASIC Fund and has served as a member of the executive committee as well as the Board of Governors of The Investment Company Institute. He also served on the board of the San Francisco Zoological Society and has been active with the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. He is a former trustee of both Santa Clara University and Washington and Lee University.

Archibald McClure

Honorary Member

Arch McClure retired from a highly successful business career as a Senior Executive and member of the Board of The Quaker Oats Company. In addition to serving as a Director of Quaker Oats, he served on the Boards of Holiday Inns, First Illinois Bancorp, Sciaky Brothers, and Family Value. After retirement from Quaker, Mr. McClure pursued his life-long interest in education by serving for seven years as Vice President of Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He contributed as a Board member of many charitable, educational organizations boards including National Boy Scouts, Coe College, IIT, and various Church and School Boards. He has been a part of the long-standing leadership of the growth and success of URI. In all he has endeavored, he was always assisted by his late wife Anne Cunningham McClure, to whom he was devoted. The son and the grandson of ministers, Arch taught Sunday School for many years. Working together with Anne, becoming a founding Global Council trustee for URI was the culmination of all his life’s experience. As young children, Arch and Anne attended Arch’s father’s church services where speakers from other religions and faith traditions were invited to preach. That early exposure proved inspirational in Arch and Anne’s work for URI. URI embodies their belief that religious tolerance and the values shared by all religions can work for peace.

Dame Charlotte Mailliard Shultz

Honorary Member

Dame Charlotte Mailliard Shultz has served nine San Francisco Mayors as Chief of Protocol and Director of Special Events for the City and County of San Francisco. During her tenure, she was responsible for receiving and entertaining many world leaders, including the Pope, Queen Elizabeth II, General Secretary Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, President Medvedev of Russia, Prime Minister Varadkar of Ireland, Prime Minister Modi of India, and President Mitterrand and President Hollande of France, Prime Minister Abe of Japan, President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines, and Presidents Fox, Calderón, and Nieto of Mexico. Dame Shultz is a member of many civic boards such as the War Memorial Performing Arts Center, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Ballet, and the Commonwealth Club of California.

The Hon. George P. Shultz

Honorary Member (In Memoriam)

The Honorable George P. Shultz has had a distinguished career in government, academia, and business. He taught at MIT and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, where he became dean in 1962. He was appointed Secretary of Labor in 1969, Director of the Office of Management and Budget in 1970, and Secretary of the Treasury in 1972. From 1974 to 1982, he was President of Bechtel Group, Inc. During the Reagan administration, he served as Chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board (1981-1982) and Secretary of State (1982-89). In 1989, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Chandler (Chan) Tagliabue

Honorary Member

Chandler Tagliabue grew up in Milledgeville, GA, with two younger brothers. She was an outstanding student and received her BA in English and French from the Women’s College of Georgia (now Georgia College and State University) in 1964. In 1965, Chan married Paul Tagliabue, then fresh out of law school. She later earned a Master of Arts degree in English and American Literature at George Washington University, and has been for decades an avid participant in book clubs in Washington, New York City and Boothbay Harbor, ME. Chan’s current primary involvement is as a member of the Board of Regents of Georgetown University. She serves as Vice Chair of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics committee and is also a member of the Georgetown Learning Initiatives committee.

In the past, Chan devoted time and energy as a volunteer leader and board member of Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization engaged in rehabilitating housing for elderly, disabled and other disadvantaged citizens. Chan has also been heavily involved in other organizations, including as a board member for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington; honorary chair of a capital campaign for the Girl Scout Council of the National Capital; and as senior warden of the vestry and chair of a St Columba’s capital campaign.

Paul Tagliabue

Honorary Member

Paul Tagliabue is currently Vice Chair of Georgetown University’s Board of Directors. He joined the Board in 2006 and served as Chair from 2009 to 2015. Tagliabue engages in a range of endeavors, including in business, law, and higher education. He previously served as the Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL) from 1989 until 2006. As NFL Commissioner, Tagliabue presided over an extended period of labor peace, league expansion and growth of fan interest and revenue in professional football. Tagliabue now serves as a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and has previously advised the United States Olympic Committee on its governance structure.

Tagliabue is senior counsel in the law firm Covington & Burling in its Washington, D.C., office and advises clients on governance and public policy matters. Tagliabue's contributions in business and public service have been recognized by the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the NCAA, the Sports Business Journal, Autism Speaks, the United Way of America, the National Urban League and other organizations. Before becoming the NFL’s CEO, Tagliabue represented the NFL and other clients for two decades at Covington & Burling. He earlier served in the Office of U.S. Secretary of Defense as a policy analyst and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He currently serves on business boards, including Panasonic’s Global Advisory Group, as well as boards of nonprofit organizations.

Kat Taylor

Honorary Member

Kat Taylor is active in a variety of social business, public benefit and philanthropic ventures in the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently focuses on beneficial banking services and food systems through two primary organizations. She and her husband, Tom Steyer, are the Founding Directors of OneCalifornia Bank and a foundation, which lends to low-income communities to support local economies and job creation. Kat is also a Founding Director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation dedicated to returning to sustainable food production. Kat is a Partner in INKA, a startup renewable food company pioneering closed loop food systems. Since 1986, Kat served on the board of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center and the Insight Prison Project. Kat has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of KQED, Inc., the Bay Area and Northern California’s public radio and television station. Kat and Tom reside in San Francisco with their four children and many animals.

The Rt. Rev. William E. Swing

Founder and President Emeritus of URI; Former Episcopal Bishop of California

William E. Swing, 7th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California (1980-2006), was born in Huntington, West Virginia. He graduated from Kenyon College and Virginia Theological Seminary, and holds six honorary degrees. Bishop Swing served as a priest in Wheeling, Weirton, and Chester, West Virginia. He also started a church at Waterford Park Race Track in Chester, pioneered homeless work in San Francisco, and played a critical role in saving St. Luke’s Hospital. He served on the Board of the American Foundation for AIDS research for 20 years and has spoken throughout the world. He was instrumental in starting a capital development bank in Oakland. He is known as an outspoken leader about the standing of gays and lesbians in the church. He led the radical expansion of the Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg, California. Bishop Swing is the Founder and President Emeritus of the United Religions Initiative. He is married to Mary Taylor Swing and has two children and three grandchildren.

Bishop Swing is an inspirational speaker and an author, most recently of A Bishop's Quest: Founding a United Religions and The Sacred and the Silly: A Bishop's Playful and Eventful Life. Both books are available on; the proceeds of book sales will benefit URI.

John Weiser

Chairperson, Senior Advisory Council

John Weiser previously served as Chairman of the Board of the Graduate Theological Union, a partnership of nine seminaries of differing denominations. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Weiser served as General Counsel of Bechtel Group, Inc., an international engineering construction firm. Earlier, he was a partner and member of the management committee of Shearman & Sterling, a major Wall Street law firm. He and his late wife, Maria, had nine children, one of whom died as a toddler; they have eleven grandchildren. 

Preeta Bansal

Senior Advisory Council Member; URI Global Council Trustee (At-Large)

Preeta D. Bansal has served in senior roles in government, global business, and corporate law practice. She served as General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor in the Obama White House’s Office of Management & Budget and as Solicitor General of the State of New York. In the private sector, she was a partner at Skadden, Arps in New York City, and a global general counsel in London for one of the world’s largest banks. She was a Commissioner and Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan federal human rights agency from 2003-2009, and a leader of President Obama’s Advisory Committee on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships focusing on poverty and inequality in America in 2015-2016. She is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and an independent corporate director of Nelnet, Inc. (NYSE: NNI), among many other board and advisory roles. A former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, she received the National Organization of Women’s “Woman of Power and Influence Award” in 2006 and was named one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal in 2008. She recently has been a lecturer at MIT and senior advisor at the Laboratory for Social Machines based at the MIT Media Lab.

Gwinneth (“Daisy”) Berexa

Senior Advisory Council Member; Foundation Board Member

Daisy is a full-time volunteer and graduate student at American University where she is pursuing a Masters in Science in International Relations and Business. She was previously a consultant and Subject Matter Expert in Liquidity, Stress Testing and Securitizations. Her business experience includes consulting for Promontory Financial Group, Head of Liquidity Management at MUFG Union Bank, and Managing Director for Promontory Asset Finance, as well as securitization, investment management, and credit roles at Banc of America Securities, Providian Financial, WestLb, and Charles Schwab Investment Management. Daisy is a Trustee of The University of Nebraska Foundation, was President of the Junior League of San Francisco from 2008-2010, and is an active member of Cross Cultural Solutions in South America and Planned Parenthood Northern California (Investment Committee). Daisy was born in Colombia, South America, and is married to Steven Berexa, Global CIO for Equities at Allianz Global Investors. As of the fall of 2021, they live in Arlington, Virginia, with their dog Zaza.

J. Robert Coleman

Senior Advisory Council Member; Foundation Board Member

After stints at Goldman, Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch over 41 years and being unable to retain a paid situation, he retired in 2015. Over this time he morphed from being a stockbroker into a discretionary investment manager of a team with about $3B in assets. For several years he was ranked (# 8) on Barron's list of the 100 Top Investment Brokers. Now he focuses his time on investment work with three foundations, including URI. He is also a trustee of the BSA National Foundation and president of the American Fondouk Animal Hospital Foundation in Fez, Morocco. He also lovingly and patiently devotes himself to the seemingly endless process of renovating a home in Woodside.


Mary Cranston

Senior Advisory Council Member

Mary Cranston is a seasoned corporate director and investor. She is the retired CEO and Chair Emeritus of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. As CEO from 1999 to 2006, she expanded PWSP internationally, doubling its size and profitability. She currently serves as a director of Visa, the Chemours Company, MyoKardia, CSAA Insurance, McAfee, Boardspan, and Fiduciary Trust. She served as a Trustee of Stanford University from 2000 to 2010, and as the Chair of the Board of the Stanford Children’s Hospital until December 2016. She has also chaired the Stanford Alumni Association, the Stanford Law School Board of Visitors, and the Stanford Children’s Research Initiative. She currently sits on the boards of the Commonwealth Club of California (which she chaired from 2008 to 2010) and of Catalyst. She has been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States, and by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of the 50 most influential and effective public company directors in America. Mary has served as an advisor and investor to numerous startups in technology, financial technology and pharmaceuticals.  

Donald Derheim

Senior Advisory Council Member

Donald Derheim, Chief Executive Officer of SFJAZZ, leads the organization in all phases of its business as it builds on its growth as a jazz presenter, digital leader, and classroom innovator. Don was a media executive at KQED Inc. with a wide-ranging portfolio. He oversaw the strategic and operational excellence of KQED’s NPR and PBS affiliated Radio and Television stations as its Chief Operating Officer.  Don served as Board Secretary of Greater Public, Inc., producer of the largest national conference for public media professionals and served on numerous other industry Boards, committees, and working groups. Before joining KQED Inc. he was the advertising and marketing publicity manager at MTV Networks in New York and on the staff of the international public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. Don is a community Trustee at Grace Cathedral and serves on the President’s Council of

Sarah Freitag

Senior Advisory Council Member

Sarah Freitag is a native Californian, born in San Francisco and raised in Hillsborough where she currently resides. At the University of Colorado, Boulder, she graduated with a degree in literature and also took several classes in theology, as she was fascinated by world religions and religiously-motivated violence.

After a career in software sales and marketing in Silicon Valley, mainly with Oracle, Sarah founded a landscape business – her first love. Her focus is on outdoor staging and she designs landscapes for both residential and commercial properties. She has an eye for beauty as well as endless patience for her customers.

Sarah has always been involved with philanthropy and volunteerism ever since high school. She has three children. Her husband, Brad, works for Apple Computer.

William P. Fuller

Senior Advisory Council Member

William P. Fuller serves on the boards of a bank and a technology company in the Bay Area as well as a number of non-profits involved with Asia. From 2004 to 2008 Bill was the Vice Chair of ChinaVest, a merchant bank with offices in Shanghai and San Francisco. He served as CEO of The Asia Foundation in San Francisco from 1989 to 2004, and from 1981 to 1989 as Deputy Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, D.C. and as Director of the USAID mission in Indonesia. From 1971 to 1981, Mr. Fuller served with the Ford Foundation in Thailand, and later as head of the Foundation's office in Bangladesh. He began his career with UNICEF in the Middle East and with the World Bank in Paris. Mr. Fuller holds an MBA from Harvard and a Ph.D from Stanford.

Jill H. Kramer

Senior Advisory Council Member

Jill H. Kramer is a founding member of the URI Senior Advisory Council; a founding member of the Vital Voices Bay Area Council; an emerita Trustee of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, a past president of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation (ARCSNCC); founder of CLAW (Critter Lovers at Work); and she co-founded the Coro Foundation program for “Women Over 40”. She is a member of the Presidents’ Circle of the National Academy of Sciences. She recently joined How Women Lead.

The Hon. Richard Livermore

Senior Advisory Council Member

Richard Livermore is an expert in dispute resolution. He is a retired Judge of the Superior Court of California, having served as a California Judicial officer from August, 1988, through December, 2016. His judicial service included pioneering work in the development of alternatives to incarceration for defendants in the grips of drug and alcohol dependency. Judge Livermore’s assignments included Criminal, Civil, Probate, Juvenile, Family and Collaborative Court calendars. He has taught at both the California Judges College and the National Judges College. Prior to his judicial service, he was a pioneer in the development of Mediation, Arbitration, and Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) practices throughout the United States at the Federal, State, and Local levels.

Robert Lurie

Senior Advisory Council Member

Robert (Bob) Lurie has a lifelong dedication to business, civic and community affairs in San Francisco. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force from 1951 to 1953 before returning home to enter the San Francisco business community. Upon his father’s passing in 1972, Bob Lurie assumed the presidency of the Lurie Company, a San Francisco and Chicago-based real estate company specializing in commercial properties. In 1976, a Lurie Company subsidiary purchased the San Francisco Giants Baseball Club.


George Marcus

Senior Advisory Council Member

George M. Marcus is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Marcus & Millichap Company (MMC). Founded in 1971, MMC is the parent company of a diversified group of real estate service, investment and development firms. His professional memberships include Real Estate Roundtable, Urban Land Institute, the U.C. Berkeley Fisher Center for Real Estate and numerous other professional and community organizations. Mr. Marcus graduated with a B.S. in Economics from San Francisco State University in 1965, he was honored as Alumnus of the Millennium in 1999 and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the California State University in 2011.

Rabbi Stephen S. Pearce

Senior Advisory Council Member

Rabbi Stephen S. Pearce, DD, PhD, served Congregation Emanu-El as the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Senior Rabbi from 1993 to 2013. Ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he earned his doctorate in counselor psychology at St. John’s University. He is an advisory board member of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture. Previously, he served on the boards of the Graduate Theological Union and Palo Alto University, and is a past president of the Northern California Board of Rabbis. In January 2018, he was named the Taube Scholar at Congregation Emanuel-El.

Elizabeth Power

Senior Advisory Council Member

Elizabeth Power is a Bay Area native with a passion for both local and global issues. As a political consultant at Bearstar Strategies in San Francisco, Elizabeth provides communications and media strategy for political campaigns across California. Prior to joining Bearstar, Elizabeth interned for the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and several international nonprofits. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from George Washington University in 2020 with a B.A. in International Affairs and minors in Journalism/Mass Communications and Arabic Studies. Elizabeth spent her junior year abroad in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Amman, Jordan where she volunteered as an English teacher and a refugee services coordinator. Elizabeth worked as an intern in the URI  San Francisco office in 2016, and she is thrilled to return to URI on the Senior Advisory Council.

Barbara Shannon

Senior Advisory Council Member; Global Council Trustee (At-Large)

Barbara Shannon is a business growth expert. She is CEO of the Shannon Group advising C-Level corporate executives with clients that include FEI/Thermo Fischer, Lumentum, HireRight, Flextronics, and others. She helps clients achieve game-changing results for themselves and their businesses. She is founder and chair of THECEOBOARD, a San Francisco-based CEO peer group, and ATHENA, a monthly mastermind group dedicated to the success of women entrepreneurs. Barbara hosts the Bernstein CEO Speaker Series, serves on the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change, and is a frequent speaker and panelist on big shift business transformation. Previously, she was with Deloitte Consulting, where she guided senior executives at JPMorgan Chase, MetLife, Lockheed Martin, Hewlett Packard and Applied Materials. Barbara gives back locally as a board member at We Vote, as a Global Ambassador for How Women Lead, and as the coach-in-residence at Save The Bay. She has also served as a member of the URI Foundation Board. Barbara received her BA from Smith College and her MBA at The Wharton School.

Suzanne Eloise Siskel

Senior Advisory Council Member

Ms. Siskel is the Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of the Asia Foundation. She oversees the Asia Foundation’s 18 Asian offices and US operations. The Foundation is a 65-year old nonprofit committed to improving lives across Asia and supporting its continuing development as a peaceful, just and thriving region of the world. Previously she held leadership positions over two decades at the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, Philippines and New York. She serves on the boards of Winrock International, China Medical Board, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Friends of Fondation de France, and Vicente Canyon Hillside Foundation. She is Co-President of Ford’s alumni association, former President of the Fulbright Association, and was a distinguished scholar at the Clinton School of Public Service in Arkansas. She holds degrees in anthropology from Harvard University and the Johns Hopkins University.

Roselyne C. Swig

Senior Advisory Council Member

Roselyne "Cissie" Swig is Founder and President of ComCon International, and member of the Board of Directors of The Swig Company and founder of Roselyne C. Swig Artsource (1978-94). She was appointed Director of the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies Program by President William J. Clinton (1994-97). She has devoted decades to philanthropic and community service efforts, at local, national and global levels with a focus on women's empowerment, social welfare, fine art, political advocacy and education. Ms. Swig is founder of Partners Ending Domestic Abuse and Bayview Alliance.