Dena Merriam is a partner and vice-chairman of Ruder Finn, Inc., one of the world’s largest privately owned communications agencies. Dena received her MA from Columbia University and has served on the boards of Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions, the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association, and the Manitou Foundation. She is the founder of an interfaith organization, the Global Peace Initiative of Women. Her work with a New York-based organization called the Community Literacy Program involves organizing the largest anti-violence program in the U.S. In 2014, Dena was honored as a recipient of the Niwano Peace Prize by the Niwano Peace Foundation in Japan for her years of commitment to interfaith dialogue. Dena has a background in the cultural world, where she has written extensively about the arts for over 15 years. She served as executive editor of Sculpture Review and has authored five books on art.