President of Zaytuna College, Berkley California

Hamza Yusuf Hanson currently serves as president of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California, the first accredited Muslim liberal arts college in the United States, with both accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. He was ranked by The Muslim 500 as the twenty-third most-influential Muslim worldwide. A proponent of the traditional liberal arts and great books education in both the Western and Muslim traditions, he has translated, authored and coauthored numerous publications, including scholarly books and articles as well as papers on major current areas of ethical concern. He serves under Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah as a member of the UAE’s highest fatwa council. He is a co-president of Religions for Peace and served on the Ethics in Action for Sustainable and Integral Development initiative, a collaboration between Religions for Peace, the Vatican, the United Nations and other organizations. Working closely with Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, the architect of The Marrakesh Declaration, a groundbreaking document in defense of the rights of people of other faiths in Muslim-majority societies, Hanson translated this important declaration into English and helps promote it globally. He has authored several books, including Purification of the Heart, which has been translated into Turkish, Spanish, Persian, Indonesian and Malay. He holds traditional licenses (ijazat) in several Islamic sciences and a bachelor’s in Religious Studies. He did doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a doctorate in African intellectual history from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.