About Dr. Ingrid Mattson
Dr. Mattson was educated in Canada and the United States, earning a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1999. From 1998 to 2012 she was Professor of Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary in CT where she developed and directed the first accredited graduate program for Muslim chaplains in America, and served as Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. From 2001-2010 Dr. Mattson served as vice-president, then as president of the Islamic Society of North America (USA), the first woman to serve in either position. Her writings, both academic and public, focus primarily Qur’an interpretation, Islamic theological ethics and interfaith relations. Her book, The Story of the Qur’an, is an academic best-seller and was chosen by the US National Endowment for the Humanities for inclusion in its “Bridging Cultures” program.
Dr. Mattson is a Senior Fellow of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman, Jordan. From 2009-2010, Dr. Mattson was a member of the Interfaith Taskforce of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; in 2008 she was on the Council of Global Leaders of the C-100 of the World Economic Forum; from 2007-2008, she was a member of the Leadership Group of the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project (USME). Dr. Mattson is the recipient of numerous awards as well as honorary doctorates from Trinity College, Hartford, and the Chicago Theological Seminary. She is frequently consulted by the media and has served as an expert witness.
Print Profiles and Interviews
Christian Science Monitor
The New York Times
Selected Awards and Recognition
Newsweek Magazine’s “People to Watch” in 2007
El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz Award, presented by the Washington Academic Leadership Institute, the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association and the Muslim Social Network, January 19, 2009.
Wisam al-Istiqlal (Medal of Independence) of the First Order for contributions to the field of Islamic Studies, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 2010
Jordan’s Royal Institute for Strategic Studies “500 Most Influential Muslims,” 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
Endorsements of Dr. Mattson by Christian and Jewish Leaders upon her Appointment at Huron University College
Reverend Richard Cizik,
President, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good:
“It has been my privilege to work with Dr. Mattson in interfaith relations and regard her with the highest respect. She is an extraordinary leader and model for others because of her academic excellence, warmth of spirit, openness to others, and zeal for a civil public square. Even more significantly, she has shown herself to be a trustworthy friend of Evangelical Christians, without sacrificing her Muslim beliefs or faith principles, during a period when relations between these two communities (Evangelicals and Muslims) have been tested like never before. I wish Dr. Mattson all the best in her new role.”
Reverend A. Roy Medley,
General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA:
“Within the United States, Dr. Ingrid Mattson has been one of the pivotal religious leaders in fostering interfaith dialogue. She has worked steadfastly in partnership with religious leaders from many faiths to open doors of understanding and to refute the pernicious notion that a “clash of cultures” is inevitable. Post 9/11 her leadership was critical in fostering interfaith coalitions committed to seeking the common welfare in a culture that honors diversity and sustains religious liberty. It has been a joy to work alongside her.”
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie,
President, Union for Reform Judaism:
“My work with Dr. Mattson has been among the most rewarding of my time as President of the Union for Reform Judaism. Whatever she does, she brings intellectual rigor, political acumen, and personal warmth. It’s a winning combination! Her invitation to me to address the 2007 Islamic Society of North America convention was brave, and it, together with her remarkable address to our convention later that year, opened a new chapter in Jewish-Muslim relations in North America.”
Rev. Michael Kinnamon, Ph.D,
General Secretary, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA:
“Dr. Ingrid Mattson, former president of the Islamic Society of North America, is one of the outstanding religious leaders in this country, a wonderful combination of scholar and practitioner. I have had the pleasure of standing with her at various press conferences where she has been an articulate and intelligent defender, not only of her own Muslim community, but of other religious communities as well. I have also been with her at several of ISNA’s annual conventions, appreciating her effective leadership and command of a range of issues. My colleagues at the National Council of Churches and I regard Dr. Mattson as an esteemed partner in our work for the common good.”
Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, PhD,
Appleman Professor of Midrash and Intereligious Studies, Director, Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, Jewish Theological Seminary:
“Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario is most fortunate to have Dr. Ingrid Mattson as the inaugural professor of their Chair in Islamic Studies. Prof. Mattson is one of North America’s premier Muslim scholars of the Holy Quran. She is also one of the great leaders of Islam on this continent. Under her direction the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) undertook a sustained program of outreach and interreligious dialogue, especially with the Jewish Community. We at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) have partnered with ISNA and with Dr. Mattson in programming as varied as twinning synagogues and mosques, surveys of our membership about attitudes toward the religious other, academic conferences, speaking at one another’s conventions and seminaries, and an innovative three-year effort (funded in part by the Carnegie Corporation) on “Judaism and Islam in America.” In addition, Prof. Mattson joined JTS and Union Theological Seminary in the summer of 2011 in their three-part series “Our Better Angels: In Preparation for the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11,” a cycle of dialogues, musical performances, and clergy workshops. Over many years of working with Prof. Ingrid Mattson, this rabbi has found her to be sage, savvy, and a dependable colleague. Her integrity and good-will have led me to trust her, rely upon her, and count her as a true friend mine and of the Jewish Community. I expect she will bring her wisdom to Ontario to promote good and productive relations among Jews and Muslims throughout Canada.”
Mr. John O. Brennan, the Director of the CIA,
When he was Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to President Obama thanked Dr. Ingrid Mattson for her leadership, saying:
“Thank you Dr. Mattson for your very kind introduction as well as for your leadership as an academic whose research continues the rich tradition of Islamic scholarship and as President of the Islamic Society of North America where yo u have been a voice for the tolerance and diversity that defines Islam. I know that President Obama was grateful for your words at the national prayer service during the inauguration. We were proud to welcome you and many others to the White House for the iftar dinner with the President, and I thank you for bringing us all together today – leaders and believers of many faiths – Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, including many groups who work together in community service.”
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