Renowned Author and Civic Leader Eboo Patel Named U Impact Scholar

Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith America, a leading national interfaith organization, has been named a University of Utah Impact Scholar.

Declared “one of America’s best leaders” by U.S. News and World Report, Patel is a civic leader who believes religious diversity is an essential and inspiring dimension of American democracy and a civil society. During his tenure, he has led Interfaith America in its work with governments, universities, private companies, and civic organizations to brand faith as a symbol of cooperation rather than one of divisiveness.

“Many of those who study wellness and belonging have noted recently the importance of faith in human experience,” says Mary Ann Villarreal, vice president of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion at the U. “This appointment will bolster our efforts to build communities of trust, care, and inclusivity at the U and in the broader community.”

A Rhodes Scholar and author of five books, including We Need to Build: Field Notes for Diverse Democracy, Patel is an Ashoka Fellow who holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University. He also served on President Obama’s inaugural faith-based Advisory Council. 

“I am thrilled to be an impact scholar at the University of Utah,” Patel said. “In this role, I will be looking to work with administrators, faculty, staff, students, and the wider Utah community on critical issues related to religion, diversity, and social cohesion.”

Patel joins two other visiting university impact scholars—Arthur C. Brooks, columnist at The Atlantic and professor of the practice of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Tim Shriver, chair of The Special Olympics and founder and chair of UNITE. Visiting university impact scholars are appointed for two years and visit the university’s Salt Lake City campus two to three times a year. 


Comments are moderated, so there may be a slight delay. Those that are off-topic or deemed inappropriate may not be posted. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *