Curriculum Vitae for Dr. Shariff Abdullah


P.O. Box 12541
Portland, Oregon 97212


“My life purpose is to serve as a catalyst for inclusive social, cultural and spiritual transformation. Spirituality for me is an unrelenting commitment to honor the Divine within each of us. I cannot do that if I am at war with others, or at war with myself. I am committed to ending the war. I am committed to creating a world that works for all.”


• Date of Birth: 24 March 1951
• Place of Birth: Philadelphia, PA/ USA
• Citizenship: USA
• Gender: Male


Adjunct faculty member, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Department of Philosophy/Conflict Resolution.
Lecturer, University of Creation Spirituality, Oakland, California. Conducted seminars on activism and spiritual discipline.
Lecturer, University of California at Berkeley. Conducted interdisciplinary lectures on compassion, spirituality and social justice.
Lecturer, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Conducted interdisciplinary lectures on compassion, spirituality and social justice.
Lecturer, California Institute of Integral Studies. Conducted inclusivity seminars.
Lecturer, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Bainbridge Island, WA. Conducted inclusivity seminars.


• Clark University, Worchester, MA. Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 1974
• Boston University School of Law, Boston, MA Juris Doctor, 1977
• Licensed to practice law in North Carolina (inactive) and before the federal bar.


• Founder and current President of Commonway Institute, an organization dedicated to create a world that works for all, by training 21st Century leaders in business, government and community organizations. Commonway conducts operations that build inclusivity, understanding and connection between diverse groups of people.
• Founder of the “Common Society Movement” societal transformation process.
• Creator of the “Commons Café” dialogic process, used throughout the United States to bring together actual or potential adversaries in meaningful dialog on fundamental issues.
• Creator of the “Culture Shapers” process of fostering in-depth inclusivity within organizations.
• Founder of the emerging field of “Dēmos-Dynamics” – understanding how human populations interact and change.
• Senior Advisor to Sarvodaya (Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya), a Sri Lankan non-governmental organization.
o In 2002 helped Sarvodaya to catalyze an historic ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers.
o Provided organization, focus and early activities for Sarvodaya’s Peace Secretariat and related peace activities.
o Organized and provided content training for Sarvodaya’s first ever “Conflict Resolution Training for Muslim Leaders” (2003).


• Facilitated workshops around the world, including the International Conflict Resolution Conference (Russia); Institute for Sustainable Development; Association for Humanistic Psychology; Green Festivals (San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago and Washington, DC).
• In 1998, selected by President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic to serve as one of 40 international delegates to Forum 2000.
• Invited by President Havel to Prague the following year to serve as workshop facilitator for the student portion of Forum 2000.
• Keynote presenter at “The Century of Auschwitz”, a conference on genocide held in Krakow, Poland (1999).
• Keynote presenter at “Authentic Leadership Conference” presented by the Shambhala Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia (2003).
• Keynote presenter at “Engaging the Other International Conference”, Kalamazoo, MI. (2006, 2007).
• Keynote presenter at “Green Business Conference”, San Francisco (2006).
• Keynote presenter at “National Wellness Conference” (2007).
• Keynote presenter at “International Coaching Federation Conference” in Melbourne, Australia (2007).
• Keynote presenter at “Sustainable Bellingham Business Conference”, Bellingham, WA. (2008).
• Keynote presenter at “Religion, Conflict and Peace” International Conference (2009).
• Keynote presenter and workshop leader at numerous national and regional conferences for “Institute of Noetic Sciences”.
• Conducted workshops, seminars and trainings in: Abu Dhabi, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, Trinidad, Uganda and numerous sites within the United States.


• Abdullah, Sharif. The Power of One: Authentic Leadership in Turbulent Times. New Society Publishers, 1995.
• Abdullah, Sharif. Creating a World That Works for All. Berrett-Kohler Publishers, 1999. Winner of the 1999 “Book of the Year” award from the Independent Book Publishers Association (Current Affairs).
• Abdullah, Sharif. Common Society Movement Catalyst-Leader Training (Three part series) Commonway, 2002
• Abdullah, Sharif. “The Soul of a Terrorist: Reflections on Our War with “The Other”, Chapter Seven in The Psychology of Terrorism (Volume I of four volumes). Greenwood Press, 2002.
• Abdullah, Sharif. “Finding Our Way in the Land of the Blind – Essays on Terrorism and Steps for Living in a Violence-Free World”. Commonway, 2003.
• Published numerous articles on the subjects of values, personal and cultural transformation, and empowerment.
• Featured in and contributed to numerous books and publications, including:
o The Rise of Intelligent Organization
o A House Divided
o A Cultural Diversity Workbook
o Bridging the Racial Divide
o A Time for Choices – Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy


. 2009 "Champion of Peace, Reconciliation and Forgiveness Award". New Thought Center for Spiritual Living.
• 2009 “Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award”. World Arts Foundation.
• 2008 “Sarvodaya Vishvamitra (Universal Friend) Award”. Sarvodaya Shramadana organization.
• 2007 “Hero of Humanity Award”. The Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Award for Uplifting Human Values.
• 2006 “Humanitarian Service Award”. The Unity and Diversity Council.
• 1999 “Book of the Year Award”. The Independent Book Publishers Award in the field of current events, for “Creating a World That Works for All”.
• 1988 “Public-Private Partnership Award”. For “Project Catalyst” (Charlotte, NC) from HUD in the Reagan Administration.
• 1980 "Community Empowerment Award”. For “Cherry Community Organization” (Charlotte, NC) from President Jimmy Carter.