Eboo Patel

Founder and President

Author, Speaker, Educator, and Interfaith Leader

Eboo Patel is a civic leader who believes that religious diversity is an essential and inspiring dimension of American democracy. Named “one of America’s best leaders” by U.S. News and World Report, Eboo is Founder and President of Interfaith America, the leading interfaith organization in the United States. Under his leadership, Interfaith America has worked with governments, universities, private companies, and civic organizations to make faith a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. 

Eboo served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council, has given hundreds of keynote addresses, and has written five books, including We Need to Build: Field Notes for Diverse Democracy. He is an Ashoka Fellow and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. Eboo lives in Chicago with his wife, Shehnaz, and their two sons.

Eboo Patel standing facing camera

Latest Articles By Eboo

Diversity work is too essential to forfeit to those on the far left or far right. We need to find a way for 'the exhausted majority' to re-engage."


Interfaith America with Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel, president and founder of Interfaith America, reflects on the new American religious landscape with diverse civic leaders.

In the Media


Building Bridges: Religions' Role in Our Societies

Greater Good Science Center

What Inspires Eboo Patel to Bridge Differences

PBS NewsHour

To narrow toxic divides, students build bridges between faiths

Informed Discussions Podcast

A Conversation with University of Utah Impact Scholar Dr. Eboo Patel

The Brian Lehrer Show

Examining Free Expression and Protecting the Marginalized

The New DEAL

Eboo Patel On How To Strengthen Our Democracy

Work with Eboo

Media inquiries

Eboo Patel’s publications, interviews, and appearances include the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN, among many others.


Eboo Patel consults with corporations, civic organizations, government, higher education organizations, and campuses.


Eboo Patel delivers keynotes for corporations, civic organizations, government, higher education organizations, and campuses.

Contact Teri Simon at [email protected] for more information.​


We Need to Build: Field Notes for Diverse Democracy

“A blueprint and a guidebook for an inclusive twenty-first-century democracy.” — Van Jones

Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation

“A beautifully written story of discovery and hope.” — President Bill Clinton

Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise

“A field guide to the critical territory we have traversed in this eventful, young century.” — Krista Tippett

Interfaith Leadership: A Primer

“Eboo Patel is one of the most inspiring and successful interfaith leaders on the national, and even international, scene.” — Paul F. Knitter

Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America

“A refreshing, thought-provoking, myth-smashing, and deeply patriotic exploration of American identity and ideals.” — Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

Defeat the things you do not love by building the things you do.