Speaker: Krish Raval

Faith in Leadership

Krish (Kumar) Raval is the director of Faith in Leadership, a U.K.-based organization founded in 2007 to create an inclusive community of public and private leaders working together on initiatives for the benefit of all people. Faith in Leadership is based on the recognition of “the immense impact that faith leaders and faith communities have on society, and that quality leadership driven by faithful values is critical to societal and economic flourishing and benefits all people, regardless of faith and cultural background.”  Raval is also on the faculty of the University of Cambridge’s School of Divinity.

In 2018, Krish was awarded an Order of The British Empire (OBE) by the Queen of England for his tireless dedication to building interfaith communities within the U.K. and for his work in leadership education of public, faith, business and youth leaders.  “Faith leadership is the resource for humanizing and reconciling the world we live in,” Krish says.

Since 2012, initially in partnership with the Cambridge University Divinity School, Krish has been running the Senior Faith Leaders Program to develop the leadership of outstanding figures from various faith communities in the U.K., accessing “the resources that each faith tradition provides for effective leadership. The program explores the forms of coexistence and friendship that are possible between faith traditions, while maintaining their difference and diversity. The program does not aim to create agreement on theology, politics or any other subject, nor does it aim to create a neutral middle ground. Instead, it aims to provide participants with leadership skills which can be effectively applied in our changing world, and to create an environment where individuals can disagree productively and intelligently.”

Krish does this work as a labor of love while running a consulting business advising a few large companies in leadership training, using funds from this business effort to support the Senior Faith Leaders Program. A leadership expert, Krish has advised several organizations for a number of years on issues regarding leadership and organizational development, diversity, conflict resolution and change management. His training practice is client-centerd, values based, psycho-analytically informed and employs a variety of intuitive and established frameworks.

A lawyer by background, Krish had a training contract at a prominent Los Angeles law firm before a deep interest in people led him to work with undergraduates and high school students in the fields of addictions, eating disorders, group therapy, and eventually leadership development. He was a participant in the International Higher Education Interfaith Leadership Forum and an alumnus of the Caux Scholars Program, a multi-disciplinary network of global leaders, influencers, activists, expert scholars, and practitioners who share their critical knowledge and experiences in addressing conflicts of many kinds in more than 60 countries. He was the first director of the Churchill Leadership Fellows, the United Kingdom’s main leadership fellowship for outstanding 19- to 25-year-olds, now run in partnership with the Moller Centre at Churchill College.

In 1996 Krish founded Learn to Lead, a leadership program for young people, with the vision in mind that all young people can be leaders today as well as tomorrow. Learn to Lead has matured into a national educational organization across the U.K. through which a broad range of community leaders mentor university students who in turn lead interventions for teenagers, including those who have dropped out of the traditional education system. Krish remains the driving force behind Learn to Lead, animated by the core belief that young people are the most valuable asset in any society and that their idealism holds the answer to many of the world’s problems.
Through the Faith in Leadership and Learn to Lead programs, Krish has trained over 2,000 people across the United Kingdom about the importance of respecting differences and bridge-building for the common good.

Living in London and a devout Hindu, Krish is a long-standing member of the City Sikhs Advisory Board, the U.K.’s largest network of Sikhs. He is also a Board member of Initiatives of Change USA. “Our faiths call for a deepening of community,” Krish has said, “and I catch glimpses of this in Britain’s wonderful diversity, particularly through my wider family of Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish and Christian alumni, faculty and friends.” 

Born in Ethiopia of Indian parents, Krish read law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and the University of Sheffield. Krish is a regular contributor to BBC Radio’s Pause for Thought series. He carried the Olympic Torch in the London Olympics of 2012.

With compassion, generosity, and a humble nature, Krish has created transformative, sincere and intergenerational spaces for collaboration, exchange, and interfaith understanding. As an expert facilitator, he has trained thousands of community leaders to bridge gaps between faith communities through an active commitment to practices in deep listening, inclusive learning, and relational trust building.

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