Meet Our National Advisory Council

These prominent, influential and respected individuals provide guidance and counsel to CGS regarding our pursuit of global citizenship, a democratized and empowered United Nations, and enduring world peace through enforceable world law.

Benjamin Ferencz

Chief Prosecutor at Nuremberg

Benjamin Ferencz was an investigator of Nazi war crimes after World War II and served as chief prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen Trial, one of the 12 Nuremberg Trials. All of the 22 defendants were convicted. Ferencz later became a leading advocate of the International Criminal Court, publishing several books on the subject. Since the establishment of the ICC, he has campaigned for full U.S. participation without reservations. In 1988, while working as an adjunct professor of international law at Pace University, Ferencz co-authored “PlanetHood: The Key to Your Future,” which calls for a system of international law including a global congress.

Martin Sheen

Actor, Activist, and Leader

Martin Sheen is an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor who has worked with directors including Francis Ford Coppola, Steven, and Oliver Stone, in addition to starring as the U.S. president on the long-running television drama “The West Wing.” In his early days as a struggling actor in New York, he met activist Dorothy Day, beginning his lifelong commitment to social justice.

The self-described pacifist was an early opponent of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and has been a consistent opponent of nuclear arms. As honorary mayor of Malibu, California in 1989, he declared the city a nuclear-free zone. Nearly 20 years later, Sheen was arrested during a protest at the Nevada Test Site. Sheen said in 2009 that he had been arrested 66 times for acts of civil disobedience, leading one activist to declare Sheen to have “a rap sheet almost as long as his list of film credits.”

Sheen has also been active in anti-genocide and pro-immigrant causes, as well as in the environmental movement. In 2010, he told a crowd of young people, “While acting is what I do for a living, activism is what I do to stay alive.” In a 1963 episode of “The Outer Limits,” he portrayed an astronaut of the future wearing a breast patch that read “UE. Unified Earth.”

Daniel Ellsberg

Lecturer, Writer, and Activist

Daniel Ellsberg is a former strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation and consultant to the Defense Department and the White House. In 1961, he drafted the guidance from Defense Secretary Robert McNamara to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the operational plans for general nuclear war, and served on two of the three working groups reporting to the Executive Committee of the National Security Council during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

After serving at the Defense Department and the State Department, Ellsberg returned to the RAND Corporation in 1967, where he worked on the top-secret study of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam that would become known as “the Pentagon Papers.” Ellsberg gave a copy of the 7,000-page study to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1969, and two years later gave it to 19 newspapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post. Ellsberg was charged with 12 felony counts, but the trial was dismissed on grounds of governmental misconduct against him. That led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, Ellsberg has been a lecturer, writer, and activist on the dangers of the nuclear era, wrongful U.S. interventions, and the urgent need for patriotic whistleblowing. He is a Senior Fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Ellsberg is the author of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" and "The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner." He is also the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and the Olof Palme Prize.

Helen Caldicott

Physician, Author, Speaker

Helen Caldicott is a physician and anti-nuclear activist who was a leader in the establishment of the Nuclear Freeze Movement. She has campaigned against nuclear weapons proliferation and the use of military force, and has written and spoken extensively on the dangers of nuclear power. She was
the president of Physicians for Social Responsibility in the U.S. from 1978-1983, and in 1985, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which she helped create, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (Caldicott herself was nominated for the prize that year by Linus Pauling.) Caldicott has been awarded more than 20 honorary doctoral degrees as well as the Australian Peace Prize.

Randy Kehler

Pacifist Activist

Randy Kehler is a pacifist activist who served 22 months in prison for returning his draft card in 1969 and refusing to seek exemption as a conscientious objector, seeing that as a form of cooperation with the Vietnam war effort. He played a key role in persuading Daniel Ellsberg to release the Pentagon Papers, and later served as executive director of the National Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. Kehler and his wife Betsy Corner refused to pay taxes for military expenditures, resulting in the federal seizure of their Massachusetts home in 1989. They continue to withhold their federal income taxes.

Andrea Cousins

Psychologist, Psychoanalyst and Anthropologist

Andrea Cousins is a psychologist and psychoanalyst who has practiced for more than 30 years. She has a doctorate in anthropology from Harvard University and a doctor of psychology degree from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. Her father, journalist and peace activist Norman Cousins, served as president of the World Federalist Association (now Citizens for Global Solutions Education Fund) and chairman of the Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy, and was honored with recognitions including the United Nations Peace Medal.

James T. Ranney

Professor, International Legal Consultant, Author

James T. Ranney is an adjunct professor of international law at Widener Law School. He co-founded the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center in Missoula, Montana, and served as a legal consultant to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. He has written extensively on the abolition of nuclear weapons and the establishment of international dispute resolution mechanisms, most notably in 2017’s “World Peace Through Law: Replacing War with the Global Rule of Law.

Blanche Wiesen Cook

Professor, Author, Historian

Blanche Wiesen Cook is a Distinguished Professor of History and Women's Studies at John Jay College & Graduate Center, CUNY. She is the author of a critically acclaimed three-volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as of “The Declassified Eisenhower: A Divided Legacy of Peace and Political Warfare,” “Crystal Eastman on Women & Revolution,” and other books. Cook is also the co-founder of the Freedom of Information and Access Committee of the Organization of American Historians. She served as chair of the Fund for Open Information and Accountability, as a board member of the Peace History Society, and as vice president for research of the American Historical Association. In 2010, she received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle.

Gary Dorrien

Professor, Author, Social Ethicist

Gary Dorrien is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and a professor of religion at Columbia University. He has written 20 books and more than 300 articles on issues including social ethics, philosophy, theology, political economics, social and political theory, religious history, cultural criticism, and intellectual history. His three-volume “The Making of American Liberal Theology” has been called the definitive work in the field by multiple reviewers. In 2017, Dorrien won the Grawemeyer Award for his book “The New Abolition: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Black Social Gospel.” Cornel West has described Dorrien as “the preeminent social ethicist in North America today.”

Barbara Smith

Author, Activist, and Scholar

Barbara Smith is a Black Feminist author, activist, and independent scholar who has played a groundbreaking role in opening up a national cultural and political dialogue about the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender. She first became active in the Civil Rights movement as a teenager in Cleveland, Ohio. As one of a handful of Black students, she played a role in the desegregation of Mount Holyoke College and participated in organizing to end the war in Vietnam including the 1968 Chicago protests during the Democratic National Convention. In 1974 Smith co-founded Boston's renowned Combahee River Collective. She co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press six years later. She served two terms on the Albany, New York Common Council from 2005 to 2013 and from 2014 to 2017 worked with the Albany Mayor’s Office to establish the city's Equity Agenda to address issues of economic, racial, and social inequality. She has edited three major collections about Black women including "Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology" and has written for numerous publications including "The Black Scholar," the "Nation," and the "New York Times." She has received many awards including honorary doctorates from the University at Albany and Mount Holyoke College. In 2005 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

David Cortright

Author, Activist, and Leader

David Cortright is the director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and chair of the board of directors of the Fourth Freedom Forum. Cortright was active in the GI and veterans movement against the Vietnam War and later became the executive director of the Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy, spearheading its merger with the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. He is the author or editor of more than 20 books, including Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (Cambridge, 2008), and Gandhi and Beyond, 2nd edition, (Paradigm 2009).

Mark Ritchie

President, Global Minnesota

Mark Ritchie is president of Global Minnesota, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to advancing international understanding and engagement. A graduate of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Iowa State University, he served as Minnesota’s Secretary of State from 2007 to 2015. Since leaving elected public service Mark has led the public-private partnership working to bring the 2027 World Expo to Minnesota and he has served on the board of directors for LifeSource, Communicating for America, U.S. Vote Foundation, and Expo USA. Mark also is a national advisory board member of the federal Election Assistance Commission and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Minnesota. Mark is the appointed Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, representing Minnesota.

Leila Nadya Sadat

Special Advisor to the ICC Chief Prosecutor, Professor, Author

Leila Sadat is the James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law at Washington University School of Law and the Director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute. She is an internationally recognized expert on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and serves as Special Advisor on Crimes Against Humanity to Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the ICC. Professor Sadat is also the director of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative, a multi-year project to study the problem of crimes against humanity and draft a comprehensive convention addressing their punishment and prevention. She is a former member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; served as the Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair at the University of Cergy-Pontoise in Paris, France; and is the author of several well-respected books.

Rick Ulfik

Rick Ulfik is the Founder of We, The World and the WE Campaign at

We, The World is an international coalition-building organization whose mission is to maximize social change globally - until we have a world that works for all. To fulfill this mission We, The World creates and promotes programs, platforms and campaigns that unite and amplify the efforts of changemakers working for the common good.

Rick is the co-creator of the annual 11 Days of Global Unity - 11 Ways to Change the World September 11th through September 21st, the International Day of Peace. In 2004, We, The World brought together global partners to launch 11 Days of Global Unity, which has become a worldwide platform for the promotion of peace, justice, sustainability and transformation that annually includes as many as 700 associated events in over 60 countries. Supporters and participants include: Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, Bill McKibben, Marianne Williamson, Ralph Nader, Amy Goodman, Daniel Ellsberg, Hazel Henderson, Patch Adams, Eve Ensler, Jamie Margolin, Arun Gandhi, Riane Eisler, Robert Thurman, Barbara Marx Hubbard and many others.

Rick is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle, a project of the Source of Synergy Foundation.

Rick has worked with Nonviolent Communication (NVC) since 2004 and has been an NVC workshop facilitator with the New York Center for Nonviolent Communication. He has participated in many workshops led by internationally acclaimed mediator and creator of NVC Marshall Rosenberg who joined the Advisory Board of We, The World.

Rick Ulfik is also an award-winning composer and keyboard player who has written, arranged, produced and orchestrated music for ABC TV, NBC, CBS, the Olympics, feature films, commercials, records, and has performed with Queen Latifah, Phoebe Snow, Carlos Santana, Bernadette Peters, and Judy Collins.

Rick serves every year as an Emmy Awards judge for News, Documentaries, and Music.

Former National Advisory Council Members

William O. Douglas

Supreme Court Justice, SEC Chairman, Conservationist

Albert Einstein

Nobel Laureate, Physicist

Clare Boothe Luce

Ambassador, Member of Congress, Author, Feminist

Bette Davis


Isaac Asimov

Author (fiction and non-fiction), Biochemist

Oscar Hammerstein II

Librettist, Theatrical Producer, Theatre Director

Joe Schwartzberg

Geographer, Author, Professor

Jean Stapleton


William Fulbright

Senator, Statesman

Harris Wofford

Senator, Statesman, Civil Rights Attorney, Author

Walter Cronkite


Lloyd Bridges


John Steinbeck

Nobel Laureate, Novelist, Journalist

Former National Advisory Council Members