Who We Are

On Being

On Being is a social enterprise with a radio show at its heart.

On Being is a Peabody Award-winning public radio conversation and podcast, a Webby Award-winning website and online exploration, a publisher and public event convener. On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact.

On Being is the home of the Civil Conversations Project, an emergent approach to new conversation and relationship across the differences of our age. On Being’s listeners, readers, and online communities cross boundaries that separate them in the culture at large: generational, socioeconomic, political, religious. They report that On Being equips them to relate in fresh, new ways to different others, and emboldens them to engage in new kinds of service.

Krista first created the show — originally called Speaking of Faith — at Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media. It launched on weekly, public radio stations across the U.S. in 2003. In 2013, On Being transitioned to an independent production (Krista Tippett Public Productions) on Loring Park in Minneapolis.

On Being airs on more than 400 public radio stations across the U.S., and is distributed by Public Radio Exchange (PRX). Our podcast reaches a global audience via SoundCloud. We keep finding new ways to listen to our listeners and online communities, and they keep pointing new ways forward for this adventure.

Krista Tippett
Host/Executive Producer

Krista Tippett is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times best-selling author. In 2014, she received the National Humanities Medal at the White House for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of ​every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.”

Krista grew up in Oklahoma, the granddaughter of a Southern Baptist preacher. She studied history at Brown University and went to Bonn, West Germany in 1983 on a Fulbright Scholarship to study politics in Cold War Europe. In her 20s, she ended up in divided Berlin for most of the 1980s, first as The New York Times stringer and a freelance correspondent for Newsweek, The International Herald Tribune, the BBC, and Die Zeit. She later became a special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to West Germany.

Krista left Berlin in 1988, the year before the Wall fell. She lived in Spain, England, and Scotland for a time, then pursued a M.Div. from Yale. When she graduated in 1994, she saw a black hole where intelligent coverage of religion should be. As she conducted a far-flung oral history project for the Benedictines of St. John’s Abbey (pdf) in Collegeville, Minnesota, she began to imagine radio conversations about the spiritual and intellectual content of faith that could open imaginations and enrich public life.

In 2007, Krista published her first book, Speaking of Faith. It is a memoir of religion in our time, including her move from geopolitical engagement to theology and the cumulative wisdom of her interviews these past years. In 2010, she published Einstein’s God, drawn from her interviews at the intersection of science, medicine, and spiritual inquiry. Krista’s New York Times best-seller Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living opens into the questions and challenges of this century. Maria Popova calls it “a tremendously vitalizing read — a wellspring of nuance and dimension amid our Flatland of artificial polarities, touching on every significant aspect of human life with great gentleness and a firm grasp of human goodness.”

Krista’s two children are at the center of her life. She also loves cooking for her children and their friends, radio plays, beautiful writing, great science fiction, cross country skiing, and hot yoga.

Production Staff

Liliana Maria Percy Ruíz
Executive Producer, Audio/Digital/Live Events

Born in Cali, Colombia, Liliana Maria immigrated to Miami with her family at the age of four. Like many public radio listeners, she fell in love with the medium while sitting in a car, listening to Click and Clack in the backseat of her father’s Honda Accord.

Liliana Maria studied English Literature and Film Studies at Florida International University. She has worked as an associate editor at MovieMaker magazine, and as a producer for StoryCorps and NPR’s “All Things Considered” on the weekends, where she produced the series “Movies I’ve Seen A Million Times.”

Her work has also been featured on NPR’s Latino USA, WNYC’s Soundcheck, and Esquire. In 2012, she received the Religion Newswriters Association Radio/Podcast Religion Report of the Year Award for her profile of four Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

Erinn Farrell
Chief Operating Officer

Erinn joins On Being after more than a decade in advertising, most recently in New York, where she brought her Midwestern work ethic and unwavering “never apologize for caring” approach to all things operations. She found her way to On Being by way of a childhood filled with passionate conversation and storytelling, a graphic artist father, a technologist mother, and an environment that always encouraged the respect and discipline of the arts. Erinn graduated with honors from Cornell University and has pursued a life devoted to curiosity, inclusion, and equity.

Erinn’s distinct leadership approach has helped her clients build business and win awards while earning her a place as a “40 under 40” and “Woman to Watch” by the Twin Cities Business Journal and featured by The Drum as an “Exceptional Woman in Advertising.” She loves running with friends, mountain biking with her husband, and chasing her little ones. Any additional moments are spent with her closest friends creating space and opportunities for women to connect and collaborate.

Chris Heagle
Producer / Technical Director

Chris has been a voracious consumer of all things public radio for as long as he can remember. He worked as a technical director for Performance Today, and contributed to several other national programs. He is thrilled to have landed at On Being.

Chris spent the better part of 15 years working in theater as a sound designer and production manager. Though he occasionally pines for the immediacy of live performance, he also believes that in the vast media landscape of our world, radio is still best at stimulating the imagination.

Chris holds a B.A. from Hamline University and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois. When not in front of a computer screen, he loves the outdoors (regardless of the weather), just about every kind of music, and watching his daughters discover the world.

Mariah Helgeson
Editor

Mariah grew up in a Minnesota family of artists and musicians, where she first heard On Being over the airwaves at age 11. She’s been a proud listener ever since.

She collected stories of human resilience and kindness in the classrooms of George Washington University — earning a degree in International Affairs with concentrations in the Middle East and Conflict Resolution — and over many cups of coffee in community movements, from nuclear nonproliferation, to interfaith dialogue, to compassionate communication.

Mariah worked as a program associate at the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network and lived in southern India for a spell as a documentary curator. When she’s not submerged in a good book she might be found laughing with her teenage sisters or playing chamber music as a member of the Markado trio.

Maia Tarrell
Producer

Originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, Maia and her family shipped out to Western Australia when she was 6. Back then, she liked to make fun of her Dad for listening to ABC’s Radio National because it sounded like “old dudes going on about castles and stuff.” As she grew older (and marginally wiser) she had to eat her words when she, too, became obsessed with radio, especially the shows about castles and stuff.

Her first career incarnation was as a documentary filmmaker, which managed to give her an excuse to live in Melbourne, Sydney, London, and the Bay Area. She has since completed a postgraduate degree in decision neuroscience because she is also very curious about brains.

Maia loves to walk & talk, binge-listen to podcasts, freestyle dance, eat cookies, and drink tea. She is currently training to become a Certified Tea Master.

Marie Sambilay
Digital Producer

Marie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and studied at New York University — where she picked up a degree in Media, Culture, and Communications, and a passion for media in the public service, in exchange for her ability to walk slowly. A voracious consumer of podcasts, she joined the team at On Being to fulfill her dream of contributing to the kind of enlightening programming that has captivated her as a listener during so many long city strolls.

Previously, Marie explored various avenues of media production — including television and documentary production, newspaper editing, and even a bit of pharmaceutical advertising.

Her other obsessions include language, British comedy, large-breed dogs, documenting poignant and humorous moments that she encounters from day to day, and winning huge amounts of imaginary money while playing Jeopardy! over dinner.

Laurén Dordal
Engagement Manager

With a passion for the tangible brand experience, Laurén cut her teeth in the advertising industry; gaining exposure in employee and consumer engagement, process implementation and event production. Laurén’s hard work and “passion for compassion” was recognized by AdFed’s list of standouts: 32 Under 32. She received her bachelor’s degree in Advertising from the Art Institutes MN, as well as served 6 years in the United States Air Force.

Growing up in the northwestern suburbs of Minneapolis, Laurén fostered a love for the arts at a young age. Today, that love remains, as she serves on the board of local non profit, Art Buddies – an organization which empowers children through creativity. She’s inspired by Scandinavian design and enjoys maintaining her home; everything from landscaping to remodeling. She finds relaxation and restoration with yoga, reading, and cuddling with her dog, Bob.

Malka Fenyvesi
Director of Outreach / Religious Communities and Civil Conversations Project

Malka was born in Washington D.C., first-generation daughter of Jewish Hungarian immigrants. She grew up falling asleep to the steady tapping of her journalist father’s typewriter (and eventual computer) keyboard. Malka is fascinated by how we weave practical skills, the making of meaning, the finding of meaning, and social/cultural healing. She earned her B.A. at the Evergreen State College and has an M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. In 2006, she moved to Los Angeles to co-found and co-direct NewGround: A Muslim Jewish Partnership for Change. She is proud to have been a guest on On Being in 2009.

Malka has worked with The Angell Foundation, The Avi Schaefer Fund, Progressive Jewish Alliance (now Bend the Arc), and Search for Common Ground. She loves taking long walks with dear friends, listening to podcasts, cooking, and knitting. She lives on the East Side of Los Angeles with her husband and daughter and two rowdy sweet dogs.

Casper ter Kuile
On Being Strategist

Casper is building a world of joyful belonging. He’s a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School where he supports innovative community leaders across the secular/sacred landscape. Together with his colleague Angie Thurston, he’s co-authored two reports — How We Gather and Something More — that map this emerging landscape.

Casper is training to be a minister for non-religious people and hosts a podcast, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, which engages a modern classic through traditional sacred reading practices.

He was previously the co-founder of Campaign Bootcamp and the UK Youth Climate Coalition. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his husband Sean.

Angie Thurston
On Being Strategist

Angie is an On Being strategist and a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School, supporting leaders who are deepening community amidst increasing religious disaffiliation. She is the co-author of How We Gather and Something More, two reports profiling new forms of meaningful community in America.

Angie studied playwriting at Brown University and put on arts events in New York City for six years. She began chairing semiannual spiritual gatherings for young adults in 2010. Her faith is grounded in a text called The Urantia Book, and she is an active leader in the international fellowship of Urantia Book readers. She received an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School in 2016.

Gisell Calderón
Intern

Gisell is a videographer born in Los Angeles, raised in Indiana, and currently based in Minneapolis. She remembers the three-day road trips with her family from Indiana to L.A., watching flat landscapes turn into mountains overnight. She likes to think these summer trips, staring out the car window, are responsible for framing her view of the world as well as her own scale.

Gisell later earned her B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies from Carleton College, where she won a 2015 fellowship that allowed her to travel to Russia and create a film about how the landscape changed while on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. She has since worked on everything from punk rock docs to photographing zines in the basement of an independent art bookstore. To Gisell, media-making is synonymous with meaning-making. She thus dedicates her life to aurally and visually exploring big ideas — with people — through tangible media.

On Being Fellows

Jennifer Bailey
2017-2018

Named one of “15 Faith Leaders to Watch” by the Center for American Progress, Rev. Jennifer Bailey is an ordained minister, public theologian, and emerging national leader in the multi-faith movement for justice. She is the founding executive director of the Faith Matters Network and a Public Voices Fellow of The OpEd Project. Jennifer comes to this work with nearly a decade of experience at nonprofits combatting intergenerational poverty.

An Ashoka and Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, Jennifer earned degrees from Tufts University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School. She writes regularly for Sojourners and The Huffington Post. Her first book, tentatively titled Confessions of a #Millennial #Minister is currently under contract with Chalice Press. Rev. Bailey is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Cesar Gonzalez
2017-2018

Cesar believes that for the first time in human history we have the real opportunity, the tools, and the will to build a world that works for everyone. As CEO of StartingBloc, he lives out this belief by supporting leaders of change to build the skills, the alliances, and the strength they will need to bend the arc of history.

Born in Peru and having lived in 15 cities on 4 continents, he developed a strong global perspective, mastery of 3 languages, and a deep appreciation of our world’s cultural richness. He was formerly the VP of Fellows and Alumni with the Unreasonable Institute, a social entrepreneur, a dance instructor, and a bicycle touring adventurer. Today, he devotes his attention to his work, his relationships, his local community, and an avid meditation practice. Cesar has a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, he is an Unreasonable Fellow, a StartingBloc Fellow, and has training and experience as a facilitator and speaker.

Anurag Gupta
2017-2018

Anurag is a sought-after expert on unconscious bias. A licensed attorney, an academic researcher, and a mindfulness expert, Anurag is the founder & CEO of Be More America, a social enterprise that trains professionals like physicians, business executives, and attorneys in proven tools to hack bias and unleash human potential. Prior to founding Be More America, he worked with various social enterprises and research institutes in the United States, Asia, and Europe on improving health and social outcomes for neglected populations.

He is the recipient of the coveted TED Residency, Echoing Green Fellowship, Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellowship, and the Points of Light Millennial Recognition Award. He has been profiled in numerous media outlets including NPR, The Huffington Post, The NY Post, and the 10% Happier podcast. Anurag was a founding member of Buddhists For Racial Justice (BRJ) and sits on the Board of Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He has a bachelor’s in International Relations and Islamic Studies from NYU, a master’s degree in Development Studies from Cambridge, and a J.D. from NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.

Lucas Johnson
2017-2018

Lucas Johnson is a writer and 21st century freedom fighter who believes deeply in the need for healing and reconciliation in the world. He lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he serves as the coordinator of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), the world’s oldest interfaith peace organization. Based in Europe, he remains connected to social movements in the U.S. and travels frequently in support of nonviolent movements around the world.

Lucas earned his M.Div. from the Candler School of Theology in 2010. He was ordained as minister in the American Baptist Churches by Oakhurst Baptist Church. From 2010–2014, Lucas worked closely with the veteran civil and human rights activist, Vincent Gordon Harding. Mentored by veterans of the civil rights movement and shaped by his experiences growing up black and queer, Lucas is deeply committed to the global struggle for freedom and dignity. He believes that struggle is both material and spiritual.

Ben Katt
2017-2018

Ben is the creator and host of RePlacing Church, a podcast exploring local spirituality, innovative community, and social change. He helps leaders start new Christian faith communities and reawakens established churches engage to their neighborhoods as the Western U.S. Regional Director with Resonate Global Mission.

Ben received an M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary and has been an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church since 2007. He was the founding pastor of Awake Church along Seattle’s Aurora Avenue where resilient neighbors struggle with homelessness, addiction, mental illness, and sexual exploitation and the founding executive director of the Aurora Commons, a neighborhood living room and resource center committed to overriding fear with hope, interrupting isolation with community, and offering dignity to all. Ben was previously the co-founder of the Parish Collective.

Ben enjoys karaoke, craft beer, and spicy salsa. He lives in Seattle, WA with his wife Cherie and three children.

Edina Lekovic
2017-2018

For 15 years, Edina Lekovic has served as a leading voice on American Muslims and an inter-community builder between diverse faith traditions. Edina is a strategist, storyteller, and trainer who works in multi-faith spaces throughout the country.

Through her work with the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), she has advocated on behalf of American Muslims in news media, interfaith, community, and pop culture spaces and has appeared on leading media outlets, including CNN, FOX News, The Huffington Post, NPR, and Buzzfeed.

She is a co-founder and board member of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, a board member of multifaith house of worship The Pico-Union Project, and a member of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Interfaith Leaders Collaborative.

In 2015, she was named one of L.A.’s 10 most inspiring women gamechangers by Los Angeles Magazine. She was also named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by Georgetown University and the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.

Elena Mariscal
2017-2018

Elena Mariscal currently works as a Project Manager for Latin America for the first Google Impact Challenge held in 5 countries simultaneously. Previously, Elena worked with Crea to promote gender equality by teaching hard & soft skills to female entrepreneurs from vulnerable and marginalized areas in Mexico. She developed the training program in digital skills funded by Google. Her main source of inspiration and motivation are Crea’s women that everyday overcome many barriers for being women and owning a business. Elena was previously co-anchor for El Financiero, Bloomberg’s morning TV show, where she reported on live TV about local and international markets, economic data, and finances.

While she graduated from her double major in Economics and Political Science at ITAM, she was research assistant at Colmex and at Mexico’s National Public Health Institute. She is the Vice Curator of Mexico City’s Hub for the Global Shapers Community. Her hobbies include running, actively participating in local advocacy groups regarding female rights and gender equality, and reading novels. When she’s not creating community or protesting about something, she loves to spend quality time with her family.

Timothy Shriver
2017-2018

Timothy Shriver serves as the president of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, one of the nation’s largest full-time Catholic volunteer organizations and a pioneer in the service landscape for over 60 years. JVC engages passionate young people in vital service within marginalized communities while fostering their growth as leaders committed to faith in action. Shriver came to JVC from The Future Project, where he spearheaded the development and growth of The Future Project’s transformative school programs in 50 schools in seven cities — from youth leadership training and teacher engagement to its innovative recruitment and marketing strategies.

While a student at Yale University, he co-founded “Spread the Word to End the Word,” a global youth-led campaign to end the casual and pejorative use of the word “retard(ed)” aimed at people with disabilities. Since the effort’s 2009 launch, half-a-million people have pledged support for the cause and 2,500 student-led events are held annually across the world. Shriver spent 2014–2015 as a lecturer at the Stanford Design School with a focus on leadership, creativity, and organizational design.

Danya Shults
2017-2018

Danya Shults is the founder of Arq, a media company and community that helps anyone connect with Judaism in a relevant, inclusive, and convenient way. Arq offers aesthetically elevated and inviting content, products, and experiences that give people a meaningful and easy way to connect to all things Jewish.

Previously, Danya created the marketing and community functions at Spark Capital, was a founding employee and leader of culture and community at Skillshare, and fought for educational equality as a director of recruitment at Teach For America.

Danya is a connector who aims to build and strengthen communities, create greater access for more people, communicate with transparency, and promote learning through sharing.

Victoria Stoyanova
2017-2018

Victoria Stoyanova is a community architect and founder of Glint — a practice focused on designing collaborative and interdisciplinary communities and ecosystems.

Victoria works at the intersection of industries, ideas, and people. Her work is focused on magnifying the impact companies and individuals can have by designing new ways for them to interact and collaborate. She believes that in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, we need to actively participate in and design the broader systems we are part of.

In her free time, Victoria runs the London chapter of CreativeMornings — a monthly event for the creative community taking place in 180+ cities globally. She also hosts The Work We Do — a podcast about people redefining the meaning and purpose of work.

Victoria is a proud member of forward-thinking communities such as Sandbox, The Point People, The Royal Society of Arts, and On Being.