Senior Fellow Spotlight – Shai Franklin


Senior Fellow Spotlight – Shai Franklin

“Shai’s main achievement is not simply the impressive breadth of knowledge he continues to acquire but the ever-increasing ways he deploys that knowledge to the service of humanity.”

-TDBI President and Founder, Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck

Our namesake, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, had a multiplicity of interests and proficiencies. In addition, the things for which he is most widely known – being religion and theology – Bonhoeffer was passionate about such various endeavors as theater, music, literature, history, languages, government, and international relations. Dietrich’s life provides an extensive lens from which to draw inspiration. With our Senior Fellow program, TDBI supports leaders with broad-ranging interests and expertise, each employing their gifts to advance the cause of justice and moral courage in their spheres of influence.

Senior Fellow Shai Franklin is one such leader who defies standard categories of professionals. Most people who have occupied the rare spaces he has during his career are specialists of one kind with a narrow or specific focus, but Shai excels in several fields, including governmental and non-governmental diplomacy to fostering interreligious collaboration. The word “multifaceted” comes to mind but still doesn’t quite capture the nature of Shai’s diverse portfolio. The answer is a neologism, multipotentialite, meaning a person of significant intellectual or artistic curiosity, able to excel in two or more different fields. Shai’s rich experiences, unique perspective, and curricula vitae affirm and validate his membership in our circle of multi-talented Senior Fellows, and we’re delighted to have him and his considerable capabilities at our fellowship table!

A Partner with Gotham Government Relations and Communications, Shai Franklin is an international human rights advocate, non-profit consultant, and lobbyist. He formerly served as an executive with the World Jewish Congress, leading outreach and global campaigns involving the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization of American States, Red Cross Movement, Interpol, and national governments.

He has organized and addressed religious freedom and interfaith conferences in the United States and overseas, and investigated Muslim-Jewish relations as a guest of the French Foreign Ministry. An Adjunct Professor in Long Island University’s Hutton House Lectures, he graduated from Temple University summa cum laude in political science and holds a Master’s in Middle East studies from the Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

Find out more about Shai Franklin by visiting

LinkedIn: @shaifranklin

Twitter: @shaifranklin

Youtube: @shaifranklin



Are you racist, or just anti-anti-racist?

Read Shai’s most recent op-ed on Jews’ reaction to Critical Race Theory




Schenck Talks Bonhoeffer

Listen to TDBI President and Founder Rev. Rob Schenck and Senior Fellow Shai Franklin in this intriguing conversation!


Moscow Sunset – Painting by Shai Franklin

See more of Shai’s artwork