Ira Rifkin is an award-winning journalist and author specializing in the intersection of religion, culture, and politics, with special emphasis on globalization.
He is the author of Spiritual Perspectives on Globalization: Making Sense of Economic and Cultural Upheaval(SkyLight Paths, 2004) and the editor of Spiritual Leaders Who Changed the World: The Essential Handbook to the Past Century of Religion (SkyLight Paths, 2008). Ira is currently a media consultant, book editor, ghost writer, lecturer, and contributor to various publications.
Formerly, he was News Director of Beliefnet.com, a multi-faith Web magazine, and a Washington-based National Correspondent for Religion News Service. He has contributed to three college textbooks on journalism; to a professional manual for religion journalists,and to Media Guide to Islam, a Website for journalists writing about Islam produced by the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism at San Francisco State University.
Ira has worked as a staff writer and editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and United Press International in New York and San Francisco, other newspapers and magazines in New York, California, Maryland and Nebraska, and has reported from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, and Israel/Palestine. Ira has also done media relations work in India for the International Transpersonal Association, and has consulted to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Religion Newswriters Foundation, Church World Service, The Interfaith Alliance, Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies (Baltimore), United Jewish Communities, and others.
He has been an Adjunct Professor in the Washington Semester Journalism Program at American University in Washington, DC, and has taught Environmental Journalism at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He has also been a guest speaker at Northwestern University, Chautauqua Institution, Grace Cathedral (San Francisco), University of Baltimore, Mt. St, Mary’s College (Emmitsburg, MD), the U.S. Department of State Office of International Visitors (Washington, DC), plus numerous other colleges, synagogues, churches, and elsewhere.
Ira has contributed to a variety of newspapers, magazines, websites, and news services. They include MSNBC.com, The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Times, Sightings (Univ. of Chicago Divinity School), and On Faith (washingtonpost.com).
He has won awards from the Religion Newswriters Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Church Press, and the American Jewish Press Association.
Ira has a BA in Journalism from New York University. He was a 2007 fellow at the Religion & Globalization Summer Seminar at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs.