New Executive Director Named for AZIFM

It is our distinct pleasure to announce that the Arizona Interfaith Movement (AZIFM) appointed Dr. Albert Celoza as its Executive Director beginning July 7, 2022. The mission of this Arizona nonprofit organization, founded in 1995, is to “build bridges of understanding, respect and support among diverse people of faith through education, dialogue, service and the implementation of the Golden Rule”. 

Dr. Celoza succeeds Rev. Larry Fultz. Dr. Paul Eppinger, whose name has been associated with interfaith and Ecumenism in Arizona, is the founding director of the organization.Dr. Celoza has served as faculty in World Religions and Political Science since the 1980’s at Phoenix College, Thunderbird School of Global Management and Arizona State University.

He is a faculty fellow of the Brandeis University ENACT – The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation, The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. He gave classes and chaired the Season for Nonviolence at the Franciscan Renewal Center, or the Casa (Paz y Bien).He has been recognized for excellence in teaching and was awarded the Arizona Professor of the Year in 2001 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He holds degrees in the humanities, religious studies, political science, and public administration. Recently, Dr. Celoza completed Applied Compassion Training (ACT). “The implementation of the Capstone Project for CCARE Stanford enriched and enlivened my vocation as a teacher. ACT gave me the opportunity to do research, formulate and design teaching and learning strategies. Compassion as a subject of inquiry and study presented me with curricular opportunities for enriching my mission of education,” said Dr. Celoza. (CCARE is the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University Medicine.) 

Dr. Celoza’s travels have taken him to France to study with the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village, to the Middle East to study Biblical Archaeology, to Morocco to learn about Islam, and to various pilgrimage, religious sites and shrines.Additionally, Dr. Celoza has been a long time member of AZIFM. He has partnered in significant ways to further the mission of AZIFM in 2009 when he was on a sabbatical, which included participation in AZIFM’s workshop at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia.

For more than 15 years he led Phoenix College Liberal Arts and established programs related to citizenship and civic engagement, and international studies. In addition to mentoring students, he funded scholarship endowments to support students in the sciences and international studies.Dr. Celoza served as president of the United Nations (UNA-USA) Phoenix & Arizona and is currently Board President of the Asian Pacific Community in Action. Among his published works is the book Ferdinand Marcos and the Philippines: The Political Economy of Authoritarianism (Praeger, 1997).

Albert is married to Ann McLean Celoza. Their daughters are Amelia, assistant professor of engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder and Emma, academic advisor at the W.P. Carey College of Business, Arizona State University and instructor at the Sun Devil Fitness Center. 

The Arizona Interfaith Movement extends its sincere thanks and appreciation to Rev. Larry Fultz for his years of service. His landmark contributions include awareness and growth of Golden Rule Cities around our loved Arizona Golden Rule Moments articles published monthly in AzCentral.  Rev. Fultz is delighted that Dr. Celoza has been chosen to carry on the great work of the Arizona Interfaith Movement. He feels it is in good hands with this acclaimed academician and has his full support for continued success. 

To support the promotion of the Golden Rule and for more information about the Arizona Interfaith Movement, visit

The Board and Council of the Arizona Interfaith Movement
Rev. Larry Fultz, retiring, and Dr. Albert Celoza, Executive Director
P.S. Please “Live the Golden Rule” – a beautiful reminder around Arizona and is available at