Meet Our Leaders

Many sangha members hold significant leadership positions. Current Board Members are identified with asterisks (*).

For a description and email address for each of the various leadership bodies at GBZC, please see Our Shared Leadership.  

Rebecca Behizadeh

Rebecca Behizadeh began her practice of Buddhism in Nepal and India in 2011, and lived for a year at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and worked for a number of years for Life Together, a leadership development program of the Episcopal Diocese of MA. She served as the president of GBZC’s board of directors for a number of years and coordinates the Resilient Sangha Project.

Inger Daishi Bergom

Inger Bergom began Zen practice in 2008 and has been practicing with GBZC since 2020. Inger is a higher education researcher and student of Iyengar yoga, and she lives in Arlington with her daughter and husband, Spencer Piston. She is a practice leader on occasional Tuesday evening sits.

Jill Shishin Gaulding

Jill Gaulding is a Practice Leader on Saturday mornings, a trustee of the Resilient Sangha Project, leads the Programming Working Group, and is a participant in Watering the Seeds. She is a former attorney and co-founder of the advocacy group Gender Justice.

Ryan Iuliano

Ryan Iuliano has been practicing with GBZC since 2020, mostly virtually. He currently serves as vice-president of the Board of Directors. His exposure to Buddhism began as a child through his involvement in combat sports and viewing of old samurai movies. His practice focuses on compassion and he looks to his dog for lessons in present awareness.

Jim Shōun Lopata

Jim Lopata is the president of the Board of Directors and a Practice Leader at GBZC. He loves the challenge of employing skillful means to slip Buddhist principles into his work as an executive coach. He holds a master degree from Harvard Divinity School, where he studied Buddhism. He’s fascinated by the concept and reality of Boston Common, where you may see him wandering around aimlessly, or with great intent.

Karen Kyoko McCormack

You’ll mostly find me in the zendo on Saturday mornings. I’ve been sitting with GBZC since 2007 and currently serve as a practice leader and board member. I am a member of the Resilient Sangha Project. I
identify as queer/lesbian and live with my loving partner and our two fur babies north of Boston. I find my experience with abuses of power in this tradition has greatly impacted my practice and I hope our community creates a space for spiritual practice that feels safe in all the ways for those who feel drawn to this path. 

Rebecca Shōshin Moonspike

Rebecca Moonspike is a trustee of the Resilient Sangha Project. She is trained as an Interfaith hospital chaplain, drawing from Zen practice.  She loves the ways poetry and Zen speak to one another (you can read her chapbook Every Present Thing a Ghost from Slapering Hol Press). She loves the forest, swimming in lakes or sea, and making art for friends. She has found the GBZC community deepens her practice on this path.

Cheryl Kinzen Morrow

Cheryl Morrow is a Practice Leader for Saturday sits, the treasurer of the Board of Directors, and a trustee of the Resilient Sangha Project. She has been practicing with this community since 2011. For over 20 years she has run her own business as an engineering consultant with clients all over the world. She is now semi-retired and loves gardening and long walks with her dog in the woods. 

Julie Seido Nelson

I am a Practice Leader, a trustee of the Resilient Sangha Project, and lead the Communications Working Group. I’ve practiced  Zen since about 2003. Having received transmission in the Taizan Maezumi lineage from Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi in August 2023, I serve as a Sensei when requested. I consider this to be a role with serious responsibilities rather than an indicator of status or an identity. I attend most Tuesday evening and Saturday morning sits at GBZC as well as online sits at the Great Plains Zen Center. Some of my writings on Zen are available on my blog

James Musoku Peregrino

James Peregrino has been practicing with this community since 2006. He currently serves as the Clerk of the Board of Directors and a practice leader on Tuesday nights. He has been working in IT at Harvard since before the dawn of the Internet and dancing Mexican baile folklorico all his adult life.