Dena Merriam began working in the interfaith movement in the late 1990s, when she served as vice-chair of the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, held at the United Nations in New York. She subsequently convened a meeting of women religious and spiritual leaders at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, and from that gathering founded the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) in 2002, an organization chaired by a multi-faith group of women spiritual leaders. The mission of this organization is to enable women to facilitate healing and reconciliation in areas of conflict and post-conflict, and to bring spiritual resources to help address critical global problems.
Dena is a well-known author and has written "My Journey Through Time: A Spiritual Memoir of Life, Death and Rebirth" (a spiritual memoir that sheds light on the workings of karma — the law of cause and effect that creates one’s present circumstances and relationships—as we see it unfold through Dena’s vivid memories of her previous births.), "Trinity: A Church, a Parish, a People" (A inspiring portrait of a New York landmark reveals Trinity Church's remarkable heritage and legacy, a revelation to New Yorkers and its legions of visitors) and her latest, "The Untold Story of Sita: An Empowering Tale for Our Time" (The Untold Story of Sita replaces the traditional narrative of Sita's life as told in the Ramayana with Sita as she truly is -- an incarnation of the great Devi Narayani.).
For over 35 years, Dena has been a student of Paramahansa Yogananda and a practitioner of Kriya Yoga meditation. She is also a long time student of the great texts of the Vedic tradition. In 2014, Dena was honored as a recipient of the Niwano Peace Prize by the Niwano Peace Foundation in Japan for her years of commitment to interfaith dialogue.