Staff

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon
Executive Director

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon is the executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace and an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). Cannon formerly served as the senior director of Advocacy and Outreach for World Vision U.S. on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC; as a consultant to the Middle East for child advocacy issues for Compassion International in Jerusalem; as the executive pastor of Hillside Covenant Church located in Walnut Creek, California; and as director of development and transformation for extension ministries at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois. Cannon holds an MDiv from North Park Theological Seminary, an MBA from North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management, and an MA in bioethics from Trinity International University. She received her first doctorate in American History with a minor in Middle Eastern studies at the University of California (Davis) focusing on the history of the American Protestant church in Israel and Palestine and her second doctorate in Ministry in Spiritual Formation from Northern Theological Seminary. She is the author of several books including the award-winning Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World and editor of A Land Full of God: Christian Perspectives on the Holy Land. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Christianity Today, Leadership Magazine, The Christian Post, Jerusalem Post, EU Parliament Magazine, Huffington Post, and other international media outlets.

Kyle Cristofalo
Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Relations/Special Advisor to the Executive Director

Kyle holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Messiah College, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Kyle was first introduced to Middle East advocacy work during a semester abroad in Cairo, Egypt. After graduating from college, Kyle spent 10 months serving with the Mennonite Central Committee in Bethlehem, Palestine, where he was seconded to work with Bethlehem Bible College. Most recently, Kyle served as the Program Assistant for Middle East Policy at the Friends Committee on Legislation where he helped coordinate lobbying work on Middle East policy and trained grassroots advocates on how to lobby their Congressional representatives.

Nicole Morgan
Executive Administrator | Event Specialist

Nicole earned her Masters in Theological Studies with an emphasis in Public Policy from Palmer Seminary of Eastern University in Saint Davids, PA.  Before joining CMEP, Nicole worked with an educational non-profit near Chicago and as a high school teacher near Atlanta. Nicole believes deeply that the way we love our neighbors says a lot about our love for God. She lives near Atlanta, GA.

Rev. Aune Carlson
Acting Director of Operations and Communications

Aune earned her Masters of Divinity and Masters of Nonprofit Administration and graduate certificates from North Park Theological Seminary and School of Business and Nonprofit Administration. Ordained by The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) she previously served Covenant Youth of Alaska as the Human Resources Manager, the ECC as a Communications Project Manager, Director of Youth and Young Adult and Camping Ministries, as well as the Alaska Conference Office of the ECC. She is passionate about creating, defining, and refining structures to operate effectively and efficiently. A collaborative team leader, building a strong team atmosphere where tasks are met with close attention to detail and creativity.

Kevin Vollrath
Manager of Middle East Partnerships
Kevin is a Ph.D. candidate in Religion and Society at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he also earned an M.Div. His research focuses on the relationship between the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Palestinians with disabilities, and how the occupation produces disability. In joining CMEP, he is excited to complement his research with advocacy work.
 
Kevin also earned a BA in philosophy from University of Chicago and has researched how churches can better care for and empower people with various disabilities. He has affiliations with the Evangelical Covenant Church and Vineyard USA. In his spare time, you can find him running, biking, or playing the piano.
Anna Baker
Projects & Communications Coordinator

Anna earned her Master's in International Development from Eastern University in St. Davids, PA. Prior to joining CMEP, Anna was a high school English teacher and worked for an educational non-profit focused on supporting survivors of child exploitation. She currently lives near Atlanta, GA. Anna believes that when we know better, we can begin to do better, and having access to accurate information is the first step in that journey.

Fayelle Ewuakye
Communications Coordinator

Fayelle earned her B.A. in Humanities at Jacksonville State University, in Jacksonville, Alabama with a concentration in Anthropology and Geography. She's been the Social Media Curator for her local church in northwest Georgia for 2 years and finds the gifts and benefits of social media to be great blessings toward any organization wishing to reach out to the masses. She wants to be a part of some meaningful work, both locally and globally, and believes peace and justice are two things the public at large needs to know more about.

Jessica Tissell
CMEP1835 Coordinator

Jessica holds a Masters in Middle East Security and Politics from Bradford University in the United Kingdom, where she served as a Rotary International Peace Fellow. Jessica has a decade of experience in the disaster management and humanitarian aid sectors, including experience serving refugee populations in the Middle East. Jessica is passionate about God’s love, the gift of curiosity, and building creative partnerships.

Mary Golden
Development Coordinator
Mary is a rising senior at Davidson College majoring in Political Science with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. On-campus, she serves as her sorority's Service Chair and a founding member of Davidson's 'Dream on 3' team. Mary's interest in fundraising and the nonprofit field, coupled with her interest in Middle Eastern politics, led her to CMEP. She is so excited to work with such an impressive team and is grateful to have found a position that aligns with her values, faith, and interests.
Emma Johnston
Middle East Partnerships Coordinator & CMEP/MEJDI Trips Coordinator

Emma is a fourth-year student at the University of St Andrews, Scotland where she studies Arabic and International Relations. Her interest in the Middle East and peacebuilding as well as the non-profit field lead her to Churches for Middle East Peace. She is thrilled to complement her academic interests with advocacy work for an organization that aligns with her values and passions.


Fellows


Tala AlRaheb
Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow

Tala is a Ph.D. candidate in West and South Asian Religions (WSAR) at Emory University, where she also earned her MTS. Her research examines how Palestinian Americans interact with Christian Zionism at the intersection of American religion and politics. As a Palestinian Christian, she is excited to be a fellow at CMEP and engage in advocacy work. In her spare time, you can find her teaching her dog Banksy new tricks, hiking, or baking.

Jennifer Maidrand
Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow

Jennifer Maidrand is a Ph.D. candidate in Bible and Cultures at Drew University, where she also earned her M.A. Her research focuses on how biblical interpretation and archaeology have shaped the contemporary land of Palestine-Israel and its geo-politics. She is a member of the UCC Church and is committed to fostering interfaith and intercultural community education and dialogue around sacred texts, the earth, and politics. Jennifer is grateful to have the opportunity to utilize and grow these passions as a fellow at CMEP. When she isn't working, you can find Jennifer trail running, rock climbing, gardening, or playing with her cat, Peanut.