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 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. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Christianity Today, Leadership Magazine, The Christian Post, Jerusalem Post, EU Parliament Magazine, Huffington Post, and other international media outlets.
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Kyle Cristofalo
Director of Advocacy and Government Relations

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
Operations Manager

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.

Katie McRoberts
Director of Communications

Katie is the Director of Communications. She currently lives in Berlin and works remotely. She has a B.A. in International Affairs in the Middle East from James Madison University and an M.A. in Comparative Religion – Islam from the University of Washington. Previously, she worked at Bellevue Presbyterian Church as their Editor-in-Chief on the Communications Team.

Elli Atchison
Donor Ambassador

Elli Atchison’s love for Jesus initially brought her to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage in 2012. But it is her love for all of God’s people that has continued to send her back every year since. The friendships she has made with Israelis and Palestinians over the years inspire her to work as an advocate for just peace.

As an educator and a mother, Elli is motivated to help improve the lives of children living in the region. She has volunteered with World Vision, sponsored projects for children in Palestine, and currently helps lead an interfaith ministry for peace with justice in her community. She is proud to serve along side the staff of CMEP, volunteering as the Ambassador of Donor Engagement and a Regional Coordinator. Elli and her husband primarily live in Orlando, where they stay busy homeschooling their three children, traveling, and volunteering in their community.
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Alison Glick
Director of Development

Alison lived and worked for six years in the Middle East, including three years in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and three years in Yarmouk Camp near Damascus, Syria. In Palestine she taught at the Quaker-run Friends Schools in Ramallah and worked as a human rights researcher for an NGO in Gaza City during the first Palestinian intifada. 

Alison recently served as Assistant Director of Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Studies and as international program officer for a whistleblower support and advocacy organization, where she helped build an international network of anti-corruption and transparency advocates. Her development experience includes serving on and working with Boards of Directors, managing grants and donor relations, and planning crowdfunding initiatives. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in Middle East history, and has been working for justice, equality and dignity for all in Israel/Palestine for many years. 
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Jessica Hill
Outreach Coordinator

Jessica earned her B.A in History and Archaeology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She was first introduced to the Israel and Palestine after participating in an excavation during summer 2014 which exposed her to the complexities of the conflict and motivated her to advocate for a just peace for all people living in the region. After graduating in 2016, Jessica interned with CMEP, served as a volunteer and as a Regional Coordinator for Southern Maryland/Eastern Shore. She later went on to advocate for human rights as an international observer in the West Bank and Israel. Inspired by her faith in Judaism, Jessica is also passionate about faith-based peace building, dialogue and reconciliation. She now works to connect Churches and organizations to the mission and vision of CMEP as an Outreach Coordinator. 

Anna Baker
Bulletin Coordinator

Anna earned her Masters in International Development from Eastern University in St.Davids, PA. Prior to joining CMEP, Anna taught high school in West Africa and south of Atlanta, GA and worked for an educational non-profit focused on survivors of child exploitation. She currently lives near Atlanta, GA and works remotely. 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.

Heather Parker
Outreach Coordinator
A lifelong passion for Middle Eastern culture and history led Heather to pursue a PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She holds a MAR in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Studies from Emmanuel Christian Seminary and a BA focused on International Business from King University. Her work includes investigating the historical roots of current cultural practices, including religion, politics, and social exchange.

While conducting research in the Middle East, she has enjoyed building connections between her colleagues and friends, including Israelis and Palestinians, as they shuffle her between each other’s homes. At home in the U.S., to the delight of her friends and family, she also shares her stories of devouring Ramadan cookies and coffee at 2am or joining in engagement festivities following Shabbat dinner, and she finds that these stories serve to increase her community’s curiosity around such shared human experiences.  
Aware that travel has shaped her connection to humanity more than any other, Heather began a career in purposeful, socially conscious tourism. She works to make her opportunities available to others, to build bridges with broader impact, and to foster understanding and connection in more formal ways. She has found partners in both MEJDI Tours and Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and currently serves as an Outreach Coordinator for both organizations. Heather lectures in houses of worship and community centers and has taught history, religion and theology, and language courses for both sectarian (Catholic, Protestant) and secular universities. She has conducted research in various museums, archaeological collections, and departments of antiquity throughout the Middle East and Europe, while managing all travel logistics for her and her teams. She has also worked in Cultural Heritage Preservation. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Schools of Oriental Research and is the founder and former president of the Colloquium for Biblical and Near Eastern Studies.
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Ambassador Warren Clark Fellows


Andrew Wickersham
Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow

Andrew Wickersham serves as a CMEP Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow. He previously served as the Government Relations Intern during the fall of 2017 after recently completing his MA in Middle East Studies from the University of Chicago. As a history student with interests in nationalism, identity, and minority rights, Andrew has been interested in the Middle East politics for many years. His stay in the West Bank with host families during the fall of 2014 prompted him to become engaged on the issues surrounding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. His passion for politics led him to look for ways to advocate for a just and peaceful resolution to Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in Washington, D.C after graduating.     

Shirin Bouzari
Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow

Shirin earned her master’s degree at Pennsylvania State University, majoring in International Affairs with concentration on Human Rights and Security Studies. Born and raised in Iran, she has always been interested in Middle Eastern Affairs and Human Rights issues, therefore is eager to work on bringing peace to the region. Prior to her role as CMEP Fellow, she served as an intern at CMEP in 2017.

Volunteers


Celia Riley
Volunteer

Celia is a volunteer with the CMEP Communication team. She has a B.A. in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration, moving to Washington, D.C. in 2009 to work as a Research Analyst on Capitol Hill. After returning from a 2011, dual-narrative trip to the Holy Land, Celia searched for ways to become involved with advocacy. For three years, she led teams from National Community Church to Bethlehem to learn from organizations and local peacemakers that pursue justice and reconciliation. Upon return, she connected team members to CMEP’s advocacy work and approach to holistic policy.

 

Interns


Kat DesCamp-Renner
Intern

Kat is an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, pursuing a double major in Foreign Affairs and Global Studies: Middle Eastern Studies. She is a native of Portland, Oregon, and was exposed to issues of peace in the Middle East beginning at a young age through avenues such as religion, political activism, and academia. She was raised Episcopalian, though both sides of her family have long been Catholic. Her understanding of religion and faith have been heavily shaped shaped by the traditions of social justice in both Episcopalianism and Catholicism.

 

Most recently, Kat spent nine months working as a research intern for activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jerry White. During this time she coordinated research on issues such as the genocide of the Yazidi people of Iraq by the Islamic State, and how to improve the political status of Yazidi refugees living in Germany. She also is deeply interested in Iran, and has spent the last two years studying Persian Farsi. She is passionate about creating a just and durable peace in the Middle East, as well as protecting religious freedom, human rights, and supporting the elevation of diverse narratives and voices. She believes firmly in the importance of empowering individuals to affect change in their communities and embrace their own political power.
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Trevor Reilly
Intern

Trevor is an undergraduate student at the University of Central Florida with a major in Political Science and minors in Diplomacy Studies and Economics. He became familiar with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other Middle Eastern issues as a member and leader of his college’s campus chapter of the United Nations Association. With his background, he is most interested in ensuring the human rights of all parties involved in conflicts in the Middle East.

Sophie Elisseeff
Intern

Sophie Elisseeff is a senior undergraduate student at the Johns Hopkins University studying philosophy and Near Eastern Studies. She is passionate about the Arabic language and has spent time in Oman, Morocco, Saudia Arabia, the United Arabic Emirates, and Israel. Sophie is passionate about how language and culture understanding can be utilized for peacemaking and diplomacy in the Middle East.