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 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 Cristofalo is responsible for leading CMEP’s engagement with Congress and the Administration in advance of CMEP’s advocacy priorities. He also helps equip CMEP’s grassroots supporters to engage directly with their Congressional offices. As Head of the DC Office, Kyle liaises with CMEP’s partners in the DC region and across the United States. He holds an undergraduate degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and a Master of Divinity Degree from Emory University. Kyle was first introduced to Middle East advocacy work during a semester abroad in Cairo, Egypt. After graduating from college, Kyle served ten months with the Mennonite Central Committee in Bethlehem, Palestine, where he was seconded to work with Bethlehem Bible College.
Rev. Aune Carlson
Senior Director of Operations

Aune earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Nonprofit Administration and graduate certificates from North Park Theological Seminary and School of Business and Nonprofit Administration. She has previously served Covenant Youth of Alaska (CYAK) as the Human Resources Manager, the Evangelical Covenant Church (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. 

Nicole Parker
Executive Administrator
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.
Destiny Magnett
Programs and Outreach Manager
Destiny is an MTS candidate at Harvard Divinity School (HDS) focusing on Religion, Ethics, and Politics. She also holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Grinnell College. She joins CMEP in her capacity as Programs and Outreach Manager following an eight-week Middle East Fellowship where she helped to bolster and expand CMEP's relationships on the ground in Israel/Palestine. Prior to joining CMEP, Destiny has worked in the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Search for Common Ground– Jordan, and Harvard's Office of Religion and Public Life. In this role, she is excited to work with CMEP's many fantastic church partners and broader networks in service of promoting a just world at peace.
Tamar Haddad
And Still We Rise Coordinator

Tamar Haddad is currently a full-time And Still We Rise Coordinator. She is based in Jerusalem. She was hugely impacted by her involvement in many phenomenal leadership programs like MEPI - Student Leaders Program, International Women Leaders, and the Clinton Global Initiative University. Tamar previously served as the Project Manager for Gender Justice at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). Currently, Tamar panels at the UN Commission on the Status of Women and volunteers as a Regional Coordinator at the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

Lauren Draper
Middle East and Communications Coordinator

Lauren studied Arabic and Middle East studies at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. After working in youth ministry and community building in the UK, she moved to Jerusalem where she spent over a year as a Middle East Fellow with CMEP, working throughout the West Bank and Israel to further partnerships in the region. She now serves as CMEP's Middle East and Communications Coordinator based out of East Jerusalem. Her work centers around ensuring Middle Eastern voices are elevated through CMEP's advocacy and educational efforts in the US. Lauren is also a part of research projects around Muslim and Christian heritage sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. 

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.

Fellows


Dr. Benjamin Norquist
Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow

Ben is a researcher and public organizer. Inspired by his study of higher education in Palestine, Ben currently works on the ways educational and epistemological structures develop responsively to physical landscapes, especially those that are highly configured and imposed. In his local community, Ben helps churches engage more thoughtfully with Native communities and come to terms with histories of injustice. 

Ben holds his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Azusa Pacific University (Los Angeles) and his M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John's College (Annapolis). Ben's dissertation is a qualitative project exploring adaptive Palestinian approaches to pedagogy. 

In his career in higher education leadership, Ben has experience building international educational partnerships, teaching, and establishing an academic center for applied public research.

Dr. Beth Seversen
Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow

Beth holds a PhD in Intercultural Studies and a Master of Divinity from Trinity International University. Beth is the author of Not Done Yet: Reaching and Keeping Unchurched Emerging Adults (IVP, 2020). Her primary research explores churches making a difference in the lives of Gen Z and Millennial “Nones and Dones” in a North American climate of young adult church disaffiliation and disinterest.

Beth is Affiliate Professor of Theology at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania, where she introduces students from eastern Europe and the Middle East to the Old and New Testament Scriptures. She is the former Associate Professor of Youth and Christian Ministry Studies at North Park University and the former director of evangelism for the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination. Beth has a background in campus ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and academic leadership at Wheaton Graduate School. She is a certified trainer for the Intercultural Development Inventory helping people grow in intercultural fluency.

Beth has a deep commitment to racial righteousness, justice and peace-making. The Ambassador Warren Clark Fellowship fits Beth’s vocational calling to learn from and assist the global church to further God’s kingdom on earth and her passion and to represent God and his holistic mission to bring peace and reconciliation, mercy and international justice, racial righteousness and ethnic healing to the whole world.

Interns

Dominic Nozzarella
Outreach Intern

Dominic Nozzarella is a recent graduate of the George Washington University in Washington D.C., where he studied International Affairs with concentrations in Conflict Resolution and Asia. Dominic is passionate about peacebuilding and the religious dimension of conflict transformation, and he is excited about his work ahead at CMEP!