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.
Jennifer 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 archeology have shaped the contemporary land of Palestine-Israel and its geopolitics. 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, previously as a fellow and now as a staff member with CMEP.
Adysen holds a bachelors in Global Studies from Georgia State University. She has spent extended time in the Middle East, including Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt, studying Arabic as well as the Arab-Israeli conflict. Adysen began as an advocacy intern at CMEP and transitioned to Trip Coordinator. She is delighted to be a part of people experiencing the Middle East for themselves.
Christine has previously worked in charitable and development organizations, as well as in fundraising and grant management jobs. She regularly participates in civic engagement initiatives. Her motivation is to provide a brighter future for people who are struggling and in need.
Lauren earned her bachelor’s in Arabic and Middle East studies from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. After spending four years in youth ministry and community building in the UK, she moved to Jerusalem. In Israel/Palestine, she continues to utilize this relational skill set through the position of Middle East Fellow, while also elevating the voices of Christian leaders in the region.
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.