Huda Abuarquob joined Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) in 2014 as its first on-the-ground regional director.  She has years of experience in conflict resolution, NGO leadership, and social change education and activism, as well as a life-long commitment to building strong people-to-people Israeli-Palestinian relations. She is a well-known speaker on issues related to Middle East politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

After studying conflict transformation and peace studies as a Fulbright scholar, she worked as an executive director, a program director, and an NGO consultant to a number of organizations in the U.S., Israel, and Palestine.  She is a co-founder of the Center for Transformative Education (CTE) and has taught and trained hundreds of students in Israel and the U.S. She has long been an active leader in grassroots Palestinian initiatives focused on women’s empowerment and people-to-people diplomacy.

Previously, Huda worked as a teacher, trainer, and consultant for the Palestinian Ministry of Education for fifteen years. She earned her M.A. in conflict transformation and peace studies from Eastern Mennonite University and her B.A. in education for social change from Al-Quds Open University in Jerusalem.

Huda is the oldest of twelve children, the daughter of respected Palestinian educators, and an aunt to twenty-two nieces and nephews. Born in Jerusalem, she has traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East, lived for six years in the U.S., and now resides in Hebron.  

Viktor Erofeyev is an internationally acclaimed Russian writer who struggled with the Soviet System during the 70s and was asked to leave the powerful Writers Union, but reinstated in the 80s. He is the author of several fiction and non-fiction works including Russian Beauty, that has been published in over ten languages including English.  Mr. Erofeyev edited The Penguin Book of New Russian Writing, an important collection of contemporary literature.  A three-volume collection of his works, including his novel The Last Judgment, was recently published in Russia. He has been a contributor to The New Yorker magazine and has  hosted Television and radio programs throughout Russia. 

Mark Garber is qualified as a medical doctor and holds a degree in Psycho-Neuro Endocrinology. In the mid-eighties he was the Vice-Chairman of the USSR National Centre of Psycho-Endocrinology. During the Gorbachev era Mark started two of the first joint ventures between Soviet and American companies - Sovaminco (book publishing and printing services) and Mebinvest (inventions in medicine, biology and environmental issues). 

Mark is an expert in natural resources, with a focus on oil production, processing and transportation. In 1987 he founded one of the first private oil companies in the Soviet Union. Between 1993 and 1996 he was Advisor to the Minister of Fuel & Energy of the Russian Federation. He was a Board member of the Russian Government's Economic Policy Commission and the National Fund for Strategic Resources. In 1995, in partnership with an Anglo-Swiss financial group, he tarted MC Securities, an investment banking business (brokerage and corporate finance) that grew to be the third largest brokerage house in Russia. He was an executive director responsible for Russia when it was purchased by Robert Fleming & Co (FF&P) in 1998. In 2012 Mark bought out the Russian part of FF&P together with his partners former Head of JP Morgan, Ian Cazenove and Hannam, forming the new company GHP that specializes in real estate, asset management and investment banking.

Lisa Goldman-Van Nostrand is a strategic advisor to Sumitomo Chemical, one of Japan’s leading chemical companies and a leader in the development and innovation of new vector control tools for public health.   Since 2012, Ms. Goldman-Van Nostrand has served as a Board member of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership, representing the Private Sector.  In this capacity, she was named a member of the Transition Oversight Committee implementing the new malaria partnership mechanisms in 2015.   Previously, she served on RBM's Task Force on Architecture and Governance (Dec. 2014-May 2015) as well as the GMAP2 Task Force (May 2013-May 2015) to develop the framework for Action and Investment to defeat Malaria 2016-2030 (AIM).     Ms. Goldman-Van Nostrand was elected as Co-Chair of the RBM Malaria Advocacy Working Group in 2012;  in this role, she works to coordinate malaria partners' strategic advocacy in the changing development landscape.  

Prior to 2012, some highlights of her work for Sumitomo Chemical included management of the launch ceremony for Sumitomo Chemical's joint venture with A to Z Textile Mills in Tanzania, and executive production of the photo library — a seven-country "real person" campaign depicting healthy, happy people with bed nets —  and the “Palufoot” PSA campaigns, broadcast during the World Cup, a series of creative spots with 27 top African football stars vying off against malaria.  In 2005, Ms. Goldman-Van Nostrand began her work in malaria through her role as international producer of  Youssou N’Dour’s Africa Live: Roll Back Malaria concert.   Mick Csaky's documentary of the concert was televised globally on the BBC, PBS, Arte, TV5, and across Africa, and was viewed by more than a billion people.    Ms. Goldman-Van Nostrand continues to serve as an advisor to Minister N'Dour in his humanitarian work.   In 2004, Ms. Goldman-Van Nostrand also served as "Internet Tsarina" for Quincy Jones' We Are the Future concert.   

From 1995-1999, Ms. Goldman-Van Nostrand co-founded and served as CEO of Construct, an early Internet company that fused engineering and design to create compelling online worlds. The high creative standards at Construct earned the company a blue-chip customer base and three major prizes, before its aquisition in 1999 by a New York-based special effects company.  

Ms. Goldman-Van Nostrand co-founded and was Director of The Interactive Media Festival, an international juried competition for the emerging form of interactive media, from 1992-1995.   She started her career in Silicon Valley learning strategic communication from Andrea Cunningham, the PR maven who worked with Steve Jobs to launch the Apple MacIntosh computer.     Ms. Goldman-Van Nostrand graduated with honors in Fine Arts from Rice University, and also studied at the Université de Paris IV, Sorbonne.   She was a delegate to the World Economic Forum from 2004-2009, and was named a Young American Leader by The Russian-American Institute in 1998.   

Nicolas V. Iljine was born in Paris and educated in Great Britain and France, studied mathematics at the Sorbonne and then specialized in public relations. He serves as consultant on international cooperation to several European cultural institutions. Nic was appointed Advisor to the General Director of the State Hermitage in November 2014.

Nic has been instrumental in creating and implementing museum projects on Russian art that include The Great Utopia, Chagall’s Jewish Theater, Amazons of the Avant-Garde, (opened in New York by President V. V. Putin and Kazimir Malevich, Suprematism, and RUSSIA! which was opened in 2005 by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.

He was author or editor on:

  1. 8 Illustrated publications for Lufthansa on flight—myths and legends
  2. Sold Treasures of Russia, Trilistnik, Moscow, 2000.
  3. Odessa Memories, University of Washington Press, 2003
  4. Pass to Paradise, Vagrius, Moscow, 2008
  5. Nikolai Suetin, Palace Editions, St. Petersburg, 2008
  6. Fire of Worlds, Progress-Traditsia, Moscow 2009
  7. Memories of Baku, Marquand Books, Seattle 2013
  8. Selling Russia’s Treasures, Abeville Press, New York, 2013
  9. Tiflis Memories, expected Autumn 2017

Evelyn Messinger Executive Director of CitizensChannel, is a television, Internet and cross-platform media producer. In this role she has created and produced citizen engagement programs and websites including the Google Hangout series Real Dialogues, the Link TV election series Digital Citizen 2012, RedBlueUS, and YVote 04. From 2000 to 2010, she produced the meta-news series Global Pulse, the online news literacy application Know the News, and a series of programs connecting Americans to Muslim intellectuals and journalists following the September 11 attacks, for the national satellite channel Link TV. She was the founder and original Director of the Electronic Media Program for the Soros Foundation, and Executive Director and co-founder of Internews, a global non-profit organization supporting independent media and access to quality information worldwide. Ms. Messinger was the American creator and a producer of two-way satellite television programs linking Americans with Russians, which were broadcast as special episodes of Phil Donohue’s program, on PBS, and on ABC News where they were awarded two Emmys. She has also been a news producer and editor, whose credits include daily news and documentary programs for the BBC, France 2, PBS, CBS News, CNN and others. Today she is engaged in the development of a television feature series on climate change and energy alternatives, This Planet.

Tamar Miller consults to social benefit organizations.  To accrue power to the field, she works with foundations, and most recently, with post 9-11 U.S. veterans, as a new set of allies. Tamar initiated a project called, Veterans as a Public Resource, for which she received an ‘innovations grant’, allowing her to partner with The Brookfield Institute located in Western Massachusetts. Her piece of the work is allied with the Boston Platoon of The Mission Continues where veterans have the opportunity to continue to serve, in the interest of personal, communal, and civic well-being, once back home from Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Previously, Tamar’s consulting practice ranged from working with the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society introducing Harvard and MIT faculty to meditation as a pedagogic practice; to crafting a parliamentary campaign in Kuwait; to strategic evaluations for the Fetzer Institute’s science and spirituality unit. Tamar was VP Education and one of three founders of American Higher Education, Inc. based in Cambridge, MA., and was Partner in Middle East Holdings, a business development firm in Boston and Dubai.

Beginning as Director of Leadership Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School, she then held the position of Executive Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East.  Tamar is active on the board of directors of the Parents’ Circle and the Israel Palestine Center for Creative Regional Initiatives, and was on the founding board of the Alliance for Middle East Peace.

Tamar holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Judaic Studies, Master of Social Work from Yeshiva University, and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University

Michael Murphy is the co‑founder and Chairman of Esalen Institute and the author of both fiction and non‑fiction books that explore evidence for meta‑normal capacities in human beings, including Golf in the Kingdom and The Future of the Body.  During his fifty- year involvement in the Human Potential Movement, he and his work have been profiled in the New Yorker and featured in many magazines and journals worldwide. A graduate of Stanford University, he was one of the first Americans to live at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India in the mid 1950s. In the 1980s, Murphy helped start a successful Soviet‑American Exchange Program, which was a premiere diplomacy vehicle for citizen‑to‑citizen Russian‑American relations. Boris Yeltsin's first visit to America In 1989, was initiated by Esalen.  His other books include The Life We Are Given (co‑authored with George Leonard), The Kingdom of Shivas Irons, Jacob Atabet, An End to Ordinary History, In the Zone: Transcendent Experience in Sports (coauthored with Rhea White), and The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation. 

Vladimir Pozner is an internationally known political commentator and journalist.  Born in France, Mr. Pozner lived for fifteen years in the United States before moving to the Soviet Union.  His personal experiences in both the United States and the Soviet Union give him a unique perspective on the Russian-American relationship.  He is the author of several books including the best seller, Parting With Illusions and is the host of one of Russia’s most popular television programs. 

Ksenia Semenova is a journalist, editor and public relations expert. She is currently the senior editor of the World section of the Russian-language site The Question. In January 2017, her analyses ''The Hunt for Russia's Next Enemy'' was published on  From 2014 to 2015 she worked as a contributing writer for the Institute of Modern Russia. Her piece titled "A New Wave of Emigration: The Best Are Leaving" was selected as one of the institute's top 10 analyses of 2015. Until 2012, Ms. Semenova was chief editor of the New York office of Snob Magazine, covering a range of topics from sports to politics and writing a column about life in New York City.  

Kim Spencer is Senior Programming Executive of KCETLink, based in San Francisco and Burbank, CA. A producer of more the 60 documentaries and news specials, Spencer helped pioneer satellite “spacebridges” between the US and Soviet Union, including the Emmy Award-winning Capital to Capital series of seven live programs linking the US Congress with the USSR Supreme Soviet. Along with his partner Evelyn Messinger, he was a co-founder in 1982 of Internews Network, which now supports independent media in 40 countries. He was coordinating producer at the launch of ABC News “Prime Time Live” in 1989, producing multiple episodes around the world including an unprecedented one-hour live broadcast from inside the Kremlin. With Patrice Barrat in Paris he developed the innovative Vis à Vis series: transcontinental video dialogues linking people ‘face to face’ from their homes and workplaces, edited into twenty one-hour programs for European broadcasters and PBS. Returning to Internews, he managed a project in Israel that trained Palestinian journalists and provided equipment for independent TV stations in the West Bank. In 1999 Spencer was the founder of Link TV, the independent satellite network devoted to global affairs, available in 34 million homes on DIRECTV and DISH Network. Spencer created the Peabody Award-winning series Mosaic: World News from the Middle East, and is currently Executive Producer of KCETLink’s weekly series Earth Focus, the longest-running environmental program on US television.  

Xiao Qiang (Chinese: 萧强; pinyin: Xiāo Qiáng) is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of China Digital Times, a bi-lingual China news website. He is an adjunct professor at the School of Information (2012–present) and the Graduate School of Journalism (2003 - 2011), at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the Principal Investigator of the Counter-Power Lab, an interdisciplinary faculty-student research group focusing on technology and free flow of information in cyberspace, based in the School of Information, UC Berkeley.

Xiao teaches classes Digital Activism, Internet Freedom and Blogging China at both the School of Information and the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley. In Fall 2003, Xiao launched China Digital Times to explore how to apply cutting edge technologies to aggregate, organize, and recommend online information from and about China. His current research focuses on mapping political discourses in Chinese cyberspace, measuring the state censorship and control of the Internet, and developing cloud-based technologies which can break through such censorship.

A theoretical physicist by training, Xiao Qiang studied at the University of Science and Technology of China and entered the PhD program (1986–1989) in Astrophysics at the University of Notre Dame. He became a full-time human rights activist after the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Xiao was the Executive Director of the New York-based NGO Human Rights in China from 1991 to 2002 and vice-chairman of the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy.

Xiao is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship in 2001, and is profiled in the book Soul Purpose: 40 People Who Are Changing the World for the Better, (Melcher Media, 2003). He was also a visiting fellow of the Santa Fe Institute in Spring, 2002. In January 2015, Xiao was named to Foreign Policy magazine’s Pacific Power Index, a list of “50 people shaping the future of the U.S.-China relationship.” He was named “for taking on China’s Great Firewall of censorship.”‪[1]‬