His Beatitude Michel Sabbah
Latin Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem
His Beatitude Michel Sabbah has been the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem since 1987. The Latin Patriarch is the bishop of those Middle Eastern Catholics who follow the Western Catholic liturgy. H.B. Sabbah was born in Nazareth, studied at the Latin Patriarchate Seminary in Beit Jala and was ordained in Nazareth in 1955. He received his doctorate in Arab philology from the Sorbonne. During his priesthood, he has served in parishes in the diocese, as the diocesan youth director and the director of education and as the President of Bethlehem University.


His Beatitude Gregorios III
Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem
His Beatitude Gregorios III was born in Daria, Syria. He received his Ph.D. in Eastern Theology sciences in 1961 from the Pontifical Institute for Eastern Studies in Rome and was assigned as a parish priest at Grotto Frata in 1959. After returning to Lebanon, he was appointed Director of the Higher Theology Institute in Deik Mukhalis and in the Kasleek University near Beirut. He established a magazine specializing in Eastern Ecumenical Studies, entitled Unity in Faith, in 1962 and organized the first conference to include the Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic rites in Beirut in 1972. In 1974, he was invested by H.B. Maxemius V as Archbishop of Jerusalem.


HB Patriarch Archbishop Nourhan Manougian
Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem

Archbishop Nourhan Manougian (baptismal name Boghos) was born in Aleppo, Syria on 22 July 1948. He received his primary education in the Haigazian School of Aleppo. 
In 1961, he entered the Theological Seminary of Antellias to begin his theological education, and in 1966, he entered the Jarangavortz Theological Seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. On 27 July 1968 he was ordained to the diaconate. He was ordained a celibate priest by then Patriarch of Jerusalem Yeghishй Derderian in 1971 and was given the priestly name of Nourhan.  Following his ordination, he was appointed to serve as the Vice Dean of entered the Jarangavortz Theological Seminary from 1971 to 1972.  In 1975 he was named as the Dean of the Seminary.

In 1972 and 1973, Father Nourhan continued his pastoral mission and served as the spiritual pastor of the Armenian faithful in Geneva, Switzerland. Father Nourhan received the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet) in 1973. Following his service in Europe, he returned to the Middle East and from 1974 to 1980 served as the spiritual pastor of the Armenian community of Haifa, Israel. In 1980, upon the invitation of then Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, he left for New York, New York and entered the General Theological Seminary, where he furthered his theological education.  He graduated in 1983.

Remaining in the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, he served as the spiritual pastor of the St. Gevork Church in Houston, Texas in 1994. In 1998, he returned to Jerusalem where he served as the Grand Sacristan of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Read more


Right Rev. Munib A. Younan
President of the Lutheran World Federation and Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
Bishop Younan was born in Jerusalem. He earned his Masters Degree in Theology from Helsinki University and has served as pastor of numerous churches in Palestine. He is one of the co-founders of Al-Liqa Center for Religious Studies in Jerusalem and President of the Board of Managers of the International Christian Committee (ICC) in Jerusalem. Bishop Younan has also served on several international committees for religious and charitable organizations.

His Excellency Bishop Suheil Dawani
Episcopal Church of Jerusalem
Bishop Suheil Dawani was born in Nablus-West Bank and married to Shafeeqa Fu’ad Massad; they have three daughters: Sama, Tala and Luban. He completed his primary and secondary education in Nablus, obtaining his AA from Bir-Zeit College (1973) and BTH from the New East School of Theology in Beirut (1975). In 1976, he was ordained as deacon and in 1977, ordained to priesthood, serving Ramallah and Bir-Zeit parishes in the West Bank.
He enrolled at Virginia Theological Seminary in 1985, where he earned a Master in Theology. In 1987, he moved to Haifa to serve the community of St. John’s Episcopal Church. In 1992, he moved again to serve the community in Ramallah, and Bir-Zeit, where he founded an ecumenical center, began a housing project for young Christian couples, worked with the leaders of the Churches in Ramallah to unite the main Christian feasts and established the first evangelical scouts group with the Lutheran Church. Read more.
Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson
Archbishop of St. Louis, MO
The Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson is the Archbishop of St. Louis, MO. He was appointed successor to Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis by Pope Benedict XVI on April 21, 2009. Previously, he served as the fifth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw following his consecration a bishop in 2005 at the direction of the late Pope John Paul II. A native of Minneapolis, MN, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1970 for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He was later ordained as auxiliary bishop on January 11, 1984 and went on to serve as Bishop of Sioux Falls, S.D. from 1994 to 2005. Archbishop Carlson earned a BA in Philosophy and a MA in Divinity from St. Paul Seminary in 1966 and 1976, respectively. He received the Licentiate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in 1979 and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1998 Humanitarian of the Year Award, South Dakota Right to Life; the Cosmopolitan Club of Sioux Falls Distinguished Service Award in 2002; and The Institute for Priestly Formation, Our Lady of Guadalupe Award in 2003.  He received the Father Pat Mackan Award, Inclusive Catholic Education in 2006. Archbishop Carlson serves in various capacities on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  He is currently the Chair-Elect for its Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. He is a member of the Canon Law Society of America, Board Member of the International Dominican Foundation and Board Member, Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. He is Knight Commander, Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. In 2004, he was appointed Honorary Canon by the Patriarch of Jerusalem for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and established the Pacem in Terris Religious Community in Colombia, South America.
Bishop Barry C.Knestout
Auxiliary Bishiop of Washington
The Rt. Rev. Barry C. Knestout is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. He is a native of Maryland born into a family of eight siblings. His early childhood was spent in Ankara, Turkey. Following ordination to the priesthood in 1989, he served as parochial vicar at St. Bartholomew in Bethesda and St. Peter in Waldorf before being named priest-secretary to the late Cardinal James A. Hickey in 1994. He later served in that role under Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick until 2004. Named a monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1999, he has served the Archdiocese in various capacities including executive director of the Office of Youth Ministry/CYO, secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns and pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Silver Spring. In 2007, he was named moderator of the curia and vicar for administration assisting Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl. In November 2008, he was named Auxiliary Bishop by Pope Benedict XVI and received his Episcopal ordination under Cardinal Wuerl the following December.

Bishop Knestout holds a BA in Architecture from the University of Maryland, a Master in Divinity and a MA in Moral Theology, both from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus (4th Degree), the Order of Malta and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He is a member of the Administrative Board of the Maryland Catholic Conference and the Episcopal Moderator of the American Catholic Correctional Chaplains Association.


Rev. Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel
Atlanta, GA
Rev. Abu-Akel was elected in 2002 as Moderator of the 214th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. He was born in Kuffer-Yassif, Galilee, Palestine to Arab Christian Palestinian parents in 1944. He received his Doctor of Ministry at the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, his Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta and is a graduate of the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Lakeland, FL. Rev. Abu-Akel is the founder and executive director of the Atlanta Ministry with International Students, Inc. as well as a pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta.

Samir Abu-Ghazaleh, M.D.
Sioux Falls, SD
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh was born in Haifa, Palestine. He attended high school in Amman, Jordan. He earned his undergraduate degree from Nahara College in Cairo, Egypt and his medical degree from Ain Sham University Medical School, also in Cairo. He completed his residencies and graduate work in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Dakota Affiliated Hospitals and in Gynecologic Oncology at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh is a member of many professional medical organizations and has published 11 articles in medical journals. He was recently appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board for a six-year term. He also serves on the Board of Governors for the Arab WesternInstitute. Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh donates his time as a speaker for many medical and charitable organizations. He is a Knight of Malta.
Rev. M. Craig Barnes, PhD.
Presbyterian Church (USA)
President, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ
M. Craig Barnes is the seventh president of Princeton Theological Seminary. He began his presidency in January 2013, and also serves as professor of pastoral ministry. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Seminary in 1981 and his Ph.D. in church history from the University of Chicago in 1992.
Before becoming president of Princeton, he was a chaired professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary while also serving as the pastor and head of staff of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. He previously served pastorates in Madison, Wisconsin, and at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. He is a frequent lecturer and preacher at conferences, academic gatherings, and in congregations across the country. He is the author of eight books and serves as a columnist for the Christian Century. His writing and academic work reflect his deep commitment to the theological formation of pastors to lead the church in changing times.
Archbishop Vicken Aykazian
Diocese of the Armenian Orthodox Church of America
Council Member, World Council of Churches
Archbishop Vicken Aykazian serves as the Legate of the Eastern Diocese. Most recently, he also served as President of the National Council of Churches USA (NCC). Archbishop Aykazian was born in Siirt, Turkey, in 1951. He studied theology at the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem and was ordained a deacon in 1968, becoming a celibate priest in 1971. In 1992, His Holiness Vasken I, the late Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, ordained him a bishop.
Archbishop Aykazian, who holds a Ph.D. in history and is working on a second Ph.D. in theology at Catholic University in Washington, is an active ecumenist. In addition to his contributions to the NCC, he has been active in the World Council of Churches (WCC) as a member of the Mission and Evangelism Unit, the Orthodox Task Force and the Central Committee. Read More
His Excellency Archbishop Theodosius (Atallah) Hanna
Archbishop of Sebaste
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Born in 1965 in the Galilean village of Al Rameh, Theodosius (Atallah) Hanna attended local primary and secondary schools before entering the Clerical Patriarchate School in Jerusalem. He matriculated in 1983 at Thessalonica University in Greece in the Faculty of Theology. After graduating with honors, he went on to complete a master’s degree and doctorate. In 1991, he was ordained as a deacon and priest in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The late Patriarch Diodoros invested him as Archimandrite, and shortly thereafter he was appointed Head of the Arabic Department for the Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, in which office he acted as a spokesman for the Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. In addition to these commitments and responsibilities, he also served as preacher in the Patriarchate churches. 
Impressed by his remarkable performance in these offices, the late Patriarch Diodoros appointed him Secretary General of the Clerical & Lay Joint Council of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem. Aftere, he was appointed professor of Church History and Arab Civilization at the Arab Teachers College in Haifa and contributed much to the establishment and development of the faculty for seven years. As the founder of the Orthodox Youth Movement in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, he is considered to be the godfather to many of the Christian youth groups in Palestine. As a member of the Composition Committee, he raised the topic of Christian religious education in Arab schools in Israel and participated in the establishment and development of curricula for Palestinian schools. He also supervised the Orthodox religious radio channel known as the Voice of Palestine Radio. Archbishop Theodosius is a well-known author, and his articles have been periodically published in various newspapers as well as in local and international magazines. Read more.

Rev. Gary Burge, PhD.
Wheaton, IL
Rev. Dr. Gary Burge attended the University of California at Riverside, where he was an exchange student at the American University of Beirut studying political science and religion. This experience studying the Middle East made an indelible mark on him. When Lebanon’s civil war broke out that year, he watched a dangerous, national tragedy unfold before his college dorm. In 1992, he joined the faculty of Wheaton College & Graduate School, where he teaches today as Professor of New Testament. Dr. Burge is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. From 1987-1999, he served as a Presbyterian Chaplain in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Dr. Burge’s publications include The Anointed Community: The Holy Spirit in the Johannine Tradition (Eerdmans, 1987); Interpreting the Johannine Literature (Baker, 1992), the translation of John’s Gospel in the New Living Bible; a commentary on John’s letters (Zondervan 1996) and a major commentary on John’s Gospel (Zondervan 2000). He has returned to Israel over 18 times to study New Testament archeology and has led many groups of college students on study tours. In 1993, he wrote a study of Biblical theology, modern Israel, the Palestinian Christian church, called Who Are God’s People in the Middle East? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians (Zondervan, 1993). A second volume was published recently entitled Whose Land? Whose Promise? (Pilgrim Press, 2003). He is also the president of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, a coalition of pastors and theologians which works to bridge the Arab and American church.


Raja Khoury
Vienna, VA
Raja Khoury is the Founding President of Pillar Construction, a national company with offices in DC, Boston, Houston, and Orlando. He is a graduate of the renowned Ecole National des Travaux Publics in France, from where he holds a BS and MS degree in Engineering, awarded in 1984 and 1985, respectively. He also holds a degree in Construction Management awarded in 1988 from the George Washington University in DC.


Albert Mokhiber
Arlington, VA
Vice Chairman of the Board of ADC, Mr. Mokhiber served as ADC President for four years, from 1990 to 1994. He began his tenure at the ADC National Office in 1984 as Director of Legal Services. Mr. Mokhiber took ADC to the Supreme Court in the landmark case of St. Francis College v. Al-Khazraji, the first time an Arab-Westerncame before the Supreme Court. A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, Mr. Mokhiber is now practicing law in the Washington, D.C. area and continues to be active in Arab-Western affairs.


Musa Nasir, M.D.
Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Nasir is a physician specializing in family medicine and surgery. He is the medical director and a founding member of the Pacific Independent Physicians Association in Los Angeles and director of the Foundation Laboratory. He earned his MS in Biochemistry and Bacteriology from the University of South Dakota and his MD from the University of Texas. He has held many positions in medical organizations in addition to maintaining his private practice. Dr. Nasir founded the Birzeit Society, which provides medical and educational help in Palestine. He is also on the board of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, which brings children to the U.S. for medical care.

Dr. Claudette Habesch
Former Secretary General, CARITAS Jerusalem
Mrs. Claudette Habesch, born in Jerusalem, attended the Notre Dame de Sion School completing the London Matriculation. She studied at the Beirut College for Women and receiving a BA in Social Work, followed by internship in medical social work at the American University Hospital in Beirut.
Mrs. Habesch has served the Palestinian community in numerous capacities. She was chair of the YMCA Women’s Council (1971-75), a National Board member (1978-84), and its president (1989-93). She was Vice President of the Board of Directors of Terra Sancta Club in Jerusalem (1973-80). Today, she serves as Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem. She was elected as president of the MONA region (Middle East and North Africa) for two consecutive terms (1999 -1007) as such she served as Vice President of Caritas Internationalis for the MONA region (Middle East and North Africa). She has previously been a member of delegations of the Holy See, including its delegate to the UN Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995. She was a member of Pontificum Consilium-Cor Unum from 1990 to 1999. Read more.
George R. Salem, Esq.
Law Offices of George R. Salem, PLLC
Washington, DC
George R. Salem established the Law Offices of George R. Salem, PLLC in January 2005.  In November 2005, he entered into a relationship as Strategic Advisor with DLA Piper US LLP, where he focused on assisting in the development of the firm’s Middle East and U.S. Department of Labor practices.From 1990-2004, Mr. Salem was a partner at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer Feld, LLP, where he headed that firm’s Middle East and U.S. DOL practices. Throughout the course of his career, Mr. Salem has negotiated some of the most significant settlements in the field of labor law, including the resolution of all pending ERISA cases against the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund, the E.O. 11246 discrimination case against Harris Trust and Savings Bank and several major OSHA and FLSA settlements, including the major FLSA settlement involving Food Lion.
On behalf of various Middle East clients, Mr. Salem headed the legal teams that handled the acquisitions of major assets, including refineries in the Middle East. In addition, he headed the legal team that successfully brought suit against the Department of Treasury on behalf of the owners of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that was destroyed by the U.S. Navy. From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Salem served as the Solicitor of Labor. As the U.S. Department of Labor’s chief legal officer, he was responsible for enforcing more than 130 laws that regulate the nation’s workplace, including those guaranteeing minimum wages through the Fair Labor Standards Act, ensuring occupational safety and health pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and maintaining pension security under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Mr. Salem headed a staff of 850 lawyers and support staff in 13 national offices and 16 regional and sub-regional offices around the country. Read More
altDr. Juan José Daboub

CEO, the Global Adaption Instiutite
Juan José Daboub, PH.D. was recently appointed CEO of the Global Adaptation Institute based in Washington, DC. He is also a professor at Princeton University and a member of the Board of Directors of several companies in the USA and Latin America.
During his tenure as managing director of the World Bank Group from 2006 to 2010, he was responsible for the bank’s operations in 110 countries (Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean) and for the Human Development and Sustainable Development Networks. In addition, he oversaw other administrative vice-presidencies and functions, including ISG (Information Systems Group), WBI (World Bank Institute), and INT (Integrity Department). Read more.

Fuad S. Sweiss, PE, PLS, LEED AP
Fuad Sweiss was appointed as the San Francisco City Engineer in January 2009. Mr. Sweiss oversees the engineering design & construction arm of the Department of Public Works with about 550 employees, 370 projects and an active project budget of $3.3 billion.  He has over 32 years of experience in the management, design and construction of projects in the public and private sectors both in the United States of America and Jordan. He was also appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in May 2013 as a commissioner to serve on the State of California Seismic Safety Commission. 

Mr. Sweiss graduated from the University of Jordan in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. He is licensed in the State of California as a Professional Civil Engineer, Professional Land Surveyor, Class “A” General Engineering Contractor, LEED Accredited Professional, and a Real Estate Broker.


Mr. Nicola S.  Khamis
President of Jala Investment Group
Deputy Mayer of Beit Jala – Consulate of the Republic of Honduras in Palestine.
Nicola S. Khamis was born in Beit Jala in 1960. At the age of 17, he started working at his family’s small grocery. By 1980, he succeeded in obtaining & being the sole distributer for TNUVA dairy plus products in the West Bank & Gaza Strip in Palestine. After many years of hard work, he established nine companies that deal with different products such as dairy, cleaning materials, beverages,  soft drinks, ice cream, cosmetics and detergents as well two modern  factories: one for sweet deserts and the other for detergents. In 2006, he was elected to be a member & the Deputy Mayor of Beit Jala Municipality, and in 2010, he had the honor of being the honorary consulate of the Republic of Honduras in Palestine. He is married with six children.


Mr. Adel Turjuman
Entreprenuer, President of the Arab Guatemalan Association and President of the Palestinian Guatemalan Federation
Adel Turjuman was born in Jerusalem, Palestine on June 24, 1955. He was still living in Palestine for the war of 1967. In 1970, he decided to move to Guatemala in search of better opportunities. When he first arrived to Guatemala, he entered high school to finish his degree. After graduation, he started his business of import and export, which is still operating today.

Two years later he and his brother founded a textile factory by the name of Dariotext and he moved to Italy for some time to specialize in the textile industry. The industry in Guatemala was growing and there was a lot of competition. The brothers decided to enter agriculture, producing coffee and cardamom for export.  They also founded started a real estate business, building houses as well as buildings with office and commerce spaces.

In 1988, they acquired the majority of the shares for a bank in Guatemala, Banco Inmobiliario. Mr. Turjuman has been part of the board of directors since 1988 and president of the bank since 1998. He is also president of the Arab Guatemalan Association and president of the Palestinian Guatemalan Federation. Today, he is a well-known entrepreneur who has invested in countries worldwide and plans to continue expanding. 


Ghazi Hanania

It is with great pleasure that the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation welcomes Dr. Ghazi Hanania, a committed ally of the cause for many years, to the HCEF Advisory Board! It is of particular importance to us to be joined by a politically active Palestinian Christian who has done so much to build up the state of Palestine. As the first Christian to gain the post of  Deputy Speaker for the Palestinian Legislative Council (the highest post any Christian has held in Palestinian government) ,  Dr. Ghazi serves as an inspiration to us all. He has valiantly stood up human rights and for Palestinian Christians in particular. 

Dr. Hanania has been instrumental in facilitating many of HCEF’s initiatives in the Holy Land, arranging for Sir Rateb Rabie to meet with the Palestinian Authority in order to discuss the challenges facing Palestinian Christians in Palestine and in the Diaspora. He currently chairs the Board of the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom, serves as Vice President of the Palestine Medical Complex, and is a member of the Board of Directors at Arab Investors PLC and Ramallah Summer Resorts Co and Yaser Arafat Foundation as well as the board of trustees of Al-Quds University. This experience, network, and expertise make him a valuable member of the HCEF Advisory Board.


Drew Christiansen, S.J.

Drew Christiansen, S.J., HCEF Co-founder, is Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Global Development in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and co-director of the Program on the Church and the World at the Berkley Center, where he is a senior research fellow. A former editor of the Jesuit weekly America and director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace, he has also taught social ethics and peace studies at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and the University of Notre Dame, where he was a founding staff member of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Active in ecumenical and interfaith affairs, Christiansen has been a member of the USCCB’s Catholic-Jewish Dialogue, served on the US seventh round of the Catholic-United Methodist Dialogue on Eucharist and Creation, and as a member of the first International Catholic-Mennonite Dialogue, which issued the ground-breaking report “Called Together to Be Peacemakers.” Fr. Christiansen received his undergraduate degree from Fordham University, M.Div. and S.T.M. from Woodstock Theological College, and Ph.D. from Yale University.