Who We Are

Matt DussMatthew Duss is the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Previously, he was a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, where his work focused on the Middle East and U.S. national security, and director of the Center’s Middle East Progress program.

His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Nation, Foreign Policy, Politico, the American Prospect, and Democracy. He appears regularly as a commentator on radio and television.

He received an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies, and a B.A. in political science from the University of Washington.

You can find him on Twitter @mattduss.


MPMitchell Plitnick is the vice president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Previously, he was Director of the US Office of B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (2008-2010) and Director of Education and Policy for Jewish Voice for Peace (2002-2008).

His writing has appeared in Ha’aretz, the New Republic, the Jordan Times, Middle East Report, the San Francisco Chronicle, +972 MagazineOutlook, and other outlets. He was a columnist for Tikkun Magazine, Zeek Magazine and Souciant. He has spoken all over the country on Middle East politics, and has regularly offered commentary in a wide range of radio and television outlets including PBS News Hour, the O’Reilly Factor and CNBC Asia.

He received a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park and a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

You can find him on Twitter @MJPlitnick.


P Pro Profile PicPhilip Sweigart is program director at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He holds an M.A. in International Affairs from American University’s School of International Service, and received a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and Middle East Studies from the University of Virginia, where he wrote his thesis on the role of ethno-sectarian identity and class differences in the 2011 Arab uprisings.

He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, studying Arabic in Syria in 2010 and living in Oman from 1994 to 2008.

You can find him on Twitter @philsweigart.

Board of Directors

Ambassador (ret.) Nicholas A. Veliotes is a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer and chairman of FMEP’s Board of Directors. He served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, as well as Ambassador to Jordan and Egypt and Deputy Chief of Mission in Tel Aviv. He is a member of the Middle East Institute, the Council on Foreign Relation and Veterans of Foreign Wars, and he also serves on the Boards of AMIDEAST and the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Ambassador (ret.) Philip C. Wilcox, Jr. retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 1997 after a 31-year career, and was president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace from 2001 to 2014. During his career as a diplomat, he was Consul General in Jerusalem (1988-91), Director for Israeli and Arab-Israeli Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, and Ambassador at Large and Coordinator for Counter-terrorism, from which he retired. He has been awarded the Department of State’s Meritorious, Superior, and Presidential Honor Awards. He serves as Chairman of the Board of American Friends of UNRWA, and is a member of the boards of the Rostropovitch-Vishnevskaya Foundation, the International Student House in Washington, DC, and the Washington Institute for Foreign Affairs.

Jean Newsom is former executive director of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.  A graduate of the University of California/Berkeley, she has also been editor of the Middle East Journal and publications director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

Edison W. Dick’s legal career has been primarily focused on public international law. He was Senior Partner in the Chicago/Washington DC law firm of Quinn, Jacobs, Barry and Dick and General Counsel to the National Association of Marine Services. He served for 20 years as Chair and Executive Director of the American Bar Association’s International Legal Exchange (ILEX) Program for the exchange of lawyers between the United States and foreign countries. He also served for over 15 years on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association (UNA/USA) where he was Chair of the Advocacy Committee.

Ambassador (ret.) Arthur Hughes is a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer. After his retirement from the Foreign Service in 1997, he was appointed Director General of the Multinational Force and Observers by Egypt and Israel in August 1998, serving as head of this peacekeeping operation until July, 2004.  Since then he has been a Scholar at the Middle East Institute, board member of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, and Senior Advisor to the Jerusalem Old City Initiative.  His most senior positions in government service were United States Ambassador to Yemen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near East and South Asia, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs.

Joseph Englehardt is a retired U.S. Army colonel and a former international peacekeeper with over 35 years’ experience in the Middle East. He was the U.S. Defense Attaché in Cairo. He also served in Tehran, Ankara, and Beirut. Colonel Englehardt was the Director of Middle East Studies at the U.S. Army War College and Military Adviser to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Returning to Cairo, he was the Representative of the Director General of the Multinational Force and Observers, overseeing implementation of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel from 1998 to 2004. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute.

Ambassador (ret.) Richard W. Murphy had a 34-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service. After retiring in 1989, he joined the Council on Foreign Relations in New York as the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for the Middle East (1989-2004). He was previously Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs (1983-89), as well as ambassador to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, and the Philippines. He is a three-time recipient of the President’s Distinguished Service Award and a two-time recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award.

William B. Quandt is Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he taught courses on the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy for over two decades. Prior to his appointment, he was a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Quandt also served as a staff member on the National Security Council (1972-1974, 1977-1979), where he was actively involved in the negotiations that led to the Camp David Accords and the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo.

Calvin H. Cobb, Jr. is a retired senior partner at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson. He is a former Chairman of the Board of FMEP, and has served on the FMEP board since the organization’s inception in 1979.

Landrum Bolling is a retired professor of political science. He is the author of numerous books, including Search for Peace in the Middle East, Reporters Under Fire: U.S. Media Coverage of Conflicts in Lebanon and Central America, and Conflict Resolution: Track Two Diplomacy.  He has long been a senior adviser to Mercy Corps, and from 1958-1973, he served as President of Earlham College. He was also president of the Lilly Endowment, one of the largest grant-making foundations in the world. Dr. Bolling has received more than 30 honorary doctorates from U.S. and foreign universities. In June of 2000 he was honored, along with Senator George Mitchell, with a “Peacemaker/Peace Builder” award by the National Peace Foundation.

Michael Van Dusen is Senior Advisor to the President for Alumni Relations of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 1999-2014. Prior to his time at the Wilson Center, he worked for close to 30 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving as staff consultant and then staff director of the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, then Chief of Staff of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; and finally as Democratic Chief of Staff of the Committee on International Relations. He holds a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Gail Pressberg is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Civil Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting breakthroughs in civil society that address pressing issues of the day. Prior to holding these positions, Ms. Pressberg was is the Arab Affairs Policy Consultant for Americans for Peace Now, as well as the Director of the Center for Israeli Peace and Security. She also served as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. For her efforts in bringing Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab leaders together, Ms. Pressberg was honored by the University of Pennsylvania with its Janet Lee Stevens Memorial Award.