Staff & Board


Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Prior to coming to FMEP, Lara was the Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, and before that she was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer,  serving in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. Lara is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular focus on the Israeli-Arab conflict, settlements and Jerusalem, and on the role of the U.S. Congress. She frequently briefs Members of Congress, Administration officials, and others in the foreign policy/national security community, and is regularly published in the U.S. and Israeli press. Lara works closely with Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann and his NGO “Terrestrial Jerusalem,” participates in various Track II Israeli-Palestinian efforts, and is a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP).  She holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and speaks French, Spanish, Arabic and (rather poor) Italian.

Kristin McCarthy is the Director of Policy & Operations at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Prior to joining FMEP, Kristin was the Policy Director at the Arab American Institute where she served from 2014-2017. Before that, she worked with Israeli and Palestinian human rights experts to do advocacy in Washington, D.C. Kristin has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East She is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University.

P Pro Profile PicPhilip Sweigart is Director of Programs and Philanthropy 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.

Non-Resident Fellows

Peter Beinart is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Contributor to The Atlantic and National Journal, a Senior Columnist at The Forward, and a CNN Political Commentator.

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. He is a recipient of the President’s Distinguished Service Award.

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.

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.


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.