President & Founder | @rwnicholson_
Robert Nicholson is President and Executive Director of The Philos Project. He holds a BA in Hebrew Studies from Binghamton University, and a JD and MA in Middle Eastern history from Syracuse University. A former U.S. Marine and a 2012-13 Tikvah Fellow, Robert founded Philos in 2014 to stimulate a new generation of religious and cultural exchange between the Near East and the West. Robert serves on the Board of Directors of Passages and the advisory board of In Defense of Christians. His written work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Jerusalem Post, Newsweek, Providence, First Things, The Hill, and The American Interest.
Deputy Director | @lukemoon1
Luke Moon is the Deputy Director of The Philos Project. Prior to that, Luke served as business manager for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, and, before that, as a missionary with Youth with a Mission for 12 years. Luke has lived, worked, and taught in over 45 countries, and has advocated on a number of human rights issues along the way. He holds a BA in Biblical Studies from the University of the Nations and an MA in Global Politics from Regent University. Luke is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister.
Chief of Staff
Caroline Walker is the Chief of Staff at The Philos Project. She graduated from The King’s College with a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, and a minor in Theology. She first encountered the Near East on a Passages trip to Israel in 2018 and became a Philos intern that same year. After a little over 1.5 years at Philos, Caroline rose to the role as Chief of Staff managing the many departments, special projects, and partner relationships at Philos. She has a love for public speaking and performance, having been an active member of mock trial, debate, and dance teams during her time in college. Outside the office you can find her binging political podcasts, taking dance classes, attending concerts, or writing music.
Giulia Nembrini is the Advocacy Director at the Philos Project. She has a degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations, which she obtained at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, located in Milan, Italy. After her experience as a humanitarian worker in the town of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giulia decided to continue her studies and moved to New York City, and then to Tel Aviv, where she graduated from the International Master's Program in Security and Diplomacy at Tel Aviv University (TAU). After serving on the Holy See Permanent Observation Mission to the United Nations in New York, Giulia returned to Rome, Italy. Her career has spanned topics such as international diplomacy, geopolitics of the Middle East, religious freedom, human rights of refugees, peacemaking, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. In her spare time, she loves to explore New York City, spend time with her husband and puppy, organize trips, and read Italian poetry.
Hispanic Affairs Director | @jssrojo
Jesse Rojo is the Director of Hispanic Affairs at The Philos Project. A native New Yorker of Dominican descent, Jesse holds a BA in Theological Studies from Hyles-Anderson College. He has pioneered bilingual programs to engage and educate the Christian Hispanic community on Israel-related issues, including educational initiatives, alumni networks, and a nationwide leadership conference. In 2016, Jesse founded Israel A Cappella, an initiative to allow Hispanic Christians to connect with the land of Israel through the experiences and testimony of Christian music artists. In addition to his work at The Philos Project, Jesse is a part of Tim Keller’s international church-planting network, Redeemer City-to-City, and is in the process of planting a bilingual church among immigrant and native communities in Yonkers, New York. His work has been published in The Christian Post and Contexto Media.
African American Affairs Director
Kristina King is the African American Affairs Director at The Philos Project. Originally from the San Francisco bay area in Northern California, she currently lives in Chicago. She pioneered the African American Outreach programs for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the International Fellowhip of Christians and Jews (IFCJ). She studied at Duke University. Kristina is passionate about drawing connections between the cooperation of the Jewish and African American communities particularly during the civil rights movement and how this can inspire further cooperation today.
Dr. David E. Jackson
Associate Director of African American Affairs | @dejacksonii
A native of Atlanta, GA, Dr. David E. Jackson is the Associate Director of African American Affairs (AAA) at The Philos Project. He provides support to over 700 African American alumni leaders through training events and online programs. Further, Dr. Jackson is working in partnership with the AAA Director to build a premiere Black Christian leadership development organization scheduled to launch in the Summer 2021 in the Southeast US. His areas of expertise are diversity, inclusion, and equity; leader development; curriculum and instructional design; and intercultural competencies. Dr. Jackson’s previous background in law enforcement, non-profit, politics, and ministry has equipped him to speak, train, and consult on topics such as organizational diversity and inclusion, race relations, change management, and criminal justice reform around the nation and abroad. Dr. Jackson is an ordained minister with a BA from Cornell University, a MDiv from Union Theological Seminary of New York, and a DMin from New York Theological Seminary. He is currently a PhD student at Southeastern University studying Organizational Leadership. He is the author of three books, op-ed articles, and journal essays. He resides between New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.
Director of Communications | @josefagonz
Josefa Gonzalez is the Director of Communications at the Philos Project. She holds a BA in Communication Arts and Multimedia from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Josefa loves the outdoors and has traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe - including Alaska four times. Josefa’s work experience includes three years of strategy consulting in Washington, DC where she helped federal agencies optimize their communications with clarity, simplicity, and efficiency. Josefa has a passion for learning and loves to read books on theology and articles on Near East politics. In her spare time, you can find Josefa taking photos - she is a photographer with a passion for telling stories and creating meaningful images.
Leadership Network Associate Director
Isaac Woodward is the Leadership Network Associate Director. Prior to his role at Philos, he worked as a philanthropy consultant for political and civil society initiatives across North America. From 2017 through mid-2019, Isaac served as a Public Interest Fellow. During the fellowship, he worked as a research analyst for a network of donors specializing in public policy and political campaigns. During the 2018 election cycle, he conducted research for a political affairs firm. In the wake of the atrocities committed against Christian, Yazidis, and Muslims during the rule of ISIS, Isaac worked as a human rights advocate for an international NGO focusing on humanitarian aid and religious liberty cultivation. During the 114th Congress, Isaac worked in the House of Representatives on a wide range of policy areas while managing constituent correspondence. In 2015, he worked as a program and research assistant for the Education Department at the American Enterprise Institute. In 2014, he served as a Charles Koch Fellow at the American Legislative Exchange Council and as a residential fellow at the John Jay Institute. Isaac graduated from Rutgers University, where he majored in philosophy and political science and minored in classics. He is originally from rural Georgia and now lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Katelyn, and their two dogs.
Associate Director of Research & Education
Shannon Walsh is the Associate Director of Research & Education at the Philos Project and holds a B.A. in Political Science with an International Relations concentration from Tulane University. Throughout her undergraduate career, she completed various internships, including with the U.S. House of Representatives, where her boss served on the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee. During her final year of college, she visited Israel with the Jewish National Fund on a fully subsidized educational program to Israel for non-Jewish student leaders and absolutely fell in love with the country and the region. Shannon is an avid reader and writer and enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on about the Near East. In her free time, she assists a former professor with research on populism and polarization and studies Hebrew. She also loves spending time with friends and family and enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and deepening her understanding of theology as a practicing Catholic.
Hispanic Affairs Associate
Rebeca “Becky” Cruz is the Hispanic Affairs Associate at The Philos Project. Rebeca was born in El Salvador and moved to the United States when she was seven years old. She attended Valley Forge Christian College, studying social work. In 2010 she Graduated from the Latin American Bible Theological Institute (ITLA), Assemblies of God in Wayne NJ, studying pastoral ministries. Prior to working at The Philos Project, Rebeca served as the Promotion Director Assistant in a Spanish-speaking Christian Radio Station. She is a pastor's daughter and the youngest of four children. Due to her upbringing, Rebeca has forged a passion and love for serving in the ministry and serving in the community. She now resides in New Jersey with her two daughters Annalyn and Elizabeth.
Digital Marketing Associate
Based in Virginia, right outside Washington, D.C., Vienna works as the Digital Marketing Associate for The Philos Project. Vienna holds a B.A. in Political Journalism from Patrick Henry College. Prior to working for The Philos Project, Vienna worked in fundraising and for the White House Digital Strategy Office. With a passion for digital strategy and branding that started when she designed her mom's first website at 14 years old, Vienna has worked in the digital space for the past decade. When she isn't sitting behind a computer, Vienna enjoys adventuring in the outdoors, discussing theology and politics with friends, and drinking copious amounts of tea and coffee. Despite spending the better half of a decade on the East Coast, Vienna still considers herself a West Coaster.
Mariam is the Advocacy Associate with the Philos Project. Mariam graduated from Fordham University with a BA in Middle East studies, Arabic, and Jewish studies. While she currently resides in NYC, Mariam was born in Menya, Egypt. Previously, she was the Policy Intern at In Defense of Christians, a Hertog Political Science Fellow, and a Tikvah Fund Journalism Fellow. Her interests include Middle East Foreign Policy, Religious Freedom and Plurality, and Israel-Arab relations. In her free time, Mariam enjoys reading history books, cooking, and watching American sit-coms.
African American Affairs Associate
A native of Oakland, CA, Bracy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University with concentrations in Homiletics, Black Church Studies and African and African American Studies. Bracy’s research and studies have taken her to the continents of Africa, Europe, South America and extensively throughout the continental United States and her future educational plans include law school. In addition to her academic credentials, Bracy is a licensed Evangelist Missionary of the Church of God in Christ.
Alongside her scholarship, she is passionate about social justice and improving the spaces in which people of color study, work, worship and live. Outside of her career, Bracy energetically volunteers within the Durham community. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, baking and spending time with her friends, family and other loved ones.
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