Team

Robert Nicholson President & Founder Robert Nicholson is the President and Executive Director of The Philos Project. He is also co-founder and board member of Passages Israel, an advisory board member of In Defense of Christians, and an adjunct professor at The King’s College in New York City. 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. His written work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Telegraph, New York Post, Jerusalem Post, Newsweek, Providence, First Things, The Hill, and National Interest.
Luke Moon Deputy Director Luke Moon is the Deputy Director of The Philos Project. Prior to that, Luke served as business manager for the Institute of 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.
Caroline Walker 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 love for public speaking and performance, having been an active member of mock trial, debate, and dance teams during her time in college. Outside of the office you can find her bringing political podcasts, taking dance classes, attending concerts, or writing music.
Giulia Nembrini Director of The Charles Malik Institute Giulia Nembrini is the Director of The Charles Malik Institute at the Philos Project. She has a degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations, which she obtained at the Catholic University fo 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.
Jesse Rojo Director of Philos Latino 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 progress 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.
Rebeca Cruz Philos Latino 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.

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Josefa Gonzalez Director of Communications 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.
Vienna Jacobson 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.
Susanna Hoffman Social Media Associate Susanna Hoffman is the Social Media Associate at The Philos Project. She holds a BA in Journalism and Classical Liberal Arts from Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA. Susanna is passionate about finding truth and can be found listening to books and podcasts on various topics, including theology, philosophy, and politics. Before joining the Philos Project, Susanna worked as a journalist in the political and human rights spaces and branding and marketing. She loves creating true stories through fine arts, the written word, and compelling communication on social media.
Isaac Woodward 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.
Shannon Walsh 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.
Mariam Wahba Associate Director of Advocacy Mariam is the Associate Director of Advocacy 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 Israeli-Arab relations. In her free time, Mariam enjoys reading history books, cooking, and watching American sitcoms.
Krystal Bracy Associate Director of Philos Black 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.
Matthew Garces Network and Special Projects Manager, Philos Latino Matthew Garces is the Network and Special Projects Manager for Philos Latino. Although he currently resides in New Jersey, Matthew spent most of his life in South Florida and North Georgia. Matthew graduated from the University of Georgia with a BA in International Affairs and Political Science and a minor in French. In 2018, Matthew participated in the Philos Leadership Institute and had the opportunity to travel to Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank while engaging with topics such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, Jewish-Christian relations, Islam, and the persecuted Church in the Near East. Prior to working at the Philos Project, Matthew worked for another nonprofit called StandWithUs where he mentored and educated college students from across the country on issues related to Israel and antisemitism. In his free time, you can find Matthew spending time with his fiancée, traveling, playing video games, or cracking the occasional dad joke.
Hannah Johnson Advocacy Associate Hannah Johnson is the Advocacy Associate for the Philos Project. Born, raised, and based in New Jersey, Hannah holds a BA in History and Jewish Studies from Rutgers University as well as an MA in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Since her first trip to Israel in college, a piece of her heart remains in the land. It’s that passion that drives her in standing up for Israel and against antisemitism. Prior to joining the team at the Philos Project, Hannah worked in the Israel advocacy space with StandWithUs for six years. She also has a background in event planning in the nonprofit space and weddings. In her spare time, Hannah enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, going on runs, and cuddling up with a good book.
Margaret Fernandez Development Associate Margaret Fernandez is a Development Associate at the Philos Project. A native Brooklynite, she graduated from St. Francis College with a BA in Communications concentrating in Digital Media, with a minor in Spanish Studies. Margaret is passionate about her Catholic faith and enjoys pursuing truth, beauty, and goodness in God’s creation. Prior to working with the Philos Project she was blessed to work in development and mission in advocating for the dignity of women and families in the NYC region. In her free time Margaret enjoys writing, poetry, travel, baking, and loves living the aunt life to her nine nieces and nephews.
Alex Giobbi Development Associate Alex Giobbi is one of the Development Associates at the Philos Project. A 2016 graduate of Western Connecticut State University with a B.A. in Professional Writing, Alex has worked almost exclusively in nonprofit development, serving in organizations dedicated to disability employment and advocacy, inner city community revitalization, as well as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre. With the Philos Project, Alex's fundraising responsibilities include general funding, as well as the Charles Malik Institute, Pathfinder, and PLI. Alex enjoys building relationships, a skill he developed while serving as treasurer and sports editor for his college’s newspaper and as the Director of Player Personnel for the Danbury Westerners, a summer college baseball team.
Patricia Rivera Office Manager Bio coming soon