FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Ben Birnbaum is an award-winning journalist and a research fellow at Princeton University’s Liechtenstein Institute for Self-Determination.
He wrote New Republic’s 2013 cover story on the two-state solution—called “mind-altering” by former Secretary of State John Kerry—and co-authored its 2014 article on the Kerry peace talks, which was the recipient of the National Press Club's Edwin Hood award for diplomatic reporting and a National Magazine Award finalist. He has written also for Newsweek, Tablet, and Politico Magazine, and been a guest on CNN, MSNBC, and BBC. Born and raised in Newton, MA, Ben graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 2009 and earned an MPA at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs in 2016.

DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS

Bissan Salman is the Director of External Relations of the Regional Organization for Peace, Economics & Security (ROPES), where she oversees the diplomatic relations with our government partners in Europe and across the Middle East, in addition to managing the development of the program’s various components. Prior to joining the ROPES team, Bissan served as the Political Advisor of the Japanese Embassy in Tel Aviv. Her work focused on connecting between the Palestinian community in Israel and Japanese diplomats, focusing on the economic and political sectors. Bissan has wide experience in peacebuilding, having been involved with various nonprofit organizations dealing with issues such as coexistence, children’s rights, and minority rights. She has been invited to speak at multiple conferences around the world including in Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S. Bissan completed her graduate studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where she received the prestigious Chevening scholarship from the British government.

DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING & ALUMNI RELATIONS

Tamar Meltzer is the Director of Programming & Alumni Relations of the Regional Organization for Peace, Economics & Security (ROPES), where she oversees program development and relations with our growing community of delegate alumni. Originally from Chicago, IL, Tamar graduated in 2018 from the University of Michigan where she majored in International Studies, focusing on International Security, Cooperation & Norms, and History of Law and Policy. She made aliyah and moved to Tel Aviv, earning a Master's in Government at IDC Herzliya, concentrating in Diplomacy and Conflict Studies. Before joining the ROPES team, Tamar worked for various non-profit organizations, including Heartland Alliance, where she helped develop employment opportunities for refugees and under-served populations in Chicago, and IsraAID, where she engaged with international humanitarian aid. She was selected as an ANNpower Fellow, one of 50 young women chosen by Vital Voices, which identifies women who are transforming lives and accelerating peace and prosperity. In addition, Tamar is a UN-certified dialogue facilitator.

CHIEF

OPERATING

OFFICER

Nivine Sandouka joined ROPES as a participant in its first summit, helped plan and co-moderate its second summit, and plans to join the organization full-time in 2021 as its COO and lead grant writer. Nivine is a Palestinian activist and expert in the fields of program development, management, peace building, and gender issues. In addition to ROPES, she works with the German Association for Development Cooperation (AGEH) and runs a grassroots-based initiative called “Judi-from me to you” that connects women and volunteers in several civil-society organizations. She is the Executive Director of the newly established NGO Our Rights in Jerusalem, focusing on civic and political rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. She was identified by the U.S. State Department in 2014 as a young leader and participated in the prestigious “International Visitor Leadership Program." She was also the co-director of IPCRI (Israel Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives).