Bshara Nassar

Founding Director

Mr. Nassar earned his undergraduate degree from Bethlehem University (Palestine) in Information Systems and Business Administration in 2010.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA) in 2014.  As the fourth generation of the Nassar family, Mr. Nassar was deeply involved in his family’s educational farm, Tent of Nations, in Palestine, including education, communication and social media.  In 2014, he founded the Nakba Museum Project, where he developed the concept, worked with artists, prepared artwork and exhibits, negotiated exhibit space, coordinated the setup of the exhibits in locations across the country, and raised funds.

He has played an integral role in educating international visitors about Palestinian rights and livelihoods. He has spoken publicly on these topics in diverse forums, including the French Embassy, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a number of churches and universities around the country.  Mr. Nassar developed the concept for the Museum of The Palestinian People while working with artists and other contributors on the Nakba Museum Project. He is deeply passionate about peace building.  Mr. Nassar is “a people person” who enjoys biking in Washington DC and meeting people from all over the world.
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Nizar Farsakh

Mr. Nizar Farsakh is a trainer, consultant, and speaker focusing on leadership, negotiations and advocacy. He trained part-time since 2011 and full-time since 2016. Nizar used to work at the Project On Middle East Democracy where he focused on building the advocacy capacity of Arab CSOs and before that he was the General Director of the PLO Delegation in Washington DC for two years.  Between 2003 and 2008, Nizar was a Policy Advisor to Palestinian negotiators in Ramallah, Palestine where he worked with senior Palestinian leaders including the President, the Prime Minister and various ministries including work on the Gaza evacuation of 2005 as well as the Annapolis negotiations. Nizar holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Masters in International Boundary Studies from King’s College London. He is involved in several non-violence initiatives in Palestine and the rest of the Arab world.


Mary Panzer

Dr. Mary Panzer is a recognized scholar of photography and cultural history. From 1992-2000 she served as Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian Institution, where she organized exhibitions devoted to 19th and 20th century photographers such as Mathew Brady, Richard Avedon, and Philippe Halsman. Since 2000, she has lived in New York, teaching adjunct at NYU. Panzer curated the collection that led to Separate, But Equal: The Mississippi Photographs of H.C. Anderson(2002), the first publication devoted to the work of an African american portrait photographer who worked in the segregated South. She is co-author of the award-winning THINGS AS THEY ARE: Photojournalism in Context since 1955 (2005) the first international survey of magazine photography, “Richard Avedon in the 1960s,” for AVEDON: Murals and Portraits (2012), and her articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, American Photo, Aperture and Vanity Fair. “

She has been an invited speaker at the National Gallery in Washington DC, at Princeton University, Rutgers University, University of North Carolina, Ryerson University and Hunter College. Since 1990, Panzer has been a member of ORACLE, the international organization of Photography Curators. Panzer has served as a consultant to Sotheby’s Auction house, Swann Auction Gallery in New York. She holds a PhD in American Studies from Boston University and lives in Manhattan and Rochester, NY.

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Julia Ganson

Program Manager, Middle East & North Africa
Executive Education Programs
Maxwell School for Citizenship & Public Affairs of Syracuse University

Dr. Ganson managed international training and fellowship programs for the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) in the Executive Education Office of Syracuse University from 2008 until 2016.  The programs included the Leaders for Democracy (LDF) and the Civic Education & Leadership Fellows (CELF) programs. LDF and CELF hosted democratic reformers and academics from 15 MENA countries, including Palestine, for three months of seminars at the Maxwell School and then for professional affiliations in Washington, D.C.  Both programs were funded through the Middle East Partnership Initiative of the U.S. Department of State.  During the LDF program, she traveled extensively in the Middle East & North Africa and partnered with Lebanese universities for related programs.  The LDF and CELF programs now have an extensive network of more than 300 alumni who are civil society leaders in the MENA region.

Before joining Executive Education at the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, she held faculty positions in departments of sociology at several American liberal arts colleges.  She has worked in the field of educational evaluation as a Review Officer for the New Zealand National Government and in program evaluation for NGOs in the U.S.  She has a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University and has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for teaching and research at Birzeit University, in the Muwatin Institute for Democracy & Human Rights, in Ramallah for 2017-18. 

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Art Hunt

Principal, RWS Advisers

Mr. Hunt, with his business and life partner Mary Hunt, founded RWS-Advisors, a not-for profit consultancy specializing in not-for-profits with practice areas in strategic and financial planning; process improvements; financial and donor management systems; executive development and evaluations; and responsive website development and design.

Mr. Hunt retired from Yale University in 2014 after 24 years leading change management, process improvements and software implementations.  Prior to Yale, Mr. Hunt held COO and CFO, accounting and production management positions in several small businesses.

Mr. Hunt serves as Deputy Director of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and is active in a variety of social justice causes.

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Jason Bajalia

Importer-Wholesaler-Imbiber, Terra Sancta Trading LLC/Cremisan Cellars USA
Mr. Bajalia was born and raised in San Francisco to Palestinian parents. During his pre-high school years Mr. Bajalia worked in several of his family’s Middle Eastern restaurants in and around the Bay Area. In 1989, Mr. Bajalia’s family relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, where he attended High School and College. He founded Terra Sancta Trading, a Jacksonville-based beverage distributor with a focus on Eastern Mediterranean products, with his brother and business partner.