Bshara Nassar

Founder and 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

Chairman of the board

Mr. Nizar Farsakh is a trainer focusing on leadership, advocacy and negotiations. He worked for two years at the Project On Middle East Democracy in DC 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 2003-2008 he was advising senior Palestinian leaders including the President, the Prime Minister and various ministries. 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 currently involved in several non-violence initiatives in Palestine/Israel and the US.


Ahmed Hmeedat

Artist in Residence

Mr. Ahmed Hmeedat is a Palestinian artist who currently lives and works in Washington DC, USA. Ahmed was born and raised in Dhiesheh Refugee Camp outside the city of Bethlehem, Palestine. His life in refugee camps for two decades has shaped his worldview and had fed the two dominating disciplines of his life, Art, and Law. He received an LL.M. (a Master Degree in American Legal System) from Syracuse University College of Law and a Bachelor Degree in Law and Liberal Arts From Al-Quds/Bard College in Jerusalem, Palestine. He is a current artist in residence at the Museum of Palestinian People in Washington D.C. He attended art courses at The Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia. Additionally, he received art course certificates from the Museum Of Modern Art in New York City, and The Staedel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.

Ahmed’s work stems from the everyday life he lives in the U.S.A. As an immigrant, his Palestinian background is always present in his work.

Mary Panzer

Co-curator and Adviser

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

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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Christopher S. Clarke, Ph.D.

Consulting Historian and Adviser

Mr. Christopher Clarke, Ph.D., is recently retired from a thirty-five-year career in the museum field. For the final 20 years of this career, he worked as a freelance consultant to museums across the Northeastern US; he also spent the 2013-14 academic year at Syracuse University, teaching full-time as a Visiting Professor of Practice in the Museum Studies graduate program. Since 2010, Christopher has served as the consulting administrative director of a philanthropic initiative that supports community-scale water and environment projects in the West Bank via local and regional NGOs.

Roberta Schwartz

Grant Writer and Advisor

Mrs Roberta Schwartz, Founder of The Persuasive Pen, is a professional grant writer and editor with considerable experience in the arts, social services and healthcare. Since 1995, she has provided grant-writing services, project oversight and implementation, and advocacy
for nonprofit organizations. She has also served as Assistant Director of Foundation Relations for the University of Rochester Medical Center and as an Institutional Grants Manager at the Strong Museum. Roberta holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Vassar College and a Master’s of Philosophy in Art History (American Art and Architecture) from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.