Meet Our Staff

API’s staff have decades of regional experience in journalism, local community development, humanitarian relief, and business.

Anisa Mehdi

Anisa Mehdi
Executive Director 

Anisa Mehdi, Executive Director, brings years of production and mission delivery expertise to the Abraham Path Initiative. This Iraqi American with Muslim and Christian upbringing had a 20-year career in American broadcast news before taking the helm at API. She is acutely aware of the nuances in Southwest Asian…

Anisa Mehdi, Executive Director, brings years of production and mission delivery expertise to the Abraham Path Initiative. This Iraqi American with Muslim and Christian upbringing had a 20-year career in American broadcast news before taking the helm at API. She is acutely aware of the nuances in Southwest Asian cultures and regional tensions. Finely honed interpersonal skills help her negotiate entrée to many hard-to-access people and places; she has a proven record of raising funds for important projects.

Anisa’s broadcast credits include National Geographic, 60 Minutes, PBS, NPR, and ABC News Nightline. She is the first American to report the Hajj pilgrimage for television. Anisa has won two Emmys, a CINE Golden Eagle, and numerous prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists for reporting on religion and the arts. She is an alumna of Wellesley College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, fluent in Spanish and “barely adequate” in Arabic. During her Fulbright year in Jordan, Anisa traveled to Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. “Slow travel will speed your understanding of many mysteries,” she says. Anisa lives with her family in New Jersey, USA.

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Benjamin Barrows

Benjamin Barrows
Director of Operations

Benjamin Barrows, Director of Operations, is a leader with expertise in economic development and humanitarian response. He has spent more than fifteen years in and out of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, working with governments, multi-laterals, civil society and communities on resilience, technical assistance and…

Benjamin Barrows, Director of Operations, is a leader with expertise in economic development and humanitarian response. He has spent more than fifteen years in and out of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, working with governments, multi-laterals, civil society and communities on resilience, technical assistance and economic development, as well as disaster risk reduction and food security. His years of working in the region have provided many impactful lived experiences that highlight how inspirational and important is the social, economic, and ecological mission of API.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from American University, a certificate in Mediation from the University of Southern Maine, and a Master of Arts in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

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Ravenel Khashram

Ravenel Khashram
Communications and Development Manager

Ravenel Khashram, Communications and Development Manager, writes and edits Abraham Path Initiative invitations, news, and announcements with the same joy and gravitas she brings to conversations and staff meetings. This South Carolina native is based in Jerusalem, where she has worked with Churches for Middle East…

Ravenel Khashram, Communications and Development Manager, writes and edits Abraham Path Initiative invitations, news, and announcements with the same joy and gravitas she brings to conversations and staff meetings. This South Carolina native is based in Jerusalem, where she has worked with Churches for Middle East Peace, the Polis Institute, and the renowned Bookshop at the American Colony Hotel.

Ravenel is a networker who also brings a tourism background to her portfolio at API. Her database helps populate API’s monthly “Postcards from the Path,” a series that introduces people and cultures from the region to a global audience. Ravenel has an MA in Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies from Hebrew University, and a BA, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of South Carolina.

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