After five years at the helm of the Alliance for Middle East Peace, Executive Director Joel Braunold announced his departure this week. ALLMEP’s European Director John Lyndon has been announced as his successor.
From the desk of Avi Meyerstein, ALLMEP Founder & President:
Five years ago, I introduced you to Joel Braunold, a bright young guy with a distinctive accent. Back then, Joel and his wonderful wife, Jorie, took a risk on ALLMEP as we emerged from a difficult period. We at ALLMEP (and many of you, our steadfast supporters) also made a bet on Joel, as he took the reins of an organization for the very first time.
Today, we know that those bets hit the jackpot. Even as I write with mixed emotions to share that Joel has decided to seek new adventures, I’m incredibly excited to share how Joel has positioned ALLMEP to grow in the years to come – with a true dream team of professionals and an inspiring agenda.
When we hired Joel, we knew he had a vision for lifting up the entire field of Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding. We knew he was thoughtful and sharp. But we never could have imagined how Joel would transform ALLMEP and our community in just a few short years.
No one can tell the story of where we’ve been and where we’re going better than Joel himself, as well as his incredible successor, John Lyndon. So, here are their words:
Joel Braunold, Executive Director:
It’s been the honor of my professional career to serve as the Executive Director of ALLMEP these past five years. Together with Huda, we built a community that raised the ambition of the field while building resources internationally, so that, as a field, we could play the necessary role we must in order to transform this conflict. 500,000 miles later, we have offices in the US, Europe and the region, a world class staff, a phenomenal board, a membership of over 115, a new central pillar based on alumni engagement, a growing budget and a leverage of over $50 million into the field during my tenure. We successfully advocated to make investment in civil society part of the 2016 Quartet report, still the last remaining agreement of the major powers on this conflict. From DC to Paris, London to Ottawa, the International Fund concept has been socialized and debated at the highest levels of government.
We have had to deal with the tumultuous global shifts in Washington and around the world, facing aid cuts, legislative hurdles and a shrinking civic space. Yet we have always managed to chart a path through the waters and have achieved earmarks for our work that will be realized in the coming years in significant new resources being deployed into a space that desperately needs it.
I am indebted to Avi’s leadership and the trust that the board, membership and staff has put in me for these past five years and could not be prouder to pass the torch onto John, who together with Huda, Kevin and the rest of the ALLMEP team will take us forward through to our next chapter.
The past five years have cracked many of the calcified structures that were the architecture around Israel-Palestine. ALLMEP has laid the foundations so that our community can play a role that it was prevented from playing in the past to ensure that the next twenty years of peacemaking can lead to a sustainable, just and secure peace between Israelis and Palestinians, based on the values we share rather than the people we fear.
John Lyndon, European Director:
I am both excited and honored to soon be taking the helm as ALLMEP’s Executive Director. I have worked with Joel for many years, and know that I have big shoes to fill, but also that he and I share the same conviction that people-to-people work must be positioned right at the top of the agenda if we are serious about ending this conflict.
I have had the privilege of spending the last decade deeply immersed in Israeli-Palestinian civil society, but have also witnessed empowered groups of citizens disrupt and transform other long-running, seemingly intractable conflicts. The result is a deep conviction that our members’ work has never been more urgently necessary, nor more deserving of radically increased resources, so that creativity, risk-taking and cooperation are all incentivized.
I am excited to build upon the impressive foundations laid by Joel and Avi, and together with our excellent ALLMEP team, our growing membership and our network of supporters and partners, will work to ensure that our community’s inherent potential is unlocked and capitalized upon at this critical moment for Israelis and Palestinians.
Looking back over the last five years, all of us at ALLMEP are filled with overwhelming amazement and gratitude, especially for where Joel has brought us. Thanks to his incredible talent, countless miles traveled, and relentless energy, we now celebrate both moments of great accomplishment in the recent past and moments of great promise in the near future.
As he finishes his time with ALLMEP this summer, I invite you to join me and other ALLMEP supporters in thanking Joel for everything he’s done for ALLMEP, our community, and for Israelis and Palestinians. And please join me in wishing John, Huda, Kevin and the team every success and all of our support in the adventures ahead.