February 04, 2022

USAID Administrator Samantha Power announces George Salem as Chair of the MEPPA Advisory Board

As the leading coalition advocating for the passage of the Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA), ALLMEP and its 150+ members would like to congratulate George Salem on his appointment to serve as the Chair of the Advisory Board for MEPPA’s Partnership for Peace Fund, which was announced the morning of February 4 by USAID Administrator Samantha Power. Power tweeted, “NEW: George Salem is the first Partnership for Peace Fund Advisory Board Chair. This board, established by funding from Nita M. Lowey’s #MEPPA, will advise @USAID to strengthen peace-building, people-to-people programming with Palestinians & Israelis.”

With decades of experience and engagement on this issue, including his tireless advocacy for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Mr. Salem is an excellent choice by USAID Administrator Samantha Power to lead the Advisory Board. His expertise in the Middle East, U.S. inter-community relations and public policy will enable him to help the Advisory Board identify types of projects that should be considered for funding through the Fund. As a founder and lay leader of a host of civil society organizations over the years, Mr. Salem is also keenly aware of what nonprofits need in order to succeed, and how civil society actors contribute to social and political change. 

In a message to ALLMEP’s members, Mr. Salem said, “I am honored to lead a diverse group of experts who will be advising USAID on the implementation of the Partnership for Peace Fund (PPF), created by the Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA).  The funding authorized by MEPPA, $250 million over five years, will make a meaningful positive difference for people-to-people programs that promote peaceful coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis.  The PPF Advisory Board is committed to the idea that building connections and trust between communities, encouraging joint ventures and overcoming barriers between the Palestinians and Israelis Private Sector is vital to building a stable future for the region. I fully embrace this work and will enthusiastically promote it as Chair of the PPF Advisory Board.”[/image-wrapper]

U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Thomas R. Nides, remarked on the significance of the occasion this morning tweeting, “Congratulations George Salem on being selected by @PowerUSAID as Chair of the Partnership for Peace Fund. Important step to implement the Middle East Partnership for Peace Act, spearheaded by my friend Nita Lowey. Looking forward to seeing the results of this @USAID initiative!”

U.S. State Department Spokesperson, Ned Price, joined in congratulations, saying, “Congratulations to George Salem, who was appointed by @PowerUSAID as the chair of the PPF Advisory Board. Look forward to his leadership of the board in promoting people-to-people programs supporting equal measures of freedom, security, & prosperity for Israelis & Palestinians.”

And, Rep. Ted Deutch, the Chair of the Middle East, North Africa & Global CT Subcommittee, also offered his congratulations on the appointment, “Pleased to see the #MEPPA board announced today. There is so much work to be done & I am eager to support @USAID‘s work to build people-to-people ties between Israelis & Palestinians.”

A huge thank you to the wide coalition of partner organizations who welcomed the news of this board announcement, including statements of support from JStreet, American Jewish Committee, Middle East Institute, Israel Policy Forum, Americans for Peace Now, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and others.

The United States has demonstrated tremendous leadership in enacting MEPPA, and as this important initiative begins to roll out, we are excited to work with Mr. Salem and the wider board to ensure that this moment of opportunity is maximized. Already, we are seeing innovation and partnerships blossom within the peacebuilding field in anticipation of MEPPA’s unprecedented resources. With international board seats still to be allocated by USAID Administrator Samantha Power, and significant interest from a host of U.S. allies to cooperate on this priority, we are looking forward to working with USAID, Mr. Salem and the Advisory Board to broaden MEPPA’s impact.