Joel is a Jewish activist and national security leader with extensive experience working with both Congress and multiple Presidential administrations. He served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs in the Obama Administration, in the U.S. Senate as a National Security Advisor, and in the Bush Administration in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
In the non-governmental field, Joel has led policy advocacy campaigns on national security, Middle East, and nuclear weapons issues for Ploughshares Fund, the National Security Network, and J Street. He also served as Jewish Outreach Director for the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign.
Joel regularly appears in the media with commentary for publications including Haaretz, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, The Daily Beast, and The Hill, and as a commentator on television including for MSNBC, FOX, i24, and the BBC.
Akri Cipa, Chief Operating Officer
A passionate leader with experience in international relations, strategic communications, and diplomacy, Cipa supervises the organization’s day-to-day workflow, and helps with the coordination of special programs, including the International Conference of Mayors in Israel, American Jewish Congress’ flagship event.
Cipa has worked as a researcher, communications adviser, and foreign policy consultant, focusing especially on international conflicts, transatlantic cooperation, and security issues. He has published analyses and articles in The National Interest, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, Euractiv, Balkan Insight, the Brussels Times, and more.
A native of Albania, Cipa holds a Master of Science degree in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University in the City of New York. He completed his B.A. in Political Science and International Relations at the American University in Bulgaria. He has published two poetry books and one nonfiction.
Susan Nelson, Director of Advisory Board Operations
Dr. Andre Oboler, Senior Advisor
Andre is an experienced organizational leader and an international expert in online antisemitism. He has extensive leadership experience in the Jewish community, broader civil society sector, and the technology sector.
Andre has served as a co-chair of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, an expert for the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism, on the Swedish Government’s expert group for the Malmö Forum, and as a member of the Australian Government’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). He has also served on the Board of Deputies in the UK, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, as a Vice President of the IEEE Computer Society. He has worked for NGO Monitor, the Zionist Federation of Australia, the Online Hate Prevention Institute, and in academia.
His has provided analysis and commentary for television, radio and print media, including for the BBC, MSN, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Australia’s ABC, Germany’s F.A.Z., and Italy’s Rai Uno, and others. His publications includes books and chapters, journal articles, and reports. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Lancaster University (UK) and a Juris Doctor from Monash University (Australia).