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Board of Trustees

Phil Benson

Watertown, MN

Benson is a trial, litigation, and appellate attorney whose cases have set national legal precedents in whistleblower law. He has also organized divestment actions targeting the Minnesota state pension fund and leading the effort to repeal Minnesota's anti-BDS law. Benson co-founded the Minnesota DFL (Democratic) Muslim Caucus and is a recipient of the Al Aqsa Institute's annual Palestine Day award. Benson serves on the Mission Committee of the Twin Cities Presbytery (PC USA), is a longtime supporter of Sabeel, and has co-organized several FOSNA regional conferences.

Rev. Joan Deming

Madison, WI

Deming is a retired United Methodist elder and past fundraiser and executive director of Pilgrims of Ibillin. Since 2009, Deming has led Meet the Peacemakers pilgrimages to Palestine and Israel, interacting with leaders and organizations that are making a difference on both sides of the Green Line. Deming strongly believes in travel as a means to bridge building and international friendship.

Rev. Diane Dulin

Madison, WI

Diane Dulin is ordained in the United Church of Christ and served for 34 years as pastor to congregations in California and Oregon. She now devotes her time to advocacy efforts in support of Palestinian freedom. Dulin is active in the UCC Palestine Israel Network, UCC Wider Church Ministries including YWCA of Palestine, and interfaith Oregon-based efforts such as Occupation Free Portland. Within FOSNA, Dulin serves on the Theology Committee.

Nahida Halaby Gordon, PhD

Wooster, OH

Professor emerita at Case Western Reserve University, Gordon served as senior Fulbright scholar at Birzeit University in Palestine. A lifelong Presbyterian,  Gordon is a church elder and serves on several Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) committees. She is a Palestinian-American who experienced, first hand, the 1948 Palestinian Nakba, illustrated in her book, Palestine is Our Home: Voices of Loss, Courage, and Steadfastness. Gordon has also published articles on Palestine in The Electronic Intifada, Mondoweiss, CounterPunch, and Unbound.  

Lynn Martin

Pleasanton, CA

Martin, a CPA and corporate controller, has twice visited Israel with Pilgrims of Ibillin and supporters of the Mar Elias schools in Ibillin. She is dedicated to sharing accurate information about the situation and working for a just peace for Palestine. Martin has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) and an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University.

Catherine Ann Nichols, PhD

Tucson, AZ

Nichols is the executive for mission personnel at Common Global Board for World Ministries. She manages and directs all overseas staff, volunteers, and associates. She was the coordinator of the Sabeel International Department in Jerusalem from 2001 to 2008 as an employee of United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

J. Paula Roderick

Chicago, IL

J. Paula Roderick is an employment discrimination and civil rights attorney who practices in the Chicago area. She is an active member of United Methodists for Kairos Response and volunteers with a number of social justice groups that work on issues relating to Black youth and Palestinian civil rights including the Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Peace, Interfaith Action Group, and Black4Palestine.

Rev. Joe Roos

Altadena, CA

Roos is an ordained pastor in the Mennonite Church USA and has served churches in Washington, DC, Maryland, India, and California. He is one of the founders of Sojourners Magazine and served as its publisher and managing director for 27 years.

Doug Thorpe, PhD

Seattle, WA

Thorpe is a professor of literature at Seattle Pacific University, the author of three books, and the editor of a fourth. He is a member of the Mideast Focus group at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle and has been to Palestine and Israel twice. He is the author of A New Earth: Building in Metaphor in The Pearl, Herbert’s Temple and Blake’s Jerusalem.

Rev. Canon Richard K. Toll

Milwaukie, OR

Toll, a retired Episcopal priest, served as the board chair of FOSNA from 2000 to 2011. He received a B.B.A. from Texas Technological University, an M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and his D.Min. from Virginia Theological Seminary. He was the canon pastor of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle and an honorary canon of the Diocese of Olympia, Washington. He was awarded an honorary degree for his commitment to justice and peace in the Holy Land. His honorary doctorate is from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California where he also served as the president of the alumni association for nine years.