Meet Our Board

API’s Board members are community, regional, and international leaders in arenas including academia, business, finance, journalism, and negotiation.

Board of Directors
Abraham Path Initiative

The Board of Directors is responsible for the strategic vision and fiduciary health of the Abraham Path Initiative.

William Ury

William Ury

Founder / Chair Emeritus

Biography

William Ury is an author, walker and mediator. He is the founder of the Abraham Path Initiative and co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project. William is the co-author of the global bestseller Getting to Yes and author of The Power of a Positive No. Over the last 35 years, he has mediated between quarreling corporate divisions, battling unions and management, and warring ethnic groups around the world.

Anisa Mehdi

Anisa Mehdi

President

Biography

A lifetime of interest in and concern for the Middle East is at the foundation of Anisa Mehdi’s passion for Abraham Path Initiative. An Iraqi-American of mixed religious heritage, Anisa deeply appreciates the variety and nuance of regional cultures and tensions. For more than 20 years she was a broadcast journalist, winning two Emmys, a CINE Golden Eagle, and numerous prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists for her work in religion and the arts. Anisa is an alumna of Wellesley College and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. She lived in Jordan as a Fulbright Scholar, mentoring professional broadcasters and teaching aspiring filmmakers. She affirms the experience of walking as an effective way to create stronger links between people at this vital time for our world.

Josh Weiss

Josh Weiss

Chair

Biography

Dr. Joshua Weiss is the President of Negotiation Works and a co-founder of the Global Negotiation Initiative and Senior Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project. Josh has been involved with the Abraham Path from the very beginning, walking stages from Harran to Hebron and the Negev. He most recently served as the Initiative’s Managing Director. Josh is the author of the popular The Negotiator in You series and the creator of the Negotiation Tip of the Week (NTOW) Podcast.

Samia Bahsoun

Samia Bahsoun

Vice Chair

Biography

CEO, Capwave Technologies Samia is a telecom infrastructure expert and innovator. She holds an EMBA from MIT’s Sloan School, has founded four companies, and is a strategic advisor to fortune 500 companies, governments, public and private institutions. She has been building global telecommunication networks since the mid-1980’s, doing business in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Earlier in her career, at Bell Laboratories, Samia co-pioneered the first fiber optics DWDM system, helping to lay the first fiber optic cables across the Atlantic. Her family is from Lebanon, she was born in Senegal, and lives in New Jersey.

Oliver Pospisil

Oliver Pospisil

Secretary

Biography

Oliver Pospisil is drawing on over 20 years in managing international IT projects and 10 years of experience in negotiation training. He develops and implements enterprise systems, bringing experience in project management together with technical knowledge and business know-how. He specialized in the fields of data protection (GDPR), information security for critical infrastructure. Oliver lives in Düsseldorf, Germany, and has walked with API in Palestine, Sinai, and Iraq.

Lionel Sauvage

Lionel Sauvage

Treasurer

Biography

Lionel Sauvage is Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager at the Capital Group in London. He is the founder and chair of FLAX, the France Los Angeles Exchange foundation which is dedicated to developing cultural exchanges between France and Southern California. Lionel was a long-standing Board member of the Landmine Survivor Network, a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace.

Leo D’Acierno

Leo D’Acierno

Board Member

Biography

Leo D’Acierno Managing Partner of White Rock Holdings and senior advisor at Simon-Kucher, and is the Founder and CEO of LiftRocket, a digital lender that provides disadvantaged borrowers with access to safety net and springboard credit through community self-help

Leo’s maternal grandparents emigrated to the United States from Syria. As a professional, Leo has spent his career helping to revitalize businesses through smart strategy, sales and marketing redesign, strategic pricing and digital reinvention. Since 2017 Leo has served as a senior advisor to the executive director of the Abraham Path Initiative. As a Board member he brings expertise and enthusiasm to Abraham Path Initiative as we transition from ‘start-up’ to an era of ‘grow, produce, and sustain.’

Marcia Greenblatt

Marcia Greenblatt

Board Member

Biography

Dr. Marcia Greenblatt is a water resources engineer with 22 years of specialized experience in hydrodynamic, water quality, and sediment investigations. A Ph.D. and professional engineer, Marcia has integrated data analyses within a geographic information system (GIS) to support site conceptualization, characterize and evaluate fate and transport processes, identify data gaps, parameterize and apply numerical models, and evaluate remedial alternatives. Marcia has hosted fundraising events for API from her home in Boulder for four years. An avid hiker and outdoors person, she walked the Masar Ibrahim and traveled with Anisa to Petra in 2017. MS PhD UC Berkeley, BA UMass, Amherst

Susan Hackley

Susan Hackley

Board Member

Biography

Susan Hackley was Managing Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School for 19 years, board chair of the Alliance for Peacebuilding in Washington, D.C., Communications Director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, and co-founder of an internet company that helped people connect to causes they care about. She has developed innovative programs in negotiation and conflict resolution, including events that highlight the shared values of the fields of negotiation and nonviolent action and a seminar series on “Negotiation, Conflict, and the News Media”. She directed and produced the documentary film, “Veteran Children: When Parents Go To War”, about the impact of war on America’s children and families. She participated in API’s seminal walk to Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine/Israel in 2006.

David Lax

David Lax

Board Member

Biography

David assists companies and governments in complex negotiations in his role as Managing Principal of Lax Sebenius LLC. He advises on negotiations ranging from commercial contracts, joint ventures, and strategic alliances to large mergers and acquisitions in a wide range of industries to the settlement of lawsuits to the ending of civil wars. He is the coauthor of 3D Negotiation and The Manager as Negotiator and loves to hike in the mountains.

James Sebenius

James Sebenius

Board Member

Biography

James holds the Gordon Donaldson Professorship of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, where he took the lead in the School’s decision to make negotiation a required course in the MBA Program. Jim currently serves as Vice Chair and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Program on Negotiation.

“No matter what divides us, we saw that what unites us is far greater. That’s the meaning of the Abraham Path.”

— William Ury, co-founder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation and Founder of the Abraham Path

“While many in the world are building walls, API is building paths. They are building pathways of hope.”

— Stephen Heintz, President, Rockefeller Brothers Fund