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Our Mission

We form communities of American peacemakers across lines of difference, and equip them to help reconcile seemingly intractable conflicts at home and abroad.

Our Vision

Grounded in a vision of mutual flourishing, we envision a world in which leaders and their communities claim the requisite drive, expertise, and relationships to effectively and relentlessly wage peace.

In the Holy Land, we envisage a time beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, when diverse communities of American peacemakers will stand with both Palestinians and Israelis to sustain dignity, freedom, and security for all.

We imagine, too, that our unique model of conflict transformation will be replicated elsewhere—helping bring stability, healing and reconciliation to communities around the world, including here in America.

Our Telos

In ancient Greek, the word “telos” describes a unique purpose or goal that is rooted in a fundamental principle, towards which all intentions and energies are singularly focused. Our telos is the freedom, security, and dignity of every human being in the Holy Land.

While massive conflicts ravage the broader Middle East, we believe that resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains an essential moral and security imperative for the world.

We believe that any policy or outcome—whether one-state, two-states, multiple-states, or some other solution—must be measured by how well it maximizes dignity, freedom, and security for both Israelis and Palestinians in equal measure. And we welcome anyone into our fold who shares our values, including our commitment to support nonviolent means to end the conflict, regardless of politics.

Ultimately, Palestinians and Israelis bear responsibility for waging and sustaining peace. Yet resolution of this conflict is an urgent American interest. And peace will remain elusive without strong, bipartisan encouragement and assistance from Americans.

Unfortunately, while Americans – and especially Americans of faith – are among the most influential stakeholders in the region, most have never met either an Israeli or a Palestinian or seriously encountered both Palestinian and Israeli perspectives. On the contrary, important segments of American society, and often its Christian faith communities, persistently advocate for one-sided postures towards the conflict. Such advocacy educates the next generation in near complete isolation from the peoples and present realities of the region.

Telos reverses that reality by taking Americans from across the political and theological spectra on high-touch, multi-narrative pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and by bringing Israeli and Palestinian leaders and activists to the United States on speaking tours. As Americans come to care deeply about people on both sides of the Green Line, we inspire and equip them to build transformative pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, pro-peace movements in their own communities, aimed at radically improving the way the United States relates to that part of the world.

Our Story

In January 2009, Gregory Khalil and Todd Deatherage forged a most unlikely alliance.

Greg was then a California-born lawyer, partly of Palestinian Christian ancestry, a longtime Democrat, and a former advisor to Palestinian leaders on peace negotiations with Israel.

Todd is an evangelical Christian from Arkansas, a former Chief of Staff to a Republican U.S. Senator, and served in the George W. Bush Administration at the State Department.

After first meeting as political counterparts in 2004, the two became friends and discovered that they shared a common understanding of America’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

From their very different starting points, each man had come to believe that peace in the region was vital to America’s national security interests, that a sustainable solution to the conflict would never be achieved without strong, bipartisan support from the United States, and that such support would not materialize unless and until Americans – and especially American of faith – became truly committed to the security, freedom, and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Together, Greg and Todd saw a unique opportunity to make a global impact for peace by educating, inspiring, and equipping key American communities to actively pursue the common good for everyone in the Holy Land. In 2009, they left their former positions to launch the educational non-profit now known as the Telos Group.

Since 2009, Todd, Greg, and their colleagues have led a steady stream of high-touch, multi-narrative educational pilgrimages to the region and organized numerous speaking tours for Israeli, Palestinian and international leaders. At the same time, the Telos Group has become a leading organization of America’s emerging pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, pro-American, pro-peace movement. 

Our Team

Emily Cullum
Program Advisor, Washington, DC

Emily spent over a decade in senior positions in communications and development in both the private and non-profit sectors before joining Telos as a Program Advisor. Most recently, she served as Chief Development Officer for a counter-human trafficking organization, where she helped more than double the organization’s size and impact. Emily is especially interested in solving complex problems that inhibit human flourishing. Emily began her career as a high school math teacher in Richmond, CA through Teach For America after graduating from Wake Forest University with a degree in Economics. She lives in Fairfax County, Virginia with her husband and three children.

Frances Crane
Program Coordinator, ReStory US, New Orleans

Frances grew up in Montgomery Alabama where she first realized her passion for community involvement through impactful and transformational relationships. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, where she studied Human Resource Management and Entrepreneurship. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Administration specializing in Nonprofit Leadership at the University of New Orleans. Frances hopes to use her degree to better recognize social injustices and take steps towards remedies in her community to create a caring environment that instills acceptance, leadership, and a just peace. In her spare time, she enjoys interning at a local nonprofit, Son of a Saint, an organization focused on transforming the lives of fatherless boys through mentorship and emotional support, as well as teaching swim lessons and spreading the importance of water safety and lifeguarding.

Dave Davis
Chief Operating Officer, Glen Ellyn, IL

Dave is a husband, father, author, wanderer, and the founder of The Ashland Group, a strategic consulting firm designed to help churches, not for profits and corporations. Before joining Telos, Dave served at Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL since 2009 – first as Executive Pastor and then as Lead Pastor – and prior to that as Executive Pastor at River Pointe Church in Sugar Land, TX for nearly 10 years. His mission is to help individuals and organizations move closer to their God given path. In addition to his pastoral and strategic work, he serves as the Chicago Metro Director for Living Water International.

Todd Deatherage
Executive Director and Co-Founder, Washington, DC

Todd spent sixteen years in senior positions in the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government before co-founding the Telos Group. From 2005 to 2009, he was Chief of Staff in the Secretary of State’s Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department. He also spent two years as Senior Advisor in the Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, where he specialized in religious freedom in the Middle East. Todd worked for a decade in the U.S. Congress, including six years as Chief of Staff to Senator Tim Hutchinson. He is a native Arkansan and a graduate of the University of Arkansas. He began his career as an educator. He and his family live in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Layan Deeb
Program Coordinator, Tel Aviv

Layan is a Palestinian Israeli born and raised in Nazareth. She lives in Tel Aviv, where she is pursuing her bachelor’s in English Literature and Social Justice at Tel Aviv University. Her academic interests are deeply intertwined with her commitment to community-based reconciliation initiatives. This journey began in childhood and continues to this day. Layan has been actively involved in programs that foster dialogue and understanding between diverse groups in the Israeli-Palestinian context and believes that empathy and communication are vital to creating a world where people are recognized for their humanity.

David Gungor
Digital Storytelling Producer, New York City

David and Kate Gungor are based in New York City with their four children. David is a musician, a pastor at Good Shepherd NY, a producer, and the Digital Storyteller for Telos. David recently graduated from General Seminary, where he received a masters degree in ministry with an emphasis on peacemaking.

David is also a producer and songwriter, and is in a band called The Brilliance. The Brilliance creates art that inspires empathy. Much of the Brilliance art has been inspired by Telos over the years. The Brilliance acoustic-electronic, symphonic-pop songs invite you to step outside yourself; to see the world through the eyes of the other, the stranger, those you may consider your enemy. Alongside performing national U.S. tours and appearing at the MET’s Charity Water Gala, The Brilliance has performed globally at festivals in New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Israel and Palestine and all over the world.

Yvonne Holden
Director of ReStory US, New Orleans

Yvonne is a Chicago native who is based in New Orleans. She is energized by finding the threads
that connect us to each other. Before joining Telos, she served as the Director of Visitor Experience and Operations at Whitney Institute, a non-profit whose mission is to educate the public about the history and legacies of slavery in the United States on the historic site of Whitney Plantation. There
she witnessed how history has the power to facilitate profound transformation.

Through her career she has worked in and with organizations to ensure and advance equity and diversity through her roles in operations, human resources, and program development. In these roles she prioritized embedding care practices and diversity awareness in organizational structure.

Recently, she has served as a board member for Turning Tables and Resistance Served, two New Orleans-based non-profits that provide education and training resources for hospitality professionals in the community.

Mike Horn
ReStory US Program Manager - Law Enforcement

Before joining the Telos Group, Mike retired as a police commander in Arizona. His 24 plus years of service included command level experience with patrol operations, recruitment, internal affairs, training, jail operations, policy and procedures, promotional testing, media relations and volunteer programs. At the time of his retirement, he was serving as the executive officer to the chief of police. He completed Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command and holds a master’s degree in leadership.

Mike loves relationship building, listening, and engaging with people from different experiences and perspectives for a people centered approach to leadership and culture building.

With a passion for policing and communities served, he primarily oversees the new law enforcement program inviting officers on an immersive journey to explore racial and social justice ultimately to help bridge what can seem like insurmountable conflict. Most importantly, Mike is married to his wife of 28 years with two adult children. They left the heat of Arizona for the four seasons and cooler temps of Colorado.

Eli Phlip
Program Manager, Jerusalem

Eli is a Jerusalem based activist and community organizer. Prior to joining Telos, Eli worked as campaigning manager for an Israeli human rights organization, and was involved in local grassroots movements working towards an end to occupation.

Eli grew up in Israel, and later moved to Philadelphia with his family. Eli graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, and has recently earned a Master’s degree in Urban Design from Bezalel University in Jerusalem. Outside of work and activism, Eli is an avid birder and hiker.

David Katibah
Director of Communications and Christian Engagement, Washington, DC

David attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received degrees in Economics, Political Science, and Philosophy, graduating with highest distinction from the Honors College and receiving the James M. Johnston Distinguished Senior Award. Prior to joining Telos, he spent time living and working in East Asia and completed the Falls Church Fellows program in 2019-2020.

David is passionate about supporting transitional justice and conflict transformation in the Middle East as an American of Syrian descent. He also believes in the transformative power of Christian communities claiming their call to be peacemakers in the US and beyond. His voice can be heard hosting the Telos Check-in podcast and his writing can be read on his substack, “Awakenings.”

Greg Khalil
President and Co-Founder, New York City

Before founding the Telos Group, Greg lived in Ramallah, the West Bank, where he advised the Palestinian leadership on peace negotiations with Israel. Although Greg was born and raised in San Diego, California, much of his extended family still lives in Beit Sahour, a predominantly Palestinian Christian town near Bethlehem. He has lectured widely on the Middle East and has been published by The Review of Faith & International Affairs and The New York Times. Greg is also a founding member and the Chair of the Board of Directors for Narrative 4, a global non-profit that cultivates empathic leadership through story exchange. And he is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Greg is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and Yale Law School.

Kerem Omurtag
Spring 2024 Intern

Kerem was born and raised in New York City as the son of two Turkish parents. He holds a strong passion for global issues and social justice—a passion that began with an eighth-grade class trip to Washington, where he had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with the late Congressman John Lewis. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Berklee College of Music in Music Business and Marketing, and is experienced in digital marketing and technology. He has previously worked in the legal field and within local entertainment industries both in New York and Boston, partnering with artists and managers on building brand identity and spearheading online messaging. He believes that working in music and in social justice advocacy share a common goal: helping to build and spread a strong message through unifying an audience behind it. In his free time, Kerem enjoys photography, reading, cycling, and playing soccer.

Jack Saba
Director of Programs, Jaffa (On Sabbatical leave through August 2024)

Jack has been involved in research and community organizing around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for over a decade. This includes leading workshops and awareness raising activities for issues of citizenship, social justice and conflict transformation in his hometown of Jaffa.

He currently oversees Telos programming in Israel/Palestine and makes it his personal mission that all participants walk away feeling fulfilled, enlightened and transformed.
He is a graduate of George Washington University and has also worked in International Development before moving back to the region and joining Telos in 2015.

Sarah Sturm
Program Coordinator, Telos Table, Washington, DC

Sarah grew up in Vermont before attending Luther College where she studied Political Science and Religion. She recently graduated from Harvard Divinity School having focused on religion, ethics and politics, with a particular interest in Israel/Palestine. A fervent believer in the power of citizen diplomacy, Sarah has spent time studying and working in both Jordan and Israel/Palestine. She is dedicated to conflict transformation through the disruption of assumptions and positive relationship building.

Mary Joy Wytsma
Program Coordinator for Development and Marketing, Washington, DC

Mary Joy is from Portland, Oregon, and recently graduated from Portland State University with a degree in business management and leadership and a minor in Mandarin Chinese. She also holds a master’s degree in social justice from Kilns College (now called the Voices School for Liberation and Transformation). She is passionate about justice, equity, and environmental stewardship and seeks to prioritize learning from people with different backgrounds and life experiences than her. In her free time, Mary Joy enjoys hiking, reading, and gardening.

Board of Directors

Bretta Warren-Kim, Interim Board Chair

Bretta is a Board Certified Anatomic and Clinical Pathologist, practicing medicine in northwest suburban Chicago. Bretta earned her B.S. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, her medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and completed her residency and fellowship in the Department of Pathology at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She and her husband, Oliver, have six children and have been active volunteers in their local church for many years. There, Bretta’s recent volunteer roles are within local and global compassion and justice ministries, including: advocacy for restorative justice and leadership training for the incarcerated; global advisory board focusing on partners in the Middle East; advisory counsel for ‘Mosaic’, a community seeking racial reconciliation through dialogue and relationships that inspire transformation and non-violent action; and within pastoral care, co-creating content and facilitating workshops for parents of LGBTQIA+ children, encouraging and equipping parents to fight for healthy and loving relationships with their children, all while growing anew in their faith. In 2016, using Telos’ pro-pro-pro framework, Bretta co-launched and co-facilitates a grass-roots community called Company:T, a local gathering of peacemakers inspired to have better conversations and contend for mutual flourishing at the intersections of identity including faith, gender, sexuality, and more.

Toks Malik Ashiru

Toks Malik Ashiru has spent the last ten years at Google in a variety of partnerships and business development roles spanning consumer hardware, mobile payments and advertising exchanges. He currently leads sales, distribution and growth of Google’s cross-platform hardware products across some of the largest strategic partners for the company and has helped build the devices and services organization into a multi-billion dollar revenue business over the past seven years.

Prior to Google, Malik worked at American Express and Boeing Inc. in a variety of domestic and international roles leading global initiatives within corporate strategy, business development, client management, and engineering development whilst stationed in New York and London.

In his spare time, he is an avid soccer fan (Arsenal!), a vastly traveled adventurer and also volunteers/tutors at homeless men shelters in New York. He has a BS in Aerospace Engineering and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Bishop Ronnie Crudup, Secretary

Bishop Crudup is the regional bishop for the Mid-South Diocese of the Fellowship of International Churches and senior pastor of New Horizon Church International, which he founded in 1987. Ronnie earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Jackson State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary. He is founder and president of the non-profit New Horizon Ministries, Inc., which operates five community-based programs in the city of Jackson. Ronnie is co-founder and CEO of the Mississippi Faith-Based Coalition for Community Renewal. He serves on the board of numerous local, state and regional community development organizations. He is a frequent speaker in schools, churches and prisons across the country. He is host of “New Horizon Presents” and “The Issues”—a television broadcast ministry—and is passionately involved in international missions in Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia. Thousands know him by his signature statement “To Count It All Joy.” Ronnie and his wife, the former Jacqueline J. Frazier, have been married for over 36 years. They are the proud parents of four children: Ronnie Jr., Nadia, Hillman, and Arlintha. They have five grandchildren: Amari, Ayinde, Nya, Isaac and Robin.

Todd Deatherage, Executive Director and Co-Founder

Todd spent sixteen years in senior positions in the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government before co-founding the Telos Group. From 2005 to 2009, he was Chief of Staff in the Secretary of State’s Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department. He also spent two years as Senior Advisor in the Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, where he specialized in religious freedom in the Middle East. Todd worked for a decade in the U.S. Congress, including six years as Chief of Staff to Senator Tim Hutchinson. He is a native Arkansan and a graduate of the University of Arkansas. He began his career as an educator. He and his family live in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Ainka Jackson

Ainka Jackson is the founding Executive Director of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation, which is committed to bridging divides and building the Beloved Community. She was previously the Metro Guardian ad Litem for the Metro Nashville Public Defender’s Office, Juvenile Division where she represented children who were abused and neglected. She has also been a case manager in the foster care system, a teacher and an adult Public Defender. Born in Montgomery, Alabama and raised in Selma, Alabama, Jackson appreciates that every successful legal and legislative movement required a people movement. Therefore, she also helps to organize the community to address racial and economic inequities. Jackson has presented at numerous conferences and institutions including, on truancy and the school to prison pipeline at the annual Samuel Dewitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocate Ministry and spoke at the United Nations in Switzerland about economic and racial equity. Jackson has also been featured in Essence Magazine for her voter mobilization efforts.

Jackson received the first annual In Peace & Freedom Award in 2016 and is a level 3 certified Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation trainer. Jackson was instrumental in Selma being chosen as 1 of 14 sites for the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative and she currently leads Selma’s programmatic work for that initiative. She is the co-creator of the Beyond Divide and Conquer: Unite and Build Racial Equity Training, which explores how the social construct of race was created to divide and conquer (especially poor whites and people of color). Using first person historical narratives, the training questions what’s the cost of racism for people of color and white people and how we can resist divide and conquer and unite and build. Jackson is a Special Advisor for the ABA Commission for Homelessness and Poverty, Special Counsel to the ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section, and a member of the ABA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council as well as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Class Two Fellow.

Jackson is the creator and editor of the Selma Superheroes Children’s Book Series that shares the history of Selma’s foot soldiers and encourages youth to be Selma 2.0 Superheroes. Jackson is a graduate of Spelman College and Vanderbilt Law School. She has three beautiful, brilliant, benevolent children. She speaks these descriptions to other children she encounters.

Annie Kate Pons

Annie Kate is a TV producer whose career has included domestic and international news and unscripted TV.  Pons developed and discovered talent for Relativity, Ellen Rakieten Entertainment, Lifetime, OWN, GSN, VH1, Oxygen, and MTV.  Annie Kate’s eye for talent was groomed in Washington, DC as a news booker for FOX News and Al Jazeera English. The high-speed and intense nature of the 24-hour news cycle conditioned her to cut through the clutter and find interesting points of view and new talking heads for networks. Annie Kate created the hit show Chrisley Knows Best on USA, and seven seasons later, she continues to find interesting voices and stories of families and communities across America. Currently, Annie Kate is partnering with A&E and GoodStory Entertainment to produce a family docuseries about a former mobster turned family man. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Mary Kay Turner

Mary Kay recently retired after twenty-five years of teaching, many of those on the subject of world religions in a school in the Washington, DC area. After early years teaching on an Indian reservation in Montana, Mrs. Turner pursued graduate studies in humanities with a focus on Indian art and music and later researched alternative education programs, helping to found Summit High School and The Learning Center in Wyoming, a program for developmentally disabled young children. Most recently she completed an appointment to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) and is presently on the White House Commission for Presidential Scholars. Because of a lifelong interest in education, Mrs. Turner visited the Christian schools in Palestine and works towards raising awareness for their needs and assists with scholarships to sustain them. 

Daniel Wehrenfennig

Daniel Wehrenfennig, Ph.D. is the executive director of the Olive Tree Initiative, an award-winning international experiential learning program that brings students and community members on annual educational fact-finding trips to conflict zones around the world (Middle East, Caucasus). He also directs the Certificate Program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He has produced a documentary film for civic education in Malawi/Africa. His recent work has been published by Peace Review, Communication Theory, the University of California Press, Lexington Books and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism.

Carolyn S. Weimer

Carolyn Weimer has worked in the Investment Management industry for the past two decades and currently works in the Investor Relations Group of a large Alternative Asset Manager. In her role, she leads a global team focused on fundraising and investor relations for one of the firms three segments which manages more than $65 billion of assets under management. In prior roles, she has focused on product development, relationship management, fund formation, marketing strategy and communications. Carolyn received an A.B. in biology and comparative area studies from Duke University and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three children.