2019 Advisors


Joseph V. Montville  is Senior Associate of the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations. He is the Director of the Program on Healing Historical Memory, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University. He is also Senior Adviser on Interfaith Relations at Washington National Cathedral. Montville founded the preventive diplomacy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in 1994 and directed it until 2003. Before that he spent 23 years as a diplomat with posts in the Middle East and North Africa. He also worked in the State Department’s Bureaus of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs and Intelligence and Research, where he was chief of the Near East Division and director of the Office of Global Issues. Montville has held faculty appointments at the Harvard and University of Virginia Medical Schools. He defined the concept of “Track Two,” nonofficial diplomacy. Educated at Lehigh, Harvard, and Columbia Universities, Montville is the editor of Conflict and Peacemaking in Multiethnic Societies (Lexington Books, 1990) and editor (with Vamik Volkan and Demetrios Julius) of The Psychodynamics of International Relationships (Lexington Books, 1990 [vol. I], 1991 [vol. II]). His most recent book is History as Prelude: Muslims and Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean, (Lexington Books, 2011). In 2008, the International Society of Political Psychology gave Montville its Nevitt Sanford Award for “distinguished professional contribution to political psychology.”


 Yehezkel Landau is Senior Advisor to the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College.  He is a dual Israeli-American citizen, an interfaith educator and peacebuilder, leadership trainer, author, and consultant for more than 35 years. While in Israel, Landau directed the Oz ve-Shalom-Netivot Shalom religious peace movement and co-founded and co-directed the Open House Center for Jewish-Arab Coexistence and Reconciliation in Ramle. Landau was a professor of Jewish tradition and interfaith relations at Hartford Seminary, where he held the Chair in Abrahamic Partnerships and directed the Building Abrahamic Partnerships training program from 2002-2016. Landau lectures internationally on interfaith relations and Middle East peace issues, has authored numerous journal articles, co-edited the book Voices from Jerusalem: Jews and Christians Reflect on the Holy Land (Paulist Press, 1992), wrote a Jewish appraisal of Pope John Paul II’s trip to Israel and Palestine in 2000 for the book John Paul II in the Holy Land: In His Own Words (Paulist Press, 2005), and authored a U. S. Institute of Peace research report entitled “Healing the Holy Land: Interreligious Peace building in Israel/Palestine.” Landau earned an A.B. from Harvard University, an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and a D. Min. from Hartford Seminary.


 Anisa Mehdi  is Executive Director of The Abraham Path Initiative and is a documentary filmmaker, journalist and adjunct professor at Seton Hall University. She has won two Emmy Awards, a Cine Golden Eagle, and numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. Mehdi is the first American to cover the Hajj pilgrimage on location in Saudi Arabia. She produced and directed National Geographic's acclaimed Inside Mecca and directed "The Hajj" for PBS's "Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler."  Her coverage of local, national and global affairs has appeared on CBS, PBS, and ABC's Nightline.

An expert on the convergence of religion and the arts, Ms. Mehdi is a consultant for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. She serves on the boards of the Abraham Path Initiative and the Esalen Institute. She was a 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar in Jordan. Mehdi is writing a memoir about life with her father, Dr. Mohammad T. Mehdi, an Iraqi-American expert on Palestine.  She has written columns for NPR and the intelligence company Stratfor.com. Mehdi has a Master's degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Certificate in Jewish-Christian Studies from Seton Hall University. She is an alumna of Wellesley College.


Shua Khan Arshad is an instructor at Merrimack College and an associate and the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations. She is a Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries (CMM) Executive Board Member and is the President of Groton Interfaith Council (GIC).  She has lived in South Asia, the Middle East, North America and Europe and speaks frequently on intercultural relations. Ms. Arshad is the founder of the podcast "Light Up with Shua,” on conscious living and parenting. She has been a consultant for International Programs and Partnerships at Tufts University. She achieved the level of Reiki Master, and an ardent practitioner of Pranayama (breathing), meditation & Yoga since more than 12 years.

As a healer, she is strong proponent and practitioner of alternative medicine and therapies, healthy lifestyle, healthy cooking, environmental preservation, and an avid recycler. Occasionally, she also sings  in concerts. Her love for horses keeps her in the territory of stables.