Meet the Open Roads Media Team



Eric Maddox
Executive Director, Open Roads Media
Founder & Producer, The Virtual Dinner Guest Project

Eric completed his undergraduate studies in Philosophy and Classic Literature and his MA in International Conflict Transformation. After completing his graduate field research in the West Bank, Eric set up the very first Virtual Dinner Guest Project in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in 2011. Since that time, Eric has traveled throughout the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and Europe to expand the network and the impact of The Virtual Dinner Guest Project and to promote what he believes to be the future of news media; collaborative production between local communities, on a global scale. 


Laila Mokhiber
Board President, Open Roads Media

Laila, a fourth generation Arab American of Palestinian and Lebanese descent, was born and raised in northern Virginia. She serves as the Communications Officer for UNRWA USA, which supports the humanitarian and human development work of the UN agency for Palestine refugees. She became actively involved with the Virtual Dinner Guest Project after meeting Eric in 2013. Laila is most alive when she is connecting people and this passion is what directed her involvement, as well as her love for all things Middle East and media.


Isra Mighdad
Board Member, Open Roads Media

Isra completed her undergraduate studies in Islamic Finance and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Scotland. From Gaza City, Palestine, Isra has been the lead coordinator for numerous iterations of The Virtual Dinner Guest Project in Gaza, facilitating connections with the Native American community, Kosovo, The Netherlands, and the UK.

Ilyaas Sherally
Board Vice President, Open Roads Media

Ilyaas has a Dutch-Tanzanian background and has had the privilege to experience an international upbringing, including 10 years in Tanzania, another 10 in the Netherlands, 1 year in Jordan, 1 year in Palestine and most recently 1 year in the United States.

He completed his undergraduate studies in Political Science and Gender Studies at the International Honours College of Leiden University and his M.A. in International Diplomacy and Humanitarian Affairs on a Fulbright Scholarship at Columbia University in New York. His previous work experiences include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Jordan and the Netherlands Representative Office in Palestine. 

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Alexis Brown
Board Treasurer, Open Roads Media

Alexis Brown has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and an M.A. in Eastern Classics from St. John’s College. She has 18 years of experience in fundraising and communications/marketing in the nonprofit sector. Alexis looks forward to building connections between communities with common causes or struggles, and she aims to contribute her expertise in fundraising, grant writing, communications, and strategic planning to ensure a sustainable future for Open Roads Media.