Meet the Open Roads Media Team

 
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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. 

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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 and Ammar 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.

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Wiebe Ruijtenberg
Board Treasurer, Open Roads Media

Wiebe graduated from a masters in social sciences at the University of Amsterdam with a focus on the anthropology of the Middle East in general and Egypt in particular. He's currently a PhD candidate at the Radboud University Nijmegen where he is studying how Egyptian migrants in the Netherlands negotiate and maneuver the citizenship policies of the Dutch state. In 2016, Wiebe was also a participant in the Virtual Dinner Guest project between Egypt and the US. Wiebe's experiences of working and living in both Egypt and The Netherlands convinced him of the importance of intercultural dialogue and the need for alternative media sources.

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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.

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Andy Haydu
Board Member, Open Roads Media

Andy has a BS in Anthropology from University of East London (UK) and an MA in Conflict Transformation from the SIT Graduate Institute. A dual American/Irish citizen, living in Dublin, his career has oscillated from gang violence prevention/negotiation in Boston to managing a Youth Centre in one of Dublin's marginalized under-served communities. Andy also owned and operated one of Ireland's first food trucks and is a competitive distance runner. He currently sits on the board of several NGO's at home and abroad, when not working and parenting two toddlers. 

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Alexis Brown
Board Member, 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.