Board of Directors
L. Michael Spath, President / Executive Director
Michael Spath is the Founder and Executive Director of Indiana Center for Middle East Peace based in Fort Wayne, IN. He holds a PhD in Historical Theology, with an emphasis in Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in New Testament. His academic interests include Religions of the East, Abrahamic Religions, Peace Studies, Religion and Violence, and Evolutionary Psychology.
He is currently a member of the Global Kairos for Justice Coalition serving the Christians of Palestine, is a member of the United Church of Christ Palestine-Israel Network, and is the Co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA (ICAHD-USA).
Dr. Spath was a Fulbright Graduate Scholar and National Security Education Program Graduate Fellow (1998-99) at the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, in Amman, Jordan, where he served as a researcher for HRH Prince El Hasan bin Talal, King Hussein’s brother.
Dr. Spath has also traveled throughout the Middle East, with over 30 research and work trips to Palestine and Israel, including 15 “Solidarity Tours,” in which participants meet with Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious, political and NGO leaders committed to conflict resolution, non-violent resistance and social transformation.
He has also studied in and led tours of Greece and Turkey, studying, respectively Orthodox iconography and spirituality, and Sufi ritual, art, literature, and spirituality. He also participated in the Bethsaida Excavations Project archaeological dig on the Sea of Galilee (2000).
Dr. Spath was invited to be a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Inter-Faith Understanding, Fort Wayne, IN and the St. Louis World Religions Dialogue (1979-95), and was co-founder of Confluence: Fort Wayne Interfaith Dialogue. He served on the Planning Committee of the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center (1992-95), and is past Board Chair of the Fort Wayne Urban League.
He has presented professional papers on topics as diverse as the the medieval Christian encounter with Islam (Dante and Islam; Dominican friar, Riccoldo da Monte Croce, and others); Sufi spirituality and Jalal al-Din Rumi; Zen ritual, poetry, and spirituality; Christian Zionism in American Civil Religion; Gandhi and the Gita; The Yellow Brick Tao; and Evolutionary and Integrative Psychology and Spirituality, and The Religious Roots of Terrorism.
In 1993, he hosted His Holiness, the Dalai Lama for the Inter-Faith Service of Prayer for Peace, in St. Louis (which included leaders of a dozen other wisdom traditions in the area). He was the Christian speaker on An Evening to Honor Huston Smith at the Vedanta Society of St. Louis, and in 2008, he served as Master of Ceremonies and Keynote Speaker at An Inter-Faith Prayer for Human Rights, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A popular preacher and teacher, Michael has received a number of awards for his community service, including: the Punjabi Cultural Society Partnership Award (2012), the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne & Allen County Ecumenical Service Award (2010), and the Muslim Alliance of Indiana Community Engagement Award (2015). He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit National Honor Society.
John E. Detraz, Vice Chair
John is a retired Raytheon/ Magnavox Engineer in various engineering and management positions. A member of First Presbyterian Church for over 30 years, he chaired various committees and served as a Deacon and Elder. John is a co-founder of ICMEP. John is married and the father of one adult daughter.
Terry Dougherty, Chair
Terry is a Senior Programming Analyst for Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). A former Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan, he serves on the board of School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA), a school for young Afghan girls. He is married and the father of three adult children.
Mary (Ahnee) A. Conner, Treasurer
Ahnee is a retired teacher; in addition, she chairs the board of Just Friends-Interfaith Hospitality Network, a homeless shelter for families.
Patricia Pendleton, Secretary
Ronald G. Caldwell, MD
Ron is a retired orthopedic surgeon. A member of the Episcopal Church, he vows “to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” Ron is married and a father of three adult sons, all teachers.
A retired Physical Therapy Assistant, Pam became committed to the cause of Palestinian rights after her trip with Michael in 2018. She serves as editor of ICMEP's twice-monthly newsletter, ICMEmPower. Pam is a life-long quilter and leads a group of women (peacequilts) making quilts for children and infants in Bethlehem.
Sam is a graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law, a member of the national Lawyers’ Guild, and is a private practice attorney representing clients in Indiana State and Federal Courts specializing in Family Law. He is committed to justice issues by representing the underserved in the community. Sam is married and the father of three children.
Amar Masri was born in Nablus, Palestine and forced to flee to Jordan with his family in 1967. He immigrated in 1976 to the US to attend Boston University. Amar is the father of three children and is very active in charity work.
Barbara is a retired Assistant Registrar at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, IN. Barbara was also the founder of Just Peace, an interfaith peace and justice organization, on the USF campus. She married and the mother of five adult children.