Tantur Faculty and Staff
The faculty and administrative staff of Tantur are a dedicated group of individuals from different national, religious and professional backgrounds. Together, they work with our facilities and groundskeeping team who make the work of our institute possible.
Rev. Russell McDougall, C.S.C., also known as "Fr. Russ," has been an ordained priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross since 1991. He has been the rector of Tantur since July of 2014. He holds a masters of divinity from the University of Notre Dame and a licentiate of sacred theology from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. A native of northwest Indiana, he has more than 13 year's ministry experience with the Holy Cross in Kenya and Uganda. Since his arrival in Jerusalem, Fr. Russ has been involved in a wide range of social and religious interests both related and complimentary to his work as rector.
Fr. Brian Daley, S.J. Senior Ecumenical Fellow
Fr. Brian Daley, S.J., the Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, recipient of the 2012 Ratzinger Prize for Theology, has been appointed to the newly created position of Senior Ecumenical Fellow of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute. A historical theologian who has authored numerous works, Fr. Daley has been president of the North American Patristic Society, an editor of the scholarly journal Traditio, and also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Early Christian Studies. Fr. Daley has been a member of the Orthodox-Roman Catholic Consultation in North America since the early 1980s and is at present its Executive Secretary. As Senior Ecumenical Fellow, Fr. Brian will work to develop pre- and post-doctoral fellowship programs for junior and senior scholars, and help to determine the direction of ecumenical theological studies and programs at Tantur.
Hannah Hemphill, Jerusalem Global Gateway Academic Director
Hannah Hemphill was appointed Academic Director of Notre Dame’s Jerusalem Global Gateway, housed at Tantur, in September 2018. In her role, she provides academic oversight for future research programs, enhances Notre Dame’s scholarly and research visibility within the region, develops and deepens collaborations with universities in the Holy Land, and creates pathways for Notre Dame faculty, post-docs, and graduate students to extend the global reach of their research and scholarship. She also supervises Notre Dame's undergraduate academic programs in Jerusalem. Hannah and her husband served as co-directors of Notre Dame’s undergraduate programs in Jerusalem from 2011 to 2014. From 2010 to 2011, she held an internship at Tantur for Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, researching the Institute’s history, implementing Notre Dame’s undergraduate pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and assisting with Tantur and Notre Dame program development. Hannah is presently completing a Ph.D. in Theology from Notre Dame. She holds master’s degrees from St. Andrews, Notre Dame, and Oxford. Her husband Brian is also deeply involved in both the academic life of the University of Notre Dame and the Tantur Ecumenical Institute; together they have two young children, Lucy and Agnes.
Mark Mina, Director of Operations
Involved in Jerusalem's Catholic, Coptic and Orthodox communities, Mark Mina is a practical example of ecumenical Christianity in the Holy Land. As Director of Operations, Mark is responsible for day-to-day facilities management, oversees administration of facilities staff, and assists the rector of Tantur with the many challenges that come with administration and upkeep of our large institution, it's buildings and poperty. Mark brings over a decade of nonprofit financial and administrative management experience to Tantur. He is married with three children, and is active in many Palestinian Christian civic organizations.
Frederic Masson, Program Director
Frederic Masson is the Program Director, responsible for the oversight of all Tantur and visiting programs. Frederic is from the Alpine Mountains of France. He has lived for 15 years in the Middle East, spending his time between Syria and Jerusalem. Frederic is a member of the Syriac Catholic Diocese of Jerusalem, and has completed his theological studies with the intention of becoming ordained clergy. He brings to his position experience with ecumenism, sustainable tourism and Interreligious dialogue. He is married to Stephanie Saldana, a poet, university lecturer, and author of The Bread of Angels. Together they live at Tantur with their three children.
Dan Koski, Marketing & Communications Director, Administrative Support
Originally from Minnesota, Dan joined Tantur Institute after several years in the region. He is involved in Marketing and Administration responsibilities at Tantur, helping other staff members with various tasks and programs. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, and has a professional background in Law Enforcement, nonprofit administration and tourism. Dan is married to Sofia, a Palestinian Christian from Bethlehem district, and is involved with local Orthodox Christian communities.
Jacqueline Mazoyer, Head Librarian
Jacqueline arrived from France to Tantur and is now Head Librarian for the Tantur Library. Jacqueline comes to Tantur with a multitude of experience having worked for many years at the Catholic Diocesan Library of Rennes in Brittany. Very involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, she is delighted to be at Tantur keeping our library, "the jewel of Tantur," brightly polished!
Sandy Dides, Reservations & Front Desk Manager
A native of Jerusalem, Sandy joined us in September 2014, initially as the executive administrative for the rector as well as the reservations manager for Tantur programs, guests and hosted events. Sandy is the first point of contact for registering & corresponding with CEP programs participants. Sandy speaks Arabic, English and French with fluency along with basic Hebrew, and has worked in both hotel management and non-governmental organizations. Sandy lives in Jerusalem with her family, and enjoys spending time with her friends and acquaintances.
Allison Wattenbarger, Program Assistant
A native of Philadelphia, Allison completed her B.A. in English Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, and her M.Div. at Duke University. Allison is responsible for managing day-to-day logistical and administrative tasks for our internal and external programs, as well as program accompaniment. Prior to her move to Jerusalem, she worked in churches, nonprofits, and parachurch organizations, providing inter-cultural and cross-cultural training and support for expats, volunteers, refugees, and laypeople. Allison has a passion for the study of Abrahamic religions and is glad to spend her year studying Arabic and becoming familiar with the Holy Land.
Issa Daboub, House Manager
Issa Daboub has been with Tantur Institute since 1986, having been the lead front desk staff member until being promoted to House Manager after many years of working with both local and international staff. Issa holds an MA in Education and Human Development from Boston College in the United States, lives in Bethlehem, and is married to his wife Olina, with two children.
Issa Babish, Head Chef & Kitchen Manager
Issa Babish brings 25 years of experience in culinary arts to Tantur's kitchen, being responsible for the overall management of both the menu, meal preparation and supporting staff. Issa "Abu George" has competed in regional culinary exhibitions and is also responsible for the annual Greek Orthodox Christmas banquet at Nativity Church. A Bethlehem native, he is married with four children.
Jiries Asfour, Bookkeeper
Jiries Asfour is responsible for financial matters concerning to Tantur. He is a resident of Jerusalem, and was married in the summer of 2016.
The Tantur Family