Michael Schmidt - Director

Michael Schmidt comes to AJC with 20 years of experience in professional and lay leadership roles in secular social service as well as Jewish and Israeli organizations. Before joining AJC, he was Chief Operating Officer for the Council on Accreditation (COA). He previously worked for New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, Inc as Vice President/Director of Programs.

A graduate of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and of Columbia and Fordham graduate programs, Schmidt is an adjunct associate professor at NYU's Silver School of Social Work. He served as a non-commissioned officer in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), where he was a liaison between the IDF and the Egyptian Army, United Nations and international non-governmental organizations.

Shira Loewenberg- Associate Director  

Shira Loewenberg has worked as a staff member and an international consultant dealing with global issues, with expertise in conflict and post-conflict environments. She has developed and assessed international programs across the globe, addressing issues including conflict resolution, reconciliation, information and communication strategy, human rights and civil society. Before joining AJC she was a Director at Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding.

Shira holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs.

Danielle Cohen - Assistant Director  

Danielle Cohen is responsible for enhancing the region's media and communications as well as supporting program initiatives including immigration and legislative outreach. Prior to joining AJC, she was Assistant Director at Medical Development for Israel (MDI), the U.S. fundraising organization for Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel. She previously worked at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Danielle graduated from Florida State University with a B.A. in International Relations and a B.S. in Anthropology. She earned her Master's Degree in International Affairs at New School University.

Wanda Vargas - Office Adminstrator