Board & Staff - Bridges To Common Ground

Dr. David Hungerford - Board Chairman

Throughout their lives, David & his wife Heide Hungerford have partnered to create opportunities and advancements around the globe in the field of orthopedics. With over 38 years in service, Johns Hopkins Orthopedic Surgery and The Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore have owed their success and reputation in total joint surgery, in large part, to David, who is considered one of the foremost hip and joint specialists in the world. In honor of his work, Good Samaritan Hospital established The David S. Hungerford, M.D., Chair in Orthopedic Surgery in 2000.

​David Hungerford is also long recognized for his contributions to philanthropic medical organizations and causes worldwide. For 12 years (1996 – 2008) David was Chairman of the Board of Medical Assistance Programs (MAP), a program that promotes the total health of people living in developing countries.

​Both David and Heide are co-chairs of CURE International’s Partners Association, an organization that establishes teaching hospitals in developing countries to serve the needs of the disabled. Though retired, David still participates in programs around the world to perform surgery in mission hospitals.

​David was awarded the 2013 Humanitarian Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in March of 2013. His philanthropic efforts are celebrated in this short video, which also includes his acceptance speech.

​In 2009, David and Heide started a new organization dedicated to efforts to promote reconciliation between Muslims and Christians, A Common Path Alliance (CPA). This is an ongoing effort to which they are currently dedicating their lives and their treasure. Due to complementary missions, David began serving Bridges to Common Ground in 2013.

Mark Siljander - Founder & President

Mark Siljander’s public service included three terms as a Member of the United States Congress, where he served on the International Relations, Middle East Subcommittee and was Ranking Member of the Africa Subcommittee. He was later appointed by President Reagan as a US Ambassador (Alt. Delegate) to the United Nations in New York, where he served as a member of the Middle East and Africa Strategy Group of permanent representatives.

​Over 29 years serving in Washington and travel to nearly 130 countries has generated unique opportunities for frequent access to world leaders. These experiences and years studying the three Holy Books of the Abrahamic faiths have led Mark to develop a unique paradigm for the peaceful resolution of conflict that has been successfully applied in several challenging areas around the globe. These methods are outlined in his bestselling and award winning book, A Deadly Misunderstanding, that deals with building bridges to the Islamic world and strategies to thwart the growing threat of terrorism.

Siljander received various awards, including the 1996 Mohandas K. Gandhi International Peace Award, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright honored Ambassador Siljander at the United Nations for his “…efforts toward a more just, humane and peaceful world.”His complementary academic pursuits include bachelors and masters degrees in Political Science and a Ph.D. in International Business.

Doug Fike - Director

Doug Fike is Executive Director of Growth Dynamics International (GDI), which serves leaders and organizations in the non-profit, business, government, education and arts sectors. As an executive coach he specializes in personal and organizational development and major-phase transitions. He has resourced executives and organizations in dozens of countries on five continents.

​Doug is passionate about helping leaders run the race with excellence, bear lasting fruit, and finish well. Toward that end he spearheads the LifeLong Learning Community, an innovative, multi-discipline virtual community linking leaders on a journey of personal growth and transformation. Doug is a founding partner of New Africa Initiative as well as Transformational Leadership Coaching. He has a masters degree in Organizational Leadership.

​Doug and his wife, Charlene have launched half a dozen successful businesses in sales & marketing, real estate, and the hospitality industry. The Fikes travel widely, challenging followers of Jesus to discover their unique design and live creative lives radically abandoned to God’s purposes.

​Doug is a proactive husband and father of two enterprising twenty-somethings. He is a popular conference speaker, a seasoned mentor, and an avid photographer.

Todd Hendricks - Director

Todd Hendricks is the CEO and owner of T.H. Properties (THP), a residential homebuilding and development company that he co-founded in 1992. THP’s rapid growth placed them on the INC 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America list three years in a row in the late 90’s.

​Before starting THP, Todd completed degrees in International Business Administration and Economics at Temple’s Fox School of Business in Philadelphia. Immediately following his university studies, Todd and his wife Karen traveled to 35 countries with GBA Ships distributing educational books around the globe.

​Todd has spent the majority of his time over the last 20 years advising (pro bono) non-profits and NGOs around the world. Todd has traveled to over 160 nations around the globe and travels frequently to Central Asia and the Middle East. He has spent time coaching NGO executives, speaking, and serving on non-profit boards of directors.

​Todd also enjoys bringing leaders from academia, business, faith communities, and government together to work on solving intractable problems. He also spends time encouraging top business executives to get more involved in using their power to “do good!”

​Todd is a futurist and inspirational speaker and also enjoys reading, politics, skiing, snorkeling and of course traveling off the beaten path. Todd and his wife of 25 years, Karen reside in Philadelphia with their twelve year-old son Austin.

Frank Kaufmann - Director

Dr. Frank Kaufmann is founder and president of Filial Projects, founder and director of the Values in Knowledge Foundation, director of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace (IRFWP), editor-in-chief of Dialogue and Alliance, and editor-in-chief of The New World Encyclopedia.

He has worked in more than 65 countries, including in conflict-ridden and violent environments, and engaged 500 international scholars for New World Encyclopedia. Frank was nominated for the Guru Nanak Interfaith Award, along with other nominees including the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

Safi Kaskas - Director

Translator of The Qur’an. *See our bookstore.​

Dr. Safi Kaskas has over 35 years of executive experience in the corporate world with emphasis on strategic management. He has led large corporations and trading companies, and has pioneered numerous successful start-ups’ consulting engagements for clients in the United States and Saudi Arabia, in the areas of trade and industry. He is the Co-Founder, Board Member and ex-President of the Board of Directors of East West University, Chicago-IL. He has invested 30 years of his life in dialogue and bridge building between followers of Abrahamic religions.

He is a regular writer and speaker to diverse audiences around the theme of reconciliation. He is a peace advocate participating in various forums and conferences to explain the dangers involved in a perpetuated conflict in the Middle East and the benefits of peace.

Rev. Bruce Green - Bridge Builder

Rev. Bruce Green joined Bridges to Common Ground in 2015 as a consultant to focus on building better understanding between Muslims and Christians in the USA. Bruce’s “Bridge Building” started after 9-11 as an outreach from some San Francisco Bay Area churches to their Muslim neighbors, particularly the large Afghan Community in the region (estimated to be 30 to 50 thousand). This outreach began as a “love your neighbor” response to the 9-11 tragedy in 2001 when church leaders in Fremont, California, decided to prevent anti-Muslim backlash and embrace and protect their Muslim neighbors. In November 2002, Rev. Bruce Green was selected to facilitate Bridge Building. His actions, writings and teachings have helped to define Bridge Building over the last 12 years.

Rev. Green was a youth pastor in the decade of the 70’s and graduated in 1983 from Talbot Seminary (BIOLA University) with a MA in Ministry, emphasis in Intercultural Studies with a focus on Islam. His studies led him to attempt an entrepreneurial approach to Bridge Building by starting a tourism consulting business in Bahrain in the mid-80’s. The plan was to develop a Disney-style theme park using the culture and stories of the Middle East; an attempt to fight terrorism with tourism. Although this business did not succeed (it is hard to promote tourism in a war zone), the experience of living in a Muslim culture was great preparation for the future Bridge Building outreach. For the decade of the 90’s Green changed careers to Digital Printing and moved back to California. But the 9-11 tragedy prompted him to return to his Bridge Building roots and love his Muslim neighbors.

Gary Waldron - Director of Operations

Gary grew up in Wheaton, Illinois near the Campus of Wheaton College. His mainly Christian academic career concluded with a bachelors degree in corporate finance from Palm Beach Atlantic University where he met his wife Allison. He also has investment experience with stocks and options using a technical analysis trading system, as well as real estate. Gary has a passion for research and promoting a process of being “transformed by the renewing of our minds”. 

Sivy Bienert - Executive Admin

Sivy was born and raised in the predominately Buddhist nation of Cambodia. She experienced poverty and many hardships including being an orphan at a young age. Sivy was later adopted by an American couple and attended Grace International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Sivy continued her higher education at Judson University in Elgin, IL and graduated with a degree in Intercultural Leadership.

Sivy has a heart for the poor and vulnerable. She has raised thousands of dollars to aid individuals in Cambodia for education and surgery. Sivy interned at World Relief and helped refugees resettle in America. There she had extensive interactions with people from different nations and faiths. Sivy loves to travel to different countries and experience the beauty of people, food, and cultures.

Mark Walker - Senior Fund Development

Mr. Walker is a seasoned development leader fluent in Spanish and English and dedicated to promoting international collaboration amongst organizations. He is known as an outstanding team builder with an ability to inspire others to excel. His fundraising specialties include major gifts, planned giving, foundations, case and board development, campaign and international fundraising. Walker is the founder of Fund Development Innovations, LLC. and a VP and Senior Counsel for Carlton & Company. Mr. Walker served as CEO of Hagar USA, an international Christian organization dedicated to the recovery of survivors of human trafficking. Prior to that, Mark was the Vice-President of Make-A-Wish Foundation International and Senior Director at Food for the Hungry and MAP International.

A veteran of the Peace Corps, Mr. Walker holds a masters degree in Sociology and Economics from the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin. Mark is the Past President of the Greater Arizona chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Planned Giving Roundtable of Arizona, and has been a presenter at the Hemispheric Congress for Fundraising in Mexico City. His honors include the “Service Above Self” Award from Rotary International. Mark and his wife, Ligia, reside in Scottsdale, Arizona with their three children.

Tom Fyler - Appreciate Assets Adviser

Tom Fyler is President of Commodities & Securities, Inc., an investment firm registered with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a member of the National Futures Association (NFA), and a registered investment advisor. He is also Managing Director of Fountain Wealth Associates, LLC, a consultant in natural resources development and precious metals. Mr. Fyler is the Managing Principal of a natural resources private equity fund.

Mr. Fyler has extensive experience in charitable financial development and charitable estate gifting. He has worked with the United Way of New York City, the Boys Clubs of America, and with the Reverend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s Institutes of Religion & Health. Mr. Fyler is Director of Ephesus Saints, Inc., a non-profit organization that supports Christian churches and humanitarian outreach throughout the Middle East. More Information HERE.

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