How We Began
USIEA has established uniquely significant and meaningful ties with Israeli leaders. These include the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, and leaders in the areas of local government, science, education, military and business. USIEA values the Judeo-Christian heritage and both the historical and spiritual significance of Israel; therefore, our relationships are based on deep mutual respect and open dialogue.
Founder and Executive director
Over the past 20 years Heather has personally pioneered the way in building the strategic relationships and providing the relevant perspective that makes USIEA a valued resource to U.S. and Israeli leaders. For over a decade, she has led dozens of trips to Israel comprised of businessmen, Members of Congress, and other distinguished guests and leaders, in addition to leading and facilitating briefings in Washington, DC. Heather is a world renowned speaker on Modern Israel.
Also, Heather, in partnership with former Mayor Ron Nachman, established the National Leadership Center in Ariel, the capital of Samaria. Today the Leadership Center hosts groundbreaking programs that have given more than 70,000 Israeli and Arab youth the opportunity to meet and participate in a unique experiential learning adventure.
Heather attended Auburn University studying Communications and completed her Masters of Theology degree at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL.
Ari Sacher is a Rocket Scientist, and has worked in the design and development of missiles for over twenty-five years. He has briefed hundreds of U.S. members of Congress on Israeli Missile Defense, including three briefings on Capitol Hill at the invitation of the House Majority Leader and the Israeli Ambassador. Ari is a highly requested speaker, enabling even the layman to understand “rocket science.” Ari has appeared on CNN, Fox News, i24news, and the Discovery Channel.
Since November 2017, Ari has been serving as the Educational Director at the US Israel Education Association. In his position at USIEA, Ari is the direct interface with members of Congress and their staff. Ari leads in the development, implementation and evaluation of USIEA’s dynamic education programs.
Board of Directors
Heather Johnston, Founder and Executive Director, USIEA
CEO/Founder, The Broadway Group, LLC
Ken Cella, Principal, Client Strategies Group, Edward Jones
Charles Krulak, General, USMC (Ret.) 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps; President Emeritus, Birmingham-Southern College
Musette Morgan, EdD
Bruce Pearl, Head Coach, Auburn University Men’s Basketball
Dr. Phil Roe, Former U.S. Representative, Tennessee 1st District
Senior Fellow, Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC (Ret.) served 35 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. His last position was as Commandant of the Marine Corps and as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During his military service, Krulak received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star Medal, three Bronze Star Medals with Combat “V,” two Purple Heart Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, the French Legion d’Honneur Commandeur rank, and numerous other decorations and medals. Following his retirement from the Marine Corps, Krulak served on several corporate boards and in 2011 was invested as the 13th President of Birmingham-Southern College. He retired in 2015 and currently serves as President Emeritus. Krulak graduated in 1964 from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. Krulak also holds a Master of Science degree in Labor Relations from The George Washington University (1973) and attended the J.F.K. School of Government/International Relations at Harvard University. In addition, he is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School (1968); the Army Command and General Staff College (1976); and the National War College (1982). Krulak has served on the USIEA Board of Directors since 2017.
Senior Fellow, Dr. David P. “Phil” Roe is a former six-term U.S. Representative of Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District. Roe served as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs from 2017 to 2019 and Ranking Member of the committee from 2019-2021. After earning his Medical Degree, Roe served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, attached to the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Casey, South Korea and attaining the rank of major. After his military service, Roe went into OB/GYN practice. He began his political career in 2003, serving on the Johnson City, Tenn., Planning Commission. From 2003 to 2007, he served as Vice Mayor of Johnson City and as Mayor of the city from 2007 to 2009. He was elected to Congress in November 2008. Roe is a 1967 graduate of Austin Peay State University. He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1970. Roe joined the USIEA Board of Directors in 2021.
Fellow, Avi Zimmerman is the Founder and President of the Judea Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JS Chamber) and the President and CEO of the Integrated Business Roundtable. Zimmerman established the JS Chamber to promote a thriving and sustainable regional economy through a growing business network that engages Israeli and Palestinian businesspeople alike. He launched the organization in 2017, after earning his MBA at Ariel University. In early 2020, Zimmerman founded the Integrated Business Roundtable with a group of global impact investors to substantiate the development of a growing investment community while cultivating a regional pipeline of innovative business enterprises. In addition to his MBA, Zimmerman holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Tel Aviv University. He has served on the USIEA Board of Directors since 2015.