University of Southern California

CRCC American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute

AMCLI National Program Alumni (2008-2013)

The following individuals have participated in the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute National Fellowship. To date, over 100 fellows from five cohorts have participated in AMCLI.

Please note that some of the affiliations have changed subsequent to the program.

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Amira Ahmed

Amira Ahmed is founder and executive director of Midwest Community Development, Inc. (MCDI). She has been recognized as a leader in expanding Somali women dream, building cross-cultural collaborations, streamlining idea and incorporating accountability measures, and promoting strategies to increase individual...

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Kasar Abdulla

Kasar Abdulla was born in Kurdistan of Iraq. When former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein waged war on the region in 1988, Kasar lost several family members and she was forced to become a refugee.

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Mustafah Abdullah

Having experienced marginalization as an American-Egyptian Muslim in both the U.S. and Egypt, Mustafa has worked to build the beloved community in which everyone feels a sense of belonging. As a senior at Wake Forest University and a member of...

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Suzy Abu-Nie

Suzy Abu-nie has a strong commitment to contribute to society in a variety of ways as taught in Islam. She currently assists underserved Muslim women, men, and families with social and mental health services at Hyde Street Community Services in San Francisco.

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Junaid Afeef

Junaid M. Afeef is an attorney, community organizer and writer. He serves in the Office of General Counsel at the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority where he works on a range of criminal justice policy matters.

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Samar Ahmad

Samar Kaukab Ahmad is the associate director of Strategic Foundation Initiatives at the University of Chicago.

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Reema Ahmad

Reema Ahmad is the executive director of Project Mobilize, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing civic participation and representation from politically marginalized communities. In its first year, Project M recruited, trained, and ran seven Muslim American candidates for local offices. A...

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Sameer Ahmed

Sameer Ahmed is a law clerk to the Honorable Patti B. Saris, Chief Judge of the District of Massachusetts and Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

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Fahd Ahmed

Fahd Ahmed is legal and policy director of Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM). Currently, Ahmed leads DRUM’s work on national security, racial profiling, and police accountability in the Racial and Immigrant Justice program, and is also developing a community...

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Tanzila Ahmed

Tanzila "Taz" Ahmed is the voter engagement manager for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles, where she is working on the Your Vote Matters! 2012 campaign, a non-partisan voter engagement and mobilization effort turning contacting over 500,000...

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Rabia Akram

Rabia Akram is the president of the American Muslim Health Professionals. Previously, he served as a board member and led the Health Research and Policy Committee.

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Sehreen Noor Ali

Sehreen Noor Ali is the strategic planning officer for the U.S. State Department.

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Ishraq Ali

Ishraq Ali is a movement building fellow at the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, close to his hometown of Ronkonkoma, New York. In a county where Latinos, African Americans and Muslims are under-represented, the organization has registered over 4,000 new...

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Marwa Aly

Marwa Aly served as the Muslim Chaplain at Trinity College and Wesleyan University from 2008-2012.

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Shahed Amanullah

Shahed Amanullah, senior advisor for technology at the U.S. Department of State, works on digital diplomacy projects for the Special Representative to Muslim Communities,

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Nermeen Arastu

Nermeen Arastu is an attorney whose practice area includes commercial litigation, immigration law and civil rights matters. Presently, Nermeen is an associate in Simpson Thacher & Bartlett's New York office where she has worked on securities, white collar and antitrust...

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Urooj Arshad

Urooj Arshad is the associate director of International Youth Health and Rights at Advocates for Youth.

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Ameen Ashraf

Ameen currently serves as the president of Islamic Circle of Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. Driven by a desire that American Muslims should play out their faith by benefiting the society at large, he was previously responsible for...

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Muneer Awad

Muneer Awad is the executive director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK). Before working with CAIR-OK, Awad helped launch an international renewable energy company based in New York that provided solar powered equipment to developing...

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Nur Aziz

Nur Aziz is the marketing and outreach manager at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center. In this capacity, she coordinates community programming, runs outreach projects and develops the overall marketing strategy for the ISBCC. Nur is also the program...

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Kevin Barrow

Kevin Barrow is co-founder of DC Qur'an Halaqa and serves as head of partnerships for Green Muslims in the District.

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Umbreen Bhatti

Umbreen Bhatti is a lawyer with experience in civil rights and constitutional law, and a passion for making important legal concepts accessible to non-lawyers.

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Zahra Billoo

Zahra Billoo serves as the executive director of CAIR San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA).

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Shahid Buttar

Shahid Buttar is a civil rights lawyer, musician, columnist, and grassroots organizer. He is the executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee in Washington, D.C. He served as former counsel of a national program combating racial and religious profiling at Muslim Advocates.

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Rabia Chaudry

Rabia Chaudry is an attorney and principal of the Chaudry Immigration Law firm with over a decade of experience in federal immigration law. She is the president of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, a community service and educational organization.

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Farhad Chowdhury

Farhad Chowdhury is co-founder and chairman of the Micro-philanthropy 100 (M100) Foundation, which supports nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

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Tamim Chowdhury

Tamim Chowdhury is a community organizer, entrepreneur and real estate professional. Professionally, Tamim is a member of the Center for Realty Policy with the U.S. General Services Administration in the Public Building Service. He is an entrepreneur in the hospitality...

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Dustin Craun

Dustin Craun is a writer, educator, community organizer and a communications strategist who has worked with more than 25 different nonprofit and social movement based organizations over the last twelve years in the United States, Mexico, and Ghana. Dustin works...

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Makram El-Amin

Imam Makram El-Amin’s commitment to service and civic leadership has made him a pillar in the Minneapolis community. As imam of the historical Masjid An-Nur, he’s led a growing, culturally diverse congregation in his hometown to the forefront of interfaith...

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Mohamed Elibiary

Mohamed Elibiary co-founded the Freedom and Justice Foundation in November 2002 to promote a centrist public policy environment in Texas by coordinating the state level government and interfaith community relations for the organized Texas Muslim community.

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Basim Elkarra

Basim Elkarra is the executive director of the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV). Elkarra was re-elected in 2011 to the California Democratic Party's executive board and chairs its Arab American Caucus and Affirmative Action Committee.

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Fatemeh Fakhraie

Fatemeh Fakhraie is an editor, author, and blogger who writes about issues from her perspective as an Iranian-American Muslim woman. Her work has appeared in B*tch magazine, CNN, Ms. magazine, The Guardian, and AltMuslimah.

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Hebah Farrag

Hebah Farrag is program manager of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture.

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Nadia Firozvi

Nadia J. Firozvi serves as a policy advisor in the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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Taha Gaya

Taha Gaya is the executive director of the Pakistani American Leadership Center, the premier political advocacy organization representing the Pakistani American community to the U.S. Government.

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Safiya Ghori-Ahmad

Safiya Ghori is MPAC’s Government Relations Director in the Washington, D.C. office. She earned a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in May 2006 from the University of Arkansas.

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Tannaz Haddadi

Tannaz Haddadi is founder and chair of the Board of Directors of the Next Wave Muslim Initiative (NWMI), Inc., which works to engage the Muslim community in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. NWMI is an organization that aims to galvanize...

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Umar Hakim

A graduate of Compton High School, Umar Hakim ignored an opportunity for higher education and pursued a telecommunications job for the next 13 years. It was there that a customer introduced Al Islam to him.

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Karim Hakim

Karim Hakim is a representative of Helping Hand for Relief and Development, an international Muslim non-profit organization/NGO.

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Ahmed Heban

Ahmed Heban has served as the executive director of Somali Community Services since 2004. Prior to joining Somali Community Services, he served as a program coordinator at the Bay Area Somali Community, where he planned, organized, and coordinated the Somali community.

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Khizer Husain

Khizer Husain is the president of American Muslim Health Professionals, a national public health nonprofit organization. Under his leadership, AMHP convened the first-ever faith-based roundtable at the Department of Health and Human Services focused on mental health wellness. Mr. Husain...

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Tariq Hussain

Tariq Hussain is the executive director and co-founder of SMILE, a New Jersey, nonprofit organization dedicated towards poverty relief. Tariq’s vision for SMILE was to establish an institution that would take a multi-faceted approach towards poverty relief addressing obvious issues...

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Zeba Iqbal

Zeba Iqbal is the executive director of CAMP International (Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals). In her role as executive director, Zeba’s focus has been on refining CAMP’s vision and on strengthening CAMP as an organization.

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Milia Islam-Majeed

Milia currently serves as the Executive Director of the South Coast Interfaith Council (SCIC), the largest interfaith council in Southern California encompassing some 35 cities and approximately 1.8 million people.

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Kyle J. Isma'il

Kyle J. Isma’il is the national programs manager for Islamic Relief USA, the largest Muslim charity in the world whose mission is to alleviate poverty.

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Maryam Jamshidi

Maryam Jamshidi is founder of Muftah, a magazine focusing on the domestic issues confronting countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Shenaaz Janmohamed

Shenaaz Janmohamed has worked on ending domestic violence since 2004. She has held positions within national, state and grassroots organizations, shaping a broad understanding of the complexities in dismantling violence against women within communities.

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Sarah Jawaid

Jawaid is the director of Green Muslims (GM). GM is a group started to raise awareness of global environmental issues within a Muslim community while hoping to create a language of Muslim-based environmentalism that precipitates across communities. GM organizes events...

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Taif Kaissi

Dr. Taif Kaissi is the co-founder, vice president, and executive director of Medical Network Devoted to Service (MiNDS), a nonprofit organization based in southern California that provides charitable specialty healthcare to the uninsured patients. MiNDS also focuses on economic empowerment...

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M. Bilal Kaleem

Bilal has served as Executive Director, then board president, of the Muslim American Society's Boston chapter (MAS Boston), which manages the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC).

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Sarah Kalim-Ullah

Kalim-Ullah is currently the Development Coordinator for Unity Productions Foundation (UPF)-a premier non-profit organization, which promotes peace through the media.

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Ruby Khan

Ruby Khan is the executive director of the Hamdard Center for Health and Human Services in Chicago, IL. She previously worked for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and for the daily talk radio show, Radio Islam.

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Moein Khawaja

Moein Khawaja is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations - Pennsylvania (CAIR-PA). He is committed to protecting the rights of all Muslim Americans and to promote the understanding and integration of Islam into the American experience.

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Amal Killawi

Amal works as a researcher at the University of Michigan and as a counselor for survivors of domestic violence at ACCESS, the largest Arab American social service agency. Amal also serves as an online counselor and writer for, and she sits on the boards of several non-profits, including the Family Youth Institute, Muslim Mental Health Inc., and the Peaceful Families Project.

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Sophia Kizilbash

Sophia currently serves as a co-director of the Native Youth Leadership Alliance and expresses her faith and traditional values by working in partnership with indigenous communities in the United States.

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Zahir Latheef

Zahir Latheef has been working with college Muslim Student Association (MSA) chapters at the local, state, and national levels for the past 12 years.

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Sofia B. Latif

Sofia is program development advisor at the World Wide Web Foundation, an organization that works to enhance the Web's inherently egalitarian, universal and decentralized potential, so as to transform societies towards greater equality, inclusion and transparency.

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Farhan Latif

Farhan Latif is the chief operating officer and director of policy impact at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

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Edina Lekovic

As the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) director of policy and programs, Edina oversees strategic initiatives in government, media and Hollywood engagement as well as leadership development programs.

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Mostafa Mahboob

Mostafa Mahboob is the former communications manager for Islamic Relief USA.

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Hind Makki

Hind Makki is a leadership associate at the Interfaith Youth Core where she has developed and implements the One Chicago, One Nation program, an initiative that brings together diverse Chicagoans, with an emphasis on the Muslim community, through dialogue, community service and philanthropy.

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Naveen Malik

Naveen proudly serves her country at the Department of Defense, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she was selected for the prestigious White House Liaison Office Defense Fellowship.

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Asma Men

Asma Men works as the special projects coordinator for the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, serving the under-represented and under-privileged communities. Her concentrations are policy, advocacy, and youth leadership development.

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Nadiah Mohajir

Nadiah Mohajir is the co-founder and director for HEART Women & Girls, a young nonprofit organization committed to building self-esteem and leadership through health and wellness programming for faith based communities.

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Jenan Mohajir

Jenan Mohajir is the leadership institute manager at Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), where she oversees curriculum development and production for the Interfaith Leadership Institutes, a four day gathering designed to train student leaders and their allies with the knowledge and skills to lead a campus movement for interfaith action.

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Syed Mohiuddin

Syed is Chairman of United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Leadership Next and a medical resident in internal medicine at the Detroit Medical Center’s Sinai-Grace Hospital.

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Atif Moon

Atif is the co-founder of the Center for Global Understanding (CFGU), a nonprofit educational organization that provides scholarships to under-represented minorities, including Muslim American college students, to participate in civic engagement through internships in Washington, D.C.

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Sharaf Mowjood

Sharaf Mowjood is a master's degree candidate at the Columbia University School of Journalism. He is also the former Government Relations Coordinator for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Greater Los Angeles.

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Sultan Muhammad

Sultan Muhammad, a native Chicagoan, is a community organizer with a background in strategic communications and multimedia production. He publishes educational resources and is co-founder of a Chicago-based multi-media production company.

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Precious Muhammad

Precious Rasheeda Muhammad—author, lecturer, researcher, poet, and publisher—is not only nationally known for her ability to educate and inspire audiences of diverse faiths and backgrounds about America’s unique Islamic heritage, but also for her ability to empower them with the tools to build community through a deeper understanding of history.

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Rushdan Mujahid-Deen

Rushdan Mujahid-Deen is assistant imam of Masjid Bilal Islamic Center. From 2001-2005, Imam Rushdan worked with the National Young Adult Association (NYAA) as the Western Sectional representative and vice president. As a member of the NYAA, he was invited to...

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Zarinah Nadir

Zarinah Nadir serves as the secretary of the board of the Islamic Social Services Association-USA. She is also the co-founder and board member of Al-Mu’minah Young Muslim Women Association, dedicated to instilling activism and leadership skills in young Muslim women.

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Hironao Okahana

Hironao Okahana is an active member of the Islamic Institute of Orange County (IIOC) in Anaheim, California, where he serves as the chair of the public relations committee.

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Ndidi A. Okakpu

Ndidi Amatullah Okakpu is a community advocate dedicated to empowering the socio-economic welfare of the Ummah. She is Assistant to the Editor of the Muslim Journal newspaper, and founding Director of NAIM Community Mentoring.

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Salim Patel

Salim Patel is serving his second year in public office on the Passaic Board of Education, the 9th largest school district in New Jersey. He is also a founder and board member of SMILE, a non-profit focused on social services including food pantries, health clinics and senior care.

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Sharmeen Malik Premjee

Sharmeen Malik Premjee is currently a Master's in Public Affairs Degree candidate in International Development at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She was awarded a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans to pursue this graduate work.

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Megan Putney

Megan Putney is program director of the Muslim Consultative Network, an organization that works to strengthen and unify the diverse New York City Muslim community through education, collaboration, capacity-building and social justice advocacy.

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Faisal Qazi

Dr. Faisal Qazi is the President of MiNDS, a community service organization and a charitable network of providers in Southern CA that treat uninsured patients free of cost.

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Amanda Quraishi

Quraishi is a writer, blogger, interfaith activist and technology professional living in Austin, Texas.

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Sabrina Qureshi

Sabrina Qureshi serves as the Finance and Operations Director for the Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals (CAMP).

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Zeenat Rahman

Zeenat Rahman serves as Secretary Kerry’s special adviser on global youth issues and director of the Office of Global Youth Issues (J/GYI).

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Noreen Rahman

Noreen Rahman is the Prevention Programs coordinator at Girls Incorporated of Orange County, a non-profit dedicated to "Inspiring All Girls to be Strong, Smart and Bold" through programming on topics such as body image, teen pregnancy prevention, career readiness, fitness...

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Aisha Rahman

Aisha Rahman, Esq., is executive director of KARAMAH and also heads the Family Law Division. Ms. Rahman received her higher education at Emory University and the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she was a staff editor of the...

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Qudsia Raja

Qudsia Jafree is the Senior Policy and Advocacy Associate at the YWCA USA, where she leads policy efforts around VAWA reauthorization, immigration reform, voter mobilization, and hate crimes.

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Khalis Rashaad

Khalis Rashaad serves as the resident imam of Ibrahim Islamic Center in Houston, Texas.

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Hussein Rashid

Hussein graduated with a BA from Columbia College of Columbia University and then went to the Harvard Divinity School where he completed a Masters in Theological Studies. He then received an MA and Ph.D. from Harvard’s Near Eastern Languages and...

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Asim Rehman

Asim Rehman is president and co-founder of the Muslim Bar Association of New York (MuBANY), a professional organization for Muslim lawyers, law students, and legal professionals in the New York area.

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Mansoor Sabree

Mansoor Sabree serves as the resident imam of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam.

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Reem Salahi

Reem Salahi is a board member of the Muslim Legal Fund of America, which finances the legal representation of cases that impact the civil rights and liberties of Muslims in America. Salahi is an attorney at Hadsell Stormer Keeny Richardson...

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Jihad F. Saleh

Jihad Saleh is the government affairs representative for Islamic Relief USA. He is responsible for managing IR-USA's advocacy and engagement with Congressional Offices, Federal Executive Departments, and foreign embassies in Washington, DC.

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Murtaza Sanwari

Murtaza Sanwari is the director of strategic planning and decision support at Kaiser Permanente - Los Angeles Medical Center. He is also co-founder of Ehsan Center, a faith-based, nonprofit in north Los Angeles County, and was recently appointed to the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission.

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Linda Sarsour

Linda Sarsour is a working woman, community activist, and mother of three. Ambitious, outspoken and independent, Linda shatters stereotypes of Muslim women while also treasuring her religious and ethnic heritage.

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Nura Sediqe

Nura Sediqe is currently a Masters in Public Policy candidate at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Prior to graduate school, she served as Research Director at the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund in the Washington, D.C. office.

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Hashi Shafi

Hashi Shafi, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and received a bachelor’s degree in business and management from Somali National University in 1990. After the 1991 civil war, Hashi left Somalia and become refugee in neighboring Kenya.

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Naim Shah Jr.

Niam Shah, Jr., completed the Community Organizing Residency Program in 2010-2011.

Kashif Shaikh

Kashif Shaikh is currently a program officer for the McCormick Foundation, a Chicago based foundation committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens through philanthropic programs and is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets.

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Naba Sharif

Naba Sharif is a member of the board of directors of the Muslim Public Affairs Council - New York. Dr. Sharif has consistently merged her passions for humanitarian and outreach work, particularly related to underprivileged communities, international concerns and interfaith...

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Jamiel Sheikh

Jamiel Sheikh, a native New Yorker, has been involved with Wall Street, entrepreneurship and technology for over 15 years. Jamiel is passionately engaged in the strategic development of several Muslim organizations that are focused on civic work in New York...

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Maggie Siddiqi

Maggie Siddiqi is program coordinator at the Islamic Society of North America’ Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances in Washington, D.C., where she oversees implementation of interfaith dialogue and community outreach program and conducts outreach to government officials and stakeholders...

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Hira Siddiqui

Hira Siddiqui is the director of operations and education at the UMMA center in Waukegan, IL.

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Haris Tarin

Haris Tarin is currently the director of the Washington DC office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Haris is currently pursuing his graduate work.

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Asma Uddin

Asma T. Uddin is the founder and editor-in-chief of, and president of AltVentures Media, Inc.

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Yusufi Vali

Yusufi Vali is the Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center.

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Manar Waheed

Manar Waheed is the Deputy Policy Director for Immigration at the White House Domestic Policy Council, where she assists with the development of the President’s strategy for building a 21st century immigration system. Prior to joining the White House, Manar...

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Arshia Wajid

Arshia Wajid is the founder of American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP), a national non-profit organization that brings together Muslim-American professionals working in various sectors within healthcare to tackle public health issues within their communities.

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Dawud Walid

Dawud Walid is currently the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), a chapter of America’s largest advocacy and civil liberties organization for Muslims. Walid also serves as an advisory board member of the...

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Khuram Zaman

Khuram Zaman is the general administrator of SeekersGuidance, an online Islamic educational institute specializing in the teaching of sacred knowledge in its modern context through online courses, webinars, weekend seminars, retreats, and through social media.

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Shireen Zaman

Shireen Zaman is the executive director of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), where she has lead the organization’s efforts to establish a presence in Washington, D.C. and is focused on expanding the its impact and visibility in...