University of Southern California

CRCC American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute

Basim Elkarra

Image of 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. During the last six years, Elkarra has run CAIR California's Muslim Youth Leadership Program (MYLP) at California’s State Capitol. Elkarra regularly testifies in hearings at the state capitol and appears regularly in the media as a commentator on issues of civil liberties, the Muslim American community, and foreign affairs.

Elkarra's hard work and dedication to defending civil rights and building bridges between communities has brought him an array of public recognition. The Sacramento Bee named Elkarra "Devout and Dynamic" in an in-depth profile of the young executive director. He was honored by former Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante for his "Outstanding Community Service." He has received awards from the Organization of Chinese Americans, the Harry Truman Democratic Club, California State Controller John Chiang, and received California State Legislature Resolution #52064 for his work in California.

Elkarra currently serves as Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's Liaison to the Muslim and Middle Eastern Community, Los Rios College Bond Oversight Board, American Civil Liberties Union-Sacramento Chapter Board, New Leaders Council (NLC-Sacramento) Advisory Board, Sacramento Police Advisory Committee, Sacramento Public Library Multicultural Council and the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association's (APAPA) Outreach Committee. Elkarra, a San Francisco native holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Elkarra currently serves as a fellow with the American Leadership Forum (ALF).