University of Southern California

CRCC American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute


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Nadia Roumani, Co-Founder and Director

Nadia Roumani is the Co-Founder and Director of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI). Nadia has worked with a wide range of organizations over the past decade to better understand the needs of Muslim communities across the United States, and develop strategic, structural solutions to address these needs. In addition to her work with AMCLI, Nadia has been involved with research projects and initiatives with the University of Southern California, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

Nadia has also worked with several grantmaking foundations that are supporting Muslim communities in America and/or addressing US-Muslim World Relations. Nadia is currently the Consultant Program Officer for the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art's Building Bridges Program, which aims to improve American's understanding of Muslim societies through arts and media. Nadia has also consulted for the Four Freedoms Fund, Rothschild Foundation, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Jewish Funds for Justice.

Nadia has also worked extensively in the field of international economic development. She was a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, where she co-founded the Global Policy Innovations Program. Prior to that, between 2000 and 2004, Nadia was the Assistant Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a project directed by Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz. She was also a Junior Associate in Stiglitz’s office at the World Bank from 1999-2000. Nadia also consulted for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the United Nations Development Program.

Nadia is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Nadia received her master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and her bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from Stanford University.

Sumaya Abubaker, Project Manager

Sumaya Abubaker serves as project manager for the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture. For over eight years, she has managed many of the Center’s civic engagement leadership institutes for minority faith communities including the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute.

Prior to joining CRCC, she worked for Wells Fargo Bank, the Council for Islamic Education and The Minaret magazine. She spent many years on the board of ELEV8, a nonprofit designed to empower youth with the tools to engage in activism through the arts. Sumaya is a fellow of NewGround, a program that engages diverse groups of Muslim and Jewish Angelenos in an innovative community-building process of intra- and inter-faith education and reflection, leadership training and civic engagement.

Sumaya is also a co-founder of the Rahma Network, an organization established to assist American Muslim communities in addressing sexual violence and abuse. She is a survivor herself and through her involvement in the Rahma Network, she works with survivors, builds resources and conducts speaking engagements on how to prevent and address sexual violence and abuse.

She received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied international development with a specialization in the Middle East/North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.


Brie Loskota, Co-Founder and Special Advisor

Brie Loskota is the managing director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. In this capacity, she oversees the strategic planning and daily operations of an interdisciplinary research center that conducts 25 research and community-based projects each year. She contributes to raising and managing CRCC’s annual budget of $5 million. Additionally, she serves as program officer of the USC Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative, a $3.5 million global program sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation to transform the study of one of the world’s fastest growing religious movements.

Ms. Loskota consults with federal, state, and local government agencies on a variety of issues including disaster preparedness and response, developing faith-based/public partnerships, mental health, and bridging diversity. She speaks and writes frequently on topics such as interfaith engagement, faith-based human services, and religious identity among post-Boomers. She is a regular contributor to Trans/missions, the USC Knight Chair blog on media and religion. She has also written for the Huffington Post, The Brookings Institute and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She also lectures on religion and society, and religion in Los Angeles and has spoken at conferences and meetings sponsored by the Asia Foundation, the US-China Education Trust, Yale University, Union of Reform Judaism, and the University of Dayton, among others.

Leadership development and capacity building for faith communities remains one of Ms. Loskota’s central interests. She is co-founder and special advisor to CRCC’s American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, a program that equips individuals between the ages of 25-40 with skills to enhance civic participation in their communities. Ms. Loskota also served on the executive committee of the Passing the Mantle Clergy and Lay Leadership Institute, a USC program to develop civic leadership among African American clergy and lay leaders and serves on the executive committee of the Faith Leaders Institute, an alliance of Latino and African American clergy run by the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement.

Ms. Loskota serves on a dozen boards and advisory committees focusing on understanding and enhancing the role of religion and religious communities in the public square. She is a member of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the Pacific Council on International Policy.

Prior to joining the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, Ms. Loskota served as the summer program director of the Face to Face/Faith to Faith Summer Institute, as an evaluator and strategic planner for faith-based organizations, a high school teacher, and as a consultant on market research and business management.

She received her M.A. degree from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, studied Hebrew at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and completed her B.A. in history and religion from the University of Southern California.