BOARD OF DIRECTORS

HAMADI BENGABSIA-MBA, CPA

Chairman

Hamadi Bengabsia is a Vice President at the ViacomCBS Tax Department in New York City. Hamadi has been with ViacomCBS since 2006. He is also a certified Sharia Advisor and Auditor (CSAA) by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).

Prior to joining CBS, he worked at Ernst & Young for eight years. He is a certified public accountant, holds an M.B.A. in accounting and a master’s degree in statistics and applied economics. Hamadi is a member of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), and NYSCPA (New York Society of Certified Public Accountants). In addition to his tax expertise, Hamadi’s main area of concentration is process improvement and technology enablement within the tax department and between the tax and accounting departments.

Hamadi first joined IRUSA’s board in 2012, and subsequently became the board’s treasurer before becoming chariman in 2020. Hamadi has been instrumental in launching the IRUSA Waqf, an endowment that helps support IRUSA’s humanitarian work.

Hamadi has been an active board member of several local centers and schools as well as several relief organizations within his community. He currently sits on the executive committee of the North Hudson Islamic Educational Center, one of the largest Islamic centers in northern New Jersey.

HAMDY RADWAN, PHD

Vice-Chairman

Hamdy Radwan is a professor of Physical Therapy at Winston Salem State University, North Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s of science and master’s of science in Physical Therapy from Cairo University, and received his PhD from Texas Women’s University in Houston. At Winston-Salem State University, Hamdy serves as the director of the transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program, and the director of the Community Care Clinic.

Hamdy was one of the founders of Al-Iman Academy in Houston, and has served as both board chairman of Al-Iman School in Raleigh, NC, and director of the outreach department at the Muslim American Society, Raleigh chapter. He also served as president of the board for the Muslims Association of the Triad in Winson-Salem, NC (also known as Annoor Islamic Center) from 2000 to 2017.

Hamdy joined the IRUSA board of directors in November 2012.

AHMED AZAM

Member

Ahmed Azam is an information science and technology engineer with over 24 years of university teaching experience in the greater Los Angeles area. Azam holds a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Computer Science and Master’s in Information Science and Technology as well as a Master’s Information Systems Management (MISM). Azam is a member of the Operation Research Society of America, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and American Society for Engineering Education.

Azam is an active member of the American Muslim community in the Los Angeles area and has held several leadership positions on both local and national nonprofit and humanitarian organizations. Azam serves on the Board of Trustees of one of the largest and most diverse Islamic organizations in North America. As a founding member of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Azam served in multiple capacities including the Board of Directors and Vice President. Azam was a founder of the Islamic Center of Hawthorne and has served as President of the mosque for over 25 years.

HUSSEIN ATA

Member

Hussein Ata is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Chicago and holds a degree in Electronics and Electromagnetics Engineering (BSEE). Ata has extensive professional experience in nuclear technology and held several leadership positions, while maintaining a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate and supervise nuclear power reactors at the Exelon Nuclear Dresden Power Station.

Ata currently serves as chairman of one of the largest and most diverse Islamic conventions in North America. He has also held various senior leadership positions and served on the Board of Directors of major American Muslim nonprofit organizations in the Chicago metropolitan area. Ata is an active member of the local Chicago Muslim community and is the Vice President of his local mosque, where he previously served as President and Chairman of the Board.

IHAB M. HAMDI SAAD, PHD

Member

Ihab M. Hamdi Saad is a full-time professor and former department chair of Construction Management at Northern Kentucky University. Ihab has also taught at other notable institutions such as the University of Cincinnati.

In addition to his teaching, Ihab is a published author, penning several noteworthy articles on engineering. He is a celebrated speaker at events for the engineering industry.

Ihab has been recognized with numerous awards including the 2004 ASC National Teaching Award; 2003 Pendered Memorial Award at East Carolina University; and the Teaching (1999) and Research (1998) Excellence Awards at Bradley University.

He is a member of several organizations including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); Project Management Institute (PMI); Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE); Egyptian Association of Engineers; and American Society of Training and Development (ASTD).

Ihab joined the IRUSA board of directors in March 2006 and was appointed chairman in May 2011.

KHALED LAMADA

Member

Khaled Lamada serves as president of the Society of American-Egyptian Development (SAED), an education and advocacy group for Egyptians living in the United States.

Khaled is also a member of the Council of Islamic Leaders of New York. He has served as a board member for the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge; as president of the Arab American Muslim Federation (AMAF); and as co-chairman of the Islamic Circle of North America and Muslim American Society (ICNA-MAS) national convention.

Khaled first joined IRUSA’s board of directors in 2011.

 

EXECUTIVE TEAM

SHARIF ALY

Chief Executive Officer

Sharif Aly is the Chief Executive Officer at Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA). Sharif joined the IRUSA as Advocacy Counsel in 2014. During his tenure as Advocacy Counsel, Sharif led IRUSA strategic advocacy campaigns focused on key strategic areas including food security programs, refugee resettlement, civil society and humanitarian access, as well as climate change and environmental policies. Sharif also served as IRUSA’s Lead United Nations representative where he developed and utilized evidence-based research to advocate on behalf of the organization’s core values, programs philosophy, and policy positions. As Advocacy Counsel, Sharif led major non-governmental coalition efforts to promote and strengthen financial access for civil society organizations.

As Chief Executive Officer, Sharif oversees a dynamic team of executives committed to carry out IRUSA’s humanitarian programs in the areas of disaster response, international relief and development and domestic social services programs. Sharif is a subject-matter expert and frequent speaker on various topics in the humanitarian and development sector, including the intersection of faith and humanitarian relief and development.

Prior to IRUSA, Sharif served as the Executive Director and General Counsel of Oaktree Institute, Inc., a leadership and educational nonprofit organization that aims to develop value-driven, action-focused, and results-oriented leaders. While at Oaktree Institute, Sharif led a team of subject matter experts in a comprehensive and systematic way to develop and implement educational programs of a newly-formed nonprofit organization, build leadership capacity, and provide support for community-based initiatives. Sharif has over 15 years of experience in a wide range in the nonprofit sector, in areas including nonprofit law and management, civil litigation and arbitration, community development and humanitarian sector advocacy. Sharif is a 2009 graduate of Hofstra University School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor degree, served on the Dean’s Advisory Committee and President of the Muslim Law Students Association.

In 2018, the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross appointed Sharif to the organization’s National Diversity Advisory Council. In 2019, Sharif was nominated and elected to the InterAction Board of Directors.

ANWAR KHAN

President

Anwar Khan has more than twenty years of experience working in the field of humanitarian and development assistance. Anwar is of Pakistani descent and grew up in England, but has lived in the United States since 1994. He holds a degree in biochemistry.

In 1993, Anwar began working with Islamic Relief Worldwide, then moved to the United States in 1994 where he helped start Islamic Relief USA. Since then, he has aided in IRUSA’s expansion, and under his leadership, seven IRUSA offices opened across the country, with the headquarters originating in California and then moving to Washington, DC.

Anwar has extensive experience in the field: he has traveled to conflict and disaster zones including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Palestine, Sudan, Haiti, Yemen, Pakistan, and Syria. He has also traveled for development work in Africa and South Asia, visiting locations including Timbuktu. In the United States, he helped set up an extensive volunteer network that now consists of several thousand people. On behalf of IRUSA, Anwar has been appointed to the board of Interaction, Joint Learning Initiative (JLI), and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA). Along with other leaders in the international development field, Anwar provides advice, analysis, and recommendations to USAID on the most pressing development issues in the world today. He has also served on the U.S. State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group, where he advised on humanitarian issues and the intersection of faith and development.

Anwar is a dynamic motivational speaker on various topics in the humanitarian and development sector. Before becoming IRUSA President, Anwar held a variety of leadership roles at Islamic Relief USA, directing Islamic Relief USA’s program efforts; managing its fundraising offices and operations; overseeing its fund development work; and leading the organization as Chief Executive Officer. Anwar is the longest serving staff members in the organization.

SHERIF AHMED

Chief Operating Officer

Sherif Ahmed is the current VP of Finance and Administration at Islamic Relief USA, where he oversees the daily operations of the organization.

Sherif holds both BS and MBA degrees in Economics and Statistics from Pace University, Lubin School of Business, and he is currently a PhD candidate, studying Constitutional Economics at the International University of Malaysia. In addition, Sherif is a visiting lecturer at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Within his career, Sherif has held a variety of positions, including fund management lead, corporate M&A strategy analyst, head of trade operations and controls, across New York City investment firms, including Credit Suisse First Boston, LiquidNet, and Harris Nesbitt.

He is very passionate about volunteering for sustainable development programs, and does so as often as he can.

 

AHMED SHEHATA

Director of Fund Development

Ahmed Shehata, who holds a master’s degree in management, is certified in fundraising management (CFRM) and has more than 20 years of experience as a fund development professional. Early on in his career, he volunteered with local grassroots organizations to serve multiple humanitarian causes. He was first introduced to Islamic Relief in 1999 when he volunteered on his visit to England. Five years later, Ahmed joined the organization permanently as a development coordinator at IRUSA’s Chicago office.

In 2008, Ahmed became IRUSA’s Midwest regional manager. He then became the organization’s Community Relations Manager after moving to IRUSA’s headquarter office in DC.

Later, in 2018, Ahmed was promoted to Director of Fund Development. Since taking over the Fund Development division, Ahmed has helped grow its humanitarian work to reach millions of people in need around the world, and has helped nurture and build long-lasting community relationships within the sphere of humanitarianism.

Ahmed loves to spend time with his wife and two kids.

CHRISTINA TOBIAS-NAHI

Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Christina Tobias-Nahi has been at the helm of IRUSA’s public affairs efforts since 2006. Prior to rejoining the organization as Director of Public Affairs, Christina lead International Programs at the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, with a portfolio on orphans and nutrition. She also managed the program Tech Girls, a summer program of the U.S. State Department and Legacy International that brings emerging female leaders from the Middle East and North Africa to DC for leadership training.

Christina holds a post-graduate certificate in Community-Based Development and an M.A. in International Relations from Boston University-Paris, where she spent two years working in Paris for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). She then obtained her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and worked at Harvard for nearly a decade with the Islamic Legal Studies Program and the Civil Rights Project.

In 2016, she partook in an interfaith, interagency team trip to Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Then, in fall of 2018, she similarly visited Moria camp in Lesbos, Greece.

Christina has utilized platforms such as UN Habitat III, the Conference on World Affairs, and the G20 Interfaith Summit to speak about and raise awareness on the refugee crisis.

DAOUD HAWA

Director of Marketing

Mr. Hawa is a communications professional with more than 25 years of experience in advertising, marketing, project management, video production, graphic design, public relations, and web design. He holds a communications degree from George Mason University and is certified in fundraising management (CFRM) from the Lily School of Philanthropy, Indiana University.

Mr. Hawa is the Director of Marketing at IRUSA. Skilled in managing projects, budgets, operational plans, and structure, He has expanded IRUSA’s marketing efforts to include advertising, direct marketing, web experience, engagement, social media, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer efforts, photography, videography, graphic design, campaign development, and so much more.

Prior to Islamic Relief, Mr. Hawa worked as an art director in New York and Washington, DC. His career history includes companies such as AOL, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ciber Inc, CareerBuilder, and 20/20 design. He also founded and lead marketing and design firm Daze Studios, where he served over 150 clients from small to large firms in over 20 different sectors such as the Fairfax County, Oracle, NASA, GMU, and Accenture.

Mr. Hawa serves on several boards within his local community. In his free time, he enjoys sporting events with his family, coaching little league, and taking his kids to Costco for their amazing pizza.

ASHAR AKHTAR

General Counsel

Ashar Akhtar joined Islamic Relief USA’s Legal Department in 2018.

Ashar holds an undergraduate degree in Commerce with a concentration in Finance from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and Juris Doctor from the College of William and Mary School of Law.   Prior to joining Islamic Relief USA, he served in various corporate in-house counsel positions in a variety of industries, including hospitality, financial services and business process outsourcing.   Most recently, Ashar served as corporate counsel for a major accounting firm, where he was responsible for managing risk for a $250M region and lead counsel for international engagements, renewable energy transactions and tax credit services.

Ashar oversees organizational compliance, advises on risk management, and advocates for legal and regulatory issues that impact nonprofits working on issues of relief and development.  He serves on the steering committee for InterAction’s Together Project and mentors both law students and attorneys interested in pursuing or transitioning to a career in the nonprofit industry. In his spare time, Ashar enjoys travelling, running, Virginia Cavalier basketball and motorsports.

Islamic Relief USA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID# 95-4453134) | CFC# 10194 | Islamic Relief USA © 2021 | All Rights Reserved

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