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.
Gregory Abdullah Mitchell, a licensed attorney in the State of Illinois, joined the IRUSA board in 2021. He has 25 years of experience serving on boards in Chicago and on the national level. Mitchell brings a wealth of knowledge and experience concerning not-for-profit organizations.
Mitchell currently serves as the Executive Director at CIOGC, where, for over two decades, the group has served as the unifying force of 60 member organizations in Illinois. He is heavily involved in developing programs for the youth and focusing to help represent a wide array of ethnicities, races, and cultures including African Americans, Nigerians, South Asians, Arabs, Bosnians, Albanians, Turks, Latinos, Caucasians, and many more. Mitchell brings these extraordinary communities together in cooperation and collaboration to engage and work with the interfaith community, government, media, and the public in general.
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.
Khaled Albadawi is an accomplished entrepreneur and business leader in the greater Seattle area. He began his career in the finance industry after completing his education, gaining valuable experience in finance and management. Khaled worked as a CPA for big four firms and some of the largest and most successful technology companies in America, honing his understanding of the sector and its challenges in senior roles.
In 2020, Khaled founded Diwan Accounting, a business that has quickly become a success. The company empowers smaller organizations that require high-caliber professional accounting but do not necessarily have the budget. Today, Diwan Accounting is a leading provider of cutting-edge accounting and finance solutions and services, with a reputation for excellence and innovation.
Khaled is a committed philanthropist, dedicated to supporting charitable causes in his home country and beyond. He is actively involved in promoting education, healthcare, and economic development, serving as a treasurer on the board of Islamic Relief USA.
Araif Yusuff, MPA, is currently the interim CEO, formerly the Director of Programs for Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), a nonprofit humanitarian and advocacy organization. Araif got his start at IRUSA on its US Programs team, and eventually became manager of the Disaster Management Team, where he led staff and volunteers through dozens of emergency response initiatives throughout the United States. Araif also helped establish the IRUSA Recovery Program in Houston, Texas, after the city suffered major damage in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. He is currently the vice chair of the New Jersey State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NJVOAD), president of the Board of Directors for New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS), a board member for the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD), and an advisory board member for the New York City Faith Sector Community Preparedness Program (FSCPP). He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and a master’s degree in public administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY).
Araif is an avid New England Patriots football fan, enjoys reading, and, most of all, loves spending time with his daughter.
Anwar Khan is the co-founder and current president of Islamic Relief USA. He has 30 years of experience working in the field of humanitarian and development assistance. Khan, who is of Pakistani descent, grew up in England and has lived in the United States since 1994. Under Khan’s leadership, seven IRUSA offices opened across the country, with the headquarters originating in California before moving to Washington, DC.
Khan has extensive experience in conflict and disaster zones; he has traveled to 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 25,000 people. On behalf of IRUSA, he served on the boards of InterAction and US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA). Along with other leaders in the international development field, Khan provides advice, analysis, and recommendations to USAID on the most pressing development issues in the world today. He has also served on the US State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group, where he advised on humanitarian issues and the intersection of faith and development. Currently, he serves on the board of World Food Program USA, Joint Learning Initiative, and the Alliance to End Hunger. He is on the Advisory Council for Muslim Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University.
Khan represented and spoke on behalf of Islamic Relief on several of the UN Interagency Task Force’s stewarded initiatives over many years, including the “Special Session on Faith Engagement” at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey; the UN Commission on the Status of Women; and the Annual Symposia on the Role of Religion and Faith Based Organizations in International Affairs.
In recent years, Khan has focused on inspiring others at IRUSA as well as at other organizations to make positive change in the broader society.
Interim Chief Operating Office and Director of Business Services
Tammam Dandashi joined IRUSA in 2017, and currently serves as Interim COO and Director of Business Services. His portfolio includes operations and facilities, volunteer management, and information technology.
Tammam holds a BS from Tulane University, and an MS from the University of New Orleans, both in Electrical Engineering, and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from George Mason University. Before joining IRUSA, Tammam was a cyber-security professional, safeguarding the networks and digital assets of large corporations.
In his free time, Tammam is passionate about assisting community-based nonprofits achieve their mission. Over the years, he has served on the boards of local, national, and interfaith nonprofits in various capacities.
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.
Director of Public Affairs, Research, and Advocacy
Christina Tobias-Nahi is currently the Director of Public Affairs, Research and Advocacy and has been at the helm of IRUSA’s government and policy engagement and interfaith efforts since late 2006. She stepped down from the Board to help move the headquarters from California to DC.
Tobias-Nahi holds two Masters, one from Harvard Graduate School of Education and another from Boston University-Paris in International Relations. She also has a Bachelors from the University of Hawaii in Ethnology with study abroad in China. Recently, she has completed an Executive certificate program in Community-Based Development from Colorado State University and will complete this year an Executive certificate program in Public Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
During a short stint away from 2011-14, Tobias-Nahi led the International Programs team at the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, with a portfolio on orphans, nutrition, and early childhood development. She also managed the Tech Girls program, a summer program of the US State Department and Legacy International that brings emerging female leaders from the MENA region to DC for leadership training.
Before moving to DC, she spent nearly a decade working at Harvard University with the Islamic Legal Studies Program and the Civil Rights Project, and prior to that was in Paris for many years where she worked for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as a French translator.
From her extensive travels, Tobias-Nahi has a strong interest in the refugee crisis and has utilized platforms such as UN Habitat III, the Conference on World Affairs, the Vatican, and the G20 Interfaith Summits to speak about and raise awareness on the issue. Outside of work she likes to spend time with her family and her many pets and hike the great outdoors.
Director of Marketing
Daoud 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.
Daoud 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.
Daoud 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 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.