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 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.
Vice President of Finance and Administration
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.
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 Marketing
David 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.
David is the Director of Marketing at IRUSA. Skilled in managing projects, budgets, operational plans, and structure, David 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, David 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.
David 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.
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.
Dawn Sikorski has worked as in-house counsel at Islamic Relief USA since 2011.
She graduated from Cornell Law School and worked at a law firm on non-profit law and litigation before joining IRUSA.
Dawn oversees organizational compliance, advises on risk management, and advocates for legal and regulatory issues that impact nonprofits working on issues of relief and development.
She serves on a World Bank Multi-Sectoral Working Group to address issues of financial access for international NGOs and serves on the steering committee for InterAction’s Together Project. Her areas of interest include international development, religious liberties, financial access and sanctions law. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting.