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America’s Unofficial Ambassadors
AKBAR AHMED, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington DC, was the High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain. He has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush, General David Petraeus and Secretary Michael Chertoff on Islam. Ahmed is “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam” according to the BBC. More
Ahmed was appointed in September 2008 as the first Distinguished Chair for Middle East/Islamic Studies at the US Naval Academy and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. He is a member of the Board of Regents Subcommittee, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda and Consultant to the first course on Islam organized by the Beth El Synagogue, Bethesda. Ahmed has been Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and has taught at Princeton, Harvard and Cambridge Universities. Ahmed was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Liverpool, received his PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, MA and Diploma in Education from Cambridge University, and Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honors) from Birmingham University.
Ahmed is currently working on The Top Twenty Troubling Questions Americans have about Islam to be published by Brookings Press. Ahmed was on sabbatical from 2008 through to 2009 conducting a study of American society through the experiences of the Muslim community. He toured the United States with his American assistants and their journey with accompanying film footage can be seen on journeyintoamerica.wordpress.com. A film, Journey Into America, and a book, Journey Into America: The Challenge of Islam, published by Brooking Institution Press (2010), contain the findings. This is an unprecedented study based in fieldwork of Muslims in America. Ahmed’s book of verse, Suspended Somewhere Between, is published in April 2011.
ANNE GLAUBER is Executive Vice President of Ruder Finn, and Director of the Global Issues Communications Group. Ms. Glauber has more than 25 years experience working with a diverse range of corporations, institutions, government sectors and UN agencies with one common theme: complex issues that present unusual communications challenges. Her communications programs have focused on a range of issues including environmental, energy and renewable energy, international trade, economic development, ethics, domestic violence, women’s equality, education and literacy, global security, Middle East peace initiatives, among others. More
Ms. Glauber specializes in raising awareness for major public and social issues to strengthen corporate reputations causes, non-profit initiatives and public policy. Past clients have included Acciona, ABB, Ford Credit, Norsk Hydro, Pertamina, Silver Spring Networks, Liz Claiborne, Inc ,The Gallup Organization, and Macy’s; United Nations agencies, including United Nations Development Program, United Nations Fund for Women, United Nations Environment Program, educational, foundations and non-profit organizations, including, the Family Violence Prevention Fund, UNA-USA, Harvard Negotiation Project, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Global Green, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pearson Foundation. She has worked directly with President Mikhal Gorbachev in communications and media relations surrounding his environmental initiatives and developed campaigns for Ethiopia and Brazil around economic development issues. Her corporate social responsibility programs have won every award in the public relations industry.
In 2004, Anne was recognized by Women’s eNews as one of the 21 leaders for the 21st century, for her work as chair of the Business Council for Peace (BPeace), a nonprofit organization that builds businesses for women in regions of conflict and post-conflict, working specifically in Afghanistan, Rwanda and Israel. Her op-ed articles have appeared in every newspaper in the country, including New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. She has authored chapters in Becoming Myself: Reflections On Growing Up Female, edited by Willa Shalit and Mapping the New World of American Philanthropy: Causes and Consequences of the Transfer of Wealth, edited by Dr. Susan Raymond.
Anne received a B.A. from Carnegie Mellon and an M.A. with distinction from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She was a fellow of the Salzburg Seminar, based in Salzburg, Austria, an international leadership program recognizing individuals who make innovative contributions to the public and private sector. Anne is the president of the American Friends of the Parents Circle, an Israeli and Palestinian co-existence initiative, a board member of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Initiatives, Women’s eNews and the East 55th Street Synagogue.
She lives in New York City and has two children, Lili and David.
SARAH HASSAINE is Business Manager for the Middle East and North Africa Unit at Internews Network, an international media organization that works to support local media outlets, journalist associations and broadcast networks in over 70 countries worldwide. She leads teams in strategy, design, and builds web sites that focus on policy and development. More
Sarah also has experience with testing users on web sites to determine optimal usage and in determining social media strategies for clients that guarantee better online prominence.
Prior to digital communications consulting, Sarah worked at BearingPoint consulting on business operations in hospital pharmacies. In January of 2010, Sarah got certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Personal Trainer working with women on adopting a more fit and healthy lifestyle. As the Co-Chair of the DC Chapter of the Network of Arab American Professionals, she plans monthly events in the community that focus on bringing people together to engage in social work in the DC area. In addition, Sarah is an avid community volunteer – she has worked CAIR for over 10 years and has dedicated time to ADC, AAI and IRW. She is part of the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Group and sits on an Advisory Committee for the National Museum of African American Art.
Sarah received a Master’s degree in Public Policy at George Washington University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of California San Diego.
LOBNA “Luby” ISMAIL, founder and president of Connecting Cultures, LLC., is a training specialist with over fifteen years of experience in the areas of cross-cultural communication, cultural competence, Arab and American cultures, Islamic awareness and religious diversity. More
Selected as a Peace Fellow for Seeds of Peace and a Malone Fellow in Middle East and Islamic Studies by the National Council for U.S. and Arab Relations, Luby participated in a study visit to Saudi Arabia. She has been selected to present her findings at the Arabian Society for Human Resource Management conference and the Society for Human Resources’ Workplace Diversity and annual conferences on emerging cultural and religious diversity issues and Muslim awareness.
Most recently, Luby helped develop and launch two exciting dialogue initiatives to break down barriers across cultures and faiths (http://www.20000dialogues.org/ and http://www.groundzerodialogue.org/), a nationwide campaign to stimulate discussion between people of different faiths through films, and http://www.changethestory.net/, an interactive experience where users—Muslim and non-Muslim alike—can learn about Islam and apply techniques of interfaith dialogue to build bridges of understanding across lines of faith and culture. Luby has also conducted trainings for Federal and State agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and private corporations including AETNA, Walt Disney World, U.S. Department of Justice, CVS, King Abdullah University for Science and Technology, Foreign Service Institute, IBM, Shell Chemicals, Sunoco, National Council for International Visitors, ARMY, Michigan National Guard, Air Force Academy and Culture and Language Center, Exxon Mobil, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Transportation Security Administration, Brookhaven National Laboratories, Campbell Soup Company and NIKE.
She holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a B.A. in International Service from The American University in Washington, DC. She has traveled extensively – throughout Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan, the West Bank, Jerusalem and Israel and most recently, Singapore and Mexico. Luby is married to Alex Kronemer, a writer and documentary filmmaker (see his work at http://www.upf.tv). They have three children, Sharif, Zakaria and Laila.
MARGARET M. MCLAUGHLIN has over thirty-five years experience in various federal and non-profit agencies as an international development and domestic program director, trainer, and evaluator. More
Among her international duties, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in two countries (Senegal and Jamaica), Peace Corps regional staff member for three tours in Washington DC, a Senior Education Officer for USAID’s Africa Bureau, Education Deputy Director for Save The Children USA, and a Senior Associate for a USAID contractor working on education and health in countries in crisis. Currently, she is the Deputy Director for the Stability Operations Division at the Foreign Institute Service of the US Department of State. Her subject matter expertise is in international development program development, implementation and evaluation; adult education; and conflict resolution.
Margaret received a Doctorate in International Education and a Master’s degree in Teaching. Margaret is conversant in French and Wolof, a Senegalese language. In her spare time, Margaret volunteers with two local organizations contributing to relief efforts in Haiti and promote volunteerism in Muslim-majority countries.
WILLIAM GREEN MILLER has been a Senior Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center since January 2003. As the former Ambassador to Ukraine, he has had a long career of public service working on foreign affairs and defense policy in both the executive and legislative branches of government has been deepened by his experience teaching at universities and as a leader of non-governmental foreign policy organizations. More
Educated at Williams College, Oxford and Harvard, Ambassador Miller entered the Foreign Service in 1959, serving five years in Iran, and later in Washington as a line officer and in the office of Secretary of State Dean Rusk.
The Ambassador served in the United States Senate in 1967 as adviser to Senator John Sherman Cooper for foreign policy, arms control and defense policy. Ambassador Miller had an important role in forging the legislation that brought the Vietnam War to an end. He also contributed to the successful efforts to ratify the SALT I and ABM Treaties. His work as staff director of three special Senate committees led to constructive solutions of the problems arising from national emergencies and delegated presidential emergency powers, war powers, national commitments, the constitutional oversight of the intelligence activities of the United States, and a broad range of foreign policy, arms control and defense issues. In 1981 the United States Senate passed a special resolution commending Ambassador Miller “for exceptional contributions and for his dedication, loyalty, integrity, and service.”
From 1981 to 1983 Ambassador Miller was associate dean and professor of International Politics of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. As a research associate at both Tufts and Harvard and as a Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics in 1986, he researched foreign policy and defense issues. In 1986 Ambassador Miller returned to Washington as President of the American Committee on United States-Soviet Relations. He traveled frequently throughout the Soviet Union and obtained first-hand knowledge of the great changes taking place. As president of the International Foundation during the period of Perestroika, the Ambassador worked with Andrei Sakharov, Tatiana Zaglavskaya, Evegenii Velikhov, Roald Sagdeev, Robert McNamara, Dr. Jerome Wiesner, Father Theodore Hesburgh and others on human rights, arms control, and environmental, political and economic issues of concern to the United States and the Soviet Union.
He was a senior consultant to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and president of the Committee on American-Russian Relations. He has written extensively on foreign policy and defense issues and was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration in 1984 “for distinguished contributions and personal commitment to the public service.” He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The International Institute of Strategic Studies, and the Middle East Institute.
SUSAN RAYMOND, is the Executive Vice President, Changing Our World, Inc. and has extensive experience in research, analysis and planning, most recently with the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences. More
Susan was appointed Director of Strategic Planning and Special Projects after creating the Academy’s first technology and public policy program. Prior to this, Susan was a project officer at the World Bank and a senior consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development and to various private organizations including the Carnegie Corporation, specializing in healthcare and international economic research. She has led the formation of private foundations in Poland, Croatia, and Hungary and written business plans for foundations in India and Thailand.
Under her leadership and during the political transition, Friends of Litewska Hospital became one of the first and most successful private philanthropies in Warsaw, Poland. From 2005 through 2007, Susan was the Foreign Policy and Research Advisor to the bipartisan Congressional Commission studying the effectiveness of public and private foreign assistance, the Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People Commission. Susan is a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Global Prosperity in Washington, D.C., and a Faculty Lecturer at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University.
Susan currently serves as Chief Analyst for onPhilanthropy.com, Changing Our World’s media division and a global resource for nonprofit professionals. She has written research papers on such topics as: Nonprofit Hospitals in America: Lives, Jobs and Philanthropy and Enabling the Progress of the Mind: Trends in Higher Education Philanthropy, and Funding the Changing Face of Private Education. Her most recent book on philanthropy is Finance for Hard Times: Nonprofit Revenue Strategies in Economic Crisis, published by Wiley and Sons in December 2009. She is also the author of Mapping the New World of American Philanthropy: Causes and Consequences of the Transfer of Wealth and The Future of Philanthropy: Economics, Ethics, and Management.
Susan has published extensively in the areas of philanthropy, economics, health care and corporate responsibility in such journals as Foreign Affairs, Development, Economic Reform Today, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Journal of Healthcare Administration Education, and Technological Forecasting and Social Change. She is also a Project Team member of the Macroeconomics of Cardiovascular Disease project of the Center for Macroeconomics and Health of the Earth Institute at Columbia University under Jeffrey Sachs. She is co-author of the recently released A Race Against Time: The Challenge of Cardiovascular Disease in Developing Economies.
Susan earned her BA Phi Beta Kappa from Macalester College and her MA and Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies with a substantive focus on health and medical economics in the international public health environment. She has worked on philanthropy and economic development projects throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, as well as in Russia and Asia.
DAVID A. ROBINSON is currently World Vision International’s Senior Advisor for Operations which takes him regularly to Africa, Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. More
From 1985 to 1991 he and his family lived in Nouakchott, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, where he was World Vision’s director. Their friendships with Mauritanians gave him a deep appreciation for what Christians can learn from Muslims and vice versa. From 1991 to 2000 Dave was World Vision’s Director of Christian-Muslims Relations and coordinated inter-religious conflict resolution and peace-building initiatives. He trained World Vision staff and board members on Christian-Muslim relations in Asia and Africa. In 1999, he directed the organization’s project in Albania and initiated inter-religious conflict resolution work in Kosovo. From 2000 to 2008 he served as World Vision’s Vice President for the Middle East, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe Region, based in Cyprus. He previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, West Africa.
Dave earned his BA in Philosophy and Geology at the College of Wooster in Ohio and his Masters of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is also ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA.
TAHIR SHAD is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies, the Director of International Studies, and the Faculty Liaison to the Office of International Programs at Washington College. Shad developed and implemented 40 international programs in 25 countries, including exchange programs, study abroad programs and summer programs. He established faculty exchanges in China, South Africa, France and England; and academic sessions abroad in Ecuador for environmental studies, in England for English literature, and in Tanzania for interdisciplinary studies. More
As an expert in Middle Eastern and African affairs, Professor Shad is a frequent political commentator on National Public Radio and, in Jamaica, on the radio show “Breakfast Club.” He has had articles published in Arab Studies Quarterly and in Regime Change and Regime Maintenance in Asia and the Pacific, published by the Australian National University.
Educated in the U.K., Shad received a bachelor’s degree with honors in political science from the School of African and Asian Studies at University of Sussex, and earned his post-graduate certificate in education from the London Institute of Education, London University. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science at University of Pittsburgh; where a number of his top students go on to pursue graduate studies in international affairs.
M. OSMAN SIDDIQUE, the first Muslim-American to serve as a US Ambassador, is the Chairman of the AUA Diplomatic Council. M. Osman Siddique served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Fiji with concurrent accreditations to the Kingdom of Tonga, the Republic of Nauru and the Government of Tuvalu from 1999-2001. Prior to his appointment as the US Ambassador, he was the Chairman/CEO of ITT/Travelogue, a company he founded in Washington, DC in 1976 and which became a major national chain.More
In 1996, Ambassador Siddique also founded International Travel Technologies (ITT) and acquired TravelNet, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio. Ambassador Siddique was the founding member and shareholder of CorpNet International, a consortium of domestic and international travel companies, with revenues in excess of $ 1.5 billion. Other ventures co-founded by Ambassador Siddique were in the areas of banking, real-estate and international trade.
He has been prominently profiled and recognized by Forbes, Inc, Success, Wall Street Journal and other national and international media. Ambassador Siddique has held many important board positions and currently holds a number of company directorships and advisory positions. In addition to his business activities, he has always been very active in his community. He has served on several Presidential delegations, including the White House Conference on Travel & Tourism, and the First Hemispheric Trade & Commerce Forum. He also served as a member of the National Democratic Institute’s International Observer Delegation to the Bangladesh Parliamentary Elections in 1996. In 1999, he was the Co-Leader of the First Meeting of the Conference of the Pacific Community held in Tahiti. Served as Trustee to the Board of Bryant University, Providence, R.I. (1996-1999). In March 2000, President Bill Clinton invited Ambassador Siddique to join the Presidential entourage on its historic State visit to India and Bangladesh, as a member of his Cabinet Delegation. He was one of the Co-Chairs to the 2005 US-Islamic World Forum held in Doha, Qatar, jointly sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the Emir of Qatar.
Ambassador Siddique received his MBA from Indiana University in 1974. He and his wife, Catherine, have four children. They have been active and involved in many philanthropic and community based organizations. They live in McLean, Virginia.
SAMIR TOUBASSY is a Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Global Education Partners, a worldwide firm that offers advice to leaders of educational organizations. Currently he is a Senior Fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University and also a Senior Advisor to The Olayan Group, serving on their Executive Board. More
Mr. Toubassy worked for The Olayan Group for thirty years. Prior to his retirement he was President of Olayan Development Corporation and former Vice President of the Group’s parent company. The Olayan Group is one of the largest privately held global business conglomerates with offices in Riyadh, Athens, London and New York City. Prior to joining the Olayan Group, he worked with the Ford Foundation in public administration reform in the Middle East, for the American University of Beirut and as an administrator to the University of California system. Mr. Toubassy served for several years as a board member of Coca-Cola Beverages, Coca-Cola Hellenic, Frigoglass Group of Companies; he was a Senior Advisor to Credit Suisse and member of the Advisory Board to Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Mr. Toubassy is a Trustee and Vice Chairman of the Nomination and Governance Committee of Thunderbird School of Global Management. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge University; a member of the Dean’s Council, John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and serves on the board of the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) a voluntary organization working for the Middle East. For the past twelve years Mr. Toubassy has been actively involved in the World Economic Forum.
Mr Toubassy holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut and an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He and his wife, Abla, have two adult sons and three grandchildren.
JEFF WEISS is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and U.S. Peace Corps Country Director, U.S. Small Business Administration Director for MSB/COD/T&TA and Deputy District Director. More
Later in the course of his thirty two years of federal service, Jeff was a member of the U.S. Department of Justice Senior Executive Service, where he directed the Department’s community relations programs and later, the political asylum and refugee programs. At the Department of Justice, Jeff received both the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Presidential Rank Award.
Jeff received his undergraduate degree at Yale University in Political Science and International Relations, and his graduate degree in Public Administration at Southern Methodist University. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the President and CEO of Creative Associates International Inc.