The team behind the vision, delivering the mission.

Our board members, staff, and volunteers work hard to operate our national, grassroots community foundation.

Staff

 

Ateea Kazi Marketing Coordinator

Muhi Khwaja Co-Founder, Director of Development & Philanthropy

Earning a Bachelor’s in History and Psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2009, Muhi Khwaja didn’t know what to do until the summer before graduating. The Development Summer Internship Program at the University of Michigan sparked an interest in fundraising (development) as a career. After working with several nonprofit organizations, he earned his Master’s in Public Administration in 2013, from U-M, specializing in nonprofit management. Muhi has over a decade of experience as a development professional with several nonprofits including: University of Michigan, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Council for American-Islamic Relations – Michigan, Islamic Relief USA, Institute for Social Policy & Understanding, Ta’leef Collective, Islamic Scholarship Fund, Indian Muslim Relief & Charities, Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership, Our Three Winners Foundation, Notable Music & Arts Organization, the American Red Cross, and Environmental Data & Governance Initiative which all led to his founding the American Muslim Community Foundation. 

In 2016 he became a Certified Fund Raising Executive from the Association of Fundraising Professionals and in 2017 earned a Certificate of Fund Raising Management from Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy where he is also Adjunct Faculty. Muhi is also pursuing his Graduate Certificate in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University and is expected to complete it in 2022. 

Muhi served as the Director of Development & Philanthropy at AMCF from 2019 to 2021 and worked with donors to connect them with nonprofits creating impact, helping families distribute more than $3.5 million. AMCF serves as a the only national nonprofit organization focused on creating Donor Advised Funds, Giving Circles, distributing grants, partnering on fiscal sponsorships, & building endowments for the American Muslim community. He also hosts the #MuslimPhilanthropy Podcast. 

In 2021 Muhi joined the MAVEN Project as the Chief Development Officer where he will oversee the fundraising strategy to help provide more access and equity to comprehensive medical care, especially for vulnerable populations across the country, through community health centers.

 

Anna Kovchina Bookkeeper

 

Ola Mohamed Nonprofit Fellow

 

Yasmeen Munasser Data Administrator

 

Jone Saukitoga Website Administrator

 

Esra Tunc Nonprofit Fellow

Board of Directors

Safaa Ibrahim President, Co-Founder

Safaa is a non-profit institutional development leader.  Her early career path emerged as a project manager in web solutions. As she committed her leisure time towards community volunteerism, she searched for an altruistic purpose in her vocation and shifted focus towards the advancement of civic and social non-profit causes. Safaa has served six non-profit organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations-California (CAIR-CA), Islamic Center of Santa Cruz, GiveLight Foundation, Family Network, Egypt Cancer Network and Averroes Institute.  She’s held a wide-range of roles that spanned from Board President, to Treasure, Executive Director, Operations Director, and Programs Director. With a over two decades of combined experience in the private and public sector, She has harnessed a blend of innovative, organizational and strategy focused approaches to achieve vital long-term health for organizations seeking to solidify their infrastructural and institutional framework.  Safaa is passionate about bringing together diverse resources to mobilize a community and to expand the capacity of nonprofits to deliver service and value.

 

Agnes Chong Vice President, Legal

Agnes brings her considerable experience in founding organizations and programs to the American Muslim Community Foundation. She has broad knowledge of nonprofit law and compliance issues, and a deep understanding of the sector based on her empirical research into Muslim nonprofits. She earned her doctoral and masters degrees at Stanford Law School, was a George L. Lieberman Fellow in 2013-2014 and co-founder of the Stanford Program in Law and Society. Her research analyzed the impact of post-9/11 counter-terrorism measures on Muslim community organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Prior to joining Stanford, Agnes worked exclusively in the nonprofit sector. She was Director of Programs and Outreach and Civil Rights Coordinator at CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and served as the Legal Clinic Director of the Muslim Community Association Legal Clinic.  In her hometown of Sydney, Australia, she worked for the community law sector as an attorney, policy officer, and community legal educator. In that time she served as a Board Member of the Combined Community Legal Centres Group (NSW) Inc, the peak body of community legal centres in the state of New South Wales, where she also co-convened the Law Reform and Policy Committee.  She co-founded the Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network (AMCRAN), and led the production of three editions of the publication, Anti-terrorism laws: ASIO, the Police and You, a guide to the rights and responsibilities under Australia’s anti-terror laws.

Omar Hassan Treasurer

Omar is a financial leader who believes that the way forward for philanthropy and the Muslim community is to build a sustainable framework for funding initiatives that can be both self-preserving and adaptable.  Omar is also currently an active member at his local masjid where he volunteered as a teacher at their Sunday school. Omar has mainly focused his professional career in the asset management sector where he currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Cloverlay, a special situations private equity firm. Prior to joining Cloverlay, Omar worked at various other global alternative asset managers. Omar is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of NY. Omar enjoys traveling, experiencing other cultures, sports, and cooking. His most important role in this world is being a husband to his wife and a father to his three young children.

Sherrin Nasr Interim Secretary

Sherrin focuses her energy at AMCF on process & policy as well as grant-writing. She has a degree in physical therapy and currently works as a project manager implementing healthcare software & training programs. She also serves on the board for other charities and is an active volunteer chaplain at her local hospital. Sherrin is passionate about all things dessert, and luckily is also an avid runner.

Ayman Elsawah General Member, Co-Founder

Ayman has served with nonprofits for most of his adult life. Helping them fund raise over the years, he realized that many organizations were re-inventing the wheel and spending an enormous amount of time fundraising and not focused on their operations. American Muslim Community Foundation is an effort to change that and evolve the American Muslim Donor ecosystem. Ayman’s experience and leadership skills demonstrate time and again his strategic thinking, independent decisiveness, and his ability to mentor/guide those around him.

MehdiReza Hirji General Member

Mehdi is a passionate community activist. He has been serving his local community in a variety of social justice, religious, civic, and professional settings. He currently serves on the boards of Shia Muslim Council, UMMA Community Clinic, Muslim Burial Organization of Los Angeles and previously served boards of CAIR’ PAC and the PADRE Foundation.

Professionally, Mehdi is an accomplished executive with over 20 years of experience in a variety of management and leadership roles. He currently is the Vice President of Strategy Management Office at Bio-Rad Laboratories, a diagnostic and life science company. MehdiReza graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Fullerton in Accounting and Finance. He is licensed CPA.

Mehdi’s work is inspired by the selfless giving exemplified by Ali ibn Abu Talib. He strives to emulate Ali ibn Abu Talib’s teaching of equity,  A person is either your brother in faith, or your equal in humanity.

Faryal M. Khatri General Member

Faryal is a healthcare philanthropy professional. She currently works at Children’s Medical Center Foundation, a leading not-for-profit health system in the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex. Faryal graduated with a Masters in Philanthropic Studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She specializes in fundraising strategy, donor relations, and effective communications to help organizations retain and grow their donor base.

Inspired by Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, Faryal is committed to community service and social justice rooted in faith. In 2018, she received the El-Hibri Foundation’s Scholarship for Advancing Inclusion and Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research’s Malcolm X Vanguards of Justice Scholarship. Faryal volunteers on the Programs Committee at the Valley Ranch Islamic Center and as the City Coordinator for Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research. She is also a member of the Executive Board of American Muslim Healthcare Professionals.

 

Marwah Maasarani General Member

Marwah brings her experience as an Evaluation Coordinator at the International Rescue Committee and years of experience as a Senior Program Analyst at Charity Navigator to AMCF. Marwah is on the Grants Governance Committee. Marwah resides in New Jersey.

Advisory Committee

  • Athar Siddiqee Strategic Planning & Development
  • Ayat Elnoory Human Resources/Co-Founder
  • Basil Hashem Strategic Advisor
  • Essma Bengabsia Investment Advisor
  • Ghada Ahmad Strategic Planning & Development 
  • Joe Bradford Religious Finance Scholar 
  • Kinan Alhoch Marketing
  • Michael Ramos-Lynch Legal
  • Osman Arain Investment Advisor
  • Shafath Syed Marketing/ Strategic Planning 
  • Shams Khan Fundraising/Philanthropy 

 

If you are looking for opportunities to leverage your skillset and expertise for the American Muslim Community Foundation, please email us your resume and LinkedIn profile!