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.
Esra Tunc Nonprofit Fellow
Board of Directors
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.
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 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.
Essma Bengabsia is an investor by profession and social justice advocate by passion. She is an enthusiast of financial inclusion and socioeconomic justice across racial, gender, and geographic lines.
Essma is a Senior Associate in sustainable and impact investing. She is also a World Economic Forum Global Shaper in Philadelphia. Essma serves on the boards of the American Muslim Community Foundation and The Muslim Network, an organization that seeks to unite Muslim communities in New Jersey across all backgrounds.
Essma’s favorite quote is, “But still, like air, I’ll rise” (Maya Angelou).
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.
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 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.
- Athar Siddiqee Strategic Planning & Development
- Ayat Elnoory Human Resources/Co-Founder
- Basil Hashem Strategic 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!