Dr. Ali Alhakami
is the founder and president of Inma Education Est., which focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship, youth programs as well as a full range of educational services. He is also a consultant at the National Center for Assessment in Higher Education. His current research and work interests include reforming educational institutions, the prevention of youth radicalization and other problem behaviors, and the application of positive psychology to education, work, and youth development.
Dr. Ali is the former CEO of Tatweer Company for Educational Services, and the former General Manager of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Public Education Development Project (Tatweer). In his former position, he led the development of the Saudi K-12 strategy that is driving the investments in the sector and led the implementation of several national educational reform programs.
He also worked at the Saudi Ministry of Education as General Manager for Assessment and Evaluation and as Assistant Deputy Minister for Educational Development. Prior to that, he was an assistant and associate professor at the Psychology Department, Imam University and served as the vice dean of the College of Social Sciences there.
Dr. Ali has collaborated on educational projects with several regional and international organizations including UNESCO, UNICEF and ABEGS.
He received his PhD in psychology from the University of Oregon (USA) and has published in leading international and Arabic journals.
Dr. Malek Ben Salem
is a Tunisian-American who grew up in Tunisia and left to Germany in 1993.
She became politically active following the backlash of the Tunisian government against the first uprising in December 2010.
In 2014, she stood for elections to represent Tunisian expats within the Tunisian parliament.
Dr. Ben Salem is currently a Research and Development Senior Manager at Accenture. Her research interests include cyber security and privacy. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from Columbia University, New York, and a Dipl.-Ing. in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Hannover, Germany.
is a Syrian American poet, academic researcher, and a writer who spent her professional life on building understanding and cultural dialogue between the United States and the Arab and Muslim worlds. Born in Syria, educated in France with an MA in Arabic and Islamic Studies from University of Strasbourg, and living in the United States since 1992, Bukai has strived to build bridges between the East & West through her work as an Arabic Linguistic professor at University of Maryland and the "Contemporary Islam" class at Georgetown University, which she established in 2008. She also writes opinion editorials for Al Jazeera and Al-Hayat newspapers and holds a distinguished advisory position at Vital Voices.
As a long-time advocate for democratic and peaceful change in Syria, Bukai joined the early Civic Society Movement in 2001, as well as the Damascus Declaration in 2005. In 2006, she became the president and founder of Al-Waref Institute for Humanitarian Studies, which is based in Washington D.C. Then in 2011, she co-founded the Syrian National Council. She is currently the Managing Director of Alkayyat Foundation based in D.C., where she received a certificate of appreciation in 2015 from the Department of State for supporting Syrian higher education in the United States.
Bukai was awarded the U.S. Department of State's Certification of Honor for creating an entire book of Arabic curriculum. She was elected among the most influential ten ‘Arab Intellectual Women’ of 2011 by the prestigious Al-Ahram Newspaper. In 2009, she was recognized as an 'Intellectual Entrepreneur' from the Middle East by the Atlas Think Tank Primer for her work in discovering and supporting other intellectual entrepreneurs worldwide.
Bukai is a member of the Riyadh’s expanded meeting for Syrian Opposition Factions and its High Negotiations Committee (HNC). Recently she was elected as the Coordinator General of the Women’s Advisory Council (WAC) of the HNC.
is an international education for inclusion expert who has worked in eleven countries in five regions of the world.
Her work in transformative education for women, girls, and boys, in marginalized communities, spans sectors from NGOs to universities to governments to corporations. For example, with May Rihani, she managed a USAID girls’ education initiative in Malawi to ensure school participation and achievement for both girls and boys.
To ensure life cycle empowerment for girls’ and women and marginalized communities, she designed and helped launch and implement a national equity-based careers development system for a South African government agency. She was Director of the Career Research and Information Centre that linked school-level education reform to democracy building in apartheid South Africa.
As a training and organizational change facilitator she has provided training in the areas of diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias, strategic planning, team building and quality management in the US, UK, Hungary, Australia, South Africa, Serbia, Liberia and Zimbabwe.
She was awarded a British Council Scholarship for her work in South Africa to complete an M.Sc. at the University of Surrey. Her second Master's degree is an M.A. in Human and Organizational Development from the Fielding Graduate University in the US. She is a published author in the areas of equity-based career development systems and school to work linkages.
Dr. Souleyma Haddaoui
is a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University and recently submitted her PhD dissertation on American Muslims post 9/11 at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris. Her thesis examines the impact of the war on terror and political radicalization on the dynamics of American Muslims' social integration.
Born and raised in Morocco where she obtained her law degree, Souleyma worked with local NGOs on human rights and social justice before moving to Paris where she joined the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs after getting her master's degree from the Paris Institute of Political Studies.
Since arriving in the US, she has worked and presented on US women joining ISIS and her current research project focuses on Morocco's strategies to counteract violent extremism and radicalization.
Dr. Cory Heyman
serves as Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director, Room to Read Accelerator, supporting Room to Read’s external technical assistance projects, and visioning for the longer-term programmatic growth and strategic positioning of the organization as a whole.
Previously Cory served as Room to Read Chief Program Officer and has acted as a close advisor to Room to Read since 2004, including serving as a member of Room to Read’s Global Advisory Board from 2008 to 2010. In representing Room to Read, Cory has served as a facilitator for the Clinton Global Initiative’s sub-group on Girls’ Secondary Education and as a member of La Pietra Coalition Working Group on Education and Training.
Prior to joining Room to Read, Cory served as Vice President and Deputy Director of the Academy for Educational Development’s Center for Gender Equity, where he supported program development, applied research, and program evaluation. He oversaw a variety of projects in the Center’s portfolio, including the USAID Ambassadors Girls Scholarship Program, the UNICEF Gender Strengthening Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean, the UNICEF Global Consultation on Follow-up to the Evaluation of Gender Policy Implementation, and the UNICEF/Middle East North Africa Gender and Education Indicators project. He also served as Chair of AED’s Institutional Review Board, which oversees research protocols and methods to ensure proper protection of human subjects.
Having worked at the nexus of public, private, and nonprofit sectors, Cory has managed large-scale educational projects in the United States, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and southern Africa for more than 25 years. He has served as a professional staff member in the United States Senate; Executive Director of the Potomac Regional Education Partnership; Principal Research Scientist at the American Institutes for Research; and President of Surya Associates International, an educational consulting firm. As a specialist in applied quantitative and qualitative research methods, Cory’s research and project work has focused on strategies to increase access to quality educational opportunities for underserved children in low-income countries. Cory received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Suad Joseph
is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, and a scholar of Middle East gender and family studies.
Her research has focused on the relationships between religion and politics, family and the state, gender and citizenship, children and rights, and culturally specific notions of selfhood.
She founded several groups and associations among them: the Middle East Research Group in Anthropology leading to the establishment of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association; the Association for Middle East Women's Studies and co-founded its internationally recognized journal - Journal of Middle East Women's Studies; the Arab Families Research Group; a consortium for six-university, including American University of Beirut, American University in Cairo, Lebanese American University, Birzeit University, American University in Sharjah, and UC Davis. She also co-founded the Arab American Studies Association; the Association for Middle East Anthropology. At UC Davis she co-founded the Women and Gender Studies Program and founded the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program.
She was the president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, the main professional association for scholars of the Middle East.
She received several awards among them: the UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Research; the graduate mentor award by the Consortium for Women and Research; the Diversity Leadership award; the Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award by UC Davis; and the lifetime achievement awards by the Association for Middle East Women's Studies and the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association.
She is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures- the first encyclopedia of it's kind, and has edited or co-edited 10 books, and published over 100 articles.
Dr. Sahar Khamis
is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland. She is an expert on Arab and Muslim media, and the former Head of the Mass Communication Department in Qatar University. She holds a Ph.D. in Mass Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Manchester. She is the co-author of the books: “Islam Dot Com: Contemporary Islamic Discourses in Cyberspace” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and “Egyptian Revolution 2.0: Political Blogging, Civic Engagement and Citizen Journalism” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Dr. Khamis is a media commentator, a public speaker, a human rights commissioner in Montgomery County, Maryland, and a radio host presenting a monthly program on “U.S. Arab Radio.”