Roula Allouch - National Board Chair

roula-allouchRoula Allouch is the chair of CAIR's national board. Previously, she served as president of CAIR's Cincinnati chapter board from 2008 to 2013.

Roula is an attorney practicing in Ohio and Kentucky, where she focuses on employment law, insurance defense and general civil litigation. She is admitted to practice law in all state courts in Kentucky and Ohio and is licensed to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the United States Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Ohio, and the United States District Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky and the Southern District of Ohio.

Roula earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky in 2002, graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor of business administration in economics, and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2006.

Roula is a member of the American, Kentucky, and Cincinnati Bar Associations. She serves as public service co-coordinator for the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and is the Kentucky young lawyer delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates.

Ahmed Al-Shehab - National Board Member

Ahmed Al-Shehab - National Board MemberAhmed Al-Shehab co-founded CAIR-New Jersey in 2003 and was elected as the chairman of CAIR-NJ's board of directors in 2006. In 2011, Ahmed was elected to CAIR's national board of directors. He currently serves on both CAIR and CAIR-NJ boards.

Ahmed holds a bachelor's degree from NJIT in computer engineering and a graduate diploma in accounting and finance from Columbia University.

Ahmed is an entrepreneur, currently managing his second firm that specializes in information technology executive program/project management with a specific focus on risk and crisis management in pharmaceutical and financial industries.

Nihad Awad - National Board Member

Nihad Awad - CAIR National Board MemberNihad Awad is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest non-profit Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

He has been frequently interviewed on national and international media such as CNN, BBC World Service, PBS, C-SPAN, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Voice of America and Al-Jazeerah. CAIR news releases are disseminated to hundreds of thousands people worldwide on a daily basis.

After the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Mr. Awad flew to Oklahoma to aid in the relief effort. He personally met with Governor Frank Keating and gave the governor a sizable donation for the victims’ fund on behalf of the American Muslim community.

In 1997, Mr. Awad served on Vice President Al Gore’s Civil Rights Advisory Panel to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security.

In his professional capacity, Mr. Awad has also personally met with former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright andColin L. Powell to discuss the needs of the American Muslim community.

Numerous law enforcement agencies and Fortune 500 companies—including Nike and DKNY—have benefited from CAIR educational seminars on Islamic traditions and culture. In addition to resolving employment discrimination issues involving American Muslims, Mr. Awad has also conducted over 100 public relations and media training seminars nationwide.

For the 2000 presidential election, Mr. Awad was a key figure in the American Muslim Political Coordinating Committee (AMPCC), an umbrella organization of the largest American Muslim organizations, which helped to create the first Muslim voting bloc for a presidential election.

Mr. Awad is a regular participant in the U.S. Department of State’s “International Visitors Program”, which welcomes foreign dignitaries, journalists and academics who are currently visiting the President of the United States.

A few days after September 11, 2001, Mr. Awad was one of the few American Muslim leaders invited by the White House to join President Bush in a press conference at the Islamic Center of Washington, the oldest mosque in Washington DC.

Mr. Awad has testified before both houses of the U.S. Congress, most recently at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on matters involving Muslims in America.

He has also spoken at prestigious educational institutions, including Harvard, Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities. He was also a featured speaker at the 2002 Reuters Forum on global cooperation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. In addition, he actively works with local and national interfaith leaders and organizations in the interest of promoting positive relations among people of diverse faith communities.

Mr. Awad is also featured in Silent No More by former United States Representative Paul Findley (R-IL), a book chronicling the history of the American Muslim community.

Sarwat Husain - National Board Member

sarwat-husainSarwat Husain is the founding president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a national board member of CAIR.

Ms. Husain also serves on the San Antonio Interreligious Council and the Texas Media Empowerment Project. She is a founder of the San Antonio Muslim Council and a member of the San Antonio Council for International Visitors. She formerly served on the FBI Regional Advisory Council and was selected to serve on the board of the San Antonio Mayors Commission under Mayor Garza.

Ms. Husain publishes Al-Ittihaad Monthly, the largest American Muslim newspaper in Texas, and is a frequent guest columnist for the San Antonio Express News.

Ms. Husain works to encourage political engagement in Texas, conducting regular voter registration drives and trainings on how to become delegates, precinct chairs and judges. She helped found the American Muslim Youth Association and the Muslim Boys Scouts of America Pack 786, and acts as an advisor to both. She is extensively involved in interfaith dialogue and regularly offers diversity trainings on Muslim beliefs and practices at businesses, universities, churches and law enforcement agencies.

Ms. Husain has been profiled in The Face Behind the Veil: The Extraordinary Lives of Muslim Women in America and in articles published in the San Antonio Current, ColorLines, PressTime, and the San Antonio Express News.

She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. She has owned and operated alternate care facilities for the elderly and a child development center, and has worked as a nutritional consultant to hospitals and nursing homes.

James Jones - National Board Member

james-jonesJimmy Jones is secretary of CAIR's national board and has been a civil and human rights activist for more than three decades.

Dr. Jones is a tenured associate professor of world religions with a concurrent appointment in African studies at Manhattanville College (Purchase, NY).

As chair of the board of the Islamic Seminary Foundation, Prof. Jones is involved in several projects that are designed to set professional standards, develop support networks and establish educational/training initiatives for imams, chaplains and other persons who lead in or provide services to the Muslim American community.

Dr. Jones' writing, research and lecture activities are focused on comparative religions, Muslim American identity development and conflict resolution. He has lectured at, taught at, or consulted to institutions in Bahrain, Bermuda, Bosnia, Egypt, Great Britain, India, Jerusalem, Trinidad-Tobago, Qatar, Saudi-Arabia, United Arab Emirates and throughout the United States.

A member of the American Academy of Religion, Prof. Jones holds a bachelor's degree from Hampton University, a master's degree from Yale Divinity School and a doctorate in ministry from the Hartford Seminary.

Masoud Nassimi - National Board Member

masoud-nassimiMasoud Nassimi is the co-founder of CAIR's Greater Los Angeles Area chapter and serves on the board of CAIR-California, which oversees four CAIR chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego. He served as CAIR-CA's board chairman from 2009-2013; in 2013, Masoud was elected to CAIR’s national board of directors in 2013.

Masoud is the founder of Afghan American Muslim Outreach (AAMO) and currently serves as president of its Los Angeles area chapter. He has served on many boards of a number of Muslim institutions in Southern California over the past 20 years.

Masoud received bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering Purdue University in Indiana. He has been working for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) since 1988. He also has been a part-time Algebra adjunct professor at Los Angeles Valley College since 1991. Masoud is the author of a college textbook and co-author of "How to perform Hajj (Step by Step)" with Dr. Ahmed Sakr, both in English and in Persian. He authored informational booklets about Kashmir, Kosovo, and Chechnya during their conflicts.

Esam Omeish, National Board Member

Esam-OmeishDr. Esam Omeish is an activist and surgeon in Northern Virginia, and a member of CAIR's national board. He holds a bachelor's degree and medical degree from Georgetown University and has had a private practice in general surgery since 1998 and also practices in Northern Virginia at Fairfax Hospital, Alexandria Hospital, and other area hospitals.

From 1992 to 1994, Esam was the national president of the Muslim Students' Association of the United States and Canada (MSA), presiding over 350 chapters. From 2004 to 2008, he was the national president and chairman of the board for the Muslim American Society (MAS), one of the largest community organizations in the U.S. with more than 50 chapters.

He has also served as board chairman of several community and civic organizations including Community Medical Clinic (2000-2004), the Islamic Center of Passaic County, New Jersey (1995-1998), Dar Alhijrah Islamic Center (1998-2002), the MSA Council of Washington, D.C. (1986-1989), and others.

In 2009, Esam ran for the office of Virginia state assembly delegate, becoming the first Muslim to run for public office in Virginia. In the same year, he was appointed by the governor of Virginia to a state commission on immigration.

He serves in leadership positions for a number of charities and civil organizations, including:

  • Together We Serve Charities, board chairman
  • Virginia Muslim Civic Coalition, founding member and board member
  • American Libyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ALCCI), founding member and vice chairman of the board
  • Libyan Emergency Task Force (LETF), chairman
  • Libyan Council of North America (LCNA), political director
  • American Libyan Council (ALC), board member
  • Libyan-Americans for Human Rights (LAHR), president
  • Working to establish the Center for Libyan American Strategic Studies (CLASS)
  • Designated by the Libyan ambassador as the official representative of the Libyan American community.

Esam has been active in D.C. political circles for more than 25 years, including involvement with the White House, National Security Council, both houses of the U.S. Congress, the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Defense, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations

He has participated in lectures and discussion groups as a political analyst on Libya hosted by the Carnegie Endowment, Brookings Institute, and the Atlantic Council.

Esam attended President Obama's major speech on Libya at the White House in April 2011 and attended U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens' inauguration and reception at the State Department with Secretary of State Clinton and Senator Lugar.

In October 2011, he graduated from the Washington Embassy Orientation Program on U.S. Government Policy Making at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA) at the National Defense University.

Nihad Awad - Executive Director

Nihad Awad - CAIR National Board Member

Nihad Awad is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest non-profit Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

He has been frequently interviewed on national and international media such as CNN, BBC World Service, PBS, C-SPAN, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Voice of America and Al-Jazeerah. CAIR news releases are disseminated to hundreds of thousands people worldwide on a daily basis.

After the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Mr. Awad flew to Oklahoma to aid in the relief effort. He personally met with Governor Frank Keating and gave the governor a sizable donation for the victims’ fund on behalf of the American Muslim community.

In 1997, Mr. Awad served on Vice President Al Gore’s Civil Rights Advisory Panel to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security.

In his professional capacity, Mr. Awad has also personally met with former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright andColin L. Powell to discuss the needs of the American Muslim community.

Numerous law enforcement agencies and Fortune 500 companies—including Nike and DKNY—have benefited from CAIR educational seminars on Islamic traditions and culture. In addition to resolving employment discrimination issues involving American Muslims, Mr. Awad has also conducted over 100 public relations and media training seminars nationwide.

For the 2000 presidential election, Mr. Awad was a key figure in the American Muslim Political Coordinating Committee (AMPCC), an umbrella organization of the largest American Muslim organizations, which helped to create the first Muslim voting bloc for a presidential election.

Mr. Awad is a regular participant in the U.S. Department of State’s “International Visitors Program”, which welcomes foreign dignitaries, journalists and academics who are currently visiting the President of the United States.

A few days after September 11, 2001, Mr. Awad was one of the few American Muslim leaders invited by the White House to join President Bush in a press conference at the Islamic Center of Washington, the oldest mosque in Washington DC.

Mr. Awad has testified before both houses of the U.S. Congress, most recently at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on matters involving Muslims in America.

He has also spoken at prestigious educational institutions, including Harvard, Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities. He was also a featured speaker at the 2002 Reuters Forum on global cooperation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. In addition, he actively works with local and national interfaith leaders and organizations in the interest of promoting positive relations among people of diverse faith communities.

Mr. Awad is also featured in Silent No More by former United States Representative Paul Findley (R-IL), a book chronicling the history of the American Muslim community.

Ibrahim Hooper - Communications Director

Ibrahim-HooperIbrahim Hooper is the National Communications Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s of art in journalism and mass communication.

Hooper has been with CAIR since its founding in 1994. As CAIR’s spokesman he appears frequently on national and international television programs to offer an Islamic perspective on current events or debate controversial issues.

Corey Saylor - National Legislative Director

corey-saylorCorey Saylor is legislative director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), with more than a decade of nonprofit political communications, legislative advocacy, and media relations experience.

Saylor played a role in advocacy campaigns drawing concessions from corporate giants such as Burger King and Bell Helicopter-Boeing.

His media relations efforts have placed stories in most major national and international media, including London’s Financial Times and Al-Hayat. Additionally, news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and NPR have sought Saylor’s opinions.

The Philadelphia Inquirer named a Saylor-maintained blog focused on the 2005-2006 reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT ACT, a “Web Winner.” His criticism of bigoted remarks by Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) helped draw national media focus to the issue.

Saylor has conducted dozens of leadership, advocacy and media training across the United States.