Meet Our Team
Dr. Abed Ayoub
President & CEO
Dr. Abed Ayoub has decades of experience in the relief sector, most recently as former CEO for Islamic Relief USA. Dr. Ayoub holds a PhD in International Development. In April 2010, he was appointed to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to serve on its Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA), and was reappointed in 2013, concluding 2 terms. Dr. Ayoub provides advice, analysis, and recommendations to USAID on the most pressing developmental issues in the world today. He has also served a second term with the U.S. State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group. Dr. Ayoub is an adjunct faculty member of The Fund Raising School at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. He is a certified Executive Director, certified Master Business Coach, and a certified Professional Coach. In addition, Dr. Ayoub serves on the advisory board of Center on Muslim Philanthropy.
Dr. Muhieldin Salih
Chairman & Treasurer
Muhieldin Salih is a high-profile business expert based in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. He is the Founder and Chairman of American Trading, Management, and Consultation Corporation; the Founder and Executive Director of a leading diaspora radio station, Hona Radio; and the Executive Director of ITC Group, LLC. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Islamic Sciences, and a Master’s degree in Administration Sciences. He hold Special Diplomas in Publication and Information Authentication from Great Britain. His work is focused on administration, finance and media research.
Mohammad has over a decade of experience in building enterprise products, business development and marketing in the software business sector. He is currently serving as President of a software company. He is also involved in various non profit organizations in the local Bay Area community in California. He holds a Business Economics degree from the University of California, Davis.
Dr. Ismail Mehr
Dr. Ismail Mehr is an anesthesiologist in Hornell, New York and is affiliated with St. James Mercy Hospital. He received his medical degree from Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) and has been in practice between 11-20 years. Dr. Mehr became involved with IMANA while in his final years of residency and upon completion of residency began to increase his involvement. At the time IMANA was beginning its role of becoming an internationally respected medical relief organization. Dr. Mehr also served on the IMANA executive committee in various capacities becoming IMANA President in 2013.
Samer Darwish has decades of experience in non-profit organizations. Back in college Samer served as the MSA chapter president. After moving to Santa Clara he served as a volunteer in a number of grass root organizations as a board member twice (Executive Board Public Relations Officer and later in 2013 to 2015 as Board of Directors member) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Also in Santa Clara he served at the Muslim Community Association of the San Francisco Bay Area in different capacities. From 2009 to 2012 Samer held the Vice President and President position at the Muslim Community Association, a non-profit organization founded in 1981 to serve the community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Samer is also a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of the USA, and Boy Scouts of America.
Samer holds two Master degrees, one in Electrical Engineering and the other in Engineering Applied Science, both from UC Davis. He is licensed as a professional engineer (PE) by the State of California board for professional engineers & land surveyors. Samer works in the Silicon Valley, where he held different positions as a design, and applications engineer. Samer also held the position as an Account Executive, and currently works as a Senior Sales Manager reporting to the CEO.
Wedian Eltom is a medical professional currently working as a general practitioner registrar in East England. She has previously worked as an SHO in general medicine and elderly care medicine in London. She earned her MBBS degree from Ahfad University for Women in Sudan where she worked for a few years before settling in London with her family. During her time studying medicine in Sudan, she gained experience in voluntary health campaigns to raise health awareness in rural areas.
Director of Development
As the Director of Development, Ayman brings a multi-faceted talent for launching and driving organizational performance as an executive, fundraiser, and speaker. He has more than 16 years of experience in International Relief and Development, combined with 10 years’ experience as a business owner and managing several businesses in Ohio. He specializes in helping UMR in branding, marketing, and fundraising.
Director of Finance & Administration
Managers & Strategic Advisors
Dr. Omar Shahin
Executive of Donor Development
Dr. Shahin is the Secretary General for NAIF (North American Imams Federation), where he previously served as the Chair of Board of Trustees. Dr. Shahin is also the founder of the Imams Council of Arizona and was appointed the Chairman of CAIR-AZ Advisory Board from 2004-2012.
He served as head of Community Public Relations at Islamic Relief USA for the past five years. Dr. Shahin joins UMR with a professional fundraising background and extensive expertise in education. He holds a PhD in Learning and Teaching, a Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.) Honorary degree, and a PhD in Islamic Law.
Strategic Advisor to the CEO
Mario Rizos joins UMR from a long career in international development assistance, having held executive positions on large development companies and multinational organizations, managing major U.S. Government funded projects and operations in developed and developing countries. He also had an early tenure at the European Commission (EuropeAid). Throughout his career, he has worked at the intersection of business innovation and social change: combining private sector development with a mission to improve people’s lives.
Mr. Rizos has applied his technical and management experience in designing, financing and executing major programs in developing countries by encouraging and matching development funds with private investors aiming to assist underserved population around the world. Currently he is leading the development efforts of a green energy company as well as advises executives from key large development NGO’s in expanding their global portfolio and outreach. He holds an Engineering Degree from AUTH, Greece.
Senior Finance Manager
Abdallah Abuirshaid currently serves as the Finance Manager at UMR. During his time, he has taken great strides to help better the organization’s implementation of new accounting systems and internal control systems, while also maintaining the budget. He has also contributed to the establishment of the UMR Jordan and Kenya field offices, ensuring that they operate according to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principle (GAAP).
Abdallah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Yarmouk University in Jordan, and a Master’s degree in Accounting/Controllership from Strayer University. He also has over five years of accounting experience with various companies such as Team Washington, Prana Solution, and United Computer Service.
Jason Matechak has served as the outside Legal Advisor to UMR since 2015. Mr. Matechak is a Founder and Principal at the Impresa Legal Group. He focuses his practice on Government Funded Programs, NGO-Non-Profits, Governance and Compliance and International Matters. He serves as the Director for the Center for International Procurement Law and Policy at the International Law Institute. He has served as the General Counsel of International Relief & Development, the Legal Advisor to the International Development Law Organization, and as a Partner in the Reed Smith Firm. As a civil servant, he served as a contract negotiator and legal reform officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
He has served on the Council and Administration Committee, and as the Technology Officer, and Rule of Law Officer for the American Bar Association Section of International Law, and has served as a Delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group on Public Procurement.
He earned his Law Degree from the George Mason University School of Law, his Masters in International Commerce and Policy from the George Mason University School for Policy, Government, and International Affairs, and his Bachelors in Political Science, with minors in Russian Studies and Economics from James Madison University.
He is a member of the Bars of Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Chapters & Development Coordinator
Bushra serves as the Chapters and Development Coordinator at UMR. Bushra has been volunteering for UMR since 2010 and served as the GMU chapter President in 2015. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in Community and Public Health and now mobilizes and supports our chapters all around the US. Bushra likes to spend time helping others and loves working with those who are passionate about making a difference in their community!
Donor Relations Supervisor
Doaa received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from George Mason University in 2017. Prior to joining UMR, she has extensive experience as a volunteer for NGO’s across Washington, D.C. She previously worked as a youth coordinator and media strategist at one of the largest mosques in the D.C. Metro Area, and was responsible for organizing interfaith programs and shaping the Center’s educational and civic engagement events.
In 2017, Doaa attended the Youth in Humanitarian Action: Challenges and Opportunities conference in Doha, Qatar organized by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Beside her passion for helping others, Doaa enjoys reading, painting, and spending time with her family and friends in her free time.
Social Media & Marketing Coordinator
Caroline received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing from the George Washington University in 2019. Prior to joining UMR, she worked as a Media Outreach Intern at PEN/Faulkner, a literary nonprofit in the DC Metro area. Caroline also spent time as a Writing and Editing Intern for a magazine in the Czech Republic.
Caroline is passionate about helping others and making a difference in the world. Outside of work, she likes to spend her time writing, reading, and talking to anyone who will listen.
Ebrahim has over 14 years of accounting experience working with NGOs, microfinance institutes, and private construction companies. He received his BA in Accounting from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, and certificates in Development Economics and Accounting from Matrys University and Mekele University respectively.
Ebrahim has been with UMR since 2017, and remains an important figure in the Finance Department. His main responsibilities include verifying and entering source data into prescribed computer databases, files, and forms.
Southeast Regional Representative
Ezreta serves as the UMR Southeast Regional Representative. After receiving her law degree from the University of Sarajevo she began her journey in international humanitarian work. In the past decade, Ezreta has mostly focused on helping orphans and refugees, and is wholeheartedly dedicated to helping the most vulnerable humans in need.
Operations Project Supervisor
Jennifer’s professional experience spans across sectors, having worked at multiple higher-educational institutions and various non-profit organizations. Prior to joining UMR, she was a research assistant at Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she collected and synthesized data for a UN study on persons with disabilities.
Jennifer was also a Field Coordinator for an NGO on Lesvos, Greece, leading and supporting a team of 15 volunteers working in a refugee camp. Her educational background and professional experience working internationally with refugees has launched her interest in international relief and development, eventually bringing her to UMR. She is a passionate humanitarian activist with great hopes of positively impacting as many people as possible.
Jennifer earned her Master’s degree in Global Studies & International Relations from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, focusing her thesis on forced migration in the MENA region, and her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Khalid Turaani received his B.S. in Physics, and has a passion for charitable causes and advocacy. His passion has translated into a 20+ year career in this field. Khalid was the CEO at Life for Relief and Development, and prior to this, he worked as the Executive Director of an advocacy organization in the DC area.
He has also worked closely with the White House and US congress, and has appeared on international media.
Strategic Partnerships & CSR Specialist
Mohannad Jaber serves as the Strategic Partnerships and Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) Specialist and UMR Representative in the United Nations (Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action).
Mohannad is also leading UMR Institute, an initiative built upon four pillars; capacity building, research & development, unique projects, and impact measurement & statistics. He has over 13 years of domestic and international experience in development work including organizing and empowering local communities.
Mohannad completed his masters degree in social work. His subject was “The Role of International Organizations in Building the Capabilities of Domestic Organizations in Jordan.”
Nagwa brings international experience in media and communications as she worked in various media outlets, NGOs, and think tanks. She worked as a Deputy Head of the Foreign Affairs Desk in Al-Ahram Daily Newspaper in Egypt, and a Quality Control Editor in the Middle East Broadcasting Network Inc.(AlHurra) in the US. Nagwa also was a Fellow Researcher at Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford in the UK and an Adjunct Professor of Contemporary Media and Global Society in the School of Communication at the American Society in Washington, DC.
Nagwa has a Master’s Degree in International Media from the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC, and earned her bachelor degree in Journalism from Cairo University in Egypt.
Donor Relations Specialist
Nausheen has been working with UMR since 2017 as a Donor Relations Specialist. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Marketing from the University of Sindh in Pakistan, and received certifications in Philanthropy from Indiana University. She has been an event organizer for social services in local communities for 16 years. Nausheen has provided volunteer teaching services to local Sunday schools for 12 years, and in her free time works for local foreign language TV channels.
Usamah Ali currently serves as the Marketing Specialist. He brings multiple years of experience in marketing, design, & branding. He graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering, and has served as an office manager, pledge coordinator, and administrative assistant in several Islamic centers around the Dallas Area, and most recently served as a Board Member at MAS Dallas.
Major Gifts Officer
Waleed Yousry is a nationally and internationally renowned expert in branding, communication and marketing. In addition to strategic development efforts, Waleed directs media relations, branding, managing visual communications and creative campaign and events development.
Waleed Yousry began his career by developing his creative and technical communication skills that is the foundation of a successful and dynamic communicator. With over 15-year of experience in demonstrating success in brand image, strategic plans, creative campaigns, and public relations events such as press releases and press conferences.
MENA Regional Representative
Wejdan has 13 years of experience in governmental and non-governmental sectors in the Middle East and Africa in sectors of education, psychosocial, community engagement and services, governance, health, social cohesion and peacebuilding, protection, WASH, food security, and livelihood. In addition to the technical experience, she has experience in startup organizations, organizational development, grant management, operations management , fundraising and business development with US and non-US donors. In 2014, she was nominated by UN-OCHA as one of the World Humanitarian heroes for the WHD. By then she started her membership with International Humanitarian Roster of Church of Sweden to contribute to fragile situations worldwide. Moreover, she is known as coach and capacity builder in accountability, CBPS, PSEA Safeguarding, leadership, conflict mitigation, non-violent communication, life skills, SPHERE, Core Humanitarian Standards, and compliance.
Abdul Ghani Ismail
East Africa Regional Representative
Amira Abdulbari, PhD
Yemen Country Representative
Jordan Country Representative
Hakam is responsible for all operations and programs at UMR’s Jordan Office. He has extensive experience in refugee programming in Jordan through his work with the JUHOD organization, managing community-based protection programs and co-charing the Protection Working Group with UNHCR. Hakam’s previous experience also includes working with the King Abdullah II Fund for the Development and Ministry of Interior.