Farah Pandith has been a political appointee in the George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama administrations. She left government at the end of January 2014 for Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government where she maintains an affiliation. She is writing a book on extremism and driving efforts to counter extremism through new organizations, programs, and initiatives. She was appointed the first-ever special representative to Muslim Communities in June 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, serving under both Secretaries Clinton and John Kerry. The Office of the Special Representative was responsible for executing a vision for engagement with Muslims around the world based on a people-to-people and organizational level. She reported directly to the secretary of state. Ms. Pandith traveled to more than eighty countries and launched youth-focused initiatives. She is also the main architect of the Women in Public Service Project. In January 2013, she was awarded the Secretary’s Distinguished Honor Award. In May 2015, Ms. Pandith was appointed to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).
Prior to this appointment, Ms. Pandith was senior advisor to the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs. This role was created for her in the context of the Danish Cartoon Crisis, and she built new State Department strategies for how U.S. embassies in Europe understood the Muslim demographic, the increase in foreign ideologies present on the ground, and how the United States could build resilience. From December 2004 to February 2007, Ms. Pandith served as the director for Middle East Regional Initiatives for the National Security Council. Prior to joining the NSC, Ms. Pandith was chief of staff of the Bureau for Asia and the Near East for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2004, she spent two months in Afghanistan developing a public outreach strategy. She also served at USAID from 1990–1993 on the administrator’s staff and as the special assistant to the director of policy.From 1997 to 2003, Ms. Pandith was Vice President of International Business for ML Strategies in Boston, Massachusetts, and served as a Commissioner on Governor Paul A. Cellucci’s bi-partisan Asian Advisory Commission.
She has been a consultant in the public, private, and non-profit sectors and has served in leadership positions on several boards with a focus on international affairs. She currently is a strategic advisor and board member to organizations that focus on extremism, women’s empowerment, education and cultural diplomacy.
Ms. Pandith received a Master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she specialized in International Security Studies, Islamic Civilizations and Southwest Asia, and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. She received an A.B. in Government and Psychology from Smith College, where she was president of the student body. She is currently a member of the Board of Overseers of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Smith College President’s Council. She was awarded the Smith College Medal in February 2014 and the Distinguished Achievement Award by Tufts University in 2013.
She was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, India, and raised in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
DR. AQUILUR RAHMAN CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDDr. Aquilur Rahman is one of the founders of the Montgomery County Muslim Council and the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation in Maryland, and served as Chairman of the Boards of Directors of those organizations for four years. He is deeply involved in various civic, humanitarian and grass roots political activities. In addition he supports many NGO’s which are engaged in philanthropic work in Pakistan as well as in America. He established a Trust Fund with other friends at the University of Karachi Alumni Association which has now raised over $1 million and distributes at least 250 scholarships per year to students at various academic institutions in Karachi, Pakistan.
He strongly supports those organizations which are working to raise Muslim-Americans’ awareness and helping them to find their legitimate place in their adopted country. In the political arena, he is highly involved with local Maryland and Federal elected officials.
Dr. Rahman obtained his Ph.D. from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland.
Thereafter he joined the National Institute of Health in Bethedsa, MD, and then moved to Georgetown University, Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., as Associate Professor. He has been deeply involved in innovative works in the area of cancer therapeutics. He has been involved in the development of a number of drugs took quite a few drugs in the clinic as new therapies for cancer patients. He holds more than 16 patents covering a wide range of cancer therapeutic.
Dr. Rahman founded a publicly-traded biotech company, NeoPharm Inc., in 1996. He served as Chief Scientific Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors. In his capacity as Chief Scientific Officer, he took multiple drugs to the clinic for cancer therapy and contributed greatly to the company’s success. Currently, he serves as the President and CEO of N&N Pharmaceutical Inc., a company developing novel antiviral agents for infectious diseases.
Dr. Rahman lives in Potomac, MD, with his wife, Rukhsana. They have one daughter and one son and a grandchild.
AMBASSADOR ISLAM A. SIDDIQUI CO-FOUNDER | PRESIDENT OF AMI
Ambassador Islam A. Siddiqui left the Obama Administration in February 2014 after serving for four years as Chief Agricultural Negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. He was responsible for bilateral and multilateral negotiations and policy coordination regarding agricultural trade, including the TTP, TTIP and WTO negotiations. In this capacity, Dr. Siddiqui played an active role in the successful 2013 WTO Ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia.
Between 1997 and 2001, Dr. Siddiqui served in the Clinton Administration in several capacities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture: as undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; Senior Trade Advisor to Secretary Dan Glickman; and Deputy Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. As a result, he worked closely with the USTR and represented the USDA in bilateral, regional and multilateral agricultural trade negotiations. Before joining the USDA, Dr. Siddiqui spent 28 years with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Dr. Siddiqui was the first President and founding member of the United Muslims of America (UMA) in 1982. UMA and its sister organization, UMA Interfaith Initiative, continue to promote political and civic engagement and foster interfaith understanding in the San Francisco Bay Area to this day. In addition, he served as President and Board member of the Sacramento Muslim Mosque Association in the early 1990’s.
Currently, Ambassador Islam A. Siddiqui is serving as a Senior Adviser for Global Security at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). He earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology, both from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He received his B.S. (Hon’s) degree in plant protection from the G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, India. In 2011, he was awarded the Doctor of Science (Honorary) Degree by his alma mater at Pantnagar. He can be reached by calling 202-725-7409 or by E-Mailing:email@example.com
DR. MIKE MOHAMED GHOUSE CO-FOUNDER | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism,Islam, India, Politics and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
He is a human rights activist and his book “Standing up for others” will be out soon. Mike has published over 3000 articles on the subjects. He is producing a full feature film “Sacred” about changing perceptions about Muslims and Muslims adopting the non-violent principles in dealing with conflicts. His documentary Americans together is also in the making.
He has appeared in over 100 shows on Fox News with Sean Hannity and on syndicated Talk Radio shows. He writes very frequently for the Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, Op-ed News and other major news papers around the world.
He believes in active engagement with those who differ to bring about an understanding, and further believes that if we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
Mike Ghouse is an Executive Director of American Muslim Institution, a proactive voice for American Muslims. He is a thinker, writer and a speaker and is committed to offer pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. More about Mike in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net or at Google-https://plus.google.com/108969690090944956820/about