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CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Safaa Zarzour is an educator, attorney and a community activist. Professionally, he is the Superintendent of Universal Schools in Illinois and Indiana. He is also the Principal of Zarzour Law LLC. Previously, he has served as Secretary General of ISNA, General Council and Chief Operations Officer of Zakat Foundation of America, and Chief Executive Officer of IQRA International Foundation, and as an adjunct law professor at Loyola Law School. Zarzour is the cofounder of the ISNA Education Forum, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Schools of North America (CISNA), member of the Board of Advisors of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, Vice Chair of the Mosque Foundation, elected board member of Oak Lawn Community High School and President of the Syrian Forum USA.
Kareem Irfan is computer engineer, IP/IT lawyer and Business/M&A Strategist with 35+ years of leadership experience. As ‘Global CEO’ he has guided a group of MNCs providing IT, Big-Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Hi-Tech-Ed services across US, Europe, Asia & GCC. He also supports a NASDAQ-listed leading company in Indoor Intelligence & Positional Analytics as Board Director and on Audit, Compensation & Governance Committees. He advises international public/private companies, NGOs, NPOs & Universities on Business/M&A Strategy, Leadership & Culture transformations, Faith/Cultural Sensitivity, Global Collaborations & Industry-oriented Business Management programs. Mr. Irfan is an international Inter-Faith leader, and has served as the first Muslim President of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago; as Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago; on the US National Catholic-Muslim Dialog; on the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Immigration Initiative; and as Chair of the Illinois Governor’s Muslim-American Advisory Council. He serves as Imam for Friday/Eid sermons & lectures on contemporary topics in the US & abroad; & as founder/advisor for global inter-religious, cross-cultural, governmental & NGO initiatives addressing societal betterment, civic rights advocacy & upliftment of minorities. Mr. Irfan has led and advised U.S. State Department delegations on international peace missions, community collaborations, and counter-extremism projects. He is the recipient of many international leadership & service awards, including the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award from the US DOJ, and multiple Interfaith Leadership recognitions.
Rafique Ahmed, MBA, is a data management and analytics specialist with over 30 years of experience across a variety of consumer focused sectors including public health, food and beverage as well as recreation and leisure. He began his career in Bangladesh where he coordinated management information systems for family-planning-related public health projects, assisted by USAID. Rafique is currently the president of Oceanstone Consultants, a boutique financial planning and tax advisory firm based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. He also manages Data Analytics at Pioneer Distribution. Rafique has been a member of ISNA USA and ISNA Canada for over 20 years. His hobbies include reading, travelling, gardening, as well advocating for youth education. Rafique has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Dhaka and a Masters of Business Administration from the Institute of Business Administration (University of Dhaka).
M. Affan Badar, PhD, CPEM is a tenured professor and former chair of the Applied Engineering & Technology Management department at Indiana State University. He was chair of the Industrial Engineering & Engineering Management department at University of Sharjah from 2016 till 2018. He is also an ABET/ETAC commissioner and Editor-in-Chief of an InderScience journal. He earned a PhD degree in Industrial Engineering (IE) from Univ. of Oklahoma, MS in Mechanical Engineering (ME) from King Fahd Univ. of Petroleum and Minerals, and MS in IE and BS in ME from Aligarh Muslim Univ. Before getting elected on the ISNA board in 2020, Dr. Badar had served on the board from 2014 till 2018 and on the election committee from 2014 till 2017. Besides ISNA, he served on the Operations Management Board of Jahangirabad Institute of Technology (2014-18) and was president of Islamic Society of Greater Indianapolis (2012-14). He is immediate past president of AMSET, vice chair of MET-India N.A., IMEFNA board member, Al-Ilm Weekend School vice principal, and IAMC-Indiana secretary. He is also serving on few boards in India.
Brother Mir Khan received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Public Administration and Political Science from Osmania University, Hyderabad, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. As an experienced IT professional with over 30 years in Project Management, Br. Mir has led dozens of teams in the implementation of software projects at such leading companies as Deloitte, Siemens, Whirlpool, Kimberly Clark, Northrop Grumman, Johnson Controls, Allstate, etc. He is a results-oriented individual with a track record of increasing operational efficiency and team building. Br. Mir has been active in the Muslim community. He served as President of MSA at Northeastern Illinois University during his college years. He has been active in the local Muslim community for many decades. Br. Mir previously served as a school board member for almost a decade at the MCC Academy in Chicago and later served as a board member and President of Averroes Academy, a Muslim private school in the suburbs of Chicago. He is also the founding member & President of the “Glory of Hyderabad” organization in Chicago. Br. Mir Khan has been involved with ISNA since 1983 and has served on several convention committees as Chair, Vice-chair, and Co-Chair of the ISNA Convention steering committee. He has played an important role in the convention outreach and media relations.
Sister Malika Khan received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Madras, India and M.S. Biological Science from California State University at Fullerton. She has been actively working in the Muslim community including Muslim Community Association (MCA) board, MCA Renovation committee, MCA Women’s committee, Senior Club of MCA Board, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) SF Bay Area Executive Board, MSA and ISNA, ISNA West Zone Conference Program Chairperson, and has helped in the establishment of mosques and Islamic Schools; organized fundraisers and other community events. She has been politically active – meeting and writing to Government officials on various local, state and national issues. She has also worked as a precinct captain during presidential election and volunteered with local Congressmen and public officials.
In community service since 1970, Dr. Iqbal J. Unus has served as President of Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada (1975), ISNA Secretary General, Member of ISNA Majlis, Vice President and Trustee of All Dulles Area Muslim Society, President of Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers, Executive Member of Council of Muslim Organizations of Greater Washington, and member or chair of several local and national committees. He is a trustee of Amana Mutual Funds Trust and director-at-large of the United Nations Association of National capital Area, as well as chair of The Islamic Seminary of America (TISA). He has received community service awards from CAIR National (2011) and ISNA (2012).
Azhar Azeez was born in Hyderabad, India. He has a bachelors degree in Finance from the prestigious Osmania University and a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA) For 11 years he worked for major US corporations such as General Electric, American General Life and Capital One. He currently serves as the senior Vice President of Islamic Relief USA, which is one of the largest Muslim charity of USA. He was elected as the Vice President of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) twice and then was elected as its President for two terms, which is the oldest Muslim organization of US & Canada. He is also the past President of the North Texas Islamic council (NTIC), which represents 45 plus Muslim/Islamic organizations in Dallas/Fort worth area. He is the founder and the past President of Islamic Association of Carrollton, Texas one of the large mosques in the suburbs of Dallas, TX. He also currently serves on the board of The Islamic Seminary of America. (TISA) He is nationally known public and a motivational speaker who travels regularly around US for local, regional and national events of various organizations He has addressed events. seminars, summits, conferences & banquets in more than 550 communities/cities across US & Canada. He continuously works towards building bridges between people of various faiths and is nationally known for his interfaith work. He is married and has two kids and currently resides in Plano, TX.
Dr. Syed Imtiaz Ahmad is currently an Emeritus Professor at Eastern Michigan University. Received Ph.D. (EE, Ottawa, 1967). Served as Head of Computer Division in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Engineering & Technology in Lahore, Pakistan. Also acted as a consultant to local industries, and was a guest lecturer at the West Pakistan Institute of Management and the National Institute of Public Administration. Dr. Ahmad was frequently asked to conduct programs on the national television and radio. Moved to Canada in 1970. Held academic positions in computer science at University of Ottawa and Windsor where he was Professor and Head of Computer Science. Dr. Ahmad has held responsibilities in several professional and social organizations, on both the national and international levels. He has been President of the Computer Science Association (CSA) of Canada. In 1981 Dr. Ahmad joined Eastern Michigan University serving there as Head of Computer Information Systems Department. From 1994 to 1996 also served as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering on assignment at IIUM in Malaysia where he was also responsible for data and voice networks, and computing facilities for the entire campus. Dr. Ahmad has authored and edited several books on computer hardware, software, and information systems. He has published numerous technical papers in journals. In April 2015, Dr. Ahmad received an outstanding service award from Eastern Michigan University recognizing him as a person who most impacted the Computer Information Systems Department and its students. He is a member and International Service Director of the Palgrave Rotary Club in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Dr. Ahmad has served ISNA as its President.
Salwa Syed is the current President of the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA), a program of ISNA. Prior to stepping into her role as President, Salwa served two years on the Regional Executive Committee of MYNA’s North Central Region. MYNA is one of the many avenues through which Salwa has contributed to youth development. She led the oversight committee of the youth board at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati for 4 years, where she revived the community’s youth group. As President of her high school’s Unified 4 Uganda chapter, she and her team raised over $2000 to send underprivileged children in Uganda to school. Salwa is currently in her first year at the University of Cincinnati, where she is studying Computer Engineering as a Turner Scholar.