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Board of Trustees

Chair

Iqbal Unus

Executive Vice President

James Jones

Secretary

Shazeeda Khan

Chair of the ISF Advisory Board

Bonita McGee

President, ACC

Athar Haq

TISA’s Dean of Academic Affairs

Yasir Qadhi

Former Chair, ISNA Founders Committee

Abdul Alim Khandekar

President/CEO, UMR

Abed Ayoub

Vice President, Islamic Relief USA

Azhar Azeez

Supervisor, Clinical Pastoral Education; MA, Claremont

Tahara Akmal

Chair

Iqbal Unus

Retired Director of The Fairfax Institute at International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Dr. Unus has served as President of MSA in 1975 and as Secretary General of ISNA in the 1980s. He presently serves on ISNA Board of Directors and is Director-at-Large at United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. He has received life-time service awards from CAIR and ISNA. Dr. Unus holds a PhD from Emory University.

Executive Vice President

James Jones

Dr. Jones is Executive Vice President of the Islamic Seminary of America. He is a Professor Emeritus of World Religions and former Chair of both the Dept of World Religions and the African Studies Program at Manhattanville College (Purchase, NY). Dr. Jones’s research focuses on the soco cultural impact of prejudice and the intersectionality between sexism and racism. He has a DMin from Hartford Seminary (Christian- Muslim relations) and a MA in Religion from Yale Divinity School. He is President of the Malik Human Services Institute, a marriage counselor for more than two decades, and a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains.

Secretary

Shazeeda Khan

Chaplain Shazeeda Khan has an economics degree from New York University. She began her career as a commodities accountant at a Wall Street firm. She is currently a volunteer chaplain at the United States Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, CT since 2005 where she serves Muslim women. She also serves as the Director of Islamic Education and teacher for the Baitul Mukarram Masjid of Greater Danbury. There she develops the Islamic Studies curriculum for the youth ages 5 to 18 and supervises a team of teachers. She also develops halaqa programs for the women. Since 2000, Chaplain Khan has served on the board of the Association of Religious Communities (ARC), an interfaith community service organization. She is currently President and one of the founding board members of the Muslim Endorsement Council of Connecticut (MECC, Inc.).

Chair of the ISF Advisory Board

Bonita McGee

Former board member of the Islamic Social Services Association-USA (ISSA-USA). She also is a former board member and co-founder of the Muslim Family Services of Ohio. Ms. McGee is the Tobacco Control Program Director with the District of Columbia Department of Health working in policy, systems and environmental change to address the harmful effects of tobacco and nicotine use and exposure. Ms. McGee is a Certified Public Manager. She has a MA in Islamic Studies from the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences where she studied under Dr. Taha al-Alwani. She also has a BA in Business Administration from Ohio State. Ms. McGee is one of the founding members of the Islamic Seminary Foundation.

President, ACC

Athar Haq

Dr. Haq is the president and founder of the first Muslim non-profit organization called A Continuous Charity (ACC) which gives non-interest based loans for higher education.

Dr. Haq is originally from Los Angeles, CA.  He spend his first 23 years in Southern California receiveing a BA in Psychology from UCSD.  He then moved to Des Moines, IA to obtain his Doctorate of Osteopathy in 2011.  He then traveled Detroit, MI for his residency in Internal Medicine at Wayne State University.  Dr. Haq brings to UTSW a strong background in general medical specifically for the underserved.  He came to UTSW for the strong camaraderie amongst fellow physicians.   Dr. Haq desires to serve the underserved community not only from the medical side but also education. He was three beautiful children and spends his free time with them.

TISA’s Dean of Academic Affairs

Yasir Qadhi

Yasir Qadhi is the Resident Scholar of the East Plano Islamic Center. He is also the Dean of The Islamic Seminary of America. He is one of the few people who has combined a traditional Eastern Islamic seminary education with a Western academic training of the study of Islam. Yasir graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston, after which he was accepted as a student at the Islamic University of Madinah. After completing a diploma in Arabic, he graduated with a B.A. from the College of Hadith and Islamic Sciences, and then completed a M.A. in Islamic Theology from the College of Dawah. He then returned to America, and completed a PhD in Religious Studies from Yale University. He has authored several books, published academic articles, and appeared on numerous satellite and TV stations around the globe. His online videos are of the most popular and highly-watched Islamic videos in English.

Former Chair, ISNA Founders Committee

Abdul Alim Khandekar

Former, long-time Chair of ISNA Founders Committee. Former President of Muslim Society of Memphis. Thoracic and Cardiac Surgeon who serves multiple hospitals in Memphis.

President/CEO, UMR

Abed Ayoub

President and CEO of United Muslim Relief. PhD International Development. In 2010, he was appointed by the US Agency for International Development to serve on its Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid. He also is serving a second term on the US State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group.

Vice President, Islamic Relief USA

Azhar Azeez

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) and is currently pursuing his PhD in Islamic studies.

For 12 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) which is the oldest Muslim organization of US & Canada in 2010 and 2012 and then was elected as its President for two terms in 2014 and in 2016

He is also the past President of the North Texas Islamic council which represents 40 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.

In his role as the President of ISNA, he has advised two former US Presidents, President Jimmy Carter & President Barack Obama. He is nationally known public and a motivational speaker who travels regularly around US for various local, regional and national Islamic organizations and has addressed gatherings in more than 450 communities across US & Canada.

He has made several media appearances and interviewed by many local and national TV stations, newspapers & magazines. He also speaks regularly on local & national radio/ TV programs.  He is married and has two kids and currently resides in Dallas, TX.

Supervisor, Clinical Pastoral Education; MA, Claremont

Tahara Akmal

Chaplain Tahara Akmal joined Moravian Theological Seminary in the Spring Semester of 2017 to teach in the Chaplaincy program.  She serves as the Director of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and ACPE Certified Educator at Reading Hospital in Reading, PA., and brings with her years of training and experience in chaplaincy.

But first—prior to her career in chaplaincy and education, Tahara worked for the Islāmic Information Service (IIS) in Altadena, California, as an Anchor and Segment Producer for IIS’ nationally broadcast television program, American Muslim Hour. She also hosted a southern California radio program, Islāmic Perspectives, and freelance writing for the Chicago, Illinois based Muslim Journal newspaper. Out of the many opportunities to engage the American Muslim community, interview clergy from various religions, and visit diverse houses of worship arose Tahara’s interest in interfaith ministry.

Through her education and training, Tahara has focused particularly on end-of-life issues. Her graduate studies internship project centered on the end-of-life care practices and rituals in Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, and Buddhism. She also conducted a research project entitled Islamic Law and Medical Ethics: Organ Transplant, Defining Death, and Life Sustaining Devices. In her second-year specialized CPE residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, Tahara’s specialized ministry was with family members of patients who suffered a traumatic brain or cardiac injury. She provided spiritual and emotional care as these families decided sensitive end-of-life care options, mainly organ donation for their loved one.

Tahara remained at Johns Hopkins Hospital to become a chaplain educator (ACPE Supervisor). As part of the certification process, she developed theories for teaching interfaith ministry rooted in Islāmic theology, humanistic psychology, pastoral care and counseling theories, and adult education theories. In May 2015, Tahara made history as the first Muslim woman since ACPE’s inception in 1967 to be certified as an Associate Supervisor. She was certified as a Full ACPE Supervisor in March 2016. In October 2016, Tahara received the Muslim American Chaplain’s Association Lifetime Achievement Award, an award given annually to an individual that demonstrates excellence in service to humanity.

Tahara is the mother of two sons and a daughter. When she has chance, Tahara likes to take road trips, exploring new areas and perhaps finding a few old treasures.