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Leadership

AMMWEC’s board is comprised of philanthropists, businesswomen, physicians, entrepreneurs, and homemakers. We unite to strengthen our community, confront bigotry in all its forms, celebrate cultural heritage, and build enduring bonds with fellow Americans of all faiths.

Anila Ali

Board Chair & President

Anila Ali

A native of Pakistan, Ali is a retired California public school teacher, Muslim philanthropist, author, and women rights advocate. A centrist Democrat, Ali served as a delegate to the 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions. She is a co-founder of the Irvine Pakistani Parents Foundation and CalPak Educational Services. In 2015 she presented at the Obama White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism. For more information on her biography and leadership work, see www.AnilaAli.com.

Faryal Khan

Vice President & Founding Member

Faryal Khan

Khan is Vice President of Business Development at American Harvest, Inc. Born and raised in the England, she graduated from the American College of Applied Arts in London before moving to the US in 1990. Khan has two decades of expertise in sales leadership, managing accounts for Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Omni Hotels, and HyattWorldwide. She has completed the FBI Citizens Academy and participated in CIA summits.

Bilquis Haider

Founding Board Member

Bilquis Haider

Haider is an entrepreneur and independent businesswoman based in Venice Beach, California. As a founding member of AMMWEC, she is an interfaith leader outspoken on women’s rights and gender equality. She mentors young women who want to start a business and helps single women in need.

Bushra Mateen

Board Member

Bushra Mateen

Mateen holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from Karachi University and worked as an editor and magazine publisher in her native Pakistan. She assists children with learning disabilities and serves as a liaison to AMMWEC partners like the Los Angeles Human Rights Commission and the Olive Tree Initiative. She served as a community presenter at AMMWEC’s 2019 multifaith iftar in Newport Beach.

Rana Syed

Board Member

Rana Syed

Rana is from the city of Karachi in Pakistan. She spent most of her life serving as a school teacher working with children with learning disabilities. She moved to the US in 2014.and she joined AMMWEC as our senior citizen liaison and Urdu teacher. Currently, she spends most of her time helping her community and volunteering at her local senior center in Irvine.

Perveen Ahmad

Board Member

Perveen Ahmad

A nutritionist and philanthropist, Ahmad is a registered dietitian with board certification from Loma Linda University. She works with the local law enforcement to help provide shelter for those in extreme poverty.

Aisha Bajwa

Board Member

Aisha Bajwa

Bajwa is a Regional Sales Manager at Shawcor, a leading integrated energy services company. A graduate of Arizona State University, she mentors young Muslim women exploring careers in engineering and was named a Young Professional 2012 by the US National Committee of International Electrotechnical Commission.

Dinah Frieden

Board Member

Dinah Frieden

Frieden is Chair of the Irvine Democratic Party and has previously served on community boards for the Irvine Unified School District/Budget Commission and the Red Cross. Retired after a career in retail management and design, Frieden speaks to interfaith audiences and helps AMMWEC recruit young women for law enforcement internships.

Deborah Cunningham Skurnik

Board Member

Deborah Cunningham Skurnik

Regional Director California Democratic Party. Deborah was a delegate at the 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Zeba Zebunessa

Board Member

Zeba Zebunessa

Zebunnesa graduated from the Claire Trevor School of Art at the University of California, Irvine. Born in raised in Bangladesh, she continues to help her native village of Gazipur improve educational, environmental, and social services.

Samina Bakhtiari

Board Member

Samina Bakhtiari

Bakhtiari is the founder of a caregiving business providing trusted home care for the elderly. She mentors young women exploring careers in senior care.

Dr Farhat Zubair

Board Member

Dr Farhat Zubair

Dr. Zubair is an anesthesiologist affiliated with Memorial Hospital of Gardena. She graduated from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and travels frequently to serve at health clinics in the remote areas of Pakistan. As the daughter of a Muslim father and Jewish mother, she knows firsthand the important of building interfaith understanding.

Dr. Robila Ashfaq

Board Member

Dr. Robila Ashfaq

Dr. Ashfaq is a family medicine physician in southern California. Serves on the Board of Calpak, dedicating time and resources to educate children in Pakistan as she believes ‘education’ is the key to empowerment. An advocate for women’s education and civic participation, she speaks on interfaith and women’s health issues.

Naeema Karimi

Board Member

Naeema Karimi

A native of Pakistan, Karimi is a successful businesswoman and advocate for women’s empowerment.

Hina Ahmed

Board Member

Hina Ahmed

Hina Ahmed holds a Chartered Accounting Degree from Karachi, Pakistan. She currently works as a Cisco Solutions Architect in the tech industry. She serves as a board member of AMMWEC and helps promote the organization’s ideology of empowering Muslim American women in the workplace and community

Rohida Khan

Advisor to the Board

Rohida Khan

Khan works with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a Victim Assistance Agent.

Dr. Gwen Hecht

Advisory Board Member

Dr. Gwen Hecht

Recognized as a woman of influence and a servant leader, Dr. Gwen Hecht, Ph.D., MFT, CT is an author, philanthropist, non-profit founder, and retired marriage and family therapist. She began her career over 35 years ago, as one of the founders of a rape crisis center. Dr. Hecht has always believed in making a difference and giving back, thus she has founded several non-profits committed to global education, interfaith, and trauma-informed initiatives.

Kelly Herman

Advisory Board Member

Kelly Herman

Kelly Herman has been a practicing attorney based in Washington D.C for over 20 years. She is currently corporate counsel export/import law at Northrop Grumman Corp. She previously served as a Commissioner on the Arts for the City of Fairfax, VA, and currently serves as the President of Echo Resource Development, Inc.’s Executive Board based in Baltimore, MD. As a Jewish woman with a keen interest in religious synergies, Kelly has been in the continual pursuit of creating opportunities for women’s empowerment and religious interconnectivity.

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