A cornerstone of the Arab American Institute’s mission is the development of leadership skills among our community’s elected and appointed officials, thought leaders, community organizers, outstanding young professionals, and students. Our efforts create a pipeline of talented Arab Americans into public service and then support their continued engagement with the issues affecting the Arab American community.

 AAI created the National Policy Council (NPC) as a forum to regularly convene Arab American community leaders and directly connect our national advocacy work with those leaders who see the impacts of it firsthand. We host monthly conversations with leading issue experts who brief NPC members on an upcoming issue or importance and its relevance to our community. As a group, the NPC helps AAI formulate and advocate for our positioning on important policy topics – both foreign and domestic. NPC members represent a wealth of experience, expertise and insight which is indispensable to the national impact of the Arab American community. The membership of this roughly 100 person body strives to reflect the political, geographic, and gender diversity of the Arab American community.

 AAI hosts two Arab American leadership summits and advocacy days each year, which are the only time that the strength of the Arab American community engages policymakers in Washington, DC as a constituency block. In April, planned in tandem with our annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala, our community is invited to join us on Capitol Hill and at the White House for high level briefings and meetings with members of Congress and key administration staff. In the fall, AAI hosts an annual Yalla Vote leadership summit – bringing into focus a strategy for politically organizing and mobilizing our community around a defined Arab American platform.

The Arab American Leadership Council Program (ALC) is an AAIF program, established in 2016, bringing elected and appointed Arab American officials to three countries in the Middle East to examine the United States’ political, economic, and cultural relationship with each country and the region as a whole. Though accomplished public servants, many of our community’s best and brightest have had limited exposure to the Arab World. This program is designed to empower Arab American officials to be stronger advocates for better policies, while also establishing a strong relationship between both peoples to overcome the East-West divide.

Read about the 2016 ALC Middle East Study Tour & Meet the Delegates

Read about our March 2019 U.S.-Tunisia Peer Exchange Program

Each month, AAI’s Arab American Generations series brings together Arab American professionals in the Washington, DC area to celebrate, learn, and network with one another. From college interns to seasoned professionals, Generations convenes talented, passionate Arab Americans from all professional backgrounds to learn from one another. The Arab American community in DC is a valuable resource for new professionals as well as a platform for our brightest leaders to develop the next generation of Arab American stars.

AAI also runs a paid year round internship program for college and graduate students.

For more information on our student programs and resources, please visit our internship opportunities page.

To learn more about AAI’s Leadership Development initiatives, please email communications@aaiusa.org.