Posted on December 11, 2009 in Arab American Institute

Dr. James Zogby, President

Maya Berry, Executive Director


Eddie Bejarano, Government Relations Associate

Joan Hanna, Community Relations and Programs Associate

Elizabeth Johnson, Finance Manager

Margaret Lowry, Research and Development Associate

Waseem Mardini, Communications Manager

Shadi Matar, Community Relations Associate

Kristin McCarthy, Policy Director

Meredith Pahowka, Executive Assistant to President

Meet Our Fellows


AAI's Board of Directors and Governors



Hon. George Salem, Chair
Law Offices of George R. Salem, LLC
Washington, DC

Dr. James Zogby, President
Arab American Institute
Washington, DC

Mr. Jean AbiNader, Secretary
Moroccan American Center
Washington, DC

Mrs. Helen Hatab Samhan, Treasurer
Arab American Institute Foundation
Washington, DC

Mr. Hossam Abdel-Maksoud
Abdel-Maksoud Pharmacies
New York, NY

Dr. Samir Abu-Ghazaleh
Avera Women's Center
Sioux Falls, SD

Mr. Eddie Ayoob
Barnes & Thornburg
Washington, DC

Dr. Yahya Basha
Basha Diagnostics, P.C.
Royal Oak, MI

Ms. Sherine El-Abd
New Jersey Federation of Republican Women
Clifton, NJ

Mr. Abul Huda Farouki
Financial Instrument & Investment Corp.
Reston, VA

Mrs. Samia Farouki
Nour USA, Ltd.
McLean, VA

Hon. Edward Gabriel
The Gabriel Company, LLC
Washington, DC

Mr. Samual Halaby
Pittsford, NY

Mr. Ahmad Husami
Husami & Associates
Long Beach, CA

Mr. Al Maloof
Genovese, Joblove & Battista P.A.
Miami, FL

Mr. David Pollak
Pegasus Capital
New York, NY

Ms. Denyse Sabagh
Duane Morris, LLP
Washington, DC

Mr. Nabil Takla
Morganti Group
Danbury, CT

Mr. John Zogby
JZ Analytics
Utica, NY


George R. Salem established the Law Offices of George R. Salem, PLLC in January 2005.  In November 2005, he entered into a relationship as Strategic Advisor with DLA Piper US LLP, where he is focused on assisting in the development of the firm's Middle East and U.S. Department of Labor practices.

From 1990-2004, Mr. Salem was a partner at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer Feld, LLP, where he headed that firm's Middle East and U.S. DOL practices.

During the course of his career, Mr. Salem has negotiated some of the most significant settlements in the field of labor law, including the resolution of all pending ERISA cases against the Teamsters' Central States Pension Fund, the E.O. 11246 discrimination case against Harris Trust and Savings Bank, and several major OSHA and FLSA settlements, including the major FLSA settlement involving Food Lion.

On behalf of various Middle East clients, Mr. Salem headed the legal teams that handled the acquisitions of major assets, including refineries in the Middle East.  In addition, he headed the legal team that successfully brought suit against the Department of Treasury on behalf of the owners of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that was destroyed by the U.S. Navy.

From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Salem served as the Solicitor of Labor. As the U.S. Department of Labor’s chief legal officer, he was responsible for enforcing more than 130 laws that regulate the nation's workplace, including those guaranteeing minimum wages through the Fair Labor Standards Act, ensuring occupational safety and health pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and maintaining pension security under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Mr. Salem headed a staff of 850 lawyers and support staff in 13 national offices and 16 regional and sub-regional offices around the country.

Mr. Salem played key roles in the Reagan-Bush '84, Bush-Quayle '88 and Bush-Cheney '00 and ‘04 campaigns.  In addition, he served as a member of the board of directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and as chairman of the Tripartite Advisory Panel on International Labor Standards, the legal arm of the President's Committee on the International Labor Organization.

Mr. Salem has written and spoken extensively on labor law and related topics and has lectured in Moscow, Beijing, Cairo, and Geneva. He is also active in several professional associations, and is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in American Politics, Who's Who in Finance and Industry, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, and The International Who's Who of Labor Lawyers, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2003-2004 and 2004-2005), as well as in the 2007 publication of Washington Super Lawyers. In addition, he was named by The National Law Journal as one of the top 26 labor lawyers in the United States. He is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Mr. Salem serves on the board of directors of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.  He co-founded the Arab American Institute in 1985 and currently serves as its chairman, and has served as treasurer of United Palestinian Appeal, Inc. since 1982. He is a past president of the National Association of Arab Americans.

Mr. Salem was part of the official U.S. delegation sent to monitor the Palestinian elections in 2005 headed by Senators Biden and Sununu. In 2003 he was named to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy’s Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim World, which was assembled at the request of Congress to study the State Department’s public diplomacy efforts in these regions.  On behalf of the Bush Administration Mr. Salem served as an official observer to the Palestinian elections held in February 2005, and also as President Bush’s representative to the funeral of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

In 1992 Mr. Salem received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.  The award is presented annually to Americans of diverse origins for their outstanding contributions to their own ethnic groups and to American society.

Mr. Salem received his B.A. in 1975 and his J.D. in 1977 from Emory University and his LL.M. in labor law in 1984 from the Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the Bars of Georgia, Florida and the District of Columbia.

Dr. James J. Zogby is the author of Arab Voices (Palgrave Macmillan, October 2010) and the founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a Washington, D.C.-based organization which serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community. Since 1985, Dr. Zogby and AAI have led Arab American efforts to secure political empowerment in the U.S. Through voter registration, education and mobilization, AAI has moved Arab Americans into the political mainstream.

For the past three decades, Dr. Zogby has been involved in a full range of Arab American issues. A co-founder and chairman of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign in the late 1970s, he later co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. In 1982, he co-founded Save Lebanon, Inc., a private non-profit, humanitarian and non-sectarian relief organization which funds health care for Palestinian and Lebanese victims of war, and other social welfare projects in Lebanon. In 1985, Zogby founded AAI.

In 1993, following the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord in Washington, he was asked by Vice President Al Gore to lead Builders for Peace, a private sector committee to promote U.S. business investment in the West Bank and Gaza. In his capacity as co-president of Builders, Zogby frequently traveled to the Middle East with delegations led by Vice President Gore and late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. In 1994, with former U.S. Congressman Mel Levine, his colleague as co-president of Builders, Zogby led a U.S. delegation to the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement in Cairo. Zogby also chaired a forum on the Palestinian economy at the Casablanca Economic Summit in 1994. After 1994, through Builders, Zogby worked with a number of US agencies to promote and support Palestinian economic development, including AID, OPIC, USTDA, and the Departments of State and Commerce.

Dr. Zogby has also been personally active in U.S. politics for many years; in 1984 and 1988 he served as Deputy Campaign manager and Senior Advisor to the Jesse Jackson Presidential campaign. In 1988, he led the first ever debate on Palestinian statehood at that year’s Democratic convention in Atlanta, GA. In 1995 Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler appointed Zogby as co-convener of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee (NDECC), an umbrella organization of Democratic Party leaders of European and Mediterranean descent. In 1999 and 2001 he was reelected to that post. Also in 2001, he was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and in 2006 was also named Co-Chair of the DNC’s Resolutions Committee.

A lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues, U.S.-Arab relations, and the history of the Arab American community, Dr. Zogby appears frequently on television and radio. He has appeared as a regular guest on all the major network news programs and is a featured blogger on The Huffington Post. He also has an extensive media profile across the Arab World. After hosting the popular “A Capital View” on the Arab Network of America from 1993-2001, from 2001 until 2011 he hosted the award winning “Viewpoint with James Zogby” on Abu Dhabi Television. He currently serves as Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Committee for SkyArabia News. Since 1992, Dr. Zogby has also written a weekly column on U.S. politics for the major newspapers of the Arab world. The column, “Washington Watch,” is currently published in 14 Arab and South Asian countries.

In addition to “Arab Voices”, he has authored a number of other books including two publications, “What Ethnic Americans Really Think” and “What Arabs Think: Values, Beliefs and Concerns.”

Dr. Zogby has testified before U.S. House and Senate committees, has been guest speaker on a number of occasions in the Secretary’s Open Forum at the U.S. Department of State, and has addressed the United Nations and other international forums. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, Dr Zogby served as a Senior Advisor for the polling firm Zogby International, where he was responsible for the firm’s groundbreaking polling across the Middle East. He is now continuing that work as Director of Zogby Research Services.

In 1975, Dr. Zogby received his doctorate from Temple University’s Department of Religion, where he studied under the Islamic scholar Dr. Ismail al-Faruqi. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Fellow at Princeton University in 1976, and on several occasions was awarded grants for research and writing by the Knight Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Defense Education Act, and the Mellon Foundation. Dr. Zogby received a Bachelor of Arts from Le Moyne College. In 1995, Le Moyne awarded Zogby an honorary doctoral of laws degree, and in 1997 named him the college’s outstanding alumnus. In 2007 Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts named him its Distinguished Alum. And in 2008 the American University of Cairo awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Dr. Zogby is married to Eileen Patricia McMahon and is the father of five children. Zogby’s mother, Cecilia Ann, was a woman committed to religion, family, education, and service of others. Click here for Dr. Zogby’s January 1999 reflections on the “Zogby Matriarch.”


Pollster John Zogby is a Senior Analyst at JZ Analytics, a worldwide research and marketing firm based in Utica, New York, with offices in Washington D.C. and Miami. He founded the company in 1984, and now conducts business in more than 70 countries. While much of Zogby's polling is conducted using live telephone operators, over the past decade, he has developed an interactive polling methodology that has become extraordinarily accurate. Zogby has said he believes this online polling methodology is where the future of polling is headed, as more than 90% of likely voters nationwide say they regularly log onto the Internet to check email or get their news.

For the 2008 election season, Zogby teamed up with Reuters, the world's leading news wire service, and C-SPAN, the leading news outlet covering the United States federal government, to provide political survey research on the race for the White House. Since 1996, Zogby has polled for Reuters, and in 2000 to 2004, polled for NBC News. His clients also include MSNBC, CNBC, the New York Post, Fox News, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, Gannett News Service, Houston Chronicle, Miami Herald, Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Albany Times Union, the Buffalo News, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cincinnati Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Toledo Blade, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, and nearly every daily newspaper in New York State, as well as television stations throughout the U.S.

He has been spoofed on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the Late Show with David Letterman. He has been profiled in the New Yorker, Fortune Magazine, Inc., and Investors' Business Daily and has also appeared on major television networks and both U.S. and international cable news programs. High points of his career were his October 28, 2004 and January 9, 2008 appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Zogby currently writes a weekly column for and a monthly column for Politics magazine. His analytical expertise has also been published on the opinion pages of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsday and the Boston Globe. He is also a founding contributor to the prestigious website, The Huffington Post. Following his correct call in the 1997 New Jersey gubernatorial election, the Houston Chronicle exclaimed, "and the winner again is John Zogby." Mary Matalin, host of her own national radio show, calls Zogby the "prince of pollsters," and Barry Farber has declared him "America's Pollmaster General."

Zogby holds degrees in history from Le Moyne College and Syracuse University, and taught history and political science for 24 years. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of Le Moyne College. He received the distinguished Alumni Award in June 2000, and in 2005, he was awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees from State University of New York and the Graduate School of Union University. Mr. Zogby is also a Senior Advisor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and serves as the first-ever Senior Fellow of the Catholic University Life Cycle Institute in Washington, D.C. He also serves on the Advisory Council for Bio-Technology for the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is a Commissioner on CSIS's Commission on Smart Power. Zogby is a much-sought-after lecturer and panelist. A combination of dynamic intellect and engaging style has made him the speaker of choice for universities, organizations, corporations and associations throughout the world. His speaking engagements are handled exclusively by the American Program Bureau, a leading international speakers bureau. He lectures all over the world.

He is the author of The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream, which was published by Random House in August 2008 and is now available online and in bookstores. Zogby's analysis of years of data yields an astonishing perspective on Americans' thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, now and in coming years. Understanding this emerging reality will be key for leaders in all fields who want to reach audiences that are more media-savvy, better informed, and more technologically enabled than ever before, individuals in search of rewarding and fulfilling careers in tomorrow's growth fields, politicians and CEOs looking to marry policies and practices to the rising demand for social responsibility, and anyone who wants to market to the emerging new American consensus. Beyond telling a fascinating story, the conclusions in this book are a must-read for everyone from Main Street to Madison Avenue to Capitol Hill. The Way We'll Be will redefine how we view America's future.

He is married to Kathleen Zogby, a retired special education teacher, and has three sons, Jonathan, Benjamin, and Jeremy.

Jean AbiNader has been active in US-Middle East affairs since joining the National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA), the first Arab-American advocacy group, in 1974. He served as its Executive Director from 1978-1980 prior to establishing his consulting firm, now known as IdeaCom, Inc., which has provided special events, advocacy, and intercultural training services to a range of international clients. Mr. AbiNader brings more than 30 years of experience as a trade association and corporate executive, management consultant, and human resources professional to his current role as COO of the Moroccan American Center, which promotes closer economic, political, and security relations between Morocco and the United States. He has advised U.S. and international companies, organizations, and agencies on management and marketing issues ranging from strategic planning and business plan development to negotiations and cross-cultural communications.  With specific expertise in international business and public affairs in the Arab Middle East, he has worked on trade and investment programs, education and training projects, advocacy, tourism promotion, and similar projects throughout the region.

He is a founding member of the Arab American Institute (AAI) and serves as the chair of the Steering Committee of the AAI Foundation Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala. He previously served as President/CEO of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC), president of NAAA, and on the boards of AMIDEAST, ANERA, the National Council on US-Arab Relations, and other organizations with close ties to the Middle East and North Africa. Jean is a well-known speaker on a range of topics related to US-Arab policy and has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University leading a graduate seminar in international marketing.


Helen Hatab Samhan is the former Executive Director the Arab American Institute Foundation in Washington, D.C., an affiliate of the Arab American Institute which has represented Arab American issues in politics, elections, leadership training and public policy since 1985. Ms. Samhan lectures and publishes on Arab American affairs, particularly the immigrant experience of Arabs in the U.S., their identity and demographics, the history of anti-Arab racism, political involvement and Arab American women. She serves on numerous boards and holds a master’s degree in Middle East studies from the American University of Beirut. Ms. Samhan is active in civic affairs in northern Virginia, where she resides with her husband and two children.  

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