New Members Join Anera Board of Directors in 2020
October 20, 2020 | Washington, DC — Anera welcomes new members onto its Board of Directors. Anera’s board approved the six new members at its October board meeting. The new members, two of whom are returning, are leaders in urban development and real estate, technology, travel and tourism, medicine, the environment and public policy.
Anera President and CEO Sean Carroll said,
“We are honored and thrilled to welcome such a strong group of new and returning board members. Their expertise is highly relevant to Anera’s work in health, economic development, the environment, technology and career acceleration. Their knowledge of and commitment to meeting the needs of refugees and other vulnerable populations in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan provides very welcome leadership and support.”
The new group brings board membership close to gender parity, and continues the strong mix of Arab, Arab-American and non-Arab members with a commitment to Anera’s mission and the region we work in. They bring added, relevant geographic and sectoral expertise to Anera’s board.
Chair of Anera’s Board of Directors, Joseph Saba, commented,
“In this year of cascading crises falling hard on refugees and their hosts, Anera is fortunate to receive a strong cohort of new board members. Along with their commitment to Anera’ s mandate, the new board members bring to Anera a diverse array of practical experience and professional skills to confront the challenges of forced displacement and boost Anera’s capabilities.”
The new board members are: Jim Abdo, founder and president of Abdo Development; Nader Barakat, cofounder and principal hardware engineer of Xirgo Technologies; Jean Newman Glock, a managing director at Signature Travel Network; Dr. Alfred Khoury, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, director at INOVA Fairfax Hospital; Kathleen Rogers, president of Earthday Network; and Katherine Wilkens, a Middle East and US foreign policy expert.
The board meeting followed Anera’s first ever Global Gala, which the organization hosted in lieu of an Annual Dinner this year. Hundreds of Anera supporters from across the world joined together online to take stock of a year full of challenges — including COVID-19 and the Beirut explosion — and to celebrate Anera’ accomplishments in the face of these difficulties.
James (Jim) Abdo is founder, president and CEO of Abdo Development LLC, a development and construction company based in Washington DC. Born and raised in Ohio, Jim’s father was an immigrant from Palestine. He covered the Gulf War as a correspondent for USA Radio. After his time as a reporter, he began his real estate business, purchasing and refurbishing historic buildings throughout DC. He has received many awards including Ernst and Young’s regional Entrepreneur of the Year.
Nader Barakat is cofounder and principal hardware engineer of Xirgo Technologies, LLC in Los Angeles, CA. Nader is a Palestinian-American, born and raised in the city of Anabta, in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank. He came to the US in 1979, shortly after high school to pursue his education. Most of his siblings still live back home in Palestine. Nader and his family regularly travel to Palestine, and are ardent supporters of Anera.
Jean Newman Glock is managing director of communications and public affairs at Signature Travel Network in Washington DC. Jean spent 18 years with the Smithsonian Institution, leading their extensive portfolio of international tours. She has worked with the White House, US Department of State and US Chamber of Commerce to promote tourism in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Jean has previously served as Vice Chair on Anera’s Board and as a member of the International Advisory Council.
Alfred Khoury, MD is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist in Fairfax, VA with over 42 years of experience. He is a director at INOVA Fairfax Hospital in Virginia and a professor in the departments of obstetrics and gynecology at Virginia Commonwealth University and George Washington University. He has cared for thousands of women with high-risk pregnancies, delivering timely and exceptional care. Alfred is rejoining the Anera board and has also served as an International Advisory Council member.
Kathleen Rogers is the president of Earth Day Network in Washington DC, where she works to advance the new green economy. She has worked for more than 20 years as an environmental attorney and advocate, focusing on international and domestic environmental public policy and law. Kathleen has held senior positions at the National Audubon Society and the Environmental Law Institute. She has received numerous awards, including the Luminary award by Womensphere and the Urban Zen Foundation.
Katherine Wilkens is senior advisor at the National Democratic Institute, and has served in leadership positions at the Carnegie Middle East Program, AMIDEAST, and the World Affairs Council of Washington DC. Katherine worked as a State Department analyst аnd was an international affairs fellow аt Thе Council оn Foreign Relations. Before that, she worked in the U.S. Department оf Energy and was staff director оf Thе House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe аnd thе Middle Eаѕt.
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Since 1968, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East.