Our Board of Directors is a group of accomplished leaders who share Anera's goals and bring a variety of talents, expertise and experiences to the organization.
Senior Advisor for Conflict & Fragility, World Bank. Adjunct Professor Loyola Law School Expand
Joe Saba is a senior advisor to the World Bank and a quality advisor to the EU for development assistance. For 13 years, he was the director of World Bank programs for Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Oman and West Bank/Gaza. He is an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School’s program in international law in Rome. Joe has a BA from Kings College (PA), a Harvard MA in Middle East studies and a law degree from Yale.
Grace Tompkins is an education specialist with decades of international experience. She has employed her expertise through roles in the U.S. embassies in Barbados, Australia, Zimbabwe, and Israel before returning to DC to work for the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She carries undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology and sociology from the American University in Beirut and has a passion for serving international students.
Managing Director and Head, Mergers & Acquisitions - Americas, Barclays Capital Expand
Larry Hamdan has led a successful career in banking and finance over the past 30 years; first at Credit Suisse, and now at Barclays Capital where he serves as the head of mergers and acquisitions for the Americas. He attended Princeton for his undergraduate degree in economics before earning both his MBA and JD from Harvard. He has served as a board member for Services for the Underserved since 2015, and on Anera’s board since 2003.
Secretary of the Corporation
Regional Country Manager, Central America - International Finance Corporation Expand
Sanaa Abouzaid is the regional country manager for Central America at the International Finance Corporation, leading operations in Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and El Salvador. Also at the IFC, Abouzaid was a senior corporate governance lead for the MENA region, a founding member of the Corporate Governance Development Framework, and the author of the IFC Family Business Governance Handbook. She received her MBA from George Washington University.
Ex Officio Board Members
As Anera President and CEO, Sean leads a staff of 150 in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Washington, DC, delivering humanitarian and development assistance to refugees and vulnerable communities in the Middle East. Before joining Anera, Sean worked in several international development and policy roles in Washington, DC, Europe and the Middle East, including Creative Associates International, the United States Agency for International Development, the Club of Madrid, the US Congress, the UN’s World Food Programme and the National Democratic Institute.
Liz Demarest is a brand management and communications professional with 15 years of experience and a passion for helping mission-driven non-profits communicate their plans, policies and programs effectively. Her strategies maximize online, social media and print communications vehicles to generate donor engagement and investment.
As a CPA with 30 years experience and a Master's of Accountancy, Donna Diane's career has been focused in service to nonprofit organizations, international development, and higher education. A licensed CPA in the Commonwealth of Virginia, State of New York, District of Columbia and State of Florida.
George Doumar is principal of Doumar Martin PLLC, now affiliated with Mahdavi, Bacon, Halfhill & Young, PLLC. He received a BSFS in international economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, at Georgetown University; and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was on the Virginia Law Review. He has practiced law for 35 years, during much of which he led his own practice group. He has been Anera’s outside legal counsel for many years.
Jim Abdo is the president, CEO, and founder of Abdo Development LLC, a District of Columbia development and construction company. He has been named CEO of the year by SmartCEO Magazine, named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine, honored by Partners for Livable Communities, selected as the regional winner of the Ernst and Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award, and most recently was recognized for his leadership in DC economic development with the DCBIA Building Industry Achievement Award.
Jihan Andoni is the CEO of Zeva Incorporated, a digital security company serving federal governments and corporations all around the world. Previously, she has worked for the Center for Responsive Politics and the Children’s Defense Fund in her career spanning multiple sectors and issues. She is also the co-founder of The Andoni Young Arab Science and Technology Award, a board member for the National Arab American Women’s Association, and a member of the International Women’s Forum.
Zeina Azzam has over 30 years of experience in the fields of K-12 and higher education, including 27 years at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. She has served as publications editor at Arab Center Washington DC and as the executive director of The Jerusalem Fund and Palestine Center. She is also a poet and has published her poetry in over 40 literary journals, edited volumes, and anthologies. Zeina serves as a mentor for We Are Not Numbers, a writing program for youth in Gaza.
Nader Barakat is a hardware engineering consultant and co-founder of Xirgo Technologies. He is a Palestinian-American born and raised in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, where he still has many family members. Nader holds an MS degree in Wireless Communication. He is also a board member of Palestine Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to support sustainable projects in education, health, habitat, and the arts in Palestine.
Teresa Barger is CEO and Co-Founder of Cartica Management. She began her career at McKinsey & Company before spending 21 years in leading roles at the International Finance Corporation. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on boards including the American University in Cairo and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund of India. Barger received her BA from Harvard College, her MBA from the Yale School of Management, and completed post-graduate work at the American University in Cairo.
Judy Barsalou has served in senior management and program positions at the Ford Foundation, The U.S. Institute of Peace, El-Hibri Foundation, the Middle East Research and Information Project, and the Institute of Governmental Affairs at UC Davis. She holds two master’s degrees and a PhD from Columbia University, where she became an expert in comparative politics with a geographic focus on the Middle East. She has published several works on memorialization, the manipulation of historical memory and transitional justice.
Ken Close is the CEO of The Quincy Group and a specialist in U.S.-Saudi business and foreign relations. He has over three decades of investment banking and private equity experience. He graduated from Duke University with a degree in Middle Eastern studies and public policy, where he currently serves as a board member at the Kenan Institute of Ethics. He is the fourth generation of his family born in Lebanon and the fifth generation to have lived, studied, and worked in the Middle East.
Mourad Elayen is an accomplished business and finance professional. He is the founder & CEO of MB Management, owner of 10 franchises, and former director of hedge fund investments at New York Life. He earned his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and worked in finance for nearly a decade before founding MB Management. Elayen was born and raised in the United States, but has family in East Jerusalem Silwan and has always had a heart for Palestine.
Tarek Ghandour (retired) International Business Development in fields of process water treatment, potable water treatment , desalination, sewage and industrial wastewater treatment. He holds a BSc in civil (environmental) engineering and an MBA in finance and marketing from Syracuse University. He is committed to enhancing the needs for water recycling and more efficient use of water and wastewater globally He was a member of the International Desalination Association and served on the advisory council for the International Water Conference.
Jean Glock is the owner and president of JNG Worldwide. She holds an MS from Georgetown University in foreign affairs and foreign service, and has led a career devoted to Middle East travel and tourism at Smithsonian Journeys, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Qatar Foundation International, and Signature Travel Network. In addition to her membership on Anera’s board, she is a member on the board of the Petra National Trust and Travel Elevates Foundation.
John Gurley is a practicing legal professional with over 25 years of experience. He is a partner at Arent Fox, LLP and an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University International Trade Law Center. Gurley earned both his BA and JD from the University of Kansas and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, US Court of International Trade, and US Court of Appeals Federal Circuit Court.
Matt Haddad is a senior associate general counsel at Anthem, Inc. He earned both his BA and JD from the University of Richmond and is a member of the Virginia State Bar. In addition to his seat on Anera’s board of directors, he is a steering committee member of Richmonders for Peace in Israel-Palestine.
Alison Hills is a vice president in TotalEnergies’ Washington DC office and previously held senior positions at Chevron and ExxonMobil. She has been in the energy sector for 17 years, advising on US foreign policy and environmental, social and governance issues. She received her BA from Columbia College, Columbia University and her MA from Johns Hopkins University SAIS. Alison was a Fulbright scholar in Damascus and currently serves on the international advisory committee of the National Council for US-Arab Relations.
Piney Kesting is a writer and editor who specializes in Middle Eastern cultures. She is the owner of Piney Kesting Writing and Consulting, a former consultant and in-house writer for AllWorld Network, and a frequent contributor to Aramco World magazine. Previously, she has been a managing editor for the National U.S. Arab Chamber of Commerce and Washington DC Bureau of Asharq Al Awsat and Arab News. She holds a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and pursued graduate studies in philosophy at the University of Munich.
Dr. Alfred Khoury is an expert in maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology with 45 years of experience practicing medicine. He is the director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the George Washington University Residency Program at INOVA Fairfax Hospital, and professor in the departments of obstetrics and gynecology at Virginia Commonwealth University and George Washington University. He earned both his BS and MD from the American University of Beirut.
Dr. Nabil Elie Khoury is board-certified emergency physician and internist. In addition to being an active clinician, he is a regional medical director for Envision Healthcare. He is also a physician advisor in the Trinity Health System and clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He earned both his BS and MD degrees from the University of Michigan. In addition to his board service at Anera, he co-chairs Anera’s health committee.
Rania Kiblawi is the senior public affairs advisor at Aramco Services Company. Prior to this, she served as associate director and public affairs coordinator for the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She holds both a BA and MA from the University of Texas.
Samar Hussein Langhorne is a nonprofit organization management professional with experience at the United Way and United Palestinian Appeal. She received her BA from Saint Mary’s University and her MA from Bowling Green University. Besides her work for social justice, she has dedicated most of her time to promoting projects that are at the forefront of social development that ensure sustainability and independence for local communities.
Jeff Mansour is a committed public servant with decades of leadership experience in community development, higher education advocacy, and place-based philanthropy. His work in philanthropy has focused on community vitality and economic sustainability in MI, VA, and TN - where he led a large family foundation. He is currently program director of the Thompson Charitable Foundation, enhancing quality of life and economic diversification in central Appalachia. He is a chartered advisor in philanthropy.
Cindy Mousa is a human resources professional based in New Orleans, LA. She is currently the AVP of employee relations at Ochsner Health and has held a number of other human resources positions in addition to an adjunct professorship at Tulane University. She holds a master’s in healthcare management from the University of New Orleans and has held seats on the boards of the National Association of Professional Women and NOLA SHRM.
Mona Naffa is the founder and director of Monaco MENA Consulting. She is a first generation Arab-American of Jordanian and Palestinian descent and now works and resides in Jordan. She received an MBA from Anglia Ruskin University and has become an authority in hospitality, business development and marketing. She is a member of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, World Tourism Network, and YWCA Jordan, and is a partner for the Harvard Student Agency.
Executive Director, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman Expand
Kathleen Ridolfo is the executive director of the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center at the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman. In previous roles, she has supported the Middle East Institute, Arab Thought Forum in Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction in West Bank. She earned her MA in Arab studies from Georgetown University and is a member of the boards of directors of the Middle East Institute and Middle East Outreach Council.
Fred Rogers is a specialist in higher education, currently serving as vice president and treasurer emeritus of Carleton College, where he completed his undergraduate education before completing a master's in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. Rogers is a member of the Economic Development Authority and sits on the board of directors of the Leonard Education Organization and board of advisors of United World Colleges. In 2017, he became a Fulbright Program specialist.
Kathleen Rogers is a committed environmental attorney and advocate. She is president of the EarthDay.Org, a board member at the Energy and Resources Institute, a voting member of Greenpeace, and a regional focal point for the North America Region of the NGO Network of the Global Environment Facility. Previously, she served as chief wildlife counsel for the National Audubon Society and counsel for the Environmental Law Institute. She earned her JD from the University of California-Davis.
Jim Sams retired from his role as a principal in international tax at KPMG, after more than 26 years working in different offices and roles. Prior to this, Jim served as a law clerk for a judge at the US Tax Court and as an attorney-advisor at the US Treasury. Jim also had taught internally at KPMG, as well as at Georgetown Law School and London School of Economics. He currently works part-time providing professional tax training, continuing to focus on US international tax. Jim attended Brown University and received his JD from the University of Michigan.
Mamoon Sbeih is the president of Middle East and North Africa for APCO Communication Consultancy in Dubai, where he has devoted over 15 years of his career. Prior to this, he served as a public relations officer for the World Bank. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Salford in London before earning his master’s in development management from the University of Turin in Italy. He currently sits on the board of the Middle East Public Relations Association.
Murad Siam is the president, CEO and founder of IDS Real Estate Group. He brings four decades of business and real estate expertise to the Anera board and is a member of the American Industrial Real Estate Association and Building Owners & Managers Association. He founded and is chairperson of the Valley Sports Foundation. He completed his BS at California State University before earning a graduate certificate from the University of California-Irvine in light construction and development management.
Senior Vice President for Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Lockheed Martin Corporation, ret. Expand
Bob Trice has led a long and successful career in business development, serving most recently as senior vice president for corporate strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin Corporation. He has authored a number of books on American foreign policy and defense industrial issues, and earned his MA and PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin, where he currently sits on the board of directors of the Department of Political Science.
Katherine Wilkens has led an incredible career in foreign relations and domestic policy. She is currently a senior advisor at the National Democratic Institute. Previously, Wilkens has served as deputy director and fellow of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle East Program, vice president of AMIDEAST, president of the World Affairs Council of Washington DC, and as an international affairs fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations.
Director, Functional Neurosurgery, Co-Director, Comprehensive Spine Center at The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute Expand
Dr. Omar Zalatimo is the Director of Functional Neurosurgery and Co-Director of the Comprehensive Spine Center at The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, and American Medical Association. Dr. Zalatimo earned his Doctor of Medicine, MPA, and MPH from Penn State Hershey Medical Center.