ISPU Board of Directors

Award and Leadership Resources

In July 2020, ISPU was honored to receive the Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s 2020 Board Leadership Award.

The Board Leadership Award recognizes a nonprofit board with “outstanding leadership” that showcases the pivotal role that a board plays in building and supporting a truly successful organization. ISPU’s diverse, engaged, and accountable board increases our organization’s impact and success in providing objective research and education about American Muslims.

We are grateful to have a board whose commitment to ISPU’s mission has become an award-winning example of leadership in the nonprofit sector. We look forward to years to come working in partnership to support well-informed dialogue and decision-making.

This page serves as a resource for those wanting to learn about and from ISPU’s board. In collaboration with the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, four ISPU board members appeared in the “Best Practice Learning Series” as part of the award process; those videos are available below on this page. You can also hear from board members themselves on why being a part of ISPU is so important to them and how they view the scope of ISPU’s impact.

To get in touch with ISPU’s Board of Directors, email info@ispu.org.

2020 Center for Nonprofit Advancement Board Leadership Award

Board of Directors Leadership

Resources for Nonprofit

In July 2020, ISPU was honored to receive the Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s 2020 Board Leadership Award..

The Board Leadership Award recognizes a nonprofit board with “outstanding leadership” that showcases the pivotal role that a board plays in building and supporting a truly successful organization. ISPU’s diverse, engaged, and accountable board increases our organization’s impact and success in providing objective research and education about American Muslims.

We are grateful to have a board whose commitment to ISPU’s mission has become an award-winning example of leadership in the nonprofit sector. We look forward to years to come working in partnership to support well-informed dialogue and decision-making.

This page serves as a resource for those wanting to learn about and from ISPU’s board. In collaboration with the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, four ISPU board members appeared in the “Best Practice Learning Series” as part of the award process; those videos are available below on this page. You can also hear from board members themselves on why being a part of ISPU is so important to them and how they view the scope of ISPU’s impact.

To get in touch with ISPU’s Board of Directors, email info@ispu.org.

2020 Center for Nonprofit Advancement Board Leadership Award
Meira Neggaz

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

From our board, to our staff, to everything that we do, we strive for excellence—we believe it is a critical ingredient for an exceptional nonprofit, and today I can share an amazing affirmation of this belief. I am so honored to announce ISPU’s board of directors is this year’s recipient of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s Board Leadership Award.

This award spotlights outstanding leadership from nonprofit boards of directors, acknowledging the critical role that boards play in building and sustaining successful organizations. It recognizes that a good board ensures their organization is well-led, well-supported, and responsive to the people and communities it serves. ISPU’s board is all that and more.

Working closely with ISPU’s board of directors and witnessing their commitment to our mission and all those we serve is a truly gratifying part of my job. I am so excited that these incredible leaders have received this well-deserved recognition. They lead with integrity, serve with passion, and govern with excellence.

Being selected as a winner for this award is a huge honor for ISPU and our board, and a wonderful acknowledgement of the time, attention, and effort that we have invested in building a diverse, accountable, committed, and well-run board. As a nonprofit that has grown from a grassroots passion project to a pillar organization with nine staff and national reach, we serve as a resource for research and best practices, and an institutional model for organizations with similar histories.

Over the years, the ISPU board has counted 16 additional members to those currently serving. This award would not have been possible without their successive contributions. Each board member paved the way for the next, strengthening the board immensely along the way. We share this award with all those who have come before.

I hope you will join me in thanking ISPU’s board members, past and present, for their service and congratulating them on this incredible achievement. As an executive director, I am so thankful to have these incredible individuals as partners. Dynamic and engaged boards are critical for truly healthy and thriving organizations, and we are proud of the investment that ISPU and its board members have made in getting this right.

Meira Neggaz

ISPU Executive Director

Saima Siddiqui

“The ISPU board has always been home to passionate individuals who are dynamic, motivated, and deeply committed to the institution’s best interests.”

SAIMA SIDDIQUI, Board Chair (2017–2018) and Board Member (2008–2020)

Oussama Mezoui

“ISPU board is the most diverse board I’m involved with. It has the most committed members and individuals that inspire us to compete for good.”

OUSSAMA MEZOUI, Board Member

Sean1-170x220

“ISPU impressed the Selection Committee from the beginning: the intentionality that was evident across the different stages of the Award process was clearly an ingrained practice in all aspects of their board governance.”

SEAN SWEENEY, Director of Education and Special Programs, Center for Nonprofit Advancement

M Gasby Brown

“While we offer diverse opinions—and our perspectives are just that, diverse—we come out as a cohesive whole.”

M. GASBY BROWN, Board Member

Mustafa Ahmed

“I love working on the ISPU board because it has given me an opportunity to interact with some incredible people.”

MUSTAFA AHMED, Board Member and Board Chair (2019–2020)

Sean1-170x220

“ISPU has clear, formalized policies to ensure strong strategic leadership and devotion to mission. Their collegial culture makes it possible for them not only to tackle hard conversations, but to grow and implement lessons learned into their future practices.”

SEAN SWEENEY, Director of Education and Special Programs, Center for Nonprofit Advancement

Board Leadership Award “Best Practice Learning Series” with the Center for Nonprofit Advancement

Former ISPU Board Chair, Saima Siddiqui, spoke about how wanting to expand ISPU’s impact and reach played a role in selecting an executive director. As chair of the search committee during that time, she and the rest of the committee cast an intentionally wide net during the search in order to pursue their goal of increasing impact with a new executive director.

Former ISPU Board Member and chair of the governance committee, Moheeb Murray, shared the importance of having methodical systems in place to address an organization’s strengths and weaknesses. From there, an existing board can build out with new members who can fill gaps and bolster successes.

Current ISPU Board Chair, Marwa Zohdy, and ISPU Executive Director, Meira Neggaz, joined the Center of Nonprofit Advancement to talk about mission and strategic leadership. Meira spoke on the evolution of ISPU’s mission to become focused on domestic policy and communities. Marwa echoed how major decisions about mission and strategy can positively impact an organization’s reach, such as in ISPU’s case.

Fundraising is at the heart of how many nonprofits achieve their goals and transform communities. Current ISPU Vice Chair, Colleen Ezzeddine, presented the board’s strategy of having a “menu of options” available for board members when it comes to development, so that each member can adopt a style that fits their time constraints, personality, and comfort level. ISPU’s board works with ISPU staff and other stakeholders on a variety of giving campaigns and strategies.

M. Gasby Brown interviews Meira Neggaz

ISPU Board Member, M. Gasby Brown, interviewed ISPU Executive Director, Meira Neggaz, on Brown’s podcast NonProfit Thursdays in January 2021. This episode, titled “Do you have the ‘It?'” is a conversation between the two about leadership qualities in the nonprofit world.

Effective Board Leadership: Institute for Social Policy and Understanding Case Study

Completed as part of coursework for Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership Summer 2020 Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program, this first-of-its-kind case study takes a deep dive into the history of ISPU’s Board of Directors to document the commitment of an American Muslim-led nonprofit to advancing its board leadership. Study author Ghazala Salam explores the lessons, challenges, and successes over ISPU’s 20 years with the intention of this case study serving as a resource for other Muslim-led non-profits.

Learn more about ISPU’s Board

Our Board of Directors page has information about each of ISPU’s current award-winning board members. While we are currently not actively seeking board members, we always accept nominations from those interested in joining ISPU’s board to keep in our pipeline. Please send a resume and letter of interest to nominations@ispu.org.

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