Meira Neggaz is the Executive Director at ISPU, where she is responsible for the institution’s overall leadership, strategy, and growth. Meira works to build and strengthen ISPU, to cultivate relationships with community leaders, policy makers, scholars, partner institutions and stakeholders, and to broaden the reach and impact of ISPU’s research. Before joining ISPU, Meira served as Senior Program Officer for Marie Stopes International (MSI), a leading, UK-based organization working in 42 countries. There, she led and managed programs in multiple countries, developed partnerships with key stakeholders and partner institutions, provided technical advice, and managed key grants and donor relationships. Formerly, Meira was the first Executive Director of WINGS in Guatemala, where she grew the organization from its infancy to become a national leader in the health sector, and the Guatemala Country Representative for Curamericas, establishing country presence and leading a USAID funded child survival project. She holds a BA from Huron University in London and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Director of Research
Dalia Mogahed is the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, where she leads the organization’s pioneering research and thought leadership programs on American Muslims. Mogahed is former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where she led the analysis of surveys of Muslim communities worldwide. With John L. Esposito, she co-authored the book Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think. President Barack Obama appointed Mogahed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009. She was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about U.S. engagement with Muslim communities. Her 2016 TED talk was named one of the top TED talks that year. She is a frequent expert commentator in global media outlets and international forums. She is also the CEO of Mogahed Consulting.
Director of Finance
Nadia Ahmed is the Director of Finance at ISPU. She had previously served as the Business Manager, Board Treasurer, and Finance Committee Chair for Friends School in Detroit, a nonprofit private elementary school. Before that, she had worked for over 11 years in the public accounting field as an international tax consultant for Ernst & Young in Detroit and Arthur Anderson in Chicago and New York. She has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from DePaul University and a master’s degree in Non-Profit Management.
Senior Development Manager
Amal Beydoun currently serves as Senior Development Manager at the ISPU, where she leads the development and advancement of a strong, diversified resource development nationwide to achieve fundraising and strategic goals. Prior to joining ISPU, Amal served as Deputy Director at the American Arab Chamber of Commerce, where she managed the organization’s daily activities. Amal also served as Human Resources Director at Hamadeh Educational Services, where she oversaw human resources activities at six buildings housing over 350 employees. She led several initiatives aimed at increasing efficiency, streamlining processes and empowering employees. Amal’s areas of expertise include resource development, strategic talent acquisition, employee relations, performance management, internal audits and compliance. Amal is passionate about fostering a collaborative workplace, and has played an instrumental role in mentoring and coaching new supervisors and emerging leaders. Amal completed her undergraduate studies in International Affairs at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and received her Master of Business Administration in 2012.
Senior Communications Manager
Stephen McGrath is the Senior Communications Manager at ISPU. He has been involved with the American Muslim community for almost 20 years as a teacher, student and advocate. He is the author of two books and numerous articles, which often reflect on the experiences and insights he gained while living outside the United States. Stephen leads Communications at ISPU. His responsibilities include sharing the Institute’s work with donors and partners and playing integral roles in publication and social media. Stephen is a graduate of the University of Denver (BA – Sociology) and holds an MA from Western New Mexico University in Interdisciplinary Studies (English and Political Science).
Manal Baker is the Development Manager at ISPU. Her role includes supporting activities that ensure the sustainability and growth of ISPU. Manal spent over nine years in business management roles at the University of Michigan, about half of which were in the Office of University Development. She comes from a wide background of community organizing and is involved with several nonprofit organizations. Manal has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and General Business from Eastern Michigan University.
Sarrah Buageila is the Project Manager for ISPU’s Research Department. Sarrah spent 11 years at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan where she has worked as an Interviewer, Research Assistant, and Project Manager within the Project Design and Management Group. She primarily worked on the National Survey of Family Growth, a study of the National Center for Health Statistics. Sarrah has co-authored papers for the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference and the American Association for Public Opinion Research Conference. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and has completed graduate work toward a Master of Liberal Arts in American Studies.
Sarah Elsayed is the Administrative Assistant at ISPU, where she specializes in administration, event planning, fundraising, and community organizing. Before joining ISPU, Sarah spent three months in Egypt where she witnessed and took part in that country’s struggle for democracy. When she returned home to Michigan, she felt a renewed sense of commitment to social justice. In 2016, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Wayne State University, where she wrote and presented her abstract “Reflections On the Arab Spring and American Revolution in Light of Egyptian Revolution” at the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters conference. At WSU, Sarah was an active board member in the Muslim Student Association and served as vice president for the Egyptian Student Association, where she coordinated social, educational, and cultural events about and for the Egyptian American community. During her free time, Sarah loves to run, not only for its health benefits but because to her running is a metaphor for life: what you put into it is what you get out of it.
Katie Grimes is a Communications Associate at ISPU, where her responsibilities include assisting the Senior Communications Manager with publications, web development, video editing, graphic design, social media, and email communication. She also leads communications efforts related to ISPU’s Development department. Before joining ISPU, Katie worked for publications such as agnes films, The Journal for the Study of Radicalism, and Exceptions Journal, taking on the roles of staff writer, copy editor, and social media specialist. Katie is a graduate of Michigan State University where she earned a BA in Professional Writing and minors in Religious Studies and Digital Humanities.
Maryam Jamali is the Research Manager at ISPU, where she helps develop research systems and processes, engages our scholars on thought leadership activities, manages and tracks the impact of ISPU’s research projects, helps develop and execute ISPU’s dissemination strategy, and builds relationships with key stakeholders on the organization’s work. Before joining ISPU, Maryam was the NIAC Action Congressional Captain at the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) where she was involved in grassroots organizing, coordinating meetings with lawmakers on the Hill, providing strategy sessions and sharing updates on U.S.-Iran foreign policy, supporting events coordination and operational logistics, and empowering the Iranian-American community to take action and be politically active. Prior to that, she served in Peace Corps Guatemala as the Municipal Development Advisor, where she advocated for human rights, organized women groups and implemented needs-based economic projects, and conducted community diagnostics and qualitative research, which resulted in successfully establishing the Municipal Youth’s Office. Maryam is fluent in English, Farsi, and Spanish. She holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Northeastern Illinois University and a MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management from World Learning, the School for International Training Graduate Institute.