About Us - UMR
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About Us2018-11-08T21:54:51+00:00

About Us

­­UMR is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that provides livelihood and disaster relief and recovery services to the underserved, specializing in the Health, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and Child Protection sectors.

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The UMR Way

Global emergencies as a result of conflict, climate change and chronic fragility are the new normal. In our interconnected world, such emergencies are of unprecedented and exponentially complex scale.

Our mission is to provide agile and sustainable development in the face of emergency and rapid socioeconomic and political change.

In the wake of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, a group of students from Georgetown University organized themselves and travelled to join the relief efforts in Port-au-Prince. Arriving with great motivation and good intentions, they soon learned the value of crisis response planning and coordination, and how to transform relief efforts into planned recovery and sustainable development. Soon after they returned, the turmoil in the Middle East (2011) broke out, followed by the Ebola virus outbreak (2012-2014). By then, UMR had transitioned from a student-led movement into a well-equipped organization, stepping up its operations with seasoned staff and field experience.

Today, with every emergent disaster or fragility condition, UMR is able to conduct timely needs assessments and respond with the following services:

  • Deploy child protection and medical responders to the field immediately and as needed
  • Adopt hospitals and establish makeshift clinics with culturally-competent staff and seamless operations
  • Quickly mobilize and deliver shipments of medicine, first-aid products, and other in-kind donations including clothes and winter kits, with a far-reaching network of providers and volunteers
  • Effectively coordinate and communicate with local community leaders and government officials in order to prioritize efforts and avoid duplication

Meet Our Board

Dr. Abed Ayoub has decades of experience in the relief sector, most recently as former CEO for Islamic Relief USA. Dr. Ayoub holds a PhD in International Development. In April 2010, he was appointed to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to serve on its Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA), and was reappointed in 2013, concluding 2 terms. Dr. Ayoub provides advice, analysis, and recommendations to USAID on the most pressing developmental issues in the world today. He has also served a second term with the U.S. State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group. Dr. Ayoub is an adjunct faculty member of The Fund Raising School at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. He is a certified Executive Director, certified Master Business Coach, and a certified Professional Coach. In addition, Dr. Ayoub serves on the advisory board of Center on Muslim Philanthropy.

Muhieldin Salih is a high-profile business expert based in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. He is the Founder and Chairman of American Trading, Management, and Consultation Corporation; the Founder and Executive Director of a leading diaspora radio station, Hona Radio; and the Executive Director of ITC Group, LLC. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Islamic Sciences, and a Master’s degree in Administration Sciences. He hold Special Diplomas in Publication and Information Authentication from Great Britain. His work is focused on administration, finance and media research.

Joseph K. Grieboski is a social entrepreneur whose innovative ideas have revolutionized thinking across a number of fields. President and CEO of Grieboski Global Strategies, Grieboski is also Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated THE INSTITUTE on Religion and Public Policy; President and CEO of ASTRID Industries; President and CEO of Bad River Productions; President and CEO of Torchwood Energy; Chairman and CEO of Grieboski Global Strategies Development Fund; Host and Executive Producer of Full Disclosure with Joe Grieboski; and Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of International Campaign for the Rohingya.

Estee Hafassa earned a BS degree in Social Services from New Mexico State University followed by continuing education to become a licensed Developmental Specialist in the state of New Mexico. In that position, Estee worked as outreach coordinator advocating for families in the community and working with young children who had developmental delays and disabilities. In collaboration with early childhood welfare company Aprendamos, Estee started the Hearts for Autism charity which provides community education and camps for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and for which she served as a board member from 2008-2012. At Hearts for Autism Estee was involved in major fundraising which included starting an annual masquerade ball to raise funds for the charity. Estee Hafassa is dedicated to helping people in need locally and around the world in whatever capacity necessary to improve their quality of life.

Dr. Ismail Mehr is an anesthesiologist in Hornell, New York and is affiliated with St. James Mercy Hospital. He received his medical degree from Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) and has been in practice between 11-20 years. Dr. Mehr became involved with IMANA while in his final years of residency and upon completion of residency began to increase his involvement. At the time IMANA was beginning its role of becoming an internationally respected medical relief organization. Dr. Mehr also served on the IMANA executive committee in various capacities becoming IMANA President in 2013.

Meet Our Executive Team

Ayman Aburahma is the Director of Development he brings a multi-faceted talent for launching and driving organizational performance as an executive, fundraiser, and speaker. He has more than 16 years of experience in International Relief and Development, combined with 10 years experience as a business owner and managing several business in Ohio. He specializes in helping UMR in branding, marketing, and fundraising.

Mohamed Hussein currently serves as the Director of Finance and Administration, leading a team of accounting, revenue, program finance and HR professionals in the Organization. Since he joined the organization in 2015, he played a vital role of building the finance and admin teams, modernizing and streamlining of operational systems in both HQ and int’l field offices. As the director of finance and administration, Mohamed’s management responsibilities include field finance, program finance, HR and internal audit.

Prior to joining the organization, Mohamed’s experience of 15 years in finance is diverse. He served as a controller in banking sector. Additionally, he also lead a team of grant finance and administration in Freedom House, overseeing USAID/DRL/MEPI and other government and int’l institutions grants. Mohamed also has experience working with international institutions in finance management and consulting capacity. He worked in Middle East in field capacity as a finance expert leading program finance restructure and USAID fund management and compliance trainings for international humanitarian organizations. In addition, Mohamed is also a chief advisor to number of domestic firms and international corporates’ CEOs in international tax analysis and FTPs.

Mohamed has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, CPA and is a Certified Internal Auditor. As well as various completion certificates in BSA (Business Standard Act), AML (anti-money laundry), Patriotic Act and banking compliance.

Arif Mehmood is a community development and humanitarian professional with over twenty years of work experience with the national and international organizations in the United States, Asia and Africa. Dr. Arif’s areas of expertise include the design and implementation of large community based programs in health (including Sexual & Reproductive Health, Maternal and Child Health, Primary Healthcare etc.), education, livelihoods/food security, WATSAN, Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment, GBV Prevention and Disaster Risk Reduction and Response. In addition, Arif has extensive experience of strategic planning, organizational systems development, partnerships, grants management and monitoring and evaluation. Arif has been successful in securing major donor funding by designing multi-disciplinary projects both for sustainable development and humanitarian emergency response.

Meet Our Managers & Strategic Advisors

Dr. Shahin has served as head of Community Public Relations at Islamic Relief USA for the past five years. Dr. Shahin joins UMR with a professional fundraising background and extensive expertise in education. He holds a PhD in Learning and Teaching, a Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.) Honorary degree, and a PhD in Islamic Law.

Dr. Shahin is the Secretary General for NAIF (North American Imams Federation), where he previously served as the Chair of Board of Trustees. Dr. Shahin is also the founder of the Imams Council of Arizona and was appointed the Chairman of CAIR-AZ Advisory Board from 2004-2012.

Mario Rizos joins UMR from a long career in international development assistance, having held executive positions on large development companies and multinational organizations, managing major U.S. Government funded projects and operations in developed and developing countries. He also had an early tenure at the European Commission (EuropeAid). Throughout his career, he has worked at the intersection of business innovation and social change: combining private sector development with a mission to improve people’s lives.

Mr. Rizos has applied his technical and management experience in designing, financing and executing major programs in developing countries by encouraging and matching development funds with private investors aiming to assist underserved population around the world. Currently he is leading the development efforts of a green energy company as well as advises executives from key large development NGO’s in expanding their global portfolio and outreach. He holds an Engineering Degree from AUTH, Greece.

Abdallah Abuirshaid currently serves as the Finance Manager at UMR. During his time, he has taken great strides to help better the organizations’ implementation of new accounting systems and internal control systems, while also maintaining the budget. He has also contributed to the establishment of the UMR Jordan and Kenya field offices, ensuring that they operate according to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principle (GAAP).
Abdallah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Yarmouk University in Jordan, and a Master’s degree in Accounting/Controllership from Strayer University. He also has over five years of accounting experience with various companies such as Team Washington, Prana Solution, and United Computer Service.

Jason Matechak has served as the outside Legal Advisor to UMR since 2015. Mr. Matechak is a Founder and Principal at the Impresa Legal Group. He focuses his practice on Government Funded Programs, NGO-Non-Profits, Governance and Compliance and International Matters. He serves as the Director for the Center for International Procurement Law and Policy at the International Law Institute. He has served as the General Counsel of International Relief & Development, the Legal Advisor to the International Development Law Organization, and as a Partner in the Reed Smith Firm. As a civil servant, he served as a contract negotiator and legal reform officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

He has served on the Council and Administration Committee, and as the Technology Officer, and Rule of Law Officer for the American Bar Association Section of International Law, and has served as a Delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group on Public Procurement.

He earned his Law Degree from the George Mason University School of Law, his Masters in International Commerce and Policy from the George Mason University School for Policy, Government, and International Affairs, and his Bachelors in Political Science, with minors in Russian Studies and Economics from James Madison University.

He is a member of the Bars of Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Meet Our Team

Mohannad Jaber serves as the Strategic Partnerships and Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) Specialist and UMR Representative in the United Nations (Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action).

Mohannad is also leading UMR Institute, an initiative built upon four pillars; capacity building, research & development, unique projects, and impact measurement & statistics. He has over 13 years of domestic and international experience in development work including organizing and empowering local communities.

Mohannad completed his masters degree in social work. His subject was “The Role of International Organizations in Building the Capabilities of Domestic Organizations in Jordan.”

Bushra serves as the Chapters and Development Coordinator at UMR. Bushra has been volunteering for UMR since 2010 and served as the GMU chapter President in 2015. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in Community and Public Health and now mobilizes and supports our chapters all around the US. Bushra likes to spend time helping others and loves working with those who are passionate about making a difference in their community!

Rebekah received her Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree from Capella University with capstone integrative project for her MPH program focused on mental health in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and Suicide Prevention. Rebekah also received a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology (Pre-Med) with a Life Science Concentration from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Rebekah was able to complete research during her undergraduate studies in biopsychology, behavioral psychology, and addiction studies. Rebekah is currently completing a graduate certificate in Epidemiology. Rebekah has worked with FEMA Disability Integration Coordination for disasters in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Puerto Rico. Rebekah is now the Emergency Response Coordinator for UMR.

Our Partners