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About Us2019-03-15T06:22:29+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 traveled 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.

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.

Samer Darwish has decades of experience in non-profit organizations. Back in college Samer served as the MSA chapter president. After moving to Santa Clara he served as a volunteer in a number of grass root organizations as a board member twice (Executive Board Public Relations Officer and later in 2013 to 2015 as Board of Directors member) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Also in Santa Clara he served at the Muslim Community Association of the San Francisco Bay Area in different capacities. From 2009 to 2012 Samer held the Vice President and President position at the Muslim Community Association, a non-profit organization founded in 1981 to serve the community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Samer is also a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of the USA, and Boy Scouts of America.

Samer holds two Master degrees, one in Electrical Engineering and the other in Engineering Applied Science, both from UC Davis. He is licensed as a professional engineer (PE) by the State of California board for professional engineers & land surveyors. Samer works in the Silicon Valley, where he held different positions as a design, and applications engineer. Samer also held the position as an Account Executive, and currently works as a Senior Sales Manager reporting to the CEO.

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 2015, he has 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 UMR Mohamed spent 15 years in finance, serving as a controller in the banking sector, leading a team of grant finance and administration at Freedom House, and overseeing USAID/DRL/MEPI and other government and int’l institutions grants.

Mohamed also worked in the Middle East as a finance expert leading program finance restructure and USAID fund management and compliance trainings for international humanitarian organizations. In addition, he is 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. He has also completed various certifications in BSA (Business Standard Act), AML (anti-money laundry), Patriotic Act and banking compliance.

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.

Sara has 7 years of experience in program development, grants management, and compliance reporting focusing on government programs in the MENAT region with the EU, US Department of State, and the United Nations agencies such as ECOSOC, UNDP, and OCHA. In the past, Sara has partnered with government agencies, private corporations, and NGO’s to deliver quality education and economic development programs to individuals in rural areas, underserved states, and conflict zones. Sara is a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship, where she worked in the Republic of Georgia promoting higher education opportunities to students vulnerable to recruitment by ISIS.

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

Dr. Mojahid was the former President and CEO for Life for Relief and Development from 2007-2012. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry before beginning his work as a Professor of Biochemistry for 31 years. He was the Director, speaker, and Imam of the Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center in Urbana, IL, and has several years of experience volunteering in relief work in Africa and the Middle East.

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!

Doaa received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from George Mason University in 2017. Prior to joining UMR, she has extensive experience as a volunteer for NGO’s across Washington, D.C. She previously worked as a youth coordinator and media strategist at one of the largest mosques in the D.C. Metro Area, and was responsible for organizing interfaith programs and shaping the Center’s educational and civic engagement events.

In 2017, Doaa attended the Youth in Humanitarian Action: Challenges and Opportunities conference in Doha, Qatar organized by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Beside her passion for helping others, Doaa enjoys reading, painting, and spending time with her family and friends in her free time.

Ebrahim has over 14 years of accounting experience working with NGOs, microfinance institutes, and private construction companies. He received his BA in Accounting from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, and certificates in Development Economics and Accounting from Matrys University and Mekele University respectively.

Ebrahim has been with UMR since 2017, and remains an important figure in the Finance Department. His main responsibilities include verifying and entering source data into prescribed computer databases, files, and forms.

Ezreta serves as the UMR Southeast Regional Representative. After receiving her law degree from the University of Sarajevo she began her journey in international humanitarian work. In the past decade, Ezreta has mostly focused on helping orphans and refugees, and is wholeheartedly dedicated to helping the most vulnerable humans in need.

Jennifer’s professional experience spans across sectors, having worked at multiple higher-educational institutions and various non-profit organizations. Prior to joining UMR, she was a research assistant at Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she collected and synthesized data for a UN study on persons with disabilities.

Jennifer was also a Field Coordinator for an NGO on Lesvos, Greece, leading and supporting a team of 15 volunteers working in a refugee camp. Her educational background and professional experience working internationally with refugees has launched her interest in international relief and development, eventually bringing her to UMR. She is a passionate humanitarian activist with great hopes of positively impacting as many people as possible.

Jennifer earned her Master’s degree in Global Studies & International Relations from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, focusing her thesis on forced migration in the MENA region, and her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Nausheen has been working with UMR since 2017 as a Donor Relations Specialist. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Marketing from the University of Sindh in Pakistan, and received certifications in Philanthropy from Indiana University. She has been an event organizer for social services in local communities for 16 years. Nausheen has provided volunteer teaching services to local Sunday schools for 12 years, and in her free time works for local foreign language TV channels.

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.

In addition to managing the Call Center at UMR, Soha is a Pre-Med student majoring in Neuroscience and International Political Economy at the University of Texas at Dallas. She has been with UMR for the past two years and hopes to continue using her time and experience in the non-profit sector to influence change as a future healthcare professional as well. In her free time, she enjoys reading and justifies her compulsive book purchases as her contribution towards the economy.

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