The following biographies are for the Board of Directors of Muslim Advocates.
Rashid Alvi is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Muslim Advocates. Mr. Alvi currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer and V.P. of Operations at NovoPath, Inc. Mr. Alvi formerly served as Managing Director of the Harvard Capital Group. Prior to his post at the Harvard Capital group, Mr. Alvi was the Deputy Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program (ILSP) at Harvard Law School. Prior to Harvard Capital Group and ILSP, at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, Mr. Alvi specialized in mergers and acquisitions. He then moved to Wall Street, working at Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs. He subsequently joined Acro Healthcare, LLC, a privately held start-up company in the specialty pharmaceuticals industry, in an executive capacity. After helping the company grow, Mr. Alvi advised on its sale to Lincare, Inc., a public company. Following the sale of Acro, Mr. Alvi worked as a principal at a boutique business advisory firm, where he continues to consult from time to time. Mr. Alvi holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, an M.A. from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. from Binghamton University.
Nahid Aliniazee is a philanthropist and community activist. She is currently Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of Indian Muslim Relief and Charities (IMRC), member of the Corporate Board at Northwest Suburban College in Illinois, and Co-Chair of the Muslim Youth Community Center of the West Valley Muslim Association. Ms. Aliniazee previously served on the Board of Trustees of Islamic Networks Group (ING). She is also a member of the Advisory Board of Girls Learn International (GLI), an initiative of the Feminist Majority Foundation. She has led fundraising efforts for a number of nonprofit organizations, including Roshni Academy’s annual benefit and Castilleja School’s 2009 benefit featuring Anderson Cooper, Leslie Stahl, Rupert Murdoch and Tina Brown.
Ms. Aliniazee received a B.S. from Oregon State University with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood Education, and a M.Ed. from Loyola University with a focus on Educational Administration. She joined Berkeley College in New York as the Director for Admissions in 1995 and served as the Dean of Education from 1997-1999.
Mohammad Fadel is the President Emeritus of NAML. He joined the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in January 2006 as an assistant professor teaching business law and Islamic law. Professor Fadel previously was an Associate in the corporate and securities practice in the New York office of the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. He has clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. In addition to his J.D., Professor Fadel holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago.
Irfan Galaria MD, MBA is a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He was accepted into a 6-year accelerated B.S./M.D. program with Jefferson Medical College. While in medical school, he earned a National Health Service Scholarship to pursue an accelerated MBA in Health Care Administration. He is actively involved in organizing and participating in medical relief missions to all areas of the world.
Irfan is also a registered financial advisor, and he has founded and manages financial and medical consulting companies. He has a particular interest in microfinance and in promoting ethical banking practices and is currently developing a not-for-profit banking institution.
Faiyaz Hussain works at a multinational pharmaceutical company where he serves as Senior Counsel of a $2.4b global business division. Previously, Faiyaz worked for Grant Thornton LLP and with the law firm of Winston & Strawn LLP. Mr. Hussain has been active in several pro bono efforts over the years from securing political asylum for a Christian student-refugee from Eritrea facing torture back home to advising on several employment and other discrimination matters to leading a team of attorneys from the Muslim Bar Association of Chicago in filing an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in an immigration case. Mr. Hussain also serves as Chair of the Zoning Committee for the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago – a Committee responsible for ensuring fair zoning practices as related to Mosques and other Muslim institutions by educating public officials and local community leaders alike on non-discriminatory zoning and planning practices. Mr. Hussain received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a law degree from the University of Illinois – College of Law.
Farhana Khera Click here for Ms. Khera’s biography.
Shahzad A. Malik, formerly a Shareholder & Chair of the Tax Practice at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth PC, is currently a Partner at Nixon Peabody LLP (Los Angeles). He was previously a partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld and also practiced at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. His tax practice focuses primarily on merger & acquisition transactions, particularly private equity and technology transactions. During the course of his career, Mr. Malik has worked on transactions with an aggregate enterprise value in excess of $30 billion. He is the primary author of the comprehensive treatise, “Taxation of Securities Transactions.” He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times on various occasions. Mr. Malik is a founding board member of Muslim Advocates.
Saema Somalya is a lawyer and former Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Warren Resources, Inc. She has practiced corporate and securities law for nearly 15 years. Ms. Somalya previously served as corporate counsel with PepsiCo, Inc. where she held the position of Senior Legal Director and Senior Corporate Counsel (2013-2014) and Legal Director and Corporate Counsel (2009-2013). From 2002 to 2009, Ms. Somalya was an associate with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Linklaters LLP, and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University in 1999 and her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2002.
Awais Sufi serves as President and CEO of SchoolSmartKC, a collaborative philanthropic fund supporting improved education in Kansas City. Mr. Sufi transitioned into this role after serving as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the International Youth Foundation. Mr. Sufi has also served as a corporate and securities attorney with the law firm of Arnold & Porter, and law clerk to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Mohamed Yusuf M. Mohamed is Deputy General Counsel Employment & Immigration at Tesla, Inc. From 1998 to 2005, he served as a trial attorney with the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. Mr. Mohamed is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was Executive Editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law. He received his Bachelor of Science in Management with honors at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Dr. Aaliya Yaqub is an entrepreneur and a physician. She practiced internal medicine at the Facebook Health Center run by Crossover Health, a comprehensive medical group and integrated health management service for self-insured employers. Based in Menlo Park, California, Dr. Yaqub serves as an advisor to select healthcare startups in Silicon Valley, teaches Stanford medical students, and is a member of the Board of Directors for Health in Harmony.
Prior to assuming these positions in 2013, Dr. Yaqub was a postdoctoral research fellow in rheumatology and dermatology at the Stanford University School of Medicine (2012-2013) where she also completed a residency in Internal Medicine (2009-2012). She received a B.A. in English Language and Literature and a B.S. in Biology from Rice University in 2005 and an M.D. from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in 2009. She has authored several papers and book chapters on key topics in rheumatology and dermatology. Dr. Yaqub has earned several awards during her academic career, including the Target Corporation All Around Scholar, the Baker Institute Scholar, and Bing Scholar.