The following biographies are for the Board of Directors of Muslim Advocates.
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.
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.
Rashid Alvi is the Chair of the Finance Committee for Muslim Advocates. Mr. Alvi is a Managing Director of the Harvard Capital Group who leads their practice in merger, acquisition and divestiture transactions. Mr. Alvi has close to 15 years of experience advising on corporate deals at the highest levels. He last represented Acro Healthcare, LLC, a privately held company in the specialty pharmaceuticals industry, on its sale to Lincare, Inc., a public company. Mr. Alvi’s services included evaluating competing bids, structuring potential deals, negotiating on the business and legal side, running the due diligence process, supervising outside lawyers, and helping with post-closing business and legal matters. Mr. Alvi graduated from Columbia Law School in 1999 and then worked at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions. He then moved to Wall Street, working at Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs. At Goldman Sachs, Mr. Alvi advised the Goldman Sachs Investment Partners (GSIP) fund and the Principal Strategies desk on their private investments as the lead internal transactional lawyer.
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.
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.
Farhana Khera Click here for Ms. Khera’s biography.
Shahzad A. Malik is a Shareholder & Chair of the Tax Practice at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth PC. He is past chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Corporate Tax Committee and has written articles and given lectures on income tax matters. Mr. Malik currently serves as co-chair of the Judicial Endorsements Committee of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California. He was recently named a “Southern California Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Lawyer magazine.
Mohamed Yusuf M. Mohamed is Associate General Counsel with Tesla Motors, Inc. in Fremont, CA and is responsible for employment and labor law matters worldwide. He previously served as Associate General Counsel for Wayne Farms LLC. 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, DC. 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 Bachelors of Science in Management with honors at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Ms. Quraishi-Landes was a founding board member of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML), sister organization to Muslim Advocates. She served on the Task Force on Religion and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and is on the governing boards of the Nawawi Foundation, the Journal of Law and Religion, the Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions (LISAR), and the Section on Islamic Law for the Association of American Law Schools.
Dr. Aaliya Yaqub is a practicing internal medicine physician 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.