Dr. Hamid Rezapour-President
Dr. Rezapour has operated dental practices in the Bay Area for the past twenty five years. He holds an MBA degree from the University of Berkeley Haas School of Business and Columbia University in New York. He has been involved with angel investment groups since 2000 and has been at the founder’s level of several startups while serving on the board of several private and venture capital backed companies. He is also the founder and CEO of Vertical Ventures, a private equity investment firm in the Bay Area.
Dr. Rezapour is the founder of the Islamic Scholarship Fund, the largest scholarship program of its kind in the nation. He is also one of the founders of the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California and has been an active member of the Muslim community for the past 30 years.
Dr. Dalia Fahmy
Dr. Dalia Fahmy is an assistant professor of Political Science at Long Island University where she teachers courses on US foreign Policy, World Politics, International Relations, Causes of War, and Politics of the Middle East. Dr. Fahmy’s current research looks at the changing role of Islamists in the democratic future of the Middle East.
Dr. Fahmy has two books in the works that look at the future of political Islam and the role of liberalism in the Middle East. She has published several articles in academic journals focusing on democratization and most recently on the affects of Islamophobia on US foreign policy. She has been interviewed by and written opeds in various media outlets including ABC, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, the Huffington Post, and appears often on Aljazeera.
Dr. Fahmy has won several academic awards and fellowships for her research. In 2014, Dr. Fahmy was one of the recipients of the prestigious Kleigman Prize in Political Science. And this year was awarded the Newton Prize for excellence. She is also a senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy.
Michael Wolfe is co-founder of Unity Productions Foundation and Co-Executive Producer for UPF Films, which has produced ten feature documentary films, mostly broadcast nationally on PBS. As an author, Wolfe’s first books on Islam were The Hadj, a first-person travel account, and One Thousand Roads to Mecca, an anthology of 10 centuries of pilgrim travel-writing. After September 11th, he edited Taking Back Islam: American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith, which won a 2003 Wilbur Award.
In 1997, Wolfe hosted a televised account of the Hajj from Mecca broadcast nationally on ABC Nightline. The program was nominated for Peabody, Emmy, George Polk, and National Press Club Awards. In 2003, Wolfe worked with CNN-International reporter Zain Verjee to produce a documentary on the Hajj. Michael is also the co-director of UPF’s Hollywood engagement program, called MOST – Muslims on Screen and Television, which works with writers and producers to develop more true-to-life Muslim characters and story lines on television and in films.
Dr. Hatem Bazian
Dr. Hatem Bazian, Professor of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley, is a native Palestinian who immigrated to the US in pursuit of higher education. His twenty years of experience as a Palestinian activist have earned him the role of local media spokesperson on Middle East issues. He currently teaches at UC-Berkeley, where he graduated with a Ph.D. in Islamic studies, specializing in Islamic Law and the history of Muslims in Jerusalem. Dr. Bazian has also authored numerous articles on various aspects of the Middle East.
Dr. Ejaz Naqvi
Born in Karachi Pakistan, Dr. Naqvi graduated from the University of Karachi medical school in 1983. Dr Naqvi served his medical residency training and fellowship at LAC_USC Medical Center at Los Angeles from 1986-90. He has been working with Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek and Martinez, CA since 1990. He is chief of the Pain Management Program and the Director of Graduate Medical Education at Kaiser Permanente, Walnut Creek, CA. He frequently gives lectures on Pain Management at the Kaiser Medical Center. He is Associate Professor of Medicine at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).
Dr Naqvi has been involved with various community projects and organizations including local Islamic centers. He has been involved with various youth activities, establishing the center in Pleasanton, CA and helping write the bylaws and constitutions of Islamic Center of Zehra in Pleasanton, organizing health fares, and giving health care-related lectures to general community at local Islamic centers. He was the treasurer of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) local chapter in 2009. He is currently the Director of Communications and Public Relations of Imamia Medics International, USA and serves on the advisory board of Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF), based in Alamo, CA.
Dr. Farid Senzai
Farid Senzai is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Santa Clara University where he teaches courses on U.S. foreign policy and Middle East politics. Dr. Senzai was previously the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding where he conducted extensive research projects on American Muslims. He was also a research associate at the Brookings Institution and a research analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Senzai is on the board of advisers at The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and a board member at the Central Asia Institute. He is co-author of Educating the Muslims of America (Oxford University Press, 2009) His most recent book is Political Islam in the Age of Democratization(Palgrave, 2013). Dr. Senzai received his M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University and Ph.D. in politics and international relations from Oxford University.