Board of Directors
Dr. Hamid Rezapour
Founder & President
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. 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.
Ismail Mahomed is a Managing Director at a successful Information Technology company based in San Ramon, CA. Born and raised in South Africa, he holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and has been a Bay Area resident since 1987. He's an advisory board member of IdeaShepherdvc, an Incubator based in San Ramon, that provides angel funding and co-development opportunities for startups. He is also currently on the board of the San Ramon Islamic Center, which addresses the needs of the Muslim community in the Tri-Valley area, and has served as both the President and Vice President of the institution.
Mazen Asbahi, Esq.
Mazen Asbahi is a Partner at Edwards, Maxon, Mago, & Macauley (Em3), LLP. He has over 20 years of experience working with clients in healthcare and corporate law. In healthcare, Mazen represents physicians, dentists and other providers, as well as start-up and growth stage companies in the healthcare and technology sectors on their respective transactional, regulatory and operational matters.
Mazen’s corporate law background encompasses serving as outside general counsel to fast-growing companies and representing entrepreneurs, investors, and executives in the areas of start-up, venture capital and private equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and general commercial matters.
With a strong commitment to serving the community, Mazen has served on a number of boards of directors and regularly counsels nonprofit boards and executives on governance, best practices, and day-to-day operational matters. Mazen is a Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago, a premiere civic leadership development organization.
Mazen earned his J.D., with cum laude honors, from Northwestern University School of Law in 2000 and received a B.A. with high honors in political science and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in 1996. He is currently attending Loyola University Law School to earn a LL.M. in Health Law.
Rhonda Roumani is a Syrian-American journalist who has written about Islam, the Arab world, and Muslim-American issues for more than two decades. Currently, she is a Contributing Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC, and a Journalism Fellow for their Spiritual Exemplar Project. Her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, Religion News Service, USA Today, and Salon, to name a few. She is also an author of books of non-fiction and fiction for children. Recently, she was named a Highlights Muslim Storytellers Fellow. Her first middle-grade novel about a Syrian graffiti artist is scheduled to be released in Fall of 2023 with Union Square & Co.; and, her first nonfiction picture book, Umm Kulthum, Star of the East, will be released in Fall 2023 with Interlink Publishing. Rhonda graduated with an MS in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and received her BA in English and Political Science from UCLA.
Dr. Dalia Fahmy
Dr. Dalia Fahmy is an assistant professor of Political Science at Long Island University where she teaches 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. She has published several articles in academic journals focusing on democratization and most recently on the effects of Islamophobia on US foreign policy and been interviewed by and written op eds for 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, she was one of the recipients of the prestigious Kleigman Prize in Political Science. This year she was awarded the Newton Prize for excellence.
Shahed Amanullah currently serves as Managing Director of Frost Capital, a Palo Alto-based private equity fund manager, and concurrently serves as a global VP at growth strategy consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. He also co-founded Affinis Labs, an award-winning social innovation firm that was acquired by Frost Capital in 2019. Shahed also co-founded Zakatify, a social impact fintech startup in partnership with the PayPal Giving Fund.
From 2011-2014, Shahed served in President Barack Obama’s administration as Senior Advisor for Technology at the US Department of State, working on entrepreneurship & technology initiatives under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In 1998, he created Zabihah, the world's first global Halal restaurant guide, and also founded Altmuslim, an online magazine with 2.5 million annual readers, and served as its editor-in-chief for 10 years before its 2011 acquisition.
He has been named three times as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world, five times as one of the 500 most influential entrepreneurs in the global Islamic economy, and winner of the SXSW Community Service Award.
Staff & Consultants
Somayeh launched ISF's operations and programs in 2009 and has been expanding the work of the organization ever since. She is passionate about strengthening the Muslim community and has a keen interest in supporting motivated young people as they are the foundation of our future in this country. Somayeh has a BA in Architectural Design from the University of California, Berkeley and a MA in Public Administration with a focus on Nonprofit Management from San Francisco State University. She serves on the board of the Northern California Islamic Council (NCIC) and enjoys yoga, painting, reading, cooking, hiking and biking with her two daughters and husband in her free time.
Film Programs Director
Iman Zawahry is one of the first hijabi American-Muslim filmmakers in the nation. She has worked on numerous films that have played at over 150 venues worldwide. She’s an Emmy award winner, Princess Grace Award recipient, a Lincoln Center Artist Academy Fellow, and Sundance Momentum Fellow. She is also the co-creator of the first American Muslim film grant with Islamic Scholarship Fund where she currently serves as Director of Film Programs. Iman works to amplify the underrepresented female voice and frequently consults and speaks across the nation on Muslims in Film. Her debut film, Americanish, is has screened at fifty festivals and has won twenty five awards, including best director and best film. She is currently faculty of film production at the University of Florida.
Tina Tran is ISF's accountant and the Director of Client Services at Abacus Hive, a cloud-based, full service, full force accounting firm that partners exclusively with nonprofit organizations in our shared communities. She graduated from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, with a focus on Supply Chain Collateral. Before Abacus Hive, Tina worked as Senior Production/Corporate Accountant at NorthSouth Productions, National Senior Accountant at Random Acts of Flowers, and as an Accounting Intern at ORNL Federal Credit Union.
Senior Policy and Strategy Advisor
Wardah Khalid serves as Senior Policy & Strategy Advisor for ISF's Congressional Fellowship and Internship program. She is a former ISF scholarship recipient and worked on Capitol Hill as an APAICS Congressional Fellow. She's also a foreign policy analyst, activist, and the Founder and Board President of Poligon Education Fund, a national civic education and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening Muslim American engagement with Congress.
Artist Development & Partnerships Manager
Aizzah Fatima is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, actor, and comedian. She is a 2022 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Fiction from The New York Foundation for the Arts. Muslim Girls DTF is her directorial debut. Her feature film Americanish has won 25 festival awards including Best Actress, Best narrative feature among others, and has been acquired by Sony International for distribution. She has been touring her critically acclaimed one woman play Dirty Paki Lingerie internationally and in the US since 2011. She is a 2021 Orchard Project Episodic Lab fellow with her pilot A.S.S. Crawler, and winner of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award, Yes, And...Laughter Lab, and an ISF film award for her TV pilot Muslim Girls DTF: Discuss Their Faith. The pilot world premiered at SeriesFest where it won Best Comedy Writer award and The Caz Matthews Fund award in 2022. She received her MFA in Writing for Film & TV from Emerson College, and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Legal Programs Advisor
Aisha Ghori Ozaki (she/hers) is a justice, diversity, equity and inclusion practitioner serving as an inaugural DEI Director in Northwestern University’s Office for Research. She also recently spent several years on the enterprise-wide Inclusive Diversity & Equity team at Allstate. Aisha is a frequent presenter and facilitator on diversity, equity and inclusion as well as professional development topics. She is devoted to ensuring that all individuals feel welcome, find their passion and contribute toward creating an inclusive and just environment. In addition to her corporate experience, Aisha spent about 18 years in higher education and is thrilled to be back in the higher education arena. Aisha holds both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in Sociology from DePaul University and is certified in the administration and interpretation of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and the MBTI. Aisha also holds Diversity and Inclusion certificates from Northwestern University and Cornell University. Aisha volunteers with multiple organizations and especially enjoys mentoring and supporting organizations like Chi-Care, Young Center, Association for Northwestern Women (ANUW), Bethany House and My Block My Hood My City. Aisha serves on the board of directors for Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago and Muslim Women’s Alliance of Chicago and recently completed a 2-year board term with IL Muslim Civic Coalition. Aisha remains active in various professional associations, has authored 3 articles for the Inclusion Solution and especially enjoys her support of the Forum on Workplace Inclusion where she has served on the conference programming committee, presented at the annual conference and served as a coach since 2020. In her free time, she enjoys spending time traveling, with her family (when they’re all in the same place), trying new foods and most nights you can find her at her local gym catching a workout class.
Ryan is an experienced nonprofit professional with a history in higher education, public sector, arts, and the philanthropic industry. He has a passion for relationship building, outreach, and stakeholder engagement. Ryan earned a BA in Mass Communications from James Madison University and an MFA in Arts Leadership from Virginia Tech. In graduate school he managed grants for the Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series, supported Virginia Tech’s Arts Policy Board, and assisted with the University's Student Engagement with the Arts initiative. He enjoys live music, record collecting, and cycling in his spare time.