Board of Directors

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Board Chair


Dr. Suzanne Barakat was born and raised in North Carolina, and attended UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad and medical school. She completed her residency training in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UCSF San Francisco General Hospital. She currently is a hospitalist with Sutter Health and outpatient family medicine physician in Oakland, CA. She is passionate about women’s health, mental health, global health, and social justice.

She is the sister of Deah Barakat, one of the three American Muslim college students murdered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on February 2015. When her brother, his wife, and her sister were killed, Dr. Suzanne emerged as a spokesperson for her family, taking to local and national media to amplify the legacy of #OurThreeWinners and to speak out against the increasing Islamophobia and violence targeting Muslims.



Board Secretary

Justine Hollingshead
has over thirty years of success working as an administrator in higher education and the business sector. She offers particular expertise in diversity education, training, leadership, emergency preparedness, event planning, and crisis response, with in-depth working knowledge and passion regarding the issues facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. Justine is a member of the Raleigh LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and was one of the founding board members of the LGBT Center of Raleigh and The Light House Project. She is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician in the state of North Carolina and has done medical service work in Haiti, was deployed to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, and to eastern NC after Hurricane Floyd. Justine earned her Bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock University in Communication, Master’s degree in Higher Education Student Personnel Administration from the University of Maryland, and a ten-week comprehensive business training program with the Council for Entrepreneurial Development in North Carolina.



Board Treasurer

Ismael Benhamida
is Vice President at Marcus & Millichap where he specializes in Bay Area apartment and commercial real estate investments. He helps real estate investors create plans to optimize their real estate portfolios and executes on those plans to achieve their goals. Prior to joining Marcus & Millichap, Ismael was on eBay’s business management team where he designed and managed trust policies and risk management systems on a global basis. He has an MBA from The Wharton School and chemical engineering and materials science degrees from U.C. Berkeley. Ismael is passionate about economic, political, and social justice issues; and enjoys travelling, spending time with his family, bicycling, and skateboarding.



Board Member

Oussama Mezoui is the Founder and CEO of Penny Appeal USA, a 501 (c) (3) organization working to eradicate poverty here in the US as well as overseas. Prior to establishing Penny Appeal USA, Oussama served on the executive teams of a number of multi-million dollar humanitarian NGOs. An Oxford-trained lawyer, Oussama has diverse experience in program implementation, humanitarian advocacy, operational management and fundraising for non-profits both here in the US and in the UK.



Board Member

Manar Waheed is the Senior Legislative and Advocacy Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. She works on the intersection of issues impacting Muslims, Arabs, Iranians, Middle Easterners, and South Asians, including immigration, national security and counterterrorism, and hate violence. Manar was previously the Deputy Policy Director for Immigration at the Obama White House Domestic Policy Council in the Obama Administration where she assisted with the development of the President’s immigration strategy and worked to protect the rights of people against discrimination, harassment, and hate attacks. Manar also served as Policy Director at South Asian Americans Leading Together and led their work on immigration, profiling, and hate violence. She also provided legal representation to domestic violence survivors at Legal Services of New York City, and worked with survivors charged with crimes at the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women. Manar received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and her B.A. from Wellesley College.



Board Member

Arif Khan joined the Our Three Winners Foundation in November of 2016 and currently serves as Board Treasurer. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, Arif spent his career in management consulting in the healthcare space and eventually helped start a consulting firm in Washington, D.C. in 2009. He currently serves as a Vice President of the Total Care and Cost Improvement (TCCI) Program at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Maryland. His expertise has been leading large scale pharmacy procurements and implementations for health plans and overseeing all aspects of the care continuum, including behavioral health, home based and post-acute care, and other clinical programs. In addition, Arif serves as Board Secretary for Baltimore Medical System, a Federally Qualified Health Center based in Baltimore, Maryland.



Board Member

Dr. Saba Mokry completed her Doctorate in Dental Surgery at University of North Carolina School of Dentistry and her undergraduate studies at North Carolina State University. She has been serving as an adjunct assistant professor in Division of Comprehensive Oral Health at UNC Adams School of Dentistry since 2010. She has experience as dental practice owner and as public health dentist for 20 years. She is a Fellow of Academy of General Dentistry, member of American Dental Association and North Carolina Dental Society. Dr. Saba believes that giving back to the community is her moral obligation.  She has initiated and has been involved in many a dental mission trip locally and internationally. She started a dental mobile clinic in Hyde County North Carolina, collaborating with the NC Baptist Men to serve the undersourced population of the state.  She currently serves as an Advisor for DYOR Clinic and is the Chair of DEAH DAY/ DYOR Clinic Task force. Dr. Saba is also the Board Chair of Wake Smiles, a nonprofit dental clinic in Raleigh NC, charitable arm of the local Dental Society.



Board Member

Dr. Fasahat Hamzavi is board certified in dermatology and pediatric dermatology and has been in private practice since 2004. He was honored as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society during medical school at Wayne State University. During his dermatology residency, Dr. Fasahat served as Chief Resident. During his training at Northwestern University Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, he was one of only four physicians in the country to receive a Pediatric Procedural Dermatology Fellowship. Dr. Fasahat was also an assistance professor at Wayne State University for 11 years. Actively engaged with his local mosque, Dr. Fasahat has served on the Board of Directors as President, on the school board, and as co-editor of the newsletter. He joined Our Three Winners in hopes of seeing the Social Inclusion Policy Fellowship expand to help positively influence current and future policy makers. Dr. Fasahat lives in Michigan with his wife and four children.




Executive Director


Dr. Houda Abadi joined Our Three Winners Foundation in May 2020 as the Executive Director. She brings more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit management, peacebuilding programming, academia, and the policy world.  

Dr. Houda Abadi was the Associate Director of the Conflict Resolution Program at the Carter Center from 2014-2019. While managing the Syrian and the Israeli-Palestinian projects, she designed and led an innovative and evidence-based grassroots project to develop practical applications to prevent and address all forms of violent extremism, including the rising tide of Islamophobia.  

After the Carter Center, Dr. Houda founded Transformative Peace, a consulting firm that specialized in inclusive peace processes; women, peace and security; and human rights-based approaches in preventing all forms of violence. She consulted for IOM Tunisia, IOM Morocco, The Carter Center, and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, amongst others. Prior, she also served as Program Director in two organizations that worked with Jewish and Muslim youth through experiential and political education. Through a conflict transformational lens, her work focused on civic engagement and youth empowerment.

Dr. Houda holds a Doctorate degree in Political Communication from Georgia State University, graduate certificate from UNC-DUKE in Middle East Studies, a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from Seton Hall University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Communications from Luther College. She received numerous awards for her peacebuilding work: 2019 ISB Women of Influence Award, Luther College 2018 Young Alumni Award, and the Atlanta Institute for Diplomatic leadership 2018 Peace builder Award. She was also the 2013-2014 Transcultural Conflict and Violence Presidential Fellow at Georgia State. Dr. Houda currently serves as a council member in the RESOLVE’s Research Advisory Board. 


Content Manager


Dr. Maha Hilal is the inaugural Michael Ratner fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.  She is also an organizer with Witness Against Torture and a steering committee member of the DC Justice for Muslims Coalition. Concurrent with these roles, Dr. Hilal is also a Co-Principle Investigator with the Torture Treatment Initiative out of Tulane University’s Traumatology Institute.  She was previously the Executive Director of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, an organization dedicated to addressing civil and human rights abuses related to preemptive prosecutions and thoughts crimes in the War on Terror.

Dr. Hilal earned her doctorate in May 2014 from the Department of Justice, Law and Society at American University in Washington, D.C. The title of her dissertation is “Too damn Muslim to be trusted”: The War on Terror and the Muslim American response. She received her Master’s Degree in Counseling and her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked at a number of human rights/social justice organizations including the Center for Victims of Torture, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and the Government Accountability Project. Maha was also a Christine Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences as well as a recipient of the Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship for Arabic study in Morocco in 2011.






Somayeh served as the Director of Operations at Our Three Winners Foundation from August 2018. Prior to that, from 2009-2018, She was the Director of Operations at the Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF). She helped launch ISF and played a similar role at OTW. Somayeh has a B.A. in Architectural Design from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently a part-time MPA student at San Francisco State University focusing on Non-Profit Management. Prior to accepting her position at ISF, she was the Principal of Farsi Andeesheh School at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California. She serves on the board of Northern California Islamic Council (NCIC) and on the Advisory Council of ISF. She speaks three languages and enjoys yoga, painting, reading, cooking, hiking, and biking with her two daughters and husband.

Interns (Summer 2019)


Summer El-Khodary

Summer is a senior at the University of Evansville, which is located in a small town in Southern Indiana. She is studying Public Health with a nutrition emphasis and hopes to apply to Physician Assistant school in the spring. Besides her medical interest, she hopes to start a business and nonprofit in the future. She chose to intern at OTW because of her personal connection with the organization. She remembers that she was headed to one of her classes junior year of high school when she heard the news of OTW. From then on, she knew our world had changed. She's so happy to be part of the impactful work of this organization and to honor Our Three Winners.


Hamza Mohamoud

Hamza is from the Greater Metro Atlanta area, and just recently completed his second year at Duke University. He's currently active in Duke's Muslim Student Association and Students of Justice in Palestine. The latter has helped him become more interested in advocacy and human rights, which have led him to a double major in Public Policy and Global Health. This newfound interest has also led him to find the OTW Foundation. A friend introduced the internship opportunity to him knowing that it fit his passions for advertising and advocacy. He's currently managing the Facebook page as well as drafting daily posts for the OTW Foundation. He's having a great experience so far!


Saba Sheikholeslami

Saba is a high school student, approaching her junior year. She is passionate and inspired by the work Our Three Winners Foundation is doing. Saba enjoys school, friends, family, nature, and relaxing! She is looking forward to college and is currently interested in studying architecture and environmental studies.

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Asma Rehman

Asma is a recent graduate from George Mason University with a B.A. in English. In the fall, she will begin her Dual Degree Master's Program at GMU in Social Work and Conflict Analysis & Resolution. When the tragedy of Our Three Winners occurred, Asma was a senior in high school and recalls that event as a turning point in her life. She became more passionate about human rights and social justice and wants to see more Muslims play a role in politics and advocacy. Interning with the OTW Foundation has been an opportunity for her to give back to the cause that has allowed her to find her passion, and she hopes to continue working in spaces that encourage Muslims and other marginalized communities to advocate for themselves and others.