Haider Elias, President and Board Member. Has a bachelor`s degree in psychology at the University of Houston, Haider worked previously for the US government in Iraq as a translator and cultural adviser. Haider lost his younger brother in the attack against the Yazidi people in August 2014 and became involved in helping the victims with the goal of preventing future genocides against minorities.
Hadi Pir, Vice President and Board Member. Hadi is currently studying for his Masters in Education at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, having received his Bachelor’s of Art in Education in English as a Second Language at from the University of Mosul, Iraq in 2003. Hadi worked between 2003 and 2010 with the US Army as an interpreter and cultural adviser. In 2012, Hadi migrated to Lincoln, Nebraska with his family.
Murad Ismael, Executive Director. Murad is responsible for spearheading many of Yazda international and Iraq-based projects. Murad received his MS and MCE degrees from Norwich University and the University of Houston in Texas. Murad’s motivation is to help genocide victims and raise awareness to protect minorities who have been subject to persecution.
Director for Women Affairs
Laila Khoudeida, Director For Women Affairs, and board member. Laila works to connect supporters, volunteers, and other interested parties to Yazda. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Laila currently works in the mental health field, and has been involved in addressing the issue of violence against women in the Middle East, documenting the personal stories of Yazidi women who have been subjected to systematic abuse or suffered sexual slavery. Her passion is to help vulnerable populations and disabled children.
Kerry Propper is the Co-founder and Non -executive Chairman of Chardan Capital Markets, a boutique NY based investment bank, as well as a Founder and Managing Partner of ATW Partners, a Private Equity fund based in NY. Mr. Propper serves on the Executive Board of Voices of Rwanda, a non-profit organization dedicated to filming and preserving the testimony of survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, is a co-founder of The Watchers of the Sky initiative, a non-profit focused on education, advocacy, and activism around genocide related issues, an executive board member of PVBLIC Foundation, a non-profit focused on amplifying the voices of non- profit organizations by donating free media and advertising services. He also serves on the executive board of Digital Citizens Fund, a non-profit focused on the education of women through digital literacy and community building in Afghanistan. In addition Kerry serves on the Advisory Council of the International Crisis Group, and is the Producer of Watchers of the Sky, an award winning documentary on Genocide. Mr. Propper holds a BA in Economics and International Studies from Colby College. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abid Shamden, Treasurer and Board Member. Abid focuses on Yazda’s medical programs and is the focal point for Yazda clinic. Abid received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Nebraska, and has spent three years serving the community at the Center for People in Need in Lincoln, Nebraska. Abid currently works full time at the Nebraska Legislature as a senatorial aide.
Yazda-Iraq Country Director
Amber Webb, Country Director, Iraq. Amber is responsible for Yazda’s in-country projects and overseas a staff of almost seventy people based in Duhok. Ms. Webb holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland. Prior to coming to Iraq, she was a Research Fellow with Save the Children in Nepal and a consultant to the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C. She has served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Ukraine and teaches and researches in the fields of peace and human rights education, conflict resolution, and education in emergency contexts.
Ajaweed Badeel, is the Secretary and Board Member. Ajaweed completed his undergraduate studies in English after more than five years of experience working with the US Army as an interpreter and cultural adviser in Iraq.
Ziyad Smoqi, Volunteer Coordinator and Board Member. Ziyad has more than four years experience with non-profit organizations, holding various positions, including ESL/GED instructor and director of resettlement programs. Ziyad holds a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering and currently is a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics.
Rasheed Murad, Board Member. Rasheed completed his undergraduate studies in Engineering after more than five years of experience working with the US Army as an interpreter and cultural adviser in Iraq.