Meet Our Team

The Coalition is a transparent, agile organization led by each of us - grassroots leaders with innovative ideas. The Coalition Steering Board and Staff bring a diverse set of expertise and identities to our organization.

The Coalition Advisory Team (photos and bios coming soon) provides critical guidance and perspective to the Steering Board. The Advisory Team is comprised of leaders of diverse professional sectors, faiths, and personal backgrounds.

Email Info@ILMuslimCivicCoalition.org to join our next meeting.

DINA ABDALLA    GOTV Strategist     Dina organizes and supports Muslim candidates who are running for public office across the state. As GOTV strategist, Dina also promotes voter education within the broader American Muslim community. She graduated from DePaul University in 2017 with a B.A. in International Studies. Following graduation she spent a year in Muscat, Oman as a Boren Scholar where she researched nation-building and the politics of multiculturalism in the Gulf. Dina was also a former field organizer for her congresswoman Lauren Underwood. She lives in the western suburbs with her family.

DINA ABDALLA

GOTV Strategist

Dina organizes and supports Muslim candidates who are running for public office across the state. As GOTV strategist, Dina also promotes voter education within the broader American Muslim community. She graduated from DePaul University in 2017 with a B.A. in International Studies. Following graduation she spent a year in Muscat, Oman as a Boren Scholar where she researched nation-building and the politics of multiculturalism in the Gulf. Dina was also a former field organizer for her congresswoman Lauren Underwood. She lives in the western suburbs with her family.

ARSHIA ALI-KHAN    Steering Board Member | Development/Grants Team    From high-profile organizations to local individuals and entrepreneurs, Arshia serves as an experienced transformational organization development and human emergence leader and adviser. In August 2018, Arshia joined the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) as their first ever Chief Development Officer and has hit the ground running on spear heading organizational development strategies, building development infrastructure, enhancing development activities, and planning and executing comprehensive development campaigns' for MLFA. Arshia lives in the far northwest suburbs with her family.

ARSHIA ALI-KHAN

Steering Board Member | Development/Grants Team


From high-profile organizations to local individuals and entrepreneurs, Arshia serves as an experienced transformational organization development and human emergence leader and adviser. In August 2018, Arshia joined the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) as their first ever Chief Development Officer and has hit the ground running on spear heading organizational development strategies, building development infrastructure, enhancing development activities, and planning and executing comprehensive development campaigns' for MLFA. Arshia lives in the far northwest suburbs with her family.

MEHRDAD AZEMUN    Steering Board Member | Coalition-Activate Endorsement Team Co-Chair   Mehrdad is a community organizer with deep experience in running issue and electoral campaigns at the local, statewide and national level for nearly 20 years. Along with Coalition Steering Board, he serves as Senior Strategist for People’s Action, a racial and economic justice organization working in 32 states. As the Director of Organizing at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), he worked with the Muslim community to pass the “Charity Without Fear” Resolution, which called on the federal government to address the ability of Muslims to give zakat without fear of reprisal. He has run the national grassroots operations for immigration reform campaigns twice. Mehrdad is an immigrant from Iran and lives in Chicago.

MEHRDAD AZEMUN

Steering Board Member | Coalition-Activate Endorsement Team Co-Chair

Mehrdad is a community organizer with deep experience in running issue and electoral campaigns at the local, statewide and national level for nearly 20 years. Along with Coalition Steering Board, he serves as Senior Strategist for People’s Action, a racial and economic justice organization working in 32 states. As the Director of Organizing at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), he worked with the Muslim community to pass the “Charity Without Fear” Resolution, which called on the federal government to address the ability of Muslims to give zakat without fear of reprisal. He has run the national grassroots operations for immigration reform campaigns twice. Mehrdad is an immigrant from Iran and lives in Chicago.

AIMAN BEG    Steering Board Member   Aiman Beg has been in the Financial Services industry for the past twenty years, with a primary focus in Housing Finance, Business Operations Design, and Technology. He is a Lean Six Sigma practitioner and has been working for a leading Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) for the past 16 years. During his time at the GSE, Aiman has led and contributed to many innovative ventures enabling liquidity and stability in the Housing Sector. Aiman has an MBA in Finance and International Business. He lives in Chicago’s southwest suburbs with his wife. Together, they are raising their five sons. Aiman is a strong advocate for paying-it-forward, and is involved in civic engagement and social justice programs.

AIMAN BEG

Steering Board Member

Aiman Beg has been in the Financial Services industry for the past twenty years, with a primary focus in Housing Finance, Business Operations Design, and Technology. He is a Lean Six Sigma practitioner and has been working for a leading Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) for the past 16 years. During his time at the GSE, Aiman has led and contributed to many innovative ventures enabling liquidity and stability in the Housing Sector. Aiman has an MBA in Finance and International Business. He lives in Chicago’s southwest suburbs with his wife. Together, they are raising their five sons. Aiman is a strong advocate for paying-it-forward, and is involved in civic engagement and social justice programs.

AMR ELSAMNY    Steering Board Member   Amr Elsamny is an American Muslim motivational speaker and spiritual leader. He is a member of Several key civic organizations and has been appointed to the Advisory Commission of Human Resources and the Advisory Commission of the disabled. In 2011, Amr founded Mercy for Mankind, a global outreach organization with ambassadors working to promote compassion, build bridges with other faiths, and share the peaceful message of Islam. Mercy for Mankind is one of the world's largest and fastest growing outreach organizations with branches and chapters in 20 countries and multiple continents. Amr is a writer with key publishing outlets and has appeared on major national and international media outlets across the globe. Amr lives in Peoria, IL.

AMR ELSAMNY

Steering Board Member

Amr Elsamny is an American Muslim motivational speaker and spiritual leader. He is a member of Several key civic organizations and has been appointed to the Advisory Commission of Human Resources and the Advisory Commission of the disabled. In 2011, Amr founded Mercy for Mankind, a global outreach organization with ambassadors working to promote compassion, build bridges with other faiths, and share the peaceful message of Islam. Mercy for Mankind is one of the world's largest and fastest growing outreach organizations with branches and chapters in 20 countries and multiple continents. Amr is a writer with key publishing outlets and has appeared on major national and international media outlets across the globe. Amr lives in Peoria, IL.

REEMA KAMRAN    Executive Director | Co-Founder   Reema Kamran is an entrepreneur and community organizer focused on leveraging partnerships and collaborations with in the community to bring about collective impact and social change. She founded R & R Event Management in 2008, with the goals of empowering organizations and bringing professionalism to the Muslim non-profit community. Through her years of experience as a community organizer, Reema has gained insight and contributed to organizational methodology, fundraising strategy, and donor management skills, harnessing volunteer energy (managing 400+ volunteers) and marketing and branding strategy discussions. Reema holds a degree in Marketing and Economics from Elmhurst College and began her career as a government auditor and consultant. Reema resides in Elmhurst, IL with her husband and sons.

REEMA KAMRAN

Executive Director | Co-Founder

Reema Kamran is an entrepreneur and community organizer focused on leveraging partnerships and collaborations with in the community to bring about collective impact and social change. She founded R & R Event Management in 2008, with the goals of empowering organizations and bringing professionalism to the Muslim non-profit community. Through her years of experience as a community organizer, Reema has gained insight and contributed to organizational methodology, fundraising strategy, and donor management skills, harnessing volunteer energy (managing 400+ volunteers) and marketing and branding strategy discussions. Reema holds a degree in Marketing and Economics from Elmhurst College and began her career as a government auditor and consultant. Reema resides in Elmhurst, IL with her husband and sons.

ADIL SYED KHADRI    Graphic Design and Digital Media Intern   Adil Khadri is a student at Waubonsie Valley High School. He serves as the president of Waubonsie Valley’s Muslim Student Association as well as a VP of Communication in Waubonsie Valley’s Youth and Government program. Khadri is also a member of the youth council of Unity Partnership, an organization seeking to bridge the divide between minority youth and law enforcement. Moreover, he regularly tutors low-income minority students with PAGES (Parents Advocating for the Greater Enrichment of Students) and serves as the Director of Digital Communication of Our Safety USA, a youth-led advocacy organization raising awareness about gun violence. Adil is a regular speaker and spoken word poet at school events and Open Mic sessions. He is passionate about hip hop music, basketball, history, design, and social justice.

ADIL SYED KHADRI

Graphic Design and Digital Media Intern

Adil Khadri is a student at Waubonsie Valley High School. He serves as the president of Waubonsie Valley’s Muslim Student Association as well as a VP of Communication in Waubonsie Valley’s Youth and Government program. Khadri is also a member of the youth council of Unity Partnership, an organization seeking to bridge the divide between minority youth and law enforcement. Moreover, he regularly tutors low-income minority students with PAGES (Parents Advocating for the Greater Enrichment of Students) and serves as the Director of Digital Communication of Our Safety USA, a youth-led advocacy organization raising awareness about gun violence. Adil is a regular speaker and spoken word poet at school events and Open Mic sessions. He is passionate about hip hop music, basketball, history, design, and social justice.

 
SUFYAN SOHEL    Steering Board Member | Legal Counsel   Sufyan serves as Legal Counsel of the Coalition. He is also the Deputy Director & Counsel at CAIR-Chicago, and is a trained mediator and speaks frequently on social justice, civil rights and diversity. Sufyan has worked with DePaul University in Chicago and the Egyptian Center of Women's Rights in Cairo on policies for women’s rights, gender reform, and inclusion. He serves on several boards and commissions, and has won several awards for his service to law and our civic communities. Sufyan holds a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) and a Master of Science in Finance (M.S.) from DePaul University. His most powerful role is volunteer magician with Open Heart Magic, serving children struggling with illness. Sufyan lives in Chicago and loves to travel across the nation and world.

SUFYAN SOHEL

Steering Board Member | Legal Counsel

Sufyan serves as Legal Counsel of the Coalition. He is also the Deputy Director & Counsel at CAIR-Chicago, and is a trained mediator and speaks frequently on social justice, civil rights and diversity. Sufyan has worked with DePaul University in Chicago and the Egyptian Center of Women's Rights in Cairo on policies for women’s rights, gender reform, and inclusion. He serves on several boards and commissions, and has won several awards for his service to law and our civic communities. Sufyan holds a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) and a Master of Science in Finance (M.S.) from DePaul University. His most powerful role is volunteer magician with Open Heart Magic, serving children struggling with illness. Sufyan lives in Chicago and loves to travel across the nation and world.

GRACE CHAN MCKIBBEN    Development/Grants   Grace Chan McKibben is a longtime leader in government non-profit executive, community activist and higher education administrator who has worked tirelessly to build coalitions across lines of race and class, getting results for all our communities. For the past 15 years, Grace has worked in various senior level positions in government and nonprofit organizations, including Illinois Department of Employment Security, Chinese American Service League, and the Indo-American Center. Grace is a long-time board member of the Illinois ACLU, currently serving as Illinois’ representative to the ACLU’s National Board. She also sits on the Leadership Greater Chicago’s Fellows Association Board and is an appointed member to the State of Illinois Asian American Employment Plan Advisory Board.

GRACE CHAN MCKIBBEN

Development/Grants

Grace Chan McKibben is a longtime leader in government non-profit executive, community activist and higher education administrator who has worked tirelessly to build coalitions across lines of race and class, getting results for all our communities. For the past 15 years, Grace has worked in various senior level positions in government and nonprofit organizations, including Illinois Department of Employment Security, Chinese American Service League, and the Indo-American Center. Grace is a long-time board member of the Illinois ACLU, currently serving as Illinois’ representative to the ACLU’s National Board. She also sits on the Leadership Greater Chicago’s Fellows Association Board and is an appointed member to the State of Illinois Asian American Employment Plan Advisory Board.

 
DR. DILARA SAYEED    President of the Board | Co-Founder | Engage & Impact Team Chair   Dilara is a daughter of Chicago’s Muslim community, and has gone from Headstart to Harvard. She is a teacher and a strategy expert who uses her network and real experience to leverage access and resources for vulnerable communities. Dilara has worked to dismantle the cradle-to-prison pipeline, and led a non-profit. She teaches leadership at Northwestern University. In 2018, she ran for Illinois State Representative of the 5th District, and came in second of four candidates in an historic race. Dilara is founder and CEO of vPeer.com, a peer-to-peer mentoring platform named one of the best coaching sites on the Internet. She lives in Chicago with her husband. They love to bicycle on roads and kayak on waterways- exploring our world.

DR. DILARA SAYEED

President of the Board | Co-Founder | Engage & Impact Team Chair

Dilara is a daughter of Chicago’s Muslim community, and has gone from Headstart to Harvard. She is a teacher and a strategy expert who uses her network and real experience to leverage access and resources for vulnerable communities. Dilara has worked to dismantle the cradle-to-prison pipeline, and led a non-profit. She teaches leadership at Northwestern University. In 2018, she ran for Illinois State Representative of the 5th District, and came in second of four candidates in an historic race. Dilara is founder and CEO of vPeer.com, a peer-to-peer mentoring platform named one of the best coaching sites on the Internet. She lives in Chicago with her husband. They love to bicycle on roads and kayak on waterways- exploring our world.

RANDAL MUHAMMAD    Steering Board Member | Engage & Impact Team   Randal Muhammad’s expertise in fiscal management, contract compliance, grants management and the financial elements of strategic planning help strengthen administrative and accounting procedures at the Coalition as well as at American Islamic College, where he serves as Vice President of Finance and Administration. In both organizations, Randal oversees the preparation and submission of all financial reports required by external regulatory agencies. Randal’s family moved to the North in the Great Migration from America’s South in the early 1900s. He is a soon to be black belt in martial arts. Randal lives with his family in the south side of Chicago.

RANDAL MUHAMMAD

Steering Board Member | Engage & Impact Team

Randal Muhammad’s expertise in fiscal management, contract compliance, grants management and the financial elements of strategic planning help strengthen administrative and accounting procedures at the Coalition as well as at American Islamic College, where he serves as Vice President of Finance and Administration. In both organizations, Randal oversees the preparation and submission of all financial reports required by external regulatory agencies. Randal’s family moved to the North in the Great Migration from America’s South in the early 1900s. He is a soon to be black belt in martial arts. Randal lives with his family in the south side of Chicago.

 
 
RAEES YAWER    Steering Board Member   Raees Yawer is the Vice President of the Board of Commissioners at Streamwood Park District. Her focus is to ensure fair and diverse representation and to serve her community as an elected official. Raees studied business law and accounting, and her expertise is in banking and the mortgage industry. Her dedication and strong commitment for over 17 years has helped families achieve their dreams. Raees is also active in fundraising for the Compassionate Care network and has has hosted their Annual Banquet. She enjoys serving her community, being moderator for political forums and cultural events. Raees lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

RAEES YAWER

Steering Board Member

Raees Yawer is the Vice President of the Board of Commissioners at Streamwood Park District. Her focus is to ensure fair and diverse representation and to serve her community as an elected official. Raees studied business law and accounting, and her expertise is in banking and the mortgage industry. Her dedication and strong commitment for over 17 years has helped families achieve their dreams. Raees is also active in fundraising for the Compassionate Care network and has has hosted their Annual Banquet. She enjoys serving her community, being moderator for political forums and cultural events. Raees lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.