We are thrilled to share that we have elected Safouh Takrouri as the next Chairperson of the Board, effective January 1, 2022. One of our top priorities in 2021, as we commemorated Jusoor’s 10 year anniversary, was ensuring that the organization is well set up to have an increasing impact for decades to come. A core part of that has been to recruit new talent to the Board of Directors and to appoint a new leader for the Board.
We could not be more proud of our choice for our new Chairperson. As an alumnus of Jusoor’s scholarship program himself, Safouh represents the very best of the spirit Syrian youth embodies. Like so many young Syrians who have fought so hard to continue their education, Safouh has accomplished so much in this past decade.
He completed his bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2015 and then joined Goldman Sachs, the first to work in the technology strategy department. Within two years, he had impressed so many with his performance, that he was able to make the very rare mobility move to join the Investment Banking team in San Francisco as a financial advisor to technology companies. Since then, he joined one of the most prestigious data companies in Silicon Valley, Snowflake, as a member of the Strategy and Analytics team.
Safouh’s own story personifies the multiplier effect we often speak about for our programs; within eight years of being granted a scholarship from Jusoor to complete his undergraduate degree, Safouh is now leading the oversight of an organization that is educating thousands of Syrian children and youth each year.
The Board of Directors is now composed of the four of its original founders - Leen Al Zaibak (Toronto), Dania Ismail (Dubai), Rania Succar (San Francisco), Rami Zayat (Dubai) -- and three more recent members -- Safouh Takrouri (San Francisco), who joined in 2018; Ahmad Nehlawi (London), who joined in 2020; and Maya Ghosn (London) who joined in 2021.
We’d love to take a moment to introduce Ahmad and Maya. Ahmad serves as a Principal at The Capital Partnership based in London, focusing on venture and growth capital investing. Previously, Ahmad held various investment banking roles at J.P. Morgan and Perella Weinberg Partners across the Middle East and Europe. Ahmad is an angel investor and advisor to technology startups across MENA and the US. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from McGill University.
Maya is an early-stage investor and advisor to purpose-driven technology startups with a growing focus on the MENA region, and also sits on the board of Elgorithm and Konexio. Previously, she helped build out the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative's operational and strategic backbone over five years as they scaled from 30 to 600+. She was most recently the Director of Operations for their 160-person Education team. Prior to CZI, she was an Engagement Manager with McKinsey's Social Sector practice where she worked on gender equality and family planning projects in the U.S., Canada, Denmark, and India. She is Lebanese/Brazilian and holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.