Our Advisory Board
The Professional Advisory Board is the national advisory body for the Center for Arab American Philanthropy. Established in 2007, the Professional Advisory Board consists of philanthropists, community members, activists and business leaders who advise CAAP on programs, services, and activities.
Professional Advisory Board Website
Professional Advisory Board (PAB) Members:
Board Chair Hussien Y. Shousher, Toledo, OH - Hussien Y. Shousher was named president of GEM Inc. by the Board of Directors of the Rudolph/Libbe Companies, Inc., in April of 1998. He had been serving as interim general manager. Formerly a project manager/engineer with SSOE, Mr. Shousher joined GEM Inc. in business development in 1991. In 1996 he was named electrical division manager. Mr. Shousher earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Toledo in 1981 and began his career as a project engineer with Texaco in Port Arthur, Texas. Mr. Shousher and his family reside in Sylvania Township, Ohio.
Secretary Nareman Taha, Chicago, IL - Nareman Taha is the co-founder of Arab American Family Services, a provider of various social services to a community of 90,000 Arab Americans in Illinois. The organization was founded in 2001, with Ms. Taha and another volunteer staffer working 80 hours a week helping anyone that needed services; they assisted with public benefits, obtaining medical cards, food stamps, providing elderly services, immigration services, domestic violence, youth programs, and cultural training. It has since progressed from two people funding the organization from their personal pockets to having 14 staff members and various funding sources. They now receive federal and state grants, have the support of foundations, and community donors who believe in their mission. Ms. Taha holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in non-profit management from DePaul University. She resides in the Chicago area.
Wadad Abed, Ann Arbor, MI - Wadad is an independent strategic marketing consultant who has more than 25 years experience in strategic and operational marketing supporting both industry and not-for-profit clients. In addition to her professional work, Ms. Abed has been involved in issues dealing with peace and social justice both within the U.S. and around the world with special focus on the Middle East. Ms. Abed is currently on the board of directors of the University Musical Society (UMS), where she co-chairs its Education and Audience Development committee. Ms. Abed is a co-founder of Bustan Al-Funun Foundation for Arab Arts in America whose mission is to promote understanding and appreciation between the peoples of America and the Arab world through supporting the creation, development, and presentation of Arab and Arab American arts. Ms. Abed was born in Nablus, Palestine and immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1968. She resides in Ann Arbor, MI.
Dr. Ghaleb H. Daouk, Boston, MA - As clinical director of extramural programs for Massachusetts General Hospital/Children's Hospital of Boston pediatric nephrology division, Dr. Daouk treats children with serious kidney and metabolic diseases. He also serves as a member of the medical school faculty at Harvard University and is a noted and widely published research scientist. In his 20s, while working as a visiting scientist at MIT's biology department, he discovered and characterized an important gene that regulates energy in the brain and nervous system. At the time, fewer than 100 genes had been discovered. His research had implications for cancer treatment, so Daouk and his wife, Rima Kaddurah--then a molecular biologist finishing her fellowship at Harvard--established a biotechnology company, Amira, which has since thrived. Born in Lebanon, Daouk studied at the American University in Paris before receiving a BS from Syracuse University, followed by a medical degree from the American University of Beirut, pediatric residency at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, post-doctoral work at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a master's degree in management of technology from MIT. He is the chair of the Biology Advisory Board at Syracuse University and serves on their Board of Visitors. He resides in the Boston area.
Rasha Demashkieh, Port Huron, MI - Rasha Demashkieh received her formal education in Damascus, Syria. She moved to Detroit, Michigan with her husband Walid in 1975 and attended Wayne State University, School of Pharmacy and Allied Health and graduated with a Bachelor in Science in Pharmacy in 1979. She is a pharmacist at CVS pharmacy in Port Huron where she and her husband, a general surgeon, reside. Rasha is very involved in her adopted community of Port Huron, where she sits on many boards. She was elected as a trustee of the Board of Education of the Port Huron Area School District in 2003 and reelected again in 2007 and 2011. She currently serves as the Vice President. She also sits on the board of the Saint Clair County Community Foundation. She also volunteers to serve on many committees that focus on education for which she has a great passion.Rasha has been elected to a second term to the board of ACCESS and is a member of the Friends of the Museum committee for the Arab American National Museum. She has been appointed by the governor of Michigan Rick Snyder to the Commission of Civil Rights in 2012. She has three daughters: Maria, Lena and Sarra that have completed their education and are pursuing their chosen careers in different parts of the world from Michigan to England.
Walid Demashkieh, Port Huron, MI - Walid Demashkieh graduated from Damascus University Medical School in 1973. He furthered his medical education in Beirut Lebanon for one year upon graduation. He then traveled to the United States to enroll in an internship program at Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit and later a residency program at St. John Hospital in Detroit where he completed his general surgery training. Walid is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has been a practicing General Surgeon in Port Huron Michigan for the last 31 years. Beyond his very busy practice, Walid has volunteered to serve on several medical committees and became chair of a cancer committee and credentialing committee for medical staff. He was elected chief of staff at Port Huron Hospital in 1988. He was appointed as chief of surgery at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in 1998. He was appointed to the board of trustees of Port Huron hospital in 1991 and finished his tenure as the chairman of the board in 2001. Walid joined the board of trustees of Citizens First Bank Corp and Citizens First Bank in 2003, serving as the lead director and on the compensation committee. Walid is married to Rasha Demashkieh and has three daughters: Maria (married to Dr. Rami Kaakaji with two children Hana and Kenan), Lena (married to Fahad Roumani), and Sarra. He resides in Fort Gratiot, Michigan.
Basem Hishmeh, Montvale, NJ - Basem Hishmeh immigrated to the United States in 1957 from Palestine, began his industrial career at Bailey Meter Co. in Cleveland and now is chairman of AERCO International Inc. and Vista Industries, both based in Northvale, NJ. In addition, he serves as a board member and chief financial officer of Sigma-Netics Inc, and as President of the Association of Manufacturing Excellence. Born in Jerusalem in 1941, Hishmeh earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Case Institute of Technology in 1962. He also holds an MBA degree from Western Reserve University. He spent the first 14 years of his industrial career as a process development engineer with Bailey Meter Co. in Cleveland. From 1976 to 1982, he was involved in starting up a vinyl tiles and adhesives manufacturing business in Saudi Arabia. He joined AERCO International in 1982 as vice president of operations and is now its chairman. AERCO manufactures high-efficiency commercial water heaters and hydronic boilers.
Muna Hishmeh, Montvale, NJ - After graduating from Lakewood High School in Ohio, Muna Hishmeh was employed in several office support positions before moving to Saudi Arabia where she was an office manager to two American firms. Upon her return to the United States, she served many institutions as a volunteer, including schools, museums, and charitable organizations. Muna appreciates all forms of art, and realized that she wanted to give needy children an opportunity to develop their artistic skills. To accomplish this, Muna and her husband Basem established a Family Foundation—the Muna and Basem Hishmeh Foundation—to give support to children in the United States and Palestine. Through her Family Foundation, Muna makes strategic philanthropy a part of her everyday life. When she isn’t volunteering or travelling, Muna enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren and considers herself a “Taita” at heart.
Dr. Randa Mansour-Shousher, Toledo, OH - Randa Mansour-Shousher has been a practicing Audiologist since 1981. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toledo in 1979 and her Masters of Science degree from the University of Michigan in 1981 where she graduated Cum Laude. In 2005, she received her Doctorate of Audiology (Au.D.) from A.T. Still University. Her interests lie in providing individualized comprehensive assessment for patients where she is well trained in skills of diagnosing hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus disorders and developing a personalized treatment plan which may entail advanced hearing aid technology, rehabilitation or tinnitus treatment. She has reviewed several Clinical books in Audiology along with publications to include Hearing Loss with Aging in “Clinics in Geriatric Medicine”. She is a certified member of the American Academy of Audiology, American Academy of Doctors of Audiology, Ohio Academy of Audiology and the American Speech and Hearing Association. She currently serves on the board of The Toledo Hospital, ANERA and CAAP.
Ghassan Saab, Flint, MI - Ghassan Saab joined Sorensen Gross Construction Co., a general contracting firm that undertakes industrial, commercial, institutional, heavy civil and high-density residential projects, as field engineer after college graduation, and served as its President and Owner beginning in 1971; he is currently the CEO of the company. He is also the President, since 1982, of SGT. Ltd., a development, consulting and personnel services organization active in real estate development and leasing, equipment leasing, and consulting and personnel services. Mr. Saab is further the founder and co-owner of Sorensen Gross, Inc., Charlotte, North Carolina, a general construction firm and a leading school builder in the Carolinas, and of SG Construction Services, LLC., Brighton, Michigan, a program and construction management firm specializing in construction administration for large industrial clients. He was the founder and co-owner (1987-1997) of the Torrey Group of Building Companies, Atlanta, Georgia, which became Georgia’s #1 home builder in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Mr. Saab received a B.E. degree in Civil Engineering from the American University of Beirut in 1966. He currently chairs or serves on the boards of Lebanese American University (Chairman of Board of Trustees); University of Michigan – Flint (Member of the Flint Citizens Advisory Council); Associated General Contractors of America, Michigan Chapter (Member, Past President); Flint Chamber of Commerce (Member); Arab American Institute Board of Governors (Member); American Task Force for Lebanon (Member); and American Druze Foundation (Member). He resides in Grand Blanc, MI.
Manal Saab, Flint, MI - Manal B. Saab is the Vice President of SGT Ltd., a real estate development and consulting firm in Flint, Michigan, specializing in industrial, commercial, and institutional projects. Saab joined SGT after spending 17 years in healthcare at the MetroHealth system in Cleveland, Ohio, rising from the ranks of an hourly worker to a member of the hospital administration team as the director of government affairs and community relations. Community service is also a major part of Saab’s life. She currently serves as the chair of the National Advisory Board for the Arab American National Museum, and is a member of the Board of Governors of St. Jude Research Hospital and the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities of Memphis, Tennessee. Saab also chairs the board of trustees of the American Druze Foundation. In Flint, she has served on the Ballenger Chair Committee for the Mott Community College and the Critical Issues Forum Committee for the University of Michigan in Flint. Saab and her husband, Ghassan Saab, are recipients of the 2010 Russell G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy. Saab is also a recipient of the 1996 Volunteer of the Year Award from AACCESS-Ohio and the 2006 Distinguished Volunteer Award from the Michigan’s Association of Fundraising Professionals. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Manal is a summa cum laude graduate of Cleveland State University with a Masters in Public Administration and Health Care Administration and has completed the Business Management of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. She resides in Grand Blanc, MI.
George Salem, Washington, DC - George R. Salem established the Law Offices of George R. Salem, PLLC in January 2005. In November 2005 he entered into a relationship as Strategic Advisor with DLA Piper, where he is focused on assisting in the development of DLA Piper's Middle East and U.S. Department of Labor practices.** From 1990 to 2004, Mr. Salem was a partner at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, where he headed that firm's Middle East and U.S. Department of Labor practices. From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Salem served as the Solicitor of Labor. As the U.S. Department of Labor’s chief legal officer, he was responsible for enforcing more than 130 laws that regulate the nation's workplace. Mr. Salem played key roles in the Reagan-Bush '84, Bush-Quayle '88, and Bush-Cheney '00 campaigns. In addition, he served as a member of the board of directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and as chairman of the Tripartite Advisory Panel on International Labor Standards, the legal arm of the President's Committee on the International Labor Organization. Mr. Salem has written and spoken extensively on labor law and related topics and has lectured in Moscow, Beijing, Cairo, and Geneva. He is also active in several professional associations, and was named by the National Law Journal as one of the top 26 labor lawyers in the United States. He is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Salem co-founded the Arab American Institute in 1985 and currently serves as its chairman, and has served as treasurer of United Palestinian Appeal, Inc. since 1982. He is a past president of the National Association of Arab Americans and has served on the board of directors of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. In 2003 he was named to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy’s Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim World, which was assembled at the request of Congress to study the State Department’s public diplomacy efforts in these regions. On behalf of the Bush Administration, Mr. Salem served as an official observer to the Palestinian elections held in February 2005, and also as President George W. Bush’s representative to the funeral of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. In 1992 Mr. Salem received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The award is presented annually to Americans of diverse origins for their outstanding contributions to their own ethnic groups and to American society. ** Mr. Salem serves DLA Piper as a Strategic Advisor. He is not a member or employee of DLA Piper.