The Advisory Board of the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) provides oversight on all CAAP activities, reviews and approves CAAP’s competitive grantmaking rounds, and remains very active through board committees, CAAP events, and any special projects that we undertake.


Executive Committee

Hussien Y. Shousher

Board Chair, Toledo, OH

Hussien is the CEO of GEM, Inc., an industrial engineering firm and a division of the Rudolph/Libbe Group. He earned a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Toledo in 1981. Hussien and his family are very active in many initiatives, including Propel, that serve people abroad and in their local community.

Rasha Demashkieh

Port Huron, MI

Rasha received her formal education in Damascus, Syria. She moved to Detroit with her husband Walid in 1975 and received a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Wayne State University. Rasha works at CVS Pharmacy and is very involved with the boards of several organizations including the Port Huron Area School District Board of Education, the Saint Clair County Community Foundation, and ACCESS.

Jeanette Mansour

Flint, MI

Jeanette Mansour retired from the C.S. Mott Foundation after more than 30 years as the Director of Program Planning and Senior Program Officer. In June 2001, Jeanette received the Peacemaker/Peacebuilder award from the National Peace Foundation for her work in supporting conflict resolution/peacebuilding programs. She earned degrees in history, political science, international law and international relations from Marygrove College in Detroit, the Catholic University of America, the University of Michigan and the American University of Beirut. Jeanette formerly served as Board President of the Arab American Heritage Council in Flint.


Board Members

Brenda F. Abdellal

Washington, DC

Brenda F. Abdellal is the Founder and President of Bridge Strategies LLC, a public policy and philanthropic consulting firm located in the Washington, DC area.  She graduated with both a BA and JD from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and currently serves as Board Member for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Advisory Board Member of the Charity and Security Network (CSN), a member of the Arab American Institute’s National Policy Council, as well as serving on the Virginia Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She also teaches legal writing at the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law.

Thomas Abraham

Miami, FL

Thomas Abraham is a nationally recognized business entrepreneur and civic leader. He is the son of the late Genevieve and Anthony R. Abraham who was the last living member of the founding members of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He serves as a member of the boards of the following organizations: Camillus Health and House Concern, CityYear, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Lebanese American University, APEAL, SEAL, the Rene Moawad Foundation and the Beirut Marathon Association. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation.

Peter Omar Farah

Cleveland, OH.

Peter is currently the Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, and Assistant Secretary of The J. M. Smucker Company, where he has primary responsibility within the Legal Department for mergers and acquisitions, securities, finance, and corporate governance. Peter received his Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School in 2001, and his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Boston College in 1997. Peter is a first generation Arab American, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Jerusalem shortly before he was born.

Reyad Fezzani

San Francisco, CA

Reyad is currently the Chairman and CEO of Regenerate Power, a developer, owner and operator of utility-scale renewable energy projects. Reyad has more than 20 years experience in energy and finance, previously serving as CEO of BP Solar and Chairman of Tata-BP Solar. In addition, Mr. Fezzani has served as Chairman of the Board of Bay Area Arabic School (BAAS) since May 2015. Mr. Fezzani was born in Libya and holds an ME in Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology from Imperial College, London.

Basem Hishmeh

Montvale, NJ

Originally from Jerusalem, Basem has a degree in mechanical engineering from Case Institute of Technology in 1962. He also holds an MBA from Western Reserve University. Basem has served as chairman of manufacturing companies AERCO International and Sigma-Netics, as well as the Association of Manufacturing Excellence. Basem and his wife, Muna, are very involved in arts, culture, and education initiatives, both domestically and in Palestine.

Gheed Amara Itani

Boston, MA

Gheed has a degree in Architecture from the University  of Houston, with special focus in urban design and renovation. She worked for Brown and Root for several years focusing on industrial design. Gheed has deep roots and interest in community building and empowerment, having served on the boards of Arab American Educational Foundation in Houston and the National Network for Arab American Communities, and serving as founding member and president for six years of Center for Arabic Culture in Boston. She is currently on the board of the Boston PCRF chapter and teaches ESL as a literacy volunteer.

Dr. Randa Mansour-Shousher

Toledo, OH

Randa Mansour-Shousher has been a practicing audiologist for more than 30 years. Randa earned degrees from the University of Toledo and the University of Michigan, and in 2005 received her Doctorate of Audiology from A.T. Still University. Randa is a certified member of several audiology groups, including the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. She serves on several boards and works with HearCare Connection to bring hearing aids to disadvantaged children in the Middle East.


Honorary Member

Richard A. Abdoo

Milwaukee, WI