WASHINGTON, DC - EmergeUSA is proud to welcome its new Executive Director, Wa’el Alzayat, to lead the organization in its effort to engage, educate and empower Muslim American communities across the nation for the purpose of creating a community of equitable, knowledgeable and motivated citizens.
Alzayat joins EmergeUSA after a decade of public service at the State Department working on the nation's most sensitive political, security, and humanitarian issues. He was Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power where he focused on national security, non-proliferation, and humanitarian issues concerning Iraq, Syria, and the broader Middle East.
“I am honored to begin my next chapter with an organization such as EmergeUSA given all the work it has done to increase the political awareness of, and participation by, Muslim Americans in the political process,” said Alzayat. “Our country requires citizens of all religious, ethnic, and national backgrounds to come together to address the various challenges and issues our country and the world face.”
EmergeUSA is committed to defining Muslims by what they stand for and mobilizing communities to engage their elected officials in order to take action against bigotry, profiling and bullying targeted at the Muslim American community. Recent Executive Orders calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States has sparked nationwide outrage and EmergeUSA is working at the forefront to lead the conversation with Congress members, elected officials and community members in representing the values and responding to the needs of our community.
“Wa’el brings years of relevant experience and expertise to the organization that is critical to the times that we’re in,” said Khurrum Wahid, founding member and Co-Chair of EmergeUSA. “The organization has built up a strong history of voter engagement and now has the leader to help drive Muslim Americans towards active legislative advocacy and being a part of policy solutions. This will move Muslims into the realm of advocating better policy with other communities and for all Americans. .”
Alzayat previously served as the Syria Outreach Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State and as Special Assistant to U.S. Ambassador during the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq. He also served as the Iraq and Egypt Desk Officer at the Department of State from 2007 to 2011. Alzayat is currently an adjunct professor at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service teaching a course on Iraq and Syria from the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
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