Our excellent team consists of world renown Advisors and talented individuals implementing our projects and developing our dynamic strategies:
Sarah Basha is a Program Manager and Business Analyst specializing in Risk and Change Management. Her Conflict Resolution work at oneblue.org includes international and inter-group conflict management and transformation where she specializes in digital public engagement strategies and tools for addressing conflict, especially in the Middle East and South Asia. Her expertise includes post-conflict Democracy and Governance, Economic and Civil Society Development, Extremism and Radicalization, Media literacy, Pluralism, Transitional and Restorative Justice and Minority Representation. Her general professional expertise center around managing programs and business processes to meet stakeholder needs in the IT and Management Consulting arena.
Sarah began her career as a freelance broadcast journalist covering regional conflict in the Middle East and South Asia at the Department of State, where she was also part of the Women’s Empowerment Action Team on Education, using her fluency in Urdu and Arabic to advise on how media can be used to make education more accessible to women and girls in underdeveloped countries. In 2007, she co-founded oneblue.org, a Washington DC based 501c(3) organization, which addresses Conflict using new media technologies to educate, engage and share perspectives across global audiences. While supervising overall operations and designing strategies at oneblue.org, Sarah manages its media-based Conflict Resolution workshops and offers Alternate Dispute Resolution and Training services to clients in the Washington DC metro area.
Sarah earned triple BA degrees simultaneously in Economics, Political Science and International Studies, with Honors and Distinction from Southern Methodist University. She has an MA in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, specializing in the impact of new media technologies on conflict.
Barbara oversees the Middle East Connections program. She is an education consultant specializing in professional development on the Middle East and Islam, global education, curriculum development and study tours to the Middle East. She is also immediate past president of the national Middle East Outreach Council. She created TeachMideast.org, a comprehensive resource for educators seeking balanced and innovative materials for teaching about the region, while education director at the Middle East Policy Council and served as outreach coordinator at the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies, starting just before September 11, 2001. She taught courses on Middle Eastern history, Islam and women's studies at Dalhousie University and St. Mary's University in Nova Scotia, Canada, and served as tutor and teaching assistant at Harvard University while working on her (yet unfinished) doctoral dissertation in Middle Eastern history. She earned her BA in International Politics and Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia College and a second Honours BA as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in Oriental Studies, and more recently an MA from the University of Illinois in Learning Design and Leadership. Her academic interests include Ottoman and Middle Eastern history, the history and present concerns of women in the Middle East and Muslim communities, the diverse roles of Islam in Middle Eastern and other societies, relations and perceptions between Muslim societies and the West, and the necessity for globalizing K-12 education in the United States and around the world.
John served as Executive Director from 2006 – 12. He co-founded the Media Stewards Project in 2012 to strengthen public service media, media accountability and media education in America. Previously he helped establish the Media Education Laboratory and taught broadcast journalism at Rutgers University-Newark and has more than twenty years of experience as a public television researcher and producer specializing in international media issues and media education. A program he initiated for the PBS series Inside Story with Hodding Carter critically analyzing U.S. media coverage of the Soviet Union won many awards including a national Emmy. His other works include the acclaimed documentary, On Television: Teach the Children with Edwin Newman about the regulation of children’s television, and Media Literacy: The New Basic? with John Merrow, special correspondent for education with the NewsHour on PBS. John is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in German Language Studies and served at Field Station Berlin from 1968 - 71 developing his interest in cross-cultural communication viewing the Rashomon of East German, West German and American TV news reports.
Asma joined The Becket Fund in 2009 after practicing commercial litigation at prestigious national law firms for several years. She is a 2005 graduate of The University of Chicago Law School, where she was a member of The University of Chicago Law Review. Asma spent her first few years at The Becket Fund serving as the primary attorney for Becket's Legal Training Institute (LTI), which is devoted to working with local partners around the world to train advocates, lawyers, judges, religious leaders, journalists and students in religious freedom law and principles. In that capacity, Asma wrote an amicus brief in support of repeal of the Indonesian Blasphemy Act of 1965. She also traveled throughout Europe and to various countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and South East Asia to research regional issues and provide critical training for minority faith communities as well as politicians, journalists, and human rights organizations.
More recently, Asma has taken on the role of Legal Counsel, defending religious liberty in the U.S. through several prominent cases at The Becket Fund. Asma is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of altmuslimah.com, a web magazine dedicated to issues on gender and Islam. Her work at altmuslimah has earned the praise of many, including Dr. Robert George of Princeton University, who has said, "On matters of sexual morality, marriage, and family in Islam, particularly in the American context, I recommend the writings of two exceptionally gifted young Muslim women writers: Suzy Ismail and Asma Uddin."
Aside from altmuslimah, she has helped edit the book, A Muslim in Victorian America, which was published in 2007 by Oxford University Press. Asma was also an Associate Editor and legal columnist for Islamica Magazine. She is an expert panelist for the Washington Post religion blog, On Faith, and a contributor to Huffington Post Religion, CNN's Belief Blog, the Guardian's Comment is Free, and Common Ground News. Asma speaks widely on issues of gender and faith, and national and international religious freedom. She also publishes widely on international and national religious freedom issues. Some of her work has been published in the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, The Review of Faith & International Affairs, St. Thomas University Law Journal, and the First Amendment Law Review, and she has publications forthcoming from Ashgate Publishers and several prominent university presses. In February 2012, Asma testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the HHS mandate and religious liberty.
Originally from Miami, Florida, Asma now enjoys the relatively faster-paced environment of the Washington, DC area, where she lives with her husband and two children.
Andrew is a partner at Handler Thayer LLP and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Law Group. Andrew’s innovative practice operates at the intersection of celebrity and philanthropy, comprising all aspects of high-profile nonprofit engagement – from the initial formation of a tax-exempt organization, to the ongoing oversight, compliance, governance and reporting consistent with legal requirements and best practices. His clients include professional athletes, Olympians, actors, entertainers, artists, chefs and others with a strong personal brand.
Based in Washington, DC, Andrew also works to develop and execute an effective public policy strategy – which can range from organizing/overseeing highly-visible appearances before congressional committees, to arranging targeted private meetings with key members of Congress and the Administration. Leveraging his depth of experience and relationships within professional sports leagues, Hollywood and Washington, Andrew helps clients to navigate and effectively achieve results at the nexus of these two complex worlds.
A frequent public speaker, Andrew has testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and he regularly appears in national media outlets including CNN, ABC World News Tonight, TIME Magazine, Bloomberg, National Public Radio, the New York Times and the Washington Post. For his extensive advocacy on behalf of nonprofit clients, the D.C. Bar Association honored Andrew as "Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year," and he received the "Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award" from the Legal Aid Society.
Prior to joining Handler Thayer, Andrew served as General Counsel of Newdea, a software development firm providing the philanthropy sector with innovative technology to measure and manage nonprofit projects. He also practiced with the Political Law and Government Affairs groups of Latham & Watkins LLP, and Foley & Lardner LLP. In those roles, he advised the firm's nonprofit and commercial clients in the areas of corporate governance, compliance and Board oversight, as well as legislative strategy and public policy engagement.
Andrew earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was a member of the Board of Editors of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Co-Editor in Chief of The Bluebook, and Co-Chair of the Equal Justice Foundation. He received Penn Law's "Alumni Achievement Award" for outstanding contributions to the development of law and the legal profession, as well as the "Benjamin R. Jones Award for Law and Humanity," the Law School's most prestigious public interest recognition. Andrew also attended the University of Maryland, earning an M.P.P. in international security and economic policy from the School of Public Affairs, and a B.A., magna cum laude, in economics and Spanish.
Andrew currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the Giving Back Fund, the Alliance to Stop Slavery & End Trafficking (ASSET), and OneBlue, as well as the advisory board for the University of Pennsylvania Law School Public Service Program.
Sasan has worked as a senior documentary TV producer and photographer during the past 15 years covering international and cultural subjects, including news, architectural and cityscapes, religious values and nomadic life styles. He has worked for Agence France Press, Economist, New Yorker Magazine, Washington Life Magazine and numerous other news agencies and publications. His work has appeared in many international exhibitions including Washington DC metropolitan area. Sasan has also worked as Sr. Digital Media Producer for companies like Sprint, AOL, Time Warner, HP, Cisco and Kodak. He completed his MA in Communications/Film Production from American University in Washington DC in 2006.
Heidi earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in international business at the University of Oklahoma in 2007. Soon after, Heidi relocated to Cairo, Egypt for two years while she earned her MA in Business Administration in marketing from the American University in Cairo. While in Egypt, she became interested in media and its influence on society and culture, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Fine Arts in Film and Electronic Media at American University in Washington, DC. Heidi's work critically interrogates the negative perceptions of Muslims and Muslim culture portrayed through the dominant discourse. In her work, she challenges religious and cultural stereotypes using the collective voices of Muslim Americans.
Patrick is an intellectual property ("IP") consultant with the Tech Futures Group of SF Bay Area, the founder of the Intellectual Property Society, Associate Publisher of the Personal Data Journal and a practicing IP attorney. His law practice encompasses patent prosecution, creative rights management, IP issues of start-up formation, trademark prosecution and assertion, copyright protection and assertion, and trade secret policy. Patrick has a special commitment to encouraging civic engagement with the evolution of intellectual property law, personal data rights and Internet identity. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Russian Language Studies, and has earned a BS in Sociology from the State University of New York, a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toledo and a JD from Concord Law School. Patrick is a member of the U.S. Patent Bar and the California State Bar.
As a journalist, teacher, mentor, writing instructor, media consultant and sports content specialist, Steve Klein brings solid journalism credentials and values, the ability to work and communicate with people, and a cross-platform vision to his academic and professional work. Steve has developed a reputation throughout the industry for training aspiring journalists traditional techniques across multiple platforms using new technologies, and has helped place many of his students in journalism and public relations positions around the country.
Steve recently completed his 10th year as coordinator of the Electronic Journalism Program and the Journalism concentration in the Communication Department at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and will become an Emeritus Professor in 2014. He specializes in a cross-platform journalism approach and has taught classes in Writing Across Media, Online Journalism, Sports Writing and Reporting, Political Journalism, Free Speech and Ethics, and History of Journalism, among others.
Steve was Online Sports Editor of USA TODAY, one of the most highly visited news destinations on the Internet, from June 1995 through 1998. His staff at USA TODAY created the most extensive nationwide network of online college correspondents, providing proprietary content for every Division I college football program and more than 300 men¹s and women¹s college basketball schools.
Steve possesses a wealth of cross-media experience, having worked for the Lansing State Journal (Sports Editor); Tennis magazine (Senior Editor); the Stamford Advocate (Executive Sports Editor and Features Editor); Enterprise Radio, an all-sports talk network (Media Director); the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Executive Sports Editor); the Akron Beacon Journal; the Cleveland Crusaders of the World Hockey Association (Media Director); the South Bend Tribune; the Wisconsin State Journal; and the Milwaukee Journal.
Steve has a MA in Journalism from Michigan State University (1997) and a BA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (1970) in American Urban History and Hebrew and Semitic Studies. He also has taught at Michigan State University, American University and Cape Cod Community College, where he introduced the first class in Online Journalism at a Massachusetts community college during the summer of 2005.
He is a Northern Virginia Writing Project teacher consultant, having completed training in 2012.
Steve serves on advisory boards for the Intercollegiate Online News Network (ICONN), and is a founding member; Oneblue, which promotes intercultural understanding through social media diplomacy and outreach; the annual Washington Journalism and Media Conference for high school student leaders at GMU; and WiredAcademic, which brings independent analysis and reporting to the online education industry.
Jafar is responsible for developing all aspects of oneblue's online presence. Jafar designs, prepares, publishes, and maintains company pages on social media sites such as Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter. He also ensures that all new text, picture, and video content are properly advertised to the core audience within the main website. Along with his social media experience, Jafar is also a Microsoft Office Certified Specialist for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
Jafar is actively pursuing a computer engineering degree.
Sarah is a Financial Manager at oneblue.org.
She attended the University of Toronto and DeVry University, completing a B.A. in accounting. She is currently studying for her CPA exams to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
With her background in accounting and bookkeeping, Saarah's main focus at oneblue is to keep a handle on the accounting system and overall financial operations of the company.
She lives in Hershey, PA with her four children.
John Esposito is University Professor, Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Esposito specializes in Islam, political Islam from North Africa to Southeast Asia, and Religion and International Affairs. He is Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Islamic Studies Online and Series Editor: Oxford Library of Islamic Studies, Editor-in-Chief of the six-volume The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, The Oxford History of Islam (a Book-of-the-Month Club selection), The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, The Islamic World: Past and Present, and Oxford Islamic Studies Online. His more than forty five books include Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, The Future of Islam, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (with Dalia Mogahed), Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam (a Washington Post and Boston Globe best seller), The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, Islam and Politics, Political Islam: Radicalism, Revolution or Reform?, Islam and Democracy (with J. Voll). His writings have been translated into more than 35 languages, including Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Bahasa Indonesia, Urdu, European languages, Japanese and Chinese.
A former President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, Vice Chair of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, and member of the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100 Leaders, he is currently President of the American Academy of Religion, a member of the E. C. European Network of Experts on De-Radicalisation and an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
Esposito is recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion and of Pakistan’s Quaid-i-Azzam Award for Outstanding Contributions in Islamic Studies and the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University Award for Outstanding Teaching.
Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous other books on religious affairs-including A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and The Great Transformation-and two memoirs, Through the Narrow Gate and The Spiral Staircase. Her work has been translated into forty-five languages. She has addressed members of the U.S. Congress on three occasions; lectured to policy makers at the U.S. State Department; participated in the World Economic Forum in New York, Jordan, and Davos; addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and New York; is increasingly invited to speak in Muslim countries; and is now an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. In February 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize and is currently working with TED on a major international project to launch and propagate a Charter for Compassion, created online by the general public and crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, to be signed in the fall of 2009 by a thousand religious and secular leaders. She lives in London.
Robert Dickson Crane is a scholar, prolific writer, and former US politician, who since 2011 has been Director of the Center for the Study of Islamic Thought and Muslim Societies and is a University Professor in the Qatar Foundation in Doha, Qatar, located in the Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
He was a co-founding board member and former Chairman of the Center for Understanding Islam, and Director for Global Strategy at The Abraham Federation: A Global Center for Peace through Compassionate Justice. Dr Crane’s political career encompasses co-founding the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and directing Third World Studies at The Hudson Institute. He was the principal Foreign Policy Adviser to Richard Nixon (1962-1967), and in January, 1969, became the Deputy Director (for Planning) of the U.S. National Security Council. In 1977 he was the Economic and Budget Adviser to the Finance Minister in the Emirate of Bahrain. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed him U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
Dr. Crane received his B.A. from Northwestern University, summa cum laude, in normative economics and Sino-Soviet studies. He specialized in the sociology of religion at the University of Munich, and earned his Doctor of Law (J.D.) in 1959 from Harvard Law School with a specialization in comparative legal systems and international investment. At Harvard, Dr. Crane founded the Harvard International Law Journal and became the first president of the Harvard International Law Society. He practiced international communications law in Washington, D.C. with Haley, Wollenberg, and Bader.
As a full-time Islamic scholar for more than thirty years, Dr. Crane has held positions in many Muslim associations, including the Director of Da’wa at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. (1983-1986) and Director of Publications for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (1986-87). He was Founding Director of the Legal Division for the American Muslim Council (1992 to 1994) and Founding President of the Muslim American Bar Association. From 1994 to 2005 he was Founder and Director of the Center for Policy Research. In the late 1990s he was board member of the United Association for Studies and Research and Managing Editor of its Middle East Affairs Journal, as well as political affairs editor of the online magazine www.theamericanmuslim.org, in which he has posted many of his 500 professional articles.
He has authored or co-authored a dozen books, including: Détente: Cold War Strategies in Transition (CSIS, Praeger, 1965), Planning the Future of Saudi Arabia: A Model for Achieving National Priorities ( Praeger, 1978), Shaping the Future: Challenge and Response (Tapestry, 1997), The Natural Law of Compassionate Justice: An Islamic Perspective(2010), and a 3-volume, 1,000 page textbook, Islam and Muslims, scheduled for publication in 2014 by the Qatar Foundation and Oxford University.
Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang teaches at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he serves as Professor of African Studies. From 1975 to 1978 he served as Deputy Ambassador and Head of Chancery of the Gambia Embassy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Following his diplomatic stint, he immigrated to the United States and returned to academic life at Howard University where he later assumed the position of department chair from 1986 to 1993. He also serves as co-director of Muslims in the American Public Square, a research project funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Professor Nyang has served as consultant to several national and international agencies. He has served on the boards of the African Studies Association, the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. Dr. Nyang is listed on the editorial boards of several national and international scholarly journals. He has lectured on college campuses in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Dr. Nyang has written extensively on Islamic, African and Middle Eastern affairs. His best known works are Islam, Christianity and African Identity (1984), A Line in the Sand: Saudi Arabia’s Role in the Gulf War (1995) co-authored with Evan Heindricks, andReligious Plurality in Africa co-edited with Jacob Olupona. His last book was Islam in the United States of America (1999). Professor Nyang has also contributed over a dozen chapters in books edited by colleagues writing on Islamic, African and Middle Eastern subjects. His numerous scholarly pieces have appeared in African, American, European and Asian journals.
Zeeshan Zaidi is a seasoned media and technology executive and entrepreneur. He is currently CEO and co-founder of Host Committee, Inc. a social media and events startup in NYC. Before starting Host Committee, his tech startup roles included COO of K2 Media, a mobile tech incubator; COO and Head of Global of LimeWire, the world's largest file-sharing network; and COO and Head of Business Development for Nabbr, an online video network.
Zeeshan previously spent seven years in the music industry at Sony BMG in various creative and operating roles, including VP, Digital for RCA and Sr. Director, Marketing for Arista Records. There, he built and managed digital businesses and also developed the careers of superstar artists such as Avril Lavigne, OutKast, Usher and Dido.
Zeeshan received an AB in Economics from Harvard University where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, an MBA from Harvard Business School with Distinction and a JD cum laude from Harvard Law School, and is admitted to the New York State bar. Outside of the office Zeeshan is the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for The Commuters, an indie rock band that has received regular airplay on MTVu and college radio. He is also a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Mark Levine is Professor of modern Middle Eastern history at UC Irvine and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Overthrowing Geography: Jaffa, Tel Aviv and the Struggle for Palestine (UC Press, 2005), Why They Don't Hate Us (Oneworld, 2005), Heavy Metal Islam (Random House, 2008), Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989 (Zed Book, 2009), Struggle and Survival in Palestine/Israel (UC Press, 2012) and the forthcoming The Five Year Old Who Toppled a Pharaoh (UC Press, forthcoming. He is a long time contributing editor at Tikkun magazine and Senior Columnist for al-Jazeera.