Board of Directors

Sam Bahour MBA

Sam Bahour MBA

Mr. Bahour is a Palestinian business consultant and human rights activist. He was born in Ohio to a Palestinian father and Lebanese–American mother and spent almost every summer in Palestine as a child. After graduating from Youngstown State University with a degree in computer technology and working in software development, he relocated to Palestine in 1995 with his family to further the privatization of the Palestinian communications sector. Mr. Bahour was part of the core team to establish the Palestine Telecommunications Company, the first private telecommunications company in the Middle East. He has subsequently founded three private business enterprises: AIM, a management consulting firm; the Palestine Diaspora Investment Company; and the Plaza Shopping Center, the first Western–style retail development in Palestine. After his relocation to Palestine, Mr. Bahour earned an MBA degree from a joint program between Northwestern University and Tel Aviv University. He also co-founded the organization Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy. He is a frequent contributor to news media regarding Palestine, including the New York Times. He has long been committed to Palestinian higher education and serves on the Board of Directors for Birzeit University.

Michael Morse MD, MPA

Michael Morse MD, MPA

Dr. Morse has been leading the Palestinian Medical Education Initiative since its founding in 2007. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he studied non-profit management and health sector development. Dr. Morse is currently a member of the clinical faculty of the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., serving as the Director of the Program in Global Community Mental Health within the Department of Psychiatry. His clinical work has included treating survivors of torture and trauma at an agency in Northern Virginia and consulting with a community agency in Washington, DC that provided mental health services to homeless persons. He also has a private practice in which he works with adults and children with ADHD and related disorders. Dr. Morse is completing a Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC. He will join the faculty within the Department of Psychiatry at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in the summer of 2017. Dr. Morse is a contributor to the media on the topics of healthcare, medical training, and human rights.

Elizabeth Berger MD, M.Phil

Elizabeth Berger MD, M.Phil

Dr. Berger is a child psychiatrist with over forty years’ experience in program development integrating medical education and community mental health. Dr. Berger has been on the faculty of Northwestern Medical School, The University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and MCP–Hahnemann Medical School. She is currently Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the George Washington University within the Division of Global Mental Health. She was a member of the nationally-known “Commission on Children at Risk” and presented its scientific findings in Washington, D.C. Dr. Berger has written and spoken widely on parenting and child development, the impact of trauma throughout the lifespan, and human rights in Palestine.

Wasseem El Sarraj

Wasseem El Sarraj

Mr. El Sarraj is a British/Palestinian writer and CBT therapist. Mr. Sarraj lived and worked in the Gaza Strip during the years 2009 through 2013, where he co-founded, and directed, the non-profit research center Tida-Gaza, which focused on generating policy-oriented research and strengthening community resources. Tida’s work was supported by the Heinrich Boel Stiftung, Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst (DED), Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He has also served as a consultant to the Overseas Development Institute, where he led a team researching urban displacement in the Gaza Strip. Mr Sarraj is a frequent contributor to the media; his commentary has been featured in the online version of The New Yorker Magazine, the London Review of Books, the Guardian, the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Foreign Policy’s Middle East Channel and he has been interviewed on BBC World. He lives in London.
Professor Abdalla Awidi MD

Professor Abdalla Awidi MD

Professor Abdalla Awidi is a Professor of Hematology and Oncoloy at the University of Jordan Medical School. He has also served as University President and University Medical Director. He has held visiting professorships at Paris University, Lund University and Cornell Medical College. Dr Awidi has over 30 years of experience in clinical medicine, molecular research in blood diseases and cancer. Most recently his research is in translational aspects of stem cell biology. He has received numerous research awards and has been been the recipient of Jordan’s State Appreciation Award. Professor Awidi is fluent in Arabic, English and Spanish.

Nima Sheth MD, MPH

Nima Sheth MD, MPH

Dr. Sheth is a psychiatrist on the faculty of Georgetown University with a Master’s Degree in Public Health. She is currently the Medical Director of the Partial Hospitalization Program within the Department of Psychiatry at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. She is also the Medical Director of the Refugee Clinic at the Community of Hope in Washington, D.C. and supervises medical trainees at the Torture Abolition Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC International). She has traveled and worked widely in the Middle East, Africa, and India, developing clinical programs and consulting on policy. With a background in the mental health of refugees and asylum-seekers, Dr. Sheth has a longstanding interest in teaching, trauma, and global mental health.

Advisory Council

Rany Aburashed DO

Neurologist; Director of Camp Al–Hilal

Saara Amri LPC

Bilingual Therapist, Program Co-Coordinator for the Program for Survivors of Torture and Severe Trauma, Northern Virginia Family Service

Raouf Azar MD

Urologist in Private Practice, Bethlehem, Palestine

Huda Ayas MHSA, MBA, Ed.D

Founder, Office of International Medicine Programs, The George Washington University Medical Center; Director of the Global Health Track, George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Alexandra Chen

Doctoral Candidate, Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Former Advisor on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, UNRWA Lebanon.

Sarah Dababnah, PhD, MPH, MSW 

Assistant Professor at University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work

Allen Dyer MD PhD

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Global Mental Health, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Gregory L. Fricchione MD

Associate Chief of Psychiatry, Director of Benson–Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Director of Division of Psychiatry and Medicine, Senior Psychiatrist within Pierce Global Psychiatry Division, Massachusetts General Hospital; Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

James L. Griffith MD

Leon M. Yochelson Professor and Chairman, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Alan Kessedjian ClinPsyD

Clinical Psychologist at The Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, Birmingham, United Kingdom; British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies Board Member, Accredited Trainer, and Supervisor

James F. Leckman MD

Neison Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine; Director of Research, Yale Child Study Center

Suhail Madbak MD

Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Gaza, Palestine

Stephen Ray Mitchell MD, MACP, FAPP

Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Joseph J. Butenas Professor and Dean for Medical Education, Georgetown University

Richard J. Pels MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate Chief of Medicine, Internal Medicine Residency Program Director, and Director of Graduate Medical Education, Cambridge Health Alliance

Hilary Rantisi

Director of the Middle East Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Giuseppe Raviola MD

Director of Psychiatry, Partners in Health; Director of Psychiatry Quality Program, Department of Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital Boston; Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Steve Sosebee 

President and CEO, Palestine Children’s Relief Fund