Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi
As President of the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE), Dr. Mirahmadi developed “A Community-Based Approach to Countering Radicalization: A Partnership for America,” one of the first Muslim-led reports to address the evolving threat of homegrown radicalization. Her innovative research explores ways Muslim communities can create bottom-up strategies to tackle the dangerous ideology underlying violent extremism and forge greater cooperation with the government and law enforcement.
Mehreen Farooq’s areas of expertise include public policy, civic engagement, countering violent extremism (CVE) and grass-roots community development. She received her MA in International Affairs from American University, focusing on the socio- political development of the broader Middle East. Her current projects include analyzing Afghanistan and Pakistan’s civil society level efforts to counter extremism. Farooq has lived and traveled throughout Pakistan, including the frontier regions of Baluchistan. She is fluent in Urdu and has studied Arabic.
Fatima Durrani’s areas of expertise are risk analysis and writing. She received her MA in International Relations from the University of South Carolina with a focus on South Asia and Islam. As a Senior Fellow at WORDE, Fatima assists in writing and researching policy that helps Muslims throughout the world build community resilience against violent extremism. She also creates programs to help engage Muslims in interfaith and cross-cultural community events at the International Cultural Center (ICC). She has traveled throughout Pakistan and has lived in the UK and Saudi Arabia as well as across multiple states in the USA, and is fluent in Urdu.
Colin Christopher’s areas of expertise include policy analysis, social media, and grassroots organizing. He is finishing his Master’s of International Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on international development. His current projects include analyzing civil society trends in Afghanistan and expanding community-based social engagement through the International Cultural Center (ICC). Colin has lived in India and Spain, conducted research throughout India and Pakistan, and is completing a documentary film on the diversity of Muslims around the world. He speaks Urdu and Spanish.
Programs Manager, ICC
Samia Haque serves as the liaison between different interfaith, community-based organizations, and WORDE’s community-based program, ICC. She received her bachelor’s in architecture and has a background in historic architecture which focuses on retaining the cultural integrity of buildings. Her interests include promoting cultural diversity and harmony. She is fluent in Bengali.
Gunta Salter received her bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Maryland. She has worked in the non-profit sector as a bookkeeper for over 15 years. She has 4 children, two of which are attending college. She currently resides with her husband and two younger children in Frederick, MD.
Shadi Afshar received her bachelor’s in International Studies, with a focus on Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. She was pursuing a teaching career prior to joining the WORDE staff. Shadi made a career change to pursue her lifelong passion for developing strategies which build the foundations for long-term peace at the individual, family, and community levels. She is fluent in Farsi and has studied Spanish extensively.