With Allah’s Name, The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer
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Amirah S. Salaam, Esq.
Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy
Virginia Union University
Formerly, Lobbyist and Program Director, National School Boards Association; Senior Director of Public Policy, NAFSA: Association of International Educators; Director of Outreach and Advocacy for Government Relations, American Dental Education Association; Senior Advisor and Communications Director, Office of the late Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr.; Legislative Counsel, Office of Congressman Andre Carson; Congressional Liaison, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation/Office of Congressman Kendrick Meek; Judicial Law Clerk, Judge Thurman H. Rhodes, District Court of Maryland (District 6), and Analyst, U.S. Department of State (top secret clearance).
Ms. Salaam brings close to two decades of combined federal legislative, executive branch and trade association experience to her current position, which is Vice President, Government Affairs & Public Policy at Virginia Union University (VUU). Prior to joining VUU, she served as a Federal Lobbyist and Program Director, National Advocacy Programs for the National School Boards Association (NSBA). At NSBA, she was responsible for managing the organization’s 501 (c) (4), National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC), and representing the organization on Capitol Hill. Prior to joining NSBA, Ms. Salaam was Senior Director of Public Policy for NAFSA – Association of International Educators, where she developed a federal advocacy agenda to advance immigration and higher education priorities on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
In Washington, D.C., Ms. Salaam is known to be a highly motivated, multi-faceted senior government relations professional with a demonstrated track record of working effectively with Republican and Democratic Members of Congress and their staff. As a former Capitol Hill senior staffer and lobbyist, she has managed all aspects of federal relations activities, including supervision of policy staff and policy development. Recognized as a strong communicator with high- level relationships, Ms. Salaam possess a keen understanding of the intersection between policy, effective message development, and strategic engagement. From policymaking to crisis communications, online advocacy, and coalition building to grassroots engagement, she understands how to create winning solutions to garner champions at the national level to influence policy outcomes.
Ms. Salaam is a former Congressional Representative to the European Union and Middle East. She served as a Representative to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and the U.S. Presidential Inauguration Committee for Barack Obama. She is a recipient of the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and NAACP “Black Excellence” Awards, and is currently a member of the Zeta Chi Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Education: Ms. Salaam holds a law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University, and an Honors Designation from New College, Oxford University, United Kingdom. Ms. Salaam recently earned a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Management from Georgetown University, 2017, and completed the prestigious Yale University Women’s Campaign School program this summer.
Judge Fatima A. El-Amin
Judge Fatima A. El-Amin is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She attended the Mohammed Schools of Atlanta from Pre-K through Twelfth Grade and graduated as Co-Valedictorian of her class. Judge El-Amin completed her collegiate studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and graduated cum laude with a dual B.A. degree in Psychology and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Her senior honors thesis titled, “The Hijab: Investigating the Relationship between Traditional Islamic Dress and Self-Esteem among African-American Muslim Women,” received Magna Cum Laude distinction at Harvard. Judge El-Amin returned to Atlanta, Georgia, and received her J.D. degree from Emory University School of Law in 2000. She was the recipient of the Emory Law School Dean’s Public Service Award.
Judge El-Amin’s legal career began as an Assistant District Attorney in DeKalb County. She prosecuted adult and juvenile offenders in the Superior Court and Juvenile Court divisions of the District Attorney’s Office. She also worked in the Condemnations and White Collar Crime divisions of the office. As an appellate attorney in the District Attorney’s office, Judge El-Amin tendered briefs and oral arguments before both the Georgia Supreme Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals.
In 2004, Judge El-Amin joined a private real estate practice in East Point, Georgia, and represented clients in commercial property disputes. A year later, Judge El-Amin returned to public interest law as a Senior Attorney in the DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center. She was soon promoted to Supervising Attorney, and was responsible for overseeing litigation and advocacy efforts on behalf of abused and neglected child-clients. In April 2014, Judge El-Amin was appointed as a full Juvenile Court Judge by the Superior Court Judges of DeKalb County. Judge El-Amin presides over dependency, delinquent, and traffic cases in Juvenile Court. She also sits, by designation, in DeKalb County Superior Court.
Judge El-Amin is a member of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam and is active in several civic and philanthropic causes. She is a past board member of the Mohammed Schools of Atlanta. Judge El-Amin was formerly Associate Legal Producer for a nationally-syndicated court television program, and a former co-host of “The Circle”, a local cable television program highlighting the perspectives and contributions of leading women in Atlanta. She is a member of the Gate City Bar Association, the DeKalb Bar Association, the Council for Juvenile Court Judges, Leadership DeKalb, and GABWA (the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys). Judge El-Amin lives in DeKalb County with her husband and son.
Rahmah A. Abdulaleem
Rahmah A. Abdulaleem is the Executive Director of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights where she works to create a global network of advocates knowledgeable about the gender-equitable principles of Islam and are able to advance the cause of Muslim women’s rights in legal and social environments. As KARAMAH’s Executive Director, she works with scholars to empower advocates about the rights Islamic law grants to women and to educate Muslim women in Islamic jurisprudence, leadership, and conflict resolution so that they may become the leading agents of change within their communities.
Ms. Abdulaleem serves on the board of the Capital Area Muslim Bar Association. She was a Board Member on the Mohammed Schools of Atlanta Consultative Board from 2005 to 2014 serving as Board Chair from 2009 to 2011. She was also a Board Member of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys Foundation from 2011 to 2017. Ms. Abdulaleem is a frequent presenter at continuing legal education programs. She graduated from Duke University with a double major in Religion and Sociology and obtained her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.