2022 Candidate Statements for MuBANY Elections!

2022 Candidate Statements for MuBANY Elections!

This year, MuBANY has all positions up for elections, 4 Officer positions, and 5 Director positions! For context, MuBANY's Board is composed of 4 Officers, who serve two-year terms, and 5 Directors, who serve one-year terms. 

On May 5th, members will receive an email entitled “Vote Now: MuBANY 2022 Board Elections” from an Election Buddy email address which will allow for electronic voting. 

Members can vote any time between May 5th to May 17th 11:59pmEST through Election Buddy, or in-person at MuBANY’s Annual General Meeting on May 18th. 

Thank you to all who have submitted candidate statements, and to all of our members who have made MuBANY what it is!

Candidate Statements

Officer Level, 2 year term, 2022-2024

Candidate for President

Lejla Hadzic

My name is Lejla Hadzic. I am a senior litigator at Hoguet Newman Regal and Kenney in New York, where I focus primarily on commercial disputes and investigations.  Prior to that, I was an associate at Clifford Chance, where I worked in the firm’s Washington D.C., New York, and London offices. As a MuBANY Director over the past year, I have had the opportunity to work on a number of impactful initiatives and programs. These include working with the Board to build a stronger professional network to advance opportunities for law students and recent graduates, thoughtfully approaching MuBANY’s support on legal issues that impact our communities, and leading the development of a pathways to partnership initiative. It would be an honor to continue this work, which is why I am submitting my candidacy for President of MuBANY for the 2022-2024 term.

Growing up in the Bronx and Queens, I deeply understand the needs of various communities in New York City. I also deeply appreciate the value of Muslim organizations such as MuBANY and the greater role they serve in the community.

I believe that my background as a litigator and prior work in corporate social responsibility have provided me with the experience of managing and collaborating on teams, leading processes, working to find common ground among different stakeholders, and seeing projects to completion – all of which will be valuable skills to have as President of MuBANY.

If elected President, I plan to work with the Board to:

  • Build upon the pathways to partnership initiative
  • Further the representation of our diverse community in leadership positions in public policy, judicial and private sector roles through MuBANY’s already established Professional Development and Judiciary Initiatives
  • Be a voice for our members and greater Muslims communities by continuing to develop partnerships with community-based organizations and other bar associations that share similar goals of increasing much needed representation in the legal profession, on MuBANY’s outreach to young lawyers, and the additions to the MuBANY resources center.​​​​​​​
  • Bring back the cherished tradition of MuBANY’s annual gala 

My experience, dedication, and vision make me the right fit for this role. I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as President of MuBANY, and am grateful for your consideration of my candidacy.


Candidate for Vice President

Thamanna Hussain

My name is Thamanna Hussain and I am a third year litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. It has been an honor serving on MuBANY’s Board for three consecutive terms.  If given the opportunity, I hope to continue serving MuBANY as Vice President.  I am immensely proud of the work MuBANY has done throughout the years for the professional advancement of our members, particularly during the height of the pandemic. 

I believe my institutional knowledge of MuBANY coupled with my team-oriented attitude and enthusiasm makes me the right candidate for this position. My involvement with MuBANY began when I was a first-year law student volunteer in 2016. I immediately felt a sense of community and found mentors who helped shape my skills both personally and professionally.  

Since then, I have played an active role in MuBANY's growth and served as a member of both the 2019 and 2020 MuBANY Gala committees. During my first term as Director, I increased our social media presence, designed promotional materials, and helped with all aspects of the gala. I organized and promoted social events and public service roundtables, assisted in drafting public statements, and helped create MuBANY's COVID-19 Resource Page. 

During my second term, I continued to increase our social media and digital presence and built on MuBANY’s brand. I organized and hosted at my firm a discussion of Tanzin v. Tanvir which was filed on behalf of American Muslim men who were placed or kept on the No-Fly List by the FBI in retaliation for their refusal to spy on their Muslim communities. I also helped organize educational, networking, and professional development events for our members. For example, I moderated a professional development panel focusing on navigating the job market in an economic downturn. In addition, I organized and moderated a Know Your Rights workshop on domestic violence and compiled resources for survivors, victims, and allies.  This year, I helped launch our inaugural mentorship program connecting law school students with experienced Muslim attorneys in the field.  

My vision for the next term includes: (1) deepening MuBANY’s efforts to help first-generation law students and practicing lawyers of color by strengthening our partnership with law school MLSAs and law firm affinity groups; (2) demystifying the road to law firm partnership and developing programming to amplify the unique stories of our members; and (3) continuing to increase MuBANY’s role in the broader legal community by actively engaging and collaborating with other bar associations. 

I look forward to the opportunity to serve MuBANY once again and would greatly appreciate your vote. Thanks in advance for your consideration. 


Candidate for Secretary

Rakan Ghubej

My name is Rakan Ghubej and I am running for the Secretary position on the MuBANY Board.

I’ve had an interesting legal career so far that’s been shaped by lots of luck, a great network, and (a little bit of) hard work, and I would like to “pay-it-forward” by serving MuBANY and its members as its next Secretary.

I’m currently a mid-level associate in the NYC office of Paul Hastings (PH), where I split my time between counseling life science and healthcare companies on regulatory issues and internal investigations / white collar defense. Before PH, I spent time at:

  • Porzio Life Sciences, a boutique consulting firm serving the life sciences industry, as an analyst (non-legal role);
  • Clyde and Co, an international law firm, as an insurance coverage litigation associate; and, most recently,
  • Kyowa Kirin, Inc., a multi-national specialty pharmaceutical company, as corporate and compliance counsel.

In addition to my day-to-day practice group responsibilities at PH, I also engage in pro bono work and serve as a mentor for: junior associates at PH, law students and newly-admitted attorneys that graduated from Rutgers Law, and high school students through the NJ LEEP program.

Even though it might not be readily apparent from the above information, I have been able to navigate the legal market, switch industries, and pivot from litigation to regulatory counseling and from in-house to private practice. This journey has been an invaluable experience filled with many life/career lessons, and I’d like to leverage these experiences to build off the great work achieved by current and past MuBANY Board Members.

Beyond the specific responsibilities assigned to the Secretary, I am particularly interested in also supporting the MuBANY mentorship program and partnership pipeline initiative. I’ve seen firsthand how powerful such programs and initiatives can be to both personal and professional success, so I genuinely hope to have the opportunity to work on these resources from a Board level.

Thank you for your time and consideration and hope I am given the chance to continue MuBANY’s mission as its next Secretary. In the meantime, if anyone has any questions, or would just like to connect, please do not hesitate to connect me at rakan.ghubej@gmail.com or rakanghubej@paulhastings.com.

Candidate for Treasurer

Aymen Aboushi

My name is Aymen Aboushi and I am running for the position of Treasurer with MUBANY. I began my career with a Federal Clerkship, and then moved on to the United States Department of Justice where I was a Trial Attorney.  I have been the lead counsel in over one hundred cases. While my practice consists of various litigation matters, the heart of my practice is Civil Rights matters, where we have been able to make a significant difference in an array of Civil Rights cases. These matters include successfully representing several Mosques in RLUIPA claims, winning many trials related to police accountability, and significant victories in Constitutional Employment, and ADA litigation. I have also been active in MUBANY. I spent the last year as a director and volunteered on behalf of MUBANY to be a part of the NYSBA’s Task Force on Racial Injustice and Police Reform. Thank you for your consideration.


Board of Directors, 5 positions, 1 year term, 2022-2023


Candidates for Board of Directors

Abdul M. Hafiz​​​​​​​

My name is Abdul M. Hafiz, and I am seeking your support in becoming a MuBANY Director. 

Professionally, I am currently a law clerk in the Southern District of New York. Before my clerkship, I practiced as an associate at White & Case LLP. 

Personally, I was born and raised in Staten Island and am the son of Ghanaian immigrants. I am now a proud husband and father residing in the Bronx.  

Very early on in my life, I began volunteering in my community during elementary school and also advocating for various causes such as window safety, environmental preservation, and more. I matriculated through NYC public schools and subsequently completed my undergraduate degree at Northeastern University as a Torch Scholar. I returned to New York and earned my law degree from Fordham University School of Law. 

I’ve had the privilege of becoming involved in MuBANY during law school.  From 2017 to 2018, I served on the Gala Committee.  From 2018 to 2019, I served as the Law School Liaison. In 2021, I served as a mentor in MuBANY’s inaugural mentorship program.  As you can see, my involvement in MuBANY is not new, and I wish to continue to serve the Muslim legal community and further our collective agenda. As we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic (InShaAllah), we are in a unique position to grow our membership and continue the work of the outgoing leadership. 

I would be humbled and elated to serve as a MuBANY Director for the 2022-23 term. Thank you for your consideration. 

Ramy Ibrahim

My name is Ramy Ibrahim and I am running for a Director position with MUBANY. I have a very varied legal experience which has allowed me to obtain significant experience in several industries. 

I began my career as a litigator in the general commercial litigation group at Hughes Hubbard & Reed in New York City. I was assistant to lead counsel on dozens of litigations, from products liability cases to bankruptcies and white collar criminal proceedings. From there, I moved on to Vedder Price and Norton Rose Fulbright where I became a transactional attorney and specialized in secured and unsecured finance deals. I quickly began leading my own hundred-million dollar deals representing multinational companies. Lastly, I made my way over to in-house counsel, and I have been a Senior Director for Charter Communications for almost 4 years. I work on licensing, rights, services and software contracts for several sports and news networks across the country. 

All the meanwhile, I have dedicated a lot of my leisure time to volunteering my legal services for different nonprofits or NGOs in New York. I've done everything from putting together a VAWA petition to applying for 501(c)(3) status to handling the contracts and regulatory compliance of these orgs. I believe that my multifaceted experience, along with my passion for volunteering for worthy causes, will be an asset to MUBANY. I would be humbled at the opportunity to be a Director. Thank you for your consideration.


Shahrukh Khan

My name is Shahrukh Khan, and I humbly submit my candidacy for the one year Director position. I hope to contribute to the MuBANY programming chiefly in two ways: (1) organizing more social events/fundraising efforts post-COVID—especially the annual Gala—that enable law students and seasoned practitioners to grow their professional and personal communities and (2)  facilitating a smoother process for legal professionals who seek the support of MuBANY in joining various public legal bodies, such as the judiciary or city council. 

I am an associate attorney at Sidley Austin, and in my free time I enjoy writing, sleeping, and doing work around the house. I call Elmont, NY my home. I encourage others to visit and enjoy events at the newly built UBS Arena (also in Elmont).


Sidra Mahfooz

My name is Sidra Mahfooz, and I am re-running for a Director position with MuBANY for the 2022-2023 term. After graduating from NYU School of Law in 2018, I worked as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton until 2021. Since 2021, I have been working as a staff attorney at the ACLU.

I have had the privilege of serving as a MuBANY director during the previous two years. During this time, I helped organize a number of projects and events aimed at helping to advance the Muslim legal community. I co-organized and implemented the inaugural MuBANY mentorship program, which partnered NYC practicing legal professionals, law students and prospective law students together and provided a platform for Muslim legal professionals to connect. I helped plan in person networking events, mentorship trainings and other professional programs alongside the mentorship program as well. I additionally helped to pitch the idea of a MuBANY podcast in the context of co-organizing a panel re different legal career paths. I’ve also helped organize other panels, including a panel on the joint CCR/CUNY CLEAR/ Debevoise No Fly List litigation before the Supreme Court and served on panels relating to big law and identity in coordination with the Georgetown University Law Center. In addition to the programs that I’ve organized, I've also helped draft MuBANY advocacy letters to congressional members calling upon them to support bills aimed at addressing human rights abuses against Muslim populations across the world. I’ve additionally helped to advance the judiciary initiative by coordinating with future judicial candidates and participating in meetings to build a judiciary pipeline. Additionally, I’ve represented MuBANY in various coalition meetings aimed at curbing discrimination and providing assistance to NYC communities and supporting DEI initiatives within different offices within the Department of Justice. Prior to my role as Director, I also served as a MuBANY law student liaison, where I served on the MuBANY gala committee, interviewed MuBANY spotlight members for the MuBANY newsletter, and assisted in organizing events to further community engagement. As Director, I hope to continue strengthening the MuBANY community by organizing events geared to our members interests and creating spaces for networking, mentorship and advancement.

MuBANY helped support me during law school and my professional career, not only through their generous scholarship program, but also by providing meaningful opportunities for growth, a network of wonderful colleagues and a platform to support our community. I would be delighted to have the opportunity to further my efforts to serve the needs of our community. Thank you for your consideration.

Fatoumata Waggeh

Legal advocacy, community organizing, and social justice are at the core of my identity and purpose in this dunya (world). As a first-generation Gambian-American, the daughter of Black immigrants, and a self-proclaimed Muslim feminist, I am committed to using my legal education to address the systemic inequities facing marginalized communities throughout inner-city America. Fundamentally, I am committed to harnessing the power of the law for the benefit of the forgotten among us: help make our society's most marginalized fight for their rights and protect them from injustice. 

My professional trajectory demonstrates a commitment to take action. As a Civic Organizer at African Communities Together (ACT), I successfully campaigned for the inclusion of French and Arabic into New York City's language access plan. I coordinated a coalition consisting of legal advocates, faith leaders, community partners, in which I organized rallies and protests to combat President Trump's Muslim Ban and Refugee Ban and preserve TPS and DACA. I facilitated Know Your Rights workshops at local masjids in The Bronx and helped use my voice and skills to advocate for our city's growing Black immigrant community. As a Corporate Paralegal at Wachtell Lipon Rosen & Katz, I advocated for working-class New Yorkers through a Legal Aid Society's housing rights project, where I helped individuals file claims against landlords responsible for unwarranted rent increases and discrimination. Furthermore, I am the co-founder of the Smiling Coast Women Empowerment Network (SCWEN), a mentorship program for West-African-Muslim-Women committed to empowering them to pursue higher education, explore issues of social justice, and grow into thought leaders. While in law school, as an Extern at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, I helped the organization further its work on educational and racial justice. Today, as a junior Litigation Associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP, I continue my passion for legal advocacy. As a recipient of the "Pro Bono All Stars Award," I have helped fight for the asylum rights of a family displaced at the border and helped further police accountability and racial justice concerning the New York Police Department (NYPD). 

Engagement with MUBANY will be a trajectory to my political ambition of using the law to break cycles of poverty and injustice. I look forward to helping MUBANY further its work on advocacy and help build the present and future Muslim legal leaders. As a Director, I am not only committed to helping MUBANY bring to the forefront the unique issues facing Muslims in New York City, but also build new partners, including local grassroots organizations, civic organizations and local Masjids. Specifically, I also hope to help MUBANY elevate the issues facing Black Muslims, in particular, a group that continues to be invisible in Muslim spaces. All while doing this, I will help foster a strong Muslim community among MUBANY members, MLSAs, the Muslims of New York City and our allies, that is refreshing, impactful and engaging. My intersectional identities and diverse professional backgrounds position me to be an asset to MUBANY's Board. I am a team-player, inquisitive, personable, patient, honest and courageous. Last but not least, in many ways, I am New York City, having been born and raised in The Bronx and still residing in the same neighborhood I grew up in. I will bring this unique perspective, knowledge and history as a native New Yorker to my work as a Director. Ultimately, helping ensure that MUBANY is in fact the Muslim Bar Association of New York. 


Noor Zafar

My name is Noor Zafar, and I am running for a Director position with MuBANY for the 2022-23 term. I am a Staff Attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project where I focus on constitutional and civil rights litigation expanding the rights of immigrant communities and challenging unlawful enforcement practices. Prior to my work with ACLU-IRP, I was a fellow with the ACLU National Security Project and the Center for Constitutional Rights, where I helped litigate cases challenging abusive national security policies.

If elected as a MuBANY Director, I hope to help expand the organization’s public interest-related programming, develop a more robust mentoring program for law students, and organize social and educational events to broaden MuBANY’s network.

To expand MuBANY’s public interest programming, I intend to build on existing programs such as the podcast series and supplement it with additional initiatives. For example, I’d like to help establish a pro bono program through which MuBANY partners with nonprofit organizations and members offer volunteer legal services as needed. I’d also like to organize more events with practitioners, community organizers, authors, policymakers, academics and other experts to discuss legal and policy issues impacting Muslim communities—whether that be bail reform in New York, abortion access, or organizing efforts to shut down immigration detention centers

Relatedly, I hope to institutionalize and build out the law student mentorship initiative. I served as an attorney mentor last year and valued the opportunity to get to know my mentee and advise them on public interest career paths. I plan to continue the mentorship program and expand upon it by developing skills-based workshops on, for example, resume building, fellowship applications, or applying for clerkships. I would also like to strengthen our connections with MLSA chapters at New York City law schools and possibly partner on programming.

Finally, I hope to help grow MuBANY’s membership by hosting a regular social mixer (in addition to the annual gala) and increasing our collaboration with other affinity bar associations  on shared areas of interest.

It would be an honor to be entrusted to serve as a MuBANY Director. Thank you for considering my candidacy.