We are pleased to announce the candidates running in MuBANY's 2018-2019 Board Election.
Directors (5 positions)
Sania W. Khan
Nilufer R Shaikh
As a reminder, below are the key dates in the election process.
-- Monday, May 21, 2018: Deadline for new Members or lapsed Members to submit Membership Forms in order to vote.
-- Tuesday, May 22, 2018: Ballots emailed to members.
-- Tuesday, May 29, 2018: Deadline for submitting ballots.
CANDIDACY STATEMENTS FOR EACH CANDIDATE
I serve as counsel to New York City Public Advocate Letitia James. I am her principal adviser for health care and technology/telecommunications. In addition, I serve as a trustee of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System ($65B AUM) and as a member of the Audit Committee for the City of New York.
For the past three years, it has been a privilege to serve on the board of MuBANY, first as a board member and for the past two years as treasurer. In this time, I am proud to see our organization grow beyond numbers. We have built and expanded partnerships with other bar associations and leaders in government, as well as advanced legal positions in important court cases across the country. MuBANY has also supported programming for attorneys across various disciplines. We live in unique times that present new challenges but also opportunities. As president, my goal is to build on our successes and leverage the strengths of our organization. Accordingly, I believe we should: 1. support the advancement of Muslims to the City and State judiciary, 2. assist members who seek to become partner or advance the corporate ladder, 3. promote members to take leadership roles in the City and State Bar Associations, and 4. continue to build coalitions and take on legal/civic initiatives. There are those who seek to make Muslims the other and call us a threat, I can think of no better way to countering that than to support these and other initiatives. I ask for your support.
As a long standing member of MUBANY, I have been actively involved in the development of the organization and it’s members since I joined the organization. I had the distinct privilege to be the Gold sponsor of MUBANYs inaugural Gala and supporting sponsor for the subsequent Gala. My support is not limited to the financial support of the organization but also in the firm belief that our members are the backbone of the success of this association. When I was a solo practitioner I’ve looked to aide, advise, and mentor many young MUBANY members who sought to open up their own practices. (I was once too a young attorney who sought advice from MUBANY members (Hyder Naqvi) whom I will be forever grateful too.) Not only through assisting them with legal work but also by leading a presentation on legal marketing. I’ve been privileged to represent the organization recently at the Convention on the Status of Women at the United Nations which I believe was a fantastic experience. My goal in becoming a part of the board is to bring my diverse experience in building organizations, life coaching and my legal background to benefit the association as a whole. As an association representing Muslims Attorneys within New York, our reach must extend to many Muslim attorneys who have yet to become members. Perhaps some do not identify with the label. Our need to diversify what it means to be a member of MUBANY must encompass those that do not necessarily identify or practice the faith as well. We must be as inclusive as the inclusion we seek in society. There are many attorneys who are Muslim but do not want to associate with a Muslim Bar: this must change if we are to be a strong knit unit within New York. I’d like to encourage events to cater to the diversity of thought. Muslims are not a specific type and we must cater to all those that are conservative and those that are liberal: this leads to understanding, tolerance, and respect. Our community outreach efforts must include efforts which are both charitable and awareness oriented. We must also create a stronger mechanism for referrals to be spread within the members. Economic growth of our members is the growth of this organization: I am a product of this. I’ve gained many clients through MUBANY and equally I have sent many clients to my fellow members. We must help our members in their career growth: I’ve sought candidates for hiring purposes from this organization as well and I’ve seen many postings from various third party firms and entities. We need more fundraising efforts to hold more events that are not only educational but also those that mix with other organizations and Bars. Our efforts need to extend to the NYSBA, and local bar associations so that we develop the organizations reputation not only amongst the members of other Bars but also with Judges and the Court system. The organization has made amazing strides since it’s existence through Asim, Atif, and Saira and it is my hope that I can build upon their successes for the benefit of us and our community at large.
Dear Friends, It is with great excitement that I request your support in becoming the Vice President on the MuBANY board. Over the last few years, I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many of you while being the MuBANY Secretary. During this time, I experienced the amazing spirit of MuBANY, while helping drive our organization forward in various ways. I have been passionately involved in establishing our MuBANY footprint while assisting our community with coalition-building and helping with several initiatives, events, and our overall commitment to social justice. I have also served on the annual Gala committee every year and am thrilled that our galas are bigger and better every year. Being involved with such a wonderful group and community has inspired me to serve this organization further and am confident I will continue to fulfill this role with honor. I have been involved in several non-profits and community-based initiatives and have several years of leadership experience, serving on various organizations' boards. I guarantee that with my personality and my experience I can continue to serve as an asset on the MuBANY team. Hard work, organization, determination, humility and strong interpersonal skills are values I hold dear to me and ones that will continue to make me a key member of the board. My goal is to grow our membership base by the inclusion of more law students, public interest attorneys, and non-traditional attorneys. I want to heighten our community feel and community involvement by not only having more events, but also having diversity of events and engaging with other organizations and groups that we have not in the past. Most importantly, as a public interest attorney and lifelong community service advocate, I foresee more community service initiatives to give back to our New York community at large. My hope is to continue to expand on the excellent work done before us by the current board. I assure you that if I am elected as Vice President, I will personally make sure your voice is heard and your presence is felt in this amazing organization. I hope it is in my fortune to serve you as Vice President and humbly request your support in this election. Sincerely, Sayeda Abbas
I have been involved with MuBANY for the past several years, having served as Director and In House Chair. I hope to have your vote for Secretary, and look forward to continuing to serve this community. As Secretary, I hope to improve the website and make it easier to stay informed of the association's events and activities. I also plan to begin a newsletter to highlight MuBANY's activities. Additionally, I hope to build on past efforts to increase MuBANY's membership and partner with new and diverse bar associations to create relevant and exciting programming. MuBANY has grown over the past decade from an association for Muslim attorneys to a voice representing the legal needs of the Muslim-American community. I would like to continue building upon that growth and help MuBANY and its members progress further.
I am delighted to submit my candidacy for Treasurer of the Muslim Bar Association of New York (“MuBANY”). MuBANY has been instrumental in shaping my legal career and I would be delighted to continue giving back to the organization and the legal community by serving in a leadership position. I have been involved in MuBANY for eight years, first as a law student and then as a board member for five years. I played an instrumental role in creating the first scholarship fund to be awarded to a Muslim law student in New York. I was also a member of the gala committee for two years and helped organize MuBANY’s first and second galas. At the first gala, I spearheaded the Silent Auction, which raised enough money to support the scholarship fund for two years. In addition, I helped create the Women’s Committee of MuBANY, which focuses on specific issues faced by Muslim female attorneys. As the Women’s Chair this year, I organized a panel event with four incredible accomplished and impressive Muslim women from different practice areas (academia, government, in-house and big law) who spoke on a range of issues from muslim identity at the workplace to self-branding for promotion. In addition to the scholarship, gala, and women’s committee, I’ve helped with planning our staple events such as our annual iftars, social mixers, and annual general meetings. It would be a wonderful opportunity to continue serving on the board of MuBANY as Treasurer. Thank you for considering me as a candidate. Personal Background Director and Legal Counsel, Bank of Nova Scotia (2017 - Current) Associate, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (2015- 2017) Assistant Vice President and Counsel, BNP Paribas (2012-2015) Law school: University of Notre Dame (2012) College: New York University (2009)
My name is Mavara Agha and I am asking for your support for my bid for MuBANY Board of Director. I am currently a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell. This year, in an effort to become more involved in the broader New York legal community, I had the distinct pleasure to serve as one of the co-chairs of the MuBANY Gala Committee. In this role, I helped planned the Third Annual Awards Gala and Reception and this experience was rewarding for a number of reasons. First, our team secured four esteemed awardees to honor at the Gala: Neal Katyal, the National Women’s Law Center, Khadijah Sharif-Drinkard, and Muslim Advocates. We were especially proud of the fact that three of the four speakers were women and together, the group of awardees represents a diverse slate of individuals across ethnicities, faiths and sectors. Second, I felt honored to work alongside a devoted team of individuals. Through our weekly calls and various planning sessions, I felt inspired by how much can be accomplished when a hard-working team aligns around a shared vision. I also learned more about MuBANY as an organization as many of the Gala Committee members are also current elected board members. Third, with over 250 attendees at the event, I felt privileged to be part of a diverse community of attorneys and was renewed with the desire to push the organization forward. I am grateful to MuBANY for giving me the opportunity to support the Gala this year, as well as an opportunity to learn more about the wonderful work of its members. If elected as a Director of the Board, I would love to pursue some of the following goals to further serve the membership: 1. Create skills-based programming for our members. We all love going to panels and talks which host inspirational speakers; however often times, I can personally attest to walking away from such events feeling a sense of dissatisfaction in not fully realizing the role I can play to advance a certain cause. To alleviate this potential dissonance, I would like to create more programming that equips our members with tangible skills and resources to enhance their impact. Some examples would include workshops on assisting women who are suffering from domestic violence or sessions on know-your-rights trainings. I would hope that our members could then scale such events at their own places of work and multiply the impact of this highly-needed programming. 2. Enhance the relationship between law firms with public interest work. In light of the current political and social climate, it is imperative that we employ an all-hands-on-deck approach to tackling some of the issues that require urgent legal attention. Law firms currently have an abundance of resources but often aren’t able to connect said resources with the right projects and are, consequently, missing opportunities to have tangible impact. I would like to spearhead initiatives which link law firms with pro bono opportunities on pressing issues such as immigration, national security, religious discrimination and prison reform. 3. Strengthen connections with the New York and City Bars. Although MuBANY already has very strong ties with other minority bar associations, I believe we can take advantage of more opportunities to strengthen our ties with other professional legal organizations as well. To that end, I would intend to work in parallel with current committees at the New York State and City Bar Associations on a variety of projects such as co-sponsoring programming for both groups’ members, planning social events so our members can network directly with their members, or even pushing for the inclusion of our members on their committees. 4. Establish mentorship programs for transitioning attorneys. In addition to supporting current mentorship programs that MuBANY already has in the works, I would love to focus specifically on establishing mentorship pairings for attorneys who are looking to either transition from one sector to another, or in certain instances, for attorneys who are interested in doing non-legal work. Switching jobs can be challenging, and switching sectors – whether legal or not – can complicate issue. Thus, connecting attorneys to other talented members in our community would serve to make the process smoother and be valuable for all parties involved. I intend to fully dedicate myself to implementing the aforementioned goals, as well as work to ensure that the Board is properly serving the needs of the MuBANY membership in a high-impact, yet resourceful way. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
I am a foreign trained lawyer, recently graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law with a Master of Law in general legal studies. I am an NY Bar exam candidate. I am currently working at Data-Core Systems Inc. as an Assistant (Legal) and dealing with business immigration matter for this IT company. I have been actively involved with MUBANY for past three years. I have a keen interest for helping community people actively with my knowledge, connection and expertise that’s why I choose to run for Director Position. Even in my community people are always coming to learn about services offered by lawyer’s community for example, immigration, family matter, corporate matter, and even how to make heat complaint, it just nice to be able to share knowledge and help others through the MUBANY, a significantly growing community based law organization.
I am interested in a director position with MuBANY because I am interested in contributing my skills, experience, and network to the organization and its members. I have been a member of MuBANY for years and am interested in taking on a leadership role with the organization. I have attended MuBANY events and contributed as a speaker at a recent round table discussion about succession and leadership held by the women's committee just last month. Subsequent to this discussion, I have had conversations with some offers regarding potential ideas for growth of the organization and I am interested in bringing those ideas to fruition if given an opportunity to serve as a director. I believe that my previous professional experience as a teacher, law clerk, prosecutor, and leader with the Arab American Bar Association and Network of Bar Leaders could benefit the organization and its members and will allow me to share with the organization the network I have formed in my years of professional practice. Further, I am currently being considered for appointment to serve on various diversity committees and am scheduled to provide diversity trainings at my place of work and other bar associations. I would be happy to bring these trainings and these networks to MuBANY as well. If you are interested in learning more about my educational/professional background, feel free to access my LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yasmin-dwedar-esq-a159a88/. I would be honored to have your vote to serve as director for the organization.
My name is Amin Kassam and I am currently the Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel at Bloomberg L.P. where I am responsible for the operations of the Legal and Compliance Department along with litigating and advising on issues relating to new media, technology, privacy, and intellectual property. I am also a member of Bloomberg’s Diversity Council and, in that role, have played a key role in raising awareness about issues facing Muslims at Bloomberg. For example, I led efforts that resulted in the Company signing onto a Supreme Court amicus brief challenging the Trump administration’s travel ban and, most recently, I hosted Bloomberg’s first ever lunch and learn panel discussion on Ramadan. I t has been my privilege to serve on the MUBANY Board for the past year and I hope to be given the opportunity to serve again. As a Muslim lawyer for the past 17 years, I believe I bring a breadth of experience that is unique to the Board having spent much of my time practicing as one of the first or only Muslim lawyers at the law firms and federal clerkships where I started my career. Indeed, living through 9-11 without the support of a community of Muslim lawyers was lonely and challenging and it continues to drive my desire to help make MUBANY an even stronger, dynamic, and more influential bar association. At a time when the rights of Muslims in the United States are under tremendous threat, I believe that it is critical that we build coalitions and draw upon allies in order to support our efforts to protect the civil rights of all Americans. As a result, in the past I helped MUBANY to host a joint Eid celebration with the New York Civil Liberties Union, a moderated discussion with the Metropolitan Black Lawyers Association on Why Black Lives Matter to Muslims, a panel on Out LGBT Asian lawyers and judges with the Asian American and LGBT Bar Associations, and a new initiative with the City of New York to provide pro bono mediation services to Muslim communities throughout New York City. If elected, I hope to continue this work and create new programs that build bridges across communities, undertake initiatives to protect the rights of Muslims and other marginalized communities, and further enhance diversity and inclusion within MUBANY. Thank you for your consideration.
Sania W. Khan
My name is Sania Khan, and I am running for a Director position with MuBANY for the 2018-2019 term. I am an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Bureau at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and serve as the Muslim Communities Liaison for the Office. My work in these roles has focused primarily on litigation challenges to the travel ban (“Muslim ban”), the rescission of DACA, and the addition of a citizenship question to the U.S. Census, as well as generally working on the Office's Religious Rights Initiative. I served as a Director at MuBANY during the 2017-2018 term - and during this term, I was able to work on a variety of events and intiatives. I worked on developing MuBANY's amicus efforts, served on this year's gala committee, and have most recently been assisting in the launch of MuBANY's newsletter (coming soon!). If given the opportunity to serve as a Director again, I would further these efforts by ensuring that MuBANY's newsletter is timely and consistent (meaning less emails on the listserv!), focus on ways to further streamline MuBANY's operations - to ensure that MuBANY runs as smooth as possible, and create an initiative to assist mid-level attorneys seeking pipelines to leadership positions in the judiciary, public and private sectors - across the board. I would also continue my work on MuBANY's amicus initiative, and to the extent possible, will aid in MuBANY’s engagement with the public sector. I intend to be resourceful and dedicated in executing this vision. Thank you for your consideration.
Nilufer R Shaikh
I am interested in joining the MuBANY board in order to contribute my efforts towards developing a thriving and impactful Muslim legal community in New York City. I have enjoyed my involvement over this past year in MuBANY events, from collaborating on the MuBANY Gala Committee to organize and execute one of MuBANY’s signature events in May to participating in a women’s roundtable discussion on professional success. Throughout this past year, I have been consistently impressed with the quality, collegiality and passion of the individuals who work hard to create a MuBANY community and am excited to help further expand that community. By way of my vision for MuBANY, I would like to position the organization and its online presence to serve as a central database for the broader New York Muslim legal community to source speakers and to connect community leaders and local non-profit organizations with existing resources. Secondly, MuBANY has great potential as a platform, which I would help build out, for professional networking/mentoring, relationship building and substantive programming of interest to the Muslim community and likely coalition partners. A short professional bio may be found here (http://www.pepperlaw.com/people/nilufer-r-shaikh/) and here (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nilufer-shaikh-728a3210/).
As a new Muslim lawyer and a new resident in New York City, I’d love to play an active role in MuBANY and help further the mission of the organization. I am focused, hard-working, pretty social, and alhamdulilah have a pretty broad network by virtue of having lived in SF, Chicago, and LA before moving here. I’m currently practicing restructuring at Jones Day and am a member of SABANY.
My name is Maimoona Zia, and I currently serve as counsel to an international investment bank. I served as MuBANY's Membership Chair this preceding term and am now seeking election as a director on MuBANY's board. As a Chair, I initiated and managed MuBANY's participation at the United Nations this past March. In this regard, I created a new program whereby 2 MuBANY members, who were chosen through a competitive application process, had the privilege to attend sessions of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and observe international legal and policy debates first-hand. Through attendance at this event, MuBANY representatives had the opportunity to liaise with diplomats, subject matter experts, and other non-governmental organizations to explore issues relevant to MuBANY's membership, such as women's legal rights, and provide reports to MuBANY on their observances. Further, during my time as a Chair, I also served as MuBANY's representative to a select women's leadership development event, where I gained insight into development opportunities that may be of interest to MuBANY's membership, and also participated in MuBANY's branding efforts, where I researched promotional marketing materials for the benefit of MuBANY's membership. I believe that my experiences serving as Membership Chair have prepared me well for the rigors of a director position, and if elected as a director, I will continue to (1) explore novel opportunities that may be of benefit to our membership, like the United Nations and women's development programs I noted above, and (2) advocate for the rights of MuBANY members and the larger Muslim and minority communities. I hope you will give me such an opportunity.