Susannah Cunningham, Co-Founder / Executive Director
Before founding Only Through US, Susannah Cunningham led and advised advocacy groups within the U.S. and in the Middle East and North Africa for over a decade. In 2008, Susannah co-founded the Resettlement Legal Aid Project (RLAP), a Cairo-based legal clinic created to serve Iraqi refugees fleeing persecution because of their work as translators, drivers, and contractors with Coalition Forces and American organizations. Today, the clinic serves refugees of all backgrounds, is an implementing partner to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and is the sole provider of refugee legal assistance to Egypt's sizable urban asylum-seekers. Before starting RLAP, Susannah was a founding Managing Committee member of the national Darfur anti-genocide student movement, STAND. She is also a Truman National Security Fellow. She holds a bachelor degree in Political Science from Northwestern University and is a native of Houston, Texas.
Jasmine El-Gamal, Co-founder / Policy director
Jasmine El-Gamal is a former Pentagon official and currently a resident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, where she focuses primarily on the role of narratives in the cycle of radicalization and violent extremism. For eight years, Jasmine served as a Middle East policy advisor at the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSD), as well as Special Assistant to three Under Secretaries of Defense where she regularly briefed and traveled with Secretaries of Defense as well as foreign counterparts on issues pertaining to U.S. and global security. Jasmine has worked to incorporate inter-cultural and inter-faith understanding throughout her career in national security. At the beginning of the Iraq war, Jasmine was as an interpreter and cultural advisor with the 82nd Airborne Division. Jasmine holds an MS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a BS in Marketing from Clarkson University. She is a graduate of the New York Film Academy and the producer of the 2017 short-documentary film “Unwelcome.” She is a Truman National Security Fellow, and a proud first-generation American of Egyptian heritage.
Fayrouz Saad, Advocacy Director
Fayrouz Saad joins Only Through US as our new Advocacy Director, following a competitive run as a leading Arab-American Muslim congressional candidate in Michigan. Fayrouz is a former official at the Department of Homeland Security official, where she worked to strengthen community policing efforts in the fight against terrorism, protect state and local critical infrastructure, and strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity. Following this, she worked as the Director of Immigrant Affairs for the City of Detroit (2015) – where she led efforts to promote immigrant integration and inclusionary programs that spur economic development. She served as the Board Chair for Emgage-USA MI – an organization she helped launch that fosters civic and electoral participation within the Muslim-American community. Fayrouz received her bachelors degree from the University of Michigan and a masters degree from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
ANDREW WATKINS, RESEARCHER / EDITOR
Andrew Watkins is a conflict analyst and advisor to the humanitarian community, currently based in the Middle East and focused on the Syrian conflict. He worked in a similar capacity in Afghanistan, where he previously served for several years with local Afghan security forces. As a veteran of the US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, he served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. After his service, Andrew had the privilege to be the final editor for the late Shahab Ahmed’s award-winning work, “What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic.” He has written on US policy in Afghanistan for the Boston Globe, and on America’s civil-veteran affairs as a guest columnist of Tom Ricks in Foreign Policy. Andrew earned a masters in Middle Eastern studies at Harvard University and a bachelors from Columbia University.
Steve grand, board member
Stephen Grand is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and assistant professor at the University of Utrecht and the Free University in Amsterdam. He previously served as the executive director of the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. He is the author of the book Understanding Tahrir Square: What Transitions Elsewhere Can Teach Us About the Prospects for Arab Democracy (Brookings Press, 2014). For more than six years, he directed the Brookings Institution’s Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World. Previously, he was director of the Middle East Strategy Group at the Aspen Institute. Grand also served as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and was a scholar-in-residence at American University in Washington, DC. From 2002 to 2003, he was an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also served as the director of programs at the German Marshall Fund, a professional staff member for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the founding executive director of the Civic Education Project. He received a Ph.D. in International Relations from Harvard University and a B.A. from the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar.
Andrea hailey, board member
A recognized philanthropic and political leader, Andrea’s career spans over 40 federal and state campaigns. Her work in media strategy and fundraising garnered Pollie awards in 2008 and 2010, and she raised over a million dollars in under 60 days for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in 2007. A biracial millennial, she began her career in the office of Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Andrea currently sits on the board of NARAL and serves on the leadership council of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture ambassadors program.
Scott carpenter, board member
Scott Carpenter is the Managing Director of Jigsaw (formerly Google Ideas) where he drives implementation of the team’s overall strategy and manages the portfolio addressing illicit networks. Prior to joining Google, Scott founded and directed Project Fikra as the Keston Family Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he remains an adjunct fellow. Previously, Scott served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near East Affairs where he helped conceive and implement the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) before being named coordinator for the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative (BMENA). His other roles in government include Director of Governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Rights and Democracy. Earlier in his career, Scott worked for the International Republican Institute where he founded and co-directed its European program from Bratislava, Slovakia and on Capitol Hill. He received his MA from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Mark Hanis, Board Member
Mark Hanis is a Research Fellow with the Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University and a founding member of Action Map, a centralized citizen-centric platform for easy and effective action across multiple issues. He most recently helped found the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University and co-founded the Organ Alliance (now Organize). Before that, Mark was the co-founder and President of United to End Genocide (formerly Genocide Intervention Network and Save Darfur Coalition), an organization created with the mission to empower citizens and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide. Mark served as a White House Fellow, working in the Office of Vice President Joe Biden as the National Security Affairs Special Advisor for South America, Africa, and Human Rights. He has held fellowships at Ashoka, Echoing Green, Draper Richards Kaplan, and Hunt Alternatives Prime Movers. Mark received his BA from Swarthmore College.. He is the grandchild of four Holocaust survivors and was raised in Quito, Ecuador.