Board of Directors 

John is a scholar-diplomat based at Yale University, and is Executive Director of Pathways for Mutual Respect.  His  first experience working to empower refugees was during the civil wars in Liberia, where he collaborated with refugee leaders to develop peace building, public health, leadership, and capacity building projects. Since then, John’s work has addressed similar dynamics across the world, from the US to Pakistan, Iran to Malaysia. He has been to Afghanistan twice as a consultant for local NGOs. John grew up in Northern California and is a leader in his local church. He and his wife Jennifer are foster parents and have three children of their own. John holds PhD, MA and MPhil degrees from Yale University, an MA in Iranian History from the University of Isfahan and a BA in International Relations from UC Davis.

DR. JOHN HARTLEY
DR. JOHN HARTLEY

TREASURER

Jaden Harris Headshot.jpeg

Jaden Harris specializes in humanitarian organizational development, medical research, and health service programs.  Jaden studied International Relations and Nonprofit Management at the State University of New York, and now serves as a consultant to universities and public health agencies. Grant seeking, stewardship, and program evaluation have been common threads in his work.  As Executive Director of Echo Medical Team, he works to advance the efforts of like-minded nonprofit groups building programs with a human rights approach.

JADEN HARRIS
JADEN HARRIS

Khadija Gurnah is the Organizing Director for Define American. Previously, Khadija worked on immigration advocacy at MomsRising. She has worked alongside various governmental departments, on a wide range of projects, including bullying prevention, cultural sensitivity, religious accommodations for youth in the juvenile justice system, and bolstering enrollment for Muslims in the Affordable Care Act. She is a recipient of the White House’s Champion of Change Award, and of the EMAC Special Award in Health Disparities from her alma mater, the Yale School of Public Health. 

KHADIJAH GURNAH
KHADIJAH GURNAH

PROGRAM ANALYST

SECRETARY

Preethi is an adjunct professor of public health at Southern Connecticut State University and holds medical and public health degrees that are complemented by having lived, studied, and worked abroad in Oman and India during the early part of her life. This has inspired in her a special interest in working with populations from different cultures in the New Haven area and beyond. She currently serves on the board of the Calvin Hill Day Care Center and Kitty Lustman-Findling Kindergarten and is deeply involved in parent activities at The Foote School. She and her husband, George Joseph, live in North Haven with their two sons.

DR. PREETHI VARGHESE-JOSEPH
DR. PREETHI VARGHESE-JOSEPH

CHAIR

Ahmed is a 20-year-old writer, social entrepreneur, poet, and former Iraqi refugee working at the intersection of creativity, displacement, and youth empowerment. On July 25th, 2006, Ahmed's home in Baghdad was bombed by militia troops. He and his family relocated to Syria as refugees for two and a half years before receiving approval to move to the United States. Ahmed founded Narratio, a platform for youth empowerment through creative expression. Narratio publishes works of art from all over the globe, and hosts workshops centered around the power of storytelling and creativity. In the last three years, Ahmed’s storytelling initiatives have reached over 20 million people across the world.

AHMED M. BADR
AHMED M. BADR

BOARD MEMBER