Board of Trustees [Worldwide]



Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) has formed a new board of trustees through the organisation’s very first trustee elections, which took place online on 22 August.

Here is the new board’s statement in full:

“We are honoured and humbled to be the first trustees elected by the global Islamic Relief family under extensive governance reforms.

“Islamic Relief has touched the lives of more than 120 million people in its 36-year history and is hugely respected for saving and transforming lives in some of the world’s poorest and hardest-to-reach places. Islamic Relief teams are at the forefront of supporting those affected by the biggest humanitarian emergencies of our time. This includes the conflicts in Syria, where we provided vital assistance to 906,000 people last year alone, and Yemen, described by the UN as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Islamic Relief is on the ground in Yemen feeding over 2 million people each month with the support of the World Food Programme.

“We are proud to have been chosen to lead this great organisation into the next phase of its history. We have a golden opportunity to build on the exciting and innovative humanitarian, development and advocacy work that Islamic Relief is doing in 40 countries across five continents. We are also aware of the responsibility entrusted to us to safeguard those we serve, to uphold Islamic Relief’s core values and to strive for the very highest standards.

“We wish to record our thanks to members of the previous boards for their many years of voluntary service to the organisation. We also wish to commend the previous board for acting swiftly and decisively to deal with inappropriate social media posts by two former trustees that came to light in recent weeks.

“In both cases these were historical Facebook posts dating back to 2014 and 2015, before either individual was on the board of IRW. In both cases the board met in emergency session on the very day that the organisation was first made aware of the posts. Both individuals apologised for the comments made, agreeing that they were completely unacceptable. Both agreed that they should play no part in the future governance of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

“We want to echo what the old board has said about these social media posts. We apologise on behalf of Islamic Relief for any offence caused. These posts in no way reflect the views or the values of Islamic Relief Worldwide, which is a purely humanitarian organisation with no political affiliations.

“The new board will continue to support the senior executive team in upholding the highest humanitarian standards of impartiality and independence, and assisting people of all faiths and none – without discrimination by race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. We reject and condemn terrorism and believe that all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism, are unacceptable.

“At our first board meeting we have agreed to extend the level of scrutiny for IRW leadership by commissioning a review of trustee vetting and screening and social media policies that includes input from independent external experts, to do all we can to ensure that Islamic Relief’s core values are upheld in the selection and ongoing conduct of trustees. We expect this review to be completed by the end of the year.

“We look forward to meeting with the Charity Commission to discuss how we can learn lessons from recent events and build a brighter future.”

Dr Ihab Saad
Chair (USA)

Dr. Ihab Saad is a professor of Civil Engineering and Construction Management. He graduated in 1984 with a degree in Civil Engineering from Cairo University. After practising for nine years, he moved to the United States for further post- graduate studies. He then obtained a Master’s degree and PhD from the University of Kentucky.


Dr Saad has taught and consulted in multiple countries over the past 30 years, and seen his work published in engineering and construction management journals. He joined the board of Islamic Relief USA in 2005, and was Chairfrom 2011 to 2014. He stepped down from the board in 2017 and was invited to re-join in 2019.

Lamia El Amri
Vice Chair (Sweden)

Lamia El Amri is a Muslim women’s rights activist and former elected representative on Stockholm City Council who now works at the Swedish Labour Agency as a Senior Manager. Mrs El Amri joined the board of Islamic Relief Worldwide in 2013, becoming vice-chair in 2015 and chair in 2017 and serving until August 2020 before being elected to continue in Islamic Relief’s first trustee elections.


She is also chair of the board for Islamic Relief Sweden.

Dr Nora Amath
Secretary (Australia)

Dr Nora Amath is a sociologist and community developer whose research focuses on multiculturalism, social inclusion, diversity, leadership and community development. She is the author of The Phenomenology of Community Activism and her writings have also appeared in several edited volumes and journals. She is an adjunct Research Fellow at Griffith University and also works at the Islamic Women’s Association of Australia (IWAA) as the National Manager of Refugee Settlement and the CAMS Statewide Coordinator.


Dr Amath is chair of the board of Islamic Relief Australia. She has strong connections to the community across a number of areas, including youth, women’s and multi-faith groups, and is a member of the Minister’s Queensland Multicultural Advisory Council.  In 2006, she received the prestigious award of Australian Muslim Woman of the Year.

Nurhayati Hassan
Treasurer (Malaysia)

Nurhayati Hassan is a certified coach and a certified financial planner (CFP). She is a HR consultant specialising in talent assessment for corporate talent assessment centres and succession planning programmes. She previously spent her career in investment banking, which included investment research and analysis, and corporate finance-related work. She was also involved in strategic planning, and advising senior management on business planning and performance. 


Ms Nurhayati sits on the board of Islamic Relief Malaysia.She holds an MBA in Management from Golden Gate University, USA, and a degree in Accounting with Computing from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia and the Malaysian Association of Certified Coaches.