Board Members


​Zinah Kadhim is originally from Iraq. She is currently working with Heartland Health Clinics as a certified Health Counselor.  She came to US in 2013 and volunteered with Non Profits like MIRA, Life Span, Heartland Alliance. From 2016-2018 she worked with MIRA for two years as the Child and Family Specialist.   She is honored to be a member of MIRA Board, especially because she is part from the community and has previous experience with MIRA and can serve as an ambassador and community representative.


Thaer is an Iraqi refugee who currently works with the Illinois Department of Human Services, and previously worked at MIRA as a Child and Family Services Case Manager. He is an experienced Interpreter with a demonstrated history of working in the logistics and supply chain industry. Skilled in Negotiation, Operations Management, Microsoft Word, English, and Management. Strong professional with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) focused in Electronic & Communication Engineering from Baghdad University, Iraq. 

DJ ALWATTAR, Board Secretary

DJ Alwattar is the son of Iraqi immigrants and grew up in the Chicago area. He currently serves as Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at Matrix Sciences, having received a MS in Marketing Communication from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a BS from DePaul University.

Roula Amire

Roula Amire is a proud daughter of an Iraqi immigrant. She is first generation, born in Ohio to an Iraqi father and Syrian mother. She is a journalist and current vice president of Editorial at Ragan Communications. She is a former newspaper and magazine reporter, and graduated from Miami University of Ohio. Although from Ohio, she is an unabashed University of Michigan football fan.

Ala’ Diab

Ala’ is a designer and educator with over 12 years of experience creating brand strategies, user interfaces/ user experiences, exhibits, and learning games. He has worked with NGOs, for-profits, start- ups, museums, and social issue campaigns. He applies design principles to further a range of business strategies and social impact missions. Ala’ has helped efforts to: increase 1st generation college applicants, expand STEM education, support multilingualism, curtail street harassment, and build a movement against the death penalty.

Mandy Terc

Dr. Mandy Terc is a leading expert on the topics of economic development and entrepreneurship in the Middle East.  She serves as the Executive Director of the Middle Eastern Research and Information Project. Previously, she served as director of the Sheikh Faisal Center for Entrepreneurship in the Middle East at DePaul University where she developed programs to strengthen Qatar’s entrepreneurial capacity and to connect entrepreneurs in Doha and Chicago.  Dr. Terc has written extensively about the region’s new generation of entrepreneurs. She conducted 18 months of field research on entrepreneurship organizations in Syria and speaks fluent Arabic. Dr. Terc holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Michigan.

Sam Toma

Annual Report