Here are the people that make our mission possible.

PAUSA Staff

Our work would be impossible without this team of dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to improve the lives of those in need both here at home and globally. The PAUSA Staff are committed to fighting the injustice of poverty. 

Oussama Mezoui

President & CEO

Oussama Mezoui is a passionate people-oriented nonprofit leader. Since joining the nonprofit sector in 2008, he has amassed experience in diverse areas from research and advocacy to program management and organizational development. Oussama has managed and overseen multiple humanitarian programs and missions all over the world including in Nigeria, Cameroon, CAR, Kenya, the Philippines, Jordan and Lebanon to name but a few. Under his leadership, PA USA has experienced tremendous year on year growth since launching in 2016. Oussama serves as a Board Director of Our Three Winners Foundation, an organization focused on tackling implicit biases as a means to prevent prejudice and hate crimes against minorities. He also serves as Board Director of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), a nonprofit organization that builds understanding, strengthens communities, and protects pluralism by laying a foundation of actionable research. Oussama has a BA in History from Queen Mary University of London and a law degree from the University of Oxford, where he attended Somerville College. He also holds a graduate certificate in Non-Profit Executive Management from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

Jen Castellani

Chief Development Officer

As Chief Development Officer, Jen will manage our growing development department, design and implement a comprehensive development strategy, oversee communications, and so much more. Working in the development field for over 13 years, Jen started her first fundraising position at her undergraduate alma and has since worked for several institutions of higher education and as a fundraising consultant with CCS Fundraising. Jen received a B.A. in Technical and Professional Communication, an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Leadership--all of which blend together perfectly for a career in development because she continues to effectively communicate the mission of the organization to supporters, build relationships with donors that allows them to bring their philanthropic vision to life, and lead talented teams to the next level of success. Because of her hard work and achievements, she has received many recognitions throughout her career, including the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education's (CASE) Excellence in Fundraising Award for Vassar College in 2019. In her free time, you will find her playing the djembe, a West African drum, and ferociously reading 3-4 books at one time. 

Hoda Lajili

Head of Events & Partnerships

Hoda Lajili is a passionate humanitarian who is dedicated to the mission of ending poverty. She serves as the Head of Events & Partnerships. At the age of 16, she began her journey in the non-profit sector and has been committed to it ever since. Hoda’s passion started at a young age as she watched her grandmother, aunts, and uncles serve as active members of the community. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, road trips, and spending time with family and friends.

Shafaq Zia

Programs Manager

Shafaq serves as the Programs Manager at Penny Appeal USA and is the driving force behind our diverse programs. Shafaq has worked in development for the last six years, managing a range of projects focused on food relief, camp management, post-crisis mental health, livelihoods, and more. She has had the pleasure of traveling to projects in Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, and The Gambia. When not bringing light to the issues and conditions that affect beneficiaries’ livelihood, and developing solutions, whether long-term sustainable ones or immediate relief, Shafaq enjoys rock climbing, experimenting with new recipes, and reading fiction.

Rehma Khan

Donor Relations Manager

Rehma Khan manages all communication with our donors. She is responsible for maintaining constituent satisfaction as well as familiarizing our donors with the organization. Rehma has over 6 years experience in donor relations and a background in global health policies. When she is not hustling at work, she is hustling at home with her two babies and running her business as an artist.

Ruann Elbassyouni

National #TeamOrange Coordinator

Ruann is in charge of all things #teamorange. She manages all communication with volunteers, is responsible for ensuring social service events are held, and she empower volunteers to raise funds for some of the world's most important causes while planning domestic and international challenge trips. Ruann holds dual Bachelor degrees in International Studies and Political Science. When she’s not focused on painting the world orange, Ruann enjoys traveling and indulging in the creative atmosphere of the art world.

Sa’idah Sudan

Domestic Violence Projects Lead

Sa’idah Sudan has worked in a Level I Trauma Center for over 20 years, 10 years as their Certified Domestic Violence Specialist and liaison for Muslim women & children. Sa’idah has been certified in domestic violence since 2007. Working with Penny Appeal USA has allowed her to demonstrate the powerful advocacy that Penny Appeal USA believes in where she now manages our Domestic Violence Shelter, one of the few in the nation that supports Muslim women. Empowering victims of domestic violence is the best feeling one can have, coupled with observing their emerging sensation like butterflies who are deep and powerful representations of life. What a great feeling! When she’s not supporting survivors, Sa’idah enjoys international travel. Her ultimate love and passion is roller skating.

Amir Hussain

IT Architect & Systems Manager

Amir Hussain is an IT tech nerd with over 7 years of non-profit experience. With 4+ Salesforce certifications, 7500+ hours in Project Management, and extensive knowledge in data analytics/cyber security, Amir strives to make Penny Appeal USA a leading innovator in technology and structural growth. Implementing projects in donor services, revenue/finance, marketing, public affairs/advocacy, grants, & volunteer management has helped Amir learn about logistical pieces of nonprofits. He is highly interested in medicine. Amir loves to draw, hang out on Discord, watch anime 24/7, and play video games.

Board of Directors

Our Board Directors commit their time, talent, and treasure to ensuring we have the right resources,  strategy and governance structure to serve our mission. Their foresight, oversight and insight enables us to serve our beneficiaries in the best manner possible. 

Shaun Ahmad

Board Chair

Shaun has been with Penny Appeal USA since the beginning and was formerly the Board Treasurer. Shaun is a businessman, investor and philanthropist. He has been involved with several community service organizations that promote interfaith dialogue, foster racial and ethnic understanding, and work to fight poverty.

Ahmed Abdel-Saheb

Board Treasurer

Ahmed Abdel-Saheb works in finance and volunteers with various faith-based organizations across the nation. Ahmed is also an advisor to Launchgood.com, one of the largest faith-based crowdfunding sites in the world.

Prianka Fatima Alam

Board Member

Prianka Fatima Alam has a Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology and is a Deloitte Global Talent & Organizational Transformation Leader. She leads strategic communication, change management, learning and leadership development, program evaluation, technology modernization and adoption strategies with our USA Federal Health clients. Globally, she leads mental health/well-being, gender balance, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for over 300,000 Deloitte professionals.

Naiel Iqbal

Board Member

Naiel Iqbal is an investment professional at Tiger Global Management. He also serves on the Board of Muppies, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering and advancing Muslim professionals to be leaders in their careers and communities and Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the front-lines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Adeem Younis

Board Member

Adeem is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, community leader, and philanthropist. He is the founder of industry-leading matchmaking platform, SingleMuslim.com, and is also the founder of Penny Appeal UK.

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