IJMA3 USA Team Biographies
Nizar Zakka, CEO
Mr. Nizar Zakka is a Lebanese national educated in the USA at University of Texas, where he graduated in 1989 with dual degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics, and in 1991 with an M.S. in Computer Science. In Lebanon, he has founded several information and communications technology solutions and e-business solution companies. He has served as advisor to numerous public and private sector ICT initiatives in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East. In 1996, Mr. Zakka joined the Professional Computer Association of Lebanon (PCA) as a Board Member, where he led community-based initiatives bridging the digital divide and promoted the Lebanese ICT sector in domestic, regional and international markets. In 2002, he was appointed CEO of the PCA, where he was responsible for all business and community initiatives involving the Lebanese ICT industry. In 2005, Mr. Zakka founded and became Secretary General of IJMA3 – The Arab ICT Organization (IJMA3) and, in 2010, established IJMA3-USA as a sister organization in the U.S. Mr. Zakka also serves as Vice Chairman of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), a consortium of over 70 ICT industry associations from economies around the world and whose members represent over 90 percent of the world ICT market. In addition to his critical work in the MENA region, Mr. Zakka has extensive global experience in leading ICT for development efforts, including programs in Iran, Armenia, Pakistan, and India, among others.
Kelly Davies, Chief Operating Officer
Kelly is an expert on issues of development, fundraising, philanthropy, non-profit management and strategic planning. Her ability to forward causes by connecting lead philanthropists to the most pressing of needs has allowed for maximum return on investment for both the donor and the organization. Previously, Kelly was the director of development for the Washington D.C. based Middle East Institute where she focused on developing and cultivating United States-Middle East relations through strategically planned events and programs that served to connect corporations, media, academics, and high profile thought leaders in a think-tank environment. More recently, she created the development department at The Constitution Project, where she helped the organization shift from a foundation based reliance to a more diversified fundraising approach.
Karen Hansen, Program Coordinator
Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Karen Hansen earned her BA in Political Science and International Studies from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She became interested in the Middle East while enrolled in a semester-long program in Politics of Contemporary Islam and then had the opportunity to travel to Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. She most recently worked with the Syrian Expatriates NGO, a U.S. based organization that coordinates medical relief and internet security projects. Karen's university thesis was dedicated to understanding the complexity in the Levante. She is interested in international humanitarian law and how it affects public policy on a global scale.