Dr. Mai Abdul Rahman is a renowned lecturer, activist, writer, and researcher. She is the founder of the American Palestinian Women’s Association (APWA), a non-profit, apolitical, secular organization established in 2005 to address the concerns of American Palestinian women living in the D.C. area.

Dr. Abdul Rahman holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy from Howard University, an MA in Education from Trinity University, and a BA in Political Science from Drake University. She has spent her career analyzing the intersections between poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and the role of resiliency in fostering the education of homeless youth. This led to her writing a book, titled Teaching Outside the Box: Beyond the Deficit Driven School Reforms, which was published in 2018.

Dr. Abdul Rahman has been recognized widely for her work in her field. Her expertise was the impetus for her appointment by the D.C. Mayor to the D.C. Human Rights Commission, which was confirmed unanimously by the D.C. Council. She was personally asked to be a United Nations consultant, and in this capacity, she assisted in developing short and long-term strategies for Birzeit University in Palestine’s West Bank! Dr. Abdul Rahman has also worked in the media; she co-produced ‘Arab Women Speak Out’, as well as hosting and producing ‘Spotlight on Education,’ a television program that addressed the impact of D.C.’s school policies, social and economic conditions, and food scarcity on public school students. 

In addition to her work in academia and education, Dr. Abdul Rahman is deeply involved in non-profit and advocacy work. Dr. Abdul Rahman co-founded the Washington Alliance for Middle East Peace and serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations. In 2010, she established African Americans for Peace in the Middle East and North Africa (AJJMENA), a peace advocacy group that is comprised of prominent African American educators, academics, and community leaders. Dr. Abdul Rahman’s work in advocacy and academia is truly impressive, and we are so proud to have such a distinguished woman on ABPA’s advisory board!