Najat Khelil

Najat Arafat Khelil is the Chairperson of the National Arab American Women’s Association (NAAWA), currently she is vice president of Know Thy Heritage (KTH), member of the Executive Committee of APBA Institute and  member of the board of directors of the United Palestinian Appeal (UPA).

Previously, Dr. Khelil served as National president of the Palestinian American Congress, former president of the Arab Women’s Council Research and Education Fund, former National President of ROOTS, the Palestinian Youth Organization.

Dr. Khelil received her Doctorate degree in Nuclear Physics from North Texas State University, Denton, Texas, where she was the first woman to get such a degree in the state of Texas.

Dr. Khelil taught at Texas A & M University, Bryan, Texas, North Texas State University, University of Algiers, Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina and George Washington University.  She was a Visiting Researcher at the National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD.

Dr. Khelil was very much involved in most of the Arab American and Palestinian American Organizations., was one of the founding members of the Palestinian American Congress and served as its National president, as well as the Arab Women’s Council, Board of Directors of U.S. Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East, American Task Force on Palestine and member of the Executive Committee of AAI National Policy Council.

Throughout her career, Dr. Khelil maintained her deep and personal involvement in and commitment to women’s issues in general, and in particular has dedicated her professional life and energies to advance the involvement of Arab women in issues that concern the community in the United States and abroad. 

Under the auspices of the US information Agency and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the State Department, Dr. Khelil as a trainer in leadership, conflict resolution, and organizational development, has led workshops on Leadership Training for Women in Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Yemen, Qatar and Morocco. Furthermore, she led workshops on Conflict resolution and leadership training in the United States, Canada, Russia and Northern Ireland. 

Dr. Khelil was listed in Marquis “Who’s Who of American Women” and Who’s Who in the Arab-American Community. She was the recipient of Life Time Achievement Award by the American Task Force on Palestine as well as "Honoree of the Palestinian American Community” awarded by the General Delegation of the PLO to the United States. Dr. Khelil is married with two children and seven grandchildren.