Interfaith Alliance Foundation Elects Amber Khan as
the New Chair of Its Board of Directors
Khan is the first Muslim-American to hold the position
Washington, D.C. – Interfaith Alliance Foundation announced today the election of Amber Khan as the new chair of its Board of Directors. Khan is the first Muslim to hold the post in the organization’s history. Chosen for her skill as a nonprofit leader, it does not go unrecognized that her unanimous election comes at a time when Muslim-Americans have seen their religious freedom and civil rights challenged by those seeking to marginalize them.
“Amber is a longtime friend and ally in our effort to protect faith and freedom for every American,” said the organization’s president, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy. “She brings important skills to the position, but I also am cognizant of the message our organization is sending by electing a Muslim-American to lead our board at this time. Her religious community is all too often marginalized or worse in communities across the country. Amber has been a strong advocate for interfaith work, a catalyst in her own community for civic engagement in government, a voice for justice in public media, and a committed activist working for a society that respects every individual’s religious freedom.”
Khan succeeds Rev. Galen Guengerich who has held the position of board chair since 2008. Khan has served on the board since 2004 and her engagement with Interfaith Alliance dates back to its earliest days and includes serving in the late 1990’s as the organization’s communications director.
“The vision and leaders of the Alliance sparked a vital movement to engage diverse people of faith in our nation to protect religious liberty and freedom and challenge the politics of division,” said Khan. “As we look ahead, my goal is to actively work with our diverse and capable board to grow, harnessing new resources to ensure that the Alliance will be positioned to lead the next generation of leaders and activists who will defend and uphold religious liberty and freedom for all.”
Stepping into a leadership role is a natural move for Khan, a 20-year veteran of social justice and interfaith advocacy work beginning during her college years in Memphis, Tenn. Khan knows the nonprofit world well and is a respected strategic communications advisor for nonprofits and foundations across the country. She is the former executive director of The Communications Network, a co-founder and corporate secretary of the civil rights organization Muslim Advocates, and a past field director for People for the American Way/Action Fund. Khan has served on boards including South Asian Americans Leading Together and Asian Americans/ Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.
“During my time as chair of Interfaith Alliance, we weathered a tough economic storm and emerged a leaner, more focused organization,” said Rev. Guengerich. “I’m deeply grateful to hand over leadership to Amber, a gifted advocate whose energy and vision make her an ideal leader for these challenging times. The importance of the work Interfaith Alliance is doing cannot be understated. The challenges to religious freedom in this country remain significant, and for nearly two decades, this organization has been at the forefront of the fight to protect faith and freedom for every American.”
Former chairs of Interfaith Alliance Foundation and its partner organization Interfaith Alliance, Inc. include Denise Davidoff, Rabbi Jack Moline, Alex Forger, The Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon, Rev. Albert Pennybacker, The Rev. Dr. Gwynne Guibord, Rev. Philip Wogaman, Arun Gandhi, and its founding chair, Dr. Herbert Valentine.
Added Rabbi Moline, “Amber Khan has been my teacher and my ally in building common ground among faith communities. I am proud to call her my long-time friend and co-worker in challenging extremism from every quarter.”
Amber lives in the Maryland suburbs with her husband and children.
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.