2009 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
|Portland||Josefina Salma Ahmad
Islamic Society of Greater Portland
Mrs. Ahmad is a native of the Philippines who moved to the United States in 1967 after graduating from nursing school. As a long-time resident of the Portland, Oregon area, she has been very active in a number of organizations and programs designed to repair and strengthen relations among various ethnic, religious, and social groups, as well as with law enforcement. Her work and service have helped to provide stability, peace, and understanding among different communities. In particular, she has worked recently to stimulate and energize positive relations between the Muslim leadership in the area and the FBI.
Mrs. Ahmad has served as the president of the Islamic Society of Greater Portland (ISGP) since 2003. This is the oldest official Muslim organization in Oregon. The ISGP aims to promote greater understanding among all Muslims in the greater Portland area, to foster cordial relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, and to promote the understanding of Islam among non-Muslims.
Mrs. Ahmad also serves as the treasurer of the Institute of Islamic and Interfaith Studies, an organization founded to promote understanding and respect among all races, cultures, and religions through education, research, and service. In addition, she is a founding member of the Bilal Mosque Association; a member of the Human Rights Council of Washington County; a member of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon; a member of the Interfaith Action Network of Washington County; a member of the Center for Intercultural Organizing; an advisory board member for the Muslim Educational Trust; a member of the American Civil Liberties Union; and a partner with the World Affairs Council of Oregon. She speaks frequently at gatherings in Oregon and has traveled throughout the United States to promote interfaith understanding and harmony.
Mrs. Ahmad, as a recent graduate of the FBI Citizens' Academy program, has worked diligently to take what she has learned from the FBI and share it with her community. Likewise, she has worked to increase the FBI's understanding of and communication with the Muslim community in Oregon. Most recently, she organized and hosted a meeting with the incoming and outgoing FBI officials in Oregon and the Muslim leadership from a number of different mosques and social service agencies. Old relationships were renewed while others were initiated.