Nihad Awad is the national executive director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, with regional offices nationwide. As a national leader in the civil rights movement, Awad has led multiple campaigns to defend the rights of Muslims and to help Americans of other faiths better understand Islam. Awad has testified before both houses of the U.S. Congress on matters involving Muslims in America.
In 1997, he served on the White House Civil Rights Advisory Panel to the Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. In 2004, he was named one of National Journal’s more than 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. whose ideas help to shape the debate over public policy issues for the next decade. In 2012, he was named by a Georgetown University publication as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. In 2010, Arabian Business ranked him as 39th in the Arabian Business Power 100 list, its annual listing of the most influential Arabs. In 2015, Los Angeles Times listed Awad as one of the new civil rights leaders: emerging voices in the 21st century.
Awad has also been frequently interviewed on national and international media such as CNN, Fox, MSNBC, PBS, C-SPAN, Al-Jazeera, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, National Public Radio and BBC World Service.