CEO of MLFA
Arshia Ali-Khan

Muslim Legal Fund of America
Announcement of CEO
Press Release
June 17, 2022

Muslim Legal Fund of America Appoints
Arshia Ali-Khan as the Chief Executive Officer  

 June 17, 2022 – Richardson, TX: Dr. Hatem Bazian, Interim Chair of the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) Board of Directors has announced today the appointment of Arshia Ali-Khan to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “In Arshia Ali-Khan our board recognizes a proven leader who has already brought an abundance of capacity-building best practices to MLFA and holds a vision for expanding MLFA’s influence and effectiveness in service of setting precedent in national security rights on behalf of Muslim-Americans,” said Dr. Bazian. 

In her service as Interim CEO during the past two years through the pandemic, Ms. Ali-Khan effectively established greater efficiency, transparency, accountability, and integrity within MLFA. The organization achieved significant advances in sustainable growth, diversified funding, and programs in the service of MLFA’s mission. “Arshia has a strong internal compass for managing complex challenges, and her true north is the rightness of the world and the justice that every Muslim American is entitled to,” said John Davidoff, MLFA Board Advisor.

Under Ali-Khan’s leadership, on November 3, 2021, MLFA commemorated its 20 years of service through a national symposium called “Citizens on Probation”, referencing the historical experience of minorities in the United States who experience their rights not as granted but as contingent on “good behavior”. Thought leaders, as well as scholars in national security, civil rights, and the American Muslim community, reflected on the experiences and lessons learned since 9/11, with the objective of charting a course for our future as a leading American organization and as a community. 

In an effort to strengthen and protect the Muslim nonprofit community, Arshia Ali-Khan envisioned and spearheaded a five-year partnership with Indiana University to launch the MLFA-funded Ihsan standard, a legal and research project dedicated to leadership excellence among minority-led and Muslim American nonprofits. The program aims to encourage effective organizational decisions that benefit programs and clients, to support operations within legal parameters and reduce scrutiny, and to promote community confidence in nonprofit organizations. To achieve these goals, the Ihsan standard provides nonprofit legal screenings to assess the legal health of an organization. 

Ms. Ali-Khan will continue to build a strong foundation for MLFA by initiating a merger between MLFA and the MLFA-funded Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in American (CLCMA). Under her leadership, MLFA will also grow as the National Security Hub for Muslims in the United States. We will work to amplify the effect of impact litigation through immigration case work, civil rights litigation, criminal defense, and peer partnerships. Upcoming events include an experiential symposium on issues facing Muslims in this country, as well as educational opportunities for organizations and individuals. 

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About Arshia Ali Khan

Ms. Ali-Khan joined MLFA in August of 2018 as the organization’s first Chief Development Officer. On May 20, 2020, she was appointed as the Interim CEO to provide leadership and strategic oversight during MLFA’s implementation of its plan to enhance organizational efficiency, infrastructure, and capacity to meet the demands of its mission. Ms. Ali-Khan continued to serve as MLFA’s Chief Development Officer, bringing over 17 years of experience in development, fundraising, and nonprofit transformation and leadership. As Interim CEO, her primary focus was for the organization to achieve nonprofit best practices in the service of its mission – to advance equality and justice for American Muslim organizations and individuals by combating the injustices done in the name of national security. 

Arshia Ali-Khan was chosen as one of eighteen nonprofit leaders in the world to join the first cohort of the Muslim Philanthropy and Humanitarian Studies Fellowship at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (IULSP). After completing her fellowship in the summer of 2021, Ms. Ali-Khan went on to pursue her Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Philanthropic Studies also from (IULSP) and is positioned to graduate in August 2022. She is also the current apppointed Chair of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition (The Coaltion), a partnership of activists, influencers, and organizations who amplifies social and civic efforts with diverse and underrepresented races, faiths, and communities that drive us towards Equity and Civic Justice.

About MLFA

Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is a 501(C)(3) organization that funds legal work and develops programs to defend against injustice where it is in the interest of the greater Muslim community. We are the only national, tax-exempt, nonprofit legal fund dedicated to defending Muslims’ civil rights and liberties all the way up to the federal level. Our mission is to advance equality and justice for American Muslim organizations and individuals by promoting legal compliance and protecting their rights in matters concerning national security law. MLFA believes that if Muslim individuals, families, and organizations know their legal and civil rights, there will be less injustice because of their beliefs and fewer violations of their civil liberties. Through its work, MLFA is committed to realizing the vision of an America in which constitutional rights and liberties are upheld equally for all, regardless of religion, ethnicity or cultural heritage.  

Arshia Ali-Khan, CEO of MLFA | arshia.ali.khan@mlfa.org

JUSTICE | COURAGE | EXCELLENCE | ACCOUNTABILITY | COMMUNITY