Inspirational People: World-renowned Scholar and CEO, Dalia Mogahed
Dalia Mogahed is an American scholar, originally from Egypt. She was born in Egypt and she moved to America when she was aged four. From the University of Wisconsin, she achieved a degree in Chemical Engineering with Arabic. She then began working as a Marketing Products Researcher for Procter & Gamble. She went on to achieve an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.
Mogahed is the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) in Washington D.C. The institute provides objective research and education about American Muslims to support well-informed dialogue and decision-making. She is also President and CEO of Mogahed Consulting, a consulting firm that focuses on leadership development and the Middle East.
She was also chosen by President Obama to be an Advisor to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships. The Office’s purpose was to improve the link between federal government and non-profit organisations, and help people in need.
Mogahed was labelled by Arabian Business magazine as one of the most influential Arab women. The magazine is a resource for the Middle Eastern region, providing news and various other features.
She was included in the list of 500 most influential Muslims, by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. The Centre is an independent research entity affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, which is an international Islamic non-governmental and independent institute.
In 2010, Mogahed was titled the Arab World’s Social Innovator of the Year by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Ashoka is an organisation that identifies and supports social entrepreneurs. They focus on implementing specific ways of helping people manage the changing nature of the society and world, working to equip people with useful leadership skills. The organisation has programmes in over 90 countries.
Mogahed was honoured with the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association’s “Forward Under 40” award. She was given the award for outstanding contributions as a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
She and John Esposito wrote ‘Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think’, a book which carries six years of research and over fifty-thousand interviews. The research and interviews represented Muslims in over thirty-five majority-Muslim countries. Their work was the largest and most rigorous study of its kind, as it represented over ninety percent of the total global population of Muslims.
The documentary titled ‘Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think (2010)’ was based on the book, and Mogahed commentated in the documentary, which won many awards. Her analysis also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard International Review, and many other renown journals.
The Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and the Antiracist Research and Policy Centre at American University created a list in 2019 titled ‘200 people who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass, one of the most influential figures in history’. The list was created in collaboration with The Guardian, and Mogahed was included in the list.
Dalia Mogahed is undoubtedly a committed and hardworking person – an inspiration to us all. Her work shows just how much can be achieved through determination and perseverance.