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IJMA3 USA Board of Directors Biographies

IJMA3 USA Board of Directors Biographies


IJMA3 USA Board of Directors

 Nizar Zakka, Board President

Mr. Nizar Zakka is a Lebanese national educated in the USA at University of Texas, where he graduated in 1989 with dual degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics, and in 1991 with an M.S. in Computer Science. In Lebanon, he has founded several information and communications technology solutions and e-business solution companies.  He has served as advisor to numerous public and private sector ICT initiatives in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East.  In 1996, Mr. Zakka joined the Professional Computer Association of Lebanon (PCA) as a Board Member, where he led community-based initiatives bridging the digital divide and promoted the Lebanese ICT sector in domestic, regional and international markets. In 2002, he was appointed CEO of the PCA, where he was responsible for all business and community initiatives involving the Lebanese ICT industry.  In 2005, Mr. Zakka founded and became Secretary General of IJMA3 – The Arab ICT Organization (IJMA3) and, in 2010, established IJMA3-USA as a sister organization in the U.S.  Mr. Zakka also serves as Vice Chairman of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), a consortium of over 70 ICT industry associations from economies around the world and whose members represent over 90 percent of the world ICT market. In addition to his critical work in the MENA region, Mr. Zakka has extensive global experience in leading ICT for development efforts, including programs in Iran, Armenia, Pakistan, and India, among others. 

 David Holdridge

David has 30 years of experience initiating and providing executive leadership in non-governmental, humanitarian organizations in various countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States. He served in Iraq as Mercy Corps' Chief of Party for the Community Action Program from September of 2003 to 2005. From 2005 to 2009, he was Regional Director for Mercy Corps' Middle East programs, responsible for the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria. During those years, David and his team were among the few American civilians in Iraq to live outside the Green Zone. He managed hundreds of millions of dollars of development funds from various bilateral donors, including the US Agency for International Development, the U.S. State Department, the European Union, the UK's DFID, and a range of foundations and private donors. Prior to his term with Mercy Corps, David held a series of leadership positions with Catholic Relief Services and the Vietnam Veterans for America Foundation. David served in Vietnam in 1969 as a Platoon leader.

Since his return to the United States in 2009, David regularly speaks to federal officials, business leaders, community groups, and development practitioners on American engagement with Iraq and the greater Middle East, and has received particular renown for his first-hand knowledge of how foreign assistance has impacted local civilians. As President of Bridging the Divide, he has dedicated himself to the system-level reform of American foreign assistance, leading the development of a new model of “citizen-owned” foreign assistance that uses communications technology to cut wasteful spending, increase local ownership, and enhance public awareness of global issues. David also provides consulting services to business leaders on corporate social responsibility in the Middle East. He has been featured on national television news outlets and print publications for his work, most notably CNN, POLITICO, Charlie Rose, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

 Karen Doyle Grossman

Karen Doyle Grossman is Vice President, Institutional Advancement at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, a $36 million educational nonprofit serving 45,000 people per year.  From 2006-2011, Karen was the Vice President, Social Innovations at Mercy Corps, a $300 million international organization operating in 41 countries.  In this role, Karen created and directed Mercy Corps’ work to advance highly scalable, double bottom line solutions.  By leveraging the agency’s focus on community-led, market-driven programming and nearly 4,000 staff, the Social Innovations function will double the agency’s overall reach by 2014.  Previously, in the mid to late 1990’s, Karen launched Mercy Corps’ global economic development work specializing in transitional and conflict-affected environments.

As a program and executive director at the Aspen Institute from 1998 to 2002, Karen launched the Institute’s Young Leadership Initiative for executives under the age of 45.  She also managed the Socrates Society, a Silicon Valley-based seminar and policy program for primarily technology sector and social entrepreneurs.  Karen was an associate director for the Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program, leading multi-year initiatives to document, evaluate and fund innovative anti-poverty strategies in the United States.  Also in that role, Karen founded MicroMentor (www.micromentor.org), an online mentoring and business support network for emerging entrepreneurs.  She grew the MicroTest network, a performance and outcomes measurement system and training collaboration, from 13 to 85 organizations in 18 months.

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