Who We Are

Shahed Amanullah, Treasurer

Shahed Amanullah currently serves as Global VP of Customer Experience at growth strategy & research consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. He concurrently serves as Managing Director of Frost Capital, a Palo Alto-based private equity fund manager and investment advisor. He also co-founded Affinis Labs, an award-winning social innovation firm tackling complex global challenges through entrepreneurship that was acquired by Frost Capital in 2019. Shahed also co-founded Zakatify, a social impact fintech startup in partnership with the PayPal Giving Fund. 

From 2011-2014, Shahed served in President Barack Obama’s administration as Senior Advisor for Technology at the US Department of State, working under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on entrepreneurship & technology initiatives. In 1998, he created Zabihah, the world's first global Halal restaurant guide, and also founded Altmuslim, an online magazine with 2.5 million annual unique users, and served as its editor-in-chief for 10 years before its 2011 acquisition. He has been named as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world (2009 through 2011), one of the 500 most influential entrepreneurs in the global Islamic economy (2015 through 2019), one of Islamica Magazine’s Top 10 Most Visionary Young Muslims (2007), and the winner of the SXSW Community Service Award (2007). 

Sarah Basha, President & Co-Founder 

Sarah Basha is a Management Consultant and Certified Mediator, with more than 14 years of management experience in business process engineering and program management. As the CEO of a Women Owned Small Business and Co-Founder of oneblue.org, Sarah provides mediation services to clients across the US and assists both professional workplaces and community-based organizations with alternative dispute resolution techniques and facilitative team building strategies for better business and social outcomes.

Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and a certification in Mediation from the Northern Virginia Mediation Services (NVMS), an affiliate of George Mason University’s Carter School of Peace and Conflict Resolution. She is also a SCHEV (State Council of Higher Education for Virginia) licensed instructor who teaches executive courses in Conflict Resolution in the Workplace.

Sarah has an extensive and continuous record of serving on nonprofit boards where she advises on strategy and execution of programs. She is fluent in Urdu, Hindi, and intermediate Arabic and has a multicultural background, which allows her to meet the needs of diverse client communities.

Erin Fisher, Program Director

With over 20 years of expertise in mediation, leadership coaching, and effective communication, Erin Fisher excels in fostering operational success within businesses of all sizes. Her focus lies in enhancing team dynamics, managing change effectively, and bridging cultural gaps in the workplace. Her vast experience, including nearly two decades supporting the Department of State, enables her to help corporate clients navigate the challenges of a diverse workplace. Erin's travels across the globe have honed her understanding and appreciation of cultural differences, enriching her approach to communication strategies and leadership coaching. Her unbiased and open-minded perspective, combined with her ability to foster strong relationships, set her apart in her field.

Erin holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communication from West Virginia University and an Executive Certification in Advanced Negotiation from the University of Notre Dame. This unique educational background endows her with a deep understanding of personal and workplace dynamics and the emotions that can arise during times of change or uncertainty. In her work with private clients, Erin recognizes the multitude of responsibilities her clients may be juggling alongside the complexities of their professional roles. Her empathetic and compassionate approach helps clients navigate these challenges, ultimately leading them toward a more productive and harmonious workplace environment.

Andrew Morton, Counsel 

Based in Washington, DC, Andrew Morton leads clients in the development and execution of public policy efforts, ranging from organizing and overseeing witness appearances before congressional committees, to arranging targeted private meetings with key members of US Congress and the Administration. Leveraging his depth of experience and relationships within political circles, Hollywood and professional sports, he helps clients develop a legislative advocacy strategy and integrate public policy into their long-term business planning.

Andrew Co-Founded the Alliance to Stop Slavery & End Trafficking (ASSET) along with award-winning actress and philanthropist Julia Ormond, , and serves on the Board of Managers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Law Alumni Society, as well as the Advisory Board for the Penn Law Public Service Program. The D.C. Bar Association has honored Andrew as Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, and he has also received the Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award from the Legal Aid Society. Penn Law has awarded Andrew the Alumni Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the development of law and the legal profession, as well as the Benjamin R. Jones Award for Law and Humanity, the Law School’s most prestigious public interest recognition. Andrew has been peer-selected as a Leading Lawyer annually since 2017.

Barbara Petzen, Executive Director

Barbara Petzen is director of training initiatives with the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy at CSIS. In this role, she designs and delivers executive education and other training programs with a focus on experiential learning in leadership, communication, innovation, negotiation, temperament assessment, career development, and geopolitics. Barbara is also director of Middle East Connections, a not-for-profit initiative specializing in professional development and curriculum development on the Middle East and global education for American educators. 

Ms. Petzen earned an Ed.M. in learning design and leadership at the University of Illinois, a B.A. in international politics and Middle Eastern studies at Columbia College and a second honors B.A. as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University in Oriental studies. Her academic interests include Ottoman and Middle Eastern history, the history and present concerns of women in the Middle East and Muslim communities, the role of Islam in Middle Eastern and other societies, relations and perceptions between Muslim societies and the West, the necessity to globalize K-12 education, best practices in diversity and inclusion, and technology-enhanced education.