2020 Annual Dinner
American Task Force for Lebanon
The American Task Force for Lebanon is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization of prominent Americans of Lebanese heritage, who work to strengthen the historic U.S.-Lebanon relationship. The mission and objectives of ATFL are always in the best interests of the United States, and promote the national unity, independence, and prosperity of a democratic and multi-sectarian Lebanon.
Issam M. Fares
International Leadership Award...
...recognizes an individual of Lebanese heritage for exceptional achievement in business public service and philanthropy. It is named for Issam M. Fares, the former deputy prime minister of Lebanon, successful industrialist and global philanthropist.
H.E. Nayla Moawad
President, René Moawad Foundation
H.E. Nayla Moawad is the founder and president of the Rene Moawad Foundation in Lebanon and honorary chairwoman of the Rene Moawad foundation USA. As the widow of the assassinated president of Lebanon, Rene Moawad, she sought to honor her husband’s legacy of promoting peace and social justice by founding the Rene Moawad Foundation 1991. She has succeeded in taking this organization from a small charity to a multifaceted developmental organization. The Rene Moawad Foundation enjoys broad international and U.S support for its efforts to promote sustainable human development in Lebanon
From 1962 to 1965, Mrs. Moawad worked as a journalist for the daily newspaper, L’Orient. In 1965, she married Lebanese Member of Parliament Rene Moawad. Her husband was assassinated in 1989, two months after being elected president of Lebanon. In 1991, Nayla Moawad started her political career as a member of parliament, and in 2005, she was appointed Minister of Social Affairs/ During her decades-long career as a politician, she has campaigned for women’s and children’s rights and has opposed political corruption, serving on numerous parliamentary committees, specializing in finance, children’s rights and education. Mrs. Moawad has worked to pass important legislation affecting the lives of children, including a law that increased the minimum age of employment from 8 to 14 years old and a law that made basic education compulsory and free of charge. She is a founding member of several political groups like Kornet Chehwane and the Democratic Forum.
Nayla Moawad was born Nayla Issa El-Kouri in Bsharri, Lebanon. She graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a B.A. in French literature and history. She later studied English at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. Mrs. Moawad has a daughter, Rima and a son, Michel. Rima earned her LLM from Harvard University and is an attorney at law at Proskauer Rose in New York. Michel is currently a member of the Lebanese Parliament and Director of the Rene Moawad Foundation.
Ray R. Irani
Lifetime Achievement Award...
...recognizes exceptional professional and personal achievement. It is named after Dr. Ray R. Irani, a founder of the American Task Force for Lebanon. During his remarkable 30-year career with Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Irani attained the positions of chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.
Vice President & Co-Founder, Ahmar Investment Inc.
Mohamad "Mike" Ahmar
President, Ahmar Investment Inc.
Hania Ahmar established the Ahmar Family Foundation with her husband, Mike, in 1999 to support educational and charitable projects, with a focus on serving Lebanese communities across the United States. Currently, Mrs. Ahmar is the Vice President and Co-founder of Ahmar Investment Inc., a real estate development company, where she is responsible for the accounting, financial, and the design development aspects of the company’s real estate portfolio, which includes Medical Office, Industrial Office, and Multi-family projects. Mrs. Ahmar is also a licensed California Broker, as well as a Lecturer at Chapman University School of Business and Economics. Hania and Mike are active in the community and support various charitable causes and organizations, especially the Lebanese community in Southern California.
Mohamed “Mike” Ahmar established the Ahmar Family Foundation with his wife, Hania, in 1999. The foundation is a non-profit organization that supports educational and charitable projects. Mr. Ahmar’s philanthropic undertakings have been made possible by his successful career. He founded ICG in 1985, a company that was twice listed as one of the 500 fastest growing US companies by Inc. Magazine, and is currently the President of Ahmar Investment Inc., a real estate development company. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Partners Bank of California. His passion for serving the Lebanese community has been widely recognized, and he has been instrumental in sustaining multiple community and educational organizations. Since 2018, Mr. Ahmar has also been the Chairman of the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation. Under his leadership, the LAFD Foundation increased its fundraising by over $10 million to help LA firefighters meet their top equipment and program priorities and aid in their fight against the devastating 2018 and 2019 California wildfires.
Mr. Ahmar is also a member of the following boards: Cedars-Sinai Board of Directors. Member of the Executive Committee. | American Task Force for Lebanon. Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee | Lebanese American University (LAU). | USC Marshall School of Business, Board of Leaders. | Chapman University, Board of Counselors. | Co-Chairman, The Lebanese American Foundation (House Of Lebanon). | Friends of the Lebanese Academy of Science (FLAS).
Philip C. Habib
Award for Distinguished Public Service
...recognizes exceptional achievement in public service. It is named for The Honorable Philip C. Habib, who was described by The New York Times as the “outstanding professional diplomat of his generation in the United States” upon his death in 1992. In 2006, Ambassador Habib was one of six historic diplomats honored with his own postage stamp.
The Hon. Elizabeth H. Richard
Former US Ambassador to Lebanon
Elizabeth Richard was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 17, 2016, as the U.S. Ambassador to the Lebanese Republic. She most recently served for nearly three years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for U.S. Assistance. Prior to holding this position, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Sanaa, Yemen, from 2010 to 2013. She is a career foreign service officer, with 30 years of service.
From 2008 to 2010, Ms. Richard was the Border Coordinator in Islamabad, Pakistan, where she maintained oversight of all U.S. programs along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan to ensure that U.S. efforts were synchronized across both regions.
Her previous assignments included a year as director of counter narcotics and civilian police training programs in Afghanistan, two years as deputy to the special Ambassador for War Crimes issues, where she worked on Guantanamo bay issues and on U.S. support for international war crimes tribunals, and a year as special assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, where her responsibilities included non-proliferation and political-military issues. Her other overseas assignments included Rome, Italy, where she worked for one year in the Italian Foreign Ministry and then joined the U.S. Embassy. She also served in Bangkok, Thailand, where she was special assistant to the Ambassador.
Ambassador Richard is a graduate of the National War College in Washington DC, and of the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy. She has a law degree from Southern Methodist University and practiced admiralty law in Texas before joining the Foreign Service.
..."Like a missile piercing the air the voice of Lebanese-born opera singer Amine Hachem propels him to the top of his profession." (Al-Mohajer/The Emigrant)
Lebanese Opera Singer
Dubbed as “a soulful and handsome young man who delivers an electrifying and thrilling performance, bringing the crowd to their feet” (An-Nahar), Amine J. Hachem is a Lebanese-American operatic and crossover tenor who has captivated audiences across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He has been a leading tenor in several operas and musicals, including La Traviata, Tosca, La Bohème, Carmen, I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata, Madama Butterfly, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Amine has also shared his talent supporting various charitable causes and service organizations worldwide, including SOS Children’s Villages, Caritas Internationalis, Red Cross, Rotary International, Lion’s Club, and St. George’s Hospital. He was the featured performer at the St. Jude Hope and Heritage Gala, 2014 premier New York fundraising event for the renowned St. Jude’s Hospital. He sang in the summer series festival (June, 2014) at the Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC. Honors were bestowed upon him the summer of 2011 with a trophy of recognition from the Lebanese Navy in gratitude for his musical performances and love of cultural heritage. Additionally, he had the privilege to sing before the President of Lebanon and the King and Queen of Jordan.
2401 M Street NW | Washington, DC 20037
Group Code Expires March 8, 2020