Nadia Murad founded Nadia’s Initiative with support from the Yazda Board of Directors and Mr Murad Ismael, Executive Director of Yazda, as well as from Elizabeth Bohart and Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown, experienced strategy, development and communications consultants. Yazda is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Yazidi community in the aftermath of the genocide committed by ISIS.
Murad Ismael is Yazda’s Co-founder and Executive Director. Mr Ismael is one of founders and principal member of Sinjar Crisis Management Team (SCMT), an advocacy group that was formed in the aftermath of August 2014 attack to track the fate of Yazidi hostages and advocate for their freedom. Mr Ismael was a member of various Yazidi delegations to Washington and serves on the board of the Nineveh Council of America advocacy group. He worked with his colleagues in the SCMT and Yazda to write numerous reports on Yazidi women and children in captivity and met high ranking officials to advocate for action. Mr Ismael’s motivation is to help remaining Yazidi hostages to be freed, support genocide victims, and raise awareness of the need for protection of all vulnerable minorities. He has been managing Nadia’s campaign since its inception in December 2015. Mr Ismael was born in Sinjar, Iraq and completed his MS in Geophysics and Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston and Norwich University, respectively. When the genocide began, he left his job as a geophysicist and began working full-time to advocate for the rights of victims of genocide and sexual slavery.
Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown
Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown is an expert in developing multi-media communications and partnerships addressing global issues. She is the co-founder of Uncommon Union, which is committed to raising the profile of courageous leaders driving change in their industries. In 2015, she traveled to Iraq to help Nadia and Yazda bring a case against ISIS for genocide crimes to the ICC, with board advisors Luis Moreno Ocampo and Kerry Propper.
Luis Moreno Ocampo
Luis Moreno Ocampo was the first Chief Prosecutor of the permanent International Criminal Court, based at The Hague. His office was involved in twenty of the most serious crises of the 21st century including Iraq, Korea, Afghanistan, and Palestine. He conducted investigations in seven different countries including Libya and Sudan. The World Bank has also appointed him to lead an expert panel to examine an alleged corruption conspiracy related to a $3 billion project in Bangladesh.
Kerry Propper is the Co-founder and Non-executive Chairman of Chardan Capital Markets, a boutique New York based investment bank, as well as a Founder and Managing Partner of ATW Partners, a Private Equity fund based in NY. Mr. Propper serves on the executive board of Voices of Rwanda, a non-profit organization dedicated to filming and preserving the testimony of survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. He is also co-founder and board member of the Watchers of the Sky Initiative, a non-profit focused on education, advocacy and activism around genocide related issues.
Elizabeth Bohart is a social impact strategist who helps organizations build innovative, community-driven initiatives. Through her work with the Watchers of the Sky Initiative, Ms Bohart aims to provide holistic support to marginalized communities and create an understanding of how individuals can be active change-makers.
Abid Shamden is the co-founder & director of government relation at Yazda.