Arab American Women on the list of 100 Most Influential Women 2016
BY: Nisreen Eadeh/Staff Writer
This week, Crain’s Detroit Business published their annual list of the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan for 2016. Those one the list are leaders in business, civil service, academia, medicine, and nonprofits. This year, three Arab American women were placed on Crain’s list for their distinguished careers in the fields of commerce, researcg, and engineering.
Kouhaila “Ki” Hammer is the CEO and President of of Ghafari Associates, a leading architecture, engineering, and consulting firm based in Dearborn, Michigan. With offices in South America, the Middle East, and South Asia, Hammer has been an integral contributor to the expansion of Ghafari Associates. Hammer moved to the U.S. from Lebanon when she was ten years old and did not know any English. Today, she employes over 500 people and reported $118 million in profits last year. Hammer says she would like to see more women in the engineering world, as well as in leadership positions on the business side of engineering.
Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D. has risen to national recognition as the “whistleblower” for the Flint Water Crisis. As a pediatrician, her research found that 8,000 to 10,000 children in Flint have been exposed to lead through Flint water. Her work got her put on the list Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2016. Hanna-Attisha says her mother was the best role model for her growing up because she encouraged Mona to pursue whatever she wanted, regardless of whether or not women were in the field. She hopes to inspire other women to set high career goals, has doubled the number of women working in her pediatric faculty, and hopes to help more children live healthier lives in the future.
Fay Beydoun is the Exexutice Director of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce in Dearborn, Michigan. She has helped the Chamber rise from about 650 members to over 1,200 members in recent years. She has also raised over $10 million throughout her career to help nonprofits achieve their goals and is extremely well connected with big, international businesses not only in Michigan, but across the world. Beydoun is also a leader in local and state politics, where she resides as the third vice chair for the Michigan Democratic Party. Beydoun often mentors young professional women to help them have the confidence to lead wherever they go, especially in male-dominated settings where women’s voices may be lacking.