Staff

Director of Operations
Suzanne Meriden 

Suzanne is the Director of Operations for SAC where she manages SAC’s day to day operations with focus on chapter development, coalition building, and fundraising. She has been a member of SAC since 2013, and was most recently the Government Relations Chair for SAC-LA where she successfully lobbied Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, for a hearing on the Assad regime’s chemical weapons attacks in June 2015. Prior to her work at SAC, Suzanne held multiple retail corporate operations management positions with reputable U.S. retail company. She is fluent in English, French, Arabic. Suzanne holds a BA in international Business from California State University.

Director of Government Relations, Senior Political Adviser, and Strategist
Mohammed Alaa Ghanem
Mohammed Alaa Ghanem is the Senior Political Adviser, Government Relations Director, and Strategist for the Syrian American Council in Washington D.C. He previously served as a professor at the University of Damascus, and has been involved in the Syrian Revolution since its early days as a peaceful protest movement. His work connects U.S. policy-makers and the Syrian-American community with the revolution inside Syria. Utilizing his extensive network of contacts at all levels of the Syrian opposition, he frequently travels to the liberated parts of Syria, participates in international conferences on Syria, and advises local administrative councils in liberated areas on international relations. In early 2013, he participated in monitoring the elections of the first democratically elected government in Aleppo. Ghanem is also an Atlantic Council Millennium Fellow and a Fellow at the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Politico, the Hill, the New York Post, the Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, the Washington Examiner, Syria Deeply, and the Atlantic Council MENASource.  He holds a master’s degree in peace-building and conflict transformation.
Policy and Advocacy officer
Shlomo Bolts
Shlomo is the Policy and Advocacy Officer at SAC where he prepares analysis and presentations regarding the ground situation inside Syria to facilitate policy papers, reports, op-eds and briefings with senior officials in the government and Congress.

Shlomo has been a part of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria since September 2012, when he joined the Syrian Expatriates' Organization as a Policy Fellow. Before that, he interned at International Institute for Strategic Studies and at Project on Middle East Democracy. He has also consulted for Uri L'Tzedek, a Jewish social justice group.

Shlomo has a B.A. from Columbia University in Political Science and Sociology, and an MPhil in Modern Society and Global Transformations from Cambridge University. He has been an activist for human rights, atrocities prevention and Jewish-Arab dialogue for nearly 10 years. He is also the cofounder of Jews for Human Rights in Syria. He has ancestry from the Jewish communities of Aleppo, Syria.

 

Government Relations officer

Chad Brand

Chad is government relations officer at SAC where he assists the government relations team with research in advocacy focused on Congress. Chad has over two decades of experience monitoring Congress as a staffer at LegiStorm, Gallery Watch, and Congressional Quarterly. He holds a Masters in International Affairs from American University.

Outreach and In-District Advocacy
Omar Hossino
Omar is a director of outreach and in-district advocacy where he focuses on organizing grassroots advocacy and strategic coalition building with think tanks, advocacy organizations, and other groups. He has a J.D. from Catholic University in law and a M.A. in Foreign Policy from American University. He has worked as a researcher for the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and published policy analysis in Foreign Policy, the Atlantic Council, Carnegie, the Henry Jackson Society, and other think tanks.