About us

About AMPA

Mission:

The Association of Moroccan Professionals in America (AMPA) is a non-profit organization established to promote networking between experienced, successful, and active Moroccan professionals in the United States of America.

Our goal is to provide our members with a comprehensive platform where they can easily share their knowledge and contacts to advance social and professional development.

Goals:

  • Develop and maintain a strong network of Moroccan professionals in the U.S.
  • Promote bilateral commercial exchanges between the U.S. and Morocco
  • Develop strategic alliances both in Morocco and the U.S.
  • Provide members with opportunities to leverage the AMPA platform for professional development
  • Promote community service and education initiatives in Morocco

AMPA Management Teams

AMPA Managment Teams 

Management Teams:

Chaouki ZahzahPresident
Meryem El HouadfiTreasurer
Kamal TabineVP of Government Relations
Hicham JorioAdvisor for Strategic Partnerships and Sponsorships
Lina AlaouiVP of Membership
Omar LaalejVP of Career Development
Mehdi EL HajouiVP of Speaker Engagement

» Communication:

Elisabeth MyersCommunication Advisor
Loubna KadiriVP of Digital Media and Marketing
Rajaa GrarVP of Marketing

» Technology:

Ali BenmoussaVP of Technology
Sinan MoulineTechnology Project Manager

» Events:

Mehdi MenouarVP of events
Said BelmlihEvents Project Manager
AMPA Managment Teams 

Board Members Team:

Khalil Jai Hokimi
Omar Tazi
Aly Horma
Faiza Laghrari
Rym Fizazi
Mehdi Bousfiha
Hicham Kabbaj
Yassir Abouselham

Management Team Biographies

Chaouki Zahzah

Chaouki Zahzah

President

Chaouki Zahzah has been involved with AMPA for the last 7 years; first as a member, then as an active volunteer in the San Francisco Bay Area before joining the previous management team in the capacity of VP of communication. Chaouki is currently managing the Customer Top Tier program for SAP consisting of fortune 100 companies. He also acts as an adviser to a number of companies responsible for strategic direction.

Chaouki has over 14 years' experience in customer management, customer advisory, strategic direction and business development. After finishing "Les Classes Preparatoires" in Rabat, he joined the "Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble" in France. Before coming to the US, he worked for France Telecom, TRW before joining Business Objects in Paris. He was then transferred to Atlanta to manage the east coast support operations. He was then transferred to San Jose - California to manage the North America Support operations, a total of 60 people across 4 different locations both in the US and Canada. He was awarded the certificate of excellence multiple times during his tenure with SAP.

Chaouki resides in the Silicon Valley - California. In his free time, Chaouki enjoys soccer, windsurfing and horseback riding. Chaouki is also the marketing director for both the California De Anza Youth Soccer League as well as GiveLight Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian relief organization seeking to create durable orphanages in response to natural disasters and extreme conditions.

Meryem EL Houadfi

Meryem EL Houadfi

Treasurer

Meryem EL Houadfi is a US based Moroccan professional, she is currently a senior financial analyst at Apple focusing on the WW Online store activities. Prior to moving to the US she held different FP&A positions at Apple in France and the UK in the last 7 Years.

Meryem holds a Master in Management from Skema Business School in Sophia Antipolis, France in addition to accounting certifications. She is tri-lingual in English, French, and Arabic.

In her spare time she enjoys hiking, running, traveling and trying new cuisines.

Meryem EL Houadfi

Kamal Tabine

VP of Government Relations

Kamal Tabine is currently serving as the International Program Director for the American University of Leadership in Rabat, Morocco. Prior to this he has worked as a Modern Standard Arabic instructor, program coordinator and curriculum development specialist with over seventeen years of teaching experience (in Arabic, French and ESL), over 250 credit hours taught with college level institutions and over 150 published lessons. He is an expert in multi-media curriculum design, classroom management and testing design. He has strong experience in the principles, practices, and techniques of language instruction and training of trainers for language education.

Kamal is an activist for language education and works hard to promote Moroccan Arabic and the Moroccan culture in America and to the youth of the Moroccan Diaspora. A natural linguist, Kamal in conversant in seven languages.

Kamal is also the CEO and Founder of TLS (Tabine Language Solutions), a consulting company that provides Linguistic and cultural training to both government as well as the private sectors.

Kamal is a frequent speaker at language education conferences and forums and has presented on such diverse topics as integrating instructional video lessons into the curriculum, and the use of culture as a learning motivator in the foreign language classroom. Kamal has received the Graduate Schools’ Excellency Teaching Award in 2011, and in 2015 he also received George Mason University’s Excellency Teaching Award.

Kamal considers himself a cultural ambassador and has expertise enhancing classroom learning with extracurricular experiences in art and culture themed events. Kamal believes that youth involvement can benefit organizations and their programs as well as the youth themselves. That is why Kamal is currently working on a project with a professional team to help young Moroccans play a crucial part in the Moroccan community development.

Meryem EL Houadfi

Hicham Jorio

Advisor for Strategic Partnerships and Sponsorships

Global strategic leader and thinker, who believes that technology will help to unlock human potential around

the world. Hicham is responsible for representing large and small corporations and key partners both across North America, Middle East and Africa.

Hicham Jorio joined Integrated Devices Technology in 1996 in California where he hold different leadership positions. He received the President's Award for Excellence in 1998. Following these achievements, Hicham assumed the role of Director of Channel in Qwest and Expedia from 2004 to 2012.

Hicham joined Pragma Group as managing director after serving in different advisory boards of several Startups in the field of Media, Healthcare, Sustainable Food Production and Education. He is involved in his advisory capacity in different projects of Ustream, Excitem, Clinovo, iLookTV, TVInteract, EmpoweredU, Ecopia, Satellite Broadband Holding, BioXpetz, and Shansea.

He is well regarded speaker at Monterey Institute of International Studies, Stanford, Silicon Valley Startup: Idea to IPO, Startups, Plug and Play, Silicon Valley Nest events . Jan is popular coach and mentor of start-ups at SV forums.

Born in 1974, Hicham Jorio grew up in Rabat Morocco. He received a Electrical Engineering degree from the San Jose State University and later on completed Masters and executive development programs at Santa Clara University and Stanford.

Elisabeth Myers

Elisabeth Myers

Communication Advisor

Elisabeth R. Myers, a Washington lawyer with more than 20 years experience in large law firms, is the founding principal of Myers Energy International, an independent energy law and policy, litigation and consulting practice. Myers Energy International represents businesses and stakeholders primarily in the oil and gas industry. The firm also provides advice and training on various regulatory and related transactional matters and advises companies on pipeline safety compliance issues under the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration regulations.

In addition to her energy expertise, Elisabeth is the CEO of Andalusia Trade International, LLC, a company formed to facilitate trade between the U.S. and Morocco. Elisabeth is also a founding member of the Middle East and North Africa Consultants Association (MENACA). She chairs the Coordinating Council for MENACA's Women's Entrepreneur Initiative, a new business leadership program designed to provide business opportunities for current and aspiring women entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa. Elisabeth also serves as an Editor for Morocco World News.

In addition to her law practice and her journalistic and business endeavors, Elisabeth is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the American University's Washington College of Law.

Elisabeth graduated summa cum laude from Hunter College of the City University of New York and received her Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law at American University.

Loubna Kadiri

Loubna Kadiri

VP of Digital Media and Marketing

Born in Fez, Morocco, Loubna arrived to the United States in 1994 as an exchange student. Being of linguistics major, she decided to shift gears and applied to a Masters program in Media Studies and Communications at Hunter College, New York City. Soon after she graduated, she held positions as a digital communication specialist and several managerial roles in Digital Sales & Marketing with reputable media and news organizations like Comcast's E! Networks, ABC Television Networks, Scripps Networks, Undertone & X+1. She currently works at Purch; a premier publisher of Technology and Science sites, where she oversees digital media operations for North East US and Canada. A specialist in digital & programmatic communications, Loubna has a strong knowledge of the digital ecosystem; she is a Senior digital media executive with solid sales and marketing experience across multiple platforms namely online, mobile & tablet where she has served clients & brands nationally and internationally.

Loubna has earned an MA in Marketing and Advertising as a graduate of Hunter College in Manhattan where she currently works and resides with her 5 year old daughter. In addition to being an accomplished Digital expert and strategist, Loubna is also an avid Yogi and long distance runner.

Rajaa Grar

Rajaa Grar

VP of Marketing

Rajaa Grar is the Sr. Brand Manager for Multicultural Marketing at the Kellogg Company where she is responsible for all Hispanic Brand Marketing on the Cheez- it, Pringles & Frosted Flakes brands including digital strategy for the overall organization.At Kellogg, she built and launched Kellogg's first ever Hispanic Digital and Content Marketing platform, establishing Dias Grandiosos con Kellogg's as the sole Spanish digital brand presence for Kellogg's most notable brands.

Rajaa brings a breadth of global marketing experience, passion and digital/content expertise where she previously held various brand management and digital marketing positions on the Coors Light brand at Millercoors.

Prior to that, Rajaa was the Sr. director of Global marketing and Innovation at Tampico Beverages leading all international marketing and innovation efforts for the Tampico juice brand in Latin/South America, Africa and Asia. She was responsible for developing and implementing a global campaign in three continents and 47 countries and helped launched the brand in new territories such as India, Kosovo and Brazilian states of Ceara and Bahia.

Rajaa holds an MBA from Northwestern University, the Kellogg School of Management, a bachelor's degree from McGill University in Marketing and International Business and a bachelor of science (Major in Microbiology) from the University of Montreal. She has native fluency in 5 languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese and Arabic. to graduate March of 2013.

Ali Benmoussa

Ali Benmoussa

VP of Technology

Ali is a Managing Director and co-founder at Ticketwood, Inc - a ticket search engine that provides a comprehensive, fast and easy-to-use resource to find tickets to sports, concerts, and theatre events. He is responsible for business strategy, operational execution and product development vision and execution. Ali is also a co-founder at Bnet Technologies, a service provider of quality eCommerce websites, custom web/software applications and e-Business consulting in Morocco. Prior to co-founding Ticketwood, He Held positions in Tenet Healthcare, MedTech and Barry’s Tickets Service. Mr. Benmoussa received a BS in Computer Engineering and an MS in Engineering Management from California State University – Northridge. Ali was the President at IEEE – CSUN chapter, an elected member to the student government association in Alakhawayn University; he is also a member of the American Society of Quality, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Network of Arab-American Professionals. Ali enjoys watching the Los Angeles Lakers, and also is a fan of Chelsea FC. In his spare time, he likes to go see live music concerts, Travel and play soccer.

Mehdi Menouar

Mehdi Menouar

VP of Events

Mehdi Menouar is an Equity Research Junior Analyst at Bloomberg. He covers the Energy sector, with a focus on Oil & Gas in North America. Mehdi previously covered Base & Precious Metals within Bloomberg’s Equity Fundamentals group, and took part in the launch of Bloomberg Research.

Mehdi holds an MBA from the University of Tampa in Finance, and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Philadelphia University.

Lina Alaoui

Lina Alaoui

VP of Membership

Lina Alaoui is currently a senior consultant with Capgemini – a major technology consulting firm. She held several positions in various technology and strategy focused areas ranging from managing the delivery of Business Intelligence projects and leading post acquisition data migration efforts to Customer Experience and Business Support Systems strategy focused work. Most of her professional experience was in the Communications industry working for major telecommunication and cable clients.

Lina graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis on Database Systems and User Interface Design. She also obtained from Georgia Tech a Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction with a certificate in Management of Technology. Lina has been a member of AMPA since 2008 and is now excited to be joining the Management team!

Mehdi EL Hajoui

Mehdi EL Hajoui

VP of Speaker Engagement

Mehdi is currently an Associate Vice President of Strategy and Strategic Projects at the Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG). GLG helps the world's leading financial services firms, professional service firms, and Fortune 500 corporations find, engage, and manage experts. In his current role, Mehdi completes special projects for the firm's CEO and senior leaders, as well on building new businesses within GLG. From 2006 to 2013, Mehdi was a Project Leader in the Washington, D.C. office of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm. He also worked in the firm's Dubai (2007-2008) and Casablanca (2011-2012) offices. While at BCG, Mehdi completed projects in education, social impact, health care, public sector and industrials. Mehdi is a graduate of Harvard University with distinction and holds an MBA with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was born and raised in Morocco and is fluent in English, French, Arabic and Spanish.

Omar Laalej

Omar Laalej

VP of Career Development

Omar is an investment professional with over five years of experience in the private equity sector. As an Analyst at Graham Partners, a leveraged buy-out firm focused on acquiring middle market manufacturing businesses, Omar sourced and evaluated new investment opportunities and provided on-going support and supervision for a number of Graham Partners' portfolio companies. After two years at Graham Partners, Omar joined VWR International, a Madison Dearborn Partners portfolio company, which is a laboratory supplier and distributor with world wide sales in excess of $4.2 billion in 2012. At VWR, Omar was an M&A strategist managing all aspects of acquisition process, including evaluation of new investment opportunities, financial modeling, due diligence, and transaction execution. Now based in San Francisco, Omar holds a finance manager position at Elo Touch Solutions, a Gores Group portfolio company that designs, develops and manufactures touch products and technologies for industrial, medical, retail, hospitality, transportation, and automotive sectors.

Omar earned his B.A. with a double major in finance and accounting from Drexel University, where he was Captain of the Men's Varsity Tennis Team. Omar was born and raised in Morocco, where he was a member of the Moroccan Davis Cup Team. He is tri-lingual in English, French, and Arabic; as well as conversational in Spanish.

Board Members Team Biographies

Khalil Jai Hokimi

Khalil Jai Hokimi

Board Chairman & Entrepreneur Evangelist

Khalil is an experienced professional with a focus in online media, education services, community development, consumer marketing and sales. He has played instrumental roles in helping numerous small teams/companies grow to become multi-million dollar producers. He has also acted as a college market advisor for franchisees of corporations such as McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, 7-Eleven and New York Broadway shows Rent and Cabaret.

Prior to stepping into the entrepreneurial world by co-founding the Student Employment Council and www.zippyjobs.com, Khalil was a senior management member at Blackboard Inc., the global leader in software solutions for the education industry, where he helped leading universities create and implement new student programs through partnerships with local and national corporations.

Khalil holds a BTS in International Commerce from ISEG Toulouse, a BS in Business Management and Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an MBA in Global Commerce from the Instituto de Empresa. He lives with his wife and two children in Bethesda, MD.

Hicham Kabbaj

Hicham Kabbaj

Board Member

Hicham is the president of the association of Moroccan Professionals in America http://174.132.218.10/~ampusa/, he joined the association in 2005 as Events Vice President and was elected in May 2008 as its second president. Hicham is a Senior Project Controls at one of the world's premier engineering, construction and project management companies. He joined Bechtel after graduating from Purdue University with a BS in Management and Minor in Finance and MIS. Hicham has a vast experience in construction management and energy projects, he was a key member in some of the company signature projects. He was awarded the certificate of achievement multiple times during his 9 years with Bechtel. Hicham obtained his MBA from Istituto de Empresa, and founded www.marocevents.ma, first portal of professional events in Morocco. He enjoys playing Tennis and he is originally from Rabat.

Faiza Laghrari

Faiza Laghrari

Board Member

Faiza is a senior programmer analyst and onsite project manager at Hewitt Associates, a global consulting firm specialized in outsourcing human resources systems where she has been working for over six years. Faiza passed the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) examination in 2000, holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's degree in information systems from the University of Florida. She is very proud to be an AMPA member and believes that " Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."

Rym Fizazi

Rym Fizazi

Treasurer

Rym Fizazi is an Account Manager at USMorocco Consulting. She has significant experience in event management as she has organized many fashion shows in Paris and New York. Rym is a Cum Laude graduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology MBA program, and has also earned a degree in Business Administration from the Institut Supérieur de Gestion in Paris. She is a member of the National Association for Academic Excellence.

Omar Tazi

Omar Tazi

Board Member

Omar is a seasoned executive with broad experience in technology, Internet and telecom. Omar joined Méditel in February of 2010 as Vice President of Services in charge of information systems, quality management, customer care and marketing. Prior to joining Méditel, Omar was CEO of Omnidata Morocco’s leading systems integrator. Omnidata has 400+ satisfied clients in North Africa and employs 200 high tech consultants.

Prior to joining Omnidata Omar was Oracle’s Chief Evangelist. Prior to joining Oracle, Omar was CEO of Orbeon where he successfully implemented a business model based on professional services using Open Source Software. Omar closed key deals for Orbeon with prestigious clients such as Cisco, Wachovia, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Amnesty International, The city of San Diego, Volkswagen Financial Services and Teleflex. Prior to stepping into the entrepreneurial world, Omar has held several senior management positions in high tech companies located in Silicon Valley including Symantec, Oracle and WebGain. Omar is also a regular speaker at IT events such as JavaOne, JavaPolis, Gartner Summit, Oracle OpenWorld, OSCON and ApacheCon.

Before crossing the Atlantic, Omar has held several research and teaching positions at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, specializing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Object Oriented Programming (OOP). He holds an M.S. in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

Aly Horma

Aly Horma

Board Member

Aly currently lives in Morocco, where he manages his own investment advisory firm, in addition to developing real estate projects.

Aly is also a Principal at WesaGen Inc., a Massachusetts biotech venture founded by Dr. Abdelouahed, a fellow Moroccan AMPA member and Post-Doc at Harvard Medical School. WesaGen is developing nanotech drug delivery and anti-cancer platforms, using coiled motifs to make and deliver new biopharmaceuticals for specific diseases. The potential impact and benefit are significant for Morocco, and in general for countries where generic drugs could provide greater access to cures. Previous to that, Aly spent several years in finance. Among others, he was Vice President at Citigroup Private Bank, New York, in charge of the bank's special asset offshore portfolio. He also covered Middle East North Africa at Credit Suisse Private Banking, London.

Aly holds a B.Sc. from New York University Stern School of Business, and an MBA from INSEAD. He also holds a Certificate from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the New York University Graduate Center for Finance, Law, & Tax.

Yassir Abouselham

Yassir Abouselham

Board Member

Yassir Abousselham is a US-based Moroccan professional specializing in technology consulting and information risk management. He currently manages the Corporate Data Security program for Google, Inc. His role at Google consists of developing and managing global capabilities to mitigate security and regulatory risks to corporate data. Prior to joining Google, Yassir led a successful consulting career at Ernst and Young, where he acted as a Senior Manager within the Americas Information Security Center of Excellence. Throughout his career with Ernst & Young, Yassir focused on helping Fortune 500 executives manage organizational change, mitigate cyber security risks and achieve regulatory compliance.

Mr Abousselham holds a Master in Computer Information Systems and a Bachelor in Business Administration, in addition to professional information security and risk management certifications.

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