I grew up in Bethlehem, West Bank in a family that valued education above anything else. My mother was a teacher for 40+ years so I saw first hand the dedication, and sacrifice she and educators made to raise generations of learners even in the middle of the most difficult of circumstances.
I moved to the US 30+ years ago in pursuit of an education, I met my wife in graduate school, and moved to the Boston area for education, and moved to Belmont to give my kids the best possible public education. The trajectory of my life centers on the importance of education. The community I create is also centered around education.
My kids attended Burbank elementary, Chenery middle schools, and are now Freshman and Junior in Belmont High School. My kids identify and are proud of being first generation Americans so I know how important it is to have a school community that is welcoming and safe.
I have been married to Maysoun Shomali for 20 years. She leads cancer research programs at Sanofi Pharmaceutical. My family loves to travel and have missed this during the pandemic. I trust in science, and good leadership to get us back to normal!
Educational Background: PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, Post Doctoral Fellowship, Astrazeneca
I am an executive director at AstraZeneca, a local pharmaceutical company in Waltham. As a Global Program Leader, I lead research and clinical development teams developing innovative medicines for cancer patients, and I do it with the requisite sense of urgency that cancer patients deserve. Being in the innovation business means that I am quite comfortable working in areas where the answers are not known, and able to make decisions with missing data. It requires constant risk benefit assessments, and broad collaboration to identify solutions. Fundamentally, this is what a school committee needs, that’s what I do professionally, and that’s why I am running for the SC seat.
In a fast moving dynamic, highly regulated field, I rely on the experts to make sure obstacles and blindspots are identified. My role is to work with my team of experts to vet the assumptions, do deep dives when necessary, communicate with and manage stakeholders, and remove obstacles. I create space for debate, and bring voices at the periphery to enable innovative breakthroughs. As a leader, when confronted with a complex & hard challenge, my response is to dig even harder, not limit our vision. Because at the end of the day, our vision is clear: Bring cures to cancer patients with a sense of urgency. And that’s what I want to do on the school committee. At the heart of what we do is a vision worth fighting for, providing an excellent education to ALL students. Diminishing excellence and equity destroys our mission. And in the middle of the pandemic, these data-driven, and communication skills are more important than ever.