Dr. Debbie Almontaser is the founding and former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy. A 25-year veteran of the NYC Public School System, where she has taught, trained teachers, and served as a multicultural specialist and diversity adviser. Dr. Almontaser is the Board President of the Muslim Community Network. Dr. Almontaser frequently lectures on Arab culture, Islam, cultural diversity, interfaith coalition building and youth leadership. Dr. Almontaser sits on the Public Advocate Tish James’ Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh Task Force to Combat Hate. Dr. Almontaser also serves on the board of The Therapy and Learning Center Preschool and Emerge USA National Board. Dr. Almontaser is a published writer on Education and American Muslim issues. Dr. Almontaser has been profiled in the NY Times on the founding of the Khalil Gibran International Academy as well as Time Magazine, Newsweek, and profiled in the Daily News for spearheading the inauguration of NYC’s Arab Heritage Week in 2005. Recently, Dr. Almontaser was a featured speaker at the 2016 National Democratic Convention. Dr. Almontaser is a recipient of numerous awards ADC National’s, Rose Nader Award Commitment to Values of Equality and Justice, Pax Christi’s Local Peacemaker Award, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice’s Risk-Takers Award, the Annual Faith Leaders Award and proclamations for building bridges of understanding from the Mayor of the City of New York, Brooklyn Borough President and a proclamation from the New York City Council for her excellence in education and a proclamation from the NYC Comptroller’s office for her civic engagement organizing work. Dr. Almontaser was a Columbia University Revson Scholar in 2005. She was also named a Thought Leader at the ASMA Society Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow Program in 2006.