Debbie Almontaser, is the founding and former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy. As a 20+ year old veteran of the NYC public school system, she taught special education, inclusion, trained teachers in literacy, and served as a multicultural specialist and diversity advisor. Currently, Ms. Almontaser is a doctoral student at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education.
Ms Almontaser frequently lectures and serves on panels as well as facilitates teacher and public workshops on conflict resolution, Arab culture, and Islam at universities, libraries, museums, churches, and synagogues across the city and at local, national and international conferences.
Ms Almontaser co-designed a curriculum for the Muslim Communities Project at Columbia University and for Educators for Social Responsibility/Metro. In addition, she has contributed a chapter in The Day Our World Changed: Children’s Art of 9/11 for New York University’s Child Study Center and the Museum of the City of New York and in Forever After: New York City Teachers on 9/11 for Teachers College Press as well as articles and essays in several magazines.
Ms. Almontaser also serves as a consultant to Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. Muslim American Series Project, Independent Production Fund on the Islam Project (producers of Muslims and Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet PBS Productions), Islam Access Project (Channel 13 WNET), the Muslim Communities Project, Columbia University, Educators for Social Responsibility, the Interfaith Center of NYC, and the Church Avenue Merchants Block Association’s (CAMBA, Inc.) Diversity Project. Ms. Almontaser was a member of the steering committee for A Community of Many Worlds: Arab-Americans at the Museum of the City of New York.
In 2005, Ms Almontaser spearheaded the inauguration of Arab Heritage Week in New York City. She is also the go to person on cultural and religious diversity issues for Borough President Marty Markowitz, the Mayor’s office of Immigrant Affairs, New York Police Department and New York City Councilmembers. Ms. Almontaser is a founding board member of The Dialogue Project, Brooklyn Borough President’s New Diversity Task Force, board advisor for the Same Difference Interfaith Alliance, Youth Bridge NY, and a member of the board of directors of Muslim Consultative Network, Women in Islam, and Saba: The Association of Yemeni Americans. She is also a co-founder of Brooklyn Bridges, the September 11th Curriculum Project, and We Are All Brooklyn.