American Moroccan Competencies Network

American Moroccan Competencies Network

Executive Committee


Dr. Mohamed Boutjdir

boutjdir_mProfessional Work: Dr. Boutjdir is a Professor at the Department of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine and a Professor and Associate Chair of Medicine for R&D at the Departments of Medicine, Cell Biology and Pharmacology & Physiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York. He is also, the Director of the Cardiovascular Research Program at the VA New York Harbor healthcare system, New York. Dr. Boutjdir’s interest is in cardiovascular research both in health and diseased states. Specifically, Dr. Boutjdir’s research includes the mechanisms of autoimmune associated congenital heart block, atrial fibrillation and long QT syndrome.

Dr. Boutjdir serves in several review boards for cardiovascular study sections for many granting institutions such as the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association both local and National Centers, the Veterans Administration, March of Dimes and the French “Agence Nationale de la Recherche”. Dr. Boutjdir also serves as a reviewer for many National and European high impact journals and is an active member of several journal editorial boards. He has been invited throughout the world to lecture and present seminars in the area of cardiovascular research. To date, he has published over 85 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters.

Dr. Boutjdir, in addition to being an academic, has extensive leadership, management and administrative experiences in a range of organizational contexts. In most of these, he had the responsibility for strategic as well as operational planning, working with Senior Executive Management team such as the Deans of Medical Schools (NYU and SUNY Downstate @ New York), Hospital CEOs and Clinical Service Chiefs. He has lead and managed a group of more than 300 investigators/researchers, clinical, translational and basic scientist and managed a research budget of more than $15 Million. Dr. Boutjdir worked on providing support and promoted research and scholarly activity through building new directions in research, establishing centers of excellence, ensuring responsible research practices, and communicating the value of research within and beyond the institution. He provided expertise and support to faculty and staff in the commercialization of the intellectual property and help bring these new ideas to the marketplace.

Volunteer Work: For the last 20 years, Dr. Boutjdir has been involved in volunteer work related to the engagement of the Diaspora in the development of the country of origin. He contributed and participated to the initiation of the “Arab Expatriate Scientists founding conference, IQ 2006” in Doha, Qatar and the “First conference of Arab expatriate scientists: QFIRST 2007” as well as several similar initiatives in the United Arab Emirates and Morocco between 1990’s and 2012. During the two invitations by her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned to visit Doha, Qatar, Dr. Boutjdir worked along the sides of Dr. Harold Varmus and Dr Elias Zarhouni (two former Directors of NIH and one Nobel prize laureate) and many others to contribute to the process of establishing the R&D structure and reverse-brain drain to attract the best talent to Qatar. More recently, he participated at the Canadian-Moroccan Competencies Forum held in Rabat in April 2011, the first Moroccan Medical Professionals conference held in Paris in May 2011 and co-organized the Preparatory Forum for the American Moroccan Competencies Network held in New York City on June 23rd 2012. Dr. Boutjdir has been selected among a few to be a member of the Science and Technology team of the World Economic Forum. He actively participated in the first World Economic Forum on Science and Technology in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) held in Amman, Jordan, 2009 and subsequently, the World Economic Forum Education Summit held in Marrakech, Morocco, 2010.

More recently (December 2012), Dr. Boutjdir joined the Arab League-SASTA conference on Science and Technology under the theme “When Arab Minds Meet” in Cairo, Egypt with the aim to mobilize the Arab Diaspora’s positive involvement in their home lands. Currently he is the vice-President of SASTA (Society of Advancement of Science and Technology in the Arab World: www.sastaworld.org). Dr Boutjdir also serves on the board of Directors for the High Council of Moroccan American Scholars and Academics (AHA-MASA:www.hc-masa.org). Dr Boutjdir was elected for 2 terms as President of one of the very first association of moroccan’s in the US, MARS (Moroccan Association for Researchers and Scholars). MARS theme was “We believe in Revival Through Knowledge”.

Finally, Dr. Boutjdir was distinguished and honored to have been knighted in 2002 by His Majesty, the King of Morocco, Mohamed VI at the level of Wissam Al Arch min Darajat Fariss (the order of the Throne, Grade Chevalier de L’Ordre du Trone).


Dr. Amine Chigani

chiganiDr. Amine Chigani is a Chief Architect at Current, powered by GE. His areas of expertise are software architecture and Industrial Internet of Things (IoT). Some of his domain experiences include energy, healthcare, transportation and aviation.

Prior to joining GE Digital, Dr. Chigani was a Visiting Scientist at Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) helping the Department of Homeland Security develop integration strategies to guide the adoption of the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) by emergency alert originators nationwide. He led the development of the Integration Strategy Framework currently used to develop these strategies.

Dr. Chigani has publications in the International Journal of System of Systems Engineering, IEEE Software Engineering Workshop, SEI Software Architecture User Network Conference, IEEE Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, and International Conference on Software Reuse. Professionally, he is a member of ACM, IEEE, SEI, and ASEE. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Radford University, and MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. He also holds the Software Architecture Professional Certificate from the SEI at Carnegie Mellon University.


Houda Rabah, MS, PMP, LSS

rabahMrs Houda Rabah is a Finance, Business intelligence & Web analytics expert. Houda has more than 15 years of experience in Finance & Budget Management having responsibility over a budget of more than $400 millions. Houda served as leader within different top US companies such as UPS and AllState. Currently, she serves as the Finance Director and Web Analytics expert within a top four Mutual Insurance company in New York.

Houda is also an active researcher within the New School University in the topics of Islamic Finance & Investments, Econometrics, Predictive Modeling, Business Intelligence, and Big Data. She is a PhD candidate with the New School University in New York.

Houda has two Masters degrees, one in Quantitative Finance from Rutgers University and another in Mathematics from New Jersey City University. In addition, Houda holds a bachelor degree from Mohammed V University in Economics. Houda received several certifications in trading strategies and market analysis, project management, and Lean Six Sigma.

Volunteer Work: For the last 15 years, Houda has been involved in volunteer work related to the engagement of the Diaspora in the development of the country of origin. She was the co-founder of Morocco Foundation, a 501c non-profit organization that promotes the schooling of girls and boy in North Africa and especially in Morocco. She is also the co-Founder of Yatimhelp.org, an organization that promotes the well-being of orphans in Morocco by sponsoring more than 10 kids per year thanks to the contribution of many Moroccans across the US. In addition, Houda participated to the initiation of “Women here and there?” in Canada and others cities in Morocco.


Sara Amiri, MBA

Sara-Amiri-AMCN-ICT

Sara Amiri is a Business Analyst, Project Manager, and Social Entrepreneur with a passion for turning vision into reality. She believes that business should make the world a better place and address societal needs with a creative model. She’s currently Agile Project Manager at Johnson Health Tech North America.
As a Project Manager, Amiri recognizes the value of good ideas – and that even the best idea needs a skillful execution. She has managed successful projects such as the opening of the Automotive Center of Excellence in Oujda, Morocco – the first Snap-On Automotive Certification Center outside of the U.S..

Her will to get things done has led her to create a total of five tech startup companies, and serve as business advisor to several more. In the past, Sara was Algorithmic Futures Trader for Blackthorne Capital Management managing , Project Management Consultant for Gateway Technical College’s U.S.-Morocco business incubation program, and Marketing Associate for The Tranel Financial Group in Illinois.

She obtained her Bachelor in both Finance & Business Law and Political Science, and her MBA with an emphasis in Finance and Information Technology from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. Her reputation as an effective leader of student organizations led to her being invited to apply to the Launchpad Business Incubator Program at Whitewater Technology Park and help continue to build the different entrepreneurship programs in Wisconsin. She became one of the Business Incubator’s first graduates. When she’s not working to create a better future one project at a time, she’s enjoying playing sports or having great conversations while drinking entirely too much coffee!
Sara is leading the AMCN ICT committee and serves  as AMCN’s General Secretary.

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