About Board Members
Capt. Dori F. Abouzeid
Entrepreneurial spirit. Passion to succeed.Proven entrepreneur — solely responsible for the launch, management and growth of three different successful aviation-focused businesses over the past two decades.Seasoned Airline Transport Pilot (ATP). FAA Licensed aircraft mechanic.Under the hood — holds an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic’s license. Up in the air — more than 16,000 hours of international and domestic flight experience; which includes flying many country dignitaries and famous celebrities.Visionary leader. Real-world expertise.A quarter of a century in corporate aviation expertise with vast knowledge of VIP aircraft management, maintenance, charters, sales, acquisitions and Fixed Base Operations (FBO). He attended Spartan School of Aeronautics then graduated from Northrop University.
Dr. Randall Rhodes holds a Ph.D., MA, and a BA in Art History from the University of Chicago. He is coming to the AUK from the American University of Armenia (AUA) where he served as Provost for five years. Prior to Armenia, he worked for 19 years at Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland, where his breadth of roles included Professor, Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Associate Provost. As part of his career development and disciplinary growth within the field of art history, he has had significant involvement in museum and gallery administration, presented academic papers at various international conferences, and exhibited art works at juried exhibitions. He is originally from Rochester, New York."
Dr. Honar Issa
Graduated PhD in Structural Engineering, Nottingham Trent University - UK,Current member of the Board of Trustees at The American University of Kurdistan, supporting the Board in achieving its strategies, overseeing the operation of the University, monitoring implementation of the strategic goals, and working closely with the business entities and external stakeholders.Active in promoting education globally and regionally, working with various entities to explore avenues to support education.A program evaluator of American Accrediting Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) that accredits engineering programs across the US and around the globe.Actively involved in analysis and design of various structures in Kurdistan supporting sustainable development of projects.Active in research projects in structural optimisation and other multi- and inter-disciplinary areas,As the first ever Provost of The American University of Kurdistan, contributed in developing strategic academic plans, self-sufficiency strategies, plans for attaining student learning objectives, linking University to the industry and business entities, etc. A member of Advisory Board of Kurdish Study at the University of Central Florida in the US.Former head of Kurdistan America Student Friendship Association (KASFA).Former Consultant of Salahaddin Holding Company, Yarin Company, and Rasan Company."
Matthew ZaisZais is a military veteran who brings more than 20 years of experience to the company having previously served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of International Affairs for the U.S. Department of Energy and as the Director for Iraq and Kurdish Affairs on the National Security Council at the White House. As HKN Energy’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Zais oversees the company’s relationships with elected officials and its public policy interests. Zais received his B.S. in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point and both his MPA and Ph.D. in International Relations from Princeton University.
Kurdo Jaff is founder of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C. Prior to this from 2007-2010, Mr. Jaff was an advisor for Department of Defense - U.S Government on foreign commercial affairs , stationed at the US Commercial office - U.S Embassy in Baghdad.In addition to his well-established business and community relationships in Kurdistan and Iraq as a whole, Mr. Jaff has extensive experience working with both the public and private sectors to ensure that projects are developed successfully. Mr. Jaff also maintains strong relationships with the international business community, in particular with companies and agencies in the U.S. and U.K.
Kavy Akrawi, CEO of RT Group, one of the largest holding companies in Iraq, ranging over an array of industries, including telecom, security solutions, digital banking, and more.Born and raised in the United States, Mrs. Akrawi with her Kurdish roots, decided to move to Erbil, Iraq, in the northern Kurdistan Region 10 years ago to take on such an ambitious position. Kavy Akrawi had an interest in the role as she understood very early that there were issues between both countries that could benefit each other.For this reason, she established RT America Inc. (RTA), a telecommunications company that creates technical solutions in connecting companies from the far east to the west and vice versa. RTA works closely with the largest telecommunications companies in the Middle East, especially Iraq, which provides a strategic network with the best capabilities for its customers. Due to this, RTA manages a team of experts assigned for bidding for US government tenders providing solutions to connect its bases all around the world.For almost 10 years, alongside being a part of one of the biggest telecom companies in Iraq, RTGroup, Kavy Akrawi successfully leads the operations for a corporation consisting of other big players in the industry, such as Allai Newroz Telecom, Symphony Telecom, Fastlink 4G LTE, and more.Mrs. Akrawi obtained her education at the University of Tennessee, USA, with a diploma in Sciencei n Communication and Information. That played a role in choosing her career path, understanding that she can provide people the connection and ways of communication.Before moving to the Middle East in 2009, Mrs. Akrawi gained significant experience in the USA, working in marketing and administration departments. One of her most notable achievements in the country was working for America’s Promise, an initiative founded by Gen. Colin Powell, where she organised annual marketing campaigns and was responsible for confidential data entries and mailings.After her progressive career growth in the United States, Mrs. Akrawi, inspired to make a difference not only in the USA but also in the Middle East, in 2009 took an offer from Qatar Foundation to leadSpecial Projects and Head International relations. With a western mentality and middle eastern roots, she brightened the Foundation with her modern ideas to improve the country’s image in the world.Mrs. Akrawi was a chosen representative for the Foundation during all international events and business trips. She was excellent at organising conferences in Doha and expanding the country's relations with worldwide-known companies.In 2012, Kavy Akrawi was invited to join RT Group in Iraq and direct the company. In a short time,Mrs. Akrawi showed her worth to the Board. In addition to her CEO position, Kavy Akrawi supervises all legal contracts of the company and represents the Group in all International affairs.Driven by the company's mission, Kavy Akrawi is responsible for the corporation’s growth, maximising operational excellence, and delivering financial performance.