Suzanne Akhras Sahloul

Founder and executive director of the Syrian Community Network
Class of 1991
Suzanne Akhras Sahloul is the founder and executive director of the Syrian Community Network, a nonprofit established as a voice for immigrant and refugee rights. She began this organization to support incoming refugees by providing social services and a community welcome, bringing awareness and advocacy for refugees transitioning to their new home, and bringing a voice and recognition to those resettling regardless of their background.

She received an Associate of Arts degree from Moraine Valley, a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated magna cum laude with a Master of Arts in organizational leadership from Lewis University. She also completed a Nonprofit Management certificate from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Her service to the community throughout the past decades ranges from work with the Syrian Community Network to volunteering for the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, the Illinois Muslim Action Day, the Universal School in Bridgeview, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the SAMS Midwest Foundation, and the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview. She also has served as a board member with the Council on American Islamic Relations.

She has been a speaker at a number of events, including those at Moraine Valley sponsored by the Arab Student Union, and at a refugee camp in Jordan, as well as received invitations to join local politicians in press conferences and fundraising activities. In addition, Akhras Sahloul has contributed to the scholarship fund started by the Arab Student Union.

Recognition for her efforts has come from SAMS, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and the Refugee Rights, as well as a UNICEF Humanitarian Award, a SAMS Service Award and a Trailblazer award from Adler University for the Syrian Community Network’s After-School program.