Maggie Mitchell Salem

As founding Executive Director, Maggie has championed K-12 Arabic language and Arab culture education since 2009. She’s particularly focused on ensuring young people have access to cross cultural experiences in their community, through virtual educational exchanges, as well as physical exchanges with peers in other countries.

Prior to joining QFI, Maggie was Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), a leading democracy and governance NGO. While there she implemented innovative programs in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Yemen. Prior to IFES, Maggie worked as an independent communications consultant to leading U.S., European and Middle Eastern companies, nongovernmental organizations and academic groups. She also served as director of communications and external relations at the Middle East Institute.

Maggie’s career began as a foreign service officer for the U.S. State Department where she served as a special assistant to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and as a staff assistant to Ambassador Martin S. Indyk at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel. She spent two years at the US Consulate in Mumbai, India.

Maggie completed coursework for a master’s degree in contemporary Arab studies at Georgetown University and holds bachelor’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University in political science and psychology. Additionally, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Damascus, Syria from 1990-92.