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Board Directors / Members

  • Patrick Masoya

    President & CEO

    Patrick Masoya came to Arizona more than 20 years ago as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has proudly made Arizona his home ever since. As an entrepreneur and philanthropist, he is the embodiment of the American dream in action. Patrick is a graduate of Western International University with a Bachelor of Science in Business, holds an MBA in finance from Grand Canyon University, and a Master of Science in Taxation from the University of Colorado Denver. He has a solid background in Finance, Taxation, Accounting, and business that our community and organization needs. Having worked as a Senior processor for a Scottsdale insurance company before serving as a revenue auditor for the Arizona Department of Insurance. He is currently a partner at a tax and accounting firm and a Board Council member at the national small business association(NSBA). Patrick’s community engagement and servant leadership have spanned his lifetime. It is this personal pledge to servant leadership that has fueled his philanthropic ventures.

  • ABDELGABAR MOHAMDIEN

    Vice Chairman & Vice President

    Abdel Mohamdian came to the United States from Sudan. He is one of the founders of RICE. He has been active in helping with center activities. In 2010, he created the Sudanese American Association in Phoenix (SAA) where he was elected President. The SAA helped translate doctor appointments and job interviews helped refugees with disabilities and organized social events for the community. Before coming to the U.S. Abdel studied in Iraq receiving a Bachelor of Science from the University of Bagdad. He also received his Evaluation of International Educational Credentials, Technician Diploma in Store Management – Institute of Technology Mosul, Iraq, and Teaching Certificate from UNICEF. In 2003 he taught primary Education in a refugee camp for K-12. In Phoenix, AZ he worked at PetSmart Distribution Center as an Auditor-Inventory Control.

  • Samah Alhabal

    Board Member/ Officer

    Samah Alhbal graduated from Damascus University with a degree in Education. She came to the United States from Syria with her husband and two boys. In San Diego, CA she worked in the Health and Human Services Agency developing resettlement and self-sufficiency plans for clients. In 2016 she started volunteering at Arizona All Nation Refugee Recourse Center providing refugee clients basic tools necessary to meet their goals of becoming self-sufficient in their new community. In October 2017 she was asked to join the board of directors of Refugees and Immigrants Community for Empowerment (RICE) as the Treasurer. Since then she has been active in helping with center projects.

  • Bianka Emerson, JD

    Corporate legal Officer/ Board Secretary

    Bianka is a Campaign Strategist and has spent most of her professional career in electoral politics and the public & non- profit sector. She worked on serveal poltical campagins presiedntal and gubernatorial. She was the Coalition Director for biden harris campagin in Colorado, hosting the highest number of events for Mid Western region . Due to the pandemic, ninety perecnt of events were held virtually, which was a historic undertaking. Bianka was the Deputy political Director for colorado Governor Jared Polis’ Campaign and Campaign coordinator for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. She worked as a graduate fello for the Democratic National Convention committee in Denver, Colorado, which led to her work on president Barack Obama’s 2007 campaign as a filed organizer. Bianka was the program Manager for the colorado civic engagement roundtable, where her role was to provide resources and organizational development for progressive non-profit orgranzations throughout Colorado. She provides strategy regrading legislation in healthcare public options, financial equity and education services in her consulting capacity. Bianka has a master’s in social science and a law dregee. Recently appointed by Gobernor Poils to the Enironment Justice Advisory Board, she serves on several community and civic boards, including, Blue flower, an organization that raises money for women running for public office, and Colorado Black Women for political Action as Vice President.

  • Peter W. Reiss II

    Public Relation/ Outreach Coordinator

    Peter Reiss is a business leader with more than 22 years of sales and senior management experience in the Internet, Technology & Healthcare industries. Prior to his role as Managing Partner with AppSmart eight years ago, Peter served as General Manager at Level 3 Communications where he managed sales and support in the Southwest Region. Under his leadership, the Southwest was the Number One performing GM Region within all of Level 3 for four consecutive years. He holds a B.A. in Communication with a Business Minor in Marketing from Arizona State University. After graduating, Peter spent over 15 years with Level 3 Communications where he was consistently recognized as a top performer within any of the sales and sales leadership roles he held. Peter has had the distinct honor of achieving President’s Club a record-setting 14 consecutive years while with Level 3 while being recognized as the most successful General Manager in Company history. He is also a Founding Partner in N-95 Shield as well as Founder of C 3 Partners, LLC and resides in the Phoenix metro area.

  • Ghulam Haidar Nasser

    Board Member

    Colonel Ghulam Haidar Nasser moved in the United State as a refugee from Afghanistan with his immediate family less than a year ago. With more than 20 years in the Afghanis military as a Colonel, He is the most respected elder in his community in the phoenix Arizona metropolitan as he is fulfilling his American dream as he is fluent in Dari, Uzbek, and Turkish.

Staff Members

  • Mohammad Haidari

    Contractor

    Mohammad Haidari came to the United States in 2020 from Afghanistan through SIV (Special Immigration Visa) with his wife and two years old daughter, he was a combat translator with US Marines in Afghanistan for seven years, he can communicate in six languages Persian, Pashto Turkish, Uzbek, Urdu and English. When he came to the states, he had to face a lot of challenges until he found RICE, home of Refugees and immigrants. Mohammed is very good and talented with a lot of experience that creates an opportunity to learn and serve it to the community, working with RICE means new challenges and a very good way to help people from all different countries and Afghanis the most.

  • Nidal Ibrahim

    Community Navigator and Social Worker

    Nidal was born in Iraq, a native from Sudan and came to the United State with her family in 2012 and has since made Arizona her permanent home. She has a strong background working as a community activist assisting the community resettled in the United States and integrate in the new American culture as she also has a strong background assisting small business owners with their business needs. She enjoy her free time taking care of her family and serving her community. She is fluent in English, Arabic and some dialects.

  • Fareeda Jamshidy

    Social Worker and Community Navigator.

    Fareeda Came was born and raised in Afghanistan and moved in the United States in 2015 with her husband and her three kids. She has worked for a German hospital in 2010 as a social and cultural worker in Afghanistan to educate and help Afghan women’s in their ongoing life. Since in the United States, she spent her time with her husband taking care of their children and her family as she recently worked as a rideshare driver in the United States. Since working for RICE, she has been enjoying her time serving Clients from Afghanistan’s and elsewhere as she is happy to be part of this great organization. She is fluent in English, Pashto and Dari.

  • Michelle Sutherland

    Grants & Operations Manager

    Michelle is a native of Arizona and received her BA in Composition & Theater from Stanford University and my MFA in Theater Directing from Carnegie Mellon University. She has a true passion for teaching and has been developing learning programs and establishing communities for students of all ages in the educational landscape for 15 years. Her goal is to create academically engaging learning experiences by creating an environment that fosters creativity, curiosity, and kindness.

  • Andria Matthews

    Deputy Executive Director

    A native of Saint Paul Minnesota with a professional background in Law Enforcement as a Deputy Sheriff Officer at Dakota County, A Community Service Officer at Robbinsdale Police Department, Case Manager at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Employment Counselor at Vocational Support Services with years experience in diverse work involving the community. She has a Bachelor of Art in Criminal Justice from Concordia University of Saint Paul. As a hobby, Andria likes to ride bikes and walk with her children and family.

  • katherine Boisvert

    Dental Assistant & ESL Instructor

    Born in Bordeaux France, grew up in New York, moved to Arizona in 1989. Married to John for 30 years. We have 3 dogs, 2 cats and a turtle and reside in Tempe. I am the second of 5 children. We have been fortunate enough to travel much of the world, North Africa, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Pacific, Canada, Europe and these United States. My body of work has been in dentistry, as a dental assistant and instructor and in addition, as a dental claims and RX claims processor. I like riding my bicycle and hiking and I love to bake. Desserts are my favorite foods to eat. I am passionate about sampling different foods and ethnic restaurants.

  • Mustafa Jailani

    Lead Community Navigator

    Mustafa has a passion for community service and finding solutions. This inspired him to study law at Balkh University. Upon graduating in 2016, Mustafa continued his passion for service as a public defender in the Department of Criminal Justice for the Supreme Court of Afghanistan. In doing so, Mustafa had opportunities to aid the U.S. Army as a legal translator, which exposed him to greater diversity. In 2021, Mustafa immigrated to the U.S. as a refugee and now continues to advocate for his fellow Afghans as a RICE community navigator. Mustafa is fluent in Dari, Pashto, Uzbeki, and English. In his free time, Mustafa enjoys soccer, pool, swimming, and playing video games.

  • Saleha Safa

    Community Navigator/ Child Care Attendant

    Saleha worked as a high school educator for over 26 years in Afghanistan. She taught social study, culture, and languages. As an educator she always felt the need to look after the future generations and was dedicated to the success of her students. Now, as an Afghan refugee she is motivated to ensure the success of the immigrant and refugee community as a RICE community navigator. Saleha is an excellent cook and enjoys providing others with delicious Afghan cuisine. An avid hiker, Saleha enjoys exploring the many walking trails in Arizona.

  • Robina Ahmady (needs to be better)

    Community Navigator/ Child Care Attendant

    Robina studied Languages at the Jawzjan with an emphasis in Dari, Pashto, Uzbeki, and Hindi. After graduating in 2014, Robina started her own makeup business in Afghanistan. In 2015, she immigrated to the U.S. Motivated by the troubles that she and the immigrant community face at large, Robina dedicated herself to finding solutions for this unique group and serves as a RICE community navigator.

  • Khujasta Momand

    Community Navigator/ Translator

    Khujesta Momand has a background in social work. In 2014, she immigrated to the U.S. with her husband. Since then, she has grown her family and now has three beautiful children. Khujesta initially adjusted to life in the U.S. by working for a daycare and settled in Dallas, Texas. As a child care specialist, she was able to practice caring for others and adopted a service mindset. Today, Khjusesta proudly serves other immigrant and refugee families as a RICE community navigator.