Who We Are
We are a young dynamic group of North Americans of Lebanese descent who are dedicated to making this program stronger, more diverse, and more sustainable year after year.
Our team is a reflection of what Lebanon is and what Back to Roots continues to strive to be: creative, pluralistic, and malleable. BTR alumni from all of our editions have decided to volunteer their time to help us grow – and it’s beautiful.
We’re based all over the United States and Canada – from the sunny hills of Los Angeles to the snowy streets of Toronto, our ambassadors spend the year promoting and fundraising to make every BTR edition possible. Our Ambassadors are dedicated to raising money and talking up Back to Roots to potential applicants. Our Chairs are responsible for specific aspects of our program’s growth and development. We’re a young team that’s excited to learn and grow with each other.
A Passionate Team of Leaders
Executive Director - Washington, D.C.
Gustave is Back to Roots’ Executive Director. Along with other passionate young adults of the Lebanese diaspora, he founded Back to Roots in 2010 and is so excited to see how far the program has come. Gustave is a Strategy & Technology consultant in the Washington D.C. area with expertise in Transportation Engineering and Planning. Gustave maintains a leading social, political and educational activism for his dear homeland through a tireless involvement with various organizations.
- Cyber Dust +gcordahi
Assistant Director - Lebanon
Maya is Back to Roots' Assistant Director in Lebanon, where she plans BTR editions and gets to watch the magic happen first-hand. After taking part in BTR's pilot edition in 2010, Maya was determined to live in Beirut. She moved from Washington, D.C. to Lebanon in 2013 to work as a print journalist, and has been having the time of her life discovering Lebanon every day.
Assistant Director - US, Michigan
Anthony is Back to Roots' Assistant Director in North America, where he coordinates every step of the program year in and year out. After taking part in BTR’s 2012 edition, Anthony was inspired by the program and wanted others to experience Lebanon as he did. He returned to Lebanon to lead BTR's 2013 edition through the program. A teacher at heart, he currently dedicates his life to shaping the young minds of Detroit for a better tomorrow. He can't wait to meet the next round of Cedar Leaders each year!
Design Chair - California
Stephanie is Back to Roots’ Design Chair. She is the founder of Studio Issa, a web design agency with offices in Providence & San Diego. As a participant of BTR's 2014 edition, Stephanie felt inspired by the many progressive and philanthropic initiatives happening around Lebanon. More specifically, initiatives in the design and art industries. Her goal is to support BTR from a design and online marketing standpoint. BONUS: Stephanie and her team at Studio Issa handcrafted the redesign of this website!
Sponsorship & Partnership Chair
Lizzy is BTR's Sponsorship and Partnership Chair. She is a graduate of International Development from UCLA and founder of the Empowered Arab Sisterhood. Participating in BTR's 2015 edition inspired Lizzy to work on her Arabic and get involved in Lebanon's vibrant community of NGOs and activists. She hopes to expand BTR's capacity to connect more young people to their heritage and homeland.
Social Media Chair, Seattle, WA
Alex is BTR's Social Media Chair. He recently graduated from Western Washington University with his MBA, and now works at a marketing agency in Seattle, Washington. After cultivating a strong passion for his homeland in Lebanon with BTR 2015, Alex seeks to help others experience this amazing program.
Alumni Relations Chair
Mariette Boutros is BTR's Alumni Relations Chair. She studies international relations, economics, and political science at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Mariette participated in BTR 2012, and has since rediscovered her passion and love for Lebanon. She has strong ties with the Lebanese communities in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Phoenix and hopes to use these to help youth in the Lebanese Diaspora discover Lebanon and connect with one another.
Public Relations Chair
Marie-Anne is BTR's Public Relations Chair and is an alumni of BTR 2015. She currently works at Fidelity Investments in New Hampshire. Despite visiting Lebanon on her own terms in the past, Marie-Anne was exposed to a new level of political, social and economic awareness for her parents' homeland. Marie-Anne seizes any opportunity to travel to the old country and wishes all Lebanese continue to search for and take pride in their roots.
Daniel, knighted as Danny Miami during his participation in BTR 2013, is BTR’s Public Relations Chair from Miami, Florida. He was inspired during his time in Lebanon to dedicate himself to social entrepreneurship and make a difference in the world, using innovative businesses as his method. As a polyglot, Daniel is on a mission to build a connection with thinkers, movers, and shakers all over the globe, while breaking down barriers and glass ceilings bit by bit.
Ambassador, Ontario, Canada
Brahim is BTR's Ambassador in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, and took part in BTR 2015. He is a Western University graduate in political science and is currently volunteering for a risk assessment think tank. BTR allowed Brahim to discover aspects of Lebanon that he had studied throughout university, encouraging him to continue researching his beloved homeland. The experience also showed him that opportunities do exist in Lebanon, and he one day hopes to work there.
Ambassador, Toronto, Canada
Elie is BTR’s Ambassador in Toronto, Canada, where he constantly relays his passion for Lebanon to the Lebanese-Canadian community. He was born in Zahle, Lebanon and immigrated to Toronto as a young child with his family. After participating in the 2012 edition of BTR, Elie came back with a mission to help Lebanon and contribute to Canada positively. He's now deeply involved with various organizations and programs that help Lebanese in Lebanon and abroad.
Kenny is one of Back to Roots’ Ambassadors on the West Coast of the USA. A student at UCLA, he is active in promoting love for Lebanon on campus. Kenny was an enthusiastic participant in BTR 2014, during which he made lifelong friendships and discovered new dimensions of his ancient homeland.
Ambassador, Montréal, Canada
Misha is BTR's Ambassador in Montréal, Canada. She is pursuing a combined Political Science and Juris Doctor degree at the University of Ottawa. After participating in BTR 2013, Misha immersed herself into projects related to her homeland of Lebanon. This included becoming an intern at the Embassy of Lebanon in Canada, learning about the work of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Lebanon and using her new-found curiosity to assist a refugee lawyer on the field. She also had the privilege of becoming a legal intern at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague, Netherlands.
Natalia is BTR's Ambassador in Florida. She is a sophomore studying International Relations/Public Health (focus on Humanitarian Assistance in the Middle East) at the University of Florida. BTR 2015 gave Natalia the opportunity to meet and establish close relationships with some of the most incredible people, whom she now calls family, along with allowing her to discover and formulate a new path for her future. She hopes to one day help tighten the bond between the United States and Lebanon to bring about awareness and aid to her beautiful and unique homeland.