Sharif Aly 

Chief Executive Officer of Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA).

Before being Chief Executive Officer at Islamic Relief USA, Sharif worked as a lawyer for IRUSA. He was interested in applying his knowledge of legal systems to help empower the disenfranchised. Prior to working with IRUSA, he was a licensed attorney in New York, where he learned amazing, transferable skills such as leadership and problem-solving.  

Sharif’s Story

Sharif Aly is the Chief Executive Officer at Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA). Sharif joined the IRUSA as Advocacy Counsel in 2014, served as Interim Chief Executive Officer from August 2017 to April 2018, and became the Chief Executive Officer in April 2018. During his tenure as Advocacy Counsel, Sharif spearheaded major IRUSA strategic advocacy campaigns focused on food security and livelihood programs, refugee resettlement, civil society and humanitarian access, as well as climate change and environmental policies. Sharif also served as IRUSA’s Lead United Nations representative where he developed and utilized evidence-based research to advocate on behalf of the organization’s core values, programs philosophy and policy positions. As Advocacy Counsel, Sharif led major non-governmental coalition efforts to promote and strengthen financial access for civil society organizations.

While Interim Chief Executive Officer, Sharif oversaw a dynamic team of executives, senior managers, and support staff to carry out IRUSA’s humanitarian programs in the areas of disaster response, international relief and development, domestic social services, as well as major gifts-in-kind programs. Under Sharif’s leadership, IRUSA was able to raise record funds and increase the extent of impact for millions of beneficiaries across the world despite an increasingly hostile political climate and complex regulatory environment. Sharif is a subject-matter expert and frequent speaker on various topics in the humanitarian and development sector, including the impact of Islamophobia on refugees and migrants and the intersection of faith and humanitarian relief. His extensive advocacy efforts and policy initiatives have been instrumental in building strong strategic partnerships with key stakeholders and maximizing the impact of IRUSA’s humanitarian objectives and programming.

Prior to IRUSA, Sharif served as the Executive Director and General Counsel of Oaktree Institute, Inc., a leadership and educational nonprofit organization that aims to develop value-driven, action-focused, and results-oriented leaders. While at Oaktree Institute, Sharif was able to manage  a team of subject matter experts in a comprehensive and systematic way to develop and implement educational programs of a newly formed nonprofit organization, build leadership capacity, and provide support for community-based initiatives. Sharif has over 14 years of experience in a wide range of legal and humanitarian areas, including nonprofit law and management, civil litigation and arbitration, community development and humanitarian sector advocacy. Sharif is a 2009 graduate of Hofstra University School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor degree and served on the Dean’s Advisory Committee. In 2018, the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross appointed Sharif to the organization’s National Diversity Advisory Council. Sharif currently resides in Maryland with his family.