Ghida Dagher

Ghida Dagher is the CEO & President of New American Leaders, the only national organization championing New Americans as crucial participants in the political system by providing resources to ensure that immigrant, first and second generation American leaders have the skills and support they need to run, win, and lead at every level of our democracy.

Most recently, she served as the Director of Appointments for Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the State of Michigan. As a member of the Governor’s senior team, Ghida oversaw the appointment of 2100+ individuals to Michigan’s 350 boards and commissions, as well as judicial appointments and administrative appointments to the Governor’s cabinet and state departments.

Prior to her tenure at the Executive Office of the Governor, Ghida was the Director of Government Partnerships & Community Affairs at United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM). In this capacity, she led in the design and implementation of strategies that drive impact, promote awareness and visibility, and enhance programs and resources in the Greater Detroit community. Her initiatives focused on the areas of education, economic prosperity, and health. During that time, Ghida also co-founded a non-profit and political consultancy, and served as lead strategist on local, state, and national issue-based and candidate-based campaigns. Before joining UWSEM, she led a variety of local and national policy initiatives pertaining to immigrant rights, civil liberties, and civic engagement at the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)/ACCESS.

Having moved to the U.S. at age of 9, Ghida’s family came seeking asylum from Lebanon and Sierra Leone. Her career and leadership are shaped by her multicultural background and her real-world understanding of struggle and opportunity. She’s a true believer that her immigrant background grounds her and her American experience propels her. She’s deeply dedicated to the engagement and empowerment of all communities, particularly those underrepresented.

Ghida serves on Huntington Bank’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Board, Michigan League of Conservation Voters board, and is a German Marshall Fund Marshall Memorial Fellow. She previously served on the boards of Young Nonprofit Professional Network of Detroit, KidsCount of Michigan, and ALICE Michigan Report. Her leadership and work has been recognized by the International Peace Honors, CNN, Politico, The 19th*, Crain’s Business Detroit, Arab America Foundation, and others.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Middle Eastern North African Studies from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

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