Dr. Debbie Almontaser

Entrepreneur, activist, Author


Dr. Debbie Almontaser is a community activist, advocate, entrepreneur, and educator who works across sectors in New York City. Dr. Almontaser has a clear, public record of interfaith activism and outreach across the boundaries of race, ethnicity and religion. Since September 11, Dr. Almontaser and her family opened their home to people from across the country to have a social exchange that lends itself to developing an understanding of Arabs and Muslims in New York City.

She also organized numerous interfaith and cultural events to develop cross-cultural understanding across New York City, such as the Children of Abraham Peace Walk.

In November 2018, Dr. Almontaser published Leading While Muslim: The Experiences of American Muslim Principals after 9/11, which illuminates the adversities that Muslim American principals experienced post-9/11.



Why We’re Honoring Her

Accomplishments & Accolades


Optimism in the face of bigotry

Dr. Almontaser's own family history is intertwined with the story of immigration and the promise of the American Dream. Despite the Muslim Ban decision, she remains optimistic that goodness will prevail, inspiring others into social activism.

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rallying cry for civic activism

Dr. Debbie Almontaser unified Yemeni Americans in Brooklyn, New York, organizing a protest against the Muslim Ban which gained national traction and catalyzed the creation of the Yemeni Merchants Association.

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Bringing Awareness to the Struggle of Muslim Educators

Dr. Debbie Almontaser harnessed her disappointment over the backlash she received at the country’s first Arabic language public school and wrote 'Leading While Muslim' in hopes that others will form a support network for American-Muslim principals who face discrimination and harassment.

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Building bridges

Dr. Debbie Almontaser been a fierce advocate for social justice and religious freedom for decades, using the guiding principles of Islam as her compass in overcoming differences and navigating the world with humility.

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When they build walls, we build bridges.

Dr. Debbie Almontaser