Meet the Founder of ABPA
Mr. Fuad M. Sahouri
Mr. Fuad M. Sahouri is the Founder and Executive Director of ABPA Institute. He is also the Founder and President of Sahouri Insurance and Financial Services, a privately-held risk management insurance brokerage firm based in McLean, Virginia. Established in 1970, SAHOURI has evolved from a local insurance agency to a globally renowned industry leader. SAHOURI is recognized as the largest insurance provider to the diplomatic community, serving both embassies and U.N. missions throughout the United States.
In 2015, the Washington Business Journal named SAHOURI the “Best Place to Work” within the Washington area; and the firm also received the coveted Stevie Award for customer service. In the same year, Mr. Sahouri himself was named “Financial Professional of the Year” by Northern Virginia Magazine and “Hometown Hero of the Year” by the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce for his outstanding contributions within the local community. In 2021, SAHOURI was honored as “Agency of the Month” by industry gold-standard publication, Rough Notes. SAHOURI is proud to be recognized by its community and industry peers for its award-winning service, production, and culture.
In addition to insurance, Fuad Sahouri’s extensive history of activism in support of Palestine; the Arab American community; and involvement in worthy endeavors, both in the United States and in the Palestinian territories span across decades.
Born and raised in Ramallah, Palestine, Fuad’s passion to advance peace, dialogue, and improving the economic climate in the Palestinian territories led to his active engagement in US foreign policy in the Middle East. Fuad Sahouri brokered several foreign policy meetings with former President George W. Bush, senior to allow for Palestinian goods to enter the US under the label "Made in Palestine." Having strong ties with the Bush administration, Fuad Sahouri was often consulted on matters related to the Middle East. Additionally, when the Oslo Accords were being discussed, Fuad was instrumental in inviting the Israeli Chamber of Commerce.
Fuad Sahouri facilitated the request to attain a Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status for the Palestinian territories between Chairman Yasser Arafat and the White House; and further advised Chairman Arafat to appeal for a free-trade agreement between the United States and the Palestinian territories. Former President Bill Clinton thereafter granted Palestine the Free-Trade Agreement in 1995. Fuad Sahouri also established the Palestinian-American Chamber of Commerce in 1992.
In 1994, Fuad Sahouri was invited to present the "Palestinian Perspective" at the World Economic Forum Conference in Davos. Throughout the 1990s, he participated in various speaking engagements in the US and in the Arab region, addressing businesses and universities, including joint efforts between the American Israeli Chamber of Commerce and the Palestinian American Chamber of Commerce--all in the interest of promoting peace and dialogue. Fuad was invited to lecture at Cornell University in NY on the significance of economic development for Palestine, and the value to promote a market-driven economy.
Believing in the importance of serving the professional and business interests of Arab Americans here in the U.S., in 1985 Fuad founded the Arab-American Business and Professional Association, a trade association for the Arab American community in the United States. In the early 2000s, Fuad Sahouri hosted a weekly television program entitled "It's Your Business," which aired on the American Arab Network (ANA) for just under two years. The show featured many topics, including international business, principles of free enterprise, politics and trade.
Fuad Sahouri’s passion for philanthropy led to the establishment of the Arab-Americare Foundation (AAF); a US organization aimed to advance the professional growth and economic wellbeing of young Palestinian professionals in the West Bank through professional development training and internship opportunities. The AAF successfully developed and advanced the career paths of countless young Palestinians, helping numerous employment.
The success of the internship program in Palestine motivated Fuad Sahouri to replicate a similar program in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. Fuad's commitment to develop the professional skills and talent of young Arab Americans and to increase their representation across diverse sectors, led to Fuad's establishment of the ABPA Institute. The ABPA Institute is a conduit that partners with numerous employers across diverse sectors, including federal agencies, nonprofits and think tanks to provide meaningful internship opportunities to Arab Americans and underserved minorities, allowing them to transform their academic knowledge into practical job skills, build connections and networks in their respective fields, and help launch their career paths.
Fuad Sahouri is survived by his wife, Mary Zayed, their five children, and 15 grandchildren.