The ISB Leadership Institute (ISBLI) is an initiative of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta in partnership with KSU Division of Global Affairs and other industry thought leaders and practitioners. ISBLI trains and cultivates civic leaders who create positive and constructive changes to add value within communities and encourage sustainable approaches to creating a more prosperous and peaceful planet within communities and add value in the public square.

"Service to others is the rent you pay here for your room on earth." -- Muhammad Ali


ISBLI is the premier leadership development program for cultivating competent and effective civic leaders from within the diverse communities (Muslim and Non-Muslim) throughout Georgia.


ISBLI seeks to increase and elevate the civic engagement and leadership of Muslims and other diverse communities within the public sector in order to create a more vibrant, inclusive, and interconnected civic environment equipped to overcome local and global challenges.


ISBLI Core Values 

EXCELLENCE – We embrace accountability for excellence in planning, effort, and outcomes.

INTEGRITY – We adhere to truthfulness, honesty and “walking the talk” of the leader.

SERVICE – We put the needs of those we serve above our own personal needs and desires.

"The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers" -- Ralph Nader

ISBLI Participants Will

  • Strengthen their capacities to advance sustainable development in their communities
  • Improve their leadership skills
  • Gain a better understanding of community leadership and become more effective as community leaders
  • Join a vibrant statewide network of civic leaders making an impact on our local and global communities

ISBLI Graduates will support Organizations and Communities with

  • Stronger, more effective leaders who improve team functioning and productivity
  • Networking connections and resources that can help advance the organization’s goals

"True leaders understand that leadership is not about them but about those they serve. It is not about exalting themselves but about lifting others up." -- Sheri L. Dew

The Four Building Blocks of ISBLI

ISBLI develops competent, knowledgeable, courageous, and action-oriented leaders who apply their leadership skills to civic engagement initiatives and organizations to respond to development challenges throughout the communities in which they live and work.

Participants meet and learn from leaders in the business and non-profit sectors, government, international organizations, and community organizations to gain a better understanding of how to effectively lead change in their respective spheres of influence. The ISBLI Alumni Network is a tremendous resource for networking, mentoring, and mobilizing people and resources towards aspirational goals.

ISBLI develops leaders who apply critical thinking and creativity to solve current and future issues.

ISBLI participants work on group projects that affords them practical opportunities to do “real world application” of the content learned in the program. The projects reinforce learning, generate teamwork, and benefit civic initiatives.


ISBLI is a nine-month program featuring a series of leadership modules developed by thought leaders and practitioners. The time commitment for ISBLI participants is one full Saturday per month for the duration of the program plus time for the group project. The ISBLI uses a modular curriculum building competencies in:

  • Leading Teams
  • Personal Leadership
  • Transformative Leadership
  • Leading Inclusively
  • Leadership in Islam
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Non-Profit Leadership
  • Business Communication
  • Advocacy

More Benefits

Presenters/Guest Speakers:

The ISBLI curriculum is presented by experts in each of the competency areas. Our holistic approach to leadership training and development maximizes learning, retention, and application of new skills by participants. In addition, guest speakers, such as well-established faith, corporate and nonprofit professionals, share their diverse perspectives and experiences as community leaders. Participants learn how these subject matter experts practically apply leadership principles and skills in real-world scenarios. The guest speakers afford participants the opportunity to interact with men and women at the top of their fields, gaining additional insights and connections


Applied Learning – Group Projects:

As part of the ISBLI experience, participants are organized into teams to work on group projects.  These projects are selected from proposals from various non-profits and are designed to address specific needs and/or solve key problems. These are “real-world” projects that generate actual value to organizations and the larger society.  Each ISBLI group project team is responsible for establishing working protocols, deliverable timelines, and facilitating the project from start to finish.  An advisor from the ISBLI Team and a project sponsor from the non-profit organization are assigned to each group. The teams provide updates at each monthly ISBLI session. The groups present their projects to key stakeholders as well as the entire ISBLI cohort at the end of the session.





To be eligible to apply for the program, participants must be at least 25 years old and must complete the application process. ISBLI candidates should have a proven passion for civic engagement and community service, prior leadership experience, and experience working within groups and organizations. ISBLI implements a standardized candidate screening process that includes interviews of qualified applicants. Participants must commit to attending all ISBLI formal and informal sessions.

This program is not limited to the Muslim community. Participants from ALL backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to apply.

The tuition fees for the ISBLI 2023 are as follows:

Full Tuition $1,750.00 ($1500 if application received by November 30, 2022).

Student (with proof of student status): $825 ($750 if application received by November 30, 2022).

Limited scholarships may be available on a need basis for up to 50% of the fee.  Financial necessity will have to be documented and demonstrated. Please see the application for details.  The attendance requirements for scholarship recipients are the same as that for all program participants.

Regardless of the payment option selected, the initial tuition payment is due by January 13, 2023. All tuition must be paid in full by the date of the third session, March 18, 2023.


Participants may miss only ONE session. Upon second absence, the student is placed on probation. In case of termination of the participant, any tuition paid is nonrefundable.

ISBLI 2021 Flyer




ISBLI Faculty

Kim Howard-Carswell

Persona Affairs’ award-winning CEO Kim Howard-Carswell, “Branding Ombuds” takes a unifying approach to

career branding, operations, workplace conflicts, and leadership development. As a lead international Ethno-
nonviolence trainer for FEHN and Nigeria’s Presidential Amnesty program, she helped transform over 20,000

Niger Delta militants (featured on CNN’s Planet in Peril) into successful employees and productive citizens.
After Kim’s global experience as a Kingian Nonviolence Trainer, she harmonized the organizational conflict system
design and ombudsperson methods into the actionable strategy.

Throughout her career, Kim has authored numerous training curricula as well as three self-marketing
books. Kim served as the Southern Christian Leadership Foundation CLF Program Manager for US
Department “Ambassador for Peace” Nonviolence Training project. She is an Advisory Board Member
and Guest Lecturer at Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Computing.
Kim earned the “Top 1%” LinkedIn User distinction and national recognition as The 2016 American
Business Women. She served on the Atlanta Area Council African and Southeast Asian Delegation and
facilitated dialogues with progressive leaders in government, NGOs, and business from over 15

For three years, she used her international prowess in conflict reconciliation and served as The King
Center’s Director of Nonviolence365® Training & Development to modernize complex business
operations, portfolio of instruction and structured the pilot delivery for a virtual leadership program. In
addition, to advising, Kim is a member of the International Ombudsman Association’s Diversity Equity
and Inclusion Task Force – Belonging Committee.
Kim is a New York native who relocated to Atlanta to raise her family. She earned a Bachelor of Arts
degree in Communications from Georgia State University. Kim pursued a Master of Science in Conflict
Management from Kennesaw State University and Women as 21st Century Leadership at Park
University. Among other endeavors, she acquired certifications in Advanced Mediation, Organizational
Conflict Management, Negotiations, and International Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation from
The University of Rhode Island and Emory University.

Terri Theisen

Terri Theisen is the founder and principal consultant of Theisen Consulting LLC. She has more than 30 years of executive leadership and consulting experience in the nonprofit sector.

Theisen Consulting is a national management consulting firm providing strategic counsel to nonprofit organizations, grantmaking foundations, coalitions and collaboratives, corporate civic engagement programs, and government agencies throughout the United States.  Theisen Consulting has expertise in strategic and tactical planning, group facilitation and decision-making, board development and effectiveness, capitalization of nonprofit organizations, and organizational development. Theisen Consulting provides services in planning, board development, management, governance, executive search, executive coaching, and civic engagement.  Practice concentrations include public health, education, human services, arts and culture, and nonprofit management.

Prior to founding Theisen Consulting, Terri spent more than twenty years as a nonprofit staff leader. She served as CEO of a regional nonprofit; as vice president of two large national nonprofits where she had responsibility for the field operation of more than 30 affiliates, and as an internal management consultant in a large national nonprofit organization. Throughout her career, she held various staff positions in program management, public policy, senior leadership, and operations.

Terri is an active and committed volunteer. She chaired the 2016 Women’s Leadership Breakfast for United Way of Greater Atlanta and serves on the Global Women’s Leadership Council of Women United for United Way Worldwide.  She is past chair of the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Greater Atlanta and is a past chair of the Women of Tocqueville Society.  Terri is a board member, executive committee member, and treasurer of the National Psoriasis Foundation, a $16 million nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for psoriatic diseases.  Terri is a board member of Jewish Family & Career Services, a $13 million human service nonprofit in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a board member of the Sandy Springs Foundation.

Terri is an active alumna of Leadership Atlanta (class of 2007.) She is past chair of the Board of Hands On Atlanta and currently serves on its Advisory Board. She is a past board member of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation; a past board member (and current Advisory Board member) of the Visiting Nurse Health System/Hospice Atlanta; and is a member of many other civic and professional associations, including the American Public Health Association and the American Society of Association Executives. Terri is a 2005 graduate of the Diversity Leadership Academy, is a sought-after speaker and conference session leader including for the BoardSource Leadership Forum, Council on Foundations, Grantmakers in the Arts, the Georgia Society of CPAs, and the Council of Volunteer Administrators. She has been interviewed by numerous industry publications focused on the nonprofit sector. Terri is the author of two books: Nonprofit Business Plan Development: From Vision, Mission, and Values to Implementation, and Succession Planning for Nonprofit Leadership: Steps to Ensuring Your Organization’s Future,as well as numerous articles related to nonprofit management and effectiveness.

Vicki Flier Hudson

Vicki is the author of the book Zen and the Art of OffshoringHow to Build a Collaborative and Profitable Team with Your Partners in India, and a recipient of Kennesaw State University’s Instructor of the Year award for International Programs. She has been featured on NBC News and her articles have been published in a variety of magazines. She has also authored two books of poetry and essays, The Runway of Stars and The Winter Garden.

Vicki has two decades of experience helping leaders and organizations get results. Her corporate training background and her expertise in multi-country software implementations help her speak the language of her clients. Vicki is certified in TTI Success Insights DISC and 12 Driving Forces. She is also a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a registered mediator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, and a trained coach through the Co-Active Institute.

Vicki has lived and/or worked in Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Nepal and Thailand She developed a knack for riding camels, rickshaws, buses, and cement trucks across the globe, and enduring Indian train rides exceeding fifty-five hours at a time.  She has traveled in several countries including Austria, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama and Singapore. She is a proud member of the International Coaching Federation, and has been active in organizations such as the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR), Japan-America Society of Georgia, and the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). She served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and TAG’s International Business Society. In her spare time, Vicki sings and plays guitar in a Rush tribute band, The Spirit of Rush.

Amir Ghannad

Amir Ghannad is an international Keynote Speaker, Author, Leadership Development Specialist and Culture Transformation Catalyst. He is the president and founder of the Ghannad Group, LLC.  He guides leaders and equip them with the tools, skills, and the mindset to create extraordinary workplace cultures that deliver breakthrough results, even in the most unfavorable circumstances. With over 3 decades of experience in leadership and organizational development, Amir’s commitment is to transform every workplace into a “showcase of excellence” and a “cradle of prosperity” that produces extraordinary results for all stakeholders and is a source of pride, fulfillment, and inspiration for all team members. His organization provides a variety of services, ranging from speaking to workshops and consulting to empower people at all levels of the organization to discover the Transformative Leader within. He is the author of the book The Transformative Leader.

Rita Wuebbeler

Rita Wuebbeler is President and Founder of INTERGLOBE Cross-Cultural Business Services, Inc., where she helps leaders of global organizations and global virtual teams reach their highest performance potential. Rita teaches Mindful Leadership to leaders who want to be more intentional and less reactive in their leadership approach.

Rita is a certified Executive Coach and holds a PCC (Professional Certified Coach) credential from the International Coaching Federation (IFC). She is a Senior Facilitator with Personal Leadership Seminars, a Qualified Administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), and a certified administrator of the DISC Behavioral Profile. Rita regularly presents at international professional conferences on the topics of leadership development, cultural competency building, effective communication and organizational development, as well as in industry-specific areas.

Jeremy Solomons

Jeremy Solomons is an independent coach, consultant, and trainer in Global Leadership, helping current and future leaders to connect with themselves and engage fully with the world. He has extensive professional (and personal) interfaith experience from his first family’s Orthodox Judaism to Islam to Buddhism and more recently to Methodism, working closely with the Trinity Church of Austin. Born in Manchester, England, educated at Oxford and now based in Austin, Texas, he has lived in eight countries around the world; he has worked as a full-time banker, educator, and journalist for six multinational organizations – including the World Bank and Reuters News Agency; he has been fluent in three languages, apart from his mother-tongue English; he holds two passports; and he has one daughter and one cat.

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