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AMENA-Psy Appointed Chair's & Representatives


Sawssan Ahmed, Ph.D.

AMENA-Psy Representative to APA’s Council of Representatives

Dr. Sawssan Ahmed is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton, and a licensed clinical psychologist in the State of California and Qatar. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology with specializations in quantitative methods and community psychology from Wayne State University. She completed her postdoctoral training in developmental issues and health disparities. Dr. Ahmed’s research focuses on the relationship between sociocultural risk and protective factors and physical and mental health in people of color with a specific interest in American Muslim and Arab American communities. She was a co-investigator on a NIH-funded study focused on the relationship between racism, behavioral factors, and psychological and physical health in Arab American adolescents and is currently the lead principal investigator on a research study that explores the role of socio-cultural risk and protective factors in the well-being of a diverse group of American Muslim emerging adults. Dr. Ahmed was awarded a QNRF (Qatar National Research Fund) grant to investigate outcomes from a postpartum depression intervention for Arab women receiving perinatal services. She is also a research associate of the Family Youth Institute.  She has authored several publications on the role of risk and protective factors as well as culturally competent clinical work with Arab and Muslim communities.



Bahaur Amini, M.S.

Membership Chair

Bahaur is a fifth-year doctoral candidate currently completing her internship year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Counseling and Psychological Services in the BIPOC concentration. Throughout her professional career, Bahaur has committed her efforts to contribute to psychological research of and clinical practice with Middle Eastern populations. Her professional interests and goals developed from her own cultural identity and journey as a Middle Eastern graduate student. Awareness of the multiplicity of her social contexts has shaped her interests and goals for the advancement of multicultural counseling and social justice initiative. Her research interests broadly capture the impact of childhood/adolescent trauma on mental health functioning and relationships in adulthood, cultural and social identity development, sense of belonging, wellbeing, and resiliency. Bahaur has served on the AMENA-Psy executive board as Student Member-at-Large (2020-2021), co-chaired the 2021 AMENA-Psy Conference, and was co-editor for the AMENA-Psy Newsletter (2021). She also served on the advocacy, conference planning, and student committee. In addition to her leadership roles within AMENA-Psy, she has also served as the Student Liaison for Division 45's Student Committee and the student representative of Division 17, in which she was awarded the 2018 Student Affiliates of Seventeen (SAS) Representative of the Year. More recently she received the 2020 SAS Award for Dedication to Social Justice and Liberation in Counseling Psychology. Bahaur was recognized for her sustained leadership as the Student Member of AMENA-Psy and anti-racist advocacy and solidarity with others. She is grateful for the many meaningful relationships she has made with students and professionals in the organization. AMENA-Psy is her professional home. 

Layli Khaghani, Psy.D.

Advocacy Committee Co-Chair

Dr. Layli Khaghani received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at CSPP/Alliant, and is an early career psychologist in San Francisco, specializing in serving adults, children and families from MENA regions, immigrant and refugee backgrounds, and survivors of complex and transgenerational trauma. Dr. Khaghani is thrilled to bridge her clinical work and activism on the Advocacy Committee, as she perceives global and personal transformation as inextricably linked. Layli Khaghani, Psy.D.


Mohamed Elnakib, Psy.D.

Advocacy Committee Co-Chair

Mohamed Elnakib received his Psy.D. at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. He is currently completing his Post-doc fellowship at Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, the first federally funded migrant health center in the United States. An avid and passionate activist, Mohamed’s advocacy centers around using a social justice informed lens to educate others about social issues impacting Arab Americans and using a humanitarian approach to serve the most underserved and marginalized MENA community members both nationally and internationally.