Board of Directors

Sikander ‘Sonny’ Khan
Chairman, Co-Founder
Sonny is a first-generation college student with roots from rural Pakistan. He is a 2020 candidate for a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and a minor in science, technology, and society (STS) as well as public health from the University of Michigan. He has worked for and founded multiple initiatives, giving him a well-rounded background in leadership, marketing, technology, and operations. He has a strong commitment to service, for which he has received various accolades, including the Governor of Michigan’s volunteer service award, 2019 University of Michigan Student of the Year, and is a Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient. In his free time, he enjoys supporting Lakers basketball, watching 90s sitcoms, and perusing through Apple Music.

Arhum Arshad
Executive Director in Finance, Co-Founder
Arhum attained his bachelors in economics from the University of Michigan. He has extensive experience in finance, and has previously worked for various corporations as a tax and credit analyst. He currently resides in Arlington, VA where he is a business technology analyst for Accenture Federal Services. Leveraging his extensive background in business analysis, he spearheaded much of Paani’s initial strategic design and partnership building upon the founding of the organization. He continues to primarily manage Paani’s finances and guide operations. Recent accomplishments include procurement of a $10k/monthly Google Grant for Nonprofits. In his free time, he enjoys community building, traveling, and sports television.

Omar Ilyas
Executive Director of Public Health, Co-Founder

Omar Ilyas is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health, specializing in international health care policy. He has previously published in several international healthcare journals, and has spearheaded initiatives for the betterment of disenfranchised communities including refugees and those formerly incarcerated. He is particularly invested in health care development within Pakistan. His work has awarded him the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award at the University of Michigan as well as a recognition for his commitment to service by the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He has further worked in Pakistan as a research analyst for the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), studying correlations between water contamination, climate change, and health outcomes in rural Pakistan. He is currently working as a United Nations Team Member Representative through the American Pakistan Foundation.

Essam Al-Snayyan
Executive Director in Education & Water Sanitation
Essam Al-Snayyan holds bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Biomolecular Science from the University of Michigan. During his work in research with the Radiation Oncology department, he patented a medical device and submitted a manuscript for publication. By utilizing campus resources, he was able to secure nearly $30,000 in funding to implement various projects. He is currently a graduate student in Public Health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health with a focus on Epidemiology. Outside of academics, his experience in working with local and international nonprofits in education and health make him a suitable adviser. In total, he has assisted with securing more than $100k in donations. Currently, he is an intern at the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) where he is working on the standardization of international surveys. In his free time, he enjoys watching UFC, traveling, staying up late, and nature.

Nauman Khan
Executive Director in Partnerships & Logistics, Co-Founder
Nauman was born and raised in Urbana, Illinois and attended the University of Michigan where he received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration. He currently works for J.P. Morgan as an analyst in the Houston Private Bank. In his time with Paani, Nauman has primarily focused on community outreach and leveraging partnerships to set up the long-term strategy and stability of Paani as an organization. In his free time, he enjoys playing cricket and giving back to his community.

Leadership Team & Advisory Counsel

Umaima Abbasi
Advocacy and Health Coordinator, Karachi
Umaima is a senior graduating in 2020 from the University of Michigan with a major in community and global public health and a minor in public policy. Her research is focused on vaccine preventable diseases. Aside from school, Umaima is a community organizer and is working on the My Muslim Vote campaign to mobilize Muslims throughout southeast Michigan to get out the vote (GOTV) in the 2020 elections. Umaima was born in Karachi, and completed high school there. During her time in Karachi, she recognized the stark disparities that exist in rural as well as urban neighborhoods. Following his, she piloted a vocational training program in Larkana, Sindh that helps women suffering from domestic abuse and living in single-mother households become agents of change in their lives through resume building and sowing classes.

Shaheryar Syed
Fellow for Health Care Initiatives and Professional Development
Shaheryar is approaching the end of his curriculum as he works to receive his Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Wayne State University. He hopes to further his education by enrolling into medical school as well as receiving a Master’s degree in Health Administration. A firm believer in the power of service, his list of contributions include participating in peace conferences focused on the revitalization of Detroit, organizing a health fair to encourage at-risk diabetes patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle, and assisting community members properly dispose of their recyclable belongings. This sense of purpose drove him to receive a certification in psychological first aid, enabling him with the knowledge needed to provide relief to those who fell victim to natural disasters. When he’s not giving back to the community that helped raise him, Shaheryar can be found watching movies and reading prose.

Global Team

Mumtaz Alsnayan
Regional Director – Jordan
Mumtaz is currently the regional director of initiatives in Jordan. He is a 2012 graduate with an English degree from Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan. Mumtaz is currently an English teacher at Alrashad Model School.