Maggie Mitchell Salem is the executive director of IRIS—Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services in Connecticut.
Previously, Salem was the senior resident director for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Tunisia, leading a team dedicated to improving inclusive, representative governance that addresses citizens’ priorities. She has more than 25 years’ experience providing assistance to civil society organizations and other groups engaged in civic education; elections; political transitions; and human rights. As the regional director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Salem oversaw the implementation of election-focused programs, including support to Iraqi parliamentarians debating electoral law reforms, skills training for poll workers in Jordan and the development of a groundbreaking online election resource in Farsi.
During her 11 years serving as the founding executive director of Qatar Foundation International, Salem partnered with major global media companies to produce civic education materials and launch online debate programs viewed by millions. In addition to her work with international development organizations, she served as a U.S. foreign service officer in Mumbai and Tel Aviv, and as staff in the executive secretariat of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Salem was a Fulbright scholar in Syria while studying for her master’s in contemporary Arab studies at Georgetown University. She received a bachelor's degree in political science and psychology from Johns Hopkins University.