Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Chaplain Shazeeda Khan, President

Chaplain Shazeeda Khan has an economics degree from New York University. She began her career as a commodities accountant at a Wall Street firm. She has a certificate in Islamic Studies and is currently a volunteer chaplain at the United States Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, CT since 2005 where she serves Muslim women. She the Director of Islamic Education and teacher for the Baitul Mukarram Masjid of Greater Danbury. There she develops the Islamic Studies curriculum for the youth ages 5 to 18 and supervises a team of teachers. She also develops halaqa programs for the women. Since 2000 Chaplain Khan has served on the board of the Association of Religious Communities (ARC), an interfaith community service organization. She is one of the founding board members of the Muslim Endorsement Council (MEC, Inc.); the Secretary of The Islamic Seminary of America (TISA); and elected Treasurer of Association of Religious Endorsing Bodies (AREB).

Imam Dr. Salahuddin Muhammad, Vice President

Imam Salahuddin M. Muhammad worked 28 years as a chaplain before retiring from Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon NY. He also retired as Senior Imam of Masjid Al Ikhlas after 26 years of service in Newburgh NY. Additionally, Dr. Muhammad is a retired contract chaplain having served 17 years at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson NY. He is currently: President of the Alumni Council and Executive Board member of Hartford Seminary; Past president of the Association of Muslim Chaplains (AMC); Associate Imam of As-Salaam Islamic Center in Raleigh NC; Secretary for the Triangle Imams Council (TIC). Imam Muhammad is a member of Muslims for Social Justice (MSJ), and a member of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). He is also the author of Bridging the Divide between Immigrants and African American Muslims by Using the Concept of Tawheed as the Catalyst.

Chaplain Rafael D. Lantigua Jr., Treasurer

Rafael D. Lantigua Jr., Chaplain, 673 ABW/HC, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Alaska. Chaplain Lantigua is the Branch Chief of Plans and Readiness at the Joint Religious Operations Center. He provides unit ministry, pastoral care, counseling, and advice to leadership for the 673 ABW. He leads Muslim worship services and provides weddings, funerals, memorials, and other rites commensurate with his religious endorsement. He is endorsed by the Islamic Society of North America. Chaplain Lantigua enlisted in the United States Air Force in November 1994, completing the Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Specialist Training course in March 1995. In December 1996, he became a Command Post specialist and completed three deployments in Kuwait (1999), Afghanistan (2002), and Iraq (2003). After graduating from Bellevue University, he received a direct commission as a 2LT with the US Army in November 2008. Upon receiving a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy from Hartford International University for Religion and Peace, he was appointed as a chaplain in June 2013, accessioning into the Air Force Chaplain Corps in March 2014. He has served 28 years on Active Duty and 1 year in the National Guard. Before his current position, he was the Dean of Faculty chaplain at the United States Air Force Academy.

Aqil Hashim LCSW, Secretary

Aqil Hashim has worked as a volunteer with the CT Department of Correction Religious Services department since 1989. A licensed clinical social worker, Aqil has served a diverse, multi-cultural population of Muslims throughout the state of Connecticut. His efforts include the coordination of Jummah, Eid celebrations, classes in Islamic studies, and community re-entry assistance. He has also served as the vice-president of the Board of Directors (Majlis) of Masjid Al-Islam in New Haven, CT.

Imam Kashif Abdul Karim, Member

Imam Kashif converted to the religion of Al-Islam of May 15, 1986 under the leadership of Imam W.D. Mohammed. A former parole officer and social worker with the CT Juvenile Justice Department (1989-2009), he was also a Muslim Chaplain with the CT Department of Correction from 1987-2009. Upon retirement with 23 years of state service, he was recognized by the Governor’s office for his outstanding contribution to the state. Kashif Abdul-Karim is resident Imam of Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford (since 2006) and is secretary of the New England Council of Masajids and is a member of the boards of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CT), The Center for a New Economy and the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Healthcare.


Dr. James Jones

Dr. James Jones is the Executive Vice-President of the Islamic Seminary of America (TISA). He is Professor Emeritus of World Religions and former chair of the Dept of World Religions and the African Studies Program at Manhattanville College (Purchase, NY). Dr. Jones’s research focuses on the intersectionality of between Islamophobia and racism. DMin from Hartford Seminary and a MA in Religion from Yale Divinity School. He is President of the Malik Human Services, a marriage counselor for more than two decades, and a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains. He sits on the National Board of Directors of CAIR. Dr. Jones is also a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Trainer. MHFA’s goal is to train people to be able to identify, understand and respond to people with mental health or substance abuse issues

Chaplain AbdulMalik Negedu

Chaplain AbdulMalik Negedu is a founding member of the Association of Muslim Chaplains and former VP for Community and Membership chair, he completed his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency at the former Hospital of St. Raphael (Now Yale-New Haven Hospital – St. Raphael campus). He is a community Chaplain with and Secretary of Malik Human Services Institute, Inc. Chaplain Negedu also teaches Islamic Studies, Personal Financial Planning and Leadership in Islam.

Chaplain Patricia Anton, Board Member

Patricia Anton (Chaplain Patty) serves as Chaplain and Director for Muslim Life at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a per-diem chaplain at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and founder of Alanur, a nonprofit she established to offer faith-based training and services to the community. She has come into chaplaincy with a background of working with Muslim, interfaith, academic and peace-building institutions, including but not limited to: the International Interfaith Peace Corps, Islamic Society of North America, Islamic Relief, Pillars of Peace, and American University. Patricia received her BA in International Relations from the Ohio State University, MA in Islamic Studies from the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, A Graduate Fellowship in Nonprofit Management and Governance from Indiana University, additional graduate studies at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Hartford Seminary Islamic Chaplaincy program and she is a certified mediator.

Chaplain Matiniah Yahya

Chaplain Matiniah Yahya is a community chaplain, Master Disaster Chaplain, and former full-time Chaplain Resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Association for Pastoral Care Education (ACPE) training program (completing a total of 4 units of CPE). In addition, she is a veteran elementary educator with a wide range of teaching, training, and consulting experiences in the US and the Middle East. Chaplain Yahya has been a volunteer hospital and prison chaplain as well as a Muslim marriage and family pastoral counselor for more than a decade. Formerly Vice-President of the board of Muslim Endorsement Council of CT(MEC), Matiniah holds a BS in Human Services from Southern New Hampshire University and a Master’s in Education from Boston University. She is also a founding member and former Vice President for Community Chaplaincy and Education Chair for the Association of Muslim Chaplains (AMC). She currently teaches first grade at Noble Academy and serves as Vice-President of the Malik Human Services (MHSI) board.

Chaplain Saleha Jabeen

Chaplain Saleha Jabeen is currently assigned to the 517th Training Group at the Defense Language Institute in Presidio of Monterey, California. Chaplain Jabeen provides for the religious freedom and spiritual needs of military members, their families, and the multi-service community. She utilizes her interfaith pastoral experience to provide spiritual care, mentorship, relationship support, and spiritual/moral/ethical advice to leadership in a multi-service environment. Chaplain Jabeen entered the Air Force in December 2019. She received endorsement from the Islamic Society of North America. She completed the Total Force Officer Training on December 11, 2020. Before her current position, Chaplain Jabeen was a Chaplain Candidate in December 2019 at Buckley AFB, Colorado. In addition to her major assignments, Chaplain Jabeen has served as the religious and cultural advisor to the commander of the Holloman Task Force of Operation ALLIES WELCOME


Jennifer Wolke

Sister Jennifer Wolke provides staff services to MEC. Sister Jennifer works for the public school district. Over these last 25 years she has volunteered for many humanitarian organizations, engaged her community in child and family advocacy, and collaborated to write education law regarding parent involvement in education. Following her shahadah Jennifer has focused her efforts in the muslim community by assisting Islamic studies teachers of young children at Al Hedaya Islamic Center and Baitul Mukarram Masjid. She supports masajid projects across the state and has active roles in muslim run business and muslim non profit efforts across the United States. Sister Jennifer is certified in Mental Health First Aid through AMHP, as a Peaceful Families Project Trainer and is working collaboratively to establish a muslim girls sports and recreation program.


The consultative committee provides information and advice to the Board of Directors as needed. It comprises of members who have theological expertise and or professional knowledge.

Imam Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir is a prominent American Muslim scholar. He currently the Amir of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA). He has taught courses in Arabic, Islamic spirituality, contemporary Muslim thought, Islamic history and politics, and Shafi’i fiqh at Zaytuna College, which he co-founded. Imam Zaid speaks and writes on a wide range of topics and has become a voice of conscience for American Muslims as well as people of other faiths. He is regularly included as one of the Western world’s most influential Muslim scholars in The Muslim 500, an annual ranking edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin. He is also one of the signatories of “A Common Word Between Us and You,” an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders that calls for peace and mutual understanding.

Dr. Feryal Salem

Dr. Feryal Salem is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, as well as Director of the Master of Divinity in Islamic Studies and Muslim Chaplaincy programs. Her research interests include Islamic philosophy and theology in the post-classical period, interfaith dialogue, and the development of Muslim thought in the contemporary era as it came into conversation with aspects of modernity.  Dr. Salem previously taught at Hartford Seminary where she was Assistant Professor of Islamic Scriptures and Co-Director of its Islamic Chaplaincy Program. She received her Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the University of Chicago’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

Dr. Tamara Gray

Dr. Tamara Gray is the founder of Rabata, an organization dedicated to promoting positive cultural change through creative educational experiences.  She worked in the field of education for twenty-five years before moving into the non-profit world. Her work includes the daily nitty gritty of project design as well as the support and mentorship of hundreds of women around the world.  Dr. Gray spent twenty years studying traditional and classical Islamic sciences, Quran, and Arabic in Damascus, Syria.  She holds a doctorate in leadership from the University of St. Thomas, a master’s degree in Curriculum Theory and Instruction from Temple University. Dr. Gray is also an author, translator, and public speaker who is often engaged to speak about issues of gender, leadership, Islam, and spirituality; locally, nationally and globally,

Imam Dawud Walid

Imam Dawud Walid is currently the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), member of the Imams Council of Michigan, and senior fellow at Auburn Seminary based in New York.

He previously served as an imam at Masjid Wali Muhammad, Detroit and the Bosnian American Islamic Center in Hamtramck, MI as well as the board chairman of Al-Ikhlas Training Academy which is a grades K-12 Islamic school in Detroit.

Imam Dawud is the author of the books Towards Sacred Activism, Blackness and Islam, and Futuwwah: Raising Males Into Sacred Manhood.

Future Growth

MEC is looking forward to the future growth of Muslim chaplains with a renewed commitment to be the national standard bearer for endorsement, and consistency and integrity in the field of Islamic chaplaincy.