Education Committee
The Somalia Strategy Forum Education Committee will pioneer an effort to build an exchange of teaching methods and ideas between school practitioners and education researchers. The Committee will promote interdisciplinary exchange among scholars whose research focuses on education. The Committee will sponsor an ongoing workshop on education, administer training grants in educational research, and foster connections among education-related programs in existing departments and schools.

The purpose of the Education Committee will be to work collaboratively with the leaders of the current education system in Somalia to identify strengths and needs. By doing so, the Education Committee will be able to develop a strategic plan for improving education at the primary, middle, secondary, university, and community college level. The ultimate aim is to build a more robust and sustainable education system and curriculum.


Lt. Col. (USAF, Ret.) Shelley Weiss, M.S.

Lt. Col. (USAF, Ret.) Shelley Joan Weiss, MS, is a career educator with over 38 years of teaching and professional administration experience at the PK-12 and university level. She currently serves as the Wisconsin Commissioner for the Interstate Compact for the Education of Military Children; as Trustee of the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), Northern Region; and is the Immediate Past President at Wisconsin Association for Middle Level Education (WAMLE). For over 18 years, Ms. Weiss served as principal of Waunakee Middle School, Wisconsin. She also served as a career member of the Air National Guard/Air Reserve, retiring as the WIANG Inspector General. Ms. Weiss is licensed as a Superintendent; Director of Curriculum and Instruction; Director of Special Education; Director of Pupil Services; and Prekindergarten - 12th Grade Building Administrator. She has taught extensively at the middle-school level and at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Now working as an Independent Educational Leadership Consultant with “Enhancing Educational Excellence!” she provides expert guidance to schools, districts, universities and associations on: educational leadership; positive school climate and culture; distributive leadership; data-driven decision making; assessments; curriculum and instruction; policy and research; mentoring; interventions; communication enhancement; and Instruction of middle-level educational practices. Ms. Weiss is completing her Doctorate of Education degree (ABD), with an emphasis on Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a Master's of Education Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville; a Master's Degree in Strategy and Policy from the Naval University, Newport, RI; a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and is a graduate of the USAF Air Command and Staff College. Shelley Joan is actively involved in educational reform at the state, regional, and national levels and is the recipient of many awards and honors – both civilian and military – including the James Stoltenberg Award for Leadership in Middle Level Education; the President’s Award of the Wisconsin Association for Outstanding Middle Level Education; and was Principal of the Wisconsin Middle School of the Year.

Lawrence H. (Larry) Rubly, M.A., M.S, M.B.A.

Lawrence H. (Larry) Rubly is a career educator and international training program developer with two Masters Degrees in Linguistics and an MBA in Marketing and Finance. He has been an industry practitioner since 1974 and adjunct professor at Oakton Community College since 1983. After completing military service as a Linguist in Germany, he joined the Language House division of Telemedia, Inc., where he developed an, at the time, innovative form of distance learning by implementing portable cassette and 800# technology to teach foreign languages to US executives, doing business abroad. As Bid & Proposal Manager for Telemedia,, Inc., he created a helicopter-specific pre-technical EFL program for 5-year, $80 million subcontract to Bell Helicopter International under an FMS case to build the Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF) and developed and negotiated 3-year, $100 million contract to build and run the language & technical training center at Dammam for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF). As Contracts Manager for EG&G/InterTech, he provided management support to the US Navy under $3.1 billion Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case to enhance the RSNF as a component of the Saudi Naval Expansion Program (SNEP). Together with another practitioner colleague, Professor Rubly launched the Global Business Studies (formerly International Trade) Program at Oakton Community College and created the Certificate in Global Business that allows students anywhere in the world to earn a US academic credential entirely online within 12 months. A pioneer in distance education, Mr. Rubly built the online delivery organization for DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management division and grew it into what is now DeVry University Online. Mr. Rubly’s governance work includes Chairmanship of the Board of Directors of Heartland International, a Chicago-based NGO, dedicated to promoting worldwide civil society; Membership of the Board of Directors of The Cradle, the oldest adoption agency in the US and Chair of the Board Committee for Adoption Learning Partners, the online and onsite training arm of The Cradle and Membership of the Board of Directors of Study Illinois, a not-for-profit consortium of Illinois colleges & universities, dedicated to bringing international students to Illinois post-secondary institutions.

Dr. Karen Hunt Ahmed, Ph.D.

Karen Hunt Ahmed is Assistant Professor of Finance and Management at DePaul University. She received a BA and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She has worked in the banking sector in Chicago and in private equity in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She is currently teaching Islamic Finance, Microfinance and Business Ethics at DePaul University’s College of Commerce. Her research interests include culture and identity, financial empowerment, Islamic finance, microfinance, globalization, and the sociocultural implications of business practice; she is working on an edited volume entitled Contemporary Islamic Finance. Dr. Hunt Ahmed is a Faculty Fellow of DePaul’s Egan Urban Center and serves on the advisory committee of DePaul’s Center for Financial Services. She serves as Treasurer of the Board of Refugee One and is a member of the Board of Haven Youth Services in Wilmette, IL. She is the President of Chicago Islamic Microfinance Project, a not for profit economic development organization that provides Shari'a compliant microcredit to entrepreneurs in Chicago. Karen lives in Wilmette with her daughters and enjoys karate. She lived in Dubai for many years and has traveled extensively in the Middle East, Pakistan, Africa and Europe.

Yusuf Ahmed Mire, MS

Dr. Mohamed Yusuf Hagar

The Somalia Strategy Forum
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