Fahad Ahmad

Study program:
PhD Public Policy
Current affiliation:
Carleton University

Fahad Ahmad (public policy, Carleton University) examines how counter-radicalization policies affect nonprofit and community organizations serving Muslim communities in Canada and the United Kingdom.


Operating at the Nexus: The Role of Community Organizations in Preventing Radicalization

Despite the important role of community organizations in counter-radicalization efforts, there is limited scholarship on how they are impacted by state security policies. Using a mixed methods approach, Fahad’s dissertation examines how counter-radicalization policies shape the work of community organizations that provide social and economic support to Muslim migrants and diaspora, and to what extent these organizations mitigate radicalization.

Through a qualitative case-study, his research captures the role and experiences of organizations in Canada and the U.K. that serve Muslim communities and also implement counter-radicalization programs. He aims to generate theory on the role of community organizations in building societal resilience to violence. He will test the theoretical insights from his qualitative study using a quantitative model across OECD countries, more broadly examining the relationship between actions of community organizations and radicalization. Fahad’s interdisciplinary project will extend academic and policy discussions on security governance, multiculturalism, minority rights, and political violence.

Fahad Ahmad is a consultant, researcher, and program evaluator who works with social purpose and community-based initiatives to enhance the impact of their mission.

Fahad is currently a PhD candidate at the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. He has received the Social Science Humanities and Research Council’s Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Studies Doctoral Scholarship for his doctoral research that examines the impact of counter-radicalization policies on the work of community and nonprofit organizations that provide support to migrant and diaspora communities. Fahad is a research affiliate of the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS).

Prior to pursuing his PhD, Fahad was Chief Operating Officer and then, the interim CEO of Soliya, an innovative nonprofit that mobilizes young adults from western and predominantly Muslim societies to foster greater cross-cultural understanding. He led Soliya’s merger with one of the world’s largest peacebuilding organizations, Search for Common Ground, where he was appointed as the VP of Strategic Initiatives.   

Fahad provides consulting services to social justice and arts nonprofits that includes advice on strategic planning, partnership, operations, community mobilization, and fundraising. In 2015, he was invited to join the board of directors of Thousand Currents, a San Francisco based funder that supports Global South grassroots groups led by women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples. He was elected as Chair of the board of directors of Thousand Currents in 2017. He also serves as a board member of the Ontario Council of International Cooperation.

Fahad enjoys teaching and mentoring. He is an instructor for the course, “Leadership in the Social Sector” at the Schulich School of Business, York University. Fahad’s diverse experiences and background make him a creative problem solver. He has worked as a computer engineer, made short films, and lived and worked in the Middle East, India, Canada, and the U.S. Fahad holds graduate degrees from York University in Canada (MBA) and the University of Wisconsin Madison (MS), as well as a Bachelor’s degree from India.

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