Candidate Bio

Meet Emad Rahim

 

My Story

 
 

I was born in a concentration camp in the Killing Fields of Cambodia. At this camp, I lost my father and older brother to the brutality of the Khmer Rouge. We eventually escaped and made our way to a refugee camp in Thailand. Through the generosity and love from a group of Syracuse families and Catholic Charities, we were sponsored to resettle in America.

In the city of Syracuse, my family struggled with poverty, language barriers, and discrimination. Growing up on public assistance, I personally had to overcome abuse, racism, dyslexia, and violence on the streets. My mother often worked three jobs to take care of us. My siblings and I were latchkey children, and we had to grow up fast. Today, my mother can proudly say all four of her children went on to attend college, start their own families, and are productive members of our society.

I went from barely graduating Fowler High School to earning multiple graduate degrees and credentials from Harvard, Tulane, Cornell, Colorado Tech, SUNY Empire State College, and Onondaga Community College (OCC honorary degree). From struggling with dyslexia and the embarrassment I felt about my learning disability, to becoming an award-winning author, business owner, Fulbright Scholar, TEDx Speaker, University Dean, and sought-after keynote speaker. Today, I travel all over the country speaking at high schools, colleges and conferences to motivate and inspire young people and educators.

Emad in Thailand Refugee Camp

Emad in Thailand Refugee Camp

I credit my success to the teachers, mentors, and community leaders that supported me, and the local residents who showed me love and empathy. These individuals refused to give up on me. They saw something in this lost, scared and angry kid, and refused to give up on me.

Emad with students at Johnson City High School

Emad with students at Johnson City High School

I shared my appreciation for our city in the Syracuse Stage Theater production of “Tales From The Salt City” and in an open thank you letter titled “To My Resilient City and the People of Syracuse NY - We Need Empathy” and in the short documentary “Against the Odds,” which was an extension of the Scholars in Action project at Syracuse University.  

Thanks to my local mentors and support network for believing in me: Judge Langston McKinney, Willie Dowdell, Linda Littlejohn, Eunice Williams, Davine Bey, Dr. Deborah Amory and my former OCC professor and advisor Nicholas Poulos (you are dearly missed)

Thanks to my family members for your love and support: mother (Sony Kong), siblings (Sophary, Hannette, Susan), wife (Cjala Surratt), uncle (Sereivath “Jeff” Tep) and aunt (Nicole Soeut-Tep), mother-in-law (Sonita Surratt) and brother-in-laws (El-Java and Yusuf Abdul-Qadir).



“I credit my success to the teachers, mentors, and community leaders that supported me, and the local residents who showed me love and empathy”

Emad Rahim with mother and sister in the early 80s near South Ave

Emad Rahim with mother and sister in the early 80s near South Ave

 

Emad’s commencement speech at Ashford University’s graduation

 
 
 

My Background

 
 

Experience:

Dean of Social Impact at Claremont Lincoln University

Endowed Chair and Professor at Bellevue University

Equity Partner at Ztudium (UK Based Firm)

Curriculum Dean at Strayer University/ and Fellow Jack Welch Management Institute (JWMI)

Co-Founded of Global i365 LLC and CNY Inclusion Conference

Founded Venture Connect at SUNY Morrisville State College

Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Syracuse University and Oklahoma State University

University Dean at Colorado Technical University

Cornell Trainer, Cornell University

Board of Directors:

CNY Community Foundation

OCC Scholarship Foundation

Good Life Youth Foundation

On Point For College

Committees

White Ribbon Campaign, Vera House

Grants and Development, CNYCF

Venture Innovation, Innovation Roundtable

Previously worked at Career Education Corp., Dunbar Center, Salvation Army, SUNY Empire, Unity House of Cayuga County , Catholic Charities, Elmcrest Children’s Center, Syracuse City School District, ARC of Onondaga, HOME Inc., Southwest Community Center, Spaulding PRAY, etc.

Author

Written for Forbes, CEO Magazine, The Startup Magazine, Post Standard, New Times, TweakYourBiz, IntelligentHQ, Medium

Published over 50 academic articles, contributed over a dozen of book chapters, and written 6 books to date.



Credentials:

Post-Doctorate Certificate, Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University (MLE Fellow)

Post-Doctorate Diploma, Freeman School of Business at Tulane University (PostDoc Bridge)

Doctorate of Management, Colorado Technical University

MSc in Project Management and Business Management, Colorado Technical University

BS and AS in Community Management, SUNY Empire State College

Honorary AS Degree, SUNY Onondaga Community College

PMP Cert (Project Management Professional), Project Management Institute

CSM (Certified Scrum Master), Scrum Alliance

CM (Certified Manager), Institute for Certified Professional Managers

OMCP (Online Marketing Certified Professional), OMCP Association

Certified Associate Business Manager (CABM), Association of Professionals in Business Management

Master Negotiation, Harvard School of Law

Leadership Certified, Leadership of Greater Syracuse, Harvard, Cornell, MIT, JWMI, AMA

Awards:

Empact100 Honoree, United Nations

Community Impact Award, Empire State College

John H. Mulroy Founder's Award, SUNY Onondaga Community College

Outstanding Alumni Award, American Association of Community Colleges

Congressional Award, Congressman Dan Maffei

Entrepreneurship Teaching Award, Oklahoma State University

40 Under Forty, CNY Business Journal & Whitman

Emad with Jack Welch, NY Times Best-Selling Author & former CEO of General Electric / Chairman of JWMI (Emad was Former Curriculum Dean and Fellow)

Emad with Jack Welch, NY Times Best-Selling Author & former CEO of General Electric / Chairman of JWMI (Emad was Former Curriculum Dean and Fellow)

"Against The Odds" story of Emad Rahim, a survivor of the Cambodian Killings Fields.

Emad volunteering at University Prep Charter School For Young Men in Rochester NY

Emad speaking at the United Nations Commission in NYC with panel members from Princeton University, UNICEF and The Muslim American Leadership Alliance (MALA)

Emad speaking at the United Nations Commission in NYC with panel members from Princeton University, UNICEF and The Muslim American Leadership Alliance (MALA)