Meet Emad Rahim
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.
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.
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”
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
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.
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.
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
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