Hamad resigns from ADC; successor picked

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Imad Hamad, the former regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee who was put on administrative leave by the organization in June while it investigated charges of sexual harassment against him, announced he has retired from the group.

Hamad, who spent 17 years with the ADC, made the announcement on Nov. 23, and later posted a message on Facebook.

“Given my 17 years of unwavering commitment to the mission of ADC and my devotion to achieve its objectives, at a level equal and more often higher than that I have given to my personal and family priorities, it is time for me to move on towards another avenue of serving our people,” Hamad said. “Make no mistake that I take pride of my work and contributions. I am very determined to continue my role and service.”

Hamad will be replaced by Dearborn-based attorney Fatina Abdrabboh, who will take over the role of regional director immediately.

In a press release from the ADC, Abdrabboh said she hopes to be “a force for positive change and a recommitment to the principles upon which ADC was founded.”

She said she was excited to begin work.

“I am looking forward to what I know will be a challenging role and I hope I can count on the community’s support as we move forward in Michigan,” Abdrabboh said.

Abdrabboh is a graduate of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan and has had her work published in numerous academic journals.

She also has worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and been a clerk for U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh, both in Detroit.

The allegations against Hamad were brought before the ADC in June in a letter from State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, (D-Detroit) who informed the group that she had been sexually harassed by Hamad while working in the ADC Michigan office 15 years ago.

Tlaib said she regretted not reporting Hamad to the proper authorities when she worked for him and that she “was devastated to find out in 2007 there were more victims after me.”

“In 2007, a number of current women employees, interns, and past employees submitted statements that led to only requiring Imad Hamad to take a sexual harassment course,” Tlaib said.

She wrote that she was “very concerned and alarmed” and felt that harassment allegations submitted to the ADC National Office in Washington, D.C., against Hamad in 2007 “have not been taken seriously.”

The open letter was send to ADC President Warren David, ADC National Board Chairman Safa Chair, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Field Director in Detroit Gail Cober.

In response, the ADC placed Hamad on leave and opened the investigation into the matter, stating it took “with the utmost seriousness any and all allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.”

In September, the ADC announced that an independent investigation concluded that there was “insufficient evidence” to prove the sexual harassment allegations brought up against Hamad and he was exonerated of the charges.

The ADC also announced that Hamad would no longer serve as head of the Michigan office of the ADC, but would remain with the organization as an advisor and would assist in the search for a new regional director.

Dearborn native Abed Ayoub took over as the regional office director for Michigan while Hamad was suspended. Ayoub also serves as the Director of Policy and Legal Affairs for the ADC office in Washington.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)