Leadership & Board


Nadia Mavrakis

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Nadia leads efforts to build bridges between San Antonio and the MENASA world through education, community development, and arts & culture.

Previously, Nadia co-founded and co-chaired the Islamic Art Revival Series, a nonprofit program in Dallas that promotes cross-cultural dialogue where she led a team to host multiple educational events at the Dallas Museum of Art and other premier arts venues attended by over 2,250 people. Nadia has published papers about the Middle East and North Africa, including “The Hurufiyah Art Movement in Middle Eastern Art” in the McGill Journal of Middle Eastern Studies Blog.

Nadia graduated magna cum laude from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Strategy and Finance as well as a minor in French. She studied in France and Morocco. She is a HOLT Values-Based Leadership Fellow with the San Antonio Area Foundation. She completed business leadership courses at Harvard Business School, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, HEC Paris, and INSEAD. She is fluent in English and speaks French and Arabic. Nadia has worked in the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.

Nader Mehdawi

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Nader is native in Arabic, including Modern Standard Arabic, Libyan Arabic, and Egyptian Arabic, as well as fluent in English. 

He has more than eight years of experience in the Civil Engineering industry which includes planning, supervising, and managing residential, commercial, retail, and federal projects. 

Throughout his engineering career, he interpreted and translated between Arabic and English and has also taught engineering classes in Arabic.

Nader has a Master of Science degree (M.S.) in Geotechnical and Structural Engineering and a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Management from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.

Board of Directors

Oladapo Olaleye

Culturingua Board Chair; Finance, Investment & Audit Committee Member; and Governance Committee Member

Strategic IT Application Management Lead, Marathon Petroleum

Patricia Ponton

Culturingua Treasurer and Finance, Investment & Audit Committee Chair

Assistant Controller, Marathon Petroleum

Daniel Ray

Culturingua Secretary and Mission Advancement Committee Chair

Litigation Counsel at Valero Energy Corporation

Kerry Haupert

Culturingua Board Member and Mission Advancement Committee Member

Assistant Director, English as a Second Language, North East Independent School District

Ali Hakeem

Culturingua Board Member and Mission Advancement Committee Member


Board Committee Members

Hussain Abu El-Nahil

Culturingua Finance, Investment, & Audit Committee Member

Investment Relations Specialist, Valero Energy Corporation

Omair Zahid

Culturingua Finance, Investment, & Audit Committee Member

Assurance Senior, Ernst & Young

Kathleen McCracken

Culturingua Mission Advancement Committee Member

International Relations Specialist, City of San Antonio Global Engagement Office

Advisory Council

Sarah Aguirre

Newcomer Refugee ESL Teaching Expert and Educational Coordinator

Dr. Main Alqudah

Finance and Economics Expert

Ragab Elberkawi

International Education Expert

Sakib Shaikh

International Affairs Professional and Realtor