Saif Ishoof has been appointed FIU’s Vice President for Engagement. He will focus on the development of win-win relations that utilize FIU’s faculty and student talent to build partnerships to address major community challenges and opportunities.
Ishoof, executive director of City Year Miami, will step into his new role at FIU on May 3. He will also serve as a senior fellow in FIU’s School of International and Public Affairs.
“Saif is a dynamic leader who is well known in South Florida for his commitment to partnerships and to improving the lives of young people,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “With his passion for making a difference, we look forward to the future of FIU Engagement under his leadership.”
Ishoof, 39, who was born in Guyana and grew up in Miami, said he plans to build on FIU’s success.
“As an immigrant who grew up in the shadow of this storied institution, I have witnessed how FIU has been a catalyst for talent and opportunity in Miami,” Ishoof said. “In my role as the VP for Engagement, I seek to expand the impact of our students, faculty, and administration. My vision is to continue to build transformational win-win partnerships for FIU.”
Since it was created in 2010, FIU’s Office of Engagement has led the way for the university’s work in addressing crucial issues, locally and globally. Through its nationally recognized partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, for example, FIU supported Miami Northwestern Senior High School in Liberty City in achieving its first-ever A grade, up from a historic D/F. Other partnerships supported by the university address issues such as talent retention, student internships, economic development and the needs of former foster care and homeless youth.
During Ishoof’s tenure at City Year, which began in 2009, the organization more than doubled in size and scope with an expansion from 8 to 18 schools and a budgetary expansion from $2.9 million to $8.1 million. His professional career includes being a startup technology entrepreneur and an executive in the agricultural and engineering space. Prior to City Year, Ishoof served as the CEO of FCT Technologies Corp, a firm heavily engaged in international projects. In 2012, he co-founded a technology entrepreneurship initiative called TekFight to empower young innovators in Miami.
Ishoof also serves as co-founder and trustee of EmergeUSA, a national organization aimed at empowering Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities. He is an advisory board member of the Good Government Initiative, and a board member of the Beacon Council. Among his other public service, he served as a member of the Public Health Trust, the oversight body for Jackson Memorial Hospital.
He has garnered many recognitions, including being named a “20 Under 40” Leader by The Miami Herald in 2010, a 2010 Diversity Leader by the American Jewish Committee (Miami), a Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leader of the Year in 2012, a “Rising Star” leader by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce in 2012 and was the Miami Foundation’s 2014 Ruth Shack Community Leadership Award recipient.
Ishoof earned his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School Of Law. Ishoof and his wife Amira have two children, Rania and Nabeel.