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Shereen Ali, Policy Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Fall 2021

Shereen Ali headshot

Shereen Ali

Shereen Ali is a Policy Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Fall 2021. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. Ali’s apprenticeship was funded by the Fox Family Foundation.

Ali is from East Lancing, Michigan with a white American and Middle Eastern background. She grew up between Egypt and the United States, graduating from Ain Shams University for English and Arabic linguistics and interpretation in Egypt. Ali then pursued a master’s degree in business management in England as a Chevening scholar. Her goal was to approach disability advocacy with a business mindset.

Ali’s work history began as an administrative assistant in a business development company. In 2013, she volunteered for the Paralympics to run disability awareness sessions for disabled professionals at civil society organizations. Shortly after, she was offered a position as an international relations and fundraising coordinator at the National Council on Disability. Three years later, she was promoted to head of the department. Ali also worked as a consultant for the African Commission, European Commission, United Nations, USAID, and Egyptian Cabinet of Ministers on diversity and inclusion projects. She has contributed to the first Egyptian disability law and the first regional convention on the rights of people with disabilities in Africa. Currently, she works as a community health worker at the Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled in New York.

Ali’s connection to disability communities is that at the age of 12, she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the eyes. Within the blink of the eye, she became as helpless as a dark candle. Only then, she discovered her passion for disability advocacy and inclusion.

In 2021, Ali was accepted to the RespectAbility apprenticeship to give her a quality start for a career in diversity and inclusion by learning about local disability employment laws and policies. She wants to apply her knowledge of the business sector in incorporating diversity and inclusion as part of the corporate social responsibility. Upon completion of the fellowship, she plans to pursue a career as a diversity and inclusion specialist.  Her goal is to empower people with disabilities economically as well as support their access to resources and entrepreneurship opportunities. Moreover, she wants to raise awareness of the spending power of the disability market in the US as well as creating accessible products, hence improving job prospects for individuals with disabilities.

Ali likes horseback riding, listening to jazz music, traveling, and learning about other cultures. She also used to participate in Erasmus European trainings for youth and hike in Europe.


RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact [email protected] for more information.



Meet the Author

Shereen Ali

Shereen Ali’s goal is to approach disability advocacy with a business mindset. In her free time, she likes horseback riding, listening to Jazz music, traveling, and learning about other cultures.

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