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Coptic Orphans Key Staff


Nermien Riad founded Coptic Orphans in 1988 after a visit to Egypt, her childhood home. She found a country struggling with widespread poverty and decided to make a difference. She began by taking care of 45 girls in a Cairo orphanage with the help of family and friends.  She worked as a volunteer for 12 years before becoming the Executive Director in 2000. She holds a Master's degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, both from Polytechnic Virginia Institute. She has worked for the Federal Government for 17 years with the US Department of State and the Internal Revenue Service. In recognition of her work, Nermien was selected by the National Council of Nonprofits as a delegate for the Nonprofit Congress. She is also the recipient of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area Community Human Rights award. Nermien is married with two children who are also committed to the betterment of Egypt.



Manal Bedwany  is the Director of the Canada Office. She came to Canada with her parents from Cairo when she was three years old. Though she grew up here, she went to Egypt every year to visit family. Before coming to Coptic Orphans, she built a strong career in sales with one of Canada’s fortune 500 companies. She started with Coptic Orphans as the Canada Director in 2005. She has headed Canadian operations since then with and has since built a strong team. Manal has a professional background in fundraising and an academic background in communications from the University of Montreal. She lives in Laval Quebec with her husband and son.




Nevine Iskander  is Director of the Australia Office. Nevine was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Commerce. She is a Chartered Accountant and has worked in a variety of industries across the Corporate, Government and Not-for-Profit sectors. She started her career in a big 6 accounting firm, and has held management roles in Qantas Airways, the Cancer Institute and the National Roads and Motorists Association. She joined Coptic Orphans in 2013 and is excited about the difference the Diaspora can make to the lives of orphans and widows in Egypt.