Council News Uncategorized

The Council Announces Saleem Ghubril as New Board Chair

Pittsburgh, PA – The nonpartisan, nonprofit World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh announced Saleem Ghubril of The Pittsburgh Promise as its new board chair effective January 2022. Ghubril succeeds Stephen Lackey, formerly of BNY Mellon, who has served as chair since 2019. In this new role, Ghubril will continue to play a key part in the Council’s work to convene and connect Pittsburghers around global issues. 


“Saleem embodies our value of global mindedness, and his experience and passion for serving Pittsburgh through outreach and education programs make him the perfect choice to serve the Council as Chairperson,” says Council President and CEO Betty Cruz. “We want to welcome Saleem into his new role, as well as thank Steve Lackey for his terrific leadership over the past three years.” 


Ghubril is Executive Director of The Pittsburgh Promise, a nonprofit that promotes high educational aspirations among urban youth, funds scholarships for post-secondary access, and fuels a prepared and diverse regional workforce. In 1985, Saleem founded The Pittsburgh Project, a community development organization that provides free home renovations to hundreds of vulnerable seniors each year and deploys thousands of youth in meaningful volunteer community service. 


Prior to serving as the Council Chairperson, Ghubril was Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. He is a member of the board of the Buhl Foundation. He is also an ordained Presbyterian minister and volunteers at Mosaic Community Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. 


“It’s been an honor to serve the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, previously as Vice Chair and now as Chairperson,” Ghubril said. “The Council has done great work creating a more globally minded region over the past 90 years, and we must continue working to bring global education opportunities for youth and the community into the next century.” 


Outgoing Board Chair, Steve Lackey, said of his successor, “It was a privilege to serve as Chairperson over the past three years, and I have no doubt the Council board will continue to thrive under Saleem’s leadership.” 


As Chair, Lackey led the Council board through the COVID-19 pandemic and served as acting president before the appointment of Betty Cruz as president and CEO in 2020. He also supported a successful merger with Global Minds and the Council’s strategic planning process and rebrand throughout 2021.