Home Expatriates Hicham Zerhouni: The First Moroccan to Join America’s New Leaders Council

Hicham Zerhouni: The First Moroccan to Join America’s New Leaders Council

Chicago – A Moroccan-American, Hicham Zerhouni, has been selected as a fellow of the New Leaders Council (NLC), a U.S. non-profit organization that promotes progressive political entrepreneurs — trendsetters, elected officials and civically-engaged leaders in business and industry — who will shape the future landscape. 

Zerhouni, who is the Managing Principal of TransCultures, is one of 24 fellows selected from hundreds of qualified candidates to become a fellow of the NLC’s Chicago chapter. The NLC was founded in 2005 to create a progressive leadership development infrastructure for young professionals who already have some initial career experience. The NLC selects fellows from outside traditional power structures and trains and equips them with the skills necessary to be civic leaders in their communities and workplaces. The NLC’s mission is realized primarily through the NLC Institute.

Zerhouni, now only 34 years old, was born in Fez, Morocco, and moved to Chicago when he was 19. He graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in 2006 with a BA in Political Science and in 2009 received an MA in Political Science with a focus on International Relations. While working in banking as an International Analyst, he taught foreign languages to executives and government officials seeking to understand global markets and political diversity.

In 2006, he launched Argan Oils, a socially conscious cosmetics company that markets Argan oil from Morocco while supporting women’s cooperatives. He went on to work as a Global Media Analyst during the Arab Spring, and provided insights regarding turmoil in the Middle East.

His current venture, TransCultures, is a globalization services company that helps organizations overcome cultural barriers and achieve their global potential by customizing language and cultural services to help them grow in today’s global economy.

“I am so humbled to have this opportunity,” said Zerhouni. “This fellowship will allow me to advocate better for the communities I represent.” When asked whether there are similar programs in Morocco, he said “Leadership programs like these are much needed in Morocco. They would encourage young Moroccan men and women to participate more in the political process of Morocco.”

He added that “Morocco can play a key role in the globalization services industry due to its diverse languages.” TransCultures has been establishing a presence in Morocco for the last two years.

Zerhouni says that the globalization industry in Morocco shows great promise. “TransCultures through its expert management and diverse staff can play a significant role in shaping the business as Morocco becomes a hub destination that attract global companies,” he added.

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