Dr. Farouk Shami Appointed National Defense University Foundation’s Special Representative & Adviser For International Affairs
National Defense University (NDU) Foundation Chairman and retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Jack A. Pellicci recently appointed Dr. Farouk Shami, Founder and Chairman of Farouk Systems, Inc., as the Foundation’s Special Representative and Adviser for International Affairs. Farouk has served the NDU Foundation as a Board Member for the past 7 years, and his dedication and generous support has significantly enhanced the goals for all graduates and especially for the International Fellows.
The NDU Foundation seeks to drive excellence and innovation in the faculty and student body through external partnerships, financial support and original initiatives, bringing together industry and individuals with military, diplomatic and intelligence leaders to ensure our collective national and international security.
Farouk’s appointment as the NDU Foundation Special Representative and Adviser for International Affairs was overwhelmingly accepted by NDU President, VADM Fritz Roegge; his Senior Vice President Ambassador, Mike Hammer; the newly appointed Director of the International Student Management Office (ISMO), Ambassador Mekila James; and her deputy Jorge Asunce.
The purpose of this position is to significantly strengthen ties between the Foundation, the International Fellows, the ISMO and the University. The decision was based on Farouk’s involvement with, and support for, the International Fellows Program and his extensive international business experience. His guidance and counsel to the NDU Foundation will be extremely valuable to help increase support of the NDU International Fellows Program. Equally important is that it will emphasize the increasing importance of the International Fellows (IF) program to the long-term strategic interests of the United States.
Farouk came to America more than 50 years ago. Growing up in Palestine, he learned the importance of peace in the world and how he wanted to make a difference. He arrived in America with only $71 dollars in his pocket as a student, however, he entered cosmetology school and secured his license as a hairdresser. It was here that he began to utilize his profession as a platform to bring people together and create environmentally conscious and safer hair care products and haircolor. After forming his own company with his best friend and business partner, John McCall, Farouk Systems, Inc. became the makers of BioSilk® and CHI® in 1986. He has since attained 25 patents and distributes his products worldwide.
Farouk has also helped build schools for education and manufacturing plants in the Middle East to help those in need of a career or simply a job. Here in the United States, his company has more than 500 CHI® Partner Schools to help educate students in the field of cosmetology and employs more than 2000 people. He stands as a leader in protecting the environment, holding true to strong ethics and devoting his time to the betterment of mankind and the world.
In addition to his humanitarian efforts, Farouk serves on the board for many organizations and is a frequent speaker on leadership at Harvard University. His many awards include: The Palestinian Diaspora Award, The International Salon/Spa Business Network (ISBN) Legend Award, Apollo Green Award, Beautymaker Award (BMA) and BMA’s First World Humanitarian, Arab American Businessman of the Year, 2003 Ameristar Award and 2018 Outstanding Arab American Philanthropist Award to name a few.
“This appointment is truly an honor and I am most grateful to the NDU, NDU Foundation and the Board of Directors for this wonderful opportunity,” says Farouk. “Serving the interest of the United States of America and honoring our military has, and always will be, a priority in my life. This is the land of opportunity that has allowed me to live the American dream, serve my country and be American by choice.”