About NDU | International Relations | American Friends of NDU (AFNDU) | NDU



The American Friends of NDU is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2001 in order to establish a cultural link between NDU and the United States. Governed by an elected board of directors, AFNDU incorporation is in Washington, D.C., reactivated in 2014 and was established in order to (1) establish a cultural link and exchange program with American universities; (2) build relationships with Lebanese-American communities; (3) seek cooperation of American public libraries and university press offices; and (4) provide financial assistance by way of scholarships to students.


ANFDU meets on a monthly basis to focus on generating awareness for NDU, connecting and collaborating with NDU alumni in the United States and like-minded organizations, and building relationships with Lebanese-Americans via local events, email campaigns and social media outlets.


To establish a strong cultural link in order to:

  • Bind together graduates, friends, former students, and former faculty and staff of NDU residing in the United States;
  • Share, cherish and promote the educational values and goals of NDU and to support in intellectually, professionally and otherwise;
  • Sustain and develop the interest of and understanding by the friends and alumni in the US of NDU’s objectives, challenges, and achievements.


To build relationships with the American/Lebanese communities in order to:

  • Introduce NDU and its role;
  • Strengthen the bond between NDU friends and the University at home and allow the new Lebanese-American generations to better understand their heritage;
  • Offer children of American-Lebanese and friends of NDU-Lebanon in the US a chance to visit the NDU campus for one summer or one semester to learn Arabic and appreciate the history and culture of Lebanon.


To establish exchange programs with American Universities and other institutions of higher education. The purpose is to:

  • Assist NDU (Lebanon Campus) in every way possible in offering the best education at the university level for the rising generations of Lebanon itself, and of the Lebanese Diaspora;
  • Discuss possible cooperation in terms of exchange programs, affiliations and joint ventures;
  • Cooperate with research centers and departments of Middle Eastern Studies in their research projects on the development of the Middle East at their social, economic, political and cultural levels;
  • Seek the cooperation of public libraries, university libraries and university press offices for exchanges of publications with NDU;
  • To create direct relations with American Publishers especially for textbook orders and library references.


To provide financial assistance with the aim to:

  • Support the scholarship and student aid fun;
  • Develop the educational facilities at the University;
  • Initiate new programs at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels.


If you live in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and are interested in joining our association, please contact Haley Kalil at afndudc@gmail.com

History of AFNDU

In the fall of 2001, Dr. Ameen A Rihani visited the Untied States with the plan to establish a corporation for the University in the name of The American Friends of Notre Dame University (AFNDU). The first step was taken in Washington, D.C. where Dr. Rihani gathered a group of about twenty interested friends and discussed with them the three main documents that he had prepared for this purpose. 1). Why NDU? The idea was to highlight the characteristics of the University. 2). The objective for this association.  3). The suggested plan of action.


After a few meetings, the confirmed members elected the first Executive Committee of the Association, which decided to start immediately reviewing the objectives and the plan of action. On the same trip, parallel arrangements were made in Detroit, Michigan and on a second trip a similar meeting took place in New Britain, Connecticut. The Washington, D.C. chapter worked to finalize the 501 C3 as a non-profit corporation officially recognized on the State level of Maryland and also on the Federal level in the USA. The legal documents were issued in July 3, 2003 and January 2016.

Current AFNDU Board

President – Chadi Dirani

Chadi Dirani has served as AFNDU Board President since 2012. Chadi is an NDU alumnus and is passionate about NDU and advancing education in Lebanon.


Vice President – Jennifer Matta

Jennifer Matta has served on the AFNDU Board in some capacity since 2008. She first served as President before taking on the role of Vice President. Ms. Matta is also a graduate of NDU and the university remains near and dear to her heart.


Secretary – Suad Wanna Nakamura

Suad Wanna Nakamura has been involved with AFNDU since the Chapter’s early beginnings in 2003. Ms. Nakamura has served as secretary of the Board and is a proud supporter and advocate for NDU.


Treasurer – Emile Haddad

Emile Haddad has been a member of the ANFDU Board since the Chapter’s beginnings. Dr. Haddad has served as Treasurer for the Board.
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