Executive Director: Dr. Nahed Artoul Zehr holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Florida State
University. Before becoming executive director of Faith & Culture Center, she spent one year as a Minerva Research Chair at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and five years
as an assistant professor at Western Kentucky University where she taught courses on Islam and comparative religion.
Dr. Zehr is a Palestinian Christian. She was born in Israel and immigrated to the United States (New York) as a child. Most of her extended family remains in Israel, and she spent most summers and other school breaks there visiting her family. In the States, she has lived in Iowa, Minnesota, Florida, Rhode Island, and now resides in Nashville, TN with her husband, Joel, and their two daughters. Dr. Zehr has been transformed by the work of Faith & Culture Center, and, in particular, its relationship-building approach. In 2017 she resigned from her appointment at Western Kentucky University to accept the position of FCC’s executive director in order to use her professional and personal experience to help continue and develop FCC’s work of integrating communities across boundaries through meaningful relationships.
Program Coordinator: Nadia Owaida Crank spent her childhood and early adulthood in Kuwait. She was born to Palestinian parents who immigrated to Kuwait to raise their family. In 1999, Nadia along with her husband, decided to move to the US and raise a family in Middle Tennessee. Together, they share the pleasures and challenges of guiding their three children appreciating a culturally diverse community, while also appreciating and living their own unique and beautiful identities.
Living in Middle Tennessee meant that Nadia must navigate a new environment. Nadia’s own yearning for a sense of community in a new home instilled a passion for helping the growing population of non-English speaking immigrants in Nashville. In 2006, she joined Vanderbilt Interpreter Services as Medical Interpreter, and in 2012 obtained her National certification in Healthcare Interpretation.
During the 2010 floods in Nashville, Nadia served as a volunteer interpreter for flood relief efforts in the Arab immigrant communities living in the hardest hit areas. That turned into a transformational experience; she realized the compounded needs that the immigrants faced beyond those particularly difficult times.
Nadia understands that building communities benefits from learning and understanding about all of those who make up the community; Nadia’s interest in helping immigrants continues and is a natural fit for joining Faith and Culture Center as a Program Coordinator for A Seat at the Table: an informal conversation around a meal, where participants share with others about our day-to-day lives in order to learn about our neighbors of other faiths and cultures. Prior to joining FCC|OMN, Nadia attended the FCC|OMN Auburn Media Training focusing on countering Islamophobia and the FCC|OMN Community and Religious Leaders Conference (RLC) of Middle Tennessee.
Operations and Business Manager: David Osgood, a Muslim convert, currently resides in Nolensville, TN., with his wife, Elham, and two sons, Omar and Noah. David earned a BA from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Before retiring in September of 2013, David spent nearly 40 years in international business. Starting in 1977, David worked for five years in Trinidad and Tobago and later spent 25 years in Egypt working on US government contracts there and in other countries in the region.