Manal Issa is an award-winning practitioner with nearly 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector in Palestine. Manal has been facilitating learning for development professionals and non-profit leaders; advising organizations on private philanthropy, major giving, and institutionalizing fundraising.
In 2011 she established the first advancement office at Birzeit University; planned fundraising tours and events, raising 66 million USD in the first six years of the establishment; and received the 2015 Silver Circle of Excellence Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education-CASE as Emerging Fundraising Program.
In 2009 she led the Public Relations Office at Birzeit University; planned communication, supervised media relations, delegations visits, and the Right to Education Campaign. Between 1999 and 2008, she led different roles in non-profit organizations in various sectors: education, culture, human rights, health, and youth. Her roles focused on multiple aspects of non-profit leadership: executive management, program management, communication, public relations, human resource management, administration, development, and advancement.
Manal holds a master's degree in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University, an MBA from Birzeit University and a BA in English Literature from Damascus University. She holds a certificate in fundraising management from Indiana University; attended the International Visitor Leadership Program in the USA; and received training in leadership and non-profit.
Manal was born to Palestinian parents from Safad; they were expelled from their home in the Nakba-Palestinian exodus in 1948. She was born and raised in Damascus. She played chess, joined the Syrian Chess Women League, represented Palestine and Syria in international tournaments, and won the Syrian Women Chess championship in 1997. She returned to her country, Palestine in 1999 since then worked in the non-profit sector and pursued her post-graduate studies. Her children Sarah and Ahmad.