Issam Abu-Ghallous was born and raised in Dheisheh refugee camp, where his family has been residing since the occupation of Palestine in 1948. In 1997 Issam earned a BA in Business Administration from Bethlehem University where he served as an elected student body president and helped lead student initiatives and negotiated national financial policies that affected the student population. Issam was awarded a full scholarship to Lewis University in Romeoville, IL, where he earned his MBA in 1999. He has experience in accounting, finance, and financial system development at several large corporations. Issam is currently an active volunteer with several relief organizations in the Chicago area where he and his family have directly assisted many families with refugee resettlement through advocacy and networking. His primary passion is youth development in the occupied Palestinian territories through initiatives that raise awareness, promote advocacy, and create opportunities. Issam currently resides in Lombard, IL, with his wife and two adventurous sons. He also enjoys painting murals when time permits. Issam’s IDV focus is Economic Development and his area of research is Palestinian labor force.