Dr. Sayed Ammar Nakshawani, PhD is a professor and the Imam Ali Chair of Shia studies at Hartford Seminary, as well as a British Iraqi Islamic historian, lecturer, and author. He is listed as one of The 500 Most Influential Muslims. Since 2014, Nakshawani has served as the Special Representative for the Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA). In this role, he promotes an understanding of the customs and beliefs of Shia Ithna Asheri Muslims. As Special Representative, he engages in interfaith dialogue with leaders of a variety of faith communities, and advocates on behalf of Shia Islam to a variety of elected officials, think tanks, and policy institutes.