Lobna “Luby” Ismail
Lobna “Luby” Ismail, founder and president of Connecting Cultures, LLC.,www.connecting-cultures.net is a training specialist with over fifteen years of experience in the areas of cross-cultural communication, cultural competency, Arab and American cultures, Islamic awareness and religious diversity.

She is the author of “Doing Business in the Middle East and North Africa” and “Finding Diversity.”  She is frequently used as an expert by national media and major international news programs and recently received press in Associated Press, The Washington Post, BBC World News and PBS’ Religion and Ethics News.

Selected as a Peace Fellow for Seeds of Peace and a Malone Fellow in Middle East and Islamic Studies by the National Council for U.S. and Arab Relations, Luby participated in a study visit to Saudi Arabia. She has been selected to present at Iraqi Reconstruction conferences, the Arabian Society for Human Resource Management conference in Bahrain and the Society for Human Resources’ Workplace Diversity and annual conference as a professional on the cutting edge of emerging cultural and religious diversity issues and Islamic awareness. 

Most recently, Luby helped develop and launch two exciting dialogue initiatives to breakdown barriers across cultures and faiths.  www.20,000dialogues.org a nationwide campaign to stimulate discussion between people of different faiths through films and www.changethestory.net offers an interactive experience where users—Muslim and non-Muslim alike—can meet their neighbors, learn about Islam and apply techniques of interfaith dialogue and action to local communities. Here you will find tools and information for educators, religious leaders and individuals concerned about building bridges of understanding across lines of faith and culture.

Luby has conducted training for Federal and State agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and private corporations including AETNA, Walt Disney World, U.S. Department of Justice, CVS, Fairfax and Montgomery County Public Schools, Foreign Service Institute, IBM, Shell Chemicals, Sunoco, National Council for International Visitors, ARMY, Michigan National Guard, Air Force Academy, Exxon Mobil, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Transportation Security Administration, Brookhaven National Laboratories and NIKE.

She holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a B.A. in International Service from The American University in Washington, DC.   She has traveled throughout Europe, including Bosnia and Croatia, and the Middle East, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan, the West Bank, Jerusalem and Israel.

Luby is married to Alex Kronemer for over 20 years.  Alex trains and speaks on behalf of Connecting Cultures and also is a writer and documentary filmmaker www.upf.tv and they have three children, Sharif, Zakaria and Laila.