Arab American Institute (AAI)




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2021):

Revenue: $1,156,774
Expenses: $1,318,201
Assets: $248,504




Arab-American Activist Group

Executive Director:

Maya Berry


James Zogby

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Arab American Institute (AAI) is a left-of-center organization which mobilizes Arab-American voters and promotes left-of-center foreign and domestic policies. AAI purports to represent the interests of people of Middle Eastern and North African descent in the United States. AAI was founded in 1985 and is based in Washington, D.C. 1

AAI’s #YallaVote (Let’s Go Vote) campaign, which promotes voter registration and participation within the Arab-American community, mobilized voters largely in favor of Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden during the 2020 election. 2


Arab American Institute encourages members of the Arab-American community to vote on social media with the #YallaVote hashtag. The Institute also operates a hotline for questions about the voting process, including an Arabic language option for non-English speakers. 3

AAI also conducts polls and research on the Arab-American community’s attitudes towards various domestic and foreign policy issues. A 2020 AAI poll found that 46% of Arabs in America primarily identify as Arab-American, while 42% primarily identify with either their religion or their country of origin. The poll found that Arab-Americans supported former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election and viewed race relations as their most important issue. 4


James Zogby is the founder of AAI. He is the managing director of Zogby Research Services, a firm which provides research services for the Democratic Party. Zogby was also a fellow at the Sanders Institute, a left-wing think tank founded by Jane Sanders, the wife of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D—VT). 5

Maya Berry is the executive director of AAI. 6 Berry has pushed for the Census Bureau to create a new “Middle Eastern or North African” category for Arab Americans, who are currently classified as white. 7


In October of 2001, the Coalition of American Assyrians and Maronites (CAAM) issued a press release condemning Arab American Institute for labeling Assyrians and Maronites as Arabs. The press release emphasized that the two groups are Christian, ethnically distinct from Arabs, and indigenous to the Middle East, with a civilization predating the Arab conquest of the region. CAAM informed AAI that it is not authorized to speak on behalf of Assyrians and Maronites except to affirm their distinct identity. 8

In October of 2020, AAI executive director Maya Berry endorsed the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency responsible for combating cross-border crime and illegal border crossings. 9

AAI founder James Zogby has collaborated with long-time left-wing activist Jesse Jackson, the founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, to promote voter turnout in Arab communities. 10

In November of 2020, Zogby attacked U.S. Representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (D—GA) for opposing COVID-19 lockdowns in Washington, D.C., accusing her of having a “narcissistic death-wish super-spreader mentality.” Zogby told Greene to “go back to where you come from.” 11

In a statement on October 10, 2023, Zogby responded to the terrorist attack on Israel by the terror group Hamas by releasing a statement on the AAI website. He claimed, “While all parties share some degree of blame, I mainly fault successive US administrations for failing to play its self-proclaimed role of the promoter of human rights and peace. It has abdicated its responsibility diminishing itself to become Israel’s partner in the oppression of Palestinians.” 12 13

On October 17, 2023, the AAI X (formerly Twitter) profile retweeted a statement by Zogby falsely claiming that Israel was responsible for a missile attack that struck a hospital in Gaza City killing 500 people while accusing Israel of “war crimes.” Zogby also refused to acknowledge that the hospital had been struck by a faulty missile launched by the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) from Gaza. The faulty missile’s origin from Gaza and launch by the PIJ have been determined by the Biden Administration and independent observers. 14 15

On November 1, 2023, the AAI was invited to participate in a “United Against Hate” forum hosted by the U.S Department of Justice and led by Attorney General Merrick Garland and civil rights division chief Kristen Clarke. AAI’s executive director Maya Berry, whom was present at the forum, previously released a statement on October 15 accusing Israel of committing “genocide.” 16


AAI receives its funding from its partner organization, the Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF). Between 2010 and 2014, AAIF received between $430,000 and $740,000 per year in contributions. Donations to the Institute spiked in 2015 to $1.38 million and again in 2018 to $1.03 million. 17

AAI has received grants from the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a pro-Palestinian advocacy group. 18


  1.    Arab American Institute, About, Facebook. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  2.   Arielle Mitropoulos and Zohreen Shah, “Arab American voters could play important role in key swing states,” ABC News, October 16, 2020. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  3.   Arab American Institute, Twitter. November 3, 2020. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  4.   James J. Zogby, “Arab American attitudes towards their heritage and the Middle East,” The Jordan Times, November 16, 2020. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  5.          James J. Zogby, Twitter. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  6.        mayaberry, Twitter. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  7.             Maya Berry, “A new MENA category: The reality and the headlines,” The Hill, October 13, 2016. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  8.      “Coalition of American Assyrians and Maronites Rebukes Arab American Institute,” Assyrian International News Agency, October 27, 2001. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  9. Maya Berry, Twitter, October 20, 2020. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  10. Arab American Institute, Twitter, October 30, 2020. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  11. James J. Zogby, Twitter, November 14, 2020. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  12. “No Lessons Learned.” Arab American Institute, October 10, 2023.
  13. Ross, Chuck. “The Biden DOJ Just Tapped This Anti-Israel Group for a ‘United Against Hate’ Initiative. They Say Israel is Guilty of Genocide.” Washington Free Beacon, November 1, 2023.
  14. Ross, Chuck. “The Biden DOJ Just Tapped This Anti-Israel Group for a ‘United Against Hate’ Initiative. They Say Israel is Guilty of Genocide.” Washington Free Beacon, November 1, 2023.
  15. Arab American Institute (@AAIUSA). October 17, 2023.
  16. Ross, Chuck. “The Biden DOJ Just Tapped This Anti-Israel Group for a ‘United Against Hate’ Initiative. They Say Israel is Guilty of Genocide.” Washington Free Beacon, November 1, 2023.
  17.     The Arab American Institute Foundation, ProPublica. Accessed November 19, 2020.
  18.        Arab American Institute, Foundation for Middle East Peace. Accessed November 19, 2020.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. James Zogby
    Co-Founder and President
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1996

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Dec Form 990 $1,156,774 $1,318,201 $248,504 $7,515 N $882,434 $0 $32 $195,000
    2020 Dec Form 990 $2,301,910 $2,349,509 $369,464 $227,190 N $2,296,948 $0 $406 $132,031
    2019 Dec Form 990 $2,249,720 $1,904,794 $457,301 $257,331 N $1,301,721 $0 $503 $0 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $1,369,216 $1,567,808 $74,261 $217,626 N $1,039,525 $0 $84 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $756,508 $812,357 $190,045 $134,818 N $341,595 $0 $327 $0 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $551,454 $1,286,499 $317,288 $206,212 N $610,472 $0 $575 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,404,817 $664,579 $1,030,195 $184,074 N $1,389,579 $0 $722 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $708,378 $640,044 $121,969 $16,086 N $732,571 $7,780 $146 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $665,896 $854,643 $87,985 $50,422 N $438,986 $257,486 $242 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $457,884 $648,870 $270,338 $43,997 N $531,918 $1,690 $395 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $704,374 $592,931 $456,538 $39,164 N $753,565 $7,155 $477 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Arab American Institute (AAI)

    1600 K ST NW STE 601
    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-2834