Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Fairfax School Board Contender Ahmed Hussein Champions School Safety, Communication, and Infrastructure

Alina Wang
A native of New York, Alina has a Bachelors degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College and writes about human rights, politics, tech, and society.
Published: September 12, 2023
Ahmed Hussein sat down with Vision Times to share why he believes his background, education, and qualifications make him a solid candidate to represent the values and aspirations of Fairfax County's diverse population. Hussein is running for a position on the county's school board slated for Nov. 7, 2023. (Image: via Ahmed Hussein)

FAIRFAX, Virginia — On Nov. 7, registered residents in Virginia’s Fairfax County will cast their votes to select leaders for the state’s school board system. On the ballot is Ahmed Hussein, an individual whose story is not just a testament to the American dream, but also an inspiring saga of hard work, determination, and a persistent can-do attitude. 

As Hussein sets his eyes on a seat on the Fairfax County At-Large School Board, he sat down with Vision Times in an exclusive interview to share why he believes his background, education, and qualifications make him a solid candidate to represent the values and aspirations of the county’s diverse population.

On the American dream

“I immigrated to this country in 1983 and went to undergraduate and graduate school here,” said Hussein. After obtaining several degrees in system security and engineering, Hussein has worked both in the Fairfax County and the US Federal government for the past 35 years, and has extensive leadership and management experience in engineering and cybersecurity.

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Escaping a homeland ravaged by civil war, Hussein epitomizes the quintessential immigrant spirit: Leaving one’s home behind in search of better opportunities through determination, dedication, and hard work. After arriving in Virginia, he chose Fairfax County as the place to plant roots and raise a family.

“I live in Fairfax County and I have two boys currently enrolled in the Fairfax County School System,” said Hussein, as he explained why he chose to run for the position. 

While discussing his motivation, Hussein said, “I decided to run for the school board when I saw that our community has some challenges with the current schools. Education has not been primary for this current board.”

Addressing school safety and infrastructure

Hussein’s candidacy for the Fairfax County’s school board stands out not just for his credentials but for the profound insights he brings to the table. His perspectives — rooted in personal and professional experiences — promise transformative changes for the community.

“I felt compelled to address challenges within our community’s schools,” said Hussein, adding, “The present board hasn’t prioritized education as it should. My aim is to enhance Fairfax County’s educational standards, while empowering parents to be more actively involved in their children’s educational journey.”

If elected, Hussein said, “I will focus first on sustaining and improving high quality education for our children. I will work collaboratively with parents, educators and other community members that are committed to this goal. I have an extensive background in organizational leadership, which will enable me to contribute significantly to how the board functions. I have served as senior leadership, including strategic planning, finance and budgeting, asset management and, of course, human resources management. I have also served as a supporter of children’s education across the globe. As part of a Foreign Service family over 15 years, I have served in five countries where my children attended American (International) Schools, that are considered one of the highest educational value school systems in many countries. My experience with American Schools overseas has reinforced the belief that Fairfax County Public Schools can sustain and improve its excellence.”

Hussein holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Engineering Management and Information Systems Security from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the George Washington University, Washington, DC and Bachelors of Science (BSc) degree in Civil Engineering from the University District of Columbia (UDC), Washington DC.  He has also achieved the Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University, (GWU) Washington DC. In addition, Ahmed graduated from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center for Management and Executive Leadership (CMEL), Palm Coast, Florida. Ahmed has also attended the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Executive Program in Cybersecurity and the National Defense University (NDU) War College in Information Assurance and Information Security, Washington DC. 

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“Safety, school infrastructure, and a drop in SAT scores over the last five years despite rising taxes are areas of concern,” said Hussein, adding, “Our neighboring counties, such as Montgomery and Loudon are progressing, and we need to understand and rectify why that hasn’t been the case for us.” 

Power in diversity

Giving another glimpse into his qualifications, Hussein shared, “Fairfax is diverse, and my extensive overseas work has exposed me to stellar educational systems.” 

“For the last 15 years, I have been working overseas and have seen what excellent education can provide to communities,” said Hussein. “With that, I would like to bring that experience and dialogue to our community to make sure that we have the best education and the best environment for our children to succeed in.”

When asked about what he would do to support the Asian community in Fairfax County — an important and growing demographic — Hussein said, “The Asian community, like all of us, chose this country for education and better living standards. Collaborating with them can bring invaluable insights into our educational system.”

While discussing why Asian countries place a heavy emphasis on education, Hussein said, “If you look at Asian countries, education is always number one, as well as family values.” He added that learning and communicating with the Asian community will provide “excellent information and partnership” for the county to learn from each other and grow together.

Hussein was also introduced to a meditation workshop with the local Falun Gong association in Fairfax. Reflecting on the session, he said, “After navigating through rush hour and rain to get here, the meditation offered me an deep sense of focus and relaxation.”

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (法輪大法), is an ancient Chinese spiritual discipline that combines meditation with teachings rooted in truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The practice blossomed in China during the early 1990s — with nearly one in every thirteen Chinese citizens adopting it. 

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But in July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) launched a widespread campaign to suppress the practice after witnessing its rapid rise in popularity as a threat to its authoritarian regime. To this day, the persecution continues unabated and thousands of Falun Gong adherents have died from torture and abuse at the hands of Chinese police. 

When asked about the potential introduction of Falun Gong practices in schools, Hussein said, “There’s much to learn from Falun Gong. We’ll engage with the community to explore the integration of their beneficial practices.”

Virginia’s general and special elections are slated for Nov. 7, 2023. Early voting starts Sept. 22. For more information, visit Hussein’s official campaign site here.