Thrilled to introduce our two newest board members, Caitlin Ajax and Ihssan Tahir!



Caitlin Ajax relocated to Chicago in 2013 from Washington, DC, where she served as communications associate for Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights. At Karamah, Caitlin worked to address issues of human rights, women’s rights, and violence prevention in the Muslim community, specifically through the lenses of classical Islamic scholarship and contemporary civil law discourse.

In Chicago, Caitlin conducts research on Islamic bioethics and American Muslim public health through the University of Chicago’s Initiative on Islam and Medicine. Additionally, she served two years with AmeriCorps and has assisted in the development of a startup nonprofit in Jordan.

Caitlin is thrilled to join HEART Women & Girls. Her active roles will consist in implementing the organization’s communications and development strategies and acting as a community liaison.

Caitlin plans to attend law school in Chicago this autumn, focusing broadly on public interest law with the aim of providing culturally sensitive legal counsel to the American Muslim community and of producing scholarship on international legal issues involving the rights of Muslim women in particular. In 2012, she earned her BA in political science from the University of Montana in Missoula, with minors in Arabic language and Central and Southwest Asian studies.

Caitlin lives in the South Side neighborhood of Hyde Park with her husband.


Ihssan Tahir is a registered nurse and specializes in emergency and trauma medicine. Currently, she works at Weiss Memorial Hospital. She received her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Chicago State University in 2010.

Ihssan works with several non profit organizations including Zakat Foundation of America Community Center Chicago (ZFCCC) in the heart of the South Shore neighborhood where she serves as a healthcare consultant. She has a deep passion for health care justice and works with several non-profit organizations that deal with health care reform and accessibility in low income and minority communities.

Being a travel enthusiast she has globe trotted from Switzerland to Bangladesh. In her free time she enjoys writing, practicing her violin and reading novels. Currently, she resides in Orland Park with her cat Rumi.

HEART Women & Girls is an IRS 501(c)(3) non profit organization. Your donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent of the law. (EIN/Tax ID: 27-3625796)