Zahra Billoo is a civil rights attorney and the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). In this capacity, she leads the oldest CAIR chapter in the country, serving the Bay Area’s 250,000 Muslims. Zahra is frequently seen at mosques and universities facilitating trainings and workshops as a part of CAIR’s grassroots efforts to empower the American Muslim community and build bridges with allies on civil rights issues. Zahra also provides direct legal services for victims of law enforcement targeting and Islamophobia. Her work has been highlighted in local and national media outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, KTVU, MSNBC, NPR, and the San Jose Mercury News. Zahra is a 2014 recipient of the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter’s Unsung Hero Award and a 2013 recipient of the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California’s Trailblazer Award.
Zahra graduated Cum Laude from California State University, Long Beach with degrees in Human Resources Management and Political Science. While in college, she held various leadership roles both at campus and state-wide advocacy efforts for college affordability and social justice. She also worked with the California Faculty Association. She earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and is licensed to practice law in California. As a law student, Zahra was awarded the Peggy Browning Fund Fellowship, and worked to work with the National Employment Law Project and became involved with the Muslim American Society.
Outside of her work with CAIR, Zahra bakes birthday cakes for foster children through Cake4Kids and is a coordinator for Project Feed, a monthly homeless feeding effort in downtown San Francisco.