President & CEO

Kanaan Kanaan has spent over 25 years as a professional artist and experienced and evolving educator.  His vision has been to use art as a vehicle for learning and understanding to bridge cultures in promoting peace. Coupled with his expertise in Middle Eastern culture, he integrated his evolving art and presented lectures and workshops on Middle Eastern culture alongside his exhibits.


He most recently worked as the Middle East Student Retention Specialist at Portland State University. His broad knowledge of Middle Eastern culture allowed him to find opportunities to assist Middle Eastern International students in their academic, professional and social lives where they faced challenges. As a pioneer in this field without existing models, he created and implemented programs to address the barriers and put forth proposals for system changes. He also continued to serve over 1000 Middle Eastern student as a compassionate mentor and advisor, while maintaining a social environment where students felt at home, respected and welcomed.

Kanaan is also recognized as a valued community leader, staying grounded in community organizations by being actively involved whether as a Board Member, a volunteer or an advocate for sustainable social change.

Kanaan is a global visionary that can weave complex cultural multi-dimensional dynamics and create opportunities of collaboration and peaceful understanding. Through International Student Services (ISS), he seeks to enrich the lives of international students, creating an environment that nurtures creativity where students can connect, learn and succeed.