Meet Dr. Sami Al-Abdrabbuh

Corvallis Junior First Citizen for 2023 and a leader in building transformational systems in public education, non-profits, emergency management, and the technology sectors.

Dr. Sami Al-Abdrabbuh, recognized as the Corvallis Junior First Citizen for 2023, is a leader in building transformational systems in public education, non-profits, emergency management, and the technology sectors.

Elected twice to the Corvallis School District Board, he served as its Chair for approximately three years. As an educator and experienced project manager, Sami has led multi-million dollar projects in the technology industry across the United States. He is the President of the Oregon School Board Association and the Pacific Region Director for the National School Board Association, representing the five states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah. Appointed by Oregon’s Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate, Sami serves on the Fair Dismissal’s Appeals Board. He also served as the President of the ‘Color Caucus’ of Oregon school board members. His business and nonprofit leadership experiences include serving as the board president of the Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, and as a member of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s Steering Committee and the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation. His community service focuses on education empowerment, economic and environmental resilience, and empowering vulnerable populations. Sami has successfully advocated for national, statewide, and local reforms and legislation that support election reform, human rights, and equal access for students. In 2022, despite being fifth in fundraising among eight competitors, Sami impressively clinched the third-highest vote count in the US Congress primary elections for Oregon’s 4th district. This achievement underscores his strong focus on voters’ priorities, even in the face of a highly competitive race.

Sami holds three degrees in engineering and has worked for General Electric as a projects engineer for safety monitoring systems in the energy and water industries. He also started Crispy Science, a startup focused on creating informal learning opportunities for children and youth. At Oregon State University, Sami teaches engineering design, problem-solving, engineering economics, engineering computation and programming, project management, and work systems design. He holds a doctorate in Industrial Engineering with a focus on human systems and decision-making in emergency management. In his free time, Sami enjoys the outdoors, especially camping and hiking, as well as playing soccer, chess, and salsa dancing.

Recognized for his significant contributions to the community, Dr. Sami was awarded the esteemed title of Corvallis Junior First Citizen for 2023. This honor, presented to him by the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce at a well-attended event in March 2023, underscores his exceptional leadership within the Corvallis community.

Sami’s Accomplishments

  • Led a $200 million bond initiative to build and reinforce schools for earthquake readiness
  • Fought to protect every person’s right to vote and protest
  • Engaged young and diverse people in the legislative process
  • Installed 638kW of solar power through public/private partnerships with Solarize Corvallis
  • Created protections from discrimination based on gender identity for transgender and non-binary individuals
  • Brought graduation rates to historical records of 90%, with higher rates for minority students
  • Increased access to mental health therapists and skills trainers in schools
  • Built a community health center in partnership with Benton County Health Department
  • Invested in career and technical education
  • Developed rental assistance programs for housing-insecure students
  • Banned concealed weapons from Corvallis school campuses
  • Brought together experts to protect people from wildfires
  • Adjudicated appeals of dismissals and complaints
a portrait photo of Dr. Sami Al-Abdrabbuh