Sama AbuAyyash

Director of Development

Sama AbuAyyash (she/her) is the Director of Development at the Center for Cultural Power, focusing on institutional giving and earned revenue programs. With over 15 years of experience in development, Sama has been creating and leading successful fund development programs in a variety of sectors, including the arts, gender equity, social justice, childcare, and animal welfare. Previous to CCP, Sama was the Membership Director at the Women’s Funding Network where she managed a portfolio of over 100 women’s funds and foundations globally and was responsible for member engagement during special grant projects, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Economic Mobility grant. Prior to WFN, Sama worked for a wide range of nonprofits, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the International Museum of Women, among others.

Sama is a Palestinian immigrant from Jordan who came to the US to pursue her college education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin school of Communications. After college, she went back to Jordan where she worked for four years in advertising in client services, creative strategy, and postproduction, as well as in the fashion industry specializing in brand development and marketing. Sama returned to the US to earn her MBA and MA in Arts Administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas after which she relocated to San Francisco to join SFMOMA’s development team.

As a longtime resident of the Mission District, Sama is an active member of the Bay Area Art and Arab community. She served as board member at the LAB, and volunteers from time to time at other local Bay Area art nonprofits including Galleria De La Raza, Root Division, and the Museum of the African Diaspora. With the support of her Arab and ally community, Sama was responsible for organizing the San Francisco showing of first and only retrospective of contemporary Palestinian art in the US.