Al Jabbar was appointed to the Board in January 2013. With his election in 2014, Mr. Jabbar became the first Sri Lankan-American to hold public office in the United States. In the run-up to the election, he was endorsed by many elected leaders in Orange County and the State of California. He received the endorsement of U.S Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who represents the 46th District; State Senator Lou Correa; Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens; and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. He was also endorsed by many local elected leaders.
Growing up, Mr. Jabbar was an active member of the United Nations Club and played basketball for college. He migrated to the United States in 1996 and attended Cypress College, where he was elected as Student Senator, Student Body President, and Student Trustee. He then went on to Cal State Fullerton, where he received his Bachelor’s degree and was also the Vice President of the American Marketing Association. He moved on to receive his Master in Public Administration from Cal State Long Beach.
After graduating, Mr. Jabbar became very active in his city and in the Sri Lankan community in the United States. He was appointed and served for seven years as Cultural Heritage Commissioner for the city of Anaheim. He was elected as the Communications Director for the Orange County Young Democrats, where he served for one year. Al also served as Board Member for the Orange County Employees Association, the largest public employee union in Orange County.
He held numerous positions with the Sri Lanka Muslim Association of California and was elected as President of the organization. During his tenure, he was instrumental in implementing and providing relief projects to Tsunami victims, and other welfare projects in Sri Lanka. He also held many positions with an expatriate group.
Mr. Jabbar is a frequent master of ceremonies for many Sri Lankan events in Southern California, including the official Sri Lanka Independence Day celebration every year. He was invited by the Consul General of Los Angeles to introduce the President of Sri Lanka during the historic visit by the Honorable President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Al Jabbar is the son of Mohamed Ismail Abdul Jabbar, a retired attorney, and Ainool Khair Jabbar, former principal of Zahira College and a former teacher. He and his wife, Sameeha, have a daughter and a son.