Rahim Islam is a National Speaker and Writer, President/CEO of Universal Companies, a Community Development and Education Management Company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA and Convener of Philadelphia Community of Leaders.
Philadelphia native Rahim Islam was raised in the Tioga Section of North Philadelphia where he attended Cleveland Elementary School, Gillespie Jr. High and Gratz High School. Mr. Islam is a graduate of LaSalle University with dual degrees in accounting and finance. A proponent of life-long learning, his educational background also includes specialty areas of tax accounting, oil refining, investment banking, marine transportation, community development and real estate development. In 1993, Mr. Islam successfully completed the Pennsylvania Certified Public Accounting exam and holds a Pennsylvania real estate license.
An accomplished accountant and financial analyst with vast experience in business and economics, Mr. Islam has more than 25 years of experience in both marine and inland transportation as well as accounting and financial reporting and analysis having worked with Sun Oil Company for approximately 17 years.
Mr. Islam is a founding member of Universal Companies (Universal) and has served as President and CEO since its inception in 1993. Universal is a comprehensive community development and education management corporation founded by Kenneth Gamble, accomplished singer, songwriter, music composer and philanthropist. Universal is also the largest community-based, private manager of public schools in the country.
Under his direct leadership, Universal has been the conduit for over $1.5 Billion of real estate development and investment and currently educates over 5,500 students in 12 schools (K-12). The company is also one of the largest African-American led businesses in Philadelphia, employing nearly 650 professionals across disciplines such as education, real estate, community development, social work, technology, finance, and preventive health.
Mr. Islam is the Convener of the Philadelphia Community of Leaders (PCOL) founded in 2013. PCOL is an African American organization dedicated to addressing the systemic issues facing the African American community in Philadelphia and vicinity. PCOL’s mission is to develop and support the implementation of a consensus agenda for real change and progress in Philadelphia’s African American community.
Mr. Islam has been at the forefront of resolving many of the community and social issues facing Philadelphians and currently works directly with a number of organizations in the areas of childcare, youth and recreation programs, drug and alcohol prevention, faith based efforts, block associations, political activity, and k-12 education.