Our Team

Leon G. Shahabian - President & Executive Producer


Leon Shahabian serves as President & Executive Producer of Layalina Productions, Inc. He is currently in post-production on the first season of American Caravan, a reality series featuring six young Americans traveling across five Arab countries in the footsteps of the Arab Spring. Yemeniettes, his award-winning feature documentary on female youth entrepreneurship in Yemen, is currently on the festival circuit.

Leon has executive produced the three seasons of the hit reality series On the Road in America, Season I (2007-2008, MBC1 and the Sundance Channel, distributed by Warner Brothers and New Line Television), Season II (2010, MBC1 and MBN), and Season III (2011).

Mr. Shahabian has created, written and executive produced the first season of Generation Entrepreneur, a youth entrepreneurship reality series (2013, Orbit Showtime Network). He also executive produced and produced Back from the Brink (2011), a feature documentary on countering violent extremism, and produced and executive produced the award-winning documentary Life After Death (2009, Al-Arabiya and MBN). His other credits include executive producing the Sister Cities documentary Windy City, White City (2004) as well as Araeh (2003).

Leon co-founded Layalina Productions in 2002 and served as its Corporate Treasurer from 2004 through 2012. He also served from 2005 until 2011 as the Senior Editor of The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media, the Google News listed bi-weekly press review. He serves since 2008 as the Senior Editor of Perspectives, a public diplomacy op-ed series.

Mr. Shahabian is a frequent guest lecturer at leading universities and think tanks. He also serves as a writer and director for a New York based video game studio.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with degrees in International Politics and French Literature, Leon is fluent in Armenian, Arabic and French. He is a life member of The Public Diplomacy Council and a 2013 recipient of the Penn State Alumni Achievement Award.

Phyllis Chesley McDougle - Vice President & Treasurer


Phyllis joined Layalina Productions in 2007 as Executive Assistant to Chairman Richard Fairbanks. In June 2013 Phyllis was elected Treasurer in addition to her prior June 2012 election as Corporate Secretary. In June 2014 she was elected Vice President of Layalina.

In 1998, Phyllis worked with Medstar Physician Partners, first as Assistant Director of Physician Billing Services and later as Director of the same department from 2001-2003. Prior to joining Layalina, Phyllis coordinated outpatient operations as the Clinic Administrator for the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital from 2003-2007.

Early in her career, Phyllis managed various medical practices throughout the Washington, DC area. Phyllis is a graduate of Morgan State University and has more than twenty years of healthcare administration. Phyllis also serves as Treasurer for the Pan Hellenic Council of Southern Maryland (2011-present) and Phi Alpha Zeta Chapter – Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc (2011-present). Additionally, Phyllis is a member of the fundraising committee for Health Partners Inc., a non-profit organization providing healthcare to the uninsured and under-insured of Charles County Maryland.



Corporate Legal Counsel is provided, pro-bono, by the firm of Covington & Burling:

Michael Cutler, Esq.
Corporate Law

Kevin Shortill, Esq.
Tax Law