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Mission and Activities


Founded in 1989, the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies is an independently managed, non-partisan, non-profit, non-governmental think tank whose mission is to produce and advocate policies that improve governance in Lebanon and the Arab region. Currently, LCPS has 5 primary research and advocacy focuses:


  • Improving political representation
  • Strengthening decentralization
  • Advocating for a transparent oil and gas sector
  • Supporting policies to create jobs
  • Promoting security sector reform

Influencing

As part of its mission to shape policy, LCPS has directly engaged with decision makers, including contributing to formulating the 2006 Boutros draft electoral law and the 2014 draft decentralization law. In 2013 and 2014, LCPS and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration convened roundtable discussions on the future of Lebanese oil and gas with experts and members of civil society. In 2014 and 2015, LCPS also launched a series of meetings between the Ministry of Industry and industrialists to address outstanding issues which have hampered production and exports.


Informing

To better inform policymakers and the wider public, LCPS has produced more than 66 books and more than 100 policy papers, briefs, and articles in Arabic and English on issues such as electoral laws, political parties, sectarianism, administrative reforms, rule of law, decentralization, economic growth, budget and fiscal policy, industry and trade, energy, and the environment. Additionally, LCPS has provided a platform for debate by convening over 135 conferences and workshops in Beirut and various Arab capitals to address a range of national and regional issues.


Advocating

In our quest to advocate for reform, LCPS has founded 3 NGOs: The Lebanese Conflict Resolution network in 1996, the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections in 1996, and the Lebanese Transparency Association in 1999. In 1997, LCPS led a successful campaign with more than 100 organizations calling for municipal elections. Additionally, LCPS led the civil campaign for electoral reform in 2004, which brought together over 58 organizations and in 2014 helped found the Lebanon Oil and Gas Coalition, a network which will monitor the growth and operation of Lebanon’s petroleum sector. Also in 2014, LCPS and the Natural Resource Governance Institute established the MENA Natural Resource Governance Hub, whose goal is to provide policy knowledge and build the capacity of key stakeholders in the oil and gas sector.


Team

LCPS is a dynamic institution led by a young, active, and highly motivated team, which regularly draws on the expertise of a large pool of research fellows and associates in Lebanon and from across the world in the academic and professional communities. LCPS is governed by a board whose members are elected for a two-year term, and are active in public policy formation and provide guidance to the center.


@LCPSLebanon
The-Lebanese-Center-for-Policy-Studies
Sadat Tower, 10th Floor, PO Box 55-215, Leon Street, Ras Beirut, Lebanon
T +961 1 799301 F +961 1 79930
info@lcps-lebanon.org
www.lcps-lebanon.org

الرسالة والنشاطات


تأسس المركز اللبناني للدراسات في عام 1989 . هو مركز للأبحاث مستقل، محايد سياسياً، غير حكومي و لا يبغى الربح، مهمته إنتاج ومناصرة السياسات التي تسعى إلى تحسين الحكم الرشيد في لبنان والمنطقة العربية. لدى المركز حالياً خمسة مجالات تركيز أساسية في نشاطات البحث والمناصرة، هي:


  • تحسين التمثيل السياسي
  • تعزيز اللامركزية
  • مناصرة إرساء قطاع نفط وغاز شفّاف
  • دعم سياسات خلق الوظائف
  • تعزيز إصلاح القطاع الأمني

التأثير

كجزء من مهمته الهادفة إلى رسم السياسات، تواصل المركز مباشرة مع صانعي القرار، فساهم في وضع مشروع قانون بطرس الانتخابي عام 2006 ومسودة مشروع قانون اللامركزية عام 2014 . وفي عامي 2013 و 2014 ، عقد المركز مع هيئة إدارة قطاع البترول طاولات مستديرة ناقشت مستقبل النفط والغاز في لبنان, جمعت أعضاء من المجتمع المدني وخبراء من القطاع. وأطلق المركز أيضاً في عامي 2014 و 2015 سلسلة من اللقاءات بين وزارة الصناعة والصناعيّين لمعالجة المسائل العالقة التي تعيق الإنتاج والتصدير.


الاعلام

بغية إطلاع صنّاع السياسات والجمهور العريض بشكل أفضل على المعلومات، أعدّ المركز أكثر من 66 كتاباً وما يزيد عن 100 ورقة سياساتيّة، وموجز، ومقال بالعربية والإنكليزية، حول مسائل مثل القوانين الانتخابية، الأحزاب السياسية، الطائفية، الإصلاحات الإدارية، سيادة القانون، اللامركزية، النمو الاقتصادي، الموازنة والسياسة المالية، الصناعة والتجارة، الطاقة والبيئة. إلى ذلك، أتاح المركز منصّة حوار بعقده أكثر من 135 مؤتمراً وورشة عمل في بيروت وعواصم عربية مختلفة لمعالجة مجموعة من المسائل الوطنية والإقليمية.


المناصرة

قام المركز، في سياق سعيه إلى مناصرة الإصلاح، بتأسيس ثلاث منظمات غير حكومية، هي: شبكة فضّ النزاعات اللبنانية عام 1996 ، والجمعية اللبنانية من أجل . ديمقراطية الانتخابات عام 1996 ، والجمعية اللبنانية لتعزيز الشفافية عام 1999 وعام 1997 ، قاد المركز حملة ناجحة مع أكثر من 100 منظمة للدعوة إلى عقد انتخابات بلدية. إلى ذلك، قاد المركز حملة للإصلاح الانتخابي عام 2004 ، ضمّت أكثر من 58 منظمة، كما ساعد عام 2014 على تأسيس تحالف النفط والغاز في لبنان، وهي شبكة ستُعنى برصد نموّ وتشغيل قطاع البترول في لبنان. وفي 2014 أيضاً، أسس المركز مع معهد حوكمة الموارد الطبيعية ملتقى حوكمة الموارد الطبيعية لمنطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا، الذي يهدف إلى تقديم المعرفة السياساتية وبناء قدرات أصحاب المصلحة الأساسيين في قطاع النفط والغاز.


الفريق

يشكّل المركز مؤسسة حيوية يقودها فريق من الشباب الناشط والشديد الإندفاع، ينهل دورياً من خبرة مجموعة واسعة من الزملاء الباحثين والشركاء من الأوساط الأكاديمية والمهنية في لبنان والعالم.يوجه المركز مجلس إدارة، يتمّ انتخاب أعضاؤه لمدة سنتين، وينشطون في صياغة السياسات العامة، كما يقدمون الإرشاد للمركز.


@LCPSLebanon
The-Lebanese-Center-for-Policy-Studies
Sadat Tower, 10th Floor, PO Box 55-215, Leon Street, Ras Beirut, Lebanon
T +961 1 799301 F +961 1 79930
info@lcps-lebanon.org
www.lcps-lebanon.org

Board


Mohamed Y. Alem
President

Senior Partner of Alem & Associates Law Firm
Chairman of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators-Lebanon
Secretary General of the Lebanese Transparency Association
Vice-chairman of the Licensing Executive Society –Arab Countries
Founding member of Human Rights Watch’s Beirut Committee


Chadia el Meouchi
Vice-President

Managing Partner at Badri and Salim el Meouchi Law Firm
Founding member and head of the Lebanese Corporate Governance Task Force’s Legal and Regulatory Committee
Member of the Lebanese Committee for Human Rights Watch
Co-founder and member of Les Journées des Sciences Association
Co-founder of the Middle East Leadership Initiative
Founder and member of Young Arab Leaders Lebanon


Marwan Kheirredine
Treasurer

Lebanon’s Minister of State
General Manager of Al Mawarid Bank
Former board member of the Beirut Stock Exchange
Former board member of the Association of Banks in Lebanon
Finance lecturer at the American University of Beirut
Founding member of the Young President’s Organization-Lebanon


Yasser Akkaoui
Secretary

Chairman of Capital Concept
Editor-In-Chief of Executive Magazine
Founder of Capital Concept and PrimeJob
Management and Entrepreneurship Instructor at the American University of Beirut


Paul Salem
Member

President of The Middle East Institute
Founding Director of Carnegie Middle East Center
Founder and former Director of Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (1989-1999)
Former General Director of the Fares Foundation
Former member of the Lebanese Commission for Electoral Law Reform


Staff


Sami Atallah
Executive Director  


Rania Abi-Habib
Program Manager


Suzanne Massaad Sfeir
Administrative and Program Assistant


Micheline Tobia
Editor  


Akl Kassouf
Accountant  


Mounir Mahmalat
Senior Researcher  


Carol Abi Ghanem
Researcher  


Georgia Dagher
Researcher  


Nadim El-Kak
Researcher  


Dima Mahdi
Researcher  


Wassim Maktabi
Researcher  


Sami Zoughaib
Researcher  


Research fellows
Fellows


Jamal Haidar

Jamal Ibrahim Haidar is currently an assistant professor of economics at The American University in Cairo (AUC). Currently, Jamal is also a Research Associate at the Middle East Initiative, Harvard University. He joined AUC after completing a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship at Harvard University. He holds a PhD in economics from the Paris School of Economics, University of Paris-1 Pantheon Sorbonne (FR), a MA degree in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University (US) and a MSc degree in international finance from Cass Business School, City University London (UK). Previously, he worked at the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, International Monetary Fund, and the Institute of International Finance in Washington DC. His fields of specialization are international economics and development economics.  All his current research projects are in the Middle East, a region in which he travels extensively. His research work has been featured in The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, La Tribune, Le Monde, and other media outlets.



Jessica Obeid

Jessica Obeid is an energy policy consultant working with governments and international organizations in the Middle East on electricity and energy transition. She is also an Academy Associate at Chatham House’s energy, environment and resources department - London, where she previously served as resident fellow, with a focus on energy diversification and electricity utilities. Jessica also serves as Senior Advisor for London-based consultancy Castlereagh Associates. Formerly the chief energy engineer at the United Nations Development Programme in Beirut, Jessica has a decade experience in the deployment of renewable energy in developing countries, before moving into policy. She has published widely and regularly provides expert commentary to leading media outlets. In addition to her consultancy work, her recent research covers the political economy of energy diversification, the governance of alternative energy, and the prospects of electricity exchange in the Middle East. Jessica has been awarded the US State Department’s TechWomen and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s International Leaders fellowships. She holds a master’s degree in Political Sciences and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.
 



Rima Majed

Rima Majed is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at American University of Beirut (AUB). Her research focuses on the fields of social inequality, social movements, identity politics, sectarianism, conflict and violence. She holds a PhD and an MSc in Sociology from the University of Oxford. Dr. Majed was a visiting fellow at the Mamdouha Bobst Center for Peace and Justice at Princeton University in 2018/2019. Her work has appeared in many academic journals and media platforms including MobilizationGlobal Change, Peace & Security; Global Dialogue; Idafat: The Arab Journal of SociologyAl Jumhuriya; OpenDemocracy; and Al Jazeera English.



Ziad Abu Rish

Ziad Abu-Rish is Assistant Professor of Middle East History at Ohio University, where he is founding director of the Middle East and North Africa Studies Certificate Program. He earned his PhD in History from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and his MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Abu-Rish’s research interests center on the intersections of state formation, economic development, and popular mobilization in Lebanon and Jordan within a global historical perspective. He is co-editor of the The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of An Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012), author of "Garbage Politics” and “Municipal Politics in Lebanon," and currently completing his first book manuscript titled “The State of Lebanon: Popular Politics and Institution Building in the Wake of Independence." He serves as Senior Editor of Arab Studies Journal as well as co-founder and co-direct of the annual Lebanon Dissertation Summer Institute. Abu-Rish also maintains an active public scholarship agenda. He is co-editor of Jadaliyya e-zine, co-director of the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI), and collaborator with artist Tania El Khoury on The Search for Power, a world-touring interactive installation-performance on the history of electricity in Lebanon.


Senior Fellows


Paul Salem

Dr. Paul Salem is president of The Middle East Institute. He focuses on issues of political change, transition, and conflict as well as the regional and international relations of the Middle East. Salem is the author and editor of a number of books and reports including Escaping the Conflict Trap: Toward Ending Civil Wars in the Middle East (ed. with Ross Harrison, MEI 2019); Winning the Battle, Losing the War: Addressing the Conditions that Fuel Armed Non State Actors (ed. with Charles Lister, MEI 2019); From Chaos to Cooperation: Toward Regional Order in the Middle East (ed. with Ross Harrison, MEI 2017), Broken Orders: The Causes and Consequences of the Arab Uprisings (In Arabic, 2013), "Thinking Arab Futures: Drivers, scenarios, and strategic choices for the Arab World", The Cairo Review Spring 2019; “The Recurring Rise and Fall of Political Islam” (CSIS, 2015), Bitter Legacy: Ideology and Politics in the Arab World (1994), and Conflict Resolution in the Arab World (ed., 1997). Prior to joining MEI, Salem was the founding director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon between 2006 and 2013. From 1999 to 2006, he was director of the Fares Foundation and in 1989-1999 founded and directed the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Lebanon's leading public policy think tank.



Carole Nakhle

Dr. Carole Nakhle is an energy economist specializing in international petroleum contractual arrangements and fiscal regimes for the oil and gas industry; upstream oil and gas regulations; petroleum revenue management and governance; energy policy; security and investment; and world oil and gas market developments. Nakhle is the founder and CEO of Crystol Energy, an advisory, research, and training firm based in London and has worked with oil and gas companies (NOCs and IOCs), governments and policy makers, international organizations, academic institutions, and specialized think tanks across the globe. Nakhle acts as a Visiting Lecturer at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, the Graduate School of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Saint Joseph University in Beirut, and the University of Surrey in the UK, in addition to being a fellow at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies. She has authored two books: 'Petroleum Taxation: Sharing the Wealth' and 'Out of the Energy Labyrinth.'



Reinoud Leenders

Dr. Reinoud Leenders is Reader in International Relations and Middle East Studies in the War Studies Department at King’s College London. His research interests and teaching are focused on Middle East politics generally and Syria, Lebanon and Iraq in particular. His work deals with the political economy of corruption, authoritarian governance, refugee issues, and conflict. He authored several articles in academic journals and edited volumes, and the book Spoils of Truce: Corruption and State Building in Post-War Lebanon (Cornell University Press 2012). He formerly worked for the International Crisis Group based in Beirut, and for the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Leenders obtained his PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University.



Adeel Malik

Professor Adeel Malik is Globe Fellow in the Economies of Muslim Societies at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and an Associate Professor in Development Economics at the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development. Having completed his doctorate in economics from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 2004, his previous research affiliations have included: the Department of Economics, Oxford University (2004-05); Merton College (2002-03 and 2005-06); and Center for International Development, Harvard University (2001).
Malik is an empirical economist with a strong multi-disciplinary orientation. He is trying to develop a broader research lens to study Middle Eastern political economy. Professor Malik’s research articles have appeared in Journal of Development Economics, Oxford Economic Papers, World Development, Review of International Political Economy, and Modern Asian Studies. His most recent contribution to the field is a co-edited volume, Crony Capitalism in the Middle East: Business and Politics from Liberalization to the Arab Spring, published by Oxford University Press in 2019. Malik’s research has featured in the CNN, Financial Times, the New York Times, Project Syndicate, and Foreign Affairs.



Mona Fawaz

Dr. Mona Fawaz is a professor in Urban Studies and Planning at the American University of Beirut. Her scholarly interests stem from the imperative of making cities more inclusive, particularly from the perspective of enabling low-income dwellers to take part in shaping their cities. Her work spans across urban history and historiography, social and spatial justice, informality and the law, property and space, as well as planning practice, theory, and pedagogy. Fawaz has authored over forty scholarly articles, book sections, and reports in Arabic, French, and English. She is currently working on an alternative history of Beirut, a project that aims to critically engage scholarship about the city’s history in its post-independence period and propose an alternative narrative built from the standpoint of urban peripheries. She holds a BArch from the American University of Beirut (1995), a Masters in City and Regional Planning (1998) and a PhD (2004) from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Fawaz was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies at Harvard University during the 2014/15 academic year.



Lara Deeb

Dr. Lara Deeb is Professor of Anthropology at Scripps College. She is the author of An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi‘i Lebanon (Princeton University Press 2006), co-author of Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi‘i South Beirut (with Mona Harb, Princeton University Press 2013), which won the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize given by the British Society for Middle East Studies, and co-author of Anthropology's Politics: Disciplining the Middle East (with Jessica Winegar, Stanford University Press 2015). Deeb has published widely on the politics of knowledge production, gender and Islam, piety and morality, Hizbullah’s cultural production, and transnational feminism. Her current book project analyzes social responses to interreligious and intersectarian marriage in Lebanon in order to better understand social sectarianism and sect as a form of social difference.



Bassam Fattouh

Dr. Bassam Fattouh is the Director of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies; Research Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford University; and Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He has published a variety of articles on the international oil markets, the oil pricing system, natural gas markets in the MENA, and the dynamics of oil prices and oil price differentials in refereed journals such as Energy Economics, The Energy Journal, and Energy Policy. He has also published in non-energy related areas where his papers have appeared in the Journal of Development Economics, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Economic Inquiry, Empirical Economics, Journal of Financial Intermediation, Economics Letters, Macroeconomic Dynamics and in other journals and books. He is also a Consultant for a number of international oil companies, and a Visiting Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po, and WU Executive Academy (Vienna University of Economics and Business). Bassam holds a PhD in Economics from SOAS, University of London.



Melani Cammett

Dr. Melani Cammett is a professor of government at Harvard University. Cammett's recent books include Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon (Cornell University Press 2014), which explores how politics shape the distribution of welfare goods by ethnic and sectarian organizations, and A Political Economy of the Middle East (co-authored with Ishac Diwan, Westview Press 2015), which analyzes the interplay of economic, political, and social factors in economic and social development in the region. Her co-edited book, The Politics of Non-State Social Welfare in the Global South (Cornell University Press 2014), examines the origins, evolution, and consequences of non-state welfare provision for state-building and human security in diverse regions. Cammett’s current research projects explore governance and the politics of social service provision by public, private, and non-state actors in the Middle East and identity politics in the region. She is also beginning a new project on the long-term historical roots of distinct development trajectories in the Middle East. Cammett has published numerous articles in academic and policy journals and consults for development policy organizations.



Bassel F. Salloukh

Dr. Bassel F. Salloukh is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Lebanese American University, Beirut. His current research looks at post-conflict power-sharing arrangements, the challenge of re-assembling the political orders and societies of post-uprisings Arab states, and the geopolitics of the Middle East after the popular uprisings. He is author, co-author, and co-editor of a number of books, chapters, and journal articles, including The Politics of Sectarianism in Postwar Lebanon (Pluto Press, 2015), Beyond the Arab Spring: Authoritarianism and Democratization in the Arab World (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012), Mapping the Political Landscape: An Introduction to Political Science, 2nd edition (Nelson Publishers, 2007), and Persistent Permeability: Regionalism, Localism, and Globalization in the Middle East (Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2004). Salloukh is inaugural officer of the American Political Science Association (APSA) MENA Politics Section, a member of the Arab Political Science Network’s (APSN) Advisory Committee for 2019-2021, a member of Middle East Law and Governance Advisory Board (2019-), a member of the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS) Steering Committee, and a member of APSA MENA Workshops Planning Committee. He is also Senior Non-Resident Research Fellow at the Interuniversity Consortium for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (ICAMES), McGill University. He is a contributor to policy journals and on-line academic forums and newspapers, including Foreign Affairs, Washington Post’s the Monkey Cage, openDemocracy, and the Middle East Institute. He tweets at @bassel67.



Nisreen Salti

Dr. Nisreen Salti is a professor in the Economics Department at the American University of Beirut. Her research focuses on development economics, political economy, and inequity and inequality in health and income. Salti’s work has been published in several refereed journals including the International Journal of Equity in Health, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, and the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. Salti earned her PhD in Economics from Princeton University and joined the faculty at AUB in 2006.



Zafiris Tzannatos

Dr. Zafiris Tzannatos is currently a senior consultant for Development Strategy and Social Policy living in Lebanon, where he was previously the chair of the Economics Department at AUB. He has served as an advisor to the managing director of the World Bank, where he was also the manager in the MENA region and leader of the Global Child Labor Program that he initiated. More recently, Dr. Tzannatos was a senior advisor to 22 Arab States at the International Labour Organization, and prior to that, for governments in the Middle East and the GCC—including Lebanon (Ministry of Social Affairs), Qatar (Planning Council), and the UAE (Abu Dhabi Executive Council). He has held senior academic and research appointments in Europe, visited more than 65 countries, and worked with regional and international organizations as well as governments of industrialized, transition, and emerging economies across all continents. Dr. Tzannatos’s publications include fifteen books and monographs, and more than 200 reports and papers in the areas of development strategy, labor economics, education, gender, child labor, and broader social policy.



Mary Kawar

Mary Kawar has 30 years developmental and public policy experience. Her most recent appointment was Minister of Planning and International Cooperation (MoPIC) in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Dr. Omar Razzaz. Prior to that, she was Country Director for the International Labour Organization (ILO) for five countries in East Africa and had also served as Adviser to the Jordanian Minister of Labor on leave from the ILO. As Minister, Kawar led and negotiated over 3.5 billion USD in donor support that aimed to reduce the gap in public finances, enhance competitiveness, attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), improve governance and support the social sectors in areas such as job creation, health services, poverty. She managed Jordan’s Response Plan for the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and was the UN focal point guiding coordination and the SDG agenda. She co-led (with the Royal Hashemite Court) The Jordan Growth and Opportunity Conference at the London Initiative (2019) that marked a new partnership approach between Jordan and the international community in pursuit of Jordan’s sustainable growth and self-reliance. She also led the development of the Poverty Reduction and Social Protection Strategy, chaired the Inter-Ministerial committee on gender equality, and was Governor of several international organizations including the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. She also promoted institutional development and restructured MoPIC to increase its effectiveness and efficiency. At the ILO between 1997 and 2017 Kawar held several senior positions at ILO Headquarters in Geneva, the Regional Office for Arab States and Regional Office for Africa. During her tenure at the ILO she engaged in analytical and operational activities at global, regional and country level including in Asia (India, Iran, Nepal and Sri Lanka), Africa (Burundi, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) and across the whole Arab Region. She developed and led strategies, policies and programs across a wide range of economic and social issues such as formal and informal employment, working conditions, skills development, vocational education, gender, youth, child labor, migration, refugees, domestic workers and more broadly social protection. She coordinated large teams in many countries undertaking complex multi-sectoral evidence based policy-relevant reports and activities (including on the MDGs and SDGs) involving substantial resource mobilization and effective implementation of programs with UN agencies, international financial institutions as well as with multilateral and bilateral donors. Born in Amman, Kawar studied social policy and development planning at the London School of Economics from where she was awarded her PhD having previously obtained a first degree from Tufts University, USA, in anthropology with a minor in economics. She is Senior Policy Associate at the Economic Research Forum of the Middle East, North Africa, Iran and Turkey (Cairo) and member of the Advisory Committee of Arab Council for the Social Sciences (Beirut). She has published several books, policy guidelines, articles, research papers and op-eds on a wide range of economic and social policies, and has made numerous media appearances, interviews and presentations at global, regional and national conferences. 



Ishac Diwan

Ishac Diwan is the Chaire d'Excellence Monde Arabe at Paris Sciences et Lettres. He received his PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught international finance at NYU's Business School from 1984-87. In 1987, he joined the World Bank's Research Complex, where he focused on international finance, trade, and macroeconomics. In 1992, with the coming of the Oslo Agreements, he joined the World Bank’s Middle East Department, first as the country economist for the West Bank and Gaza and later as a regional economist. He contributed to the creation of the prime network of economists in the Middle East, the Economic Research Forum, and of a regional policy forum, the Mediterranean Development Forum. In 1996, he joined the World Bank Institute and led the Economic Policy group (1996-2002), creating the Attacking Poverty Program and contributing to the initiation of the Global Development Network. Diwan lived in Addis Abeba (2002-07) and Accra (2007-11), as the Bank's Country Director for Ethiopia and Sudan first, and then for Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, and Guinea. He led several ambitious initiatives, such as Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net, Ethiopia's Protection of Basic Services Program, and in West Africa, initiatives to support commercial agriculture, natural resources development, and jobs for the youth. He taught Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government and was Director for Africa and the Middle East at the Growth Lab of the Center for International Development from 2011-2014. Ishac was the MEI Spring 2017 Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar.



Mona Harb

Mona Harb is Professor of Urban Studies and Politics at the American University of Beirut. She received her PhD in Political Science in 2005 from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques at Aix-Marseille (France). She is the author of Le Hezbollah à Beyrouth (1985-2005): de la banlieue à la ville (Karthala-IFPO, 2010), co-author of Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi'ite South Beirut (Princeton University Press, 2013, with Lara Deeb), co-editor of Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization in the Arab World (LCPS, 2015, with Sami Atallah), and co-editor of Refugees as City-Makers (AUB, 2018, with Mona Fawaz, Ahmad Gharbieh and Dounia Salamé). Her ongoing research investigates the public domain and vacancies, local governance and displacement, as well as urban activism and oppositional politics. She serves on the editorial boards of many journals, including MELG, IJMES, and IJURR, and is a trustee of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences. She is the founder and co-editor of the Cities Page on Jadaliyya e-zine.



Nada Mora

Nada Mora completed her S.B. in Economics (1998) and Ph.D. in Economics (2003) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She taught at the American University of Beirut from 2003 to 2007 where she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics. She worked in central banking from 2007 to 2016 as an economist with the Bank of England, a senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and later a principal financial economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. During her time in central banking, she contributed to supervisory models and quantitative bank exams for stress testing. She currently lectures at the Lebanese University. Her primary research area is financial economics examining financial intermediation and financial crises mainly through the empirical commercial bank setting. She has contributed studies on funding costs of financial intermediaries, credit risk, and dollarization. Her work has been published in the Journal of Banking and Finance, the Journal of Money Credit and Banking, and the Journal of Finance.



Mona Khechen

Mona Khechen is independent urban development planner and researcher, and a part-time faculty member at the American University of Beirut (AUB). She has provided consultancy services to various international organizations (AFD, AKTC, ESCWA, UNDP, UN-Habitat, World Bank) and worked with the private and the non-profit sectors in Lebanon and abroad. Her work portfolio includes a wide range of projects and policy-oriented studies that address the socio-economic and spatial aspects of urban development particularly in contexts of rapid urbanization, post-conflict recovery, poverty, and massive migration and population displacements. She has also guided territorial investments and local development strategies and participated in social impacts assessments and project evaluations. Mona’s work integrates the spatial, social, economic, cultural, environmental, and institutional dimensions of urban development and planning, and advocates strategic, sustainable, inclusive and participatory interventions and policy responses. Her research interests include socio-spatial inequalities, urban transformations, urban heritage and cultural landscapes, memory and identity, gentrification, displacement, spatial politics, and social justice. She has BArch from AUB (1991), MSc in Development and Planning from University College London (2000), and Doctor of Design (PhD equivalent) with a focus on urban heritage and development from Harvard University (2004).



Laura Paler

Laura Paler is an Assistant Professor in the political science department at the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in comparative politics, the political economy of development, and political behavior. Her research focuses on: (i) how taxes, natural resources and aid affect political behavior and development; (ii) the determinants of conflict and post-conflict reintegration; and (iii) the role of cross-cutting social identities in shaping political preferences and behavior. She undertake large-scale field research projects that employ experimental and quasi-experimental methods for causal inference and that involve the collection of extensive original survey and behavioral data. Her research is based on work in a diverse group of countries, including Indonesia, Colombia, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Lebanon. It has been published or is forthcoming in leading journals in the discipline, including The American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, The Quarterly Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies. She is currently a member of the Evidence in Governance and Politics network (EGAP), on the advisory board of the Project on Resources and Governance (PRG), a co-convener of the Northeast Workshop in Empirical Political Science, and a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.
 



Eric Verdeil

After graduating in Geography and in Urban Planning (Ecole normale supérieure, Paris, Institut français d’urbanisme, Université Paris 8), Eric Verdeil earned a PhD in Geography (2002, Université Paris I-Sorbonne). He specializes in urban geography. Since September 2016, he is University Professor at Sciences Po Paris. Previously, a was a CNRS Researcher, and a member of the reasearch team LATTS at University Paris Est since 2015. Before that, he worked in Lyon (2003-2015) and at the French Institute of the Near East (IFPO), Beirut. His interests include the sociology and history of urbanism and the current transformations of urban management policies, specifically urban infrastructure (energy, water, solid waste). He conducted most of his research in the Middle East and particularly in Lebanon, after a dissertation dealing with planning cultures and urban politics through the case of Beirut’s reconstruction. His fieldworks recently expanded towards the South and the East of the Mediterranean, most notably Jordan and Tunisia. His publications include Beyrouth et ses urbanistes : une ville en plans (2010, IFPO), Atlas du Liban. Territoires et société (codirection avec Ghaleb Faour et Sébastien Velut, 2007, IFPO; new revised edition in 2016 under the title of Atlas du Liban. Les nouveaux défis, English translation Atlas of Lebanon. The New Challenges, 2019) ainsi que Concevoir et gérer les villes. Milieux d’urbanistes du Sud de la Méditerranée (en codirection avec Taoufik Souami, 2006, Economica) and several thematic issues in academic journals. He is a member of the editorial board of Fluxand Jadaliyya Cities. He blogs on Rumor (Urban Research in the Middle East and elsewhere) where he writes about his current activities. He teaches at the Urban School, Sciences Po Paris



Basem Shabb

Dr. Basem Shabb served in the Lebanese Parliament from 2005 to 2018. During his tenure, he served on several committees addressing important challenges such as defense, economic policy, and human rights. He was also a member of the Parliamentary Network of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as well as the Congressional US-Lebanon Friendship Caucus. He was a parliamentary representative at the EU-Lebanese security committee on illicit firearms, small arms and light weapons, and served as Lebanon’s representative at the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law. Additionally, Dr. Shabb was part of the Lebanese parliamentary delegation that visited Norway to gather more information about oil and gas exploration and legislation. He is a surgeon and a clinical associate professor of surgery at the Lebanese American University. He is a founding member of the Euro-Asian Bridge Society of Cardiac Surgeons and as well as that of the Lebanese Association for Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Bioethics. 



Karim Daher

Karim Daher is an international business lawyer and tax adviser with wide experience in tax planning and restructuring. Since 2000 he is a lecturer on Tax Law and Public Finance at Saint Joseph University of Beirut (USJ) and has facilitated courses on taxes and transparency in other universities. He has been heavily involved during the past decades in legislative commissions for the modernization of the Lebanese financial and commercial laws and he is now representing the Beirut Bar Association at the Parliament for the drafting and adoption of several anti-corruption laws and rules. He has been appointed in February 2020 on behalf of Lebanon as one of the experts of the United Nations’ High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel). He is also a member of the current anti-corruption committees of the Lebanese Ministry of justice and of the Beirut Bar and has attended on behalf of the Lebanese Ministry of finance sessions on selected issues in fiscal law and governance at the IMF's Institute for Capacity Development. Mr. Daher has published several comprehensive books and studies on taxes and finance among which “Les impôts au Liban” and “Modernization of Public Finance’s rules in Lebanon” and is actually working on asset recovery in relation to corruption. One of the main founders and current president of the Lebanese Association for Taxpayers’ Rights "(ALDIC) a non-governmental organization aimed at enhancing tax ethics and compliance, he holds Masters’ degrees in business law & taxation as well as post graduate diplomas in private law and finance.







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