Diala Al Masri (Lebanon & Balliol 2017)
DPhil candidate in Economic Development, University of Oxford
Diala is a DPhil candidate in economic development at the University of Oxford. She is pursuing research on migration, and their integration in the labour markets and impact on local firms. "The region presents the struggle between two opposing forces: that of bright youth change makers who are pushing again that of an archaic and at in many case largely dysfunctional system. The forum is a unique opportunity to discuss these dynamics and how the future will unfold building on insights from experts on the region. "
Associate Professor, Department of Engineering Management and Construction, Damascus University
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Management and Construction at Damascus University. I graduated from Damascus University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study in the US. I played a leading role in initiating and implementing CBHE projects at Damascus University within the Erasmus+ program. I was selected by the Erasmus+ program as a Higher Education Reform Expert for Syria between 2015 and 2018. I participated in workshops that discussed access to HE for Syrian students and in events for discussing the challenges and the future of HE in Syria.
Saja Al Zoubi
Visiting Researcher, University of Oxford Department of International Development
Saja al Zoubi is a development economist whose research focuses on refugee’s livelihoods and gender with a focus on Syrian refugees. Dr. Alzoubi research has focused on broadly on issues of gender and rural development, including issues of women’s empowerment. Since the war broke out in Syria, her concern has been researching ways to improve the livelihoods and food security of affected households (IDPs and refugees), especially women-headed households and supporting young people to enter education, enhance capacity building and find work opportunities. She works currently as a visiting researcher in Oxford Department of International Development, additionally, Gender and forced migration, and Middle East politics tutor at Christ Church College. As a socio –economist for more than 10 years, Dr. Al Zoubi worked in academic, national and international organisations including UNHCR, Action against Hunger (ACF), International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) , the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and The Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) Dr. Al Zoubi is the recipient of numerous awards, from international and regional Foundations.
Founder/ Advisor of RIWAQ- Centre for Architectural Conservation, Writer
Suad Amiry is a conservation architect and a writer. She is the founder of RIWAQ: Centre of Architectural Conservation, Ramallah, Palestine. Amiry and her Organisation RIWAQ received several international architectural awards, amongst them the prestigious "Aga Khan Award for Architecture" in 2013. Amiry taught architecture in the Dept. of architecture at the GSAAP, Columbia University, University of Jordan and at Birzeit University. She is the author of several books on architecture, the latest of which is Peasant Architecture in Palestine: Space, Kinship and Gender (2018) Amiry is also a writer her acclaimed memoirs "Sharon and My Mother-in-Law", received Italy's renowned literary award, Via Reggio (2004). She is the author of several non-fiction books including: Menopausal Palestine, Nothing to Lose But Your Life: an 18 hour Journey with Murad, and Golda Slept Here. Amiry’s latest book My Damascus appeared in Italian English, and Maltese. It will be translated and published in Arabic early 2019. Suad Amiry appeared on TEDxRamallah, titled--“My Work My Hobby”
Executive Director, Mind Lab
Hamza Arsbi is founder and Director of the Mind Lab, a social enterprise started in 2012. The Mind Lab works across the country to increase access to quality education in underprivileged communities. He studied a BA in Psychology and an MSc in International Development: Public Policy and Management at the University of Manchester as a Saïd Foundation – Chevening scholar. With over seven years in international development, he has worked with local Jordanian organisations, royal initiatives, and international foundations. For his work, he was selected as a Jordanian success story by HM King Abdullah II, among other fellowship and awards.
Founding Director, Institute for Critical Thought & Herchel Smith Fellow, University of Cambridge
Abdullah M. Awad is an academic and institution-builder. He is the Herchel Smith Fellow at the University of Cambridge, where his work traverses history, literature, and sociology, and the founding director of the Institute for Critical Thought, where he convenes seminars for international scholars, government officials, and members of civil society. He also directs the Institute’s public program, which cultivates social and educational initiatives alongside grassroots movements and global organisations. An executive board member of Taghyeer, an international NGO focused on literacy, he was president of the Adelphic Union and a fellow in history at Harvard University.
Composer and Clarinetist
Hailed as a “virtuoso” and "intensely soulful" by the New York Times and "spellbinding" by the New Yorker. Syrian-born, genre-bending composer and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh has been touring the globe with great acclaim as a soloist, composer and improviser in the most prestigious concert halls in the world such as Opera Bastille, the UN’s general assembly, der Philharmonie; Berlin; the Library of Congress, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and the Damascus Opera House for its opening concert. He has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, John McLaughlin, and Djivan Gasparian, among others and leads his own bands Hewar and Kinan Azmeh CityBand. He is also a Silkroad ensemble artist with whom he won a Grammy in 2016. As a composer, his recent commissions include pieces for the Seattle Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School, the Damascus High Institute of Music, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering, Kinan holds a doctorate in music from the City University of New York.
Expert on Inclusive Labour Market, Employment and Entrepreneurship
Kinan has substantive international technical and policy-making experience, having spent the majority of his career working for UN organizations supporting governments and private sector across varying roles within policy formulation, advisory, strategic/future foresight research, management and academic teaching in the Middle-East, Europe, Asia, and North America. Kinan has dedicated his professional life working with and advising UN organizations on labour market economics, including economy stimulation; developing and strengthening labour market institutions; employment and skills development policies; and fostering entrepreneurship. A considerable focus of his work has been the design and implementation of various international development policies and research activities, addressing issues concerning labour market governance, youth employment, value chains development, entrepreneurship, vocational training, and labour market information systems (LMIS).
Amer Baroudi (Syria & Worcester 2019)
MSc candidate in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance, University of Oxford
Amer is an international entrepreneur and an expert problem solver. He founded and co-founded several companies that provide innovative solutions into the fields of architecture, design, technology and business. His educational background spans architecture, urban-planning, business and politics, and currently, he is reading for an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance at the University of Oxford. “The forum is an excellent opportunity to challenge the outdated rhetoric that dominates our region. To stand up for solving the wicked problems that face current and future generations. To draw a brighter vision for the Levant.”
Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group
Jad Bitar is a Managing Director & Partner at The Boston Consulting Group, Dubai office. Jad leads the healthcare practice in the Middle East region. As part of his role, Jad provides expert advisory services to a portfolio of public and private sector clients, ranging from ministries to providers and payers. His responsibilities comprise leading large-scale transformation projects; developing national strategies; ensuring operational excellence; and driving innovation for clients. He has deep expertise in leading change in large systems supporting leadership teams design, implement and govern these transformations. Jad is a seasoned consultant with over 25 years of professional experience working in the private and public sector in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Jad holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montreal. He also obtained a graduate degree in Health Management and another in Finance from McGill University and a B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Concordia University.
Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration, University of Oxford
Dawn Chatty is Emeritus Professor in Anthropology and Forced Migration and former Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Her research interests include refugee youth in protracted refugee crises, conservation and development, pastoral society and forced settlement She is the author of Displacement and Dispossession in the Modern Middle East Cambridge University Press, 2010, From Camel to Truck, White Horse Press, 2013, and Syria: The Making and Unmaking of a Refuge State, Hurst Publishers and Oxford University Press, 2018.
Associate Professor, Hashemite University & Founder and Director, We Love Reading
Rana Dajani Ph.D. molecular cell biology, Harvard Radcliffe fellow, a Fulbrighter, Eisenhower fellow, Associate Professor, Hashemite University, Jordan, Yale and Cambridge visiting professor. World expert on genetics of Circassian and Chechan populations in Jordan. Established stem cell research ethics law in Jordan. Advocate for biological evolution and Islam, Jordan team leader in studying refugee youth and the epigenetics of trauma across generations. Member UN women Jordan advisory council. Established a women mentor network, received PEER award 2014. Most influential women scientist in Islamic World, 12 among 100 most influential Arab women 2015, women in science hall of fame 2015, UNESCO Literacy prize, Jacob social entrepreneurship award, Synergos arab world social innovator, Ashoka fellow, UN STI award, and 2016 Global Changemaker Award IIE/Fulbright. Awarded the HM King Abdullah II Jordan star of science.
CEO & MD, QRF (London) & Executive Chairman, Edraak.org
Nafez is the CEO of the Queen Rania Foundation’s London office where he oversees the foundations strategic partnerships and talent development. He also leads the foundations engagement with the education entrepreneurship sector across MENA and globally. Under Nafez’s leadership the foundation recently launched the first education entrepreneurship competition for startups based in the Arab world. Prior to this role, Nafez founded Edraak.org, the largest Arabic online education portal that reaches over 2.5 million learners across the MENA region – where he is now the Executive Chairman. An initiative of the Queen Rania Foundation, Edraak’s learners come from all across the region and include disadvantaged youth in Gaza, Syria, and Iraq. Edraak has played a pivotal role in the setup of other open learning platforms across the region. Nafez was recognised for his work at Edraak as one of the top 50 “Makers+Shakers” in education technology globally by EdtechXGlobal in 2016; and received the Order of Independence First Class on behalf of Edraak from HM Abdullah II King of Jordan in 2017. Previously, Nafez was a strategy consultant working with different governments across the GCC, focusing on education to employment transitions. Nafez writes on education reform and technology regularly in Arabic and English publications (including the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Harvard Business Review Arabic and Edsurge). While at Yale he completed a yearlong, award winning, thesis on the Obstacles towards Curriculum Reform in the Middle East, using Jordan and the UAE as case studies, of which the Mohammed Bin Rashed School of Government in the UAE published an executive summary in 2011.
Executive Chairman, Wamda Group, Founder of Aramex
Fadi Ghandour is the Executive Chairman of Wamda Group, a platform that invests, nurtures and builds entrepreneurship eco-systems across the Middle East and North Africa. Fadi is also the Founder of Aramex, one of the leading global logistics companies. Fadi spent the first 30 years of his work life as CEO of Aramex, building the company, making it the leading emerging market logistics company, employing over 15,000 people working in over 250 offices in 90 countries. He took the company public twice, first on Nasdaq making it the first company from the Arab world to do so, then on Dubai Financial market. He continues to be active on the Aramex board. Fadi is a serial entrepreneur. In his career, he was involved with founding, investing and launching tens of companies and non-profits, ranging from digital tech, hospitality, fitness & wellness to security. Passionate about impact and social entrepreneurship, Fadi founded and chairs Ruwwad for Development, a private‐sector led community empowerment platform that helps marginalised communities, across several countries in the MENA region, overcome marginalisation through activism, civic engagement, education and financial inclusion. He has also co-founded and continues to support Al-Riyadi, one of the leading not-for-profit sports clubs in Jordan. Fadi also served and continues to serve on several global and regional boards of companies, education institutions and non-profits.
Mr Mohamad Hafez
Architect, University of Chicago & Artist, Hafez Studio
A Syrian-American artist and architect, Mohamad Hafez was born in Damascus, raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and educated in the Midwestern United States. Expressing the juxtaposition of East and West within him, Hafez’s art reflects the political turmoil in the Middle East through the compilation of found objects, paint and scrap metal. Using his architectural skills, Hafez creates surrealistic Middle Eastern streetscapes that are architectural in their appearance yet politically charged in their content.
Managing Director of MED Research Team & Resident Physician in Paediatrics at Paediatrics and Obstetrics Hospital of Latakia
Dr. Mariana Haydar Managing Director of MED Research Team Resident Physician in Paediatrics, Paediatrics and Obstetrics Hospital of Latakia, Latakia, Syria I am currently working with my team 'MED Research Team' aiming to support medical research, healthcare and education in war-torn Syria. I am a research associate at Cancer Research Centre of Tishreen University CRCTU. I am very interested in children's healthcare as I work with many healthcare providers in Latakia carrying the goal of better future through better childhood. I aspire to further spread the practices of medical research in all parts of Syria through sharing the experience of MED Research Team that is defying obstacles and difficulties posed on their work as a result of the ongoing conflict.
Founding Director, Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative, Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, Palestine
Mohammad is a neuroscientist and physician; the founding director of the Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative at Al-Quds University, Palestine; and a research scientist at Rutgers University, USA. He obtained an M.D. from Al-Quds, and a Ph.D. in behavioural and neural sciences from Rutgers. Mohammad’s research focuses on the identification of biomarkers for diagnosis of mental ill-health. He received the Young Arab Neuroscientist Award, the TED Fellowship, the Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellowship; was named as one of the 500 Most Powerful Arabs in the World; co-authored the Lancet Commission for Global Mental Health; was featured by Forbes, Science, Nature, and TED.
Syed Jaffar Hussain
Chef de Cabinet, World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean
Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain (Pakistan) currently working as Chef de Cabinet, Regional Director Office, WHO Regional Office EMRO to which he was assigned from 1 July 2019. Prior to that, Dr Hussain has worked as WHO Representative/Head of Mission Libya (September 2015-July 2019) and Head of Mission Tunisia (May 2016-Feb 2018). During this period Dr Hussain took the responsibility of Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. for a period of six months. Before joining Libya office, Dr Hussain worked as WHO Representative/Head of Mission for Iraq 2010-2015 including covering Syria for some time. His previous work assignment include serving as Regional Adviser Health Promotion/Violence, Injuries and Disabilities, WHO Regional Office for EMR since 2003. Dr Hussain holds a Doctorate in Public Health from Atlantic International University, United States, and a Master Degree in Hospital and Health Services Management from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom and Medicine Degree from University of Peshawar, Pakistan. Prior to joining WHO Regional Office, Dr Hussain held the positions of Project Officer Child Health, UNICEF, Pakistan, WHO Technical Officer Child Health, Pakistan, and Health Coordinator in UNHCR, Pakistan/Afghanistan, from 1997 to January 2003. His government assignments include Assistant Director of the EPI, Assistant District Health Officer, Deputy Medical Superintendent Psychiatric Hospital, and National Programme Manager Lady Health Programme for Primary Health Care and Family Planning from 1990 to 1997. Dr Hussain worked extensively in emergency settings, particularly focusing on post-emergency health system strengthening as well as health issues of refuges and migrants in the Region and beyond. Dr Hussain has long-standing scholastic and work experience in Social Determinants of Health and leads the WHO EMRO work of SDGs in his current portfolio. Dr Hussain served as Regional Ombudsperson 2006-2010. Dr Hussain has led many UN leadership initiatives with UN staff college, World Bank and WHO and the author of numerous publications in international journals
President of the Lebanese American University (LAU)
Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra, who was born in Lebanon, received his Law degree from the Université St. Joseph and Ph.D. in Political Science from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC in 1970. He assumed the presidency of the Lebanese American University on August 1, 2004. Previous to that, he served as Academic Vice President at Loyola Marymount University from 1990 to 2004. He had earlier served as Vice President, Academic and Research, at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, from 1980 to 1990. During his tenure at LMU and SMU, Dr. Jabbra gained profound experience in academic administration. He served on, and chaired, over one hundred academic committees and boards, ranging from academic senates to boards of trustees. In both Canada and the United States, Dr. Jabbra was very well versed in academic accreditation. In Canada, he played a major role in the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, which accredits university and college programs in the three Canadian Maritime Provinces, and in the United States, he was very active in the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which is one of the leading accrediting commissions. He always participated vigorously in the revisions of accreditation standards and served on accreditation visits for many institutions. He was also active in the accreditation of American law schools for the American Bar Association. Dr. Jabbra was moreover fully engaged in preparing the strategic planning and fund raising campaigns at both St. Mary’s University, in Canada, and Loyola Marymount University, in the United States. He also served on several hospital boards in Canada and the United States. Dr. Jabbra has a passion for teaching and research. During his tenure as Academic Administrator, he continued to teach and do significant research in the areas of political science, international law, international relations, public administration, the environment, globalization, law, and the Middle East. The courses he taught include: Introduction to Political Science, Scope and Methods of Political Science, International Law, Canadian and American Legal Systems, Public Administration, Government and Politics in the Middle East, the Middle East in International Affairs, and Islam. In 2017, he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Saint Mary’s University where he had previously taught and served as Academic Vice President. Also in 2018, he received the Ray R. Irani Lifetime Achievement Award – American Task Force of Lebanon (ATFL). Dr. Jabbra is the author, co-author, and co-editor of 12 books. To his credit, he also has thirty three articles and chapters published in books and scholarly journals, over twenty six book reviews in both English and French, scores of scholarly papers and keynote addresses given at learned societies’ meetings and professional gatherings. During the AAICU meeting which was held from April 29 – May 1, 2011, in Beirut, Dr. Joseph Jabbra was elected President of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities (AAICU) for a two-year term.
Special Advisor to MIT & ASU on the UN SDGs
Maysa Jalbout is a leader in philanthropy and international development, especially education. She is a global adviser including Special Adviser to MIT and ASU on the SDGs and was the founding CEO of the Queen Rania Foundation and the Abdulla AlGhurair Foundation for Education. She is an advocate for vulnerable people and passionate about refugee rights. She has authored reports on education globally and in the Arab world for the Brookings Institute.
Saroj Kumar Jha
Regional Director, Middle East Department, World Bank Group
Saroj Kumar Jha is the Regional Director of the Mashreq Department (Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Iran). He assumed the position on July 1, 2017. Mr. Jha brings to the region a vast experience in a critical period of transition. Before his appointment to the Mashreq region, Mr. Jha was the Senior Director for the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Global Practice at the World Bank Group. Mr. Jha, an Indian national, joined the World Bank in 2005 as a Senior Infrastructure Specialist in the Sustainable Development Network, after working for the Government of India (1990-2005) and the United Nations agencies (1999-2004) as a senior executive in the field of public sector management, infrastructure financing, natural resources management, natural disaster prevention, and environmental sustainability.
Postdoctoral Research Officer, London School of Economics
Dr Bilal Malaeb is a postdoctoral research officer at the Institute of Global Affairs (IGA) at the London School of Economics (LSE). His primary expertise are in Development and Labour Economics, and his research interests are in migration, poverty, and labour market issues. Formerly, he worked as a research officer at the University of Oxford and University of Southampton. Dr Malaeb holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Manchester, where he also held a temporary lectureship. He had gained some policy experience by consulting for the ILO, World Bank, ESCWA, IFAD, and the LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility.
Adeel Malik (Pakistan & St Peter's 1999)
Globe Fellow in the Economies of Muslim Societies and Associate Professor, University
Adeel Malik is an Associate Professor at the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford, and Globe Fellow in the Economies of Muslim Societies at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. An empirical economist with a strong multi-disciplinary orientation, he teaches and researches on issues of Middle Eastern political economy. His most recent contribution to the field is a co-edited volume on Crony Capitalism in the Middle East: Business and Politics from Liberalization to the Arab Spring (2019). Malik’s research on Middle Eastern political economy has featured in the CNN, Financial Times, Forbes, the New York Times, Project Syndicate, Foreign Policy, and Foreign Affairs.
Education researcher and consultant
Samaya Mansour is an education consultant and researcher, with experience across the education field, particularly education leadership, change and school improvement, and youth development. Samaya has a BA in Education and a post graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership from the American University of Beirut and a Master of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and School Improvement from the University of Cambridge. Samaya has worked in the private and voluntary sectors and civil society with various groups, including teachers, school principals, youth and community activists. Her most recent research is at the intersection of democratic education, civic engagement and social change.
Born in Qamishli, Syria, Mourad now lives and works in New York City. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts in Armenia. Mourad employs his technique of live drawing and animation in concert with musicians – developing a collaboration in which art and music harmonize with one another. Collaborators include Yo-Yo Ma, Kim Kashkashian, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Brooklyn Rider, The Knights, Perspectives Ensemble, Paola Prestini, and Kinan Azmeh and he has performed in many institutions, including The Aga Khan Museum (Toronto), The Art Institute of Chicago & The American Museum of Natural History. Recent commissions include Israel in Egypt, for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Sound of Stone to accompany the exhibition “Armenia!” for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Well Wish Ya, a dance performance piece with the OYO Dance Troupe in Namibia. His performance Home Within, co-produced with clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, has toured the world. The 2016 recipient of the Robert Bosch Stiftung Film Prize, he premiered his animated film, 4 Acts for Syria, at the Stuttgart Animation Festival. In 2019 he had a solo exhibit at Tabari Artspace in Dubai. That year he was also commissioned by the Aga Khan Foundation to create a site-specific 20-foot drawing-sculpture called Seeing Through Babel, at London’s Ismaili Center, addressing the importance of diversity in our contemporary times. In September 2019, he exhibited at Latitude, in Yerevan, Armenia, alongside Imran Qureshi, Roberto Pugliese, and Walid Siti. His works are in the permanent collection of the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.
Research Assistant (PhD), University of Luxembourg
Amro Najjar is the scriptwriter for the show "Arab Dystopia", a science vulgarisation show in Arabic . He holds a PhD in artificial intelligence Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne (France), 2015. He is interested in knowledge dissemination specially in domains like political science, history, social sciences, and, of course, artificial intelligence. Amro is now working as a researcher at the university Luxembourg where he manages a Lab for social robots. His research interests include ethics and AI and assistive robots. Amro has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in journals, books chapters, and top ranking conferences.
TV presenter, Syria TV and writer & Teacher assistant, BSB School of Business
Becher is very interested in science popularisation (Politics, history, economy...etc) He does a TV show for this purpose in which he tries to spread awareness among Arab speaking youth. Becher is also a teacher in a business school because it's his passion to deliver information in an innovative way that may change some perspectives of life for others. Other fields of interests: story telling, TV directing.
Peter Pormann (Germany & Corpus Christi 1997)
Professor of Classics and Graeco-Arabic Studies, The University of Manchester
Peter E Pormann (Germany & Corpus Christi 1997) is Professor of Classics and Graeco-Arabic Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focusses on the shared scientific, medical, philosophical and cultural heritage between the Greek and the Arabo-Islamic civilisations. As a historian of medicine in the medieval Islamic world, he reaches out to both medical practitioners and Muslim communities. He curated two exhibitions: ‘Mirror of Health’ at the Royal College of Physicians in London (2013); and ‘Seeing the Invisible’ at the John Rylands Library in Manchester (2019–20). His recent publications include the 'Cambridge Companion to Hippocratic' and '1001 Cures'.
Christian Sahner (New Jersey & St John's 2007)
Associate Professor of Islamic History, University of Oxford
Christian Sahner is Associate Professor of Islamic History at the University of Oxford. His work deals mainly with the transition from Late Antiquity to the Islamic Middle Ages, relations between Muslims and Christians, and the history of Syria and Iran. He is the author of two books: Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present (Hurst - Oxford, 2014) and Christian Martyrs under Islam: Religious Violence and the Making of the Muslim World (Princeton, 2018). Born in New York City, he earned an A.B. from Princeton, an M.Phil from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. also from Princeton. He writes frequently about the history, art, and culture of the Middle East for The Wall Street Journal, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Washington Post, among other publications.
Founder and CEO, Outcomes4Me Inc.
Dr. Said is the founder and CEO of Outcomes4Me, a health technology company focused on providing patients diagnosed with cancer and other chronic diseases with personalised treatment options as well as outcomes information. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of two immune-focused biotech companies, Transgene and Pieris Pharmaceuticals, and was the COO of Celsius Therapeutics, an autoimmune disease and cancer-focused biotech company. Prior to founding the company, she spent many years as a senior pharmaceutical executive at both Novartis and Sanofi leading global functions, including Market Access, Policy, R&D Strategy and Business Development. Earlier in her career, she was a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group and a founding member of its Strategy Institute. Maya trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), earning dual degrees in Biology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). She also holds a Master of Science in Toxicology, a Master of Engineering in EECS and a Doctor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Systems Biology, all from MIT.
Associate Vice President for Health Affairs & Founding Director of Global Health Institute
Shadi Saleh, PhD, MPH. Founding Director of the Global Health Institute, Associate Vice President for Health Affairs, Professor of Health Systems and Financing, American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Shadi Saleh currently leads the Global Health Institute at the American University of Beirut, which is the first such institute in the Middle East and North Africa region. In his previous role as Chairperson of the Health Management and Policy Department, he founded the Collaborative for Leadership and Innovations in Health Systems and the Healthcare Leadership Academy. His areas of expertise are in healthcare financing policy and reform as well as healthcare access and equity. He has extensively published peer-reviewed papers and commissioned reports and serves on the editorial boards of leading health systems journals. He serves as a World Bank, WHO and UN advisor for healthcare financing and system strengthening projects. Prior to joining AUB, Dr. Saleh served as a professor of health management and policy at the State University of New York at Albany where he also was the Director of Certificate Programs
Co-Founder and Board Member, Jusoor
Fadi Salem is a co-founder of Jusoor, an international non-profit focused on scholarship of Syrian youth. He is also the Director of Research at the MBR School of Government and the Editor-in-Chief of the Dubai Policy Review journal. Earlier, he was an Associate with the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); and a Fellow with the I+I Policy Research Centre, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He is currently a PhD in Public Policy candidate at the University of Oxford, and holds Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a B.Eng. in Computer Engineering from Aleppo University.
Research Associate, University of Cambridge
Hiba is a postdoctoral researcher in Education between the University of Cambridge, University of Harvard, and the Queen Rania Foundation having recently been awarded her PhD for studying the well-being of Syrian refugee students in Jordan's double-shift schools. For her Post-Doc, Hiba's work explores belonging within education settings for refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. In addition to her academic research, she has gained years of experience in policy and consultancy for numerous international projects in areas of conflict, displacement, and education. Hiba’s work has been recognised by the Said Foundation as a recipient of their Alumni Achievement prize (2018).
International Development Studies Lecturer, King's College London
Mayssoun is a Senior Lecturer in the Anthropology of Development in the Department of International Development at King’s College London. She has lectured in Brown University, Columbia University, the American University of Beirut before joining King's College London.
Joumana Talhouk (Lebanon & Queen's 2019)
MPhil candidate in Development Studies, University of Oxford
Joumana Talhouk has worked as a researcher at the American University of Beirut (AUB) since graduating with a Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology in 2017. Her work has focused on the Lebanese government’s policy response towards Syrian refugees. Currently, she is working with AUB, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Peace Research Institute in Oslo on a research project focusing on education and the possibilities of building durable futures for young refugees. Over the past 6 years, Joumana has organised around issues of social, economic, environmental, and gender justice in Lebanon.
Founding Editor, Al-Fanar Media
David Wheeler is the founding editor of Al-Fanar Media, a publication that covers education, research, and culture in the 22 Arab League countries. Al-Fanar Media also focuses on the education and employment of refugees and displaced youth. Previously, for more than 25 years, David worked as a science writer, international editor, and managing editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education, in the United States. He has reported articles in more than 30 countries, and written for numerous publications. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and was awarded a fellowship in science journalism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Alex Youssef (Syria & St Cross 2018)
DPhil Candidate in Engineering Science, University of Oxford
Alex is a Syrian medical doctor, healthcare system specialist, and data scientist-in training. Alex is currently pursuing a D.Phil. in Clinical Artificial Intelligence at the University of Oxford. He is building AI-powered algorithms to improve patient flow in Data-Driven Hospitals. "I am excited to stir up the discussion about the future of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. This forum will be a venue for regional leaders and youth change-makers to discuss the challenges and opportunities that exist in our region."