The memory and legacy of the late AUB alumnus and faculty member Dr. Mohammad Atallah (BBA ‘53) will be honored in perpetuity following with the establishment of a new Chair in Ethics and eventually, through the creation of the Mohammad Atallah Center for Ethics. The Chair and the initial gift towards the Atallah Center are funded through the philanthropy of the Atallah family and business executive Jamal Daniel, a close friend of the family.
The Mohammad Atallah Center for Ethics celebrates the distinguished career of a man who exemplified the highest ethical standards as a business leader and as a devoted servant of Lebanon. Administered by the Office of the Provost, the Center is intended to be an interdisciplinary hub to advance the study of ethics through rigorous theoretical and applied research of the moral dimensions inherent in the Middle East’s most pressing socio-economic issues.
Provost Ahmad Dallal said that the Center will advance AUB’s efforts to establish itself further as a model for values and ethics-based citizenship and leadership in the modern age. “It will be an integral component of AUB’s commitment to promote ethical research and practice, something that we have already embarked upon through the articulation of clear policies for institutional integrity that are unparalleled in institutions in the region.”
The Atallah Chair and Center complement university strategies to contribute in tangible ways to universal dialogue about, and broad adoption of, consistently high standards for integrity in personal conduct, enterprise and governance.
Naaman Atallah called the establishment of the Chair in his father’s name “a turning point in the teaching of ethics and ethical practices as the guarantors of progress and prosperity and good living for the people of this region.”
Daniel added, “Ethics is a righteous path in our landscape, a virtue at the essence of successful business practices. Through the Atallah Center, AUB endorses the integrality of ethics and business acumen as one whole. Mohammad Atallah in his life incarnated this whole.”
Born in Saida in 1929, Atallah earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from AUB in 1953. He continued his education at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, where he received a masters and MSS degree. He then earned a doctorate of science in economics from Rotterdam University. Among academe, he is known for “The Atallah Model”, a model he put forward in his 1958 book The Long-Term Movement of the Terms of Trade between Agriculture and Industrial Products.
In addition to his tenure at AUB, Atallah was a successful businessman who co-founded Gefinor, a pioneering merchant and investment bank in the Middle East. He was a member of Lebanon’s Planning Council, a member of the Monetary and Loans Council and the government’s representative on the first board of directors of Intra-Investment Company. He was also the founding president of the Council for Development and Reconstruction.