An accomplished academic or senior practitioner with extensive experience in public policy, international affairs, or related field. Practitioners, such as former civil servants, diplomats, senior administrators from international organizations, journalists and public intellectuals, are ideal candidates for this fellowship. The Senior Policy Fellow can also be a senior scholar who has made significant academic contributions in the areas of public policy and/or international affairs. Senior Policy Fellows are expected to work closely with research programs on relevant research, reviewing publications, facilitating discussions, and publishing relevant policy papers, articles, and other publications. This fellowship is designated through nomination process.
Lina Abou-Habib is an expert in mainstreaming gender, development policies and practices, and building capacities for gender mainstreaming in regional and international agencies, as well as public institutions. She holds a PhD in gender and public policy from AUT in New Zealand.
She is the former executive director of WLP Lebanon/Collective for Research and Training on Development–Action (CRTD-A), and is co-founder and coordinator of the Mashreq/Maghreb Gender Linking and Information Project. She is a former chair of the board of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), and currently serves as the strategic MENA adviser for the Global Fund for Women. She is also on the editorial board of Oxfam’s journal, Gender and Development.
Abou-Habib has published several research articles in international journals on action oriented research on the impact of the denial of citizenship rights to women in MENA countries; active citizenship and gendered social entitlements in Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt; and topics related to women's political participation, invisible care work, economic contribution in rural communities and access to markets, faith based organizations, migrant women and refugees, and women in post-war Lebanon. Abou-Habib’s articles on action oriented research have appeared in Oxfam’s Gender and Development Journal, Royal Tropical Institute’s Source Book, and Routledge.
Ziad El Sayegh
Ziad El Sayegh is an expert and adviser on public policies. He is a researcher on many topics including the Palestinian refugee issue in Lebanon and peace negotiations in the Middle East, as well as Syrian refugees, labor policies, and social protection.
El Sayegh is a member of the Political National Committee working on the refugee issue at the Presidency of the Council of Ministries. He is a policy adviser for Adyan Foundation and coordinator of "Better Lebanon Initiative", as well as the policies and communication adviser to the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC). He has also served as the senior national policy and communication adviser to the Ministry of State for Displaced Affairs (February 2017 – January 2019), was the CEO of the Civic Influence Hub (July 2012 – January 2016), and was the policy and communication strategies adviser for the President of the Lebanese – Palestinian Dialogue Committee in the Lebanese Presidency of the Council of Ministers (2006 – 2009).
Heba Elgazzar currently serves as a program leader and senior economist at the World Bank, based in Ankara. She holds a PhD and MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA from Columbia University in New York. Her work and publications focus on social protection and labor policies, investment programs, economic evaluation, and governance. She has previously worked in the Middle East, Africa, and Washington, DC. She was also a researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and served as director of global economics in the private sector, focusing on Europe and the Americas.
Khalil Gebara is an expert in governance, local development and public policy, with a unique set of expertise as a researcher, academic and government official. He holds a PhD in Political Economy from Exeter University in the United Kingdom and is currently teaching economics at the Lebanese American University (LAU). He is a consultant in governance and public policy, in addition to being an active member of several organizations, including the Common Space Initiative.
Between February 2014 and February 2019, he was the international affairs adviser to the Ministery of Interior and Municipalities. He also served as the head of the Good Governance Unit in the office of Prime Minister Saad Hariri between 2010 and 2014. In December 2008, he was appointed by the Lebanese government as a member of the first Supervisory Commission on the Election Campaign. Gebara was also the director of the Lebanese Transparency Association-Transparency International Chapter in Lebanon between 2005 and 2008.
Mahmoud Haidar has more than twenty-five years of experience in business strategy, innovation, and public policy. He has held various senior management and advisory roles with international, government, and private entities in telecom and media, digital services, trade, policy evaluation and regulation, as well as institutional development. In public policy and international affairs, he has first-hand experience with numerous governments in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, and has extensively supervised research in policy making. He is currently an adviser to the Civil Society Actors & Policymaking program at the IFI.
Haidar studied engineering and arts & sciences in AUB, business and management in EDHEC, France, and international law and diplomacy in TUFTS, USA. Mahmoud is a regular lecturer of international affairs and public policy in St. Gallen University, Switzerland, the PPIA program of the American University of Beirut, and at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, ENA, Lebanon. He currently sits on a number of advisory and management boards, consults for the UN ESCWA, and chairs an advisory board for New Zealand government in MEA.
Maysa Jalbout is a leader in international development and philanthropy, with 25 years of experience in building organizations and developing solutions to help the most vulnerable people around the world. She is currently a visiting scholar and special adviser on the UN Sustainable Development Goals at MIT and ASU and a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution. She was the founding CEO of the Abdulla AlGhurair Foundation for Education and the founding CEO of the Queen Rania Foundation. She was the head of Education Policy at Global Affairs Canada. Jalbout serves on the boards of the International Baccalaureate Organization and Generation by McKinsey.
Sami Mahroum is currently the director of research and strategy at Dubai Future Labs and professor of innovation studies at the Free University of Brussels. He completed a PhD in business and social studies from the German Armed Forces University in Hamburg (2002). Mahroum was a senior lecturer teaching executive education at INSEAD and the founding director of the INSEAD Innovation & Policy Initiative. Over the course of his career, he has worked as a policy researcher and an adviser on innovation policy issues, allowing him to gain a strong policy experience at high profile organizations, including the European Commission, the OECD, the Rand Corporation and the Ontario Government.
Mahroum’s writings have appeared in peer-reviewed journals as well as in high-quality journalism including the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, and Project Syndicate. He is also the author of a book entitled “Black Swan Start-Ups: Understanding the Rise of Successful Technology Business in Unlikely Places” (Palgrave MacMillan, March 2016) and several Harvard Business Press case studies on innovation and location. Sami sits on the editorial board of the Journal Science & Public Policy and on the scientific committee for the Geography of Innovation conference.
Jamal Saghir, is an economist and expert in infrastructure, energy, water, climate change and international finance and policy, with over 25 years of experience at the World Bank Group.
Saghir is currently professor of practice at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University, Montreal, Senior Policy Fellow at the IFI/AUB, and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Payne Institute, Colorado School of Mines.
Saghir also served as director of sustainable development and senior regional adviser at the World Bank, resident adviser to the Prime Ministry in Tunisia, and country director for Scientex Corporation. Saghir held the positions of economic adviser and chief of staff to the associate minister of finance and privatization in Quebec, Canada. He was appointed in 2009 by the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon as core member of the United Nations Energy and Climate Change Advisory Group, and member of the Global Energy Assessment from 2008-2011. He contributed to the delivery of major reports to the UN Secretary General and international community on energy and climate change. Saghir has contributed to over 40 publications, essays, and books.
Robert Watkins is the Former UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon. Early in his career, Mr. Watkins worked for the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and other international organizations. Mr. Watkins holds a Master of Arts degree in international relations from the Carleton University School of International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Toronto. He has been posted both in headquarters and in the field, serving in Gabon, Sudan, Iraq, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, and Jordan prior to joining the United Nations.