American Univesity of Beirut

Affiliates Program
​​​​​​​​​​​​Out of our commitment to expanding and deepening knowledge production and to creating a space for the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas among researchers, civil society actors, and policymakers, the AUB Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) has established an affiliation program divided into four different categories:

  • Associate Fellow
  • AUB Faculty Fellow
  • Senior Fellow
  • Distinguished Senior Fellow

IFI affiliates contribute in their areas of expertise to our research programs and participate in the intellectual life of the institute. The specific requirements, interactions, and contributions made by affiliates, differ depending on the specific needs of each research program.

Affiliate applications for Associate Fellows and Faculty Fellows are accepted annually in the spring term and start the following fall term.

    Associate Fellows

    A post-doctoral scholar or a PhD candidate who is finalizing their dissertation and whose current research project is relevant to one of the institute’s research programs. Although office space is currently unavailable for affiliates, the affiliation gives the scholar an institutional home at the university and the ability to access the AUB libraries, as well as other campus resources. Most importantly, this affiliation offers the scholar the opportunity to collaborate with researchers and staff from the institute and share their ongoing research for feedback and support. The duration of this affiliation may vary from a short stay up to one full academic year. To apply, visit the​ Associate Fellows application process​ page.​​

    Associate Fellows

    Ali Fathollah-Nejad

    ​Ali Fathollah-Nejad holds a PhD in International Relations from the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS) and was the winner of the 2016/17 post-doctoral fellowship of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Iran Project. He is also an affiliated researcher with the Centre d’Études de la Coopération Internationale et du Développement (CECID) at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Freie Universität (FU) Berlin’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics and the Afro–Middle East Centre (AMEC), South Africa’s think-tank specialized on the Middle East. More recently, he was a Senior Lecturer on the Middle East and Comparative Politics at the University of Tübingen and an adjunct Assistant Professor in the PhD program of Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Center. Ali is also the former Iran expert of the Brookings Institution in Doha (BDC, 2017–20) and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP, 2015–18). In 2020, he published two monographs: The Islamic Republic of Iran Four Decades On: The 2017/18 Protests Amid a Triple Crisis and The Politics of Culture in Times of Rapprochement: European Cultural and Academic Exchange with Iran (2015–16).​

    Yeghia Tashjian

    Yeghia Tashjian is a regional analyst and researcher. He has graduated from the American University of Beirut in Public Policy and International Affairs. He pursued his BA at Haigazian University in Political Science in 2013. He founded the New Eastern Politics forum/blog in 2010. He was a Research Assistant at the Armenian Diaspora Research Center at Haigazian University. Currently, he is the Regional Officer of Women in War, a gender-based think tank. He has participated in international conferences in Frankfurt, Vienna, Uppsala, New Delhi, Rome, and Yerevan, and presented various topics from minority rights to regional security issues. His thesis topic was on China’s geopolitical and energy security interests in Iran and the Persian Gulf. He is a contributor to the various local and regional newspapers, columnist for the Armenian Weekly, and presenter of the “Turkey Today” program in Radio Voice of Van. Lately, he has joined the European Geopolitical Forum as an affiliate expert on the Middle East and South Caucasus.

    Jana Jabbour

    ​Jana Jabbour is a PhD in Political Science and International Relations, expert in Middle East politics and contemporary Turkey. She has published extensively about the balance of power in the Middle East and the politics of regional powers and has an acclaimed book about Turkey’s foreign policy in the Middle East under the rule of the Justice and Development party, published in Paris and titled La Turquie: l’invention d’une diplomatie émergente [Turkey: The Invention of an Emerging Diplomacy] (CNRS Editions, 2017). Dr. Jabbour teaches political science and international relations at Sciences Po Paris and the University of Saint Joseph in Beirut (USJ). She has been a Visiting Professor at renowned universities, including Sapienza University of Rome, Ca’Foscari University (Venice), the New York University of Abu Dhabi, and the National University of Singapore.​

    Omar S​irri

    Omar Sirri is a PhD Candidate in political science at the University of Toronto. His doctoral dissertation is an ethnography of security practices and urban checkpoints in contemporary Baghdad. Omar is also leading a research pr​oject with the LSE Middle East Centre that investigates transformations in Baghdad's market spaces.​

    AUB Faculty Fellows

    Faculty Fellows are AUB faculty members who are appointed for a full academic year in order to substantively contribute to one of its research programs or work on a policy relevant project of interest to the institute. Faculty Fellows are expected to contribute to publications, organize policy dialogues, facilitate discussions and as much as possible, participate in the daily life of the institute.

    AUB Faculty Fellows can come from a variety of academic disciplines and backgrounds but must have the ability to bridge their research to policymaking. They are expected to publish at least one research paper as part of the institute Working Papers​ series or a Research Report​ before the end of their fellowship.

    The application process of this fellowship takes place in the spring term and starts the following fall term. Faculty Fellows will receive compensation in accordance with AUB policies to support their research while with the institute. To apply, visit the  AUB fellows application process​ page.​​

    Senior Fellows

    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.​​

    Senior Fellows​

    ​​Carol Ayat

     Carol Ayat is an energy finance professional and an investment banker. She has been deeply involved in policy discussions around the energy sector in Lebanon with various stakeholders including the local administration, the international financing community, international developers and manufacturers. Carol
    currently heads the large corporates and specialized lending department at Bank Audi and is on the board of the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative “LOGI”. Prior to joining the bank, she worked with Goldman Sachs with various roles in structured finance and leveraged finance in London, Dubai and New York.

    ​Karma Ekmekji

    Karma Ekmekji is the Lead Advisor on IFI's research project entitled “Democratizing the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda​” supported by the UN Women Regional Office for Arab States.

    Karma is a Mediation Advisor with UN Women and the founder of #Diplowomen, an initiative to share knowledge, develop mentorship opportunities, and strengthen networking in the field of diplomacy, peacemaking, conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiation. She is a member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network and a member of the Global Alliance of Regional Women Mediator Networks, which she participated in launching during the 74th UN General Assembly in New York. 

    Prior to this, she was the International Affairs and Relations Advisor to former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri, where she served as the focal point for all international dossiers for eleven years. Before joining PM Hariri’s office in 2009, Karma was the National Political Officer at the United Nations Special Coordinator’s office in Lebanon. She had also served at the UN Secretariat’s Department of Political Affairs in New York.

    She is a Munich Young Leader, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, member of the British Government’s International Leaders Program and a “Personalité d’avenir” – selected by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2012, Karma was named one of the top 99 foreign policy leaders under 33 years of age by the Diplomatic Courier. 

    Karma holds a Master of Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where she was a Fulbright student. She is a fourth-generation graduate of the American University of Beirut and a Penrose Award recipient. 

    Adnan ElAmine

    Professor Adnan El Amine holds a doctorate in Sociology of Education (1977), and a "Doctorat d'État es letters” (1991), from the Sorbonne University-Paris. He was full professor of education at the Lebanese university (until 2008), and lecturer at the American University of Beirut (1993-1999, 2008-2011). Worked as UNESCO consultant on higher education (Beirut office, 2008-2011). Co-founder and member of the Lebanese Association for Educational Studies-LAES (1995), and the Arab Educational Information Network-Shamaa (2007). He is the author of 24 books and more than 50 papers published in Lebanese, Arab and International journals. Last publication: Production of the Void: Arab Research Traditions (2021). His website archives more than 450 texts he wrote since 1971.

    Ali Ahmad

    Ali Ahmad is an energy policy scholar at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His research interests lie at the intersection between energy, development, and international security. Ali’s recent work has focused on studying the political economy of nuclear energy in newcomer markets, with a focus on the Middle East. Prior to joining MTA, Ali served as Director of the Energy Policy and Security Program at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at AUB. From 2013 to 2016, Ali was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security where he worked on informing nuclear diplomacy with Iran. Outside academia, Ali is a senior consultant to the World Bank advising the Energy and Extractive Industries Global Practice. Ali holds a first degree in Physics from the Lebanese University and a Ph.D. in Engineering from Cambridge University. He will be advising the Energy Policy and Security Program at IFI. He is also leading efforts in the Physics and Policy Initiative at the American University of Beirut.

    Ishac Diwan


    Ishac Diwan is Professor of Economics at Paris Sciences et Lettres where he holds the chair of the Economy of the Arab World. He currently teaches at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, and has held in recent years teaching positions at Columbia University, School for International Public Affairs, and at the Harvard Kennedy School.

    Ishac received his PhD in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught international finance at the New York University’s Business School before joining the World Bank, working in the Research Complex (1987-92), the Middle East department (1992-96), and the World Bank Institute (1996-2002). He was the World Bank’s Country Director for East (2002-07), and then West Africa (2007-11).

    Ishac directs the Political Economy program of the Economic Research Forum, an association of Middle East social scientists. He is a frequent consultant with international organizations and governments. His current research interests focus on the political economy of the Middle East, in addition to broader development issues, and international financial issues. His recent (co-authored) books include A Political Economy of the Middle East (Westview Press 2015); and Crony Capitalism in the Middle East (Oxford University Press, 2019). He is widely published in a variety of journals. 

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    Albert Kostanian​

    ​An economist and an expert in strategy. He is also the content producer and host of “Vision 2030”, a leading TV show on LBCI that provides a platform for an in-depth debate around politics and policy making in Lebanon.

    Albert has founded and is heading the Beirut office of Arthur D. Little, the world premier strategy consulting firm, after having spent years with the firm in France. His main areas of expertise are in infrastructure, public transportation and telecom. He worked for major international corporations and governments in a dozen of countries. Albert has also established a boutique consultancy “Levant Consult”, where he advises regional companies on their strategy, governance, M&A and financial and operational restructuring projects.   

    Albert is committed to promoting reforms in Lebanon and regularly publishes articles and studies in various domains in addition to having been active in politics and policy making, with a focus on electoral laws. He is the co-founder of “Les Plus Beaux Villages du Liban”, an NGO aiming at the preservation of rural heritage in Lebanon. He holds an MSc from the HEC School in Paris and a BA in Economics from the Saint-Joseph University in Beirut.

    Distinguished Senior Fellows

    The most senior affiliation of the institute, is reserved for those who have already contributed significantly to the institute or the university in the areas of public policy and international affairs and who intend on continuing to be part of IFI’s research programs and activities. This fellowship is an honorary appointment but is also intended to keep senior scholars and practitioners involved with the institute. This fellowship is designated through an internal nomination by IFI.​

    Distinguished Senior Fellows​

    Rami Khouri​

    Former Director at the Issam Fares Institute, political columnist and book author,  professor of journalism and journalist-in-residence at AUB, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.

    Tarek Mitri​

    President of Saint George University and former Director at the Issam Fares Institute.

    John Waterbury​

    Former AUB president.

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