Previous Forums



Since its launch, the Arab Strategy Forum has explored and forecasted some of the most critical challenges facing the world. Convening key decision makers and experts, the event has established itself as a regional platform for identifying solutions to these challenges. The forum has also served as a meeting place to discuss vital issues, especially the shifts in the political and economic scene, as well as the impact of those changes on the people of the region and the world at large across the social and cultural fabric.

  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
Prof. Ghassan Salamé
Francis Fukuyama
Paul Krugman
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Abdalla S. El-Badri
Ahmed Aboul Gheit
Henry T Azzam
Dr Lawrence Summers
Margareta Drzeniek
Masood Ahmed
Dr Nouriel Roubini
Salam Fayyad
HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal
William Hague
Dr. Gideon Rose
Dr. Ayhan Kose
Mahmoud Moheildin
David Cameron
Leon Panetta
Ian Bremmer
Dr. Mohamed El-Erian
Dr. Nabil Fahmy
Dr. Georges Corm
Dr. Mamdouh Salameh
Dr. Natalia Tamirisa
Dr. Joseph Stiglitz
Dr. Fawaz Gerges
François Hollande
Dr. Jihad Azour
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
Dr. Robert Gates

Prof. Ghassan Salamé

Political Thinker

Ghassan Salamé was a professor of International Relations at Sciences Po (Paris) and the founding Dean of its Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA).
He also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of the International Crisis Group (Brussels) and sits on the board of the Open Society Institute (New York), the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and other not-for-profit organisations. He is the founding chairman of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (Beirut).
Earlier, Ghassan Salamé served as Political Advisor to the UN Mission in Iraq (2003) and Senior Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General (2003-2005 and again since August 2012). In 2000-2003, he was Lebanon's Minister of Culture, in charge of national heritage and the arts, as well as Chairman of the Committee and Spokesman for the Arab Summit (March 2002), and the Francophone Summit (October 2002) in Beirut.
A prolific author, his essays have been published in Foreign Policy, Revue française de science politique, European Journal of International Affairs, The Middle East Journal.
He is the recipient of the Phenix (Beirut), ADELFI (Paris) and Al-Idrissi (Rome, 2012) awards, as well as the Medaille of the Academie Francaise (2003) and Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur (France, 2004). He was also named 'The Arab Cultural Personality of the Year' (UAE, 2004).

Francis Fukuyama

Professor, Stanford University

Francis Fukuyama is a professor at Stanford University, a senior fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and a longstanding observer of global political and economic issues, with a special emphasis on the development of democratic political systems around the world.

He has previously taught at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where he was a professor of international political economy and director of the school's International Development Program.

Fukuyama served as a member of the Political Science Department at the RAND Corporation and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees. In 1989, he was a member of the Policy Planning Staff of the US Department of State, first specializing in Middle East affairs, and then as deputy director for European political-military affairs. In 1981-82, he was also a member of the US delegation to the Egyptian-Israeli talks on Palestinian autonomy. From 2001-2004, he served on the President's Council on Bioethics, established by President George W. Bush.

Fukuyama received his bachelor's degree in classics from Cornell University and Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. He holds honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, Doane College, Doshisha University and Kansai University in Japan, and Aarhus University in Denmark.

Fukuyama has authored books on issues relating to democratization and international political economy. He is chairman of the editorial board of The American Interest, which he helped found in 2005.

Paul Krugman

Professor, Princeton University

Paul Krugman won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his groundbreaking work on international trade and economic geography. A gifted observer and contributor on policy and economics, he is the author/editor of 20 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals and edited volumes.

As one of the world's best known and most acclaimed economists, Paul speaks on the leading issues of the day affecting the world economy. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Krugman's work in economics has earned him broad acclaim from the economic press and several prestigious awards. He is one of the founders of the 'new trade theory' - a major rethinking of the theory of international trade for which he also received the John Bates Clark medal in 1991 from the American Economic Association.

Paul Krugman is professor of economics at Princeton University. Over the course of 2014 and 2015, he will move to the Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY) as professor of economics and a distinguished scholar at the Graduate Center's Luxembourg Income Study Center.

Paul Krugman was chosen as one of Bloomberg's 50 Most Influential People in Global Finance, 2011. He has also been named among Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers for four consecutive years (2009-2012).

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is a professor of politics and director of the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at the New York University, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Through his New York-based consulting firm (Selectors LLC), he has served as an advisor to the American government on national security matters and to numerous corporations on issues related to forecasting and engineering outcomes in negotiations involving mergers and acquisitions, litigation, regulation, and legislation.

Bueno de Mesquita received his doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan and an honorary doctorate from the University of Groningen. From 2001-2002, Bueno de Mesquita was president of the International Studies Association. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, and has been a Guggenheim Fellow.

He has been chosen several times by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the 100 Top Global Thinkers. He has also received a number of distinguished awards including the Karl Deutsch Award from the International Studies Association as the leading scholar of international relations under the age of 40 in 1985. Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Conflict Processes Section of the American Political Science Association, he was awarded the 2008 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Foreign Policy Section of the International Studies Association, and the 2007 DMZ Peace Prize in South Korea.

Bueno de Mesquita is the author of 19 books, and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and International Herald Tribune.

Abdalla S. El-Badri

Secretary General , OPEC

His Excellency Abdalla Salem El-Badri is the Secretary General of OPEC, a position he has held since 1 January, 2007. El-Badri began his career in the oil industry with Esso Standard in 1964 and went on to become the Chairman of the Libyan National Oil Company in 1983, before being named Minister of Petroleum in 1990.

In 1993, he was appointed Minister of Energy, Oil and Electricity and as Deputy Prime Minister of Libya in 2004, before he returned to the chairmanship of the Libyan National Oil Company. In 1994, he was both President and Secretary General of OPEC, and served as its President once again in 1996.

In 2013, he was honored with the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Energy Award for Lifetime Achievement for his contribution to the advancement of OPEC. He graduated from the US with a high degree in accounting and business management.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt

Ahmed Aboul Gheit is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt – a position he held between 2004 and 2011 when the government of Ahmed Nazif took office.

Prior to taking on this role, he served as Egypt's representative to the UN from 1999 to 2004.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit joined Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1965, after completing his bachelor's degree. He started his career as Third Secretary in the Embassy of Cyprus. He was then named Second Secretary at the Permanent Delegation of Egypt to the United Nations. In his subsequent roles, he has served as First Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Political Consultant at the Egyptian Embassy in Russia, and as Ambassador of Egypt in Rome, Macedonia and San Marino. He was also Special Political Secretary to the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1982 to 1984, and to the Egyptian Prime Minister from 1984 to 1985.

Aboul Gheit has authored two books 'My Testimony – The Foreign Policy of Egypt between 2004-2011' and 'Witness to War and Peace - The 1973 War and the Peace Process, including Camp David Accords'.

Henry T Azzam

Senior lecturer, American University of Beirut

Dr. Henry T Azzam is a Senior Lecturer of Finance at the Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut and Chairman of the School's MS in Finance Program.

Prior to joining the American University of Beirut, Dr. Azzam was Chairman and CEO of the Social Security Investment Fund of Jordan, managing a diversified investment portfolio of US$8.5 billion in stocks, bonds, real estate, private equity and direct investments.

In an earlier role, Dr Azzam completed a successful tenure as Chairman and CEO of Deutsche Bank (MENA Region). Before joining Deutsche Bank he worked as CEO of Amwal Invest, an investment bank he founded in May 2005 and guided through the first two years of operations. He has also been associated with the Middle East Capital Group, Saudi National Commercial Bank, Gulf International Bank, and the Arab Fund.

Azzam is currently a board member of Byblos Bank (Beirut), Arab Jordan Investment Bank (Amman) and Rasmala Investment Bank (Dubai).

He has served before as Chairman of the Board of the Dubai International Financial Exchange (now NASDAQ Dubai), a board member of Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman), Nuqul Group (Amman), Aramex (Amman), Majid Al Futtaim Trust (Dubai), Arabtec (Dubai), and was a member of the International Advisory Board of the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).

He has five books to his credit, and his forthcoming title 'Middle East Financial Markets and Institutions' will be published in 2015.

He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Southern California and BA and MA from the American University of Beirut.

Dr Lawrence Summers

Former US Treasury Secretary

Lawrence H. Summers is one of America's leading economists. In addition to serving as 71st Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration, Dr. Summers served as Director of the White House National Economic Council in the Obama Administration, as President of Harvard University, and as the Chief Economist of the World Bank.

Dr. Summers’ tenure at the U.S. Treasury coincided with the longest period of sustained economic growth in U.S. history. He is the only Treasury Secretary in the last half century to have left office with the national budget in surplus.

Dr. Summers has played a key role in addressing every major financial crisis for the last two decades. During the 1990s, he was a leader in crafting the U.S. response to international financial crises arising in Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Japan, and Asian emerging markets. As one of President Obama’s chief economic advisors, Dr. Summers’ thinking helped shape the U.S. response to the 2008 financial crisis, to the failure of the automobile industry, and to the pressures on the European monetary system.

Currently, Dr. Summers is the President Emeritus and the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University, where he became a full professor at age 28, one of the youngest in Harvard’s recent history. He directs the University’s Mossavar-Rhomani Center for Business and Government. He has published several books and more than 150 papers in scholarly journals.

President Bill Clinton said that Larry Summers "has the rare ability to see the world that is taking shape and the skill to help to bring it into being." He has been recognized as one of the world’s most influential thinkers by Time, Foreign Policy, Prospect and The Economist magazines among many others. In his speeches, regular newspaper columns in The Financial Times and public commentary, he continues to move forward the debate on national and global economic policy. 

Margareta Drzeniek

World Economic Forum

Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz is Head of the Global Competitiveness and Risks Team in the World Economic Forum and leads the Forum’s work on national competitiveness and global risks.  Ms. Drzeniek Hanouz is lead author and editor of a number of regional and topical reports and papers, including The Global Competitiveness Report and the Global Risks Report series.

Before joining the Global Competitiveness and Risks Team, Dr Drzeniek Hanouz was in charge of the economics section of the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. Prior to that, she worked with the International Trade Centre in Geneva, where she was in charge of relations with Central and Eastern European countries.

Dr Drzeniek Hanouz received a Diploma in Economics from the University of Münster and holds a PhD in International Economics from the University of Bochum, both in Germany.

Masood Ahmed

International Monetary Fund

Masood Ahmed has been Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department since November 1, 2008. He obtained his graduate and post-graduate degrees in Economics from the London School of Economics, where he also served on the economics faculty. He was born and brought up in Pakistan.

Before taking up this position, Mr. Ahmed was the Director of the External Relations Department in the IMF since May 1, 2006. Between 2003-06, Mr. Ahmed served as Director General for Policy and International Development at the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID). Between 2000-03, Mr. Ahmed was Deputy Director in the IMF's Policy Development and Review Department. In this role, he served as the senior staff focal point for taking forward the IMF's policy work in support of low income member countries and its relationship with the World Bank and other development agencies. Between 1979 and 2000, Mr. Ahmed held a number of positions in the World Bank. He worked for about 10 years on country programs and projects in different regions and, for a further 10 years, on international economic policy relating to debt, aid effectiveness, trade and global economic prospects. As Vice President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, Mr. Ahmed was the senior World Bank manager responsible for the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper approach as well as the HIPC Debt Initiative. He also served concurrently for a year as Acting Vice President for Private Sector Development and Infrastructure.

Dr Nouriel Roubini

Professor at New York University

Dr. Nouriel Roubini is Professor of Economics & International Business, Stern School of Business, New York University. He is also the Chairman and Founder of Roubini Global Economics.

Dr. Nouriel Roubini is known for his now-vindicated predictions of the recent financial crisis. He speaks on the global economic outlook and its implications for financial markets. Systematic research informs Dr. Roubini’s opinions. From his analysis of past collapses of emerging economies, he has identified common factors that support his predictions of crisis in the U.S. and world markets.

Ignored for a long time by mainstream economists and policy makers, he now receives invitations to speak before influential organizations such as the U.S. Congress and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been forecasting a serious financial crisis in the U.S. for years, speaking notably before a skeptical IMF about his predictions in 2006.

He has coauthored a myth-shattering book, Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance, with Stephen Mihm. The book reveals the methods Dr. Roubini used to foretell the financial crisis before other economists saw it coming.

Ranked fourth on Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers list, he has also been named in Fortune Magazine’s list of “10 new gurus you should know”.

Roubini received a BA in political economics at Bocconi University, Milan and a doctorate in international economics at Harvard University.

Salam Fayyad

Former Prime  Minister of Palastine

Dr. Salam Fayyad is an economist, independent politician, and former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority (June 2007-June 2013).

Dr. Fayyad held several teaching and research positions, including as a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, before joining the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1987 to 2001. In June 2002, he was named Minister of Finance of the Palestinian National Authority. Until he resigned in December 2005, Dr. Fayyad served in this capacity on several cabinets, introducing extensive financial reforms as part of his tenure.

In 2006, he ran for elections on a slate of independents and was elected for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), where he served as Chairman of the Finance Committee. In March 2007, Dr. Fayyad was reappointed as Minister of Finance in a national unity government, and in June 2007, he was appointed Prime Minister, a position he held until he stepped down in June 2013.

In 2010, Dr. Fayyad was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world list. He was also named one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2010 and 2011.

In February 2013, the Department of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin created the Salam Fayyad Excellence Fund for Economics. Dr. Fayyad had earlier been named a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Texas (2008). In August 2013, he founded “Future for Palestine”, a non-profit development foundation. In 2014, Dr. Fayyad took part in the IMF External Advisory Group review of the Fund policy, joined the Atlantic Council as a Distinguished Statesman, and became the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Middle East and North Africa.

Dr. Fayyad graduated with a BSc from the American University of Beirut and went on to receive an MBA from St. Edward’s University and a PhD (Economics) from the University of Texas at Austin.

HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal

Chairman of King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies

Gideon Rose is the Editor of Foreign Affairs, the leading magazine for analysis and debate on foreign policy, economics, and global affairs.

Earlier, he served as Managing Editor of the magazine from December 2000 to September 2010.  From 1995-2000, he was Olin Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and from 1994-95 he served as Associate Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1986-87, he was Assistant Editor at The National Interest, and in 1985-86 held the same position at The Public Interest. 

Rose has taught American foreign policy at Columbia and Princeton universities.

His book How Wars End was published by Simon & Schuster in October 2010.  Other publications include Understanding the War on Terror; America and the World: Debating the New Shape of International Politics, How Did This Happen?: Terrorism and the New War, and American Foreign Policy, among others.

Gideon Rose received a B.A. in Classics from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University.

William Hague

Former Foreign Minister of UK

British politician William Hague has been a prominent political leader for more than 20 years, serving as Leader of the Conservative Party and as Foreign Secretary. After announcing his intention to step down, he concluded his political career as First Secretary of State and Leader of the House of Commons. He represented Richmond, Yorkshire as Member of Parliament for 26 years, from 1989 to 2015.

In four years as Foreign Secretary, William dealt with a turbulent period encompassing wars in Libya and Syria, withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Ukraine crisis, the struggle against terrorism and relations with Europe. He expanded Britain's diplomatic network and placed a renewed emphasis on export success. He was also responsible for two of Britain's intelligence agencies, and visited more countries than any Foreign Secretary in history.

William also led the negotiating team that created coalition government in 2010. His mix of international and domestic experience has given him a deep knowledge of the inside of politics and the reasons for growing instability in world affairs. He speaks with great authority on the impact of technological change, population movement, economic trends and the rise of religious intolerance on our economy and all our lives.

Having known many global leaders, he speaks from rich experience about different styles of leadership drawing on numerous debates with Tony Blair and first-hand knowledge of the world's Presidents from George W Bush to Vladimir Putin.

Dr. Gideon Rose

Foreign Affairs

Gideon Rose is the Editor of Foreign Affairs, the leading magazine for analysis and debate on foreign policy, economics, and global affairs.

Earlier, he served as Managing Editor of the magazine from December 2000 to September 2010.  From 1995-2000, he was Olin Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and from 1994-95 he served as Associate Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1986-87, he was Assistant Editor at The National Interest, and in 1985-86 held the same position at The Public Interest. 

Rose has taught American foreign policy at Columbia and Princeton universities.

His book How Wars End was published by Simon & Schuster in October 2010.  Other publications include Understanding the War on Terror; America and the World: Debating the New Shape of International Politics, How Did This Happen?: Terrorism and the New War, and American Foreign Policy, among others.

Gideon Rose received a B.A. in Classics from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University.

Dr. Ayhan Kose

World Bank

About The World Bank:

The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group, which is part of the United Nations system.

The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty. According to its Articles of Agreement, all its decisions must be guided by a commitment to the promotion of foreign investment and international trade and to the facilitation of Capital investment.

Mahmoud Moheildin

World Bank Corporate Secretary

Mr. Mohieldin is the World Bank's Corporate Secretary and President’s Special Envoy. He is also in charge of coordinating the World Bank Group’s efforts to strengthen partnerships with the United Nations.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr. Mohieldin held numerous leading positions in the Government of Egypt and served on several Boards of Directors in the Central Bank of Egypt and the corporate sector.

His professional experience extends into the academic arena as a Professor of Economics at Cairo University, and as a Visiting Professor in the UK and the Gulf. He also served as Member of the Board of several universities in Egypt and held senior positions in national and regional research centers and think tanks. He has authored numerous publications and articles in leading journals in the fields of economics, finance and development in English and Arabic.

Mahmoud Mohieldin received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Warwick, M.Sc in Economic and Social Policy Analysis from the University of York, and B.Sc from Cairo University.

David Cameron

Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

David Cameron was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland from May 2010 until July 2016. He led a Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government from 2010 until 2015 and continued as Prime Minister from May 2015 leading a Conservative Government, after winning an outright majority at the 2015 General Election. He was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Witney in West Oxfordshire from 2001 to 2016.

Leon Panetta

Former Director of the CIA and Former Secretary of Defense

Co-founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, Leon Panetta returned to the Institute on February 27, 2013, after serving as the 23rd Secretary of Defense.
A Monterey native and Santa Clara University School of Law graduate, Mr. Panetta began his long and distinguished public service career in 1964 as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and upon discharge went to work in Washington as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senate Minority Whip Tom Kuchel of California. In 1969, he was appointed director of the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, where he was responsible for enforcing equal education laws, and later he served as executive assistant to the mayor of New York City. He then returned to Monterey, where he practiced law until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976.
Serving his Central Coast district in Congress for 16 years, Mr. Panetta was a key participant in agriculture, healthcare, marine and federal budget issues, and from 1989 to 1993, he chaired the House Budget Committee. He authored a wide range of legislation, including the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988, Medicare and Medicaid coverage for hospice care for the terminally ill, and numerous measures to protect the California coast, including creation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
In 1993, Mr. Panetta left Congress to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget for the incoming Clinton administration. There, he was instrumental in developing the policies that led to a balanced federal budget and eventual budget surpluses. In 1994, he accepted appointment as the President’s chief of staff, and immediately brought order and focus to White House operations and policy making.
Upon leaving the Clinton administration in 1997, Mr. Panetta joined with his wife Sylvia to establish and co-direct the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay. Reflecting Mr. Panetta’s own ideals and personal example, the nonpartisan, not-for-profit study center seeks to attract thoughtful men and women to lives of public service and prepare them for the policy challenges of the future. In addition, Mr. Panetta developed programs for the Institute, such as its Leon Panetta Lecture Series, Congressional Internship Program and Leadership Seminar, that help to inform Americans about the critical issues facing our communities, states and nation in the 21st Century. Institute programs also aim to inspire a deeper engagement in the democratic process while simultaneously setting a public example of service and commitment.
Returning to public service in the Obama Administration as director of the CIA, he ran the operation that brought Osama bin Laden to justice, and, as Secretary of Defense, led the effort to develop a new defense strategy, helping bring two wars to an end, and opened up opportunities for everyone to serve in the military. Mr. Panetta chronicles his life in public service in his memoir Worthy Fights, which was published by Penguin Press in the fall of 2014.
Over the years Mr. Panetta has served on numerous boards and commissions. He co-chaired California Forward, the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative and Governor Schwarzenegger’s Council on Base Support and Retention. In 2006, he served on the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan national commission seeking a new course for the war in Iraq. In 2016, Mr. Panetta launched the CSIS Commission on Countering Violent Extremism, which he co-chairs with former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Mr. Panetta is the recipient of many awards and honors. His most recent awards include: the California Teachers Association’s “Friends of EducationAward”; the Judicial Council of California’s “Stanley Mosk Defender of Justice Award”; “The Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award”; the Sons of Italy Foundation’s “National Education & Leadership Award”; the “Peter Benchley Ocean Awardfor Excellence in Policy”; and the Intelligence and National Security Alliance’s “William Oliver Baker Award”.


Ian Bremmer

President of Eurasia Group

Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm. He is a prolific thought leader and author, regularly expressing his views on political issues in public speeches, television appearances, and top publications, including Time magazine, where he is the foreign affairs columnist and editor-at-large. Once dubbed the “rising guru” in the field of political risk by The Economist, he teaches classes on the discipline as global research professor at New York University. His latest book is the national bestseller “Superpower: Three Choices for America's Role in the World.”
In 1998, Ian established Eurasia Group with just $25,000. Today, the company has offices in New York, Washington, San Francisco, London, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo, as well as a network of experts and resources in 90 countries. As the firm's president and most active public voice, Ian advises leading executives, money managers, diplomats, and heads of state.
Ian is credited with bringing the craft of political risk to financial markets—he created Wall Street's first global political risk index (GPRI)—and for establishing political risk as an academic discipline. His definition of emerging markets—“those countries where politics matters at least as much as economics for market outcomes”—has become an industry standard. “G-Zero,” his term for a global power vacuum in which no country is willing and able to set the international agenda, is widely accepted by policymakers and thought leaders.
In 2007, Ian was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, where he is the founding chairman of the Global Agenda Council on Geopolitical Risk. He is the Harold J. Newman Distinguished Fellow in Geopolitics at the Asia Society Policy Institute and serves on the President's Council of the Near East Foundation, the Leadership Council for Concordia, and the Board of Trustees of Intelligence Squared.

Ian earned a master's degree and a doctorate in political science from Stanford University, where he went on to become the youngest-ever national fellow at the Hoover Institution. He received his bachelor's degree in international relations from Tulane University. Ian has published nine books including the national bestsellers “Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World” and “The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?”

Dr. Mohamed El-Erian

Chair of President Obama’s Global Development Council

Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian is an internationally respected economist and financier with experience at the highest level of business and government. Markets hang on his analysis and insight, and audiences interested in issues of finance and global markets buzz when El-Erian comes to the podium. Meeting planners share their praise for his ability to connect with audiences through a humorous laid-back style, and to clearly explain the complex issues of the global economy.

Dr. Nabil Fahmy

Former Foreign Minister of Egypt

Nabil Fahmy was Foreign Minister of Egypt from July 2013-June 2014 besides serving as Egypt’s Ambassador to Japan from 1997-1999 and the United States from 1999-2008. He is the founding Dean, and Professor of Practice of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) at The American University in Cairo (AUC).
Fahmy steered the course of Egypt’s diplomacy during a time of immense challenge. During his tenure as Minister, Nabil Fahmy formulated a strategy to reorient Egypt’s Foreign Policy, ensuring that Egypt had numerous foreign policy options both regionally and globally, while also restructuring the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in order to address the future challenges confronting Egypt’s foreign policy.
During his distinguished diplomatic career Fahmy served in numerous government and international positions focusing in his work on international and regional security, disarmament and non-proliferation, and Arab-Israeli diplomacy. He was a member of the Egyptian Delegation to the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference; the Review Conferences of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; Rapporteur of Committee on Principles in the United Nations Conference on Promoting International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy; United Nations Advisory Board on  Disarmament Matters; International Atomic Energy Agency Board and general conferences as well as numerous sessions of the United Nations General Assembly since 1977. He was elected Vice Chairman of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security Affairs) of the 44th Session of the General Assembly in 1989.
Following his retirement from active government service in 2009 Fahmy engaged in several initiatives in the field of research and academia as well as serving as a non-resident chair of the Middle East Non Proliferation Project at the James Martin Center for Non Proliferation Strategies, Monterey, CA. USA since May 1998. After his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Fahmy resumed his position as Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the AUC.
A prolific writer on regional and global affairs, Nabil Fahmy is the author of numerous publications in both Arabic and English.
He is married with three children and currently lives in Cairo.


Dr. Georges Corm

Former Finance Minister of Lebanon

Georges CORM studied in Paris and graduated from The Institut d’Etudes Politiques (with majors in Economy and Public Finance) in 1961 and from the Faculté de Droit et de Sciences Economiques  (Ph.d. in Constitutional Law  in 1969). He began his career with the Lebanese Civil Service in 1963. In 1969 he entered the field of Arab and International banking. In 1980 he became Advisor to the Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon and in 1985 he established an independent Economic and Financial Consultancy in Paris for Arab and International Financial Institutions, as well as several private financial institutions and companies. In December 1998 he was appointed, Minister of Finance of the Lebanese Republic (up to October 2000). During his tenure, he designed and began to implement a Five Years Fiscal Stabilization Plan (1999-2004), contributed to the elaboration of the Privatization law adopted in spring 2000, paid all State arrears to the private sector and prepared the introduction of VAT (draft law and implementation regulations and training).

After his tenure as Minister of finance, he reopened in Beirut his economic and financial consultancy office to serve international (ESCWA, World Bank, EU, UNDP, AFD, ILO and others), as well as private institutions.

Since 2001 he is Professor at Saint-Joseph University where he teaches MA Seminars in “International Economic Cooperation”, “Public policies in the Arab World”, “Conflicts dynamics in the Middle East” and “Arab contemporary political thought”.

Dr. Mamdouh Salameh

International Oil Expert

Dr Mamdouh G. Salameh is an international oil economist. He is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading experts on oil. He is also a visiting professor of energy economics at the ESCP Europe Business School in London. Dr Salameh holds a PhD in Economics specializing in the economics & geopolitics of oil and energy.

Dr Salameh has given 86 papers so far at numerous international energy conferences on the economics and geopolitics of oil and energy and has been frequently invited to lecture on these topics at universities around the world.

He has written four books on oil: “Is a Third Oil Crisis Inevitable?” (published in London in April 1990), “ Jordan’s Energy Prospects & Needs to the Year 2010: The Economic Viability of Extracting Oil from Shale” (published in London in October 1998), “ Over a Barrel” (Published in the UK in June 2004) and “What is Behind the Steep Decline in the Crude Oil Prices: Glut or Geopolitics?” (published by the Arab Centre for Research & Policy Studies in Qatar in June 2015) as well as 49 research papers published in international Oil and Energy Journals.  Dr Salameh has undertaken research assignments for the US Department of Energy, the Institute of Energy Economics in Japan, the Indian Government, OPEC, the Canadian Energy Research Institute, Boston University working on the Encyclopedia of Energy and also the Handbook of Energy and the government of Jordan among others.  He regularly appears on TV to discuss oil prices and other developments in the global oil market.

Dr Salameh is a member of many International Institutes and Associations including the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) in the US, the British Institute of Energy Economics, the International Energy Foundation in Canada and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London.

Dr. Natalia Tamirisa

Advisor in the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia

Natalia Tamirisa is Advisor in the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department and the IMF Mission Chief for the United Arab Emirates. During her 20-year career at the IMF, she has worked on a broad range of topics in international economic policy and a diverse set of countries. Her research interests include the economics of international capital flows and macroeconomic forecasting. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Hawaii, U.S.A.

Dr. Joseph Stiglitz

Economist and Nobel Laureate in Economics

Joseph E. Stiglitz was born in Gary, Indiana. A graduate of Amherst College, he received his PHD from MIT in 1967,
became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and in 1979 was awarded the John Bates Clark Award, given biennially by the
American Economic Association to the economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the field. He
has taught at Princeton, Stanford, MIT and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is
now university professor at Columbia University in New York, where he is also the founder and co-president of the
university's Initiative for Policy Dialogue, and a member and former chair of its Committee on Global Thought. In 2001, he
was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead
author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2011, TIME named Stiglitz one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He is now serving as president of the
International Economic Association.

Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as
CEA chairman from 1995-97. He then became chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank from 1997-
2000. In 2008, he was asked by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy to chair the Commission on the Measurement of
Economic Performance and Social Progress, which released its final report in September 2009 (published as
Mismeasuring Our Lives). He now chairs a high level expert group at the OECD attempting to advance further these
ideas. In 2009, he was appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly as chair of the Commission of
Experts on Reform of the International Financial and Monetary System, which also released its report in September 2009
(published as The Stiglitz Report). Since the crisis, he has played an important role in the creation of the Institute for New
Economic Thinking (INET), which seeks to reform the discipline so it is better equipped to find solutions for the great
challenges of the 21st century.

Stiglitz serves on numerous boards, including the Acumen Fund and Resources for the Future

Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, "The Economics of Information," exploring the consequences of
information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now
become standard tools not only of theorists, but also of policy analysts. He has made major contributions to
macroeconomics and monetary theory, to development economics and trade theory, to public and corporate finance, to
the theories of industrial organization and rural organization, and to the theories of welfare economics and of income and
wealth distribution. In the 1980s, he helped revive interest in the economics of R&D

His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well, and how selective government
intervention can improve their performance.

In the last 15 years, he has written a series of highly popular books that have had an enormous influence in shaping global
debates. His book Globalization and Its Discontents (2002) has been translated into 35 languages, besides at least two
pirated editions, and in the non-pirated editions have sold more than one million copies worldwide. In that book he laid
bare the way globalization had been managed, especially by the international financial institutions. In two later sequels, he
presented alternatives: Fair Trade for All (2005, with Andrew Charlton) and Making Globalization Work (2006). In The
Roaring Nineties (2003), he explained how financial market deregulation and other actions of the 1990s were sowing the
seeds of the next crisis. Concurrently, Towards a New Paradigm in Monetary Economics (2003, with Bruce Greenwald)
explained the fallacies of current monetary policies, identified the risk of excessive financial interdependence, and
highlighted the central role of credit availability. Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy
(2010) traced in more detail the origins of the Great Recession, outlined a set of policies that would lead to robust
recovery, and correctly predicted that if these policies were not pursued, it was likely that we would enter an extended
period of malaise. The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (2008, with Linda Bilmes of Harvard
University), helped reshape the debate on those wars by highlighting the enormous costs of those conflicts. His most
recent books are The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future, published by W.W. Norton
and Penguin/ Allen Lane in June 2012, Creating a Learning Society: A New Approach to Growth, Development, and
Social Progress, with Bruce Greenwald, published by Columbia University Press in 2014 and The Great Divide: Unequal
Societies and What We Can Do About Them (April 2015), in which he suggests ways to counter America’s growing

Stiglitz's work has been widely recognized. Among his awards are more than 40 honorary doctorates, including from
Cambridge and Oxford Universities. In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious Loeb Prize for this contributions to
journalism. Among the prizes awarded to his books have been the European Literary Prize, the Bruno Kreisky Prize for
Political Books and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Econometric Society, and a corresponding
fellow of the Royal Society and the British Academy. In 2015, Stiglitz was named to Politico’s list of the 50 thinkers, doers
and visionaries transforming American politics today

Dr. Fawaz Gerges

Professor of international relations at LSE

Fawaz A. Gerges is a Professor of international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science where he holds the United Arab Emirates Chair in Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies at LSE. He was the LSE’s inaugural Director of the Middle East Centre from 2010 until 2013. He earned a doctorate from Oxford University and M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has taught at Oxford, Harvard, and Columbia, and was a research scholar at Princeton and chairholder at Sarah Lawrence College, New York.

He is author of several acclaimed books, including three newly-released – ISIS: A History (Princeton University Press, February 2016); The New Middle East: Social Protest and Revolution in the Arab World (Cambridge University Press, 2013); and Contentious Politics in the Middle East: Popular Resistance and Marginalised Activism beyond the Arab Uprisings (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). His other books include: Obama and the Middle East (Palgrave and MacMillan, 2012); The Rise and Fall of Al Qaeda (Oxford University Press, 2011); The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global (Cambridge University Press, 2009); America and Political Islam: Clash of Cultures or Clash of Interests? (Cambridge University Press, 1999); and The Superpowers and the Middle East: Regional and International Politics (Oxford and Westview Press, 1993).

Forthcoming books:

  • Making the Arab World: Nasser, Qutb and the Fault That Shaped the Modern Middle East (Princeton University Press, December 2017)
  • The Making and Remaking of the Middle East, 1918-2018 (Princeton University Press, December 2018).

His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, International Herald Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Guardian; The Independent, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, Middle East Journal, Survival, the Guardian, and many others.

Gerges has given hundreds of tv and radio interviews for top talk and news shows and programs on various media outlets throughout the world, including BBC, Sky, CNN, ABC, PBS, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, and CBC.

He has been the recipient of a MacArthur, Fullbright and Carnegie Fellowships and his books have been translated into a number of foreign languages.

His special interests include the international relations of the Middle East, the political economy of the Middle East, risk analysis, Islam and the political process, mainstream Islamist movements and jihadist groups (like the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and ISIS); Arab politics and Muslim politics in the 20th century, state and society in the region, the Arab-Israeli conflict, American foreign policy towards the Muslim world, the modern history of the Middle East, history of conflict, diplomacy and foreign policy, and historical sociology.

François Hollande

Former President of France

François Hollande was the President of the French Republic from May 2012 to May 2017. During his mandate, he carried
out important reforms which restored the competitiveness and the growth of the French economy. He faced authoritatively
the terrorist attacks that afflicted the country in 2015 and 2016.

President Hollande took important decisions on behalf of France, in particular the engagement of the Army in Mali in order
to fight against terrorist groups located in the Sahel. It is under his presidency that a global climate agreement was
adopted in Paris in December 2015.

Today, President Hollande chairs the Foundation “France is committed” whose mission is to support all initiatives that
contribute to reinforcing solidarity and creating bonds between citizens

Dr. Jihad Azour

International Monetary Fund

Jihad Azour has been the Director of the International Monetary Fund’s Middle East and Central Asia Department (MCD) since March 2017. Mr. Azour served as Lebanon’s Finance Minister during 2005–08, during which time he coordinated the implementation of important reform initiatives at the national level and within the Finance Ministry. Before and since his time as finance minister, he held a wide range of posts in the private sector, including McKinsey and Booz and Co. where he served as vice president and senior executive advisor between 2009–13. Prior to joining the Fund he was a managing partner at advisory and investment firm Inventis Partners.

Mr. Azour holds a PhD in International Finance and a post-graduate degree in International Economics and Finance, both from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. He also did research on emerging economies and their integration into the global economy as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard, and holds a Master's degree in Applied Economics and Finance from Dauphine University, Paris. He published five books and several articles on economic and financial issues and had a long teaching experience.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Journalist and Writer

Abdulrahman Al‐Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor‐in‐chief of the London‐based leading Arab daily Asharq al‐Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al‐Awsat’s sister publication, al‐Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.

Dr. Robert Gates

Former United States Secretary of Defense

Robert Gates served as the 22nd secretary of defense (2006-2011) and is the only secretary of defense in U.S. history to
be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected President. President Barack Obama is the eighth president Gates has
served. He previously served under President George W. Bush.

On Gates’ last day in office, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest
civilian honor.

Before becoming secretary of defense in 2006, Gates was the president of Texas A&M University, the nation’s seventh
largest university. Prior to assuming the Texas A&M presidency on August 1, 2002, he served as interim dean of the
George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001.

Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional. During
that period, he spent nearly nine years at the National Security Council, the White House, serving four presidents of both
political parties.

Gates served as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993. He is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise
from entry-level employee to director. He served as deputy director of Central Intelligence from 1986 until 1989 and as
assistant to the President and deputy national security adviser at the White House from January 20, 1989 until November
6, 1991, for President George H.W. Bush.

Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, has three times received the
National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished
Intelligence Medal. In April, 2016, he became the inaugural recipient of the Zbigniew Brzezinski Annual Prize, in
recognition of his distinguished record of promoting the importance of geostrategic thinking with a transcending moral

He has authored three memoirs - Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (2014), a straightforward, vividly written account of
his experience serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, From the
Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (1996) which details his
career as a CIA officer at the center of power during a time when the threat of global annihilation informed America’s every
move, and A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service (January 2016),
in which Gates draws on years of exceptional experience to offer readers a powerful, informative and pragmatic look at

Until becoming secretary of defense, Gates served as chairman of the independent trustees of The Fidelity Funds, the
nation’s largest mutual fund company, and on the board of directors of NACCO Industries, Inc., Brinker International, Inc.
and Parker Drilling Company.

Gates currently serves on the board of directors of Starbucks and is partner in the consulting firm, RHG LLC, with former
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others. He has also served on the board of directors and executive committee of
the American Council on Education, the board of directors of the National Association of State Universities and LandGrant Colleges. He has also been president of the Boy Scouts of America, and the National Eagle Scout Association.

A native of Kansas, Gates received his bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary, his master’s degree in
history from Indiana University and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University. Gates was
installed as chancellor of the college of William & Mary, beginning in February 2012. He is the first William & Mary
alumnus in the modern era to serve as chancellor of the college.

In 1967, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and served as an intelligence officer at Whiteman
Air Force Base in Missouri.