The Global Council is made up of a group of prominent individuals from Lebanon and the diaspora who exclusively finance the organization and may join by invitation only, provided that two existing members act as sponsors for each applicant. Any Lebanese is eligible for consideration as a member of the Global Council as long as he/she is aligned with the cause, vision and values of Kulluna Irada, willing to provide the needed resources, has a pristine reputation, and presents no conflict of interest.
Below are the profiles of some of our GC members.
CEO - Kazareen Textile Group UK
Oussama Abboud is the CEO of Kazareen Textile Group UK (KTC) and heads the KTG worldwide operations on the manufacturing, marketing and distribution fronts. He also sits on the board of various companies in Egypt, Germany and Canada and is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) in Cairo and Toronto. Oussama Abboud holds a Master’s degree in Business and Economics from University of Waterloo in Canada and an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School.
Former Chairman and CEO – JPMorgan
Gaby Abdelnour is the former Chairman and CEO for JPMorgan Chase (Asia Pacific), an American multinational banking and financial service. Previously, Abdelnour worked as an M&A banker at Merrill Lynch & Co in Asia, and also spent a decade as a Managing Director at Bankers Trust. He has been a Non-Executive Director of several global institutions, and is now concentrating his activities on private investments. He is also a Board member of Right to Play, an international NGO focusing on children.
Cardiothoracic Surgeon and CEO - Labib Medical center
Labib AbouZahr is a Cardiothoracic surgeon and CEO of the Labib Medical Center in Sidon. He established the Cardiac Surgery program at the Labib Medical Center and the Clemenceau Medical Center in Beirut, where he also practices. Prior to that, he had a career in Cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Toronto from 1997 to 1999 and McMaster University from 1999 to 2005. Labib AbouZahr is a medical graduate from the American University in Beirut. He specialized in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto.
Publisher and Impact Investing Advisor
Yasser Akkaoui is the founder of KConcept Holding which specializes in impact investing and is committed to ventures that have a positive impact on nation-building and are anchored in human rights and sustainable development standards and principles. Through Capital Concept s.a.l., he has become one of the reference names in corporate governance activism in the Middle East. In 2018, in collaboration with UN Agencies, IFC and EBRD Capital Concept finalized Environment, Social, and Governance ESG Methodologies for SMEs, leading to work on sustainable development. He has been a committee member of Human Rights Watch in the Middle East since 2011, a founding member of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies since 2011, and has been representing the interests of Executive Magazine since 2001, a media platform that advocates for reforms in Lebanon and the Middle East. Akkaoui is also an instructor of business ethics and entrepreneurship at the American University of Beirut since 2004.
Founder - OESC
Hatem Badih is a civil engineer specialized in structural engineering. He is one of the founders of OESC an engineering specialist firm, and its sister company IPG a geotechnical engineering contracting firm. He is currently acting as deputy general manager for both. He is also the general manager of PEG s.a.r.l., a general contracting company. He has more than 30 years of extensive experience in the construction industry in Lebanon and abroad which includes: Geotechnical Engineering, Project Management, Contract Administration, and Cost Control. He is also an experienced structural engineer with extensive experience in soils/structural interaction. Hatem Badih has a Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the American University in Beirut, and a PhD from Imperial College London.
Director - IFI
Joseph Bahout is the Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs. Between 2014 and 2020, he was a Fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program and served before that as a permanent consultant for the Policy Planning Unit at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was also a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Sciences Po Paris and in parallel a senior fellow at Académie Diplomatique Internationale. He also served as a professor of political sociology and international relations at Université Saint-Joseph in Lebanon, and a researcher at the Beirut-based Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur le Moyen-Orient Contemporain. Bahout is also currently an associate fellow at the Geneva Center for Security Policy, and a member of the Editorial Board of Revue Esprit. He has authored books on Syria’s business community and its political outlook, and Lebanon’s political reconstruction, in addition to numerous articles and book chapters.
Acting Director - Institute of Political Science USJ
Karim Bitar is the Research Director at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations in Paris (IRIS) and the Director of Political Science Institute at Université Saint-Joseph. He is an Associate Fellow at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) and a Research Associate at Brussels’ Institut Medea. In addition, Bitar is the Vice-President of the Circle of Arab Economists and the secretary general of the Emile Bitar Foundation. Karim Bitar graduated from France’s National School of Administration and from the Paris Institute of Political Studies. He also studied Law at the University of Paris Sorbonne and obtained a BA in Economics and International Relations from McGill University. He spent his senior year at Harvard where he studied Government and specialized in Middle East Studies.
Founder and CIO - TyreGate Capital Holdings
Wahid Chammas is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of TyreGate Capital Holdings, LTD, a wholly owned Principal Holding Company of the Chammas Family Office. He is also Co-Founder and Managing Director of Real Estate Distressed Investments SAL, and a shareholder and Managing Partner of The Luxury Fund. In 2016, Chammas served as Global Chief Investment Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Sapinda Holding B.V. Previously, Chammas spent 11 years at Janus Capital Group, where he was Managing Director and Portfolio Manager responsible for managing the Janus European Equity and Janus Emerging Markets Equity strategies. He was recognized in Financial News (Dow Jones) as a Rising Star, 40 Under 40 in Asset Management, and has been highly rated on numerous occasions by Citywire. Prior to Janus Capital, he spent 8 years at Goldman, Sachs & Co. across several divisions.
Co-Founder - Levantine Partners
Henri Chaoul is the Co-Founder of Levantine Partners, a financial advisory firm. Prior to that he served as the Chief Investment Officer and Head of Asset Management of Al Khabeer Capital, overseeing the investment of approximately $1 billion. He serves on the board of several companies in the Middle East and the United States. Currently, he serves on the board of EnvisionTEC in the U.S.A. as an independent board member, and is the Chairman of the board of FXBFI in Cyprus. Chaoul has more than 15 years of investment banking and asset management experience and more than 10 years of consulting experience across the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Henri Chaoul has a Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University, New York City, and B.A. Honor's Degree in Economics from the American University of Beirut.
Associate - Morgan Lewis
Nabil Abou Charaf is an international private equity lawyer and counsels private and institutional investors with their investments in private equity funds and other investment vehicles, and provides advice on a variety of regional and international business transactions and arrangements, including fund formation, mergers and acquisitions, co-investments, joint ventures, and corporate governance matters. He is admitted to practice in Beirut and New York.
He is also the Secretary of the Board of SEAL in New York. Nabil Abou Charaf holds an MA in Banking and Financial Markets Law from University Saint Joseph in Beirut and An LL.M from Columbia Law School.
Ronnie Chatah is the host of The Beirut Banyan podcast, a series of storytelling episodes and long form conversations that reflect on all that is modern Lebanese history. He leads the WalkBeirut tour, a four-hour narration of Beirut’s rich and troubled past, which he launched in 2009. His WalkBeirut tours have been featured in leading news outlets around the world — The New York Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, BBC and National Geographic Traveler – to name a few. Chatah also writes a weekly opinion column for NOWLebanon. Ronnie Chatah has a B.A in political science and psychology from George Mason University, a Master’s degree in Middle East studies from the American University of Beirut and a Master’s degree in creative writing & literature from the University of Edinburgh.
Chaire d'Excellence Monde Arabe - Paris Sciences et Lettres
Ishac Diwan is currently a Professor of Economics at Paris Sciences et Lettres where he holds the chair of the Economy of the Arab World. He also teaches at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and directs the Political Economy program of the Economic Research Forum. Diwan previously held teaching positions at Columbia University, School for International Public Affairs, and at the Harvard Kennedy School, and taught international finance at New York University before joining the World Bank Group in 1987, and holding the position of Country Director for East Africa between 2002 and 2007, and then West Africa until 2011. He is also a frequent consultant with international organizations and governments. His recent work focuses on the political economy of the Middle East, in addition to broader development issues, and international financial issues. He is also widely published in a variety of journals. Ishac Diwan received his PhD in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Managing Partner - MV Credit
Lemy Gresh is a Managing Partner and Head of Restructuring and Product Development. He co-founded MV Credit in 2000 and is a member of the MV Credit Manager Board. Prior to MV Credit, Lemy was a Managing Director at Bankers Trust where he founded the Structured Securitisation Team. Previously he was a Managing Director at Chase Manhattan in their Structured Capital Markets and Global Underwriting Support. He started his career at Continental Bank prior to joining First Interstate as a result of their acquisition of the merchant banking division at Continental Bank. Lemy Gresh graduated with great distinction from Solvay Business School in Brussels.
Former Director – WPP MENA
Roy Haddad joined McCann Erickson in 1978 and in 1984 started his own firm in London which was rebranded JWT following the acquisition by WPP PLC, the marketing and communications services group of a majority equity in 1999. He was appointed Director of WPP for the Middle East and Africa region in 2012 in charge of 4000 executives, revenues in excess of US$ one billion and brands such VML Y&R, Ogilvy, Grey, Wunderman Thompson, Mindshare, etc. He introduced many industry wide initiatives that transformed the industry in the region. He lived in Paris, New York and London and is now retired and lives in Beirut. Roy Haddad has a degree from Sciences Po and an MBA from Columbia University.
Founder - HFG Architects
Youssef Haidar founded an associate Firm HFG Architects. He has a wide experience in renovation and rehabilitation of patrimonial and cultural buildings. His architectural projects include the Soap Museum and the Riad El Sold Museum in Saida, the Omari Grand Mosque in Beirut, the Archaeological Museum of the American University of Beirut, and the Museum of Memory and Urban Cultural Center "Beit Beirut". He participated in several group and solo exhibitions between Paris and Beirut. Haidar teaches Architecture at the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA) and was a consultant for UNESCO for the National Museum of Kuwait. conferred with the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. Youssef Haidar graduated as “Architecte DPLG” from Ecole Nationale Supérieure D'Architecture de Paris la Villette.
CEO and co-founder – Capstan Therapeutics Inc.
Christian Homsy is a physician trained in Orthopaedics, Surgery and Cardiovascular Diseases. He is the CEO & co-founder of Capstan Therapeutics Inc. a startup focused on in vivo cell enginerering using targeted Lipid Nano Particles. He is also the former CEO and founding board member of Celyad, previously Cardio3 BioSciences, a Belgian leading biopharmaceutical company. Prior to that, Homsy gained business experience in senior positions in the research and development, marketing, business development and sales departments at Guidant corporation, a leading medical device company active in the treatment of cardiovascular disease later acquired by Boston Scientific. He is also founder of Guidant Institute for Therapy Development, a landmark facility for physician and health care professionals’ education that gained international recognition and praise. Before joining Cardio3 BioSciences, Homsy was General Manager of Medpole, a European incubator dedicated to initiating the European operations for start-up companies in the medical device or biotechnology fields. He also holds a director mandate in Medpole SA. Christian Homsy obtained his Medical Doctorate at the University of Louvain and holds an MBA from the IMD in Lausanne (Switzerland).
Managing Director - Sumeru Equity Partners
Abdo George Kadifa is the co-founder and a Managing Director at Sumeru Equity Partners, focused on the firm’s software investments and is a member of the Investment Committee. He has more than three decades of operating and investment experience in the technology sector. Priorly, Kadifa was Executive Vice President at HP, reporting to the CEO, and leading HP’s $4-billion software business. Kadifa previously served as Operating Partner at Silver Lake, a global technology investment firm. Prior to Silver Lake, Kadifa has held various leadership positions at technology and management consulting companies such as IBM, Corio Corporation, Oracle, Booz-Allen & Hamilton and Xerox. Kadifa holds a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the American University of Beirut, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Managing Partner- Rho Capital
Habib Kairouz is the Managing Partner of Rho Capital, a US based private equity firm focused on the technology sector. He has been involved in a number of non-profit organizations focused on reforms and economic assistance for Lebanon. He currently serves on the boards of Social & Economic Action for Lebanon and Lebnet. He is also a former board member of LIFE and Endeavor Global. Habib Kairouz holds degrees in Engineering and Economics from Cornell University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University.
Managing Director - Morgan Stanley’s Leveraged & Acquisition Finance
Wissam Kairouz is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley’s Leveraged & Acquisition Finance Group in New York where he is in charge of different industry verticals including Media and Financial Services (FIG). Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 2009, Kairouz was a Managing Director in the Global Leveraged Finance group at Merrill Lynch. Formerly, he worked in fixed income investment management with Black Rock for 4 years. Wissam Kairouz received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from McGill University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University.
Owner - Randa Khalil Raad Jewelry
Randa Kahlil is a Jewelry designer and owner of Randa Khalil Raad Jewelry. She learned jewelry design at the Museum of Islamic Art, during the late 1980s in Kuwait. Her extensive collaborations with goldsmiths, stone setters and enamelists allowed her to develop her creativity from experts and creatives from around the world. Khalil has long used her talents to benefit charities, first for organizations helping the handicapped in Geneva and later by giving proceeds from her sales to Medecins Sans Frontieres in the Emirates and the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon.
CEO and Executive chef - ilili & ilili Box
Philippe Massoud is a leading veteran in the hospitality industry in the US. He is the Executive Chef, CEO, and owner ilili Brands, Philippe and overseas day to day operations and growth plans for both ilili Restaurant (Fine Dining – NYC & DC), and ilili Box (Fast Casual - NYC). Philippe has become a world-renowned executive and leader in promoting Lebanese cuisine and culture in the US, and New York City specifically. In 2007 he started a Lebanese cuisine renaissance with the opening of ilili Restaurant in New York City and gave the Lebanese food culture and hospitality values a seat at the table with world cuisines. Philippe Massoud attended Cornell University in New York, and holds a Bachelor of Science from Rochester Institute of Technology in Hotel Resort and Restaurant Development, with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies and Finance.
Chairman and CEO – Nasco Insurance Group
Eugene (Gino) Nader is the Chairman and CEO of Nasco Insurance Group. He has presided over the group since he became its sole shareholder in 2014. Gino has championed the aggressive expansion of the Group by planting the Nasco flag across all major MENA hubs. Prior to that he worked across the Group starting in 1983 when he joined Nasco’s North American operations. Between 1984 and 1990, he moved to the Group’s Saudi Arabian operation where he assumed executive responsibility for Saudi General Insurance Company based in Jeddah. He is a member of IMD’s (Switzerland) Annual Global CEO roundtable, their flagship program that gathers over 70 Influential Industry Leaders and Chairmen from across the world to discuss strategic issues and business transformations. Gino Nader is a graduate of Florimont High School in Geneva and holds a BS in Finance from Boston College in Massachusetts.
Senior Executive Advisor - Strategy& Middle East
Joseph Saddi is currently a Senior Executive Advisor with Strategy& and previously the former global Chairman of Booz & Company. He has over 25 years of consulting experience in strategic, organizational, and restructuring services. Over the years, he has led major privatization programs in such sector as oil and gas, mining, steel and electricity; advised Middle East governments on sector deregulations and sector policy; and led the reorganization of national oil companies and large corporations. He also works closely with large family-owned companies to help governance and portfolio strategies. Joseph Saddi holds an MBA from Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from ESSEC in France.
Founder and President - Nasser Saidi & Associates
Nasser Saidi is the Founder and President of Nasser Saidi & Associates, a niche consultant and advisor. He is the former Chief Economist and Head of External Relations at the DIFC Authority. Saidi was the Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry of Lebanon between 1998 and 2000 and the first Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon for two successive mandates. Prior to his public career, he pursued a career as an academic, serving as a Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics in the University of Chicago, the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, CH), and the Université de Genève. He also served as a lecturer at the American University of Beirut and the Université St. Joseph in Beirut. Nasser Saidi holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester in the USA, a M.Sc. from London University and a B.A. from the American University of Beirut.
President - The Middle East Institute
Paul Salem is President at The Middle East Institute. He focuses on issues of political change, transition, and conflict as well as the regional and international relations of the Middle East. Salem writes regularly in the Arab and Western press and has been published in numerous journals and newspapers. He is also the author and editor of a number of books and reports. Prior to joining MEI, Salem was the Founding Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon between 2006 and 2013. He was also director of the Fares Foundation and in 1989-1999 founded and directed the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Lebanon’s leading public policy think tank.
Founding Partner - Cosmos Advisor
Bassem Snaije is a founding partner at Cosmos Advisors and an associate professor at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (SciencesPo). He worked as a senior advisor and board member at Pégase Partners, a real-estate investment company. Between 2009 and 2012 , he was managing director and senior advisor for the MENA region at HSBC Geneva and London, and a managing director at Lehman Brothers in London. He also worked at Crédit Agricole in London, Paris, and New York, as a managing director in global investment banking and capital markets. Bassem Snaije has an MA in economics, international finance, and econometrics, an MA in Economic history from the Sorbonne University, and an MBA from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. He is currently researching the history of contemporary financial crises at the doctoral school of the Sorbonne’s history department.
Managing Partner - Galliott Capital Advisors
Antoine Souma is the Managing Partner for Galliott Capital Advisors. RIA and MFO. He has over 22 years of experience servicing his domestic and international families in the financial services industry. Before launching Galliott, Souma was the founding member of The Souma Group at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. Prior experience included roles as Managing Director at J.P. Morgan, and Vice President at Deutsche Bank and UBS AG. In 2012, he was named one of Barron’s Top 1,000 Advisors. He was also named to Barron’s Top 100 Advisors List for 2015 and 2016. Antoine Souma graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science MSc in Economics.
Head of Division - Gulf Investment Corporation
Fadi Twainy is Head of Division at Gulf Investment Corporation, a financial investment institution equally owned by the six member states of the GCC. He focuses on direct investments (Private Equity) in growth capital and restructuring as well as long-term yield-generating concessions in infrastructure (PPP). Prior to GIC, he headed the private equity initiative at AB Capital, Arab Bank’s investment banking arm in DIFC, Dubai. Between 2005 and 2008, Fadi headed the Mergers & Acquisitions and corporate investment activities in the Middle East and Asia for TII (The International Investor) in Kuwait. Prior to that, he led M&A transactions in technology in Silicon Valley for 3Com and EFI successively. Before Silicon Valley, he was the CEO of Dar An-Nahar, Lebanon’s leading publisher, restructuring the publishing house and turning it profitable while expanding its outreach across the Arab world. Fadi holds a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in mathematics from UC San Diego.
Founder and partner – Filovault Crypta s.a.l
Asmahan Zein comes with a long experience in logistics and transportation. She established Aramex in Lebanon and served on different executive positions for 27 years, before resigning to start her own company Crypta s.a.l., operating under Filovault-Crypta s.a.l. (information security services for archives). While in Aramex she was elected the first Female President for the Freight Forwarders Syndicate in Lebanon. Throughout her career, she served on several boards, namely as the Vice Chair of Amideast Advisory Board in Lebanon until 2016, and as the Vice Chair of Injaz Lebanon until 2017. She was the President of Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB), and serves currently as Advisor to the Board. She is also leading the Ardi-Ardak project, a partnership between LLWB and ESDU/AUB. In parallel, she is also the Vice Chair of Ruwwad Al Tanmiya Lebanon, in addition to being the Chair-person of Seeders/LWAF (2017/2018), a group of angel investors in Lebanon, and Board member on both Geek Express & Fabric Air and finally co-Chair of the 3RF project (Reform Reconstruction & Recovery).