Global Council

Global Council

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.

Gaby Abdelnour

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.

Yasser Akkaoui

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.

Joseph Bahout

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.

Khalil Barrage

Managing Director - Invus Public Equity


Khalil Barrage is a Managing Director at Invus, based in New York. He joined Invus in 2003 and established its Public Equity activity. Since its inception, Invus Public Equity has concentrated its investments in the emerging innovative biotech companies. Prior to joining Invus, he worked at The Olayan Group in New York and ran their US equity portfolio for 15 years. He holds a BA in Economics from the American University of Beirut. He is a member of the board of Protagenic Therapeutics, Celtaxsys Inc and Sensorion. As part of his philanthropic engagement, Khalil Barrage serves on the board of the Children of Armenia Fund and Solving Kids’ Cancer.

George Bitar

Managing Partner - Rho Acceleration


George A. Bitar is a Managing Partner of Rho Acceleration, an affiliate of Rho Capital Partners, a venture capital firm that actively invests in technology and new media and clean tech. He was co-head of Global Private Equity at BlackRock, Inc. and co-founded and co-led Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity. Bitar served as well on the board of directors of a number of private and public companies operating in several industries including healthcare, consumer products, manufacturing, re-insurance, retail and business services. George Bitar holds a BSc in Systems Engineering from Boston University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University.

Wahid Chammas

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.

Ronnie Chatah

Podcast host


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.

Antoine Dammous

Managing Partner - Pierre Dammous & Partners


Antoine Dammous is the Managing Partner of Pierre Dammous & Partners, an engineering consulting firm based in Beirut with offices in Dubai and Paris, and projects in the Arabian Gulf, West Africa and France. He expanded the firm with various specialized divisions one of which PDP Energy, with expertise in energy and power plants, and founded Design-Integrate-Construct (D-I-C) dedicated to delivering turnkey mission-critical (Data Centers) infrastructure. Antoine Dammous holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, a master’s in Engineering Management from the American University of Beirut, and an M.Sc. in Intelligent Buildings from the University of Reading, UK.

Ishac Diwan

Professor of economics- 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.

Youssef Haidar

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.

Abdo George Kadifa

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.

Gino Nader

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.

Paul Naggear

Co-Founder – FABERNOVEL Middle East


Paul Naggear is a strategy and innovation consultant. After spending 7 years at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), him and his spouse Tracy founded the Middle Eastern arm of FABERNOVEL, a global innovation agency, with a mission of serving the Levant and the GCC from Beirut. Naggear is the father of Alexandra Naggear, the youngest Lebanese victim of the murderous explosion of the Beirut Port. He is committed to fighting for truth and justice for his daughter and the communities of victims, and holds a key role in the August 4th Collective: a federation of blast-affected families, associations, volunteers, and activists. Naggear has decided to take an active role in resisting the current establishment and contributing to its transformation through political and social initiatives. He has been elected at the Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut in 2021 where he serves as a delegate, with a principal mission of job creation. He implements socially-sustainable initiatives such as large-scale food production and distribution to families in need, and is in the stage of developing a community center pilot and a free school. Paul Naggear holds a Master’s degree in Software and Networks Engineering from ESIB and a Masters in Management-Grande École programme from ESSEC Business School Paris-Singapore.

Camille Najm

Consultant - Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Geneva


Camille Najm is an analyst, researcher, consultant and political journalist based between Geneva and Beirut. He currently holds the position of consultant at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, and is part of the team in charge of the project for Lebanon. Prior to that he was advisor to the Minister of Justice, and from 2004 till 2005 the advisor to the Minister of Culture. His areas of specialization include: relations between culture, religion, identity and politics, the Lebanese political system, Christian-Muslim relations and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Camille Najm holds a Master and a DEA in Political Science and International Relations.

Paul Raphael

Former Executive Vice Chairman – UBS


Paul Raphael served as Executive Vice Chairman of UBS until July 2021. Paul joined UBS in 2010 eventually heading UBS’ Wealth Management unit for Europe, Middle, East, Africa and Latin America where he managed USD 450Bn of client assets and over 3,000 employees across 4 continents. Before joining UBS, he spent six years at Credit Suisse, including three years in Hong Kong as Head of Investment Banking for the Asia Pacific region. Previously, from 2004-2007, he headed CS’ European Capital Markets. Prior to Credit Suisse, Raphael spent 10 years with Merrill Lynch initially as Head of its Emerging Markets activities and subsequently as Head of French Investment Banking and European TMT client coverage. From 1986 to 1994, he was at Salomon Brothers in New York eventually leading the Latin American Investment Banking team. Paul Raphael holds a degree in Economics from the University of Maryland and an MSc in Management from MIT.

Jean Riachi

CEO – FFA Private Bank


Jean Riachi is the Group Chairman and CEO of FFA Private Bank, the leading Lebanese bank specialized in Capital Markets, Wealth Management, Asset Management, Real Estate, and Investment Banking. Founded in 1993 as a securities brokerage firm, FFA was authorized as a specialized bank by Banque du Liban (BDL) in 2007. Riachi is also Chairman of FFA Dubai, the first Lebanese Financial Institution to get a license from the DFSA in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). He was a member of the Ministry of Finance's committee in charge of drafting the new Lebanese Financial Markets law. He is an active member of Human Rights Watch Beirut committee (HRW) and a board member of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM Lebanon). Jean Riachi holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from HEC Paris and is a certified director (IDP-C) from INSEAD’s International Directors Programme.

Nasser Saidi

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.

Paul Salem

President and CEO - The Middle East Institute


Paul Salem is President and CEO of 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.

Haneen Sayed

Former Lead Specialist - World Bank


Haneen Sayed is a development professional with more than 25 years of experience at the World Bank where she led, till 2023, major reform programs, strategic engagements, business development projects and policy dialogue in economic and human development, spanning across the Middle East and North Africa, East Asia, South Asia, and Europe. Her sectors of expertise include social protection, labor and jobs, education, poverty, and gender, in addition to fragility and conflict. Haneen led the World Bank’s response to the 2011 Syrian conflict publishing several books on the impact of the conflict, as well as leading multi-million dollar operations to mitigate the impact of the conflict on neighboring countries. Since the financial collapse of the Lebanese economy, she led the World Bank response to establish a universal social protection system in Lebanon. She served at the World Bank Board of Executive Director in Washington D.C., and administered the Bank’s Young Professional Program which identifies and recruits highly-skilled professionals into the organization. Prior to joining the World Bank, Sayed taught at various universities in New York City, and worked at Morgan Stanley, the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. Haneen Sayed is an economist by academic training with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford and Columbia Universities, respectively.

Antoine Souma

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.

Eddy Tabet

President and CEO – Technology Engineering & Construction


Eddy Tabet is the President and CEO of Technology Engineering & Construction, a fully integrated engineering and compliance petroleum contractor. He is the founder and CEO of Facilitr, a cloud software solution for compliance document management. He started his career as a structural engineer at Bechtel in San Francisco where he worked on the design of nuclear power plants, followed by operations manager of Olympian Oil Company. Tabet was a founding member of the Lebanese American Association in the San Francisco Bay Area. He incorporated LebNet, a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring IT entrepreneurs, and served as its first President. Eddy Tabet holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering, and an M.S. in Structural Engineering from Columbia University. He completed post graduate programs in Strategic Marketing at the Stanford GSB, and an executive program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Jimmy Traboulsi

President of Capital E Advisors, Inc.


Jimmy Traboulsi is President of Capital E Advisors, Inc. and has been with Capital E since 2002. He is also a co-founder of Level Field Management and a Director of LF Capital Acquisition Corp. II. Before this, he was a Managing Director of Kenmar Advisory Corp. and a Member of the Board of Nexus Life Science Partners. He previously held various mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance positions with Mabon, Nugent & Co. Jimmy Traboulsi holds a BA in Business Administration and Economics from the American University of Paris, and has attended New York University-Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Fadi Twainy

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.

Bassam Yammine

Founder and CEO - Excelsa


Bassam Yammine is the founder and CEO of Excelsa Development Holding, a diversified investment holding company. Excelsa invests in operating companies active in the real estate, oil & gas, and manufacturing sectors in the Middle East and North America. Prior to founding Excelsa in 2013, he led the growth and development of Credit Suisse in the MENA region over six years as Co-CEO of Middle East & North Africa and head of investment banking. Before that, he was the founder and CEO of Audi Saudi Arabia and managed the regional investment banking business for Audi Saradar Group. He also worked with Lebanon Invest SAL, the first investment bank in Lebanon where he held the role of General Manager and Member of the Board. Bassam was Deputy Chairman of Li Venture (Holding) SAL, the first venture capital firm in Lebanon. In 2005, he served in the Government of the Republic of Lebanon as Minister of Energy and Water. Bassam Yammine holds an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago and M.S. in computer science and B.A in business from Loyola Marymount University.

Asmahan Zein

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., actually operating under Filovault-Crypta s.a.l. which provides 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 is currently Advisor to the Board. In parallel, she is also the Vice Chair of Ruwwad Al Tanmiya Lebanon, and the Co-Chair of the 3RF project (Reform Reconstruction & Recovery) while leading the Ardi-Ardak project in partnership between both LLWB and the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit at the American University of Beirut.

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