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.

Oussama Abboud

CEO - Kazareen Textile Group UK


LinkedIn

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.

Gaby Abdelnour

Former Chairman and CEO – JPMorgan


LinkedIn

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


LinkedIn

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.

Hatem Badih

Founder - OESC


LinkedIn

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.

Joseph Bahout

Director - IFI


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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


LinkedIn

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


LinkedIn

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


LinkedIn

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.

Nabil Abou Charaf

Associate - Morgan Lewis


LinkedIn

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

Podcast host


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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.

Ishac Diwan

Chaire d'Excellence Monde Arabe - Paris Sciences et Lettres


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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.

Michèle Chammas Garzouzi

CEO – Galop SAL and CIO - MEDCO SAL


LinkedIn

Michèle Chammas Garzouzi is, since 2011, the CEO of Galop SAL. She drives the Chief Innovation Officer/ Retail Director seat at the Centennial petroleum company MEDCO SAL. She introduced the fuel management program to Lebanon in 1993 and launched since a variety of products and services to anticipate motorists’ expectations while serving community needs with CSR initiatives. Along with her husband, they established Nicolas and Michèle Garzouzi Foundation to support access to the HEC Paris' Master in Management (MiM) program for Lebanese students with limited financial means. Michèle Chammas Garzouzi holds a degree from MILLS College in International Relations and Affairs and is currently undergoing a L/T President’s Program at Harvard Business School.

Youssef Haidar

Founder - HFG Architects


LinkedIn

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.

Christian Homsy

CEO and co-founder – Capstan Therapeutics Inc.


LinkedIn

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).

Abdo George Kadifa

Managing Director - Sumeru Equity Partners


LinkedIn

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.

Habib Kairouz

Managing Partner- Rho Capital


LinkedIn

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.

Wissam Kairouz

Managing Director - Morgan Stanley’s Leveraged & Acquisition Finance


LinkedIn

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.

Randa Khalil

Owner - Randa Khalil Raad Jewelry


LinkedIn

Randa Khalil 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.

Gino Nader

Chairman and CEO – Nasco Insurance Group


LinkedIn

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


LinkedIn

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 at Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue - Geneva


LinkedIn

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


LinkedIn

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


LinkedIn

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


LinkedIn

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 - The Middle East Institute


LinkedIn

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.

Antoine Souma

Managing Partner - Galliott Capital Advisors


LinkedIn

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.

Fadi Twainy

Head of Division - Gulf Investment Corporation


LinkedIn

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


LinkedIn

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.

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