How can majority Muslim countries build and sustain open societies, polities, and economies? The Berkeley Program on Entrepreneurship and Development in the Middle East will attempt to answer this basic, yet perplexing question, by examining the relationship between private enterprise, equitable growth, and democratic development. Through a series of conferences, seminars, and courses, the Program will seek to produce and promote relevant interdisciplinary research. Based on the results of this research, the Program will devise policies to promote the growth and sustenance of democratic institutions and entrepreneurship in Middle Eastern communities and nations, and devise policies for the developed world vis-a-vis such communities and nations. The initiative will bring together academics and scholars from a variety of disciplines, who have studied past and present developments in Muslim and Middle Eastern communities, with business leaders and government officials, who have experience in the implementation of forward-looking political, social, and economic policies. Terms like the Middle East and Muslim World are imperfect; the Program will focus not only on the Muslims in the Middle East, but also on countries which have predominantly Muslim populations outside of the Middle East and on the important ongoing role of minority non- Muslim populations within the Middle East.
Dariush Zahedi – Director
Since 2001, Dariush Zahedi has taught a diverse array of Middle East related courses for the Departments of Political Science, Political Economy, and Peace and Conflict Studies as well as the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley. He has published two books on Iran, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Harvard Middle Eastern and Islamic Review, and Middle East Policy, among others. His knowledge of the political economy and business milieu of the Middle East and North Africa, however, is not purely academic. He has worked for a Kuwaiti investment bank in Dubai and Iran’s largest private mining corporation. In his capacity as an analyst for the investment bank, he traveled widely throughout the region, and became intimately familiar with various sectors of the region’s economies as well as impediments to equitable growth and democratization. Zahedi has also worked both as a businessman and an academic in Turkey. He gained first hand understanding of the region’s politicized judicial processes in 2003, when he was arrested and imprisoned in Iran, and charged with seeking to undermine the national security of the Islamic republic through espionage. He represented himself at the revolutionary court, and was subsequently
acquitted of all charges.
Ali Ezzatyar – Executive Director
As a writer and commentator on international relations, diplomacy, and international law, Mr Ezzatyar’s articles have appeared in English and French in publications like the Los Angeles Times and Rue89, and he appears frequently on the BBC World and on radio. As a lawyer based in London and Paris, he spent the first part of his career specializing in Capital Markets and M&A transactions in emerging markets. He has represented Turkish, Arab, and Indian companies and governments in IPOs and other complex enterprises. He is now Counsel to a large internet company in San Francisco. He has also participated as a pro bono attorney relating to matters before the European Court of Human Rights. Mr. Ezzatyar holds a Bachelors in Political Science from UC Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate from Berkeley Law, both with honors. He also holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where he was a FLAS fellow with honors and received an advanced certification from Columbia’s Middle East Institute. He was SIPA’s youngest ever, and one of Berkeley’s youngest ever graduates, at 21 and 19 respectively. He is admitted to the New York and California bars. He has also been a graduate student instructor to Berkeley’s undergraduates in Political Science and Political Economy.
Professor, George Washington University
Mr. Askari is Professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University. He has been on the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund, and was Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance of Saudi Arabia. He has written extensively on economic development in the Middle East, Islamic economics and finance, international trade and finance, agricultural economics, oil economics and on economic sanctions, including sixteen books, six monographs, over one hundred refereed journal articles and numerous chapters in books. He has also written over two hundred opinion pieces in the NYT, WP, LAT, IHT, etc.
J. Bradford DeLong
Professor, UC Berkeley
J. Bradford DeLong is a professor of economics at UC Berkeley, chair of its political economy major, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and was in the Clinton administration as a deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. His best work extends from business cycle dynamics through economic growth, behavioral finance, political economy, economic history, international finance to the history of economic thought and other topics.
Chairman of the Al Dukheil Financial Group
Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Dukheil is the Chairman of the Al Dukheil Financial Group (AFG)—Saudi Arabia. After a distinguished academic career, Dr. Al-Dukheil served in a number of governmental positions in Saudi Arabia, including the Head of the Budget Department at the Ministry of Defense, Head of the Public Investment Fund at he Ministry of Finance, Assistant Deputy Minister of Finance, and Deputy Minister of Finance. He has published five books and numerous articles on Saudi economic development, banking system, stock market, financial system, privatization, oil production and pricing, as well as the economies of the GCC states. Dr. Al-Dukheil has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Arabian Real Estate Development Fund, the Arab Investment Company, and the Al-Kharj Electricity Company of Saudi Arabia. He has also been the Chairman of the Saudi Arabian Council of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Dr. Al-Dukheil has been a member of the OPEC Committee for the Development of Special Funds, the Supervisory Committee of the Saudi Stock Market, the Saudi American Business Council, and the Supreme Council of King Faisal University. He has also served as a Conciliator and Arbitrator for the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes at the World Bank.
Mr. Fish is a comparative political scientist who studies democracy and regime change in developing and post-communist countries, religion and politics, and constitutional systems and national legislatures. He is the author of Are Muslims Distinctive? A Look at the Evidence, Democracy Derailed in Russia: The Failure of Open Politics, which was the recipient of the Best Book Award of 2006, presented by the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association, and Democracy from Scratch: Opposition and Regime in the New Russian Revolution as well as the coauthor of The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey and Post-communism and the Theory of Democracy.
Founder and CEO of Aramex
Fadi Ghandour is a Jordanian entrepreneur who co-founded Aramex in 1982 and has served as its CEO since. He is a Founding Partner of Maktoob.com, the world’s largest Arab online community, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2010. Ghandour is also a member of the Board of Abraaj Capital, the largest private equity firm in the Middle East and South Asia, is a Founding Board Member of Endeavor Jordan, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut. Between 2003 and 2006, he was the Middle East and North Africa Area Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Ghandour is passionate about supporting entrepreneurship in the Arab world and is an active angel investor focusing on start-ups in the Middle East and North African countries.
President and Co-Founder of The Hand Foundation
Noosheen Hashemi is the President and co-founder of The HAND Foundation. Since 1997 Ms. Hashemi has also been an independent investor and advisor in the software industry. In 1996, she joined Quote.com, a profitable personal finance pioneer, as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Prior to that Ms. Hashemi held various management positions at Oracle Corporation between 1985 and 1995, where she took active part in software’s meteoric rise as an industry. She was appointed Director of Finance and Administration in 1988 and named Vice President in 1990. Ms. Hashemi is also a board member of the New America Foundation, a trustee of the India Community Center and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Ibrahim Kalin is a senior advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As a broadly trained scholar of Islamic studies, he has taught a number of courses on Islamic history and culture at Georgetown University. His field of concentration is post-Avicennan Islamic philosophy with research interests in Ottoman intellectual history, interfaith relations, and comparative philosophy. He has contributed to several encyclopedia, including MacMillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2nd Edition, Encyclopedia of Religion 2nd Edition, Biographical Encyclopedia of Islamic Philosophy and the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. His book Islam and the West (published in Turkish) has won the 2007 Writers Association of Turkey award for best book. He has also co-authored a major study on the Turkish perceptions of the West.
Founder and CEO, Palestinian National Beverage Company
Mr. Khouri is a leading Middle East businessman who holds a number of executive positions and Board Memberships including Chairman of Palestine Tourism & Investment Company. (PTIC), Jacir Palace Intercontinental in Bethlehem, the Jerusalem Investment Tourism (JIT). Mr. Khouri is also Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Development & Investment Co (Padico). He was also an Executive Board Member of the Olayan Group both in Saudi-Arabia and the US for over 20 years. He holds a number of civic positions including the Chairman of NGO Development Center (NDC) in Jerusalem, the Palestine Business Committee for Peace and Reform (PBCPR) in Washington, the Carter Advisory body in Palestine and Chairman of the local chapter of Partners for New Beginning, affiliated with Aspen Institute. Mr. Khouri received an M.B.A. INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France and an M.Sc. in Engineering from the Technische Hochschule Stuttgart in Germany.
Richard K. Lyons
Dean, Haas School of Business
Richard K. Lyons became the Bank of America Dean of the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, in July 2008. He is a graduate of the school’s undergraduate business program. Prior to becoming dean, Lyons served as the chief learning officer at Goldman Sachs in New York, where he was responsible for leadership development among the firm’s managing directors. His academic research has
explored currency markets, a focus reflected in his book “The Microstructure Approach to Exchange Rates” (MIT Press). Recently, his research has taken a quite different tack, namely, exploring the links between leadership and innovation in organizations. These links are of strategic importance to the Haas School’s approach to developing business leaders. Dean Lyons is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His past consulting relationships include the Federal Reserve Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and Citibank. In 1998 Lyons received UC Berkeley’s highest teaching honor, the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Head of Consulting at Manaar Energy
Robin is one of the leading experts on Middle East energy strategy and economics. Head of Consulting at Manaar Energy in Dubai, and previously with Shell and Dubai state companies, he works on bringing investment and modern technology and commercial practices to the region’s energy industry. His books ‘The Myth of the Oil Crisis’ and ‘Capturing Carbon’ and current media work deal with the geopolitics of energy, transforming energy wealth into sustainable and diversified economic growth, misleading paradigms of resource depletion, and solutions to climate change. His particular focus is on the Gulf, including Iran and Iraq. He speaks Arabic and Farsi.
Professor of Islamic History, Harvard
Roy Mottahedeh joined Harvard’s history department faculty as Professor of Islamic History in 1986, and has served as director of Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He was appointed Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University in 2006. Professor Mottahedeh’s major work is on the social and intellectual history of the Islamic Middle East. His publications include Loyalty and Leadership in Early Islamic Society (1980), the Mantle of the Prophet: Religion and Politics in Iran (1985), and Lessons in Islamic Jurisprudence (2003). He is currently working on a book on the Shia of Iraq.
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Vali R. Nasr is Dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is a specialist on Middle East politics and political Islam, and has worked extensively on political and social developments in the Muslim World with a focus on the relation of religion to politics, social change, and democratization. Dr. Nasr is the author of six books, including Forces of Fortune: the Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What it Means for Our World (2009) and The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future (2006) and the author of numerous articles in academic journals and encyclopedias. His works have been translated into several languages. Dr. Nasr has briefed the White House, the Congress, the U.S. Department of State, the National Security Council, and the U.S. Department of Defense on Middle East issues.
Professor & Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, UC Berkeley
Robert Price is Professor of Political Science and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at UC Berkeley. His research and teaching fields include comparative politics and African affairs, with a special emphasis on South Africa. He is the author of Society and Bureaucracy in Contemporary Ghana (1975), U.S. Foreign Policy toward Sub-Saharan Africa: National Interest and Global Strategy (1979), The Apartheid Regime: Political Power and Racial Domination (co-editor, 1980), and The Apartheid State in Crisis (1991), as well as a variety of journal articles and book chapters dealing with the new African state, U.S. foreign policy towards Africa, and political change in South Africa.
Senior Vice President MENA – INJAZ Al Arab
As Senior Vice-President of MENA for Junior Achievement Worldwide, Soraya Salti has the mandate to mobilize private sectors and ministries of education across the Arab World to join forces to create a new generation of business-oriented youth and entrepreneurs. Salti worked for two years at Jordan’s Ministry of Planning on the innovative Competitiveness Team, assisting Harvard’s Michael Porter to apply his model to strengthen the country’s economic development. She then joined Northwestern University’s international Kellogg executive MBA programme. Prior to that, she ran the monitoring/evaluation unit of a US$ 15 million programme that strengthened small and medium-sized industries at Jordan US Business Partnership, before which she was an economic researcher at ESCWA, the UN Economic & Social Commission for Western Asia. She is on the board of Young Arab Leaders Jordan, Queen Rania’s Awards for Excellence in Education, and the Business Development Center, and is the winner for the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of Jordan.
Partner – Abraaj Capital
Frederic Sicre has over 20 years experience in engaging the private sector in global issues, regional-development agendas and community building. As a Partner at Abraaj Capital, he engages a wide network of decision makers from around the world with the business activities and philanthropic work of the Firm. He spearheads the Abraaj Strategic and Stakeholder Engagement Track (ASSET) that works with leaders from all fields, including government, private sector, media and culture. He helps drive business development at Abraaj, its stakeholder communications, international positioning, government relations and strategic philanthropy.
In the early 1990s, Mr. Sicre established the activities of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Africa and the Middle East. He managed the Forum’s Centre for Regional Strategies and was promoted to WEF Managing Director in 2000.
Mr. Sicre holds an MBA from IMD, Switzerland, a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from Villanova University, Philadelphia, and is a fellow of Stanford University, Palo Alto.
Founding Director of the Middle East Institute’s Centre for Turkish Studies
Dr. Gönül Tol is the founding director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies. She is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies. She received her Ph.D. degree in Political Science from Florida International University where she was a graduate fellow at the Middle East Studies Center. She previously worked at the U.S. Representative Office of the Turkish Industry and Business Association. (TUSIAD) She was also an adjunct professor at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University.
Executive Board, the Olayan Group
Samir Toubassy is currently a member of the Executive Board of The Olayan Group and a Senior Fellow in the Advanced leadership Program at Harvard University. He was a senior executive with the Olayan Group for over thirty years. He also serves as an advisor to Clarion Capital. His previous experience includes serving as a Senior Advisor at Credit Suisse, and a member of the Board and audit committee of the Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling company. Samir serves as a trustee of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, the American Community School of Beirut, and is an advisory board member of the Churchill Archives Center at Cambridge
University, among other activities. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the American University of Beirut, and his MBA from Golden Gate University.