Board of Advisors
Chairman of the Board; Partner, PJT Partners and Non Executive Director, EDP, London
Laurie Fitch is a Partner at PJT Partners, an advisory-led investment bank, where she advises industrial manufacturers, utilities, and infrastructure companies on mergers and acquisitions, strategy, and corporate finance. Previously, she was co-head of the Global Industrials Investment Banking practice at Morgan Stanley. Prior to investment banking, Ms. Fitch spent the majority of her career as an equity analyst and portfolio manager at Artisan Partners and TIAA-CREF. She serves on the Finance and Operations and the Audit subcommittees of the Tate Board of Trustees and holds a BA in Arabic and Middle East Studies from American University and a Master of Arts in Arab Studies, with IBD honors, from Georgetown University (’94).
Ambassador to Japan for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
H.E. Lina Annab was appointed as Ambassador to Japan for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 2019 after having served as the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities from 2016 to 2018. She previously served as general manager of Zara Investment Company (Holding), as well on the boards of private and public shareholding companies in Jordan. In addition, Ambassador Annab has represented the private sector on the Employment–Technical Vocational and Education Training Council (E-TVET Council), the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB), and the Economic and Social Council. Over the past 20 years, Ambassador Annab has worked in the United States, Europe, and several countries in the Middle East and has held positions at Citibank, Johnson & Johnson, and the International Monetary Fund. Her career has spanned product management, research, marketing, and finance. Ambassador Annab was awarded the Italian Star Medal by the Italian Ambassador in Amman on behalf of the president of Italy in recognition of her efforts in developing cooperation ties between Jordan and Italy in the field of tourism and archaeology. In addition, His Beatitude Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al -Ra’i, awarded Ms. Annab the mantle of the Angle of Qannoubine in honor of her visit to Lebanon in 2017. Ambassador Annab holds a Master of Arts in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Economy and Foreign Languages and Literature.
Hamida Abdullah Alireza
Trustee, The Barakat Trust, Saudi Arabia
Ms. Alireza is a trustee at the Barakat Trust, a UK registered charity which provides financial support for the study and research of the material and visual cultures of Islamic societies. This assistance is granted to enable scholars to continue to add to the body of Islamic scholarship while enhancing the possibilities of cross-cultural understanding and tolerance.
CEO and Co-CIO, ARP Global Capital LLC
Mr. Alireza is CEO and Co-CIO of ARP Global Capital LLC. He also serves on the global board of directors of Room to Read, an international NGO that promotes literacy and gender equality in education and recently funded the expansion of a pediatric ICU unit in Palestine through the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF). Mr. Alireza holds an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University.
Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud
Chairman, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Saudi Arabia
His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al-Faisal served as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America from September 13, 2005, until February 2, 2007. Prince Turki was appointed an Advisor in the Royal Court in 1973. From 1977 to 2001, he served as the Director-General of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID), the Kingdom’s main foreign intelligence service. In 2002, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz appointed him Ambassador to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. His Royal Highness is one of the founders of the King Faisal Foundation and is the chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh. He is also co-chair of the C100 Group, which has been affiliated with the World Economic Forum since 2003.
Moosa Hamdan Moosa Al Tai
Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States
His Excellency Ambassador Moosa Hamdan Moosa Al Tai is the current Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States in Washington D.C., with his appointment beginning in January 2021. Ambassador Al Tai served most recently as Chief of the West Asia Department at the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and previously as Strategic Director of the National Defense College in Muscat (2016-2019), and Chief of the International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013-2016). From 2009-2013, Ambassador Al Tai was Ambassador to Morocco, concurrently serving as Non-Resident Ambassador to Mauritania, Mali, and the Central African Republic, and was the recipient of a Medal of Honor granted by the King of Morocco. From 2001 to 2009, Ambassador Al Tai served as the Ambassador to the Republic of Korea and received the Order of Diplomatic Service Merit Medal granted by the President of the Republic of Korea. Educated in the U.S. (B.A., PLU, Tacoma) and Oman (M.A., Sultan Qaboos University), Ambassador Al Tai was a delegate to the Oman Mission to the United Nations in New York (1993-1998) and a Second Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1989-1993).
Abdulrahman bin Saud Al-Thani
Minister of State, Qatar
Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Thani was Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Washington, D.C. in the early 1990s. Upon his return to Doha, he became the Director of the Political Department at the Amiri Diwan, followed by Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Undersecretary of the Amiri Protocol. In 2003 he became the Private Secretary to HH the Emir and in 2005 the Chief of the Amiri Diwan. Sheikh Abdulrahman is a member of the Council of the Ruling Family Affairs, the Arab Thought Forum (Amman), Co-Chairman of the Advisory Board for Georgetown University – Qatar, School of International Affairs in Qatar, member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Palestinian Studies (Beirut), President of the Qatari Sport Union for Special Needs Athletes, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the College of Nursing project, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the College of North Atlantic – Qatar, Chairman of Vodafone – Qatar, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Qatar Museums Authority.
Partner, Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher, UAE/USA
Peter L. Baumbusch recently retired from being a partner at Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher. He had joined the firm in 1972. Mr. Baumbusch concentrated his practice in foreign investment in the United States, international taxation, general corporate taxation, executive compensation, and mergers, acquisitions, and restructurings. He provided legal and tax advice relating to the acquisition of more than $10 billion in United States companies and real estate investments; he obtained successful results in numerous Internal Revenue Service rulings, audits, and court cases; and he advised foreign governments with respect to the United States tax system. He provided advice with respect to numerous multi-jurisdictional option and compensation programs for major international companies.
Managing Partner, Cailon Capital
Mr. Amr Diab is Managing Partner at Cailon Capital, a private investment firm based in London, and Advisory Director at Morgan Stanley International. He is also Board Director of Apex International, which is an E&P company focused on Egypt. He was previously Managing Director and Co-Head of Investment Banking for the Middle East and North Africa at Morgan Stanley, based in Cairo and Dubai. Amr began his career at Morgan Stanley Investment Banking in New York in 1992. During his tenure, he was part of the president’s office working on strategic transactions for Morgan Stanley. He moved to London with Morgan Stanley Investment Banking before leaving in 2000 to become a founding partner in Bessent Capital, Walter Capital, and Cheiron Capital. He rejoined Morgan Stanley in 2007. Throughout Amr’s career, he has been involved in several major transactions in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, specifically in Egypt. Amr is a former Fulbright Scholar and received his BA in Economics from the American University in Cairo (AUC) and his MBA from Columbia University and the London Business School.
Founder and CEO of Hii Finance Corporation
Samia Farouki is the founder and CEO of Hii Finance Corporation, a global investment company. She has also dedicated herself to the fields of education, the arts, and women’s empowerment and currently serves on the boards of the Middle East Institute, the King Hussein Foundation, the King Hussein Cancer Center, The Kennedy Center International Committee for the Arts, and Planet Word Museum and Tomorrow’s Youth. Mrs. Farouki has also previously served on the boards of the Lab School of Washington, Folger Shakespeare Library, Vital Voices, Corcoran Gallery, Teach for America (Washington, D.C. area), Arab American Cultural Foundation, Washington Opera Company, and as co-chair of the Aspen Institute Middle East programs. Mrs. Farouki holds degrees from the American University of Beirut and George Washington University. She has been living in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband A. Huda Farouki for more than forty years.
President, Northridge Capital, Inc
David W. Jackson is the President of Northridge Capital, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based independent real estate asset management firm. Prior to the creation of Northridge, Mr. Jackson was closely involved as an advisor to several of the investors whose assets are currently managed by Northridge. Mr. Jackson previously practiced law with Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher, where he focused on international investment and financing transactions. Mr. Jackson was the Chair of the Board of Advisors at the Center for Contemporary Arab studies from 2012 to 2015. He completed an MA in Arab Studies in 1983, as well as a JD in 1987, at Georgetown University.
Samer S. Judeh
Co-founder and Chairman of the Jordan Wind Project Company PSC
Mr. Judeh has been instrumental in the development, construction, operation and management of the 117-mega-watt Tafila Wind Farm, the first and largest privately sponsored utility scale wind farm in the region. He was also the founder and Chairman of Shamsuna Power Company, which developed, constructed and is currently operating the first utility scale solar project to connect to the Jordanian national grid. Mr. Judeh has been an active member of the renewable energy sector since 2007, and has been a key player in the negotiation of contracts and the implementation of laws and regulations for the industry. A Jordanian businessman, Mr. Judeh has over 25 years of experience in managing a wide range of initiatives in the fields of renewable energy, information technology, security and infrastructure. His extensive international business experience affords him key insight into the development and management of large-scale projects as well as the establishment and deployment of innovative enterprises. He is also a Board member and Vice Chair of EDAMA and a Board member and Secretary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan. He is also a board member of the School of Medicine at Jordan University. Samer is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington DC, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (MSB’86) and a Master’s degree in Arab Studies (MAAS’88).
Founder and Director, Help Center & Founder, Women’s Welfare Society & Al-Faisaliyah Women’s Society, Saudi Arabia
Mrs. Juffali, who is of Palestinian and German descent, is the widow of the late Sheikh Ahmed Juffali, an extremely important business tycoon in the region. Mrs. Juffali received an Honorary Doctorate in Human Letters from AUC in 2007. She established the first woman’s welfare society in Jeddah in 1958 and continued throughout her life supporting children and women in the Arab world through education and charitable works. In 1985, she founded the Help Center, dedicated to helping mentally handicapped children and their families. In addition to CCAS, Mrs. Juffali is on the board of numerous educational institutions, including AUC and LAU. Since 1994, she has also been the Managing Director of the Ahmed Juffali Benevolent Foundation. Mrs. Juffali has received numerous awards and certificates of appreciation for her charitable works and dedication to the support of education and the welfare of women and children.
Leena Habib Kassim
Chair of the Board of Directors, Al Mahd Day Boarding School, Bahrain
Ms. Leena Kassim has chaired the board of Al Mahd Day Boarding School in Bahrain since 2011. As part of the senior management team at Al Mahd, Ms. Kassim is highly involved in developing the school’s governmental relations, as well as financial and strategic planning. Ms. Kassim has also worked extensively in international finance and investments field beginning her career at the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait. She later became Corporate Banking Manager at the Arab Banking Corporation in Bahrain. From 2004 to 2010, Ms. Kassim worked for Bank Alkhair (formerly Unicorn Investment Bank) as the Senior Director of Asset Management & Real Estate. In 2015, she was honored by Her Royal Highness Sh. Sabika bint Ibrahim AlKhalifa of Bahrain as part of the Women in Senior Private Sector Awards. Ms. Kassim graduated from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and went on to earn a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
CEO of Man Capital LLP and Mantrac Group
Mr. Loutfy Mansour is CEO of Man Capital LLP, the Mansour family’s London-based investment arm founded to expand the group’s global presence by investing in new markets and verticals. Mansour has led an international team of 10 professionals for Man Capital since its founding in 2010. Since that time, Man Capital has completed 10 deals, including investments in Millennium Offshore Services, which provides services to the offshore oil and gas industry; Educas, which invests in private schools; and Nigerian telecoms infrastructure provider IHS Towers. Under Loutfy’s leadership, Man Capital has made technology a key investment area, investing in companies that work in high-growth, disruptive technologies. Mansour started his career at Goldman Sachs in London as part of the Investment Banking Department, operating within the Industrial and Natural Resources Investment Banking Advisory Team. He now serves as a board member of several Mansour Group companies and is a former board member of the American Chamber of Commerce of Egypt. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
Mohamed Loutfy Mansour
Chairman, Mansour Group and Former Minister of Transport, Egypt
H.E. Mohamed Loutfy Mansour serves as Chairman of the Mansour Group and Chairman of Man Capital LLP. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Mansour served as Minister of Transport for the Egyptian Government, leading Egypt’s transportation network, including roads, bridges, underground railways, ports, maritime transport, mass transit, and river transit. The Mansour international operations span six main business divisions: automotive, capital markets, consumer and retail, industrial equipment, logistics, and services. The Mansour Group, which has annual revenues of USD 6 billion and employs approximately 60,000 people, is the exclusive distributor or partner of major brands such as General Motors, Caterpillar, McDonald’s, Crédit Agricole Bank, UPS, and OTS. H.E. Mansour is Founder and Chairman of the Mansour Automotive Group, the largest General Motors distributor in the world. He is former Chairman of Crédit Agricole Bank Egypt and former member of the bank’s Global International Advisory Board (IAB). He also chairs Unatrac, the authorized Caterpillar distributor in 9 countries. Mansour is Founder and Chairman of the Lead Foundation, a non-profit that provides loans to small and micro enterprises and underprivileged women. He has served as Chairman of the Egypt-U.S. Business Council, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, and Chairman of the Al-Mansour Charity Foundation, as well as on the Global Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations, the George Washington School of Business Advisory Board, the International Advisory Board of the Coca Cola Company, the Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo, and the boards of the Special Olympics of Egypt, the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchanges, and the Social Fund for Development. H.E. Mansour earned his bachelor’s degree in Engineering from North Carolina State University and his master’s degree in Business Administration from Auburn University, where he taught until 1973. Mr. Mansour is married and has two sons.
Director, Washington, D.C. Office of Aramco Americas
John Pearson became Director of the Washington, D.C. Office of Aramco Americas in November 2021. He previously served as Senior Strategic Advisor to the Aramco Americas President. John joined Aramco in 2013 and was shortly thereafter transferred to the company headquarters in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia where he served as Director of International Affairs in the Office of the President and CEO. Prior to joining Aramco, John served as the Vice President and Chief of Staff of the Susan G. Komen Foundation where he directly supported the strategic initiatives of Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, the organization’s Founder. He also coordinated foundation activities related to the United Nations, World Health Organization and other global initiatives to include the first ever Global Race for the Cure in Egypt around the Great Pyramids of Giza. Under President George W. Bush, John served at the U.S. State Department in the Office of Secretary Condoleezza Rice on two separate occasions. John also served President Bush at the White House in various capacities. He is a member of the Middle East Institute Board of Governors and the Phillips Andover Development Board. John received a Master of Arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College. He has also studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Boston College and George Washington University. He is a graduate of Phillips Andover in Massachusetts.
Law Offices of George R. Salem PLLC & Strategic Advisor, DLA Piper US LLP, USA
George Salem founded the Law Offices of George R. Salem PLLC. He was formerly a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, where he chaired the firm’s Middle East and U.S. Department of Labor practices and serves as Strategic Advisor to the international law firm of DLA Piper. He served as solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor during the second Reagan administration as well as played key roles in the Bush-Quayle and Bush-Cheney campaigns. He co-founded the Arab American Institute in 1985 and currently serves as its Chairman. He was selected to serve on the Official U.S. Observer Delegation to the January 9, 2005 Palestinian Presidential Elections.
Former President of the American Committee for Tyre, USA
Betty Sams is a Lebanese-American who has long been actively involved in U.S.-Arab relations. Mrs. Sams is on the National Advisory Board of the Arab American National Museum, the Visiting Committee of the Smith College Museum of Art, a member of American Task Force for Lebanon and The Leadership Council of Churches for Middle East Peace. She is a past president of the American Committee for Tyre and has served on the Board of Trustees of the Washington National Opera and the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute. A Michigan native, Betty Sams earned a BA degree in Government from Smith College, and also studied at the American University of Beirut. She is the wife of James F. Sams who served on the CCAS Board from the Fall of 2000 until his death in December 2005.
Chairman, Lynx Investment Advisory, LLC, USA; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese American University
Mr. Tanous is Chairman of Lynx Investment Advisory, LLC of Washington, D.C., an SEC-registered investment advisory firm. In prior years, Mr. Tanous was First Vice President and International Regional Director with Smith Barney and a member of the executive committee of Smith Barney International, Inc. He served for ten years as executive vice president and a director of Bank Audi (USA) in New York and was previously chairman of Petra Capital Corporation in New York. A graduate of Georgetown University, Peter Tanous has served as a member of the Board of Advisors of Georgetown’s College of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Georgetown University Library Board and a member of the university’s Investment Committee. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Lebanese American University. A long-time resident of New York City prior to moving to Washington D.C., Mr. Tanous served as a trustee of the Browning School, a private school in Manhattan. Tanous attended high school at The American School of Paris, France, where his parents resided for a number of years. He is fluent in French.
Patrick N. Theros
Former President and Executive Director, US-Qatar Business Council, USA
Ambassador Patrick Nickolas Theros served as the U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar from 1995 to 1998. During his 35-year career with the United States Foreign Service, Ambassador Theros served in a variety of other positions including Political Advisor to the Commander in Chief Central Command; Deputy Chief of Mission and Political Officer in Amman; Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi; and Economic and Commercial Counselor in Damascus. After his retirement from the Foreign Service, Ambassador Theros assumed the office of President of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council in 2000 until his retirement in 2017. Ambassador Theros graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and has done advanced studies at the American University in Washington, D.C., and the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua, Nicaragua. He speaks Spanish, Arabic, and Greek fluently.
Senior Director, International Government Relations, Exxon Mobil Corporation, USA
Rochdi Younsi is Senior Director of Middle East and North Africa, International Government Relations, for The Exxon Mobil Corporation in Washington, DC. In this capacity he provides in-house political risk assessment to the company’s Management Committee and various business functions. He contributes to designing the company’s investment and government relations strategy in the Middle East and North Africa region. He also oversees ExxonMobil’s relationships with various diplomatic missions and business councils in Washington. Prior to joining ExxonMobil, Mr. Younsi worked for Eurasia Group, a global political risk-consulting firm, where he served as the Director of the Middle East and Africa Practice. He provided short term and long-terms political and economic risk analysis for financial, corporate and government clients in North America, Europe and Asia. He also contributed to business development efforts globally.
President of Haverford Institute, USA
Dr. Zbierski-Salameh has partnered with universities and governmental organizations around the world to advance social cohesion and community participation in emerging market economies and democracies. In cooperation with the International Sociological Association, Dr. Zbierski-Salameh developed scholarly initiatives to support young social scientists from the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Africa in overcoming barriers to their professional advancement, including PhD labs, colloquia, and scholarships. She has been one of the leading supporters of young scholars within the Anwar Sadat Art for Peace Program at the University of Maryland. Dr. Zbierski-Salameh previously taught at University of California, Berkeley; Haverford College; and at several Universities in Poland. She spearheaded the accreditation of the first Eastern European site for the Haverford College Study Abroad Program and was a member—and later an executive board member—of the university’s Steering Committee to establish the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship. Dr. Zbierski-Salameh earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley. Among other publications, she is the author of Bitter Harvest: Antecedents and Consequences of Property Reform in Post socialist Polish Agriculture. She serves on the board of the International Sociological Association and is a member of the Board of International Regents for Bethlehem University.