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Team > Board Of Trustees

Ayoub Semaan creates and facilitates development programs for individuals, teams, and organizations; advises executives on strategy and leadership; and helps boards work more effectively. In his practice, he seeks the leadership potential within individuals and invites them to bring it forward.

His curricula focus on self-knowledge, self-mastery, interpersonal dynamics, critical thinking, and complexity. His work draws on problem-solving and design-thinking techniques to design and facilitate top-team conversations around strategy and organization. He serves clients in the GCC, Europe, the US, and South Asia, including senior executives, physicians, educators, foundation directors, engineers, and entrepreneurs.

Ayoub is a former management consultant who advised clients on strategy and organization, led economic development and real-estate projects, and conducted economic research.

Ayoub holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a joint Master’s degree in Energy Economics from the Colorado School of Mines and the French Petroleum Institute, and an Engineering degree in Applied Mathematics and Mechanics from the Ecole Polytechnique in France. He speaks Arabic, English, and French.
Chadia is Managing Partner of Badri and Salim El Meouchi Law Firm, a leading regional law firm in the Middle East, based in Lebanon and Qatar and is a member of the New York Bar.

Chadia has been recognized by Financial News as amongst the top 50 Most Influential Women in Middle East Finance (2019). She was also recognized by International Financial Law Review IFLR Women Leaders Top 300 global (2018 and 2019). Chadia is also consistently recognized as a leading corporate and commercial lawyer in a number of law directories and guides, including Chambers Global Guide for Leading Lawyers every year since 2004 (Lebanon and Qatar). And since 2007, she was also selected as a leading corporate and finance lawyer by each of the International Financial Legal Review, Global Legal 500, Asia Law and Practical Lawyer – PLC Which Lawyer (Lebanon and Qatar).

Chadia is board member of various companies, has authored a number of articles, and is frequently invited to speak at conferences.

Chadia is a visiting professor lecturing in the LLM for Business Law/ Master of Science Energy at: University Panthéon – Assas Paris II, Paris - France, American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University (LAU).

Chadia is also a co-founder in a leading ed-tech startup, LeapLearner, a co-founder and Partner in Aura Capital and a co-founder at ProDG Group.

Chadia has a Master of Laws from Georgetown University (Washington, DC), a BCom from Concordia University, a BCivLaw at the University of Montreal, a post-graduate diploma in Oil & Gas law from Robert Gordon University, an Islamic Finance Qualification from the UK SII and ESA, and a Certificate in ADR from the Canadian International Arbitration Centre.

Chadia is the co-founder of the Middle East Leadership Initiative, a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, the Aspen Corps of Moderators, and of the Aspen Leadership initiatives committee. Chadia is also a co-founder and board member of various NGOs and institutions including the Human Rights Watch Committee for Lebanon, Equality Now, Teach for Lebanon, Lebanese Centre for Policy Studies, and a member of the LLM Advisory Council at the LAU.

Maissa is member of the BOD and Chief Sustainability Officer at HOLDAL Group - a 3rd generation family business based in Lebanon covering retail, distribution, manufacturing and supply chain in beauty, personal and household care, health & wellbeing, lifestyle and luxury.  

Maissa has been heavily involved in the Group's transformation journey since 2010. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of USJ FGM and she recently joined TFL’s new Executive Board as Secretary. Maissa has been dedicating most of her time to various NGOs, social enterprises and purpose & values driven entrepreneurs in Lebanon in addition to talented youth (her passion).

Before 2010, Maissa worked in several multinational Groups in commercial roles at L’Oréal and Sears in Canada or Kenzo (LVMH Group) in Europe, Middle East and North Africa.  

Maissa is passionate about humane global citizenship, change management, sustainability and social impact.  Her experience across multiple countries has provided her with a unique understanding of diversity, cultures, and the power of building 'bridges' and connecting people provided they share the same core values.   

She recently graduated from the Advanced Management Program at IESE Business School (University of Navarra) and she is the co-author of “Recettes de Vie”, a social and humanitarian project that has been helping Lebanon since 2006. 

Maysam Ali is the International Education Strategy Lead and Content Manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Washington, DC, where she leads on partnerships with international organizations on education to define how AWS and Amazon can support education initiatives.

In 2018, Maysam was Assistant Director of the Stevens Initiative, an international effort aimed at fostering cultural understanding between young people through virtual exchange to learn about the world and about each other.

She was previously Deputy Director of Middle East Programs, where she managed the Levant Program, a policy program focusing on the economic, political, and social issues facing Syria, Lebanon, and the region, including the Syrian conflict and its regional impact; transnational militant groups; as well as human rights and domestic political reform.

Maysam also led Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) and PNB’s North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO), a public-private partnership aiming to advance economic opportunity in the Middle East and North Africa. In this role, Maysam supported partnerships between business and civil society leaders in the Middle East and North Africa, with a special focus on partnerships enhancing entrepreneurship and education.

Prior to that, Maysam worked as a reporter in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and Beirut, Lebanon.

Maysam was named a 2016 Asia 21 Fellow by Asia Society, an award offered to young leaders with outstanding achievement, commitment to public service, and a proven ability to make the world a better place. She was also a Sunrise Fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, where she completed a Masters in International Economics and Middle East Studies.

Maysam earned a bachelor of arts in political studies from the American University of Beirut in 2007.


Charbel Tagher is the president of Specified Technologies Inc (STI), a firestopping manufacturer he co-founded in 1990 (www.stifirestop.com). STI sells US made products in 50+ countries and has personnel in China, SE Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America, in addition to a significant presence in North America. It is known for its advanced technology, innovative solutions, extensive range of tested systems, and outstanding support. Charbel is also deeply involved with numerous industry associations representing manufacturers, contractors, as well as code bodies.
In addition, he is dedicated to helping the less fortunate, principally through improved education. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Teach For Lebanon (a member of the Teach For All organization which includes Teach For America), and co-founded TFL-US which raises a high proportion of the funds needed to support TFL.
Charbel is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Touch Foundation which trains doctors and nurses in Tanzania and helps build hospitals (www.touchfoundation.org).

Charbel studied at the Jesuits in Egypt and Lebanon, earned a BBA from the American University of Beirut , followed by an MBA from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania in 1976. He then spent 8 years with McKinsey and Company, the management consultancy, working on assignments in Europe, the Middle-East, North Africa and the United States. Subsequently, Charbel became a Vice president of Thomas and Betts, a manufacturer of electrical and electronic components, where he ran a division for three years. Prior to co-founding STI, he spent two years with an investment group.

Charbel has been married to Aida since 1984 and they lived in NYC until 2014, when they became residents of Miami. They have two adult children, Nicholas and Natalie.
Charbel is a U.S. citizen of Lebanese descent. He enjoys reading, gardening, playing golf, and traveling. Charbel and Aida love being with friends and family and sharing good times and good laughs, especially when it’s around delicious food and wonderful wines.

Rima Abu Shakra has led, initiated and been involved with a number of private and public sector ventures in Lebanon, the United States and Egypt. Since 2010, Rima has been the CEO and co-founder of Beirut Ink, a company that operates a restaurant, bookshop and cultural space in Beirut named Dar Bistro and Books. She is also the deputy director of Zakira, a Lebanese NGO specialized in teaching photography to vulnerable communities including the Lahza projects, which taught 1,000 refugee children photography and published two books containing their photos. Rima is also a former teacher and currently serves on the board of ESOL Education, an organization that operates nine international schools in the Middle East, Cyprus and Hong Kong.

As a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Rima wrote articles and contributed reporting and research to the paper’s coverage of Syria and Lebanon. She was one of three authors of an article reconstructing the events of Syria's August 2013 chemical weapon attack, which was submitted by the Wall Street Journal as part of a package for Pulitzer Prize consideration. Rima has also written dozens of articles for the WSJ and AFP, as well as been a speaker at many conferences.

Rima earned her undergraduate degree from Tufts University in 2000 and a Masters of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 2006. She is a dual Lebanese and American citizen.

Dr. Nuhad Daghir graduated from AUB in 1957 with a B.S. in Agriculture and then received his MS and PhD degrees from Iowa State University in 1962 in Nutrition. He joined AUB as Assistant professor and then was promoted to Associate and then to Professor in 1975. He was Chair of the Animal Science Department for many years and then in 1996 became Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture & Food Sciences (FAFS) serving in that capacity until 2006. He also served as Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the UAE University from 1992-1996. He served as consultant for poultry companies in many countries in the region and as Team Leader for AUB projects in Saudi Arabia from 1984-1986.

Dr Daghir has published over 100 articles in scientific journals and several chapters in books and compendia. His book “Poultry Production in Hot Countries” was published in the UK in 1995 and a second revised copy was published in 2008. This book has been translated to three languages and has been used by scientists, graduate students and industry people all over the World. He still writes and presents papers at scientific meetings on a regular basis, and has recently published several articles on Higher Agricultural Education in the Middle East .Dr. Daghir was  inducted to the "International Poultry Hall of Fame" in 2012, which is the highest honor granted by the World Poultry Science Association. His resume has appeared in Who’s Who in Lebanon. Who’s Who in the Arab World and Who’s Who in the World. Dr. Daghir has served on many national and international committees and was on the Advisory Technical Committee of the Ministry of Higher Education from 1997-2007.  He is a founding member of TFL and was Chairman of its Board from 2008-2011.

Born in Lebanon, he studied at the American University of Beirut and earned his Master's degree in Public Administration in 1957. He served in several institutions before working at AUB in 1968 as an Assistant to the President and Director of Development. Mr. Zeidan has also membership in several companies' board of directors.

Ali Dimashkieh is a career coach based in Washington. He is the founder and inception CEO of Teach For Lebanon. He began discussing the possibility of implementing a “Teach For” initiative in Lebanon in 2006. He worked closely with all stakeholders to brainstorm and shape the Teach For Lebanon model, especially working with university students in an effort to understand their views and ambitions.

In August 2008, he successfully launched Teach For Lebanon with the help and support of the large network of contacts who were and still are supporting the growth of the organization.
Prior to joining Teach For Lebanon, Ali was the Cultural Affairs Specialist at the United States Embassy in Beirut, where he implemented US State Department programs directed at youth, recruited students and professionals to participate, and consulted local NGOs.
Ali is a graduate from the American University of Beirut, where he studied Mechanical Engineering. In addition to this, he holds a master’s degree in Organization Management from Université du Quebec à Chicoutimi. His passion for information technology drove him to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer, delivering professional IT training in Lebanon, Cyprus, Malta, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.
Ali is an avid photographer and loves photographing both natural beauty and people. He enjoys traveling with his wife, Rym. Together they have visited many fascinating places around the world.

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"Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world”

- Nelson Mandela -