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Team > Board Of Trustees

Senior Director of the Financial Operations Department at the Central Bank of Lebanon

Dr. Youssef El Khalil studied at the American University of Beirut, the University of Sussex, England, and the ‘Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur le Dévelopement International’, France, where he obtained a PhD in Economics.

He joined the Lebanese Central Bank as an economist in 1982 and is at present Senior Director of the Financial Operations Department which is responsible of the implementation of the national monetary policy, and a member of the Bank's Open Market Committee. He is a board member of several non-governmental organizations operating in Lebanon and serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Teach For Lebanon. As a founder and president of the Association for the Development of Rural Capacities (ADR), he has participated in the design and the implementation of projects pertaining to low income housing, microfinance, vocational training and agricultural development, mainly in South Lebanon.

Charbel H Tagher serves as the President of Specified Technologies, Inc. and has been at Specified Technologies since 1990. Mr. Tagher was employed at Mckinsey & Company, New York from 1976 to 1984 . From 1984 to 1987, he was Employed at Thomas & Betts Corporation, Raritan and from 1988 to 1990 at Burpee Seeds, Warminster. Mr. Tagher graduated from the American University of Beirut in 1974 and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia in 1976. Mr. Tagher is also the President of TFL-US Board of Trustees.

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.

Rabih Abouchakra is the founder and Managing Director of the Office of Strategic Affairs at the Crown Prince Court since 2009, providing socioeconomic thought leadership and strategic advisory. Previously, he was a Partner of Booz & Company based in the firm’s Abu Dhabi office. Mr. Abouchakra served as the head of the “Organization and Strategy” practice in the Middle East focusing on public administration modernization, policy formulation, large-scale transformation, and economic planning. Prior to that Mr. Abouchakra was a Senior Associate Consultant at Bain & Company in Canada and the United Kingdom. Mr. Abouchakra sits on the board of Al-Qattara Investments and is also a member of the Advisory Boards of INSEAD Abu Dhabi and University of Zurich Department of Economics.

Mr. Abouchakra co-authored three books: “Looking Ahead: the 50 Global Trends that Matters” (by Thinkers50, 2016), “Government for a New Age: The Transformation Agenda” (by Thinkers50, 2014), and “Leading Smart Transformation: A Roadmap for World Class Government” (by Palgrave, 2011). Mr. Abouchakra holds an MBA from INSEAD, a Master of Telecommunication Engineering and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering with Top of Class honors from McGill University in Canada. He was awarded a British Medal of Great Distinction in 1995. 

Born in 1961, married to Nada and father of Thalia, Georgie and Maria.

Raised in Beirut, attended College Notre Dame de Jamhour until the war broke out in 1975, when he moved to France to pursue his education until obtaining a French Baccalaureate in 1979.

From 1979 to 1982, Maher attended the Loyola University in Chicago from which he graduated in 1982 with a BA in Business Administration.

After a short tenure with the advertising arm of Tele-Liban in 1983, Maher joined Leo Burnett in Beirut as a junior executive and moved up the ranks to his current position of Chief Operating Officer for the Agency’s network in the Middle East.

Maher likes to live in a world full of ideas, humor and humanism.

A communication professional for over 30 years, he contributed to build brands, including NGOs in the Middle East.

He is passionate about coaching and mentoring and is a true believer in the power of education to transform behavior and better the world.


Salwa Siniora Baassiri, currently the Director General of the Rafic Hariri Foundation, is a graduate of Economics at the American University of Beirut. She has started her career as a researcher in econometrics, then she ventured in several other domains which empowered her with multi-dimensional capabilities and equipped her to assume key responsibilities in the domains of education, science, culture and communication, also in the realms of cultural and religious dialogue as well as in Bioethics.  Mrs. Baassiri actively participated in more than 200 conferences and fora, held at the national, regional and international levels, in the capacity of main organizer, keynote speaker, lecturer, panelist, rapporteur, chairperson, etc.  Among the most prominent of which, was the chairing of two commissions of two successive UNESCO general conferences, the first the PRX commission during the 34th session in October, 2007, the second the Social and Human Sciences during the 35th session in October 2009, in her capacity as Secretary General of Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO.  Mrs. Baassiri produced several research papers, wrote newspaper articles, reviewed and edited several publications, and had several T.V. interviews, at the national, regional and international levels.  In recognition of her outstanding stature and professional attainment, Mrs. Baassiri got the WAAAUB Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2015.Also in 2016 and on the occasion of the International Women's Day, the Arab Cultural Club honored Mrs. Salwa Siniora Baasiri.

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.

Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra, who was born in Lebanon, received his Law degree from the Université St. Joseph and Ph.D. in Political Science from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. He assumed the presidency of the Lebanese American University on August 1, 2004.

Previous to that, he served as Academic Vice President at Loyola Marymount University from 1990 to 2004. He had earlier served as Vice President, Academic and Research, at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, from 1980 to 1990. During his tenure at LMU and SMU, Dr. Jabbra gained profound experience in academic administration. He served on, and chaired, over one hundred academic committees and boards, ranging from academic senates to boards of trustees.

Dr. Jabbra was moreover fully engaged in preparing the strategic planning and fund raising campaigns at both St. Mary’s University, in Canada, and Loyola Marymount University, in the United States. He also served on several hospital boards in Canada and the United States.

Dr. Jabbra has a passion for teaching and research. During his tenure as Academic Administrator, he continued to teach and do significant research in the areas of political science, international law, international relations, public administration, the environment, globalization, law, and the Middle East. The courses he taught include: Introduction to Political Science, Scope and Methods of Political Science, International Law, Canadian and American Legal Systems, Public Administration, Government and Politics in the Middle East, the Middle East in International Affairs, and Islam.

Dr. Jabbra is the author, co-author, and co-editor of 12 books. The last book, “Public Administration in Transition” was published last year in London, England. To his credit, he also has thirty three articles and chapters published in books and scholarly journals, over twenty six book reviews in both English and French, scores of scholarly papers and keynote addresses given at learned societies’ meetings and professional gatherings.

During the AAICU meeting which was held from April 29 – May 1, 2011, in Beirut,

Dr. Joseph Jabbra was elected President of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities (AAICU).

Dr. Jabbra belongs to fifteen professional societies.

MD, the 16th president of the University, assumed office on September 1, 2015. He previously held leadership positions at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. These included professor and chairman of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, the Roberto C. Goizueta Distinguished Chair for Cancer Research, deputy director for the Winship Cancer Institute, and the executive associate dean for research. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Khuri was raised in Beirut while his father Raja N. Khuri served as dean of the AUB’s Faculty of Medicine and his mother as a professor of mathematics. Following a year of study at AUB (1981-82), Khuri earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University in New Haven, and his MD at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Boston City Hospital, and a fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Tufts-New England Medical Center. Before joining Emory University in 2003, Khuri was on the faculty at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for seven years. His research is focused on the development of molecular, prognostic, therapeutic, and chemopreventive approaches to improve the standard of care for patients with lung and aerodigestive cancers. He has published over 300 peer reviewed articles, and his work has been cited over 16,000 times. Khuri’s work has been recognized with several major awards, including the 2006 Nagi Sahyoun Award of the Middle East Medical Assembly, the 2010Waun Ki Hong Distinguished Professorship by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the 2013 American Association for Cancer Research Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial AwardHe is a member of the Lebanese Academy of Sciences;  the American Society for Clinical Investigation,isa fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Cancer.


Badri and Salim El Meouchi Law Firm - Managing Partner
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.

Current Positions: President and CEO of AgriNova Holding and AgriNova SAL group of companies, a Cheminova – FMC business Partner Companies responsible for the sales and marketing of Agrochemicals and Fertilizers products in the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa.

President and CEO of ABYCO S.A.L Holding;

President and CEO of Lebanese Poultry company S.A.L;


 Ph.D. Food Science. 1987, Iowa State University

 M.S. 1984- Agriculture, American University of Beirut

 B.S. 1982- Agriculture, American University of Beirut

Career: Held several executive managerial positions between 1987 and 2004 with multinationals such as American Cyanamid, American Home product-Wyeth, and BASF which were geared towards introducing Agrochemical propriety products in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and the CIS countries.

 Interesting Factoid: *Co-founder of “ACT FOR LEBANON”, an NGO which has emerged (c2005) from the will of a few friends to “act for” rather than only “talk about” Lebanon. The NGO emphasizes secular education, sponsoring of young Lebanese talents, and promotion of cultural events. ACT has been involved in the Beirut Marathon, and in the Baalbek Festival. ACT has completed a project in Baalbek, Lebanon. This project consists of a school (Baalbek Community School) and a community center that are currently operational. The new school is not only an educational institution in which concepts such as democracy, transparency, rule of law, and tolerance are being taught, but is also an interactive hub where students and parents can engage in several activities.

*President of Al Jam3iyeh Al Khairyeh Al Islamyeh Al Jafaryeh (c1922). This NGO emphasizes secular education, construction of schools and charitable work in Baalbeck.

President of the Alumni Agriculture Chapter of AUB 2009 -2014

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.

Where We Work

Paradis D' 'enfant


Number of fellows: 5

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

- Nelson Mandela -