Atlantic Council 1030 15th St. NW, 12th FloorWashington, DC WATCH HERE
Rebuilding Syria: A Localized Revitalization Strategy A conversation with: Mr. Faysal ItaniSenior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle EastAtlantic Council Mr. Tobias SchneiderIndependent International Security Analyst Introduced by: Ambassador Frederic C. HofDirector, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle EastAtlantic Council Moderated by: Ms. Mona YacoubianSenior Advisor,Syria, Middle East and North Africa United States Institute of Peace
The Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East is launching the first report of its two-year project, Rebuilding Syria: Reconstruction and Legitimacy. Over the course of the project’s first year, the Hariri Center has pooled expertise from specialists on the many issues surrounding rebuilding Syria, including economics, finance, development, infrastructure, political economy, civil society, food security, energy, law, and employment. From these insights, gleaned from multiple roundtable workshops, interviews, and commissioned research and writing from inside Syria, the project has created a strategic roadmap to rebuilding based on a localized, ground-up approach. The report, authored by Hariri Center Senior Fellow Faysal Itani and independent international security analyst Tobias Schneider, lays out this vision and offers concrete actions that can be taken now towards the long-term goal of revitalizing Syria with the participation of Syrians and the support of the international community.
On Twitter? Follow @ACMidEast and use #RebuildingSyria
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BiosFaysal Itani is a resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, where he focuses primarily on the Syrian conflict and its regional impact. He is also an adjunct professor of Middle East politics at George Washington University. Itani was born and grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and has lived and worked in several Arab countries. Before joining the Atlantic Council, he was a risk analyst advising governments, corporations, and international organizations on political, economic, and security issues in the Middle East. Itani has repeatedly briefed the United States government and its allies on the conflict in Syria and its effects on their interests. He has been widely published and quoted in prominent media including The New York Times, TIME, Politico, The Washington Post, CNN, US News, Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Itani holds an MA in strategic studies and international economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, a certificate in public policy from Georgetown University, and a BA in business from the American University of Beirut. Tobias Schneider is an independent International Security Analyst focusing on the political economy of conflict in the region - with a focus on the ongoing war in Syria. He currently covers Middle East risk at IHS Markit in London and advises private and government clients on strategic and economics dynamics in the Levant. He has written for think tanks on both sides of the Atlantic and remains a regular contributor to the Middle East Institute. His work has been featured in international and regional media. Tobias holds an MA in Strategic Studies from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a BA in Middle East Studies from Sciences Po Paris. Frederic C. Hof is the director of the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. On March 28, 2012 President Obama conferred on Hof the rank of ambassador in connection with his new duties as special adviser to the Secretary of State for transition in Syria. Hof was previously the coordinator for regional affairs in the US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchell on the full range of Arab-Israeli peace issues and had direct responsibility for Syria-Israel and Israel-Lebanon matters. He joined the State Department in 2009 after serving as the president and CEO of AALC, limited company, an international business consulting and project finance firm formerly known as Armitage Associates LC. He was a career officer in the United States Army and is a Vietnam veteran. Among his awards and decorations is the Purple Heart. Mona Yacoubian is the senior advisor for Syria, Middle East and North Africa at the United States Institute of Peace. She joined the US Institute of Peace after serving as deputy assistant administrator in the Middle East Bureau at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2014-2017 where she had responsibility for Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Prior to joining USAID, Ms. Yacoubian was a senior advisor at the Stimson Center where her work focused on the Arab Uprisings with an emphasis on Syria. Prior to joining the Stimson Center, Ms. Yacoubian served as a special advisor on the Middle East at the US Institute of Peace where her work focused on Lebanon and Syria as well as broader issues related to democratization in the Arab world. Ms. Yacoubian’s research focuses on conflict analysis and prevention in the Middle East, with a specific focus on Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. Her interests also include fragility and resilience. Ms. Yacoubian was a Fulbright scholar in Syria where she studied Arabic at the University of Damascus from 1985 to 1986. She has held an international affairs fellowship with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and is currently a CFR member. Ms. Yacoubian earned an MPA from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Duke University.Back