Vice President and Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Stefanie Hausheer Ali
Associate Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Deputy Vice President
Institute of International Education (IIE)
Samar Alawami (via Skype)
King Salman Center for Innovative Government
Please join the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East for a roundtable on “Saudi Arabia’s Scholarship Program: Generating a ‘Tipping Point’?” Westerners most commonly associate the Kingdom with oil, religious conservatism, and a deeply unstable region. Our panelists will challenge such conventional perceptions by examining the seismic economic, social, and governmental changes underway, many of which evidently result in part from the deliberate Saudi government investment in its human capital. The panel will present the thesis that, having sent over 200,000 Saudi youth abroad in the past ten years with the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, the Kingdom is already experiencing powerfully transformative economic and social advances.
Ambassador Francis Ricciardone, Atlantic Council Vice President and Director of the Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, will moderate the discussion. Hariri Center Associate Director Ms. Stefanie Hausheer Ali will present key data and analysis on the scholarship program’s origins and size as well as its costs and benefits from her case study for the King Salman Center for Innovative Government. Dr. Rajika Bhandari, Deputy Vice President of the Institute of International Education (IIE) and Director of IIE’s Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact, will discuss the Saudi scholarship program within the context of other international scholarship programs and the types of impacts such programs can have. Ms. Samar Alawami, an American University graduate of the scholarship program and researcher at the King Salman Center for Innovative Government, will discuss how the scholarship is impacting her generation. Ambassador James Smith, President of C&M International, will reflect on the changes in Saudi Arabia he witnessed during his tenure as US Ambassador from 2009 to 2013.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Light lunch served from 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
Atlantic Council Headquarters
1030 15th St NW, 12th floor