About the center

The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East examines the barriers preventing many people in the region from reaching their fullest potential. Our work also highlights success stories of individuals and institutions who overcame significant challenges in pursuit of social, economic, and political progress. Inspired by these examples, we delineate practical and implementable policy recommendations that policymakers in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East can implement to unleash the region’s economic and human potential.

Experts

Events

We convene the most important stakeholders on issues of primary concern to the transatlantic community when it comes the Middle East and North Africa, from senior US and Middle East government officials to civil society activists and budding entrepreneurs.

Past events

Content

MENASource by Mahmood Abdulla

Nov 29, 2021

Startups aren’t just hip. They’re also the key to unlocking youth unemployment in MENA.

MENASource by Mahmood Abdulla

The MENA region has a pressing unemployment challenge. While many attempts are underway to address this problem, the solution could lie in its growing startup scene.

Economy & Business Middle East

Event Recap by Stefanie H. Ali

Nov 8, 2021

Top women execs on leading “deliberate” organizational change, fostering diversity and inclusion, and coping with challenges

Event Recap by Stefanie H. Ali

On November 2, the Atlantic Council’s empowerME Initiative held a workshop on “Women in senior management: Masterclass in leadership.”

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

empowerME Conversations by Atlantic Council

Nov 2, 2021

The evolution of the food and beverage sector in MENA

empowerME Conversations by Atlantic Council

In Season 2, Episode 6 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host and Atlantic Council empowerME Director Amjad Ahmad speaks with PepsiCo Vice President and General Manager for GCC and the Levant Tamer Mosalam about innovation and emerging opportunities for the food and beverage sector, the increase in women’s employment in Saudi Arabia, and ways governments and corporates can support entrepreneurs.

Economy & Business Middle East

Event Recap by Stefanie H. Ali

Oct 29, 2021

FinTech in MENA: How to build an ecosystem that promotes innovation and regulation

Event Recap by Stefanie H. Ali

The Atlantic Council’s empowerME Initiative in partnership with ABANA is convening a virtual event series to shed light on the changing FinTech landscape in the MENA region, identify challenges and opportunities, and explore policy recommendations.

Economy & Business Middle East

Report by Frederick Kempe, Giampiero Massolo, Yahia Zoubir, Abdelkader Abderrahmane, Pietro Gagliardi, Guillaume Biganzoli, Aldo Liga, Nader Kabbani, Nejla Ben Mimoune, Hannah Abdullah, Karim Elgendy, Shlomo Roiter Jesner, Jay Mens, Armando Sanguini, Karim Mezran, and Alissa Pavia

Oct 26, 2021

North Africa 2030: What the future holds for the region

Report by Frederick Kempe, Giampiero Massolo, Yahia Zoubir, Abdelkader Abderrahmane, Pietro Gagliardi, Guillaume Biganzoli, Aldo Liga, Nader Kabbani, Nejla Ben Mimoune, Hannah Abdullah, Karim Elgendy, Shlomo Roiter Jesner, Jay Mens, Armando Sanguini, Karim Mezran, and Alissa Pavia

In the last decade, several events redefined North Africa’s heterogeneous character and identity. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Arab spring, but most of the root causes fueling the unrest remain unaddressed.

Middle East North Africa

empowerME Conversations by Atlantic Council

Oct 26, 2021

Building growth: The future of MENA’s construction sector

empowerME Conversations by Atlantic Council

In Season 2, Episode 5 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host and Atlantic Council empowerME Director Amjad Ahmad speaks with Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) Chairman Samer Khoury about the future of the construction industry, how companies can partner with and support startups, policies needed to boost the region’s economic growth, and ways to improve the talent pipeline and bring more women into the workforce.

Economy & Business Middle East

MENASource by Omar Al-Ubaydli

Oct 25, 2021

Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation benefits the UAE too

MENASource by Omar Al-Ubaydli

While many commentators have been keen to interpret Saudi Arabia’s attempts to transform Riyadh into the Middle East’s economic capital as a threat to the economic interests of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a more nuanced analysis suggests something akin to a rising tide that will lift all boats.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

empowerME Conversations by Atlantic Council

Oct 19, 2021

Rejuvenating retail

empowerME Conversations by Atlantic Council

In Season 2, Episode 4 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host and Atlantic Council empowerME Director Amjad Ahmad speaks with Majid Al Futtaim CEO Alain Bejjani about the future of retail in the Middle East, consumer desires for more modern and fulfilling experiences, and policies that will promote talent from the inside and economic growth.

Economy & Business

Event Recap by Stefanie H. Ali

Oct 18, 2021

New opportunities for MENA women to plug into global commerce

Event Recap by Stefanie H. Ali

Atlantic Council’s empowerME Initiative held a workshop on “Women in the global supply chain: The importance of increasing women's access.”

Economy & Business Entrepreneurship

empowerME Conversations by Atlantic Council

Oct 12, 2021

The path to 25 healthcare breakthroughs by 2025

empowerME Conversations by Atlantic Council

In Season 2, Episode 3 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host and Atlantic Council empowerME Director Amjad Ahmad speaks with Pfizer Regional President for Africa and Middle East Patrick van der Loo about the COVID vaccine rollout in the region, prospects for machine learning and AI to revolutionize healthcare, policies that will promote innovation, and ways companies can nurture women leaders in the workplace.

Economy & Business Entrepreneurship