Private Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Alain Bifani, Director General of the Ministry of Finance

 

The Middle East Institute and the Safadi Foundation USA
are pleased to host a private off-the-record roundtable discussion with:

Dr. Alain Bifani
Director General of Lebanon’s Ministry of Finance

Friday, October 7, 2016
12:00-1:00 PM

The Middle East Institute
1761 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Speaker Biography:

Alain A. Bifani, Ph.D, has served as Director General of the Ministry of Finance of Lebanon since 2000. Throughout his tenure, he has managed public expenditures, debt, Eurobond issuances, and the full range of monetary policy tools, while also leading the modernization of the ministry’s organizations and operations. He led Lebanon’s economic and financial planning in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. He also developed the national reform agenda encompassing re-distribution and tax policies, enhancement of the social safety net, and policies to spur growth, infrastructure investment, employment and a sound financial system. On behalf of the ministry he has worked with the parliament in the drafting and implementation of numerous major laws treating national and personal finance. Prior to entering government, Dr. Bifani held leadership positions in banking, accounting, financial consultancy, and sovereign financial rating.

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Arab Economic Challenges and Opportunities in the Wake of the Uprisings

 

Presented by
The Middle East Institute and
The Safadi Foundation USA Arab Economic Challenges and Opportunities
in the Wake of the Uprisings

Featuring
Dr. Toufic Gaspard
Economic Adviser, Lebanon Ministry of Finance

Moderated by
Kate Seelye
Middle East Institute

Friday, April 20, 2012
12:00 – 1:00pm
1761 N Street, NW
Washington, DC

The Middle East Institute is proud to host Dr. Toufic Gaspard, the economic adviser to Lebanon’s minister of finance, for a discussion about how non oil-exporting Arab economies are likely to fare in the face of heightened political uncertainties. What are some of the fundamental socio-economic features they all share and what steps must they take if their economies are to enjoy sustained growth in the medium to long term. Gaspard will focus on Arab economies in Egypt and the Levant to examine how to solve the dominant regional problems of unemployment and poor productivity with the goal of establishing  social and political stability. Drawing from his deep knowledge of Lebanon’s economy, Gaspard will examine the economic and political pitfalls that Arab economies should avoid, as well as the constructive steps they must take to achieve sustained growth.

Bio: Dr. Toufic Gaspard is currently the economic adviser to Lebanon’s minister of finance.  Previously he worked at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC as adviser to the executive director, and in academia, lecturing in economics at the American University of Beirut, and in the political economy of the Middle East at Balamand University. He has also worked as a commercial banker with Chemical Bank (now Chase) in New York, Brussels and Beirut, and as director of research at the Central Bank, Banque du Liban. In 2004, he published the book, A Political Economy of Lebanon, 1948-2002: The Limits of Laissez-faire.  Dr. Gaspard is currently working on a book on labor and economic development in the Middle East.

 

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Panel Discussion on Arab Countries in Transition

Stimson, Marshall Foundation, and Safadi Foundation USA
are pleased to announce a panel discussion on
 
ARAB COUNTRIES IN TRANSITION:
An Update on International Support
One Year after the Deauville Partnership
 
Date: Monday, April 9, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM- 11:30 AM
Location: Stimson
1111 19th Street, NW 12th Floor
Washington, DC 20036

As international leaders prepare to gather next month for the U.S.-hosted G8 summit in Camp David, Arab nations in transition continue to face significant economic challenges.  The Deauville Partnership launched in France at the previous G8 summit in May 2011, established a political and economic framework to support the historic transitions launched by the “Arab Spring.”  What progress has been made since then?  How do G8 members plan to address the deepening economic challenges?  What is the role of international financial institutions?  What are the prospects for this initiative to evolve into a sustainable partnership between the West and the Arab world that ensures the region’s successful transition?

Panelists will discuss the latest initiatives and highlight areas that are in need of greater support.

 Featuring:

Masood Ahmed, Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund;

Inger Andersen, Vice-President, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank;

Dr. Peter Howard, Coordinator for the Deauville Partnership, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, US Department of State; and

Mona Yacoubian, (Moderator), Director, Pathways to Progress: Peace, Prosperity, and Change in the Middle East Project at Stimson.

Click here to RSVP
or
follow the event live on Twitter at @StimsonCenter

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In the Middle of the Storm: Development and Governance in the Arab World

The Safadi Foundation USA, The Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center invite you to the launch of the:

Safadi-Stanford Initiative for Policy Innovation

at the conference

In the Middle of the Storm: Development and Governance in the Arab World

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
6th Floor Flom Auditorium

9:00-9:30AM   
Welcoming Remarks by Michael Van Dusen, Executive Vice President, Woodrow Wilson Center; and His Excellency, Mohammad Safadi, Minister of Finance, Republic of Lebanon

9:30-10:45AM  
PANEL I: Regional Arab Reform

Tamara Wittes, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
Mara Rudman, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Middle East, USAID
Lina Khatib, Co-Founder, Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, CDDRL, Stanford
Miriam Allam, Safadi Scholar First Runner Up and Economist, OECD

10:45-11:00AM     
Coffee Break

11:00-12:15 PM     
PANEL II: Energy Reform and Economic Development in the Arab World

Robert D. Hormats, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs
Inger Andersen, Vice-President, MENA, The World Bank
John D. Sullivan, Executive Director, Center for International Private Enterprise
Katarina Uherova Hasbani, Safadi Scholar of the Year

12:30-2:00PM    
Keynote lunch with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund introduced by Ambassador Joseph Gildenhorn, Chairman, Woodrow Wilson Center Board of Trustees,andHis Excellency Mohammad Safadi, Minister of Finance, Republic of Lebanon introduced by Lara Alameh, Executive Director, Safadi Foundation USA

Please RSVP to mep@wilsoncenter.orgor fax (202) 691-4001
Please indicate your participation by panel below
Name and Title:
Affiliation:
Email:
Panel I __________           Panel II __________         Lunch __________
Seating is limited. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
A photo ID is required for entry. The Woodrow Wilson Center is located in the Ronald Reagan Building (Federal Triangle stop on Blue/Orange Line). Public parking is available underneath the Reagan Building; however we recommend metro or taxi.  www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

 

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Lebanon’s Municipal Elections: Prospects for Reform

The United Institute of Peace and the Safadi Foundation USA
present:
 Lebanon’s Municipal Elections: Prospects for Reform
 
Lebanon is slated to launch a series of municipal elections on Sunday May 2, 2010.  The briefing will address the expected results and the role the elections play in Lebanon’s overall political transition.  The discussion will highlight the status of political reforms and ways the United States can move forward in supporting democracy promotion efforts in Lebanon.
 
Please join us for a discussion with:
 
Elias Muhanna, Blogger, QifaNabki.com and Political Analyst.
 
Joe Hall, Resident Country Director (Lebanon), National Democratic Institute
 
Moderated by: Mona Yacoubian, Director, Lebanon Working Group, United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
 
Friday, May 7, 2010
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Rayburn House Office Building
Room 2255
 
Please RSVP HERE
 
Please contact Leslie Thompson (lthompson@usip.org) if you have any questions.
 
Safadi Foundation USA is a non-partisan registered 501 (c) (3) public charitable tax-exempt organization dedicated to promoting a national and strategic framework for Lebanon’s development.
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Lebanon: Is Real Reform Possible?

The Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center and
the Safadi Foundation USA
Present:

Lebanon: Is Real Reform Possible?

(Click here to watch video)

with
 MOHAMMAD A. SAFADI

Minister of Economy and Trade and Member of Parliament, Republic of Lebanon

Domestic reforms are critical to ensuring Lebanon’s long-term independence and sovereignty.  Will the Lebanese government be able to strengthen the institutional framework that is required to expand economic opportunity and break down the clientelist structure of the Lebanese state?  Minister Safadi will address the current situation on the ground and outline specific steps to move the reform process forward.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
6th Floor Flom Auditorium
Woodrow Wilson Center
_____________________________________________________________
Please RSVP to mep@wilsoncenter.org or fax 202-691-4184
Name and Title:
Affiliation:
E-mail:
Seating is limited. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
A photo ID is required for entry.
The Woodrow Wilson Center is located in the Ronald Reagan Building (Federal Triangle stop on Blue/Orange Line). Public parking is available underneath the Reagan Building; however we recommend metro or taxi.  www.wilsoncenter.org/directions
Safadi Foundation USA is a non-partisan registered 501(c)(3) public charitable tax-exempt organization dedicated to promoting a national and strategic framework for Lebanon’s development.
  
 

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New Media and Reform in the Middle East: The Case of Lebanon

The Safadi Foundation USA and the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) present:

New Media and Reform in the Middle East: The Case of Lebanon

 

The year 2009 witnessed an explosion of Internet-based activism in the political cultures of the Middle East. From the so-called Iranian “Twitter Revolution,” which helped Green Movement activists mobilize and organize their protests on the streets of Tehran, to the recent imprisonment of prominent bloggers in Egypt and other countries, the Internet has finally become a force to be reckoned with in Arab politics.
The use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the Middle East has been a trans-formative tool in strengthening civil society and expanding the outreach of independent voices.  In her remarks concerning Internet freedom last month, Secretary Clinton noted the power of the Internet and new technologies in helping to bridge divides between people of different faiths and help expand dialogue.
What types of U.S. assistance are needed to empower young reformers committed to non-sectarian politics?  What is the role of ICT in promoting inter-faith dialogue and peace building?  Can ICT help organize young voters in advance of the upcoming municipal elections?  What is the direction of new media training in Lebanon?
Please join us for a discussion with:
Jared Cohen, Policy Planning Staff, U.S. Department of State
Elias Muhanna, Blogger, QifaNabki.com
Moderated by: Mona Yacoubian, Director, Lebanon Working Group, United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
Friday, March 5, 2010
11:00 AM
Rayburn House Office Building
Room 2255
Please RSVP by email to: rsvp@pomed.org
Safadi Foundation USA is a non-partisan registered 501 (c) (3) public charitable tax-exempt organization dedicated to promoting a national and strategic framework for Lebanon’s development.
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Elections in Lebanon: Mapping Alliances and Managing Expectations

Elections in Lebanon: Mapping Alliances and Managing Expectations

 

On Monday, April 27, 2009, Safadi Foundation USA hosted a briefing in cooperation with the Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, entitled “Elections in Lebanon: Mapping Alliances and Managing Expectations.”

The panel was moderated by Haleh Esfandiari, Director of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center. Panelists included: Ambassador C. David Welch, Former Assistant Secretary of State, Near Eastern Affairs; Paul Salem, Director, Middle East Center, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; andKarim Sadjadpour, Associate, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The discussion focused on the significance of the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for June 7, 2009. The panelists confirmed that while the upcoming elections are important as far as Lebanon’s political future is concerned and have certain regional implications, they will not bring about widespread unexpected changes in Lebanon’s political representation and national identity. As Ambassador Welch noted, “This election is going to be decided in a few key districts…in particular the Christian districts.”

The widespread attention on the elections from the United States and the international community is critical to express support for both reform in Lebanon and for civil society’s important role in the democratic process. Paul Salem commented “…that already there is some change in the electoral system.But also, that if these elections, the reforms, the Minister of Interior and the autonomous commission established to oversee the campaigning do well, it will open the door for further discussion of electoral reform in Lebanon.”Specifically, the success of a continued reform effort in Lebanon will break the limitations imposed by the traditional clientalistic structure and introduce new possibilities.

For more please click on the following link to view the event in its entirety:
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?topic_id=1426&fuseaction=topics.event_summary&event_id=518980

You can also view the reaction by the Beirut based Daily Star at:http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=101432

Highlighted Quotes:

“The U.S. really has a policy that can be described as pro-Lebanon; it is not associated or derived from any other regional policy…the new Administration does recognize Lebanon as unique…it does see it as a priority to be protected and advanced and that it will put it in a key position in this new pattern of regional engagement that this new Administration appears to be offering.” C. David Welch

“This election also contains the beginnings of reform. It’s an election law that was put in place after the National Commission was formed. Some of the reforms that were suggested were adopted in parliament. These reforms are the first reforms introduced into the Lebanese election law since 1927.” Paul Salem

“There shouldn’t be a Sunni policy in Lebanon, a Shi’ite policy, a Druze policy…it should be a pro-Lebanon policy.” Karim Sadjadpour

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