April 10, 2014, 9:00 am - May 25, 2019, 2:48 am


SEIU Conference Center
1800 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036 (Map)

The Middle East Institute is proud to host Egypt's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation H.E. Ashraf El-Araby for a presentation about the state of Egypt's economy. H.E. El-Araby will discuss the Egyptian government's efforts to support economic growth and development, as well as the key challenges ahead.


H.E. Ashraf El-Araby was appointed Egypt’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation in March 2014. Previously, he served as the Minister of Planning under Dr. Hazem El Beblawy in 2013 and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation under the Cabinet headed by Dr. Hesham Kandil in 2012. He was appointed as a senior economist of the Minister’s Technical Office at the Ministry of Trade and Industry from 2004 to 2006, and became advisor to the Ministry of Planning and head of the Minister's Technical Office until 2011.  During his time at the ministry, he has actively participated in laying the economic and social development five-year plan and annual plans, as well as in preparing economic performance follow-up reports issued by the ministry on a periodical basis. Prior to working for the ministry, Dr. El-Araby served as an economic expert at the Arab Planning Institute (API) in Kuwait and as an economic expert at the Institute of National Planning.

Dr. El-Araby received his Baccalaureate and Masters degrees in economics from the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Cairo University in 1992 and 1997 respectively.  He earned a Ph.D from Kansas State University in 2004, where he was awarded the Emerson Memorial Scholarship Award for the Best Graduate Student in the Department of Economics. He is an economic expert specialized in planning and economic development. His experience also includes economics of education and human capital, comprehensive public economy and finance, housing, migration, inflation, unemployment, wages, and other important economic and social issues.

Paul Salem (Discussant) is vice president for policy and research of the Middle East Institute, where he leads an initiative on Arab transitions. Prior to joining MEI, Salem was the founding director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon between 2006 and 2013, where he built a regional think tank distinguished by the quality of its policy research and high regional profile. From 1999 to 2006, he was director of the Fares Foundation and in 1989 founded and directed the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Lebanon's leading public policy think tank.  In 2002, Salem served on the senior review committee for the United Nations Development Program's Arab Human Development Report. Salem writes regularly in the Arab and Western press and has been published in numerous journals and newspapers, including The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the National Interest, and the Financial Times. Salem is the author of a number of books and reports on the Middle East, including Broken Orders: The Causes and Consequences of the Arab Uprisings (in Arabic, 2013); "Iraq's Tangled Foreign Relations" (2013), "Libya's Troubled Transition" (2012), "Can Lebanon Survive the Syrian Crisis?" (2012); and "The Arab State: Assisting or Obstructing Development" (2010).

Amb. Wendy Chamberlin (Moderator) has been president of the Middle East Institute since 2007. Previously, as deputy high commissioner for refugees from 2004 to 2007, she supervised the administration of the U.N. humanitarian organization. A 29-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, she was ambassador to Pakistan from 2001 to 2002, when she played a key role in securing Pakistan’s cooperation in the U.S.-led campaign against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the wake of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. on September 11.  Her opinion pieces have been published in the Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among others.