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May 26, 2021, 10:00 am - June 4, 2021, 11:00 am


Zoom Webinar

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The Middle East Institute’s Lebanon Program is pleased to host its inaugural Lebanon Policy Conference in collaboration with the American Task Force on Lebanon and LIFE. This two-part series of events will take place on May 26-27 and June 1-4 to tackle the urgency and viable paths forward for Lebanon's political, financial and humanitarian crises. Bringing together leading policymakers, academics, diplomats and private sector representatives, the conference comes at a critical time when decisions made in the weeks and months ahead will fundamentally influence Lebanon's trajectory for years to come.

To learn more about programming and to register for the conference, please follow the link below. Details on June 1-4 keynotes and panels are forthcoming. Kate Seelye, MEI's Vice President for Arts, Culture, and Communication, will open the conference. 

Wednesday May 26

10:00am – 11:00am EDT | The Future of US Policy Toward Lebanon: A Conversation with Senator Tim Kaine and Ambassador David Hale

Sen. Tim Kaine
United States Senator for Virginia

Amb. David Hale
Former United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

Amb. (ret.) Edward M. Gabriel, moderator
President and CEO, American Task Force on Lebanon

11:15am – 12:15pm EDT | Breaking the Lebanese Political Logjam 

Jon Alterman
Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director, Middle East Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Paul Salem
President, Middle East Institute

Maha Yahya 
Director, Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center

Christophe Abi-Nassif, moderator
Director, Lebanon Program, Middle East Institute

12:30pm – 1:30pm EDT | Lebanon Amid Evolving Regional and International Dynamics 

Emile Hokayem
Senior Fellow for Middle East Security, International Institute for Strategic Studies

Lina Khatib
Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Maxim Suchkov
Senior Fellow and Associate Professor, Moscow State Institute of International Relations

Patricia Karam, moderator
Regional Director of the Middle East North Africa Division, International Republican Institute

Thursday May 27

10:00am – 11:00am EDT | The Future of the “French Initiative”: A Conversation with Ambassador Pierre Duquesne

Ambassador Pierre Duquesne
Ambassador in Charge of Coordinating International Support to Lebanon, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Charbel Abou Charaf, moderator
Partner, White & Case LLP; Member, LIFE Advocate

11:15am – 12:30pm EDT | The Final Countdown: How to Manage Lebanon’s Transformational Economic Crisis and Avert Total Collapse

Thanos Arvanitis
Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund

Saroj Kumar Jha
Regional Director for the Mashreq, World Bank

Alia Moubayed
Managing Director, Jefferies

Nasser Saidi
Founder and President, Nasser Saidi and Associates

Jacques J. Tohmemoderator
Member, LIFE Advocate

Tuesday June 1

9:45am - 11:00am EDT | Addressing the Lebanese Social and Humanitarian Crises

Opening Remarks:

Congressman Darin Lahood
U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois's 18th District

Paul Salem
President, MEI


Alex Mahoney
Acting Office Director for the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, USAID

Nadine Massoud-Bernheim
Chief Executive Officer, LIFE

Haneen Sayed
Lead Social Protection and Jobs Specialist, MENA Region, World Bank

Mona Yacoubian, moderator
Senior Advisor to the Vice President of Middle East and North Africa, United States Institute of Peace

11:15am - 12:15pm EDT | The Future of US-Lebanon Defense and Security Cooperation

Brig Gen Duke Pirak
Deputy Director of Strategy, Plans and Policy, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)

Bilal Y. Saab
Senior Fellow and Founding Director of the Defense and Security Program, Middle East Institute

Dana Stroul
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, U.S. Department of Defense

Missy Ryan, moderator
Defense and National Security Reporter, The Washington Post

Thursday June 3

10:00am - 11:00am EDT | Coordinating International Support for Lebanon: A Conversation with Dr. Najat Rochdi of UNSCOL

Dr. Najat Rochdi
Deputy Special Coordinator, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL)

Joyce Karam, moderator
Senior Washington Correspondent, The National 

Friday June 4

10:00am - 11:00am EDT | Envisioning Lebanon’s Path to Sustainable and Equitable Growth: A Conversation with Ferid Belhaj

Ferid Belhaj
Vice President, Middle East and North Africa Region, The World Bank 

Ronnie W. Hammad, moderator
Adviser, Office of the Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions, The World Bank