November 13, 2019
9:30 am - 4:00 pm


JW Marriott Washington DC
1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20004 (Map)

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The Middle East Institute’s 73rd Annual Conference featured a series of panels, one-on-one conversations, and a debate examining key priorities for reducing threats and building long-term stability in the MENA region given rising tensions and an increasingly unpredictable environment.

Keynote Address: General (ret.) Joseph Votel on U.S. Middle East Priorities (Video)

Panel: Are there Pathways to De-escalation in the Middle East? (Video)
H.E. Mohammed Baharoon

Director General, b'huth
LTG. (ret.) Michael Nagata
Former director of Strategic Operational Planning, National Counterterrorism Center; Hanada Bridge, LLC
Randa Slim
Senior fellow and director, conflict resolution and Track II Dialogues, MEI
Gonul Tol
Director, Turkish studies, MEI
Muna Shikaki, moderator
Correspondent, Al Arabiya
Debate: How Will the Next Administration Confront Challenges and Meet Opportunities in the Middle East? (Video)
The Honorable Jim Moran
Former member of Congress, Virginia's 8th Congressional District
Michael Pregent
Senior fellow, Hudson Institute
Randa Slim, moderator
Senior fellow and director, conflict resolution and Track II Dialogues, MEI

Panel: How Can MENA Countries Reduce the Threat of Cyber Attacks? (Video)
Steph Shample
Senior analyst, Flashpoint
Edwin Wilson
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Security
Richard A. Clarke, moderator
Chairman, Board of Governors, MEI

Panel: How is the Middle East Engaging with the Broader World? (Video)
H.E. David Bakradze

Ambassador of the Republic of Georgia to the United States
Intissar Fakir
Fellow, Middle East program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Deborah Lehr
Vice Chairman and Executive Director, Paulson Institute
Aparna Pande
Director, Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia, Hudson Institute
David Lawler, moderator
Editor, Axios World Stream

Panel: What are the Key Economic Challenges Facing the Middle East in 2020? (Video)
Jihad Azour
Director, Middle East and Central Asia, International Monetary Fund
Herman Franssen
Scholar, MEI
Habib Kairouz
Managing partner, Rho Partners
Delila Khaled
Senior advisor, Laurel Strategies
Adva Saldinger, moderator
Associate editor, Devex

Panel: How are Arab Youth Innovating and Mobilizing for Change? (Video)
Sami Hourani
Founder and CEO, Forsa for Education
Joyce Karam
Correspondent, The National UAE
Shady Khalil
Managing partner, Greenish
Yasmeen Mjalli
Founder, BabyFist
Dina Sherif, moderator
Founder and CEO, Ahead of the Curve