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Letter from TIMEP’s Founder and Executive Director Ramy Yaacoub

Dear friends, colleagues, and partners:

As our beloved Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) celebrates one decade since its founding this year, we kick off a new and exciting chapter in our journey of growth and impact. Along with it, I too will be starting a new chapter of my own, and following many months of strategic planning, I will be stepping down as Executive Director. For a decade, and since TIMEP’s founding, I have proudly overseen and been deeply dedicated to the building, growth, and success of the institute as it plays a paramount role in magnifying the voices and expertise of the MENA region’s experts and advocates in the global policy discourse.

Over the last three plus years, I have had the distinct privilege of leading the remarkable team at TIMEP as Executive Director and guiding the expansion of our programs. Together, we have grown our model to cover countries including Lebanon and Sudan; we have convened critical conversations and put forward knowledge on key issues from political economy to digital rights; we have reinvigorated a dynamic fellowship program; we have informed the work of decision makers across leading governments and international financial institutions; and we have activated the law as a tool for change. Nothing in my life has been more fulfilling than working with and learning from our staff, fellows, interns, contributors, collaborators, and partners.

As TIMEP’s founder, I have had the sincere honor of watching the institute’s trajectory over the last decade. What started as a series of ideas on post-it notes in my living room has now become an institute that has made a name for itself and that has been able to introduce a new way of doing things in a space where innovation can be rare. What TIMEP has accomplished in this brief time is remarkable by all measures, and it has happened because of the hard work and dedication of many brilliant and dedicated minds who have worked and continue to work in support of this mission, many of them doing so from behind the scenes.

Effective February 28, 2023, I will be stepping down as Executive Director at TIMEP, bringing to a close ten years of operational leadership in the management of the institute. Thereafter, I look forward to serving as an engaged strategic advisory partner to the team for years to come. It is my privilege to welcome my colleague Mai El-Sadany as TIMEP’s incoming Executive Director and long-time fellow Timothy Kaldas as its Deputy Director. I have full faith in their vision for the institute and the harmonic medley of legal, policy, and management experience they bring to their respective roles, and I look forward to watching the institute continue to thrive under their leadership. Over the last few months, we have collaborated extensively to bring about a smooth transition that allows us to continue serving our audience and our community without disruption. I look forward to continuing this thought partnership in the remaining weeks of this transition and the years that follow.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to those who have made the TIMEP dream a reality. First, I would like to thank TIMEP’s Senior Operations Manager Hannah Paukstis, who has served in various posts for the past nine and a half years; her astute understanding and sincere commitment has helped ensure that the institute lives and breathes its mission in our day-to-day operations. Second, and in no particular order, I would like to recognize a few individuals who have played key roles over the years in bringing TIMEP to where it is today; they include Naguib Sawiris, Dina Guirguis, Dalia Ezzat, David Johnson, Sara Abdelrahim, Alex Shalaby, and Nancy Okail. Others, not named here for security and privacy reasons, will have my gratitude for as long as I live. I would also like to thank TIMEP’s current star-studded team, who have made it easy for me to feel confident that the institute’s future is in good hands.

In closing, I want to thank each of you for your trust in me throughout this invigorating journey. It has meant more than what any words can convey.


Ramy Yaacoub

This February marks ten years since TIMEP was founded. You can join us for an in-person celebration of this special anniversary in Washington, DC or make a gift today to help us kick off a powerful new decade of work together.