The Board of Advisors

Ziad Asali

Ziad J. Asali, M.D., is the President and founder of the American Task Force on Palestine, a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan organization established in 2003 and based in Washington, DC. Dr. Asali is a long-time activist on Middle East issues. He has been a member of the Chairman’s Council of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) since 1982, and has served as ADC’s President from 2001-2003. He served as the President of the Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG) from 1993-1995, and was Chairman of the American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ), which he co-founded, from 1995-2003. In addition to many appearances in print and television media worldwide, Dr. Asali is a regular speaker at academic centers and international conferences about the Middle East.
Dr. Asali received an M.D. from the American University of Beirut (AUB) Medical School in 1967. Following a distinguished career in medicine, Dr. Asali has focused primarily on American engagement with Palestine, including co-chairing the U.S. Public-Private Partnership, an initiative launched by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to promote economic and educational opportunities for the Palestinian people. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Investment Initiative. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of A Different Future as well as a member of the Trustees Advisory Council of OneVoice.

Graeme Bannerman

Dr. Graeme Bannerman is the founder of Bannerman Associates, an international consulting firm. He is a former staffer for Middle East and South Asia on US Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1979-1987), as well as a former Middle East analyst on US State Department Policy Planning Staff.
Dr. Bannerman previously taught at several universities, including Georgetown University, the George Washington University, and the American University of Beirut. He has served as international observer of elections in Georgia, the Philippines, Haiti, Pakistan, West Bank/Gaza, Mongolia and Yemen.

Larry Diamond

Dr. Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at both the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, where he also directs the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as Senior Consultant at (and previously was co-director of) the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. He has also advised and lectured to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. His latest book, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (Times Books, 2008), explores the sources of global democratic progress and stress and the prospects for future democratic expansion.
At Stanford University, Dr. Diamond is also professor by courtesy of political science and sociology. At the June 2007 Commencement ceremony, Dr. Diamond was honored by Stanford University with the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University.

Adam Ereli

Adam Ereli is Vice Chairman of Mercury’s Washington, DC office and co-leader of the Mercury International Affairs operation. Ambassador Ereli is a proven leader and innovator in the fields of foreign government relations, international education, business development, commercial advocacy, and media relations and crisis communications. Before joining Mercury’s Washington D.C. office, Ambassador Ereli built a 24-year career as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State. During his distinguished tenure, the Ambassador developed close relationships with leaders in government, business and the media in the United States and the Middle East.
Prior to joining the diplomatic corps, Ambassador Ereli was an investigative reporter in Paris, France, where he wrote on politics and international affairs. Ambassador Ereli has a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He speaks French and Arabic.

Francis Fukuyama

Dr. Francis Fukuyama, professor at Stanford University, currently serves as the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Dr. Fukuyama has written prolifically on issues of development and international politics. His published works include The End of History and the Last Man, which has appeared in over twenty foreign editions, and his most recent text, The Origins of Political Order, which, along with its companion volume, Political Order and Political Decay, is forthcoming in 2014.
Dr. Fukuyama holds a Ph. D in political science from Harvard University. He is a member of the advisory boards for the Journal of Democracy, the Inter-American Dialogue, and The New America Foundation, and he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Rand Corporation and the Board of Governors of the Pardee Rand Graduate School. He is also chairman of the editorial board of The American Interest, an international relations magazine that he co-founded in 2005. Dr. Fukuyama holds honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, Doane College, Doshisha University (Japan), and Kansai University (Japan), and he is a member of the American Political Science Association and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sultan Al Qassemi

Sultan is a UAE based commentator on Arab Affairs writing for numerous local and international publications including The National, Gulf News, New York Times, the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Open Democracy, the Independent and the Guardian. He tweets prolifically @SultanAlQassemi to his over 250,000 followers, and he was listed in the ‘140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011’ by Time magazine.
He is a non-resident Fellow at the Mohamed Bin Rashid School of Government in Dubai and a former lecturer at the Dubai Men’s College. He received a Master’s Degree in Global Banking and Finance from the European Business School, where he graduated with distinction in 2004, and a BSc in International Business Administration from the American University of Paris.

Nagla Rizk

Dr. Nagla Rizk is Professor of Economics and Founding Director of the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Dr. Rizk is an associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and an affiliated fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. In addition to being a founding member of the Access to Knowledge Global Academy, Dr. Rizk is also a member of: the steering committee of the Open Africa Innovation Research Project; the advisory board of IQsensato; and the board of the Genero Initiative.
In the past, Dr. Rizk served both as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at the AUC School of Business and as Chair of the Economics Department also at AUC. She has also served in many teaching positions at Yale Law School and the University of Toronto. She also served as research advisor for Egypt’s e-readiness project at the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. Dr. Rizk received her PhD in economics from McMaster University in Canada.

Marietje Schaake

Marietje Schaake is a member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Democratic Party (D66) with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) political group. She is the ALDE Coordinator of the International Trade committee (INTA) and the spokesperson for the ALDE Group on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Marietje additionally serves on the committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). In the subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) she speaks on human rights and coordinates the monthly human rights resolutions for ALDE.
Marietje is a Vice-President of the delegation for relations with the United States and a substitute member on the delegation with Iran; she has pushed for completing Europe’s digital single market and copyright reform. She is strongly committed to an open internet in discussions about internet governance and digital (human) rights.
In addition to her parliamentary work, Marietje Schaake is, amongst others, Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a Commissioner on the Global Commission on Internet Governance and a WEF Young Global Leader in the class of 2014. She serves as vice-president of the supervisory board of Free Press Unlimited.

You can follow her on Twitter: @MarietjeSchaake

Ghada Shahbender

Ghada Shahbender is a founding member of Shayfeencom (“We Are Watching You”), an Egyptian popular monitoring movement, and was active in the organization from 2005-2008. She was next a member of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights from 2008 to 2013. Currently, Ms. Shahbender sits on the Board of Trustees of Mosireen, where she has served since 2011.
As a leading human rights defender, Ms. Shahbender maintains strong and favorable grassroots connections with various revolutionary movements and rights activists in Egypt and the broader Middle East.

Alex Shalaby

In addition to serving as the Chairman of the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (Mobinil) since September 2008, Alex Shalaby currently chairs the boards of the nonprofit organizations Injaz and Enactus in Egypt. Mr. Shalaby also serves on the boards of Enactus Worldwide and Hands Along the Nile, a US-based NGO with significant developmental activities in Egypt. He has previously served as a board member for American Chamber of Commerce, the bi-national Fulbright Commission, and Seeds of Peace.
Mr. Shalaby came to Mobinil from Washington, DC where he was AT&T’s Director for Public Affairs, serving as the company’s link to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and lobbying the executive branch of the U.S. government. He helped in achieving more liberalization of the telecoms sector internationally for the emerging nations of the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe through the relevant bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies. Mr. Shalaby graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alexandria and earned a Masters of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from San Jose State University in California.