American Gabr Fellows
Staff Assistant at the Global Engagement Center, US Department of State
Hometown: Warrenton, Virginia; Age: 25Abby serves as a Staff Assistant at the Global Engagement Center (GEC), an interagency office seated at the State Department responsible for leading the integration, coordination, and synchronization of government-wide counter-ISIL messaging directed at foreign audiences. Prior to joining the GEC, she worked as a Special Assistant in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security where she advised on a number of issues related to personnel security and suitability. Abby earned dual Bachelor degrees in English and Foreign Affairs, with a specialization in the Middle East and a concentration in comparative politics, from the University of Virginia.
Democratic Deputy Chief Counsel of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD; Age: 28John currently serves as Democratic Deputy Chief Counsel of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC). Among his primary responsibilities are ambassadorial, State Department, and related agency nominations, as well as treaty consideration. John previously served as a staffer in the personal office of Senator Robert Menendez. A Maryland/DC native with a passion for politics and history, John received his B.A. from Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences, and his J.D. from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.
Policy Director, Business Executives for National Security
Hometown: Nashua, New Hampshire; Age: 31Rob is a Policy Director focused on cybersecurity and technology at Business Executives for National Security (BENS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that conveys private sector insights, expertise, and best practices to the U.S. government on a pro bono basis. He also serves as an adjunct fellow with the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). From 2013 to 2014, he was a Mike Mansfield Fellow in Tokyo, where he worked with Japanese government agencies on a variety of Japanese cybersecurity policy issues and U.S.-Japan cybersecurity cooperation. Previously, he was senior policy analyst for military and security affairs at the congressionally mandated U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, where he focused on China's cybersecurity, telecommunications, and technology policies. Mr. Sheldon holds an M.A. in security policy studies and a B.S. in computer forensics.
Program Officer, Finance Investment & Trade, Millennium Challenge Corporation
Hometown: Rosslyn, Virginia; Age: 27Katherine is a Program Officer in the Finance Investment and Trade division at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US government development agency, where she engages private sector investment to amplify the impact of MCC's grants to low-income countries and where she lead the development of a $12.5 million program to fund agricultural enterprises. She began her career in the leadership development program at Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund with $160B AUM where she served as chief-of-staff to Bridgewater’s President David McCormick, managing stakeholder relations and implementing priorities across his portfolio. Following Bridgewater, she was selected as one of fifteen Bankers without Borders Fellows from 650 applicants at Grameen Foundation, an international NGO which utilizes technology to improve the lives of the poor. Katherine graduated cum laude from Harvard, and has had her editorials and articles appear in various media outlets.
Kate S. Chiucchini
Legislative Assistant in the Office of Congresswoman Kathleen M. Rice
Hometown: New York, NY; Age: 30Kate is a Legislative Assistant in the Office of Congresswoman Kathleen M. Rice, where she is responsible for legislation across a number of issue areas. After graduating from Vassar College with a B.A. in Sociology, Kate worked as a Trial Preparation Assistant in a Trial Bureau at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to attending law school, Kate spent time working at Equal Education, a non-profit organization in Cape Town, South Africa. She pursued her interest in international law and justice during law school, with the opportunity to participate in a summer legal program in Accra, Ghana, and a clinical legal program focused on international law and development in Africa. Kate holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.
Founder and CEO of DashPeek
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan; Age: 28Kevin is the Founder & CEO of DashPeek, a startup that provides advertising space on screens in rideshare vehicles like Uber and Lyft. Kevin’s thirst for entrepreneurship started at an early age. At 8, he recruited children from his neighborhood to rake leaves and eventually expanded operations to selling candy, soda and other types of products. In high school, he ran a successful web development firm that counted several prestigious university departments and a National Book Award Winner among their roster of clients. Kevin graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in American Studies and spent a year in China where he served as a corporate trainer, English teacher and professional voice recorder. Over the years, his professional journey has taken him to Google, LinkedIn and DesertCart, an e-commerce business with operations in the US and UAE where he served as Head of US Operations.
Consultant, Global Strategy for Information Cybersecurity
Hometown: Bakersfield, California; Age: 35Leisel Bogan currently works in consulting on global strategy for information and cybersecurity transformation. From 2009-2015 she was a Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. From 2009-2012, Leisel worked for Dr. Condoleezza Rice at Stanford University as her Senior Research Associate, Deputy and Interim Chief of Staff, ending her tenure as Research Director. She has also collaborated on Dr. Rice’s bestselling memoirs and other publications. Concurrently, she served as the first Associate at the geostrategic consulting firm, RiceHadleyGates, LLC, focusing on strategy, communications, and technology development in emerging markets. Previously, she worked at Palantir Technologies and as a consultant to several other technology and investment firms in the Silicon Valley. Before moving to the Bay Area, Leisel was an analyst at Warner Bros. Entertainment. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University, and has guest lectured at the undergraduate school’s study abroad program in Florence, Italy.
Graduate Student (M.A.), International Commerce, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky
Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky; Age: 25Thomas Hanna is currently a Master’s student at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky. He received a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Biotechnology from the University of Kentucky and a Minor in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He currently works part-time as a compounding pharmacy technician in Lexington, Kentucky while attending graduate school. He recently completed Middlebury College’s Intensive Arabic Language Summer Program in California and intends to continue language study abroad in the future.
Program Associate at Sayara International
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada; Age: 30Heidi is a program associate at Sayara International, a global development company, focusing on programs in Afghanistan and assisting with business development. She is also a Press Officer of Ramadan Tent Project, an international, interfaith community initiative. She has coordinated media coverage and represented Ramadan Tent Project on the BBC and other news outlets. Heidi also serves on the Washington DC Interfaith Leadership Summit planning team. Previously, Heidi taught Conflict Resolution as a high school teacher in Hawaii where she presented a TEDx talk about her innovative curriculum. She has worked on peacebuidling projects in Northern Ireland and in Bosnia, and served as a global youth ambassador for a UN Education initiative. She also facilitated peacebuilding workshops for college students at Brigham Young University Hawaii, and virtual cross-cultural discussions for college students from the Middle East and North America, through the Soliya program. Heidi has a M.A. in Global Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
Program Manager at 3 Day Startup
Hometown: Independence, Missouri; Age: 24Alexis activates entrepreneurial potential in students globally at 3 Day Startup in Austin, Texas. She began her career with the international nonprofit in 2013 when she launched the organization's first engagement in the Great Plains and currently leads 3 Day Startup’s large-scale federal grant operations. Alexis has a BS in Business Administration from Creighton University and her work history includes nonprofit experience at the Business Ethics Alliance and startup experience at the Appconomy tech startup and Dundee Venture Capital investment firm. In her free time, Alexis enjoys “walk and talk” intellectual discussions typically around how to create world peace through entrepreneurship or how to have the most meaningful impact on the lives of others.
Lebanon Gabr Fellows
Chaza Abou Daher
Economic Researcher, the American University of Beirut
Hometown: Beirut; Age: 26Chaza Abou Daher is a Consultant at Addima Consulting and an Economic Researcher at the American University of Beirut (Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences). Chaza has four years of experience primarily in economic research and analysis with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon and the American University of Beirut. She most recently moved into the consulting field with focus on public policy and government restructuring. She earned her Master’s Degree in Economics from University College London (UCL) in 2013 and her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the American University of Beirut. She has worked on topics related to macroeconomics, economic policy, health economics and environmental economics and has several published academic papers on these issues.
Egyptian Gabr Fellows
Ahmed Aboul Naga
Engineer, Head of the Scheduling and Risk Management Planning, I-Build
Hometown: Cairo, Age: 25Ahmed Aboul Naga is the Head of the Scheduling and Risk Management Planning at I-Build Company, headquartered in Cairo, which is involved in many real estate projects in New Cairo. With this international exposure, Ahmed has developed an interest in pursuing international studies and diplomacy where he hopes to bring about his highest potential. Prior to that, Ahmed worked for Engineering International Group (EIG) where he developed perspectives on the international real estate market.
Communication & Development Officer, Arts Center, Cultural Outreach Sector, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Hometown: Alexandria, Age: 28Anis Issa started his career path in the renowned modern library of Alexandria, Bibliotheca Alexandrina in February 2010. He was appointed as a Reference Librarian in the main library section. Then, he was in charge of International cooperation in the Francophone section and later he was assigned the role of Cultural Debate Specialist. Since February 2016, he has been working as the Communication and Development Officer at Bibliotheca Alexandrina Arts Center. At the same time, and since August 2013, he has also served as the Cultural Assistant to his Holiness Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Marc. Since November 2015, Anis has been a member of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Culture. In 2013, he received his Master's Degree from The Cultural Public Services department at the École Nationale Supérieure des Sciences de L'information et des Bibliothèques, Lyon University.
Hometown: Cairo; Age: 28Hadeel Adel is working as a Senior Business Development Executive and a certified innovation facilitator at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Following her passion, she started her acting career in 2013, by starring in a series of theatrical productions: "Zenocrate & Zenobia" produced by the Embassy of Spain in Cairo & the British Council, "Brasil..Uma noite no Cairo" produced by the Embassy of Brazil in Cairo and “Triangles are my favorite shape”. She has also acted in a number of short movies and independent feature films. Hadeel received her Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, and she is now studying filmmaking, to purse her dream in storytelling. Hadeel is strongly passionate about people, stories, cultures, and good coffee.
Hala Abdel Gawad
Teaching Assistant of Political Science, Cairo University
Hometown: Cairo; Age: 25Hala Abdel Gawad is a Teaching Assistant of Political Science at Cairo University. Immediately after her graduation from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science Cairo University in 2013, she worked as a junior political researcher at the Egyptian Cabinet until her appointment as a tenured Teaching Assistant at Cairo University. Hala has participated in a number of international conferences, academic summer schools and voluntary activities in Egypt and abroad. She has worked closely with national think tanks and international organizations. Moreover, she was a part of London Mayoral campaign of 2016 at the Conservative Party. Hala is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Political Sociology with a focus on Women's Studies at London School of Economics, University of London.
Economics Teaching and Research Assistant, Cairo University
Hometown: Cairo; Age: 27Hani Elzoumor is a Teaching and Research Assistant of Economics, Department of Economics, School of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, where he is currently pursuing his M.Sc. degree in Economics. He is a senior assistant at the Student Mentorship and Career Counseling Unit at Cairo University. Hani was a visiting scholar at Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. During his current work in Egypt, Hani became a Certified International Professional Trainer (CIPT) from Missouri State University, USA. Moreover, he is a certified trainer in financial education from GIZ, the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation. Hani's extracurricular activities include travelling, fitness and active engagement in many Egyptian NGOs such as Helm Egypt.
Pharmaceutical Research Associate, the National Research Center
Hometown: Cairo; Age: 33Iman Higazy has been working for over 10 years as a Drug Design and Delivery researcher at the National Research Center. During her work, she managed to receive her MBA from Edinburgh Business School and a diploma in Total Quality Management from the American University in Cairo. Iman has always been interested in community service, and was certified as a professional trainer from the American University in Cairo. She is interested in social work, and she co-founded an NGO named “Al-khan Cultural Organization”, which provides cultural and artistic workshops to teenagers, in addition to being the Editor in Chief of a quarterly magazine named “AL-Khan” Cultural Magazine. She enjoys meeting new people and building friendships with people of diverse nationalities and backgrounds.
Founder & Managing Director, Ramasside Travel
Hometown: Alexandria, Age: 34Mohamed Elattar is the Founder and Operation Manager of Ramasside Travel, one of the leading companies in E-Tourism in Egypt. With more than 12 years of work experience in Travel & Hospitality fields, Mohamed believes that tourism has always been one of the most successful ways to establish mutual understanding and eradicate gaps between cultures. He received his first degree in English Language and Literature, second one in Tourism and Egyptology and he is currently working on his thesis for a Master’s Degree in Theosophy at the Hellenistic Center in Alexandria, Egypt. Mohamed is passionate about history, philosophy as well as business. He is currently working on his first book about interacting with different cultures from an avid traveler's point of view.
Senior Refugee Status Determination Assistant, UNHCR
Hometown: Cairo; Age 24Nayra Gadallah is a Senior Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Assistant at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Prior to that, Nayra worked as Volunteer Legal Advisor at St. Andrew's Refugee Services. She also worked as an Attorney at Law at Sharkawy & Sarhan Law Firm. Nayra holds a LL.B Degree from Ain Shams University and she also received a post graduate diploma in International Law. During her undergraduate years, Nayra acted as team member of the first team representing Ain Shams University in Price Media Law Moot Court Competition by Oxford University. Nayra was nominated as the Best Oralist in the Middle East Final Rounds in 2013; when her team qualified to represent the University at the International Rounds in Oxford.
Risk Management and Analysis Officer, Bank Audi S.A.E
Hometown: Cairo; Age: 26Shorouk Essam is a Risk Management and Analysis Officer at Bank Audi S.A.E. Prior to that, she worked at Pepsico and Vodafone after her graduation. Shorouk is passionate about arts and works as a freelance graphics designer, and a volunteer in the graphics team at various NGOs. In her free time, she is studying motion graphics and animation design. Shorouk earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the British University in Egypt, Class 2011. She is currently planning to pursue a Master’s Degree in Business Analysis.
Yasser El Zahhar
CEO at Gedety Healthy Catering Company
Hometown: Cairo; Age 27Yasser El Zahhar is the Founder and CEO of the first healthy catering company in Egypt called "Gedety", his third startup and the most mature one. After his graduation from the Faculty of Computer Science at Cairo University in 2011, Yasser decided to follow his passion for food. He is sharing his experience and spreading entrepreneurship culture in Egypt by volunteering in different mentorship programs like "Injaz" Egypt.
Youssef El Toukhy
Engineering Teaching Assistant, Al Mansoura University
Hometown: Al Mansoura; Age: 25Youssef El Toukhy is a Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Engineering, Al Mansoura University. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic and Communications Engineering. Youssef joined the research team at Zewail City for Science and Technology in 2015 where he earned his Master's Degree in the field of Nanotechnology. Youssef has more than 6 years of volunteer experience as the leader of "One Heart" team which consists of young people united by their love and talent for music.