NEWS RELEASE: SSIPI Presents Awards to Safadi Scholars

Safadi-Stanford Initative for Policy Innovation (SSIPI) Presents Awards to Safadi Scholars Conference Features Keynote Remarks by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director Of The International Monetary Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2011

Contact: Caroline Scullin, (202) 446-7540,

Washington, DC – As part of an ongoing effort to improve governance in Lebanon and the Arab world, The Safadi Foundation USA (SFUSA), the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD) at Stanford University and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) gathered leading international development officials and emerging Arab governance reform scholars for a conference entitled, “In the Middle of the Storm: Development and Governance in the Arab World,” on Tuesday December 6, 2011 at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.”

His Excellency Mohammad Safadi, Minister of Finance from the Republic of Lebanon awarded the title of Safadi Scholar of the Year to Katarina Uherova Hasbani, an energy policy expert. Miriam Allam, an Economist for the Middle East North Africa Governance Program at the Regulatory Policy Division, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was awarded the title of first runner up. Both scholars were selected by an independent
reviewing committee in response to an open call for papers launched earlier in the year by SSIPI.

The conference featured two panels on economic development and reform in the Arab world with remarks by senior U.S. Government administration representatives, including Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs, Robert D. Hormats; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Tamara Wittes; and USAID Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Mara Rudman. In addition, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund delivered a luncheon keynote address. She remarked, “Amidst a darkening economic outlook and waning confidence, the Arab Spring still shines as a bright light and a beacon of hope, a symbol of what can be accomplished.”

“The direction of the Arab Spring is still being defined,” said Lara Alameh, Executive Director of the Safadi Foundation USA. “It is our hope that SSIPI will be there along the way to give rise to new and young voices and offer recommendations that will advance development and governance practices in the region.”

Transcript and video of event:

Speech by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde:

Conference summary:

CDDRL Working Paper prepared for the Safadi Stanford Initiative for Policy Innovation: Electricity Sector Reform in Lebanon: Political Consensus in Waiting by Katarina Uherova Hasbani, Safadi Scholar of the Year.

The Safadi-Stanford Initiative for Policy Innovation is a partnership between Safadi Foundation USA and the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, that aims to promote viable policy recommendations concerning governance issues in Lebanon and the Arab world. The initiative selects scholars on a competitive basis and publishes their research and findings to be disseminated in the policy-making community. The purpose is to promote new thinking and bridge the gap between development and governance in the Arab world.

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