The Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East has added new senior fellows who will advance the Center’s mission of bringing North American and European voices together with experts from the Middle East to foster policy-relevant dialogues about the future of the region at a historic moment of political transformation.
These fellows bring decades of experience in government, business, media, and academia focused on the Middle East. Their work is advancing peaceful transitions and civil society and economic development.
Yussef Auf focuses on constitutional issues, elections, and judicial matters. He has been a judge in Egypt since 2007 and before that an agent for the public prosecutor. In these roles, he supervised a variety of electoral processes, including parliamentary elections, the 2005 presidential election, and public referendums in Egypt. A member of the Egyptian American Right to Law Association, he trained with the Project on Middle East Democracy in the spring of 2012.
Duncan Pickard focuses on North African politics and was the Libya country director for Democracy Reporting International, where he is currently a constitutional adviser. He previously worked in Tunis for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. His writing on constitutional reform in Libya and Tunisia has been published widely and he is based in Berlin, Germany.
Rafat Al-Akhaliserved as a senior consultant and analyst for organizations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada and IBM Canada. He has also worked with a number of international development agencies in Yemen, and was recently a member of the accessions division at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, where he participated in the accession process of several countries, including Yemen. He is the cofounder and chairman of Resonate! Yemen, a nonprofit foundation that specializes in engaging youth in public policy in Yemen.
Mohamed El Dahshan is a regional economist at the African Development Bank, working on issues of economic development and regional integration. Prior to this, he was senior research fellow at the Center for International Development at Harvard University. He has consulted for such organizations as the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, and governments in the Middle East. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils and a lecturer in development economics at Ain Shams University in Cairo. He is the coauthor of Diaries of the Revolution, a collective memoir of the 2011 Egyptian uprising.
Ramzy Mardini is an adjunct fellow at the Beirut-based Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies and was previously a Middle East analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, Jamestown Foundation, and the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan. From 2010 to 2011, he served in the White House’s Office of the National Security Advisor to the Vice President, and in 2006, on the Iraq desk at the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Mardini is the editor of Volatile Landscape: Iraq and its Insurgent Movements, and The Battle for Yemen: Al-Qaeda and the Struggle for Stability.
Lina Attalah is a Cairo-based journalist and editor and cofounder and chief editor of Mada Masr, a Cairo-based news website. She was previously chief editor of Egypt Independent, a flagship English-language newspaper. In addition to covering Egyptian news extensively for the past ten years, she has also reported in the wider Middle East region, covering the 2013 elections in Iran, the war in Syria, the 2009 war in Gaza, and the Darfur conflict, among other issues.
Fadel Lamenis the president of the American Libyan Council and has served as a special adviser on the Middle East and North Africa for the US Defense Department and on public diplomacy for the US Department of State. He has also advised the Libyan transitional government. He currently chairs the National Dialogue preparatory commission in Libya. He has been working on issues of democratic transition in the Middle East with a particular focus on Libya.