4th ALUM Conference in Beirut
Universities Responding to the Refugee Crisis

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Keynote Speech by Professor Marek Belka

Keynote Speech by Professor Marek Belka, Former Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Poland and Chairman of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Development Committee

Roundtable 1 - Advocacy, Policy and Research Impact on Issues of Migration and Displacement

Chair: Sobhiya Najjar, Journalist and News Reporter, LBCI

  • How can universities maximize their policy impact on issues of displacement, including influencing international fora such as G7, G20, UNGA?

  • How can research-based activism be reinforced to support policy interventions? · What is the role of academic activism in times of conflict?

  • How to increase student engagement in areas of migration & refugee crises?

  • Showcase some examples of impactful activist research


  • Elie Al Hindy, Department of Political Science, Notre Dame University, Lebanon

  • Unni Karunakara, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University

  • Rabih Shibli, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service, AUB

  • Polly Pallister-Wilkins, Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam

  • Shaden Khallaf, Senior Policy Advisor, UNHCR MENA

  • Maria Gabriella Trovato, Department of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management, AUB

  • Angelo Martelli, LSE & Rapporteur from INET Young Scholars meeting

Keynote Speech by Dr Francisco Marmolejo

Keynote Speech by Dr. Francisco Marmolejo, Tertiary Education Global Coordinator and Lead Tertiary Education Specialist of the World Bank (Presentation here)

Session 4 - Health and Nutrition of Migrants and Refugees

Chair: Francesco Aureli, WHO Senior Advisor and former G7 Italian Sherpa on Migration


  • Fouad Fouad, Director of the Refugee Health Program, Global Health Institute, AUB

  • Kaveh Khoshnood, Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of Public Health, Yale

  • Lamis Jomaa, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, and Co-director of the Refugee Health Program, Global Health Institute, AUB

Policy-makers & Expert Opinion:

  • Shadi Saleh, Associate Vice President for Health Affairs at AUB and the Founding Director of the Global Health Institute at AUB

Roundtable 2 - The Constructive Role of Business Initiatives and Scholarships in the Refugee Crisis

Chair: Charlotte Karam, Associate Dean of Programs, Olayan School of Business (OSB), AUB

  • How can businesses better mobilize and organize capacity to build momentum toward more efficient and effective solution-oriented initiatives?

  • What are the potential mechanisms to facilitate business’s ability to foster innovation and find sustainable solutions to refugee problems?

  • Do business and management scholars have a public role in advocating the interests of non-shareholder stakeholders through advocacy, teaching and scholarship?



  • Nadim Munla, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Lebanon

  • Hoda Younan, Country Manager, Lebanon and NEPA New Markets, Microsoft

  • Harry Van Buren, Jack and Donna Rust Professor of Business Ethics, University of New Mexico

  • Randa Salamoun, Business Information Decision Systems, OSB, AUB

  • Yasser Akkaoui, Chairman, Lebanese Center for Policy Studies

  • Bijan Azad, Business Information Decision Systems, OSB, AUB

Universities Responding to the Refugee Crisis: Introductory Remarks

Nasser Yassin, Director of Research, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, AUB

Erik Berglof, Director of the Institute of Global Affairs, LSE Opening Remarks · Dr. Mohamed Harajli, Provost of the American University of Beirut

Ms. Mireille Girard, UNHCR Representative, Lebanon

Session 1 - Migration, Displacement and the Public Perception

Chair: Tamirace Fakhoury, Department of Social Sciences, Associate Director of the Institute of Social Justice and Conflict Resolution (ISJCR), Lebanese American University


  • Sari Hanafi, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Media Studies, AUB

  • Valerio Dotti, Department of Economics, Washington University, St Louis

  • Ayşen Üstübici, Departments of International Relations and Sociology, Koç University


Policy-makers & Expert Opinion:

  • Thaer Ghandour, Journalist & Media and Policy Advisor

Session 2 - Political and Institutional Constraints to Migration and Displacement

Chair: Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi, Programme Director in the Institute of Global Affairs, LSE


  • Gibril Faal, Co-founder of GK Partners and founding director of Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform

  • Carmen Geha, Department of Political Studies and Public Administration, AUB

  • Carlo Devillanova, Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management, Bocconi University

  • Nate Breznau, Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), University of Mannheim


Policy-makers & Expert Opinion:

  • Carole Sharabati, Director of the Political Science Institute, Saint-Joseph University

Session 3 - Return Migration

Chair: Eleonore Kofman, Co-director of the Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University


  • Rebecca Bryant, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University

  • Brad Blitz, International Politics, Law Department, Middlesex University


Policy-makers & Expert Opinion:

  • Ziad El Sayegh, Expert on Public Policies and Refugees and Senior National Policy Advisor to the Ministry of State for Displaced Affairs

  • Muslih Irwani, Chair of the Center for Peace and Human Security, American University of Kurdistan

  • Marco Borraccetti, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna

Dr Iman Nuwayhid Speech

Speech by Dr. Iman Nuwayhid, Dean of AUB’s Faculty of Health Sciences, Co-chair on the Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria

Announcing the Beirut Declaration on the Role of Universities in the Refugee Crisis:

  • Nasser Yassin, Director of Research, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, AUB

  • Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi, Programme Director in the Institute of Global Affairs, LSE

Closing Remarks:

  • Nasser Yassin

  • Erik Berglof, Director of the Institute of Global Affairs, LSE

Session 5 - Refugee Education

Chair: Sonia Languille, Higher Education Support Program, Open Society Foundation


  • Maha Shuayb, Director of the Centre for Lebanese Studies

  • Keith David Watenpaugh, Co-director of UC Human Rights Collaboration, University of California, Davis

  • Hana Addam El-Ghali, Education and Youth Policy in the Arab World Program, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, AUB

  • Sahar Almakhamreh, Head of Social Work Department, School of Applied Humanities and Languages, German Jordanian University


Policy-makers & Expert Opinion:

  • Massa Mufti, Co-founder and Chair, Sonbola Group for Education and Development

  • Agatha Abi-Aad, Associate Education Officer, UNHCR

  • Pam DeLargy, Advisor to the President, Arizona State University

ALUM Conference
November 6-7, 2017

The INET Young Scholars Initiative @AUB event took place under the theme Challenging Conventional Wisdom: the Economics of Migration and Public Perception. Its focus was set on research projects in the area of the Economics of Migration and Public Perception of Migration, with presentations from young scholars and contributions from ALUM researchers.

Challenging Conventional Wisdom:
the Economics of Migration and Public Perception

During this conference, ALUM members presented and deliberated the critical role that universities can play in the current refugee crisis in Lebanon, and how they can ameliorate the situation of refugees by providing realistic ideas and policy proposals to the multiple challenges refugees face in their current predicament. 

We focused on the implications of the ongoing challenging political context related to the current migration/displacement of so many people, and how the current public perception has been evolving over the years. We also focused on the various health challenges facing refugees, including nutrition and basic healthcare provision.

A crucial point we discussed was education, and the challenges refugees faced in accessing primary, secondary and tertiary education. Lastly, we explored the role the private sector can play in job creation for those that are displaced. 

During the second day of the conference academics drafted the Beirut Declaration, click here to read the document.

4th ALUM Conference - Media Mentions:

Articles in English:

Articles in Arabic:

Contact Us


LSE Institute of Global Affairs,

Tower 3, 9th Floor, Clement's Inn, London School of Economics and Political Science, WC2A 2AZ


Telephone: +44 (0) 20 78523653 | iga@lse.ac.uk 


Universität Mannheim,  

Parkring 47, D-68131, Mannheim



Telephone: +49 (0) 6211812794 | lilli.banholzer@uni-mannheim.de


American University of Beirut | P.O.Box 11-0236 / (Department) | Riad El-Solh / Beirut 1107 2020 | Lebanon 


Telephone: +961-1-340460 | ny05@aub.edu.lb