The Middle East Institute’s Lebanon Program, in partnership with LIFE Lebanon and the Lebanese American University’s Institute for Social Justice and Conflict Resolution (ISJCR), invites you to an interactive fireside chat with Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister Saade Chami to discuss the latest developments in Lebanon’s financial and socio-economic crises in light of the ongoing IMF negotiations. In a candid and open conversation, the head of Lebanon’s negotiating team with the IMF will discuss the pending hurdles and urgent steps needed to resolve — rather than just manage — Lebanon’s crisis of the century. Why have the negotiations with the IMF dragged on? What are the tradeoffs facing Lebanon and its most vulnerable populations today? How should the tens of billions of dollars in systemic losses be allocated? Will they be allocated in the way they should be? Do international and regional partners have a role to play in crisis resolution?
To foster public engagement in such a critical conversation, an interactive poll will be shared with the audience to help highlight core social and economic issues. To further strengthen inclusivity and meaningful participation in this dialogue, voices from disproportionately affected segments of the economy as well as vulnerable populations have been invited to draw attention to their priorities and concerns.
Fadi Nicholas Nassar (opening remarks)
Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the Institute for Social Justice and Conflict Resolution, Lebanese American University
Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon
Ronnie W. Hammad (moderator)
Adviser, Office of the Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions, The World Bank
Detailed Speaker Bios
Fadi Nicholas Nassar
Dr. Fadi N. Nassar holds a PhD from the War Studies Department at King’s College in London. His thesis examined the decision-making of the UN’s mediation efforts in Syria, offering a detailed account of the policies and strategies of Kofi Annan, Lakhdar Brahimi, and Staffan de Mistura in Syria as well as a new method to pinpoint the agency of UN mediators in such sensitive and often clouded positions. This research served as the grounds for his forthcoming book on the UN mediation process in Syria.
Saade Chami was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon on September 10, 2021. Dr. Chami spent 20 years at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where he focused on economic and financial policies and on formulating economic reform programs. He led IMF teams to several countries in the region and worked on many other countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. In his latest position at the IMF, he served as an assistant to the director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department and Director of the IMF Middle East Technical Assistance Center. In 2013, he moved to Lebanon to serve as the Secretary General of Lebanon’s Capital Markets Authority. In 2018, he joined the National Bank of Kuwait as the Group Chief Economist. Prior to joining the IMF, Dr. Chami taught economics and finance at the Graduate School of Business at the American University of Beirut between 1987 and 1993 where he also served as Director of the School in 1992-93. He also worked briefly at the Lebanese premiership and the Finance Ministry between 2005 and 2006, where he headed a team to create a comprehensive economic reform program for Lebanon that was the basis for the Paris III donor conference in early 2007. He also served as advisor to the central bank of Lebanon, Mckinsey and Co. as well as other public institutions.
Ronnie W. Hammad
Ronnie Hammad works in the Office of the Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions at the World Bank. He brings over 30 years of experience engaging senior government, private sector, and civil society officials, implementing ambitious reform programs, and managing complex projects in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Most recently, he served as World Bank Advisor to the Saudi G20, supporting the Ministry of Finance and the G20 Secretariat in preparing to assume the Presidency in 2020. His experience spans a range of sectors from public-private partnerships in infrastructure to public sector Governance.
Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images