Joe Saba serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), a non-profit providing humanitarian and development assistance to the forced displaced, their hosts, and other vulnerable communities. At the World Bank, he advises on strategies and operations for assistance to countries facing conflict, displacement, and fiscal distress. He is an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University Chicago Law School, where he designed and teaches a course on rule of law for development at Loyola’s PROLAW program in Rome, Italy. Previously he was an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University for 6 years.

Over the past few years, Joe has led several program evaluations of international assistance for the World Bank, the European Union, Denmark, and the UN, including multinational trust fund operations in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, South Sudan, and Palestine. Most recently he was the Quality Advisor for a European Union evaluation of its global rule of law programs.

Prior to these engagements, as Country Director for West Bank and Gaza and then Regional Director for the Middle East at the World Bank, Joe served 13 years (1997-2010) leading programs in the Mashreq (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, West Bank/Gaza, and the GCC states). He participated in drafting the Holst Fund, the first multi-donor trust fund for Palestinians. Afterward, he participated in drafting the reconstruction trust funds for Afghanistan and Iraq, then co-chairing ministerial and international agency led conferences and oversight for the UN-World Bank Iraq programs. He resided four years in Jerusalem and part-time in Beirut for another eight years. Prior to his Middle East residence, Joe worked with World Bank programs for property rights transition in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and China.

As an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown School of Foreign Service from 2010-2015, he designed and taught a course in development in fragile and conflict-affected states. During the same period he also participated in training courses at the NATO Defense College. He has served on numerous academic and development agency panels in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia.

Joe has co-authored and edited numerous publications and articles on development practice, corporate governance and rule of law reforms.

Before joining the World Bank in 1991, Joe was a partner in Jones Day, an international law firm for which he established the firm’s Middle East office in Riyadh, residing there for four years. In addition to his law practice, he was a founder and editor of International Executive Reports, which for 20 years published professional journals focused on law and doing business in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and East Asia.

Between graduate and law school, Joe served three years as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer assigned to the Middle East region and resided in that capacity for two years in Kuwait.

JD, Yale Law School
MA in Middle East Studies, Harvard University
BA, King’s College (PA).

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