Steering Committee
The following individuals assist the Managing Director in setting LFE's strategy:


George Akiki
George Akiki leads strategic planning and operations for Cisco Services. George is a change agent whose 15-year career at Cisco spanned multiple leadership roles in areas facing rapid transformation. George held various roles in engineering, with titles spanning from Technical Manager to Director of Program Management & Operations, and he acted as Chief of Staff on many leadership teams. George also led Strategic Planning for Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility and was sponsor representative for Cisco’s Impact investments in the MENA region. His stint in Corporate Affairs was triggered by initially being selected to lead “ Partnership for Lebanon” initiated by the CEO John Chambers that later evolved into an international assignment to lead CSR for Middle East and Africa, which included building scalable, replicable, and sustainable solutions to help the people of the region find the path to long-term stability and economic growth. This allowed for a firsthand experience of the human side of Cisco, which has made him an avid believer in the power and importance of corporate social responsibility and the effect of impact investment on economic development and job creation. Prior to joining Cisco, George served as Director of Program Management at Ramp Networks, preceded by engineering management roles at Nortel (Bay) Networks. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a graduate Electrical Engineering degree from Ohio State University, and an MBA from Golden Gate University. George is co-founder and President of LebNet, a Lebanese-American high-tech professional society in Silicon Valley. In 2011, George and his family relocated back to the USA following a 3-year assignment in Lebanon.
Ghassan Bejjani
Ghassan Bejjani is a consultant and private investor based in Beirut and New York. He is the founder of Lebanon for Entrepreneurs and a member of LIFE (Lebanese International Finance Executives). From 1998 to 2007, Mr. Bejjani was a General Partner of Morgan Stanley Venture Partners, where he led investments in 20 expansion-stage companies across the software, communications, internet infrastructure, security, and IT services sectors. Prior to that, from 1985 to 1998, Mr. Bejjani was at Morgan Stanley & Co, where he built and ran the Tokyo Derivatives software application and support group, led the IT Client Technology group, and created and ran the worldwide IT Strategic Investment and Business Development unit. Mr. Bejjani received an Engineering Diploma in Civil Engineering from l'École Centrale de Paris in 1983 and a dual M.S. in Civil Engineering and Technology & Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985.
Hala Fadel
Hala Fadel started and chairs the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan-Arab Region, an organization that promotes entrepreneurship in the Arab region through the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab start-up competition, which receives thousands of applications every year from 21 Arab countries. Hala is also an angel investor in start-up companies in the Middle East and has started Leap Ventures, a new venture capital fund that invests in Lebanese technology start-ups that have entered a growth phase. She has also launched a co-working space in Beirut called Coworking +961. Hala was a Portfolio Manager for European equities at Comgest, a € 16bn fund based in Paris, Dublin, Hong-Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and Mumbai. She joined Comgest in 2002 and became Portfolio Manager for European equities. Hala graduated from HEC in France in 1997 with a Masters in Financial Economics and attended the Berkeley Haas School of Business; she also holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Fadi Ghandour
Fadi Ghandour is the Founder and Vice Chairman of Aramex, one of the leading global logistics and transportation companies. He is currently Executive Chairman of Wamda Capital, a new Venture Capital growth fund focusing on technology companies in the Arab World. Fadi is also the Managing Partner of MENA Venture Investments, a seed capital investment company investing in early-stage tech companies. He is a Member of the Board of Abraaj Capital, a Member of the Board of Endeavor Global, a Member of the Board of Trustees at the American University of Beirut, and Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) at the Institute of Business Administration Karachi (IBA). Passionate about social entrepreneurship, Fadi is the Founder and Chairman of Ruwwad for Development, a private-sector-led community empowerment initiative that helps disadvantaged communities across the region overcome marginalization through activism, civic engagement, education and financial inclusion with support from the Ruwwad Micro Venture Fund, an equity-based fund providing seed capital for micro-businesses and micro-entrepreneurs.
Habib Kairouz
Habib Kairouz is Managing Partner of Rho Capital Partners, Inc. (www.rho.com), a private equity firm with $2.5 billion under management and offices in New York, Palo Alto and Montreal. Rho's business units span various classes of private equity investments, including venture capital in early stage and growth equity technology and healthcare companies (Rho Ventures and Rho Canada), and fund investments in all classes of venture capital and private equity funds (Rho Fund Investors). Over the years, Rho Ventures has been a significant early backer of a number of industry-leading venture companies including Capstone Turbine, Ciena, CommerceOne, Compaq Computers, Diversa, Human Genome Sciences, Intralinks, iVillage, MedImmune, Nitromed, Senomyx, Silicon Graphics, Tacoda Networks, and Vicuron. Habib is a General Partner in Rho Ventures, the direct venture capital arm of Rho, focusing on multi-stage investments in information technology, new media, telecommunications, alternative energy and healthcare companies. He is also a member of the Investment Committees of Rho Fund Investors, a private equity fund of funds as well as Rho Canada, an early stage venture capital fund focused on Canadian companies. Habib is a member of the board of directors of a number of companies in which Rho Ventures is an investor. His current and recent board seats include Dashlane, Everydayhealth (NYSE:EVDY), Intralinks (NYSE:IL), iVillage (sold to NBC), ReachLocal (NASDAQ: RLOC), Tacoda Networks (sold to Time Warner), Tripod (sold to Lycos), Verified Person, and Yantra (sold to AT&T). Habib also previously led Rho's investments in such companies as CommerceOne (NASDAQ:IPO) and OMGPOP (Sold to Zynga). Habib also serves on the Boards of Directors of a number of other Lebanon-focused organizations that emphasize economic development, including Social and Economic Action for Lebanon (www.seal-usa.org) and the Lebanon chapter of Endeavor Global (www.endeavor.org). Habib received a B.S. in Engineering and a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University.
Raya Raphael Nahas
Raya Raphaël Nahas is Deputy General Manager of Banque Libano-Française (BLF). Raya Nahas started her banking career at BLF in 1997 as a financial analyst and took charge progressively of different responsibilities in project financing and investment banking, then in the development of retail banking, especially the launching of electronic banking (credit cards) and bancassurance. Currently, as a member of the General Management, she is particularly in charge of supervising the following divisions: Organization and Strategic Planning, Operations, Information Technology, Security, Legal, Communication, and General Services. Raya is a Board Member, Beirut Committee Chair, and "Promote" Committee Member of LIFE (Lebanese International Finance Executives), a Lebanese association that provides a platform to channel the influence of Lebanese finance executives worldwide in order to establish stronger bonds, nurture the next generation, and promote Lebanon. Raya holds a Master in Financial Management from Université Paris-Dauphine (Paris IX) and a DESS in banking and finance from the Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne.
Tarek Sadi
Tarek Sadi has eighteen years of experience in entrepreneurship, corporate finance and direct investments, primarily with early-stage companies in the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. He is the Managing Director of Endeavor Lebanon, an economic development non-profit focused on supporting and growing outperforming entrepreneurs. Prior to Endeavor Tarek was co-founder and Managing Partner at MEVP, a Beirut-based venture capital fund, which invests in early stage opportunities in the Middle East. Before MEVP, at the Emerging Market Private Equity fund of Dubai International Capital (DIC), he invested in growth companies in the Middle East and Asia; he, in tandem, served on the investment committee of DIC's ABAN. Previously, he was a founding partner of Access Advisory, a London-based venture partner firm, geared at principal investors, and before that was part of Merrill Lynch's Mergers and Acquisitions team in London, focusing on the TMT sector. He also co-founded, built and exited two ventures in mobile content and automotive services in Mexico. Tarek has a BS in Political Science and Economics from Georgetown University (USA), and an MBA from London Business School (England).
Salam Yamout
Salam Yamout has been the National ICT Strategy Coordinator at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers since July 2010, handling the ICT and EU portfolios. Before that, Salam was Program Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility at Cisco since 2005. Salam has over 20 years of experience in the development and implementation of technology-based solutions for the public and private sectors, and for the society at large. Salam holds an MBA from ESCP-EAP, Paris / École Supérieure des Affaires, Beirut (2005) and an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Arizona (Tucson, USA; 1987). A serial social entrepreneur, Ms. Yamout is one of the founders of Women in IT, the Lebanese Broadband Stakeholders Group, the Lebanon Chapter of the Internet Society, and the Arab Internet Governance Forum. She also established the Beirut Internet Exchange Point in 2008. She serves as coach and juror for several national and regional competitions, including the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition and the Microsoft Imagine Cup. She is member of the investment committee of the Building Block Equity Fund.