We have two main cells, one in Lebanon and one in the United States, whose role is to function as coordinators between the rest of the network, which will grow in size and capacity with time. We believe that as an international group, the Lebanese communities have enough time, talent, money and resources to make a vast difference on the ground in Lebanon, and one of our tasks is to re-apportion these assets in order to effectuate real change.Abbas Yaghi
Abbas recently relocated from Turkey to Lebanon in order to put his impressive credentials to work in a local context. A scientist by education, specialized in the biology and philosophy of agriculture, Abbas is a leading figure in his community in the Baalbeck/Bekaa region and is extensively involved in education and social improvement issues. He is currently the CEO of Pollex SAL, a business partner of BASF, a leader in the agrochemicals business, as well as Chairman of Act for Lebanon / Lebanon chapter.About Act For Lebanon:
"The time for talking is over, now is your chance to Act For Lebanon. Through promoting cultural events, local talents, or educational projects in poor rural areas, you would be contributing to giving Lebanon a better outlook on the future. Turn your aspirations into actions, and make a difference with ACT!!!"
Edward began as an athlete while completing his education at Jamhour, winning the Lebanese track and field junior championship in the 100m dash in 1987. The perseverance and sportsmanship he learned from his training have served him well throughout his career, which he started at the Central Bank of Lebanon. A dedicated economist, Edward has also taught economics, finance and banking at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and at the Université Saint-Joseph and the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He has published several papers on economic and financial issues as well as given numerous conferences and seminars and has participated in TV programs covering various economic affairs. Today he resides in Washington DC, where he is an Economist at the International Monetary Fund. About Act For Lebanon:
"Strongly believing in Lebanon's diversity and rooted democratic values, and seeing how much my countrymen are in need of help while personally living miles away, I hope through ACT I will be able to act and assist."
Fadi probably first discovered his real vocation of bridging cultures together when, in 1969, as an eleven-year-old Lebanese Christian he was chosen to present the Koran to the late Pope Paul VI.
His business achievements are a testament to the fact that grades are not necessarily an indicator of future success. During his eclectic career, Fadi has helped conquer emerging markets in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East by introducing Latin American products to markets that had never seen imports from that region. Today he is the Honorary Consul General of Ecuador in Turkey and the CEO of Na Plus. Dedicated to spreading the wealth and making a difference for "heroes in the shade", he has participated in the Rally Raid of Tunisia, sponsored seven Ecuadorians on a bicycle trip from Paris to Cairo to raise awareness about environmental issues, supported the Beirut Marathon, been part of the Galapagos Foundation, edited a book about the Ecuador Panama Hat in an effort to preserve this disappearing artisan. The year 2005 was a busy one for Fadi: he received the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Inter-American Economic Council and founded the "Fadi Nahas Scholarship for Inter-cultural Understanding" and "Act for Lebanon", of which he is both President and active participant. About Act For Lebanon:
- "Why Act For Lebanon??
Because everybody "talks for Lebanon" we decided to gather a group and Act For Lebanon.
- Where to ACT??
In disadvantaged neighborhoods: if you don't visit them today they will visit you one day without asking permission.
- How to ACT?
By supporting "Heroes" and talents as role models to look up to. By bridging them through cultural and sport events and by offering them "FREE OF CHARGE" quality education.
You are not just one person you could be the one that makes the difference."
A lawyer by trade, Fady is a graduate of the illustrious University of Paris II and the Masters of Law program at Harvard University. He has worked throughout his career on building bridges. After he completed his apprenticeship at the law firm of Fouad Boutros & Associates in Beirut, he joined Freshfields, one of the leading British law firms, where he put in time at both their Paris and New York offices, working, among other things, on cross-border alliances between French and UK/US companies. He then went on to the International Monetary Fund in Washington, where he advised on legal and policy aspects of the IMF's lending operations to member countries, which involved him working closely with the IMF's Africa, Middle East, Western Hemisphere and Central Asia departments. Currently he is Principal Counsel at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, where he manages a team of lawyers and advises on legal aspects of private sector project finance in Emerging Markets mainly in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Europe and Central Asia. About Act For Lebanon:
"I would simply say that it is due to the vision of the founding members like Fadi, Abbas and Wehbe and the contagious enthusiasm and resourcefulness of people like Fadi Nahas. I am proud and honored to be a part of such an endeavor along with our friends on the board. For us expatriates, we are trying to help by identifying and supporting talent and potential in vital sectors such as the arts, sports, culture and education - and Act For Lebanon is a great vehicle to achieve this."
Gabriel obtained his Doctorate in Medicine in Lebanon before moving to New York City to complete his training in Internal Medicine at Downstate Medical Center and later on at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He holds three American Boards of Medicine - Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology. Presently, Gabriel is a Senior Attending Physician in the division of Hematology/Oncology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, and is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in Medicine at the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University (New York). He is involved in patients care, clinical research as well as academic teaching. Gabriel's distinguishing characteristic as a doctor is his very human and compassionate approach to medicine. As such, he has been cited for the past 8 consecutive years as one of the few outstanding Oncologists in the yearly issue of "How To Find The Best Doctors - New York Metro Area" (published by Castle & Connolly) (published yearly from 1997 till present).
In 2004, Gabriel was the recipient of the prestigious "Wholeness of Life Award" for his unique patient care at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center.
In 2004, Gabriel co-founded "Jamhour Alumni US": an Alumni Organization for the former students of his high school who live in the United States.
He resides in New York City.About Act For Lebanon:
"Act For Lebanon is full of energy, its mission inspires me, its team is on fire, its timing for Lebanon could not be better.
The work to be done is huge...We want to ACT now!!"
Ivonne A Baki
Hani has over 26 years of professional, academic and research experience in the areas of multimodal transportation network modeling, travel behavior analysis, telecommunication-transportation interactions, demand forecasting, and freight systems analysis. He is the first holder of the Charles Irish Sr. Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland, where he is also currently the Director of the Maryland Transportation Initiative. Hani also serves as a consultant to several companies and government agencies in the areas of transportation network modeling and simulation, transportation-energy systems interactions, intelligent transportation systems, transportation security, logistics, and strategic systems planning. He is the 2004 recipient of the Frank Masters Award by the American Society of Civil Engineers in recognition of his contributions to transportation systems research and education and also serves on the External Advisory Board of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the American University of Beirut.
Ivonne is the quintessential multicultural citizen of the world. Born in Ecuador, she has lived in Lebanon, France, Germany and the United States.
She has consistently proven herself a pioneer for the cause of women by refusing gender barriers and rising to positions never held by a woman before. She broke new ground in November 1998 by becoming the first woman appointed as Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States and is currently the Minister of International Trade, Industry, Fishing and Competitiveness of Ecuador, another first for a woman. An advisor to the President of Ecuador in the peace negotiations with Peru between August and November 1998, she went on to run for the office of the President five years later.
Ivonne's achievements and interests however extend beyond the realm of politics. An accomplished painter, with her works exhibited in private collections in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East, she was also Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University.
An American citizen, Rita left Lebanon at the beginning of the civil war in 1975 and lived between France, Switzerland and England for nine years, coming back periodically to Lebanon.
In 1984 she moved to the United States where she finished multiple degrees in Biology, Forensic Sciences and Biotechnology. She has worked both as a research assistant in Biotechnology at Georgetown University and as an assistant to the medical examiner at the morgue in Austin, Texas. Her dedication to science has always been characterized by her commitment to human causes, and she has spent years volunteering in children's oncology department as well as working with underprivileged children in disadvantaged communities.About Act For Lebanon:
"I believe that united we can make a difference.and ACT!"
Rita has left Lebanon in the early nineties and is living in Turkey with her husband Fadi and daughter Rayya.
An active member in several associations, Rita’s dedication to community work has always been characterized by her commitment and will to work for change.
Balancing professional and volunteer occupations, Rita is a devoted member of Act for Lebanon and is always ready to ACT.
Board director of Pollex SAL, Wadih quickly rose through the ranks of Cynamid International. He joined the company in 1962, working in various sales and marketing positions in the Middle East, and by 1976 was named managing director of Cynamid International's regional operations in Athens, Greece, responsible for the pharmaceutical, agricultural and chemical businesses in the Middle East, North Africa and Near East markets. In 1993, he was made Vice President of the company, serving in that capacity for two years. Today he is a member on the Board of both the "Iraq Medical and Pharmaceutical Company" and ANTIGENICS, Inc., a biotechnology company based in New York. Dedicated to his community, Wadih is also passionate about education, believing that is it is the foundation for any successful society. As such he was President of the Board of American Community Schools in Athens, Greece from 1989 to 1993 and was elected as a trustee for the Lebanese American University in 2003, a position he is still proud to fill today. About Act For Lebanon:
"It is a worthy cause. Through Act For Lebanon, while living abroad, I will be able to give back to my country part of what my country gave to me."
Wahbe A Tamari
Wael has 16 years of experience as trader, asset manager and international consultant. He is founder, President and CEO of the New York based Cedar Capital group of companies established in 1996 which grew to become a premier funds management and advisory firm. Wael is a consultant to international clients both institutional and individual and is a board member of a number of funds and investment companies.
Wael is a member of the Foreign Policy Association, the Middle East Institute and is a board member of the Arab Bankers Association of North America; also a board member, treasurer and national fundraising chair of the AUB Alumni Association of North America.
Currently living in Switzerland, Wahbe has nineteen years experience in financial and future markets, related products, commodities and investments. He has been a manager, trader, adviser and even rancher during his summers as a young man in the United States. Wahbe is proficient at working in multicultural settings and thrives on challenges. A Swiss national, he is active in his local community in Geneva and enjoys an active lifestyle: skiing, hiking, jogging and playing squash. He is currently an Independent Asset Manager at WATAMAR & PARTNERS SA in Geneva and is also Vice-President of Act For Lebanon. About Act For Lebanon:
"I believe every Lebanese abroad brings a support to individuals in the country... by any ways or means they can.
But in joining hands and therefore strength, through Act For Lebanon, we can give and make a stronger impact for our country.
By alerting the Diaspora and creating this unity that we have lost with the years as we are all spread around the world, we can give a better future to our people, through schools and education.
We can put the people we are proud of, on an international level (even though they are already on it.... but no one heard about it...)
We can carry on supporting our internationally known festivals, and make it even bigger and better for all our foreign friends.
We can help and promote amazing woman, in a men's world.
I sincerely believe, through Act For Lebanon, we can make a difference..."