History and Founder

The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies is a product of the vision and the generosity of the Fares family. The Center was established at Tufts University in 2001, to promote study and understanding of a region with a rich heritage and a challenging future. The generosity of Issam M. Fares and the commitment of Fares I. Fares are reflected in the academic output of the Center and its students.


His Excellency Issam M. Fares is a self-made businessman and philanthropist. He graduated from Tripoli College and went into business in the Arab Gulf, achieving much success and building a global enterprise that employs over 70,000 people. Mr. Fares has contributed to the creation and support of several academic and research institutions. Since the end of the Lebanese civil war, he has dedicated himself to the rebuilding of Lebanon, where he served as a member of parliament and later as Deputy Prime Minister. He also served as a trustee and member of the board of Tufts University from 1992 to 2000.


Fares I. Fares is an alumnus of Tufts University (1993), where he served as a trustee and member of the board from 2000 to 2012. He is the founder and chairman of Wedge Alternatives, an investment and private placement firm, and the chairman of WEDGE Real Estate Holdings. Mr. Fares serves on the boards of numerous private companies and charitable foundations. He has worked to promote Middle Eastern educational exchange and scholarship among universities in the United States.