Visiting Fellows

Fellows 2016 - 2017

Dr. Karim Makdisi is an Associate Professor of International Politics and Director of the Program in Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He also served as the Faculty Research Director of the UN in the Arab World Program at AUB’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, where he was Associate Director from 2010-2014. His latest publications include the edited volumes The Land of the Blue Helmets: United Nations in the Arab World (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2016, with Vijay Prashad) and Interventions in Conflict: International Peacemaking in the Middle East (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, with R. Khouri and M. Waehlisch). He and Coralie Hindawi co-authored a long study, Creative Diplomacy Amidst a Brutal Conflict: Analyzing the OPCW-UN Joint Mission for the Elimination of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Program (September 2016). His current research includes the politics of the UN during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war and the question of intervention during the Arab uprisings. Makdisi also coordinates the environmental policy component of AUB’s Interfaculty Graduate Environmental Sciences Program, and has worked on the question of environmentalism and climate change. Makdisi received his MALD in 1996 and his PhD in 2001 from The Fletcher School.


Fellows 2015 - 2016

Professor Bar-Yam is a prominent scholar in the field of complex systems, contributing both to mathematical foundations and practical applications. He is founding president of the New England Complex Systems Institute and Research Scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory. He is the author of over 200 publications including Dynamics of Complex Systems a core complex systems textbook, “Making Things Work,” a popular and practical book on applications of complex systems science to real world concerns.

Habib Haddad is a serial entrepreneur, early stage investor, and ‘startup activist’. He is the cofounder and CEO of Wamda, platform of integrated programs that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems throughout the MENA region. He is also a Venture Partner of Wamda Capital, a growth capital VC fund, with investments in startups like taxi-hailing app Careem, LittleBits, and Jamalon.


Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent 20 years as a derivatives trader/risk taker before becoming a researcher in practical, mathematical, and philosophical problems in probability. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at NYU's School of Engineering. His current focus is on the properties of systems that can handle disorder ("antifragile")  as well as the development of statistical techniques with fat-tailed processes.