Advancing energy sector reform in Lebanon

The Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD) at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, together with the Safadi Foundation USA (SFUSA) and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) announced the winners of the first annual Safadi-Stanford Initiative for Policy Innovation (SSIPI). The title of Safadi Scholar of the Year has been awarded to Katarina Uherova Hasbani, an energy policy expert at the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut, Lebanon. The title of first runner up has been awarded to Miriam Allam, an economist for the Middle East North Africa Governance Program at the Regulatory Policy Division, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

SSIPI was established to promote new scholarship and analysis on Lebanon. “SSIPI represents the link between the academic and policy worlds that Stanford's Program on Arab Reform and Democracy aims to nurture,” said Dr. Lina Khatib, who leads the ARD program at CDDRL. "The research by Hasbani and Allam addresses some of the core challenges impacting governance in Lebanon and the rest of the region. Hasbani’s paper on the reform of the electricity sector and Allam’s discussion on public consultation are both strategic areas vital to linking citizens and institution building,” said Lara Alameh, Executive Director of Safadi Foundation USA.

Hasbani will begin her four-week residency at CDDRL with the ARD program on October 1 where she will participate in seminars, engage with leading faculty and benefit from the scholarly resources at Stanford. During that time she will produce a publishable paper based on her research, which will then be presented at a policy conference in Washington, DC on December 6, 2011.

"It is an incredible opportunity to receive the support of SSIPI for my research on consensus-based electricity sector reform as a vital element for Lebanon's future economic and social development," said Hasbani.