The roots of the revolts known as the Arab Spring lie in many sources but one of the leading causes was the high rates of unemployment, low skill levels, and the growth of the youth populations. Now Arab governments are faced with the dual challenges of creating new political and economic systems that can meet the needs and demands of the peoples of their countries. This presentation will focus on the role of the private sector and the need to build an entrepreneurial eco-system that can foster rapid economic growth. Practical examples of reform programs will be emphasized drawing from the work of the Center for International Private Enterprise.
John D. Sullivan is the executive director of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce. As associate director of the Democracy Program, Sullivan helped to establish both CIPE and the National Endowment for Democracy in 1983. After serving as CIPE program director, he became executive director in 1991. Under his leadership CIPE developed a number of innovative approaches that link democratic development to market reforms: combating corruption, promoting corporate governance, building business associations, supporting the informal sector, and programs to assist women and youth entrepreneurs. Today, CIPE has more than 90 full-time staff with offices in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.
Sullivan began his career in Los Angeles’ inner city neighborhoods, helping to develop minority business programs with the Institute for Economic Research and the Office of Minority Business Enterprise. In 1976 he joined the President Ford Election Committee in the research department on campaign strategy, polling, and market research. Sullivan joined the public affairs department of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1977 as a specialist in business and economic education.