American University of Beirut

AUB announces the launch of two initiatives

Dear members of the AUB community,

As I said in the September President's Perspective, AUB fully intends to be a university that sets the bar by educating, empowering, and emancipating citizen leaders. Today, I am pleased to announce the launching of two forward-thinking platforms that will help us realize this worthy aspiration while also serving as a role model for others, leading to more robust and inclusive governments, more impactful citizenship, and the overall betterment of our societies, both national and regional.

Good Governance and Citizenship Observatory

Housed at the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship, the Good Governance and Citizenship Observatory (GGCO) will actively bridge the gap between theory and practice, offering pragmatic solutions to cultivate a culture of participatory and active citizenship that embraces diversity, equality, and inclusivity. Through research and advocacy, in collaboration with multiple stakeholders across the public and private sectors, the Observatory will gather insights on notions of citizenship and governance in order to empower citizens, educate policymakers, and support a dialogue between them. It is dedicated to actively engaging, inspiring, and reshaping the future of citizenship in Lebanon and the region, thus influencing both the education and practice of citizenship, and fostering a new era of good governance and civic participation. The GGCO will be led by Dr. Simon Kachar as founding director, who will also serve on the steering committee that includes Drs. Tania Haddad, Saouma BouJaoude, Bashshar Haydar, Ohannes Geukjian, and Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan, as well as Lina Abou-Habib and Carla Akil.

Government Engagement Platform

The Government Engagement Platform (GEP), working with the provost, will report to the president and aims to strengthen and institutionalize AUB's role in informing public policy, both in Lebanon and in the region, and contribute to making a positive societal impact. It will harness the wealth of AUB expertise and resources to inform and shape conversations within governmental and intergovernmental agencies, to improve and advocate for key decisions and policies, and to provide evidence-informed and innovative solutions to public policy challenges. The launch of GEP marks a bold step toward a future where the collaborative efforts of academia and government are at the forefront of shaping policies and contributing to the socio-economic development of this country and the broader region. The GEP will be co-led by Drs. Fadi El-Jardali and Joseph Bahout and will serve as a vital bridge connecting the expertise of our faculty, students, and researchers with the practical needs of governmental and intergovernmental bodies, nationally and regionally.   

I encourage all members of the American University of Beirut community, not only current faculty, staff, and students, but also our wide circle of alumni and friends, to actively engage with and support these two initiatives. Together, we can take a leading role in the development of modern, diversified, inclusive, and sustainable nations, where citizenship, ownership, belonging, and accountability lead to a more abundant life for all.

Sincerely,

Fadlo R. Khuri, MD
President

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