Under the Patronage of
the President of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon

H.E. Mr. Saad Hariri
Middle East and North Africa
Regional Urban
Resilience Conference
April 2–4, 2019 | Beirut, Lebanon


Table of Contents


6 The Urban Challenge in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region
7 Strengthening Urban Resilience in the MENA Region
8 The MENA Regional Urban Resilience Conference
April 2–4, 2019

10 Background
11 The Beirut Communique

13 Agenda
18 Opening and Session 1: The Importance of Resilience in Urban Growth and
19 Session 2: Resilience Frameworks for Investment Decisions
20 Session 3: Collaboration between Local, National, and International Actors
21 Session 4: The Way Forward
22 Session 5: City Challenges and Risks
23 Session 6: Designing, Prioritizing, and Implementing Strategy
24 Session 7: Financing Urban Resilience
25 Session 8: Social Resilience and Youth
26 Session 9A: Water and Agriculture
27 Session 9B: Housing
28 Session 10A: Nature-Based Solutions for City Resilience
29 Session 10B: Competitive Cities



Foreword 4

Dear Distinguished Guests,

It was with great pleasure to have welcomed you to Beirut and to
the Middle East and North Africa Regional Urban Resilience Conference.

The Municipality of Beirut was honoured to host this conference
under the Patronage of His Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri, President
of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon, and in collaboration with the
World Bank Group.

The Conference proved to be a memorable event, enriched with
thought-provoking discourse, engaging speakers, and interactive
panel discussions on the latest thinking and experiences related to
urban resilience.

The Conference provided an excellent opportunity to connect and
exchange views and good practices, as well as establish partnerships
and ways for collective action.

Beirut offered an ideal setting for discussions around resilience, as the
city has withstood a multitude of shocks and stresses and has always
managed to overcome challenges.

I would like to thank you all for participating and enriching this regional
initiative with your experience and expertise, and I hope that this will
be the first of many future gatherings to shed light on our region’s
tremendous potential to build strong, safe, and resilient cities.

Distinguished regards,

Jamal Itani
Jamal Itani
Mayor of Beirut


The Urban Challenge in the Middle East
and North Africa (MENA) Region

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is defined by its urbanizing,
and highly concentrated populations. Sixty-five percent of the region’s

inhabitants live in cities (more than 280 million people), while 92 percent are
concentrated on three percent of the land. City populations are expected
to nearly double by 2040, amplifying the exposure of their residents to
unprecedented natural and social hazards. Against this backdrop, the
of the MENA region has been stricken by recent conflicts in which half-a-million people
have died and fifteen million have been displaced. Refugees have often
population lives
fled to already-stressed urban destinations in neighboring countries,
in cities (more than marked by limited infrastructure, poor service delivery and high population
280 million people) densities. Moreover many of the region’s largest cities and urban economies
are located in fragile coastal zones in which informal settlements have
expanded into and degraded sensitive environments, and are prone
to flooding.

The effects of urbanization, population density, conflict and displacement
mesh with those of climate change and environmental degradation,
intensifying their many impacts. In recent decades, this complex web
of interactions has affected approximately 40 million people in MENA
countries, and cost their economies nearly US$20 billion. While 2018
has seen upturns in some social and economic indicators, rapid growth
of cities, and political and environmental instability confirm the region’s
need for adaptation support. Risk-informed planning and urban resilience
investment are critical to promoting sustainable development and poverty
reduction in the MENA region.

Introduction 7

Strengthening Urban Resilience
in the MENA Region

WHAT IS URBAN Globally, urban resilience has increasingly become a fundamental platform
for meeting national development goals. However, in the MENA region in
RESILIENCE? particular, natural disasters and climate change are not the only resilience
challenges. Economic stresses, violent conflict, displacement and refugee
Resilience is the ability influxes have required a broadened approach to strengthening urban
of a system, entity, resilience, and to urban development, in general. Increasingly, the World
Bank’s work on urban resilience aims to help cities move from development
community, or person
pathways focused on siloed, sectoral priorities, to ones focused on
to adapt to a variety integrated and spatially informed approaches addressing the interplay
of changing conditions between multiple systems and dynamics.
and to withstand shocks
While most MENA countries have historically prioritized post-disaster
while still maintaining
relief and recovery activities, national and municipal governments are
its essential functions now working more towards proactive risk management and vulnerability
(World Bank 2014). While reduction which anticipates the interplay between socio-economic,
environmental and societal risks in urban settings. The scale of such
there is no standard,
challenges means that strengthening urban resilience in the MENA
internationally accepted region is a multibillion dollar endeavour requiring strong partnerships and
definition at the moment, new sources of capital. However, risk-informed territorial planning and
generally speaking, as a participatory approaches to decision-making are low-cost solutions that
can have long-term resilience payoffs as well. Municipal policies which
city functions as a spatial promote ease of business can further add to the competitiveness of MENA
convergence of multiple cities and contribute to their overall economic resilience.
socio-economic and
Cities are often unable to implement resilience-building policies and
technological systems,
investments because they lack the technical expertise and/or capital to
the resilience of a city is finance them. Thus, a growing focus for the World Bank is to strengthen
based on the ability of public sector capacities along this broadened approach and to foster
these inter-connected enabling environments to mobilize public and private sector finance (in
addition to development finance) towards resilience projects.
systems to adapt,
withstand and maintain Recently, the World Bank established the City Resilience Program (CRP)
basic services in the face in June 2017, which has engaged more than 45 cities around the world
(including cities in MENA) on developing investment programs that can be
of a variety of hazards
supported through a range of financial instruments. In FY18, the Global
and shocks. Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) supported activities
in more than nine MENA countries which have leveraged nearly $60 million
in development finance. While work at the regional level continues, GFDRR
is increasingly working at the country-level, with a greater focus on cities
– given both development needs and government requests. Main hazards
addressed include extreme heat, flooding and water scarcity, while a
broadened approach to risk management is employed that includes crisis
response, refugees as well as development in fragile, conflict and violent
(FCV) settings.
Introduction 8

The MENA Regional Urban
Resilience Conference
April 2–4, 2019

IN THE REGION AND Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, is a key proponent and early implementor
WILL BECOME, IN ITS of the resilience agenda in the MENA region.
Held under the Patronage of His Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri, President of
AN IMPORTANT PLATFORM the Council of Ministers of Lebanon, the Municipality of Beirut organized
FOR EXCHANGING and hosted the MENA Regional Urban Resilience Conference in April 2019 –
EXPERIENCES AND together with the World Bank, with support from GFDRR and in partnership
PRESENTING SUCCESSFUL with 100 Resilient Cities.
TO BUILD RESILIENT The conference followed the development of Phase I of Beirut’s urban
SOCIETIES CAPABLE OF resilience master plan, bringing together 49 municipal and national
representatives from thirteen countries and territories across the MENA
region (Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman,
OF DEVELOPMENT AND Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tunisia, West Bank-Gaza and Yemen) as well
CLIMATE CHANGE AS THEY as resilience experts and practitioners from developed and developing
ARISE.” countries beyond the region (France, Georgia, India, Italy, Japan, Panama
and the United States).
EL HASSAN The conference responded to the need for regional co-operation and
Minister of Interior and common frameworks for city resilience strategies, while allowing Beirut to
Municipalities, Lebanon share its own experiences and exchange lessons learned with other cities.

• Strengthen the understanding of urban resilience and
its implementation in the MENA region, and globally

• Help cities understand different aspects of urban
resilience (social resilience, resilience to natural disasters,
and financial resilience)

• Foster sharing among technical experts at the regional level

• Discuss the way forward for collaboration/coordination
to strengthen urban resilience in the region



The Municipality of Beirut, and
participating municipal, regional
and national governments from
the MENA region, the World
Bank Group (WBG), the Global
Facility for Disaster Reduction
and Resilience (GFDRR),
the 100 Resilient Cities, and
other participants concluded the
high-level Middle East and North
Africa (MENA) Regional Urban
Resilience Conference, the first
of its kind for urban centers in the

In concluding the conference,
delegates authored a
collaborative summation of
the scope of urban resilience
as it pertains to cities in the
MENA region. This technical
communique distilled both the
conference participants’ shared
understanding of urban resilience
challenges, and their agreed
practical recommendations for
pursuing resilience goals. These
principles of practice offer a
foundation for promoting and
advancing the urban resilience
agenda regionally, and evaluating
progress in the discipline as it
matures. The communique is
given here, and offers a brief
overview of key conference

All conference participants
express their appreciation to the
Municipality of Beirut for hosting
the event in Beirut, Lebanon.
the Beirut Communi que 11

The Beirut Communique

1. The conference participants reaffirm the critical importance of urban 3. Noting the large-scale social
resilience to the safety, inclusiveness, and livability of cities in the impacts of shocks and
MENA region. The conference participants: stresses, the conference
a. Note the myriad challenges and risks faced by urban centers in the participants affirm our
region, including natural, technological, health, and socioeconomic support for both social
shocks and stresses; resilience and the resilience
of youth in the face of shocks
b. Acknowledge the relationship between, but not limited to, and stresses, as well as
demography, urbanization, conflict, food security, water access, support for social and youth
quality of life, coping capacity, capital markets, and ageing engagement for effective
infrastructure which undermine current efforts aimed at the risk management. We also
prosperity, inclusiveness, safety, and sustainability of cities; believe that investments in
c. Agree that the right balance between response, and risk reduction resilience building are needed
and preparedness in the long-term is crucial to ensuring the safety in tandem with ensuring that
and resilience of MENA cities; all investments and policies
d. Value that building resilience to shocks and stresses is an effective for urban development are
way to tackle the underlying causes of vulnerability and disasters; risk-informed.

e. Underline the crucial role of prevention, preparedness, financial
4. We recognize the need for
and technical innovation, awareness raising, and public-private
the cities of the MENA region
partnerships as tools for disaster and climate resilience;
to both address and respond
f. Highlight the importance of an inclusive, participatory, ‘whole- to issues of conflict and
of-society’ planning and management approach including forced displacement which
measurable indicators that involves a variety of stakeholder will require empowerment,
groups from all levels of society including women, persons living capacity building, knowledge
with disability, youth, the elderly, the private sector, civil society, sharing, and financing.
and the vulnerable and poor; and
g. Emphasize the importance of exploring a range of financing 5. We believe in the value of
options for city resilience and risk management. holding future regional
dialogues in order to promote
In order to achieve the above, we need to recognize and accommodate and improve the agenda of
the difference between the time horizon for resilience actions and the resilient cities and encourage
political and budgetary calendar. communication and
networking between cities.
2. The conference participants express interest in collaboration
between local, national, and international actors and stakeholders.
We welcome the initiative of local governments in initiating and
driving the process. The conference participants also acknowledge
the importance of forward-thinking planning in urban resilience, in
considering ways forward for effective risk management.




08:15–08:45 Conference Registration

09:00–11:00 Opening and Session 1 | The Importance of Resilience in Urban Growth
and Regeneration

Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor of Beirut, Lebanon
Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, Social, Urban, Rural, and Resilience Global Practice
(SURR GP), World Bank Group (WBG)
H.E. Ms. Raya Haffar El Hassan, Minister of Interior, Lebanon

Prof. Jamal Saghir, Professor, McGill University; Affiliated Scholar, Issam Fares Institute,
American University of Beirut
Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, SURR GP, WBG

Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, SURR GP, WBG
Ms. Kazuko Ishigaki, Director for Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Management Bureau,
Cabinet Office, Japan
Dr. Youssef AlShawarbeh, Mayor of Amman, Jordan
Ms. Elizabeth Yee, Vice President, Resilience Finance, 100 Resilient Cities

Mr. Philip Karp, Lead Knowledge Management Specialist, SURR GP, WBG

11:00–11:10 Presentation of the Beirut Resilience Strategy

Ms. Matilda Khoury, Councilor, Municipal Council of Beirut, Lebanon

11:10–11:30 Coffee Break

11:30–12:45 Session 2 | Resilience Frameworks for Investment Decisions

Ms. Elizabeth Yee, Vice President, Resilience Finance, 100 Resilient Cities
Mr. Sébastien Maire, Chief Resilience Officer, Paris, France
Dr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena, Chief Resilience Officer, Panama City, Panama
Ms. Bilge Cakir, Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC), MENA, WBG
Dr. Nadim Munla, Adviser to the Prime Minister, Lebanon
Dr. Wafa Charafeddine, Head of Funding Division, Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR)

Dr. Josef Leitmann, Lead Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Specialist,
Global Facility  for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), WBG

12:45–13:30 Lunch

13:30–15:00 Session 3 | Collaboration between Local, National, and International Actors

Mr. Sujit Kumar Mohanty, Chief of the Arab States Regional Office, United Nations Office
for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)
Ms. Hart Ford, Director, ACTED, Lebanon
Dr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM Specialist, GFDRR, WBG

Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, SURR GP, WBG

15:00–15:15 Coffee Break

15:15–16:30 Session 4 | The Way Forward

Ms. Kazuko Ishigaki, Director for Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Management Bureau,
Cabinet Office, Japan

Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor of Beirut, Lebanon
Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, SURR GP, WBG
Mr. Sébastien Maire, Chief Resilience Officer, Paris, France
Dr. Sufyan Al-Issa, Regional Head of Operations, IFC, MENA, WBG
Ms. Souad Abderrahim, Mayor of Tunis, Tunisia

Ms. Dana Omran, Managing Director, City Resilience Delivery – Africa, 100 Resilient Cities

Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor of Beirut, Lebanon
Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, SURR GP, WBG

17:00–19:00 Site Visit – Downtown Beirut


09:00–10:00 Session 5 | City Challenges and Risks

Ms. Isabel Margarita Cantada, City Scans, WBG
Dr. Ali Al-Hemoud, Research Scientist, Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research
Mr. Tony Sfeir, Chief Resilience Officer, Byblos, Lebanon

Mr. Salim Rouhana, Senior Urban Development Specialist, SURR GP, WBG

10:00–11:00 Session 6 | Designing, Prioritizing, and Implementing Your Strategy

Mr. Sébastien Maire, Chief Resilience Officer, Paris, France
Ms. Ana Ardelean, Chief Resilience Officer, Tbilisi, Georgia
Mr. Anton Salman, Mayor, Bethlehem, Palestine
Ms. Dana Omran, Managing Director, City Resilience Delivery – Africa, 100 Resilient Cities

Dr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM Specialist, GFDRR, WBG

11:00–11:15 Coffee Break

11:15–12:15 Session 6 (Continued) | Designing, Prioritizing, and Implementing Your Strategy

Mr. Eric Wilson, Deputy Director, Land Use and Buildings, New York City,
United States of America
Dr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena, Chief Resilience Officer, Panama City, Panama
Dr. Nabil S. Itani, Project Manager, Cultural Heritage and Urban Development
(CHUD) Project, Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR)
Dr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM Specialist, GFDRR, WBG

Ms. Dana Omran, Managing Director, City Resilience Delivery – Africa, 100 Resilient Cities

12:15–13:15 Breakout Session: Shift and Share
Cities to identify and discuss individual challenges and lessons learned

Mr. Philip Karp, Lead Knowledge Management Specialist, SURR GP, WBG

13:15–14:00 Lunch 

14:00–15:30 Session 7 | Financing Urban Resilience

Mr. Steven Rubinyi, DRM Specialist, WBG

15:30–15:50 Coffee Break and Cultural Bingo

15:50–17:30 Session 8 | Social Resilience and Youth

Ms. Nisreen Alaraj, Chief Resilience Officer, Greater Amman, Jordan
Mr. Abdullahi Ali Watiin, Mayor of Baidoa, Somalia
Mr. Saed Zawahrah, Zarqa City Youth Council, Jordan
Ms. Cynthia Bakkalian, WB Youth Advisory Group, Lebanon
Mr. Behzad Ali Adam, Deputy Governor, Dohuk Governorate, Iraq/Kurdistan
Regional Government
Ms. Khadije Nasser, Senior Regional Manager, Strong Cities Network

Ms. Naila Ahmed, Senior Social Development Specialist, WBG


09:00–10:00 Breakout Session: Shift and Share
Cities to identify and discuss resilience challenges and lessons learned

Mr. Philip Karp, Lead Knowledge Management Specialist, SURR GP, WBG

10:00–11:00 Session 9A | Water and Agriculture Session 9B | Housing

Ms. Fatma Aglan, Agricultural Specialist,  Ms. Sarah Antos, Data Scientist,
WBG Global  Program for Resilient Housing, WBG
Prof. Ezio Todini, Consultant, WBG Mr. Eric Wilson, Deputy Director, Land Use
and Buildings, New York City, USA
Mr. Hazem Abdelfattah, Senior Urban
Development Specialist, WBG

Dr. Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director,

11:00–11:15 Coffee Break

11:15–12:15 Session 10A | Nature-Based Session 10B | Competitive Cities
Solutions for City Resilience

Mr. Denis Jordy, Lead DRM Specialist, Mr. Jade Sahlab, Senior Private
WBG Sector Specialist, WBG
Dr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena, Ms. Zina Bdeir Dajani, Founder & CEO, Antwork
Chief Resilience Officer, Panama City, Ms. Amira Solh, Urban and Cultural Heritage
Panama Planning Consultant
Mr. Karim Chaya, Managing Partner,
Abillama Chaya Industrial Design

12:15–12:35 Reporting back

12:35–13:30 Reflection Session on Technical Communique

Dr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM Specialist, GFDRR, WBG

13:30–14:30  Presentation of the Technical Communique and Closing of the Conference 

Dr. Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director, SURR GP, WBG
Mr. Saroj Kumar Jha, Regional Director, Mashreq, WBG
Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor of Beirut, Lebanon


Opening and Session 1
The Importance of Resilience in Urban
Growth and Regeneration

WELCOME ADDRESSES Resilience was framed as a key element when planning for urban growth
Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor, Beirut, and regeneration, with clear reference to the MENA region, given its high
Lebanon rate of urbanization. This situation exposes urban dwellers to natural
Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, hazards which are compounded by climate change and environmental
Director, Social, Urban, Rural, degradation. Speakers noted that MENA cities are also stressed by
and Resilience Global Practice population density, water scarcity, migration and political instability,
(SURR GP), WBG and urgently need to build resilience and strengthen urban governance.
H.E. Ms. Raya Haffar
El Hassan, Minister of Interior The keynote speaker, Prof. Jamal Saghir, suggested the following pathways
and Municipalities, Lebanon to accomplishing this aspiration:
• Index and standardize understanding of urban resilience
KEYNOTE ADDRESSES • Market resilience as an investment criterion to attract finance
Prof. Jamal Saghir, Professor, • Guide investment and governance decisions with resilience indices
McGill University; Affiliated Scholar, • Support spatial and infrastructural plans to mitigate hazards and
American University of Beirut maintain city services
Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, • Pursue accountable local-level policies and budgets
Director, SURR GP, WBG
Implementing urban resilience solutions was described as a contextual,
collaborative and iterative process requiring an integrated approach;
notable in all situations is the inability of Governments to effect
Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba,
resilience alone, and a need for private sector and civil society input.
Director, SURR GP, WBG
Ms. Kazuko Ishigaki, Director for
Disaster Preparedness, Disaster
Management Bureau, Cabinet
Office, Japan
Dr. Youssef AlShawarbeh,
Mayor of Amman, Jordan
Ms. Elizabeth Yee, Resilience
Finance Vice President,
100 Resilient Cities

Mr. Phil Karp, Lead Knowledge
Specialist, WBG

Ms Matilda Khoury, Councilor,
Municipal Council of Beirut

Session 2
Resilience Frameworks for
Investment Decisions

PRESENTERS: Input from 100 Resilient Cities revealed the role of resilience ‘layers’ such
Ms. Elizabeth Yee, Vice President, as policy and enabling environment, procurement and budgeting as key
Resilience Finance, 100 Resilient elements that drive decision-making towards resilience outcomes. There
Cities is also a need to embed resilience into repayment structures as well as
Mr. Sébastien Maire, Chief clearly articulate co-benefits to draw investors. Experience sharing was
Resilience Officer, Paris, France recommended, as was risk-informed budgeting to improve the resilience
Dr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena, of municipal budgets to external shocks and stresses. Participants were
Chief Resilience Officer, Panama encouraged to find innovative ways to improve existing infrastructure
City, Panama rather than prioritizing new construction. Financing was addressed,
Ms. Bilge Cakir, Investment notably the need for diverse funding sources for resilience investments,
Officer, International Finance including from the public and private sectors, foundations and multilateral
Corporation (IFC), MENA, WBG development banks; the need to screen municipal investments for resilience
Dr. Nadim Munla, Adviser to the outcomes was raised.
Prime Minister, Lebanon
Dr. Wafa Charafeddine, A concluding panel discussion reviewed Lebanon’s approach to Syrian
Head of Funding Division, refugees, which included the development of resilience-informed policies and
Council for Development capital investments enhanced by technical and financial support from the
and Reconstruction (CDR) international community. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the
private sector arm of the World Bank, was also highlighted for its private
MODERATOR: sector knowledge and financing to help address cities’ resilience challenges.
Dr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM
Specialist, GFDRR, WBG


Mayor of Beirut, Lebanon

Session 3
Collaboration between Local,
National, and International Actors

PRESENTERS: Session three highlighted collaboration – local, national and international
Mr. Sujit Kumar Mohanty, Chief – as a cornerstone of resilience, together with community engagement
of the Arab States Regional and shared understandings of risk management. This perspective was
Office, UN Office for Disaster Risk re-iterated in the Sendai Framework, which employs pre-emptive risk-
Reduction (UNDRR) reduction perspectives to paint resilience as a development issue requiring
government and all-of-society participation. Such perspectives focus
Ms. Hart Ford, Director, ACTED
capacity-building across civil society, introducing levels of participation
with the potential to effect paradigm changes in resilience policy
Dr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM development. Panelists returned again to finance, noting the World Bank’s
Specialist, GFDRR, WBG leveraging of finance through facilitation of multiple stakeholder designs of
bankable projects.
Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba,
Director, SURR GP, WBG


Director, Social, Urban, Rural,
and Resilience Global Practice

Session 4
The Way Forward

KEYNOTE ADDRESS The session looked at resilience improvement programs. A description
Ms. Kazuko Ishigaki, Director for of approaches in Tokyo, Japan covered enhanced collaboration with local
Disaster Preparedness, Disaster communities and the private sector, the usefulness of neighborhood-
Management Bureau, Cabinet scale, community-based disaster management plans, and government
Office, Japan support for ‘urban regeneration safety assurance plans’ supported by
private companies. In Tunisia, strategies in Tunis included cross-sectoral
participation, public-private funding, and government co-operation between
local and national levels to improve post-disaster responses.
Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor of Beirut,
Private finance needs and concerns were stressed by the IFC, given
Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, MENA’s uneven economic growth, the state of its job market and high
Director, SURR GP, WBG
public debt. Other proposals for private sector involvement included policy
Mr. Sébastien Maire, Chief reforms relevant to public-private partnerships, and innovative public
Resilience Officer, Paris, France finance initiatives. The inadequacy of stand-alone public sector initiatives
Dr. Sufyan Al-Issa, Regional Head was raised again in the context of Paris, France, where private sector
of Operations, IFC, MENA, WBG motivations for involvement were deemed potentially difficult because
Ms. Souad Abderrahim, of its primary interest in short-term gains.
Mayor of Tunis, Tunisia

Ms. Dana Omran, Managing Resilient policy
Director for Africa, 100 Resilient
Collaboration of all
Cities departments (Emergency
management, urban planning,
housing, healthcare,
education, etc.)

Resilient community

Resilient person,
resilient business

Mayor of Tunis, Tunisia


Session 5
City Challenges and Risks

PANELISTS: A panel discussed case studies from Kuwait; Byblos, Lebanon; and Safaqis,
Ms. Isabel Margarita Cantada, Tunisia – cities with notable risk management policies, risk assessment
City Scans, WBG and modeling, and cost-benefit-based ranking of investments. City
Dr. Ali Al-Hemoud, Research presentations covered the protection of oil pipelines in Kuwait, the evolution
Scientist, Kuwait Institute of of a five-pillar resilience strategy in Byblos, and the use of technology to
Scientific Research engage city officials and the World Bank in Safaqis. The City Resilience
Mr. Tony Sfeir, Chief Resilience Program (CRP) introduced its City Scan tool which employs technology to
Officer, Byblos, Lebanon shift resilience thinking from sectoral to spatial perspectives, and shared
its work with investment programs in Zanzibar, Tanzania; and Abidjan,
MODERATOR: Cote d’Ivoire.
Mr. Salim Rouhana, Senior Urban
Development Specialist, GSURR,

Session 6
Designing, Prioritizing,
and Implementing Strategy

PRESENTERS: A two-panel session dealt with design, prioritization and implementation.
Mr. Sébastien Maire, Chief Participants heard how Tbilisi, Georgia developed its strategy using the
Resilience Officer, Paris, France 100 Resilient Cities framework, moving from agenda-setting to preliminary
Ms. Ana Ardelean, Chief Resilience resilience assessments. In addition, the city developed and implemented a
Officer, Tbilisi, Georgia stakeholder engagement plan including focus group discussions, interviews
Mr. Anton Salman, Mayor and workshops. Bethlehem explained how municipal fragmentation
of Bethlehem, Palestine and regulatory difficulties in Palestine hindered service delivery beyond
Ms. Dana Omran, Managing municipal boundaries.
Director, City Resilience Delivery –
Africa, 100 Resilient Cities The ensuing discussions revealed that resilience needs were most reliably
Mr. Eric Wilson, Deputy identified through evidential methods, that technical assessments alone
Director, Land Use and Buildings, were insufficient for strategy development, and that chosen actions needed
New York City, USA to coalesce with the political agendas of municipalities. Lastly, the panel
Dr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena, stressed that resilience strategies were ideally ongoing, adaptive and
Chief Resilience Officer, flexible, and required regular re-appraisal against emerging evidence.
Panama City,  Panama
Dr. Nabil S. Itani, Project Manager, The second panel took participants to New York, USA, where the city’s legal
Cultural Heritage and Urban code includes a resilience strategy as a mandatory requirement, leading
Development (CHUD) Project, CDR to effective institutionalization of the strategy development process. From
Dr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM Panama City, Panama, with its concern for flood mitigation infrastructure
Specialist, GFDRR, WBG and improvement of public open spaces, emerged the need to consult
with communities and stakeholders prior to implementation, an insight
MODERATORS: corroborated from Lebanon where interventions in informal settlements
Dr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM have required co-ordination across local and central government layers, and
Specialist, GFDRR, WBG with stakeholders. Panelists also stressed the use of robust monitoring and
Ms. Dana Omran, Managing evaluation as a tool to track and adjust strategies.
Director, City Resilience Delivery –
Africa, 100 Resilient Cities
Mr. Philip Karp, Lead Knowledge
Management Specialist,

Session 7
Financing Urban Resilience

PRESENTER: This session featured a presentation and Q&A on city financing
Mr. Steven Rubinyi, Disaster Risk frameworks, leveraging modalities, borrowing instruments, rapid capital
Management (DRM) Specialist, assessments, capital mobilization, transaction structures and CRP city
WBG engagements. Participants were reminded that financing frameworks
should distinguish between financing and funding, and that different modes
of finance acquisition led to different outcomes for city finances and
revenues, as did loan versus bond-based borrowing. The main obstacles to
financing urban resilience were given as:

• City government’s lack of funds to invest in resilience infrastructure
• Lack of projects and investments attractive to private finance
• Limited market mechanisms to enable flow of funds from private
investors to cities

The remainder of the Q&A looked at improving credit worthiness and
different options for borrowing, and noted that the CRP offered a paradigm
shift in financing infrastructure and closing infrastructure gaps.

Session 8
Social Resilience and Youth

PRESENTERS: This session portrayed human well-being and social cohesion as vital
Ms. Nisreen Alaraj, Chief Resilience aspects of adaptive societies, and as crucial capacities in times of
Officer, Greater Amman, Jordan instability. In MENA, the social contract has been frayed by shocks and
Mr. Abdullahi Ali Watiin, Mayor, stresses, heightening the need to include social vulnerability as a factor in
Baidoa, Somalia resilience planning. In addition to natural disasters, MENA cities suffer poor
Mr. Saed Zawahrah, Zarqa City economies, conflict, crime, violence and large scale displacement of people,
Youth Council, Jordan all of which exacerbate vulnerability. Such stresses profoundly affect
Ms. Cynthia Bakkalian, WB Youth human development and well-being. Participants heard from the Strong
Advisory Group, Lebanon Cities Network (SCN) about the Strong Cities Initiative, a global framework
for building community resilience to violent extremism, operating between
Mr. Behzad Ali Adam, Deputy
Governor, Dohuk governorate, Iraq/ cities and municipalities globally. In 2016, the SCN launched six Community
KRG Prevention Networks across Lebanon and Jordan to cultivate trust between
youth and municipalities.
Ms. Khadije Nasser, Senior
Regional Manager, Strong Cities
Network Other presenters spoke about the specific needs of children and women, and
the challenges posed by the influx of refugees into under-prepared cities.
Ms. Naila Ahmed, Senior Social
Development Specialist, WBG


World Bank Youth Advisory
Group, Lebanon


Session 9A
Water and Agriculture

PRESENTERS: This session addressed key themes in the provision of food to urban areas.
Ms. Fatma Aglan, Agricultural Participants heard that, while investments in data and data analysis, and
Specialist, WBG cellular, digital and ICT-driven innovations are coming to the fore, they
Prof. Ezio Todini, Consultant, WBG need to be balanced by support for human and institutional capacity. In
addition, partnerships and alliances, and local knowledge and experience
were deemed critical in supplying affordable, safe and nutritious food. The
session also re-visited a common workshop theme – that the financing of
resilience, in this case urban food supply, required policies and incentives to
attract private investment capital.

Discussions on urban water scarcity indicated a need for shifts in mindset
towards resilience-informed and non-linear thinking, and the embrace of
more comprehensive and integrated methods. The World Bank’s Water
Scarce Cities Initiative has pioneered such approaches across the MENA
region and merits further attention, as do examples of water resilience
management from southern California, Malta and Namibia, which
were discussed.

Dades Valley, Morocco

Session 9B

PRESENTERS: This session addressed the vulnerability of urban dwellings, noting the
Ms. Sarah Antos, Data Scientist, need for risk assessment of housing stocks, identification of at-risk
Global Program for Resilient houses, retro-fitting, and housing recovery and reconstruction. Discussions
Housing, WBG touched on New York’s aid to a disadvantaged neighborhood flooded during
Mr. Eric Wilson, Deputy Director, Hurricane Sandy, in which a public-private partnership (PPP) was formed to
Land Use and Buildings, engage a private developer to build climate-resilient and affordable housing
New York City, USA on public land.
Mr. Hazem Abdelfattah, Urban
Development Specialist, WBG Where houses require pre-emptive retro-fitting, drone and street view
technologies were highlighted as important identifier tools to assess
MODERATOR: natural hazard vulnerability, quantify retro-fitting needs and speed
Dr. Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez, assessment. The State’s role in promoting resilience includes regulation of
Senior Director, SURR GP, WBG building codes, consumer protection, financial oversight and management
of informal settlements.

The session concluded with a discussion on housing recovery and
reconstruction, noting the need to select financial models (grants or loans)
that are appropriate to local needs and capacities, and able to identify
beneficiaries and clarify legal concerns. When home repair and building
commence, procurement and monitoring skills become important.

Session 10A
Nature-Based Solutions for City Resilience

PRESENTERS: Nature-based solutions (NBS) were introduced as a means of addressing
Mr. Denis Jordy, Lead DRM natural hazards in urban areas. Best practice examples from Panama,
Specialist, WBG Kuwait, Sri Lanka and Senegal were shared, and resources made available
Dr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena, for design and implementation. A central tenet is that ecosystem-based
Chief Resilience Officer, Panama solutions to urban hazards warrant investment both for their efficacy and
City, Panama for their co-benefits, such as improved air quality, aesthetics and amenity
values. However, barriers to implementation include the need to engage
communities to care for green infrastructure, large infrastructure footprints
and land ownership issues, prohibitive institutional and legal environments,
lack of capacity and lack of promotional and illustrative materials.

In Panama City, Panama, anticipated benefits from nature-based solutions
included reduced flood risks, pollution control, enhanced open space
amenity and human well-being, ecosystem connectivity and conservation,
heat reduction and fishery protection through coastal wetland conservation.
However, standing in the way of such benefits in Panama City are existing
coastal developments, lack of clear regulations, lack of prioritization of
financial resources and political transitions. As take aways, the relevance
and under-utilization of ecosystem-based infrastructure was noted, as was
the case specificity of NBS interventions, the need to include communities
in maintenance and land ownership issues, and the need to grow the profile
of NBS.

Laqlouq lakes, Mount Lebanon, Lebanon

Session 10B
Competitive Cities

PRESENTERS: The final session attempted to define competitive cities, and to clarify
Mr. Jade Salhab, Senior Private links between competitiveness and resilience. It was proposed that regional
Sector Specialist, WBG stability is linked to city competitiveness, and Beirut was discussed
Ms. Zina Bdeir Dajani, Founder as an example of this due to its ease of exports, business-enabling
and CEO, Antwork environment and quality of life. In turn, however, these attractions were
Ms. Amira Solh, Urban and offset by business costs, licensing difficulties and quality of life risks posed
Cultural Heritage Planning by refugees.
Mr. Karim Chaya, Managing
Partner, Abillama Chaya Industrial

Senior Director, SURR GP, WBG
Mr. Saroj Kumar Jha, Regional – DR. EDE JORGE IJJASZ-VASQUEZ
Director, Mashreq, WBG Senior Director, Social, Urban, Rural, and Resilience
Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor of Beirut, Global Practice (SURR GP), The World Bank Group

S peakers Bios 31

In January 2019, H.E. Ms. Raya Haffar El Hassan was appointed as
Minister of Interior and Municipalities in the Government of H.E. Mr. Saad
Hariri, President of the Council of Ministers.

Before her appointment, she served as the Chairman-General Manager
of the Tripoli Special Economic Zone Authority.

Since 2013, H.E. Ms. El Hassan has served as member of the board of
H.E. MS. RAYA directors of Bank Med, Méditerranée Investment Bank, and Saudi Lebanese

HAFFAR Bank. She also serves on the advisory committees of the Rafic Hariri
University-Business School and the Beirut Arab University-Northern Branch.
EL HASSAN From November 2009 until June 2011, she has served as Minister of
Minister of Interior and Finance, the first female in the Arab world to assume such a post.
During her tenure GDP growth averaged 8 percent.
Municipalities, Lebanon
Previously, H.E. Ms. El Hassan was a senior member of the Prime Minister’s
Cabinet at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. Earlier in her career,
she was Advisor to the Minister of Economy and Trade and a program
specialist for the Economic Governance and Pro-Poor portfolio at UNDP

H.E. Ms. El Hassan holds an MBA degree in Finance and Investments
from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in Business
Administration from the American University of Beirut.

Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor of Beirut, received a bachelor’s degree in civil
engineering from George Washington University and a master’s degree in
Civil Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

He began his career as a consultant engineer in Saudi Arabia and then
moved to Dubai where he worked in business development and trade
with several Arab and foreign companies across the Middle East and

MR. JAMAL ITANI Europe. He then assumed the position of President of the Council for
Development and Reconstruction (CDR) in Lebanon.
Mayor of Beirut
Furthermore, he developed and managed major urban development
projects in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. He then assumed the role of
Executive Director of Solidere in Lebanon before being elected Mayor
of Beirut in 2016.
S peakers Bios 32

Mr. Saroj Kumar Jha is the Regional Director of the World Bank Group’s
Mashreq Department (Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Iran) since 2017.

Before his appointment to the Mashreq region, Mr. Jha was the Senior
Director for the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Global Practice at the
World Bank Group. In that position, he provided strategic leadership for
addressing the challenge of fragility, conflict and violence, working across

MR. SAROJ the World Bank Group and in close collaboration with partners.

KUMAR JHA In his position as the World Bank’s Regional Director for Central
Asia based in Almaty, he led the Bank’s strategic engagements in
Regional Director, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan,
with particular focus on cooperative management of water and energy,
and regional action on climate adaptation and mitigation.
World Bank Group
Additionally, Mr. Jha served as the World Bank’s Global Manager for the
Disaster Risk Management Practice and as Head of the Global Facility
for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), which he founded in 2006.
GFDRR is now the world’s largest global fund for disaster prevention and
post-disaster recovery operations.

Dr. Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez is the Senior Director for the World Bank Group’s
Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice.

In this position, Mr. Ijjasz-Vasquez leads a team of over 600 technical
experts deployed across the world, leveraging global knowledge and
collaborating with partners to help tackle the world’s most complex
development challenges in: social inclusion and sustainability;

DR. EDE IJJASZ- mainstreaming resilience in all dimensions development; territorial and
rural development; and urban planning, services and institutions.
VASQUEZ Before this, he was Director for Sustainable Development of the Latin
Senior Director, Global America and Caribbean Region since November 2011, covering infrastructure,
environment and climate change, social development, agriculture and rural
Practice for Social, Urban,
development, disaster risk management, and urban development.
Rural and Resilience,
World Bank Group From 2007 to 2011, he was based in Beijing, where he managed the
Sustainable Development Unit for China and Mongolia. Earlier in his career,
he managed the global trust-funded programs ESMAP and WSP in energy
and water and sanitation, respectively.
S peakers Bios 33

Dr. Sameh Naguib Wahba is the Director of the World Bank Group’s Social,
Rural, Urban and Resilience Global Practice, based in Washington in DC,
where he oversees the formulation of the World Bank’s strategy and the
design and delivery of all lending, technical assistance, policy advisory
activities, and partnerships at the global level.

Prior to this position, he was Practice Manager for the Urban and Disaster

DR. SAMEH Risk Management unit in Africa and the Global Urban and Resilience Unit,
and he served as Acting Director of Operations and Strategy for the Global
NAGUIB WAHBA Practice. He also worked as Sustainable Development Sector Leader for
Brazil, based in Brasilia, and worked as an urban specialist focused on
Director, Social, Urban, housing, land, local economic development, and municipal management
Rural and Resilience and service delivery in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle
Global Practice, East and North Africa Regions. Prior to joining the Bank in 2004, he
worked at the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies in
World Bank Group Rotterdam and at the Harvard Center for Urban Development Studies.

Dr. Wahba holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in Urban Planning from
Harvard University, and a B.Sc and M.Sc in Architectural Engineering from
Cairo University.

Professor Jamal Saghir is an expert in infrastructure and international
finance. He is currently Professor of Practice at the Institute for the
Study of International Development at McGill University, Montreal,
Affiliated Scholar at the American University of Beirut and Non-
Resident Senior Fellow at the Payne Institute, Colorado School of Mines.
He is member of Board of Directors of CICA S.A; SATRAM-HUILES SA;
SAMC-COMBUSTIBLES SA and S + M TANK, Switzerland; member of
PROF. JAMAL the Advisory Board of AMEA Power LLC, Dubai; MAN S.A, Lebanon;
GRV Global Ltd, London and member of the Council for Sustainable
SAGHIR Development Goals 1, End Poverty, and The World Government Summit,
Dubai. He is also Special Advisor to the Executive Committee of Bollore
Professor, McGill
Transport and Logistics, France.
Affiliated Scholar, Issam From 2010 to 2016, he was Director of Sustainable Development and
Senior Regional Adviser at the World Bank. From 2000 to 2010, he
Fares Institute, American was Director and Chair of the World Bank Group’s Boards for Energy,
University of Beirut Transport, and Water.

Prof. Saghir was appointed in 2009 by the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban
Ki-moon as core member of the United Nations Energy and Climate
Change Advisory Group. He was also appointed as core member of the
Global Energy Assessment from 2008-2011.
S peakers Bios 34

Ms. Kazuko Ishigaki served 20 years at the Japanese Government and has
engaged in national spatial planning, disaster risk management planning,
and a wide array of urban and regional development policies.

Currently, she is in charge of national policies to promote community-
based disaster risk management, building of volunteer management
system and international cooperation for global disaster risk reduction,

MS. KAZUKO as Director for Disaster Preparedness, Cabinet Office for Disaster
Management, Government of Japan.
ISHIGAKI Prior to her current position, she served three years as Director for
Director for Disaster International Planning on Construction Industry, Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Government of Japan.
Preparedness, Disaster
She significantly enhanced MLIT’S relationship with African countries
Management Bureau, by establishing Japan-Africa Infrastructure Development Association
Cabinet Office, Japan and with Asian countries by establishing Japan-ASEAN Smart City
Association. She also served three years as Risk Knowledge Economist
of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Ms. Kazuko Ishigaki has a master’s degree in Public Policy and Urban
Planning from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University,
and a master’s degree in Economics from Waseda University,
Tokyo, Japan.

Dr. Yousef AlShawarbeh was appointed the new Mayor of Amman in 2017.

He started his career as a lawyer and a legal advisor then decided to be
part of the community efforts serving his city and his country. He then
ran for the municipal elections and was elected as a city council member
in Greater Amman Municipality from 2003 to 2007 and from 2013 to
2015. The city council also elected him as the Deputy Mayor of Amman

DR. YOUSEF during the same period. In the year 2015, he was appointed Minister for
Political and Parliament Affairs.
ALSHAWARBEH Dr. AlShawarbeh was also the chairman for Aldustour newspaper board of
Mayor of Amman, Jordan directors and participated in many committees in the national level and
the local city level.

He holds a PhD in constitutional law from Al-Neelain University and a
master’s degree from the same university and bachelor’s degree in law
from Al-Ahliyaa Amman University.
S peakers Bios 35

Ms. Souad Abderrahim was elected as the Mayor of Tunis in 2018. She
is a member of the Ennahda Movement and the first woman to serve as
Tunis’s mayor. She is a native of Métouia.). In 2011, she joined the Ennahdha
party and was elected the same year to the Constituent Assembly for
Ennahdha representing of Tunis. She chairs the parliamentary Committee
on Human Rights and Freedoms.

MS. SOUAD Prior to engaging in politics, Ms. Souad Abderrahim worked as CEO for the
pharmaceutical wholesaler Presta Pharm.
Mayor of Tunis, Tunisia

Dr. Nadim Munla is an Adviser to H.E. Mr. Saad Hariri, President of the
Council of Ministers.

Dr. Munla was the Chairman and General Manager of the Future TV Vice
Chairman of Beirut Stock Exchange. From 1991 to 1992, he was Senior
Manager at Group Med.

Dr. Munla was a Professor of Economics at the American University of
DR. NADIM Beirut. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Southern

MUNLA California, USA.

Adviser to the Prime
Minister, Lebanon

As the Vice President of Resilience Finance at 100 Resilient Cities (100RC),
Ms. Elizabeth Yee works with 100RC’s member cities and external partners
to overcome the financial challenges of resilience project development and

Ms. Yee brings over 16 years of experience in public finance, working with a
variety of cities, states, governmental agencies and not-for-profit entities

MS. ELIZABETH to develop and execute financing strategies to fund their project needs.
Her transaction experience includes the financing of energy distribution
YEE and generation assets, roads, water and sewer, solid waste facilities, not-
for-profit hospitals, and the development of pension financing solutions.
Vice President, Resilience
Prior to joining 100RC, she co-led the Public Power and Utilities Team at
Finance, 100 Resilient
Barclays where she and her team won Bond Buyer Deal of the Year and
Cities Far West Deal of the Year for their innovation in financing the 200 MW
Milford Wind Corridor Project for the Southern California Public Power
Authority and its members – Los Angeles Department of Water & Power,
Burbank Water & Power and Pasadena Water & Power.

Ms. Yee received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and German
from the University of Pennsylvania.
S peakers Bios 36

Mr. Philip Karp is Lead Knowledge Management Officer in the World
Bank Group’s Social, Urban, Rural Resiliency Global Practice where he
is responsible for developing and supporting implementation of various
components of the Practice’s knowledge, learning and innovation work,
including South-South knowledge exchange, Communities of Practice, and
knowledge networks and partnerships, along with associated training and
capacity building for World Bank staff and clients.
MR. PHILIP KARP He has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of knowledge,
Lead Knowledge learning, and advisory services, with particular emphasis on practitioner-
to-practitioner and South knowledge exchange. He was stationed for over
Management Officer,
four years in the World Bank’s Office in Beijing where he led the World
Global Practice for Bank’s engagement with China on South-South cooperation, most notably
Social, Urban, Rural and with African countries.
Resilience, World Bank Mr. Karp holds graduate degrees in economics and public policy from the
Group University of California, Berkeley.

Ms. Matilda Khoury is an elected Councilor in the City Council of Beirut,
where she oversees the development of projects and programs related to
Sustainable Urban Development as well as Culture and Heritage.

Her career was marked by work on projects and programs of a public
nature, both on the urban and environmental levels. In particular, she has
worked with the United Nations Development Program, as manager of

MS. MATILDA several Environment and Energy projects. Furthermore, she has worked
as an environmental consultant on several World Bank funded projects,
KHOURY as well as a lecturer at the American University of Beirut and a practicing
Architect in the private sector. Throughout her career, she maintained
Councilor, Municipal a commitment to safeguarding the balance between the natural
Council of Beirut, environment and the man-made built environment.
Lebanon Ms. Khoury Holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the American
University of Beirut, and a master’s degree in Environment and Energy
Studies from the Architectural Association in London.
S peakers Bios 37

Sébastien Maire is an expert in the management of local authorities. From
2001 to 2008, he was elected Deputy Mayor of his hometown Besançon, in
charge of university relations and international cooperation. He worked for
10 years in Seine-Saint-Denis, as Director of Economic Development for the
City of Pantin and then as Chief of Staff for Dominique Voynet, Mayor of
Montreuil, until 2014, where he led the in-depth redesign of the urban project
towards more ecology and sustainable development. He then returned
MR. SÉBASTIEN to university and obtained a master’s degree in Innovation Management
Research in Public Organizations and Policies (Mines Paristech/ESCP/Paris X).
From November 2015 to February 2019, he was the first Senior Manager
Chief Resilience Officer, of Resilience for the City of Paris, an ultra-cross-cutting position that
Paris, France aims to better prepare the territory to face the challenges of the century,
whether major shocks (attacks, floods, etc.) or more chronic stresses
(climate change, inequality, migration, pollution, etc.). As part of the World
Network of 100 Resilient Cities, he has developed a long-term resilience
strategy that covers both social and urban projects and governance,
unanimously adopted by the Paris Council in September 2017 and
currently under implementation.

Since February 2019, he has been General Delegate for the Ecological-
Ecological Transition and Resilience of the City of Paris and coordinates
the implementation of policies related to climate, air quality, circular
economy and resilience.

Dr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena assumed his new role as Panama City
Resilience Officer in May 2017. Among his areas of experience are
the Financial Management and Environmental Projects, Institutional
Management and Public Administration, Science and Research, Teaching
and Scientific Communication.

Within his extensive professional experience, Dr. Arosemena worked as

DR. ARTURO Biologist Marine Office of Education Smithsonian Tropical Research
Institute (STRI), was Deputy Director of Ordination and Integrated
DOMINICI Management and Head of the Environmental Unit in the Aquatic
Authority Resources of Panama (ARAP), Senior Coordinator of the Marine
AROSEMENA Conservation Program at the International Foundation for Sustainable
Development of Panama (FUNDESPA ), Professor of Environmental
Chief Resilience Officer,
Sciences, Marine Ecosystems, Conservation and Sustainable Development
Panama City, Panama at the University of Panama and the International Maritime University
Panama and Executive Director of the Ramsar Regional Center for
Training and Research on Wetlands for the Western Hemisphere.

Since 2008, he has been the National Focal Point of Panama for the
Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from de University of Panama, a
master’s degree in Biology from the University of Costa Rica and a Ph.D. in
Natural Sciences from the Leibnitz Center of Tropical Marine Research and
the University of Bremen, Germany.
S peakers Bios 38

Ms. Bilge Cakir joined IFC in 2008 and worked across multiple sectors
including municipal financing, infrastructure and manufacturing within
Eastern Europe, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle Eastern

She has successfully implemented financing of three subway projects
for the Istanbul Municipality, wastewater concession project in Brazil,

MS. BILGE CAKIR Lekela equity platform for developing wind and solar projects in Sub-
Saharan Africa, four 50MW solar PV projects under the Egypt Feed-
Investment Officer, in-Tariff renewable energy initiative and Masdar’s recent 200MW solar
PV investment in Jordan. Some of these projects were recognized by
International Finance
international organizations leading to IFC being awarded with Project
Corporation (IFC) MENA, Finance International (PFI), Global Deal of the Year 2017; Infrastructure
World Bank Group Journal (IJ) Global, MENA DFI of the Year 2018 and Multilateral Institution
of the Year in 2017 by both PFI and IJ Global.

Ms. Cakir holds a double major BA in Economics and Business
Administration from Koc University, Istanbul and MBA degree from
Harvard Business School.

Dr. Josef Leitmann is Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the
World Bank Group, heading teams on Resilient Recovery and Urban
Resilience at the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

He is also GFDRR’s focal point for humanitarian and fragility/conflict
issues. Previously, Dr. Leitmann spent four years managing the $400

DR. JOSEF million Haiti Reconstruction Fund which supports post-earthquake
recovery in partnership with the Government and the international
LEITMANN community.

Lead Disaster Risk At the same time, he supported the creation of crisis response and
development funds in a number of fragile and conflict-affected states
Management Specialist,
(Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan). He also developed and managed the
Global Facility $650 million Multi Donor Fund to help rebuild after the tsunami in
for Disaster Reduction Indonesia. Dr. Leitmann has over 30 years of development experience
and Recovery (GFDRR), with the World Bank in disaster risk management, climate change, natural
resource management, urban development, forestry, and clean energy.
World Bank Group
Dr. Leitmann holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University
of California, Berkeley, and a master’s from the Harvard Kennedy School.
S peakers Bios 39

Sujit Kumar Mohanty works in the UNISDR Regional Office for Arab
States as the Chief of Regional Office.

Before coming to Egypt, Mr. Mohanty worked as the Head a.i and Regional
Platform Coordinator for the UNISDR Asia Pacific office in Bangkok,
Thailand (2011-2017). Sujit has over 18 years of experience in the field
of disaster risk management; humanitarian coordination; development;

MR. SUJIT KUMAR climate change and worked with UN organizations such as UN Office
for Humanitarian Coordination (UNOCHA), United Nations Development
MOHANTY  Programme (UNDP) and UNISDR.

Chief of the Arab Mr. Mohanty led the Asia Ministerial Conferences and regional coordination
for implementation of Sendai Framework in the Asian region. He worked
States Regional Office,
in UNISDR headquarters in Geneva (2006-2011) and led the design and
United Nations Office implementation of the ‘Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) Monitor’,
for Disaster Risk a global DRR/HFA progress monitoring and evaluation framework;
Reduction (UNISDR) the PreventionWeb; and co-authored publications such as the Global
Assessment Report (2011) and Asia Pacific Disaster Report(2012).

Prior to UNISDR, he worked with UNOCHA in Sri Lanka as a Chief
Technical Adviser for Risk Information Systems in 2005 and as a Manager,
Disaster Information Systems in UNDP, India (2000-2005).

Mr. Mohanty is an Indian national, holding dual master’s degrees in
business administration and in Computer Science.

Building on a background of socio-anthropology and economic
development, Ms. Hart Ford has been working across various aspects of
humanitarian and development programming over the last 10 years in
Haiti, Senegal, South Sudan, Jordan and Lebanon.

Her work has focused on linking humanitarian programming in urban
emergencies to resilience and good governance efforts, notably through

MS. HART FORD applying camp management principles to expand the impact of crisis
response in these constrained environments, while integrating structural
Director, ACTED Lebanon solutions.

Furthermore, Ms. Hart has been a partner on two recent studies led by the
Institute of Development Studies and Impact Initiatives entitled “Wellbeing
of Urban Refugees: Syrians and Hosts in Jordan and Lebanon” and “Public
Authority and Legitimacy Making (PALM) – host-refugee relations in urban
Jordan and Lebanon.” Hart is currently the Country Director for ACTED
Lebanon based in.
S peakers Bios 40

Dr. Sufyan Al-Issa is the Regional Head of Operations for the Middle East
and North Africa (MENA) at the International Finance Corporation (IFC),
World Bank Group. Prior to this position he was a Principal Investment
Officer and Regional Program Leader at IFC, covering both investment
and advisory services, especially skills, education, and entrepreneurship in

DR. SUFYAN Dr. Al-Issa has more than 15 years of international experience in financial
and private sector, economic policies and issues, connecting finance with
AL-ISSA investment opportunities and fund mobilization. Prior to joining IFC, he
was a Senior Advisor to the Dean of the Board and Executive Director for
Regional Head of Middle East at the World Bank Group.
Operations, International
Dr. Al-Issa is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Ph.D. in Economics
Finance Cooperation from University of London.
MENA, World Bank Group

Ms. Dana Omran joined 100 Resilient Cities after spending over 9 years
with the World Bank and International Finance Corporation in various

Ms. Omran worked for one of the World Bank Group’s flagship
publications, the Doing Business report, in Washington DC, where she
led the global research team responsible for bench-marking construction

MS. DANA OMRAN and urban planning regulations in 183 countries. She then joined the
International Finance Corporation’s Investment Climate Advisory Services,
Managing Director where she advised national and city governments across Africa and
the Middle East on how to design and implement innovative policy and
for Africa,
technology solutions to improve the reach of public service delivery,
100 Resilient Cities increase government transparency, and support small and medium sized
business growth.

In addition to her international development experience, Ms. Omran has
worked in a variety of strategy and policy roles and has advised start-ups,
government entities and political campaigns in Latin America and the
Middle East.

Ms. Omran holds a Master of Arts in International Security Studies
from Georgetown University. She received her Bachelor of Science in
Science and Technology in International Affairs and a certificate in
Contemporary Arab Studies from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at
Georgetown University, where she was a Phi Beta Kappa member and a
John Carroll Scholar.
S peakers Bios 41

Ms. Isabel Margarita Cantada is an Urban Specialist and consultant for
the World Bank’s Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice
focusing on cities in Sub-Saharan Africa and has previously worked in East
and South Asia.

She is currently supporting the City Resilience Program where she
contributes her project experience in city management, municipal finance,

MS. ISABEL local governance and decentralization, spatial and land use planning,
and municipal infrastructure and service delivery.
MARGARITA Ms. Cantada holds a master’s in urban planning from the Graduate School
CANTADA  of Design at Harvard University and a B.A. in Economics from Ateneo de
Manila University in the Philippines. 
City Scans,
The World Bank Group

Dr. Ali M. Al-Hemoud is a research scientist at the Kuwait Institute for
Scientific Research in the Environment and Life Sciences Research Center.

He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist, a Certified Safety Professional, and
a Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
(IOSH). He earned his degrees from the University of Cincinnati (PhD),
Cleveland State University (MS), and University of Pittsburgh (BS), all in

DR. ALI industrial engineering.

M. AL-HEMOUD His research interest is in the field of risk assessment, environmental
and occupational health, safety, natural hazards, and resilience, as well
Research Scientist, reviewing international health, safety and environment (HSE) standards
and guidelines, and developing new HSE standards for Kuwait.
Kuwait Institute for
Scientific Research,
S peakers Bios 42

Mr. Tony Sfeir has been appointed as the Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) for
the City of Byblos in 2014. Mr. Sfeir brings a wealth of experience and local
expertise to the position.

He has been an elected member of the municipality corps from 2010- till
2016. There, he joined the Committee of Tourism and Culture, as well as
the Committee of Environment. He was also appointed as the coordinator

MR. TONY SFEIR between the city and the United Nations International Strategy for
Disaster Reduction-Disaster Risk Recovery (UNISDR-DRR) program.
Chief Resilience Officer, Mr. Sfeir represented the Municipality of Byblos till 2016, in the “Crisis
Committee,” which has recently performed successful response exercises
Byblos, Lebanon
for tsunami and earthquake simulations.

Mr. Sfeir was a longtime member of Byblos Ecologia, an environmental
NGO that successfully fought to preserve Byblos’ heritage. After a long
political struggle, a small group of persons including Tony was able to
mobilize the citizens of Byblos to lobby against a decree that would have
replaced the city’s historic last sandy beach with a marina. Their efforts
protected this important heritage site.

Since his appointment Mr. Sfeir and his team worked for 18 months on
meetings and consultations with the different city stakeholders, academic
bodies, government and private sector representatives, to come up with
the Byblos resilient strategy that was launched in April 2016.

Mr. Salim Rouhana is a Senior Urban Development and Resilience
Specialist and Task Team Leader at the World Bank, where he has worked
on the Middle East and North Africa, and East Asia regions. Based in Tunis,
Tunisia, Mr. Rouhana has most recently focused primarily on areas related
to urban governance, public finance, low-income housing, and urban

MR. SALIM Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr. Rouhana worked in private and public
institutions in Paris, Doha, and Beirut in architecture, urban planning and
ROUHANA design, mobility planning, and urban community engagement.

Senior Urban Mr. Rouhana holds a Bachelor and master’s degree in architecture from
the Lebanese University in Beirut, a Dual master’s degree in political
Development Specialist,
science from La Sagesse University in Beirut and Paris 11 University,
World Bank Group a master’s degree in urban planning and Management from the Ecole
Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees in Paris, and an Executive MBA from the
Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, Spain.
S peakers Bios 43

Mr. Anton Salman was elected Mayor of the City of Bethlehem in
May 2017.

In addition to this position, Mr. Salman is a lawyer since 1989 and was
a lecturer in civil law at Bethlehem University and member of the City
Council at Bethlehem Municipality.

Secretary general and chairman of the committee of international
MR. ANTON relations of the Association of the Palestinian Local Authorities, in addition

SALMAN to numerous other Palestinian committees, Mr. Salman has received many
awards, including a honorary citizenship from the Municipality of Ruviano,
Mayor of Bethlehem, Italy, in 2017.
Palestine Mr. Salman holds a bachelor’s in law from Beirut Arab University.

In 2016, Tbilisi joined the 100RC network and in 2017, Ms. Ardelean was
appointed as first Chief Resilience Officer. Since then, with a team of
experts from 100 Resilient Cities and BuroHappold Engineering, she has
been working on Tbilisi Resilience Strategy that will be released in 2019.

Ms. Ana Ardelean worked in the private sector for 10 years. In 2014, she
moved to work to the local government. She held a variety of senior

MS. ANA positions in the Mayor’s Office including the Head of Vice-Mayor’s office
and the Head of International Relations Department.
ARDELEAN In 2015, Tbilisi was struck by the deadly flood known as June 13th Flood.
Chief Resilience Officer, This tragedy deeply affected every person living in Tbilisi. From City Hall
Ms. Ardelean worked with donor organizations and different parties to
Tbilisi, Georgia
help the City get back on track. That is when she decided to reach out to
100 Resilient Cities and realized that Tbilisi had an opportunity to become
the part of the network.

Ms. Ana Ardelean holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Ivane
Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and a master’s degree from DePaule
University of Chicago, USA.

Mr. Eric Wilson is a Deputy Director with the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency
(MOR), where he manages climate adaptation programs in land use and

He oversees a team of architects, urban planners and policy experts
working to identify fiscally responsible and socially equitable approaches
to the climate challenges facing New York City’s building stock and

MR. ERIC WILSON neighborhoods. Mr. Wilson and his team coordinate with individuals,
households, communities and local, state, and federal agencies to get
Deputy Director, ready for New York City’s climate vulnerabilities, including sea level rise,
extreme heat, and powerful storms.  
Land Use and Buildings,
New York City, USA
S peakers Bios 44

Dr. Nabil S. Itani is a Conservation Architect and Heritage Management

He received his Architecture Degree from the Lebanese University
(1986) and a master’s degree and PhD in Conservation of Historic Towns
and Buildings from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (2001),
where he also practiced architecture and restoration.

DR. NABIL S. ITANI Upon returning to Lebanon, Dr. Itani joined the Ministry of Culture (2001-
2003), where he was in charge of the setting of the official sites of the
Project Manager,
Arab and Francophone Summits held in Beirut. He also lectured on the
Cultural Heritage and Theory and History of Conservation, Urban Design, and Cultural Heritage
Urban Development Management, and participated in research projects at various universities,
(CHUD) Project, Council including the Lebanese University and the American University of Beirut.

for Development and
Reconstruction, Lebanon

Mr. Steven Rubinyi is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World
Bank where he leads the World Bank’s City Creditworthiness Initiative and
co-leads the World Bank’s City Resilience Program.

Mr. Rubinyi has worked at the World Bank for six years, including in the
South Asia Region where he assisted on urban and coastal resilience
projects in Bangladesh and the Government of Nepal’s housing

MR. STEVEN reconstruction program following the 2015 earthquake.

RUBINYI In addition to his ongoing work program, Mr. Rubinyi is pursuing a PhD
in spatial economics from the University of Oxford.
Disaster Risk
Mr. Wilson joins the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency from 100 Resilient Cities,
Management (DRM) a program of the Rockefeller Foundation, where he managed relationships
Specialist, with 11 cities and staffed special initiatives such as the ReImagine
World Bank Group Puerto Rico Commission following Hurricane MaSeria. His over 15-year
career spans several New York City agencies, including the Department
of Housing Preservation & Development, the Economic Development
Corporation, and the Department of City Planning.   

Mr. Wilson holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from Cornell
University and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Environmental Conservation
and Plant Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  
S peakers Bios 45

Ms. Nisreen Al-Araj has a working experience of around 24 years mainly
in the sustainable development and urban planning.

She has various and extensive experience in different fields related
to development especially in local governments, Project financing,
public policy and strategy formulation, Climate Change and resiliency,
Sustainable development goals monitoring and tracking in the city

MS. NISREEN level. Has been working for the last ten years in Greater Amman
Municipality managing projects and overseeing programs, especially
AL-ARAJ which international agencies or donor finances and funding agencies.

Chief Resilience Officer, Currently, she is the Chief Resilience officer for Amman responsible for the
implementation of the resiliency strategy in addition to being the Mayor’s
Greater Amman, Jordan
advisor for Projects and International Cooperation.

Ms. Al-Araj holds a degree in Engineering from the Jordan University of
Science and Technology.

Mr. Abdullahi Ali Watiin is the Mayor of Baidoa City, South West State
of Somalia. In his capacity as a mayor, he has led comprehensive reforms
in Baidoa local government. He has successfully worked with the
United nations, World Bank and donors by elevating the profile of local
governments in South Central Somalia.

Mr. Watiin has 12 years of experience in leadership positions focused on

MR. ABDULLAHI development planning, local government planning, peacebuilding and
conflict resolution.
ALI WATIIN As a mayor, he has supervised MIDNIMO project, which is intended to
Mayor of Baidoa, Somalia enhance local leadership capacities to facilitate the sustainable return,
recovery, social integration and peaceful co-existence of displacement
affected, returnee, other migrant groups and host communities in Baidoa
South West State of Somalia.

Previously, he has worked with the Somalia ministry of Finance and United
Nation Mine Action Services (UNMAS).

Mr. Saed Zawahrah is a founding member of the Zarqa City Youth Council
which contains 60 members of the youth from the city in addition to
15 members from the Syrian refugees who were living in Zarqa. The Zarqa
City Youth council functions as a shadow council for the municipality in
order to ensure that municipal services are functioning and fulfilling the
quickly rising demand after the waves of Syrian refugees into the city.

MR. SAED Mr. Zawahrah is also a member of the Local Community Prevention
Network that aims at protecting the community, and young people in
ZAWAHRAH particular, from being targeted by extremist groups

Zarqa City Currently, I am a researcher and analyst intern at NAMA Strategic
Intelligence Solutions. A technology driven firm that conducts studies
Youth Council, Jordan
and research in various topics related to the region. We are currently
working on some projects related to the Syrian refugees and the
Decentralization Law.

Ms. Cynthia Bakkalian currently works as a Monitoring, Evaluation,
Learning and Development Officer within the Disaster Risk Reduction
(DRR) Unit of the Lebanese Red Cross. As a DRR unit, their goal is to
achieve safe, resilient and self- reliant communities for responding to
natural and man-made hazards.

Prior to joining the Lebanese Red Cross, Ms. Bakkalian worked as a Data

MS. CYNTHIA Manager with Fondation Mérieux, a French family foundation, which aims
at combating infectious diseases in developing countries among vulnerable
BAKKALIAN populations by building local capacities.

World Bank Youth Furthermore, she is an active member in the Sin El Fil Youth Committee,
a youth committee that advocates for children and youth rights to
Advisory Group, Lebanon
enable them as active decision and change makers within their own local

Ms. Bakkalian has also been accepted to join the Youth Advisory Group
(YAG) of the World Bank Group. The YAG is a voluntary group composed
on 27 young men and women from diverse backgrounds and areas within
Lebanon. The objective of the group is to provide a pathway for youth to
participate in and engage in policy discussions and to communicate their
concerns. The group will contribute to World Bank projects in addition to
planning for new and innovative initiatives.

She is from Beirut, Lebanon, and holds a bachelor’s degree of Sciences in
Public Health and Development Sciences from the University of Balamand.

Mr. Behzad Adam was appointed Deputy Governor of Dohuk in 1992.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Baghdad in
1978. He joined the bar association in the same year and practiced law for
the 14 following years until 1992. Mr. Adam is a former member of the Bar
Associations in Iraq and Kurdistan.

Furthermore, he is a human rights activist and was member of the General
MR. BEHZAD Secretariat of the Organization for the Defense of Human Rights in the

ADAM Arab States / Germany OMRAS until 2005. He was also Chairman of the
Organization for the Defense of Human Rights in Iraq / Germany OMRIK.
Deputy Governor of
Mr. Behzad has published a number of articles on human rights
Dohuk, Iraq/Kurdistan
Regional Government
S peakers Bios 47

As a Senior Regional Project Manager based in Beirut, Ms. Khadije
Nasser leads the implementation of a Strong Cities Network Project with
Lebanese and Jordanian municipalities promoting the role of sub-national
actors in PVE.

Prior to joining the Strong Cities Network, Ms. Nasser worked as Projects
Manager and Cultural Advisor to the Danish Embassy in Beirut responsible

MS. KHADIJE for managing its projects and NGO relations. Earlier on, she worked for
national and international NGOs in the region managing prevention,
NASSER development and humanitarian aid projects.

Senior Regional Project In Denmark, Ms. Nasser has managed crime prevention initiatives
targeting marginalized youth in Copenhagen and integration of former
Manager, Strong Cities
prisoners. As a former Capacity Building Trainer and Dialogue Ambassador
Network for the Danish Ministry of Refugees, Immigrants and Integration she has
extensive experiences in working with direct interventions with youth
at risk.

She holds a M.A. degree in Anthropology from the University of

Ms. Naila Ahmed is a Senior Social Development Specialist at the
World Bank.

She is currently based in the Beirut Country Office where her main areas
of focus are on displacement in the region, post-conflict reconstruction,
and social inclusion.

Ms. Ahmed has over fifteen years of experience preparing and leading
MS. NAILA AHMED World Bank operations and analytical work that aims to improve
economic opportunities in rural and urban areas, strengthen social
Senior Social
cohesion, service delivery and post disaster reconstruction through
Development Specialist, community driven development programs. During this time, she has
World Bank Group worked closely with governments, UN agencies, civil society and across
sectors. Prior to joining the Beirut office, she led the development response
to internal and regional displacement in Afghanistan.

Before joining the World Bank, she worked in the private sector in
Singapore and Hong Kong.

Ms. Ahmed holds a master’s degree and an advanced certificate in post
conflict and peace building studies from Syracuse University.
S peakers Bios 48

Ms. Fatma El Zahraa Aglan joined the World Bank in 2013, and the
Agriculture and Food Global Practice in MENA/ECA in 2018.

In addition to focusing on value chain financing and digital agriculture,
she is the Egypt Country Office’s MENA Youth Focal point, actively
mainstreaming youth inclusion in their World Bank Portfolio. Prior
to joining the World Bank, she worked in commodity trade and real

MS. FATMA estate investment management, whilst founding the Al Yassin Charity
Foundation which caters to the underserved, by providing them with direct
AGLAN cash transfers and subsidized medical care.

Agricultural Specialist, Ms. Aglan holds an MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance from Cass
Business School in London, UK.
World Bank Group

Prof. Ezio Todini is a Consultant with the World Bank Group.

After graduating as Doctor in Hydraulic Engineering at the University
of Pisa in 1969, Mr. Todini joined the IBM Pisa Scientific Centre in 1970.
He combined his role as a Research Scientist at the IBM Pisa Scientific
Centre (1970-79) with that of Professor of Applied Hydromechanics at
the University of Pisa (1973-80) and of Water Resources Planning at the

PROF. EZIO TODINI University of Florence (1979-81).

Since 1980, he has held the chair of Hydrology at the University of
Bologna. For a number of years, he also served as President of the
World Bank Group Management Board of ProGeA (Protezione e Gestione Ambientale), a spin-
off company of the same University.

Prof. Todini has been very active in operational real time flood forecasting.
He has developed more than 15 operational real-time flood forecasting
systems in Italy, Spain, Germany and China, where he acted as the EU
Coordinator for an almost 2 million Ecu project for the development
of a real time flood forecasting system on the Fuchun river. He also
participated to project EFFS for the development of a European Flood
Forecasting System and has been the Co-ordinator of the EU funded
project MUSIC dealing with the Bayesian combination of rain-gauges,
radar and satellite areal rainfall estimates and the assessment and
communication of uncertainty to End-Users. Prof. Todini also participated
to project FLOODsite both as a participant and as a member of the
Scientific and Technical Advisory Board.

For his dedication to Hydrology and his achievements, he was then
nominated in 2017 Honorary President of the Italian Hydrological Society.
S peakers Bios 49

Ms. Sarah Antos is an urban geographer at the World Bank who co-leads
the Global Program for Resilient Housing.

This innovative program is aimed at formalizing global development
approaches to providing safe, sustainable housing in regions prone to
climate stress and natural disasters. In addition to housing, her work as
focused on urban planning and leveraging high resolution imagery and

MS. SARAH machine learning for disaster risk management. Before joining the World
Bank, she worked at the World Health Organization and US’s Office of
ANTOS Foreign Disaster Assistance, where she used satellite imagery and survey
data to improve disaster recovery efforts.
Data Scientist, Global
Ms. Antos holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Geography from
Program for Resilient,
The George Washington University.
World Bank Group

Mr. Denis Jordy is Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the
World Bank Group, with more than 20 years of experience in environment,
agriculture, disaster risk management & climate change adaptation.

He has a multi-region experience in Africa, Asia, Middle East and North
Africa, Latin America, France and USA and worked across multiple sectors
such as transport, energy, and water. In May 2017, he joined the Global

MR. DENIS JORDY Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) within the World
Bank where he leads the Small Islands States Resilience Initiative and the
Lead Disaster Risk Nature Based Solutions Platform.
Management Specialist, Before joining GFDRR, he coordinated the Environment, Disaster Risk
World Bank Group Management and Climate Change Adaptation portfolio in the Pacific
and Region and Senegal. During his time at the Bank, Mr. Jordy has
worked on urban flood risk reduction, coastal zone management, resilient
infrastructure, climate resilience, disaster response and reconstruction,
and environmental management.

Prior to the Bank, he worked for the French Government on environment,
pollution control, agriculture, and rural development programs and policies
in France and West Africa.
S peakers Bios 50

Mr. Jade Salhab is a senior private sector development specialist at the
World Bank; based in Washington D.C.

He has thirteen years of experience promoting innovative public policies at
local and national levels, in Europe and the MENA region. In Tunisia, he has
been facilitating cluster specific public private dialogues in a wide range of
sectors such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, and agribusiness, promoting

MR. JADE SALHAB a bottom-up approach to policymaking and development, with a strong
focus on integrating SMEs and smallholder farmers in global markets.
Senior Private Sector He also leads multi-sectoral World Bank investment projects and policy
initiatives aimed at strengthening competitiveness and trade.
Development Specialist,
World Bank Group Mr. Salhab holds a master’s in public administration from the Harvard
Kennedy School, a master’s in Urban Environment and Sustainable
Development from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, and a
bachelor’s in architecture form the American University of Beirut.

Ms. Zina Dajani brings 18 years of knowledge in structuring, financing
and managing services companies, in addition to her experience in design,
development and financing of development projects.

In June 2016, Ms. Dajani established Antwork, a technology-enabled
coworking platform in Beirut, bridging between real estate and technology.
Antwork is disrupting the workplace/the way work is done, by eliminating

MS. ZINA BDEIR the need for dedicated physical space, and investment in tools, equipment
and proprietary services. Launched in March 2017, the online Antwork
DAJANI community is now 6,000+ member-strong with 500 members making the
technology campus their base. Ms. Dajani has geared Antwork towards
Founder & CEO, Antwork, regional growth through partnerships with space operators and owners as
Lebanon well as real estate developers – Antwork is in the process of rolling out in
key markets, starting with a first one in Europe, expected to be launched
in Q2 of 2019.

She holds master’s degree in Real Estate Development from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Bachelor of
Architecture form the American University of Beirut (AUB).
S peakers Bios 51

Ms. Amira Solh is a cultural heritage and urban planner consultant based
in Beirut, Lebanon.

She began her career in rural development planning, focusing on natural
resource management and poverty alleviation in various Arab countries.
She was program assistant at the United Nations Development Program
in New York focusing on South-South Cooperation for the World Trade

MS. AMIRA SOLH Organization. In 2002, she started working on the urban planning of the
Beirut city center at Solidere, the Lebanese company for the Development
Cultural Heritage and Reconstruction of the Beirut Central District. Her work at Solidere
ranged from organizing the international urban design competition of
and Urban Planning
Martyrs’ Square to setting up the Urban Planning Department for land
Consultant, Lebanon use planning, public space planning and preserving cultural heritage. She
is a founding Board Member of the Arab Center for Architecture in Beirut.

She studied Sociology at the American University of Beirut and has a
master’s degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University.

After graduating in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of
Design, Beirut born Karim Chaya
co-founded Abillama Chaya Industrial Design (ACID) in 1997.

ACID, which specializes in design, manufacturing and installation of
exterior and interior architectural detailing, shop fit-outs and furniture,
operates out of Beirut, and currently employs 120 craftsmen, architects,

MR. KARIM and administrators, and handles projects worldwide.

CHAYA Over the past 21 years, projects have been delivered in cities worldwide
from Tokyo to Los Angeles, as well as many other cities in between.
Managing Partner, Having produced more than 200 boutiques and flagships, ACID has gained
the trust of many international brands such as Lanvin, Dior, Alain Ducasse
Abillama Chaya
Entreprises, and Rolls Royce. In addition, ACID has now opened a branch in
Industrial Design the USA.

In 2001, Chaya started spockdesign, a company devoted to furniture
and product design. He also actively contributes to Blatt Chaya, a family
owned, traditional, colored‐cement tile producer that was originally
founded in 1881. His work has been published in the local and international
press including L’Officiel Design, Monocle, Interior Design, and Interni.

List of Participants 53



H.E. Ms. Raya Haffar El Hassan, Mr. Mohamed Aly Hanafy Dr. Youssef AlShawarbeh, Mayor
Minister of Interior, Lebanon Elsayed, Secretary General of of Amman, Jordan
Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor of Beirut, Cairo Governorate, Egypt Ms. Nisreen Alaraj, Chief Resilience
Lebanon Ms. Walaa Gad Elkarim Osman, Officer, Greater Amman, Jordan
Dr. Nadim Munla, Adviser to the Senior Resettlement and Citizen Mr. Hussein Faleh Abu Alshieh,
Prime Minister, Lebanon Engagement Specialist, Egypt Mayor of Ramtha, Jordan
Ms. Matilda Khoury, Councilor, Mr. Hesham Abdelrazek Sa’ed Mahmoud Alzawahreh,
Municipal Council of Beirut, Lebanon Elhelbawy, Assistant of Minister Member of Zarqa City Youth
of Local Development, Egypt Council, Jordan
Prof. Jamal Saghir, Professor,
McGill University; Affiliated Mr. Huda Hijizai Hijazi, Director
Scholar, IFI, American University of the Disaster Risk Management
of Beirut, Lebanon Unit, Jordan
Dr. Nabil S. Itani, Project Manager, Mr. Mahmoud Mohammed
Cultural Heritage and Urban Mr. Behzad Ali Adam, Deputy Ababhneh, Member of the
Development (CHUD) Project, CDR Governor, Dohuk governorate, Municipal Council of Irbid, Jordan
Ms. Hart Ford, Director, ACTED Iraq/KRG Mr. Ahmar Abdelqahab Al Zoubi,
Lebanon Mr. Mustafa Al-Hiti, head of Iraq’s Official of Foreign Relations and
Reconstruction Fund for Areas Media of Ramtha Municipality,
Ms. Cynthia Bakkalian, World Bank
Affected by Terrorist Operations, Jordan
Youth Advisory Group, Lebanon
Mr. Tony Sfeir, Chief Resilience
Officer, Byblos, Lebanon Mr. Omar Dabos, Director of the KUWAIT
Municipality of Ramadi, Iraq
Ms. Zina Bdeir Dajani, Founder
Mr. Ali Al Mossawi, Senior Dr. Ali Al-Hemoud, Research
and CEO, Antwork, Lebanon
Engineering Manager / Basra Scientist, Kuwait Institute of
Mr. Karim Chaya, Managing Scientific Research
Municipality Director, Iraq
Partner, Abillama Chaya Industrial
Mr. Kareem Al Musawi, Deputy Mr. Abdillah Alenezi, Program
Design, Lebanon
of Baghdad mayor, Iraq Manager, Kuwait Institute For
Dr. Wafa Charafeddine, Scientific Research, Kuwait
Head of Funding Division, Mr. Omr Saheb Akidi, Senior
Council for Development Statistician, Ministry of Planning,
and Reconstruction (CDR) Iraq MOROCCO
Mrs. Yusra Sidani, Councilor, Ms. Ibtissam Jassim Mohammed,
Chief Programmer, Ministry of Mr. ElMostafa Ablal, President
Municipal Council of Beirut
Planning, Iraq of Commune of Mohammedia,
Mr. Abdulmajeed Hamid
DJIBOUTI Abdulmajeed, Senior Engineering Mr. Yahya Grari, Prefecture
Manager / Director of Planning and of Mohammedia, Morocco
Ms. Awaleh Osman Fatouma,
Studies, Reconstruction Fund, Iraq Mr. Mohammed Anass, Technical
Mayor of Djibouti, Djibouti
Director, Commune of Fez,
Mr. Omar Houssein Omar, Morocco
Regional Council of Tadjourah,
Ms. Btisam Lakhlifi, Head of
Division of Urban Planning and
Environment, Fez, Morocco


Mr. Hilal Ali Al Qamshoey, Project
Director-Oman National, Supreme
Council for Planning, Oman
List of Participants 54



Mr. Anton Salman, Mayor of Ms. Souad Abderrahim, Mayor, Mr. Sebastien Maire, Chief
Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine Tunis, Tunisia Resilience Officer, Municipality
Mr. Taysir Mahmoud Taha, Mayor Mr. Mounir Elloumi, Mayor of Sfax, of Paris
of Hebron, West Bank, Palestine Tunisia
Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Qasrawi, Mr. Khaled Aouini, Mayor GEORGIA
National Disaster Risk Center of Djedaida, Tunisia
Coordinator, West Bank, Palestine Mr. Hechmi Bengaji, Mayor Ms. Ana Ardelean, Chief Resilience
Mr. Odai Abdelwahed Hidi, of Boussalem, Tunisia Officer, Municipality of Tbilisi
Head of Projects, Municipality of Ms. Henda Belhadjali, Advisor and
Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine Chair of an Equality and Gender JAPAN
Mr. Alaa Ragab Shahin, Director Committee, Tunisia
of Planning Department, Hebron Mr. Mahmoud Ddoura, President Ms. Kazuko Ishigaki, Director for
Municipality, West Bank, Palestine of the Urban Planning Commission, Disaster Preparedness, Cabinet
Tunisia Office for Disaster Management

SAUDI ARABIA Ms. Olfa Sakouhi, Technical
Officer, Municipality of Boussalem, PANAMA
Mr. Nassir Mohammed Aldhafar, Tunisia
General Director of Regional Dr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena,
Development and Urban Chief Resilience Officer,
Observatory, Saudi Arabi UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Municipality of Panama
Mr. Nassir Faleh Alotaibi, Mr. Saeed Al-Abbar, Chairman,
Municipality Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Green Building Council, United Arab UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Mr. Abdulrazak Mohssen Alenazi, Emirates
Ministry of Municipal and Rural Mr. Eric Holbrook Wilson, Deputy
Affairs, Saudi Arabia Director, Land Use and Buildings,
UNITED NATIONS Municipality of New York

SOMALIA Mr. Sujit Kumar Mohanty, Chief
of the Arab States Regional
Mr. Abdullahi Ali Watiin, Mayor of Office, UN Office for Disaster Risk
Baidoa, Somalia Reduction (UNISDR)
Mr. Mohammed Ali Taruri,
Technical Advisor, Baidoa
Municipality, Somalia
Mr. Hesham Abdulmalek,
Assistant Deputy Minister
STRONG CITIES NETWORK of Planning and International
Ms. Khadije Nasser, Senior Cooperation, Yemen
Regional Manager, Strong Cities Mr. Abdulhakim Al-Shameri,
Network General Director of Public Works
and Roads, Yemen


Ms. Elizabeth Yee, Resilience
Finance Vice President,
100 Resilient Cities
Ms. Dana Omran, Managing
Director for Africa, 100 Resilient

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