During the summer of 2017, the Tripoli Project is sponsoring eight Fletcher students, engaged in diverse interdisciplinary initiatives and internships in Tripoli, Lebanon. Based on their professional backgrounds and academic interests, students pitch projects tailored to needs of organizations working on dimensions of Tripoli. The Tripoli 2017 Cohort biographies and project descriptions are summarized below.
Meera Jayakumar is a Master of International Business student at The Fletcher School, with a focus on corporate and infrastructure finance. Prior to starting graduate studies, Meera was a corporate lawyer in India specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and governance. She has substantial experience in the deal-making pipeline and has worked with multiple governmental, private sector, and non-profit stakeholders on various aspects of business law.
At the Tripoli Special Economic Zone (TSEZ), Meera will be working on understanding the gaps in regulation governing the TSEZ that need to be bridged before the TSEZ becomes operational. In addition she will be crafting a set of private public partnership contracting options for the Government of Lebanon and the TSEZ Authority.
David Moulton is a Master of Law and Diplomacy student at the Fletcher School, concentrating in security. Prior to Fletcher, David was a Senior Associate with Cicero Group, a UK-based government relations and communications firm. David spearheaded a collaboration with Independent Diplomat to advise the Syrian Coalition Mission to the UN and State of Palestine Mission to the UN on public diplomacy strategy. This experience led him to move to Beirut, Lebanon in the fall of 2015 where he taught English to Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Shatila refugee camp. In the future David hopes to pursue a career with the ICRC or in the Canadian Foreign Service.
At the United Nations Development Program, David will be supporting work on the national peacebuilding platform in Tripoli. These projects include: supporting the municipality and local actors to develop a mechanism for social stability, working in public schools on nonviolence, and working with ex-fighters through a national NGO comprised of ex-fighters from the Lebanese civil war.
Shounak Mukherjee is a Master of International Business student at the Fletcher School. He focuses on coupling the foundational realms of organizational administration with contextual learnings from law, politics, history & culture to inculcate ‘triple bottom line’ strategies for institutions. Before Fletcher, Shounak was working with the Tata Group for 6 years, in a variety of roles (design engineering, operations and product management) as well as functioning as an independent consultant for an south-asian utilities consortium.
At the Tripoli Special Economic Zone (TSEZ), Shounak will be conducting a stakeholder analysis of the Innovation and Knowledge Hub. The Innovation and Knowledge Hub is being set up as the focal trading and business platform for potential investors in Tripoli and the North of Lebanon, serving as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth and development. Shounak plans to analyze the crucial contextual factors that affect the business and technology transformation cycles.
Nicolas Normand is a Master of Law and Diplomacy student at the Fletcher School concentrating in International Law, International Organizations and Peacemaking Operations. Before Fletcher, Nicolas studied in Paris at Panthéon-Assas University, graduating with a Bachelor in French and European Law and a Master in Political Science. While studying he also worked in the staff of different electoral campaigns, including the centrist-federalist alliance for the European Parliament election in 2014. After writing a comparative study of the French and American Gay Rights Movement for his master’s thesis, Nicolas moved to New York to work for OutRight Action International, NGO advocating for LGBTQI Rights at the UN, where he focused on projects covering the MENA region.
At the United Nations Development Program, Nicolas will be conducting research on the national peacebuilding platform in Tripoli.
Suhail Shersad is a Master of Law and Diplomacy student at the Fletcher School, focusing on
political economy issues related to development and technology. Suhail is also a research assistant at the Fares Center, studying business history in the Middle East, and the evolution of recent regulatory and institutional changes. He has prior experience in cyber policy related to developing countries, researching cyber penetration and industry competitiveness. Before this, he was a full time teacher in a municipal primary school in New Delhi. He has a BA in economics from Loyola College, Chennai, from his home country of India.
At the Tripoli Special Economic Zone (TSEZ), Suhail will be conducting a stakeholder analysis of the Innovation and Knowledge Hub, targeted to Lebanon’s ICT sector. Suhail will advise on metrics for impact measurement and macroeconomic analysis.
BATUL K. SADLIWALA
Batul Sadliwala is Master of Law and Diplomacy student at the Fletcher School, focusing on Conflict Resolution and NGO Management. Her academic and professional interests center around the roles of civil society, migration policy, and community relations in resolving conflict in the Middle East. An Indian national born and raised in Kuwait, she obtained a BA in International Relations from the American University of Kuwait. During her time as Project Assistant at The en.v Initiative, she worked in the field of civil society capacity-building and youth empowerment in Kuwait.
At the Safadi Foundation, Batul will developing organization-wide monitoring and evaluation protocols that can be applied to the Foundation’s work in the areas of sustainable agriculture, social development, and training and education.
Roisin Taylor is Master of Law and Diplomacy student at the at the Fletcher School, focusing on Security and Humanitarian Studies. Before coming to Fletcher, Roisin served as the Head of Communications at the West Asia – North Africa Institute in Amman, Jordan, where she headed up a communications campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of giving Syrian refugees in Jordan the right to work. Prior to that, Roisin worked as an Advocacy Officer for the Rwandan National Association of Genocide Widows in Kigali, Rwanda. Roisin is also a trained crisis counsellor, having worked for a year on a sexual assault helpline while at Bard College, where she did her undergraduate education.
At the International Medical Corps, Roisin will be providing trainings on mental health triage as well as developing a self-care manual for aid workers. In addition, Roisin will be conducting research on substance abuse in Tripoli from a community health perspective with her colleague, Claire. The case study of Tripoli seeks to build an evidence base of drug use in post-conflict and refugee crisis settings to leverage further resources for rehabilitative treatment.
Claire Wilson is Master of Law and Diplomacy student at the at the Fletcher School, concentrating in Gender Analysis in International Studies and Humanitarian Studies.
Claire speaks Arabic and has worked as a humanitarian practitioner on missions in Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan with various community based and international organizations.
Just prior to Fletcher, she worked in Zaatari Camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan and served as the co-chair of the UNHCR Basic Needs and Livelihoods sector. Claire is a research associate at the Fares Center and is managing the Tripoli Project.
At Mercy Corps, Claire will be supporting the integration of gender into humanitarian programming, facilitating gender trainings and conducting a gender assessment on a youth and protection program in Tripoli. In addition, Claire will be researching substance abuse in Tripoli from a community health perspective with her colleague, Roisin. The case study of Tripoli seeks to build an evidence base of drug use in post-conflict and refugee crisis settings to leverage further resources for rehabilitative treatment.