The Future of Lebanon

June 14, 2012
7:30 pm -

Event Description

A conversation with Tony Badran, John Hannah, Hassan Mneimneh, and Amal Mudallali

Rapporteur notes are available here (PDF).

Sectarian tensions in Syria are simmering and increasingly spilling over into Lebanon. Which actors are maneuvering for position in Lebanon? What role has Hezbollah played and has it been weakened as some have asserted? How successful is the Syrian attempt to destabilize the Sunni street in Lebanon? How serious is the al-Qaeda presence in the Levant? What further jockeying will take place in the lead up to the Lebanese elections in 2013?

FDD is pleased to host experts Tony Badran, John Hannah, Hassan Mneimneh and Amal Mudallali who will address these timely questions.

Tony Badran is a Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in Washington, DC. He focuses on Lebanon, Syria and Hezbollah. His research includes US policy towards Lebanon and Syria; Syrian foreign policy, with a focus on its regional relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and Lebanon; Syria’s ties to militant non-state actors and terrorist groups; and Syria’s international relations, especially with Russia and the EU. Mr. Badran’s other research has dealt with Syria’s use of information warfare, as well as with the Syrian opposition movement. He is widely published in main stream media, and he has a weekly column in NOW Lebanon.

John Hannah brings almost two decades of experience at the highest levels of U.S. foreign policy to his work as Senior Fellow at FDD.  From 2001-2009, Mr. Hannah served as one of Vice President Dick Cheney’s most trusted aides on national security issues.  He served as the Vice President’s deputy national security advisor for the Middle East, where he was intimately involved in U.S. policy toward Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the peace process, and the global war on terrorism and later as the Vice President’s national security advisor, where he served as the Vice President’s top advisor on the full panoply of international issues from the Middle East to North Korea to Russia. Previously, Mr. Hannah worked as a senior advisor on the staff of Secretary of State Warren Christopher during the administration of President William J. Clinton, and as a senior member of Secretary of State James A. Baker’s Policy Planning Staff during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. Mr. Hannah writes and speaks widely on issues related to American foreign policy.  His articles have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal.  He blogs regularly at ForeignPolicy.com and National Review Online.

Hassan Mneimneh joined the German Marshall Fund of the United States as Senior Transatlantic Fellow for MENA and the Islamic World in October 2011. Mr. Mneimneh was most recently a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute where he assumed a principal role in the conceptualization and implementation of a multi-year project focused on developing and strengthening civil society resistance to radicalizing tendencies in the Muslim world. Prior to joining Hudson, Mneimneh was a Visiting Fellow at AEI where he conducted a year-long exploration of the evolution of radical Islamist formations and their prospects worldwide. Between 2003 and 2008, Mneimneh was Director of the Iraq Memory Foundation, an organization dedicated to documenting Iraq’s recent past and to inviting Iraqi society to a reflection on issues of political responsibility, social order, and transitional justice. The Iraq Memory Foundation was the continuation of the Iraq Research and Documentation Project which Mneimneh co-directed at Harvard University. Mneimneh regularly contributes analysis and opinion pieces to the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat, and has written extensively, in English, Arabic, and French, on political, cultural, historical, and intellectual developments in the Muslim world.

Amal Mudallali has been advising Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Foreign Affairs and on American issues since February 2005, following the assassination of late Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. She is also a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. While in Beirut, Dr. Mudallali worked as foreign policy advisor to Mr. Hariri, strengthening his ties with the diplomatic community in Lebanon, as well as building his relationships with foreign governments and their leadership. She also was charged with staying abreast of events at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon at the United Nations on his behalf, and organizing and setting agendas for Mr. Hariri’s foreign visits.

Between 2000 and 2005, Dr. Mudallali  was Foreign Affairs Advisor to Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, serving as his point person with the Lebanese foreign ministry and with the diplomatic community in Lebanon. In addition to serving as his liaison to Washington and to foreign governments, attended his meetings with foreign leaders and followed up on political and diplomatic issues related to Lebanese foreign policy and the Prime Minister’s agenda. From 1998 to 2000, Dr. Mudallali served as press secretary to Rafiq Hariri with a focus on the international media. Before joining Mr. Hariri’s office, she worked and lived in Washington as a correspondent for BBC radio and television, London, as well as for MBC television (Middle East Broadcasting Center), WTN, Washington, Deutsche Welle, Germany, Radio Netherlands, Annahar newspaper in Lebanon and Al Riyadh newspaper in Saudi Arabia. She contributed to CNN World Report with stories on foreign policy issues and US-Arab relations, and was a guest contributor on American news programs discussing Middle East issues.


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