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Dr. Elie Abouaoun is currently the director of the Middle East & North Africa Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He has served as director of Middle East Programs and senior program officer since 2013. Prior to that, he held the position of executive director at the Arab Human Rights Fund.

His previous positions include acting country director and program manager for the Danish Refugee Council in Iraq, as well as program coordinator for Ockenden International-Iraq and director of external relations for the Lebanese NGO arcenciel.

Dr Abouaoun has served as a senior trainer and consultant for various international organizations since 1996 including for the Council of Europe since 2000. In 2001 he was appointed a member of the Reference Group established by the Directorate of Education-Council of Europe to supervise the drafting of COMPASS, a manual for human rights education. He further supervised the adaptation and the translation of COMPASS into Arabic, and its subsequent diffusion in the Arab region in 2003.

He is a visiting lecturer at Notre Dame University-Lebanon and Saint Joseph University-Lebanon on the subjects of human rights, civil society, advocacy and citizenship, and regularly contributes to publications throughout the MENA and the US. Dr. Abouaoun also serves on the Board of Directors of several organizations in the MENA region.

Publications By Elie

Despite Threats, Hezbollah Unlikely to Hit Israel Now

Despite Threats, Hezbollah Unlikely to Hit Israel Now

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun

The Lebanese militia Hezbollah's intensifying threats against Israel, such as warnings that the group could cause massive casualties by striking Haifa’s ammonia facilities, probably are less dangerous than they appear. While an outbreak of fighting between the two antagonists is always possible, for now Hezbollah has little motive to disturb the unspoken rules that govern their enduring conflict.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

How Iran May Use Iraq to Deflect New U.S. Pressure

How Iran May Use Iraq to Deflect New U.S. Pressure

Friday, February 24, 2017

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun

Iraq’s grinding war to dislodge the Islamic State from its last Iraqi strongholds has obscured a simmering — and in some respects equally important — political battle in Baghdad. At stake is Iranian influence in Iraq and how it might be used by Tehran to counter any increased pressure from the new U.S. administration in Washington. The latest maneuvers involve murky motives, foreign influence and multiple leaders of divergent constituencies.

Violent Extremism; Global Policy; Democracy & Governance; Religion

Islamic State and Related Attacks in Lebanon Demand Comprehensive Response

Islamic State and Related Attacks in Lebanon Demand Comprehensive Response

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun

Attacks by militants in Lebanon backed by an Al-Qaida affiliate and the Islamic State have highlighted again the vulnerability of the country's armed forces to terrorist threats and the political establishment's failure to reach agreement on a military strategy to confront terrorism. The solution will require much more than addressing the shortcomings of the military. Political leaders must address the underlying factors that contribute to the ability of extremists to make inroads and recruit on Lebanese soil.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

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