Dr. Elie Abouaoun is the director of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) North Africa Programs and of the MENA regional Hub in Tunisia. Dr. Abouaoun joined USIP after serving as the executive director of the Arab Human Rights Fund. Prior to being the acting country director and program manager of the Danish Refugee Council in Iraq, Dr. Abouaoun managed humanitarian, human rights, and development projects in the MENA region.

Dr. Abouaoun serves as a senior trainer and consultant for various international organizations since 1996, including the Council of Europe. He was appointed a member of the Reference Group, established by the Directorate of Education-Council of Europe (2001), to supervise the drafting of COMPASS, a manual for human rights education. He later supervised the manual's adaptation and translation into Arabic to be distributed throughout the MENA region.

Dr. Abouaoun holds a visiting teaching position in several universities in the MENA including at the Saint Joseph University (Lebanon). In addition to being an international fellow of the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, he joined the Religion and Security Council as a senior nonresident fellow and regularly contributes to publications throughout the MENA region and the United States, while also serving on the board of directors for several regional organizations.

Dr. Abouaoun holds a master’s in business administration and management and is a doctor of dental surgery.

Publications By Elie

Lebanon’s Election Offers Lessons for Now and the Future

Lebanon’s Election Offers Lessons for Now and the Future

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun

As the minister of interior announced the results of Lebanon’s May 15 legislative elections, speculation began about whether or not the configuration of the new parliament foretold a brighter future for the tormented country. While some of the results indicate positive breakthroughs and progress, there are several nuances indicating that much greater change is still needed to put the country on a steady path to recovery.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

The New U.S. Plan to Stabilize Conflicts: The Case of Libya

The New U.S. Plan to Stabilize Conflicts: The Case of Libya

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun;  Thomas M. Hill

Almost 11 years after ousting the dictatorship of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya remains a largely ungoverned land divided among warlord-led factions that fight with support from rival foreign countries. Libya’s instability resonates widely, permitting the trafficking of weapons to the Sahel and migrants to Europe. Repeated peace efforts have failed to help Libyans form a unified national government, yet Libyans continue to show the capacity to overcome communal divisions and build peace at local levels. That demonstrated capacity offers an opportunity that can be expanded by the U.S. government’s decision, under its Global Fragility Strategy, to direct a new peacebuilding effort toward Libya.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience

Elie Abouaoun on Libya’s Elections

Elie Abouaoun on Libya’s Elections

Friday, December 17, 2021

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun

With the vote likely to be postponed, USIP’s Elie Abouaoun says frustrations are high over Libya’s political and economic stagnation as the international community tries to “generate a new political agreement … just to make sure the elections can happen without a major outbreak of violence.”

Type: Podcast

Democracy & Governance

What’s Behind the Lebanon-Gulf Diplomatic Row?

What’s Behind the Lebanon-Gulf Diplomatic Row?

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun

Already in the throes of existential political and economic crises, Lebanon is now facing a diplomatic row with Saudi Arabia and several of its allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Following critical comments made by Lebanese Minister of Information George Kordahi about the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, Riyadh expelled Lebanon’s ambassador, banned all Lebanese imports, and recalled its ambassador to Lebanon. In solidarity, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait summoned their ambassadors in Lebanon. This current crisis reflects the Gulf’s broader concerns over Iran’s influence in the region and the powerful role of its ally Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Iraq’s Election Raises More Questions Than Answers

Iraq’s Election Raises More Questions Than Answers

Thursday, October 21, 2021

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun

Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia cleric whose Mahdi Army followers battled U.S. forces during the years of the occupation, made big gains in Iraq’s parliamentary election on October 10. His victory could pose problems for the United States and Iran. But despite the Sadrist List’s electoral success, it is not a given that al-Sadr will be the next man to lead Iraq, or even be the only kingmaker. USIP’s Elie Abouaoun examines the outcome of the election, the electoral process and the implications for Iraq’s future.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

View All