Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

CEO and Board of Trustees

ARDD’s Chief Executive Officer: Adv. Samar Muhareb


Samar Muhareb is the CEO of the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development – ARDD, a Jordanian NGO, which she co-founded in 2008, in response to the Iraqi Refugee Crisis. Having worked as a lawyer for many years prior to 2008, Samar realized that one of the most urgent needs refugees and marginalized individuals and communities face, is access to justice regardless of status.

With over 15 years of experience in working for the international aid community, Samar is an expert in the field of human rights, refugee affairs, humanitarian response and women’s empowerment in Jordan and the Middle East. In addition, she actively supports initiatives focusing on environmental justice in the region.

Board of Trustees

 Professor Zaid Eyadat

Dr. Zaid Eyadat is professor of political science and human rights, and an expert on international and comparative politics. He is the founding chairperson of the Political Development Department, and the founding Dean of the Prince Al-Hussein School of International Studies at the University of Jordan. His training and research interests are in the fields of International Politics, Comparative Politics, International Political Theory, Modeling and Game Theory. He is a leading and distinguished expert on Middle East politics, Human Rights, and on the nexus between Islam and Human Rights and his research has been published in many leading academic journals.


Dr. Sebastiano Maffettone

Sebastiano Maffettone is an Italian philosopher, currently Full Professor of Political Philosophy at Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome, where he is also the Dean of the Faculty of Political Science. He specialized in Social Philosophy at the London School of Economics and among other appointments, has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Tufts, U-Penn, Boston College, Columbia University, Sciences Po, LSE, Freie Univ., Mumbay and Delhi Univ., Shangai. He is a member of many scientific committees supported by Adriano Olivetti, Einaudi and Ernst & Young foundations. Professor Maffettone is also Director of Filosofia e Questioni Pubbliche, a semi-annual review of political, moral and social philosophy and applied ethics. He is also in the editorial board of Global Polity (LSE) and Philosophy and Social Criticism (Boston College) and reviewed books and articles for many scientific publishers and journals. Professor Maffettone founded and was the first President of the Società Italiana di Filosofia Politica. Professor Maffettone’s research concerns the development of an original vision of public ethics within the context of Italy and international themes of contemporary political philosophy. He has coordinated many projects on private and public research as well as national and international research, is the author of 16 books including the influential Rawls: An Introduction, and is an editor of several collective volumes.


Magda El-Sanousi

Magda El-Sanousi, is the Chief of Women's Empowerment Section at the United Nations' Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) which she joined in July 2013 as part of the senior management team. Ms. Elsanousi leads on developing strategies to enhance the role of women in the transitional period in Libya focusing mainly of the drafting of the constitution and the National Dialogue. She was Oxfam GB Country Director in Lebanon until June 2013, and has been awarded by Takreem the “Arab Woman of the Year 2012.” Ms. El- Sanousi, manages the Arab Region Gender Equality program that covers Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Yemen. She is a graduate of Ahfad University for Women in Sudan and completed two Master’s degrees from Sussex University (U.K)  in Gender and Development and Rural Development. El-Sanousi devoted the last 20 years to developing programmes and mobilizing resources to empower women. She worked with Oxfam in Yemen, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. She has worked on promoting gender sensitive budgets and policies in Yemen; on advocating policy change in Iraq to give widows access pensions, and on empowering women in remote villages in Egypt to vote and even stand as candidates in the parliamentary elections.


Professor Ibtisam Al-Ketbi

Dr. Ibtisam Al-Ketbi is professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, UAE University and a founder and president of the Emirates Policy Center making her the first Arab woman to lead a think tank. In addition, she is a member of the Consultative Commission of the Gulf Cooperation Council and has served in other leading capacities, including: as the secretary general of the Gulf Development Forum; as a member of the board of trustees of the Arab Unity Studies Center and the Arab Organization for Transparency; She is a founding member of the Emirates Human Rights Association. Dr. Al-Ketbi published a number of papers including: “The Security Dimensions of Military Relations Between GCC countries and the USA”; “The Global Community and the War on Terrorism: Threat or Opportunity?”; and “Democratic Transformations in GCC Countries. She earned a PhD in political science from Cairo University.


Dr. Richard Hrair Dekmejian

Dr. Richard Hrair Dekmejian is an Armenian American professor of political science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His teachings are primarily focused on world leadership. He is also known for his experience on World Genocides as well as Global Terrorism. He is the author of Islam in Revolution: Fundamentalism in the Arab World. He earned a B.A. at University of Connecticut, an M.A. at Boston University, and a Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1966. Professor Dekmejian splits his research efforts between National Security issues, International Mediation, Middle East/Islamic Studies, Political Elites, Comparative Genocides, and Terrorism.


To view the organisation's Advisory Board, please click here