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Dr. Blanca Moreno-Dodson is the Director of the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), a partnership between multilateral development institutions, national governments, local authorities, and civil society, hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
She has over twenty-eight years of experience as a World Bank development economist, including several positions as Lead Economist, mainly for the Global Tax Team, the West Africa Region, the Investment Climate Department, and the Office of the Vice-President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. As a Senior Economist, she previously worked at the World Bank Institute, the West Africa Region, and the Corporate Strategy Group of the World Bank. Her regional experience includes the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia (China, India, and Indonesia). She started her career as a Robert Shuman scholar at the European Parliament and as junior economist at the European Commission, before joining the World Bank Group.
Dr. Moreno-Dodson authored and co-authored five books throughout her career including “Enhancing Mediterranean Integration” (CMI, 2020), “Winning the Tax Wars, Tax Competition and Cooperation” (Wolters Kluwer, 2017), “Is Fiscal Policy the Answer? A Developing Country Perspective” (World Bank, 2013), “Public Finance for Poverty Reduction. Case Studies for Africa and Latin America” (World Bank, 2006) and “Scaling Up Poverty Reduction” (World Bank, 2005). She has also been published in several internationally renowned economic journals, such as the Bulletin of Economic Research, Hacienda Pública Española, the USA National Tax Association Journal, and Banca d'Italia Annual Volumes.
She is a member of the Alumni Strategic Council of the Aix-Marseille University, France, and of the Steering Committee of the Navarra Center for International Development, Spain, and a guest lecturer at Duke University, USA, and Aix-Marseille University, France.
Moreno-Dodson holds a Ph.D. as well as a Masters (Diplôme D’Etudes Approfondies) in International Economics and Finance from the University of Aix-Marseille, France, in addition to a Masters (Licenciatura) in Economics from the University Autonomous of Madrid, Spain. Originally from Zaragoza, Spain, she is fluent in Spanish, French, English, and Portuguese.
Giulia Marchesini is Human Capital Senior Programme Manager at the Center for Mediterranean Integration (UNOPS), which she joined in 2014. Giulia leads the human capital agenda, including education, migration, forced displacement and mobility components. In the field of higher education, she recently led the authoring and production of the CMI-World Bank report “Internationalization of Tertiary Education in the Middle East and North Africa”. In addition, as lead on partnerships, Giulia maintains and explores liaisons between the Center's founding members and partners, while managing new partnerships and supporting fundraising. Before joining the CMI, Giulia worked for the French Development Agency (AFD) and from 2012 to 2013, she was advisor to the French Ministry for Development, where she was notably in charge of dialogue with the MENA region. Her experience in the MENA region also includes coordinating MENA economic and commercial issues for the French Ministry of Economy and Finances (2007-2009). Giulia holds master's degrees in Public Administration from Ecole Nationale d'Administration in France, and in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the University of Bologna in Italy.
Zein Nahas joined the CMI in January 2014. As Senior External Affairs Officer, she manages the center’s external relations and visibility through various online and offline channels. Before joining the World Bank and the following transition to UNOPS, she worked as Media and Communication Associate at the United Nations Population Fund’s Lebanon country office for 4 years. Her experience in communication includes coordinating the Arabic Editions of Le Monde Diplomatique newspaper, freelance journalism (As Safir newspaper, Monte Carlo Douwaliya radio, Al Jazeera Children’s Channel), and digital strategies for Lebanese ministries of Labor and Telecommunications. Prior to that, she worked as Research Analyst on the United Nations Development Program’s 2009 Arab Human Development Report on Human Security in the Arab Countries. She holds master's degrees in Political Studies (Sciences Po Paris) and in Cultural Mediation (Sorbonne) and a BA in Middle Eastern History (American University of Beirut). She is proficient in Arabic, English, and French, and has basic knowledge of Spanish.
Cynthia, a Malagasy and French national worked for the WB Office in Antananarivo, Madagascar before joining the CMI in 2011. She is in charge of processing financial transactions, ensuring that all activity complies with the WB guidelines. She holds a master’s degree in International Management from the Montpellier University.
Constantin Tsakas works at CMI-UNOPS as Sustainable Development Policies Senior Programme Officer. He leads the programs of CMI’s Climate Change Resilience pillar specifically the “Mediterranean Forum on Energy and Climate Change”, the “Regional Knowledge program on Water” and the “Territorial Resilience to Climate Change” program. He also actively contributes to activities of CMI’s Co-development and Integration pillar, leading analytical work and knowledge production on socioeconomic and political economy dimensions of regional integration (Trade, Global Value Chains, link with SDGs), and to the Dialogue of the Two Shores Technical Platform.
He first joined the CMI-World Bank in 2020 as Senior Policy Analyst / Fundraising Consultant. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée working for the emergence of sustainable models of development and for greater involvement of civil society in public policies. As General Secretary of the FEMISE think-tank network (2014-2020) he also worked on the reinforcement of regional dialogue and research on major economic and social issues in the Euro-Mediterranean region. As Senior Lecturer at SciencesPo, Dr. Tsakas also taught on "Openness, growth and economic crisis in Mediterranean countries" at the SciencesPo University Collège of Menton. His publications for international institutions such as the World Bank, CMI, FEMISE, and the European Investment Bank include issues related to Climate Change, Trade Integration, Energy and the Green Deal, Social Entrepreneurship, Women and Youth Empowerment. He holds a Ph.D. in International Economics from Aix-Marseille University (France).
Cyril works as a consultant within the CMI’s Water Program. He coordinates the CMI Water Expert Hub and provides project management support on a 2-years project looking into the Water Security Nexus in North Africa. He is also working on raising water awareness amongst youth in the Mediterranean. Prior to joining CMI, Cyril worked at Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative (EMI) as a project manager and Urban Resilience specialist in South and South-East Asia as well as in MENA. He graduated from the National Institute of Applied Science (Rennes, France) with a Master’s degree in computer engineering. Currently involved in a Master’s degree from the Regional Institute of Urban Planning of Marseille-Provence, he is fluent in French and English.
Dani Harake joined the CMI in October 2019 as a Climate Change Consultant. He is currently Programme Officer on Resilience and Climate Change. Prior to that, Dani worked as an Urban Analysis Officer with UN-Habitat in Lebanon, and as Urban Planner with Dar Group on some of the most important development projects in the MENA region, notably the Suez Canal Area Development Project in Egypt. His early experience in the development field was with UNESCO in Bangkok, Thailand, in the Education for Sustainable Development unit. He has a strong academic grounding on climate change having completed his fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), within the International Development Group, focusing on global climate change policy and carbon pricing. He holds a master’s degree in Urban Management and Development from IHS-Erasmus University Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, with a specialization in Environmental Management. Dani is a Lebanese national and is currently based in Marseille, France. He is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.
Fabien Hanna joined the CMI in April 2017 as the IT and Multimedia Analyst, lending support to Communication and IT. In addition to his BS in Business Computing, Fabien has worked on web and mobile apps development. Fabien is fluent in English, Arabic and French.
Gilda joined the CMI in September 2016 working for the Refugees and Host Community Program, where she supports the Host Municipalities Network’s activities and conducts research on the economic and social integration of refugees in host countries. Prior to that, she interned for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (anti-discrimination section) in Geneva, Switzerland, and volunteered in an asylum seekers’ reception center in Rixensart, Belgium. Passionate about migration issues and the Middle East, she holds a Bachelor degree in International Relations with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Naples “L’Orientale”, a Summer School degree in International Politics from the London School of Economics, and a Master Degree in Development Studies from the University of Bologna, where she defended a thesis on the economic integration of the Mediterranean region through migration. Gilda is fluent in Italian, English, and French, and has a basic knowledge of Arabic and Spanish.
Hend joined the CMI in 2018 and works on the human capital theme, as well as partnerships. Prior to that, Hend worked as a consultant for the Arab League and the New Arab Debates on youth-focused projects in Tunisia and the Middle East. She also worked as a researcher for the American University of Cairo, on an exploratory study of active youth perceptions and challenges following the Arab Spring. She held the position of cover Press and Public Affairs Officer at the British Embassy in Tunis. Hend worked as a journalist and reporter for several newspapers and outlets. Hend holds an Erasmus Mundus Master Degree in Mediterranean Migration, Integration, and Mediation (MIM). The Master program is jointly offered by Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III. She speaks Arabic, English, and French and has a basic knowledge of Italian, Spanish and Turkish.
Holly joined the CMI in 2018, where she works on the human capital theme. Her main work and research areas are education, migration, and mobility, with a focus on higher education; Holly recently contributed significantly to the production of the CMI-World Bank 2020 report “Internationalization of Tertiary Education in the Middle East and North Africa”. Prior to joining the CMI, Holly gained experience as an educator in Morocco and the UK and worked for several organizations in the field of migration and refugees and in international development. Holly holds a European Joint Master’s Degree in Intercultural Mediation and Migration in the Mediterranean and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Bristol. A British national, she is also fluent in French and has a basic knowledge of Spanish and Arabic.
Ines Joined the CMI in October 2019, as a consultant for the CMI Water program. She is currently a project officer working on the Water Security Nexus in North Africa project and she is coordinating between the CMI and Mediterranean Youth for Water Network (MedYWat). Prior to that, Ines worked as a research assistant specialized in Dry Land Management and Integrated Water Resources Management, in Tunisia’s Institut des Régions Arides. She holds a master’s degree in Combating Desertification and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in Dry Areas (2013) from the Institut National Agronomique de la Tunisie, a master’s degree in Land Management in Dry Lands (2017) from UNU-INWEH, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences: Desertification, Environment and Climate Change (2020) from the Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie. She is fluent in English, Arabic, French with a basic knowledge of German.
Lise joined the CMI in October 2015, providing support to the CMI programs. She works on human capital and mobility, and also provides support on partnership and fundraising. Prior to that, Lise she was an intern with the coordinator of AFD programs at the CMI, working on AFD-led programs at the CMI; and has worked as an administrative employee for the PACA Region. She holds a Master’s Degree in Growth and Development with a specialization in Development Economics from the Aix-Marseille School of Economics and a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Economics. She spent one year in Finland studying Economics at the University of Helsinki.
Myriam Ben Ghazi joined the CMI in August 2015 as a communication consultant where she works on reinforcing the communication strategy of the CMI and on supporting the newly-established Mediterranean Knowledge Platform business area.
Prior to joining, she worked as a country local expert for Brainville, a German think-tank advising on the political and social situation of the North African region. For over two years she has conducted multiple interviews with diversified profiles and produced extensive country analyses Myriam has over four years of experience in the field of media and communication having worked as a journalist with both local and international organizations and covered important events in Tunisia and abroad.
Sara Boughedir, Tunisian and French National joined CMI’s team in 2012, and is currently Program Officer on Forced Displacement, working especially for the Mediterranean Host Municipalities Network, a community of practice for local governments hosting refugees in the Middle East and Turkey. She is also working as an independent public policy consultant for other organizations, focusing on urban resilience, local governance, institutional change, participatory strategy building, and knowledge management in countries in North Africa and West Africa. In her work, she designs and implements opinion surveys, participatory workshops, and strategic planning development methods, targeting local authorities. At CMI, she worked before on city resilience, climate change adaptation, and urban programs. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the Paris Institute of Political Sciences (Sciences-Po Paris) and a Masters in Sociology from the Ecole Normale Superieure of Paris Saclay and has had experience conducting urban development projects in private urban planning firms.
Silvia Pariente-David is a Senior Advisor on energy at the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI). She helped create the CMI Forum on Energy and Climate Change. She has 40 years of experience in managerial positions in financing, advisory and consulting activities in the fields of energy project evaluation, energy market analysis, regional energy market integration and climate policy assessment. Throughout her career, she has thrived to promote regional energy market integration, be it the EU Single Market, the Common Maghreb energy market or the nascent Euro-Mediterranean energy market.
While a Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank, Dr Pariente-David was one of the leaders of the MENA CSP scale-up program, funded by a $750 million grant from the Clean Technology Fund, and the Task Team Leader for the first project under that program, the Noor-Ouarzazate plant in Morocco. Previously, she was leading a consulting team advising major energy companies on their renewable energy strategy, conducting power plant valuation studies and assessing natural gas market value. She also directed DRI/McGraw-Hill (now IHS) World Energy Service, providing clients with oil, natural gas and electricity price forecasts.
She holds a PhD in Operations Research from MIT and an Eng. Deg. in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from ENSIMAG at Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble.
Thalia is part of CMI communication’s team since January 2018. Prior to joining CMI, she constantly switched between journalism, communication and management of humanitarian or development related projects. In addition to that, she worked as a freelance liaison interpreter for refugees in Beirut. Thalia is fluent in Arabic, French and English but also working on improving her Spanish and Turkish. She holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology and an MA in Information and Communication. She has a keen interest in citizen journalism and new medias.