#Med2021 - Agenda



Building a better Lebanon


In partnership with

For almost a year and a half, Lebanon has been assailed by compounded crises – specifically, an economic and financial crisis, followed by COVID-19, and lastly, the explosion at the Port of Beirut. A confluence of government malpractice, economic instability and external interference has driven Lebanon’s devastating crisis. Without significant change, there are concerns it could persist indefinitely.

With the economy now in dire straits, the parameters which govern the shaping of a new Lebanon need examination. Within Lebanon, there is an active and continuous debate on the subject. The debate so far has ranged from short-term measures to stop the bleeding and unlock donor support to comprehensive political and economic reforms of the country—without any agreement in sight while the crisis deepens. It is time to examine a two-stage approach; the first stage focusing on a minimal program to rescue the financial system, buying time to build a consensus on a full reconstruction and reform plan.

Please join us for a virtual conference to mark the launch of a report on this topic co-authored by Harvard Adjunct Professor and Former IMF Economist Rand Ghayad, Wilson Center Middle East Program Director Merissa Khurma, and Atlantic Council Nonresident Senior Fellow Hung Tran.

Welcome remarks

James Jeffrey, Chair, Middle East Program, Wilson Center

Opening remarks

Giampiero Massolo, President, Italian Institute for International Political Studies

Keynote remarks

David Hale, Distinguished Diplomatic Fellow, Wilson Center

Panel discussion

Rand Ghayad, Adjunct Professor, Harvard University

Mohsin Khan, Nonresident Senior Fellow; Former Middle East and Central Asia Director, Atlantic Council; International Monetary Fund

Merissa Khurma, Program Director, Middle East Program, Wilson Center

Hung Tran, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council


Hadley Gamble, Reporter and Anchor, CNBC