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Tue, Nov 01


Rome 806

Egypt’s COP27: Sustainable development and the Energy Transition in MENA

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Time & Location

Nov 01, 2022, 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Rome 806, The Benjamin T. Rome Building, Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA

About the event

Please join the North Africa Initiative of the JHU SAIS Foreign Policy Institute and the SAIS Student MENA Club for a roundtable discussion on Egypt’s COP 27: Sustainable Development and Energy Transition in North Africa. The event will be in a hybrid format as Mohammed Mahmoud will join us online.


Hafed Al Ghwell is a Senior Fellow and Executive Director of the North Africa Initiative at the Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)


Dr. Mohammed Mahmoud

Senior Fellow and Director of the Climate and Water Program, Middle East Institute (MEI)

Dr. Paul Noumba Um

Regional Director, MENA Infrastructure, World Bank

Hafed Al Ghwell is a Senior Fellow and Executive Director of the North Africa Initiative at the Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC. He is also a Senior Advisor at Maxwell Stamp Inc., the international economic consultancy firm, where he specializes in the Middle East and North Africa political economy issues. He is also a Senior Advisor with Oxford Analytica, the global risk consultancy. Hafed also serves as a member of the Strategic Advisory Solutions International Group (SASI); a group of distinguished former U.S. Ambassadors, senior U.S. Military Officers, and Business Executives. He is also a Columnist with Arab News, the oldest English language daily in the Arab world and was until March 2015 a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Hariri Center for the Middle East in Washington, D.C.

Al-Ghwell served as Advisor to the Dean of the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group until end of 2015. From 2009 to March 2012, he was an Advisor in the Office of the Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa and a Program Coordinator in the Office of the Vice President of UN and External Affairs, also at the World Bank.

Al-Ghwell was also Director of External Affairs and Communication at the Dubai School of Government, and part of the senior management team, from 2007 to 2009. He joined the Dubai School of Government — a partnership with the Harvard Kennedy School of government (now known as Mohamed Bin Rashid School of Government) , on a secondment from his position as the Head of the Global network of Public Diplomacy, Information, and Communication Centers for the World Bank from 2004 to 2007. Prior to joining the World Bank Group in 1999, Al-Ghwell served as a Principal Associate at Foreign Reports, the venerable advisory group on the politics of oil in Washington, DC. From 1994 to 1999 Hafed also served as a junior economist at the IMF in the late 1980s.

Al-Ghwell is a veteran commentator on the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa. His analyses are widely published in international media, including ABC News, BBC, DW, Al-Jazeera English and Arabic Channels, France 24, China Global Television Network (CGTN), NPR, PBS Front Line and News Hour, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, UPI, Newsweek, the National Newspaper, Gulf News among many others.

Al-Ghwell holds a B.A. In Economics from the George Washington University, Harvard University's Postgraduate Executive Certificate in Leadership, and a Postgraduate Executive Certificate from Stanford University in strategic communication, in addition to numerous management executive programs at the World Bank Group in public policy and global economic development.

Mohammed Mahmoud is the Director of the Climate and Water Program and a senior fellow, at the Middle East Institute. His areas of expertise include climate change adaptation, water policy analysis, and scenario planning.

Mohammed has held leadership positions in several organizations. Most recently as Chair of the Water Utility Climate Alliance; a coalition of 12 of the nation’s largest water utilities that collectively provide water to over 50 million people in the United States, with the purpose of providing leadership and collaboration on climate change issues that affect water agencies. Prior to that Mohammed was President of the North American Weather Modification Council; an organization dedicated to advancing research and development activities that increase the scientific knowledge and proper use of weather modification applications.

Mohammed’s professional accomplishments include negotiating and formalizing a 10-year multi-state cloud seeding funding agreement between seven Colorado River Basin states, developing and implementing the first ever climate adaptation plan for a multi-county water district in Arizona, and helping secure a 1.1 million dollar grant from NASA for Arizona State University to study the impacts of climate change on the hydrology of the Western United States. Furthermore, he has provided numerous subject matter interviews in press, radio, and video media on climate-associated topics such as regional climate change impacts, water resources management, extreme heat, droughts, and the food-water-energy nexus.

Mohammed has conducted water management research and work for the Middle East and North Africa region; most extensively on the Nile River Basin. His research on the Nile River Basin focused on the development of water resources in the Basin, analysis of Nile water- sharing agreements, and solutions for current and future challenges in the Nile River Basin.

Mohammed’s other water management work in the region explored formalizing the administration of Saudi Arabia’s groundwater resources by using other established groundwater management frameworks as application templates; such as Arizona’s 1980 Groundwater Management Code.

Mohammed’s educational background includes a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University, and a PhD in Hydrology and Water Resources from the University of Arizona. In addition, he is a Faculty Associate with Arizona State University.

Paul Noumba Um is the Regional Director of the World Bank’s Infrastructure Department in the Middle East and North Africa region. He is an infrastructure (energy, transport and water), telecommunications and private sector expert with over three decades of experience in infrastructure policy regulation and finance. He has advised governments, utility companies and private sector partners on energy security and efficiency, transportation, telecommunication, good governance, PPP and Privatization. Dr. Noumba Um has held technical and leadership roles within the World Bank – most recently as the Country Director for

Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and previously as the Country Director for Mali, Chad, Guinea, Central Africa Republic and Niger. He also served as the practice manager for Private Sector Development and finance for Western and Central Africa.

In the early 2000s, he led the Bank’s Infrastructure Regulation and Public Private Partnerships Capacity Building Program and held the first global Summit of PPP Units in 2006. Paul is a Cameroonian and French national based in Washington, D.C.; began his career in 1987 with government of Cameroon before moving to France to work with France Telecom (Orange Labs). Paul joined the Bank in 1998 in the then Energy, Mining, and Telecommunication Department and has since held positions with World Bank Institute, Middle East and North Africa, and after 2010, as Finance and Private Sector Development sector manager in Africa.

He has a PhD in Economics from Rennes University (1995), a Master’s Degrees in Engineering and Economics from IMT Atlantique (1987), France; a BA in Engineering from the Cameroonian National Post and Telecom School (1983), and an Executive Program Certificate in Managing Sustainability (Climate Change and Development) from University of Cambridge, UK.

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