English / عربي
"Knowledge from the region, for the region"

Staff

The WANA Institute is staffed by a dedicated team of researchers, programme coordinators and support staff based in the offices of the Royal Scientific Society.

The WANA Institute is committed to hiring promising young people from within the region in order to develop the next generation of socially conscious thought leaders.

Each team member has their own field of expertise – from law and conflict studies through to economics and environmental science – and brings with them experience in different sectors and countries.

Director-General

Dr Omar Rifai

Dr Omar Abdul-Monem Rifai is the Director-General of the WANA Institute as well as the Senior Advisor to HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal at the Majlis El Hassan, The Royal Hashemite Court.

Director of Programme

Shereen Shaheen

Shereen joins the WANA Institute as the Director of Programme with over 15 years of experience in developing NGO and public sector programmes in Palestine and Jordan. Previously, she managed multi-donor projects, conducted desk and field research, worked on community development, provided training and counselling for youth as well as adults, and facilitated the protection of vulnerable individuals.

Office/Logistics Manager

Angela Kayyal

Angela joins the WANA Institute as the Logistics Coordinator after working for four years as the Executive Assistant to the Jordanian Ambassador to the United States. She is delighted to be living in Jordan again, and brings her passion for the region to her role at the Institute.

Team Leader and Senior Researcher, Human Security

Dr Neven Bondokji

Dr Neven Bondokji is an expert in peace studies and conflict transformation with special emphasis on the nexus between Islam, violence, and peacebuilding. She joins the Human Security team at WANA to lead the qualitative field research and implementation of Countering Violent Extremism projects.

Researcher, Human Security

Barik Mhadeen

Barik joins the Human Security team to support the WANA Institute’s efforts at building the resilience of the region and enhancing its carrying capacity. He has a strong commitment to empowering Arab youth and creating a culture of dissemination of knowledge about the Arab world. 

Junior Researcher, Human Security

Lina AlHaj Ahmad

Lina is a junior researcher in the Human Security team. Before joining the WANA Institute, she worked as a public relations operator. She was a founding member of the first student radio at the Jordan University of Science and Technology and was trained to be a media spokesperson.

Team Leader and Senior Researcher, Economic Growth

Dorsey Lockhart

Dorsey joins the Human Security Economics team as a researcher, focusing on refugee economic inclusion as well as the wider-ranging issue of job creation in the WANA region. She has over 7 years of experience in policy and programming related to economic growth and sustainable wealth creation.

Junior Researcher, Economic Growth

Kareem Sharabi Rosshandler

Kareem is a junior researcher in the WANA Institute’s Economic Growth team. He previously worked at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Washington DC, as well as on various development projects in refugee camps in the WANA region. He also served as an instructor at the University of Chicago’s writing centre.

Team Leader and Senior Researcher, Sustainable Development

Dr Majd Al Naber

Dr Majd Al Naber joins the WANA Institute as the Team Leader and Senior Researcher in the Sustainable Development pillar. She is a specialist in integrated water resources management and water policy for arid land. She worked on several EU-funded projects as a water expert, as well as for USAID as a consultant, and for several national and international organisations.

Junior Researcher, Sustainable Development

Reem Alhaddadin

Reem joins the Sustainable Development team after having completed her internship with the WANA Institute. She previously interned with Engineers Without Borders in Regensburg, Germany, as a water engineer. Her task consisted of designing an inlet channel and contributing to a manual for a hydropower plant project based in Cameroon.

Researcher/Training and Project Design Specialist, Civil Society

Esraa Alshyab

Esraa joins the WANA Institute as the Civil Society Team’s Training and Project Design Specialist. Previously, she worked on Women's Democratic Empowerment for Al Hayat Center for Civil Society Development. She also worked as a journalist for various news outlets. Through her work at the WANA Institute, she hopes to contribute to empowering communities to be part of the development process.

Visiting Fellow

Alexander Decina

Alexander A. Decina joins the WANA Institute as a Visiting Fellow researching factional conflicts and state-building challenges throughout the West Asia–North Africa region with a particular focus on Syria and Libya. Previously, Alexander was a research associate for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he worked with think tanks and NGOs in Lebanon and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Visiting Fellow

Jonathan Thrall

Jonathan joins the WANA Institute as a Visiting Fellow during his tenure as a 2018-19 Fulbright Research Fellow studying citizenship education in Jordan. He is passionate about the relationship between states and their citizens, and what this relationship will look like in the future in the context of global migration. Previously, Jonathan interned as a research assistant with the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. 

Communications Manager

Lien Santermans

Lien joins the WANA Institute as the Communications Manager. She is using her background in media and communications to increase the WANA Institute’s outreach. Previously, she worked as a Communications Officer for EcoWerf, a Belgian intercommunal environmental company. She also has experience writing for several news websites and NGOs.

Media and Research Assistant

Hadeel Qatamin

Hadeel supports the WANA Institute as the Arabic media assistant and Sustainable Development research assistant. She joins the Institute through the Lazord Fellowship Programme, which provides young graduates with professional and civic skills through year-long job placements, mentoring, and training. Hadeel is interested in increasing the amount of online scientific content in Arabic. She has written and proofread articles for various Arabic websites, such as Mawdoo3.

Finance Manager

Maher Bahlawan

Maher joins the WANA team with 16 years of experience in accounting and auditing. He previously worked as a Senior Accountant for the Royal Scientific Society (RSS), and is happy to now serve the WANA Institute’s mission.

Junior Accountant

Hamzah Al-Omar

Hamzah joins the WANA Institute as Junior Accountant, bringing two years of professional experience in finance and accounting with national financial institutions to the role. He also supports the efforts of the various teams at WANA by providing logistics support.

Logistics Assistant and Driver

Fawaz Mohsen

Fawaz serves the WANA Institute as the Logistics Assistant and Driver.

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