Lola Nashashibi Grace, Founder & Executive Chair
In 2005, venture philanthropist Lola Nashashibi Grace founded the Middle East Children’s Institute (MECI) to develop and implement programs for children in the Middle East who are victims of war and to provide a network which facilitates partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) actively involved in the region. Today MECI is an NGO which is recognized internationally for its innovative multifaceted, integrated programs addressing the most urgent needs of women and children.
Lola has led an active career in investment banking and asset management and is engaged in philanthropic and community endeavors relating to international development, education and biological/genetic research. She was an investment banker for Morgan Stanley and First Boston in corporate finance prior to spending 15 years in the investment management and financial advisory business.
Lola serves on the Advisory Board of Citi Private Bank EMEA. She is Honorary Trustee of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a genetic and cancer research institute, where she served as Vice Chairman, Treasurer and chaired the audit and finance committees. She founded the Women in Science project in Switzerland for the Center for Integrated Genetics at the University of Lausanne. Lola is a member of Women Moving Millions and is co-leading a task force on the international refugee crisis.
She holds BA, MA, and MBA degrees from Stanford University.
She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Raised in Latin America, Lola speaks four languages and has five children. She has also received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award.
Lina Farouqi - Regional Director
Lina joined MECI after more than 30 years of management experience in Jordan’s educational and nonprofit sectors. As the Assistant Country Director at AMIDEAST, Lina oversaw numerous aspects of the organization’s national activities, including scholarship programs, higher education initiatives and international exchange programs. She went on to management and directorship positions at the Arab Academy of Banking and Finance, where she oversaw multi-million dollar operations for the Academy Training Center.
Dina Al-Masri - Programs & Administrative Assistant : Dina joined the staff after volunteering at MECI programs and gaining a passion for work in humanitarian aid and community support. A graduate of the Middle East University, she seeks to support MECI’s mission while polishing her work skills and professionalism.
Maha Zo'abi - Education Specialist, Rana Zu'mot - Education Specialist, Aroub Nemrat - Psychosocial Support & Child Protection Officer, Nour Almoghrabi - Life Skills Trainer, Sally Albess - Data Entry Officer, Aya Hamideh - Data Entry Officer, Hassan Alsaad - Field Officer, Mahmoud Alsowi - Field Officer, Louren Badra - Field Officer, Lama Ibrahim - Field Officer, Noor Qudah - Field Officer, Ahmad Refaie - Field Officer
Mohammed Said, Palestine Program Director
“MECI is my mission and together we work for and on behalf of the children and youth in Palestine”
Mohammed is a passionate advocate of children and youth who believes in cultural diversity, equality and social justice. He holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development and has over 15 years’ experience in the field of Child Safeguarding, Youth development and Employability, and Women Economic Empowerment projects. Mohammed joins MECI Palestine from SOS Children's Villages International where he held numerous positions: Programme Director, Children's Village Director, Child Protection National Focal Point and Development Officer. As MECI Palestine Program Director, Mohammed is responsible for establishing MECI’s presence and strengthening its rootedness in Palestine. Mohammed leads the implementation of MECI's comprehensive child-centred community development model in Beit Rima, and the expansion of the program into other communities where the needs are greatest.
Lara Bouchedid - Director of Operations and Marketing
Lara is a Marketer expert with with extensive FMCG/Pharma multinational experience. Her dedication and passion to give back to Middle Eastern communities stems from her personal connection to the region.