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The Jury Board considers each nominee for the award carefully and fully to make an informed decision. It consists of highly qualified experts in different walks of life.
Omar Durra is a board-certified anesthesiologist born in Los Angeles, CA to Jordanian-Palestinian parents. He completed his internship and residency at Rush Presbyterian St Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago as chief resident. He went on to complete his cardio-thoracic anesthesiology Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where he became fellow of the year from 2001 to 2002. He returned to Los Angeles and began his professional career as an attending anesthesiologist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, where he is currently an associate professor, a program director of the advanced clinical anesthesia fellowship, co-director of the neuro-spine anesthesia division, and a faculty member of the anesthesia simulation center. In the midst of the Corona virus pandemic, he has been a front-line medical professional as the head of the COVID-19 airway management team. Omar has numerous clinical publications and has written several peer-reviewed articles in medical journals; he is a presenter and moderator for numerous national anesthesia conferences.
François Nader, M.D. serves as Chairman at BenevolentAI. From 2008 to 2015, Dr Nader was President, Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Director of NPS Pharma, a global biotechnology company focused on innovative rare disease therapies. He was an integral part of engineering its sale to Shire. Prior to NPS, Dr Nader was a partner at Care Capital, a venture capital firm. He previously served on the North America Leadership Team of Aventis Pharma and its predecessor companies, holding a number of executive positions in integrated healthcare markets and medical and regulatory affairs. He also led global commercial operations at the Pasteur Vaccines division of Rhone-Poulenc. Dr Nader currently serves as the Chairman of Talaris, Acceleron Pharma and non-executive Board Director at Moderna and Alexion.
Dr Nader earned his French Doctorate in Medicine from St. Joseph University in Lebanon and a physician executive MBA from the University of Tennessee. Dr Nader is a member of the Audit and Finance Committee and the Science and Innovation Committee.
Dr. Peel is the founding principal of Integrated Viral Protection Solutions. He received his education at Mayo Clinic - Rochester, MN; Johns Hopkins University and The George Washington University. Dr. Peel is board certified in General Surgery and is a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. He was awarded as Super Doctors Rising Star in 2015, 2016, 2017 and Super Doctors of Texas in 2018. Dr. Peel has extensive career experience in global healthcare policy management and research — spanning leadership in areas of health care development, finance and real estate, policy advocacy, media and public relations, organizational fundraising and venture capital, healthcare executive management, operations and service line marketing, public health campaigns/complex humanitarian emergency responses and public, private partnerships.
Assaad Razzouk is a Lebanese-British clean-energy entrepreneur, podcaster and commentator.He recently co-founded Gurin Energy, a renewable energy development platform headquartered in Singapore which will focus on greenfield renewable projects across Asia. Before that, he was Chairman and CEO of Sindicatum Renewable Energy, a developer, owner and operator of clean energy projects in Asia. Razzouk is the host of The Angry Clean Energy Guy podcast and a board member of ClientEarth, an environmental group using the law to protect Earth and its inhabitants. He founded South East Asia’s first Middle Eastern contemporary art gallery, Sana Gallery in Singapore and is a board member of EB Impact, a Singapore-based non-profit organization that provides training and programs to Asia Pacific’s under served communities; and is affiliated with Washington, D.C.’s Middle East Institute as an Expert at the Middle East – Asia Project. Razzouk also serves on the Advisory Board of media group Eco-Business and on the International Council of the National University of Singapore School of Medicine.
In 2016, he was chosen among the world’s 20 most influential CEOs on Twitter by INSEAD,
Dr. Paul Salem is vice president for policy and research at The Middle East Institute. He focuses on political change, transition, and conflict, as well as the regional and international relations of the Middle East. The countries of emphasis in his work are those of the Levant and Egypt. Salem writes regularly in the Arab and Western press and has been published in numerous journals and newspapers. He is the author of a number of books and reports including Bitter Legacy: “Ideology and Politics in the Arab World”, “Conflict Resolution in the Arab World”, “Broken Orders: The Causes and Consequences of the Arab Uprisings”, “The Recurring Rise and Fall of Political Islam”, and “The Middle East in 2015 and Beyond: Trends and Drivers”. Prior to joining MEI, Salem was the founding director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. From 1999 to 2006, he was director of the Fares Foundation, and in 1989, he founded and directed the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Lebanon’s leading public policy think tank.
Claude Serhal is a Lebanese archaeologist born in Beirut. During the Lebanese civil war, she travelled to Paris and enrolled in both la Sorbonne Paris 1, where she obtained her PhD, and in the Ecole du Louvre, where she obtained her diploma. Her work in the field during that time was mainly focused on Syria, in Ras Shamra-Ugarit and Ras Ibn Hani. She subsequently moved to London and in 1993, established the non-profit organization: the Lebanese British Friends of the National Museum. which aimed to promote the power of cultural heritage in order to project a positive image of Lebanon, to raise funds and to provide technical support for the restoration and refurbishment of Beirut’s National Museum after years of civil war. A joint excavation project directed by Claude was launched in 1998 in Sidon between the British Museum and the Department of Antiquities of Lebanon. 24 years of on- going excavations at this site have yielded groundbreaking results: The Sidon excavation is considered to be one of the most important excavations on the Levantine coast revealing a continuity of uninterrupted occupation from the end of the third Millennium BC to the Crusaders period and providing, through Canaanite DNA analysis at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge, a definitive answer to the questions related to Lebanese ancestry. Claude was awarded a Member of the British Empire award (MBE).
Nada Shabout is a professor of art history and coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, U.S. She is the founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey. Shabout is the Project Advisor for the Saudi National Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019. She is the author of Modern Arab Art: Formation of Arab Aesthetics, University of Florida Press, 2007; co-editor with Salwa Mikdadi of New Vision: Arab Art in the 21st Century, Thames & Hudson, 2009; and co-editor with Anneka Lenssen and Sarah Rogers of Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018.
She is the curator of Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art, Interventions: A dialogue between the Modern and the Contemporary, 2010; co-curator of Modernism and Iraq, Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, 2009, and curator of the traveling exhibition, Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art, 2005-2009. Her awards include Writers Grant, Andy Warhol Foundation 2018; The Presidential Excellency Award, UNT 2018; The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq fellow 2006, 2007; MIT visiting Assistant Professor, spring 2008, and Fulbright Senior Scholar Program, 2008 Lecture/Research fellowship to Jordan.
Dr. Richard Westmark, MD is a Neurosurgery Specialist in Houston, TX and has over 34 years of experience in the medical field. He graduated from University Of Florida medical school in 1988. He is affiliated with medical facilities such as Hca Houston Healthcare Clear Lake and Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital. His office accepts new patients and telehealth appointments.