Featuring Dr. Arda Ekmekji, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Haigazian University – Beirut, Lebanon, author, Confessionalism and Electoral Reform in Lebanon, with Mr. Hassan Mneimneh, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States, and Mr. Leslie Campbell, Senior Associate and Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), National Democratic Institute, in a moderated discussion with Mr. Hussain Abdul-Hussain, Washington Bureau Chief for Al Rai Newspaper.
The U.S.-Lebanon Dialogue Program hosted “Electoral Reform in Lebanon – What’s in Store for 2013?” to launch Dr. Ekmekji’s new policy paper exploring the complexities of Lebanon’s confessional society and avenues for reform in its electoral system. During this conversation, experts discussed Dr. Ekmekji’s paper in light of the debate on democratic representation and the rights of minorities in Lebanon, Syria, and the region. The panelists also offered actionable recommendations for lasting reform that reflects Lebanon’s democratic prospects, leading up to the parliamentary elections in 2013.
Dr. Arda Arsenian Ekmekji is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Haigazian University in Beirut, Lebanon. She is professor of intercultural studies and a member of various non-governmental organization boards in Lebanon, such as World Vision and the Middle East Council of Churches. She was the only female member on the National Commission for a New Electoral Law (2006) and on the Supervisory Commission for the Electoral Campaign (2009).