The Middle East Institute Advisory Board was established in 2006 to help the Institute expand its contacts and influence nationally and internationally and plan its development and fundraising activities. The board is composed primarily of individuals from the worlds of business, government, philanthropy and the media with connections to the Middle East.
Middle East Institute Advisory Board Members:
- Nina Ansary is President of The Ansary Foundation, a Houston-based, nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to the cause of education, healthcare, child care, youth-related problems, adult literacy and other public welfare issues, as well as greater international cooperation and better understanding among the community of nations. She oversees a wide-ranging program in support of the philanthropic activities of a long list of institutions in the United States including the Ansary Fellows Program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Ansary Fellowships at Texas A & M University.
- David Cameron Cuthell Jr. Dr. Cuthell is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. Previously Dr. Cuthell served as the Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies in Washington D.C. from September 2005-2011. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Institute as well as the Board of Directors of the Middle East Institute at Columbia. Dr. Cuthell was raised in Istanbul and Washington D.C. He attended Phillips Academy and Yale, graduating in 1975. He received his MBA from Columbia University in 1979, later an MIA from SIPA, and worked in the capital markets in New York and London with Citibank and Morgan Stanley as well as Managing Director of mortgage securities at Mabon Securities. After leaving Wall Street, Dr. Cuthell returned to Columbia and received his PhD in History in 2005. His research at Columbia focused on the 19th century immigration of Muslims from the Caucasus and the Crimea and their role in transforming late Ottoman Anatolia. Dr. Cuthell has taught at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey where he headed the Turkish, Middle East and Central Asian Studies Program from 2000 through 2005. In addition to the Institute of Turkish Studies, he also was a Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University. Dr. Cuthell is a Trustee of Robert College in Istanbul and a board member of the American Friends of Turkey in Washington, DC.
- Richard Debs (Co-chair) is an Advisory Director of Morgan Stanley, having been the founding President of Morgan Stanley International. He is a member of the G-30 Committee, chaired by Paul Volcker, which recently published recommendations for reform of the financial system. He is Chairman Emeritus of the American University of Beirut, and Chairman of its International Advisory Council. He is also Chairman Emeritus of Carnegie Hall and serves on its Executive Committee. He is a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Institute of International Education, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and the Barenboim Said Foundation. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt and later held a joint fellowship from Princeton and Harvard to study Islamic law, the study that is the basis for a book to be published by Columbia University Press. He has served as an advisor to President Sadat, and has been decorated by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. He holds a PhD from Princeton and a JD from Harvard Law School, where he later established an Islamic Law library.
- Gordon Gray is the founder and CEO of G Force Capital, LLC. He worked as a journalist in the Midwest and South at The Milwaukee Journal and Louisville Courier Journal before earning an MA in Near Eastern Languages and Culture in 1975 at Columbia University and later on established a radio and cable company. Mr. Gray has given Columbia and Harvard money to establish permanent lectureships for the teaching of Arabic and has contributed to the Edward Said Chair of Modern Arab Studies and Literature at Columbia University.
- Rita Hauser is President of The Hauser Foundation. She is an international lawyer and of counsel to the New York City law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan where she was a senior partner for more than twenty years. Known for her public service and philanthropic work, she is interested in international conflict resolution, security and human rights. Dr. Hauser chairs The International Peace Academy (a research organization affiliated with the United Nations) and is Chair of the Advisory Board of the International Crisis Group.
- Zachary Karabell (Co-chair) is President of River Twice Research, an independent economic research and consulting company. Previously, he was Executive Vice President, Chief Economist, and Portfolio Manager at the investment firm, Fred Alger Management.
Educated at Columbia, Oxford and Harvard, where he received his Ph.D., Karabell has taught at several leading universities, including Harvard and Dartmouth. He is the author of nine books, including The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election which won The Chicago Tribune's Heartland Award and most recently, Peace Be Upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian and Jewish Coexistence (Knopf, 2007). He is a regular commentator on national news program and contributes to such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and Foreign Affairs.
- Terry Meguid is a founding partner of Perella Weinberg Partners, a financial services firm which commenced operations in June 2006. He is responsible for overseeing the Firm's $3.5 billion asset management business. Prior to the launch of Perella Weinberg Partners, Mr. Meguid spent 25 years in banking at Morgan Stanley, most recently as the Head of Worldwide Investment Banking. During the 5 years he held this position, he was also a member of the firm's 12-person Management Committee. In addition to his managerial role, Mr. Meguid had significant client responsibilities, including being the senior banker responsible for overseeing Morgan Stanley's Middle East activities. In this capacity, he interacted extensively with leading private sector entities and government institutions, particularly in the Arabian Gulf, Egypt and Turkey. Mr. Meguid's prior responsibilities included Deputy Head of Worldwide Investment Banking and the Head of Worldwide Corporate Finance. Before that, he was a Managing Director in the Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructuring Department. During his tenure in the M&A Department, from 1990-1994, Mr. Meguid founded and managed Princes Gate Investors, a $1.4 billion private equity investment partnership consisting of prominent private families from around the globe. Mr. Meguid serves as a member of the Board of Layalina Productions, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering better understanding between the peoples of America and the Arab World. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Kingdom Hotel Investments, a publicly traded owner of hotel assets primarily in emerging markets. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle East Program.
He was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is currently active with a number of educational institutions. In 1978, Mr. Meguid graduated from Montreal's McGill University with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology. Following the completion of the 2-year Analyst program at Morgan Stanley, he earned his Masters in Business Administration from Columbia University in 1982 and then returned to Morgan Stanley. Mr. Meguid was born in Wisconsin, spent the first 10 years of his life in Sudan, and subsequently lived in a suburb of New York City. He is fluent in Arabic and has a working knowledge of French.
- Enzo Viscusi is Senior Vice President of the Eni Group and Chairman of Eni's affiliates Eni Petroleum Company Inc. and Sonsub International Inc. He is a member of many advisory boards and councils, including the Dean's Council of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the Economic Sanctions and Energy Task Force and Middle East Strategy Group at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Advisory Council at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the Advisory Board of RAND's Center for Middle East Public Policy.