Leadership

Dr. David S. Bassiouni

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. David S. Bassiouni is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Bassiouni Group, where he leads the company’s mission to empower global institutions and communities in the developing world through Sustainable Development, Strategic Public/Private Partnerships and Socially Responsible Investment.

A former government official/minister, diplomat and International Development veteran, Dr. Bassiouni’s track record encompasses a wide range of experiences. He served in the United Nations (UN) system for over twenty years, primarily working with UNICEF, DHA, OCHA and UNDGO and held several senior positions including Deputy Director for UNICEF’s Office for Emergency Programmes, Chief of the Interagency and Response branches in DHA/OCHA and Coordinator for IASC/ECHA. Dr. Bassiouni also marked an important milestone in UN history by becoming the first-ever Humanitarian Coordinator and the only Coordinator directly appointed by the Secretary-General and the Security Council.

Dr. Bassiouni also served as the UNICEF Representative in Somalia, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Israel/Palestine, and Egypt. Prior to his career in the UN, Dr. Bassiouni served in senior government positions, including Regional Minister of Agriculture, in the Sudan. His experience includes Humanitarian Aid/Assistance, Complex Emergencies, Conflict/Crisis Resolution, Post- Conflict Reconstruction, Change Management, Sustainable Development, Agricultural & Natural Resources Management, and Veterinary Science/Medicine. Dr. Bassiouni is a graduate of the Veterinary Medicine School at Khartoum University, Sudan, and he holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as well as a Parvin Fellowship from Princeton University. He sits on the boards of the Sérgio Vieira de Mello Foundation, International Institute for Rural Reconstruction and Global Humanitarian Forum.

Click for More…

At UNICEF, Dr. Bassiouni led and oversaw the successful implementation of UNICEF’s global campaign of the Universal Programme of Immunization (UCI) that protected over 20 million children against the five deadly preventable diseases of children, contributing significantly to UNICEF achieving its global goal. As the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia, he established the first UNICEF offices in Nairobi and Djibouti and oversaw UNICEF’s programme of assistance to victims of the civil war in Somalia. He also coordinated a number of UN Agencies, including UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, UNDP, WHO and FAO and major international agencies and NGOs including ICRC, IFRC, Save the Children Fund, CARE, MSF and World Vision to deliver humanitarian assistance under a challenging war situations.

As the Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS), Dr. Bassiouni initiated the development of several major UNICEF humanitarian policies including IDPs, sanctions, land mines and Unaccompanied Children. He also led the development of the joint UNICEF/UNHCR/ICRC statement on Unaccompanied Children based on the Rwanda crisis and jointly developed programme for tracing, reuniting, rehabilitating and reintegrating unaccompanied children.

During his role as the Chief of the Interagency Support Branch, Dr. Bassiouni headed Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) to give administrative and programmatic support and policy guidance to Humanitarian Coordinators in 18 offices in complex emergency countries. This enabled to UN to strengthen agency coordination and ensure the effective and rapid delivery of assistance to victims of humanitarian crises. During his leadership of the DHA, Dr. Bassiouni also managed and oversaw the preparation of U.N. Consolidated Appeals Process (CAPs) totaling over $1.6b in support of humanitarian assistance in emergency countries globally.

As the Chief of the Interagency Support Committee, Dr. Bassiouni coordinated and organized effective working relationship and consultation among the sixteen IASC members resulting in significant inter-agency collaboration and achievements in synchronize response to global humanitarian crises in several countries including Somalia, DRC, Sierra Leone, DPRK, Burundi, Sudan, FRY and Kosovo, etc. He also coordinated and organized the work and meetings of ECHA in facilitating effective consultation amongst its 11 members (OCHA, DPKO, DPA, WFP, UNICEF, UNOHCHR, UNHCR, WHO, FAO, UNRWA, SRSF-CAC) resulting in reaching major policy decisions within the United Nations context. This included the continuing development and humanitarian assistance in DPRK, negotiating rules of engagement and access in DRC, achieving humanitarian cease-fires in the Sudan, negotiating concessions with the Taliban in Afghanistan and developing policies on staff safety and security.

As the Deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes, Dr. Bassiouni promoted closer collaboration between donors and UNICEF Representatives from emergency countries through periodic briefings and dissemination of donor updates and ensuring stronger response to the UNICEF component of the Consolidated Appeal. He also oversaw the effective management of the Stand-by Arrangements with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Netherlands whereby staff are annually provided gratis within 72 hours to deploy in the field to support UNICEF programmes in emergency countries.

As Rapporteur to the Humanitarian Response Review (HRR) commissioned by the Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC), Dr. Bassiouni assessed the global humanitarian response capacity of the UN, NGOs, Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and other key humanitarian actors including the International Organization for Migration. After determining the gaps in these capacities, he created defined benchmarks to be used by the different groups – organizations (UN, NGOs, Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and other key humanitarian actors including IOM), donors and beneficiaries – to measure the expected performance of the international response system in terms of scale, speed, intensity and impact, giving due weight to the quantity and quality of humanitarian assistance. He also undertook an inventory of current capacities (at HQ and Field
Levels) in the key response sectors (such as shelter, food, water and sanitation, health, protection, education) of the UN, NGOs, Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and other key humanitarian actors including IOM to respond to complex and major emergencies and assess performance of the system against benchmarks.

As UNICEF’s Special Representative in Ethiopia, Dr. Bassiouni launched the “Out-of-Addis Drive” succeeded to mobilize staff to spend for the first time, at least 40% time in the field implementing and monitoring programmes for children and women especially in the drought affected areas, winning staff appreciate and respect from donors. He also established five sub- offices strategically located in the regions to facilitate the effective delivery of programmes on the ground for all populations in need. The “Out of Addis Drive” coupled with the functional, zonal offices gave UNICEF the ability to establish a strong field presence resulting in a viable outreach programme reaching a larger number of children and women especially in the drought affected area with critical services reducing mortality. Dr. Bassiouni also launched an effective programme of humanitarian assistance (health, nutrition, water and sanitation and education) that addressed the pressing needs of children and women in the drought affected regions of Ethiopia.

As UNICEF’s Special Representative in the Palestinian Territories, Dr. Bassiouni strengthened the management of the Country Office by quadrupling the annual budget from about USD$4m to $18m;by increasing the staff strength from 32 to 72 and by introducing many processes and procedures to guarantee an efficient and effective office to support programmes for Palestinian children and women. He created a strong infrastructure for effective programme delivery by establishing six zonal offices (Gaza, Rafah, Tulkarem, Nablus, Jenin and Hebron) throughout the Palestinian Territories. He also established a strong working relationship between the President, the Palestinian Authority and its government, the Palestinian Legislative Council and Civil Society to ensure greater commitment and support for UNICEF-assisted programmes.
As the UNICEF Representative in Egypt, Dr. Bassiouni secured greater commitment from Government of Egypt (GOE) to make Egypt Polio-free by 2005, including the agreement to re- establish and reactivate the moribund Supreme Council for Polio Eradication. He re-established and strengthened working relationship with the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM), UNICEF’s key partner in the GOE through which major UNICEF-assisted programme via the National Plan of Action for Children (NPA); Street Children, Child Labour and Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) are implemented.

Prior to his career in the UN, Dr. Bassiouni served in senior government positions, including Regional Minister of Agriculture, in the Sudan. His experience includes Humanitarian Aid/Assistance, Complex Emergencies, Conflict/Crisis Resolution, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Change Management, Sustainable Development, Agricultural & Natural Resources Management, and Veterinary Science/Medicine. Dr. Bassiouni is a graduate of Veterinary Medicine School at Khartoum University, Sudan, and he holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as well as a Parvin Fellowship from Princeton University.

 


David Solomon Bassiouni

Managing Director

David Solomon Bassiouni specializes in global business development, sustainable development, global/political affairs and crisis management. As the Managing Director at The Bassiouni Group, he helps dynamic companies/institutions to navigate the global economy and build sustainable, community-focused solutions for long-term growth and socioeconomic impact.

Mr. Bassiouni has managed international teams and developed solutions to help organizations tackle challenges, resolve complex institutional issues and maximize performance. He has worked on a variety of projects ranging from advisory services for governments and comprehensive evaluations for UN agencies to Sustainable Trade and Investment initiatives in the Agribusiness, Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Development sectors. As a C-suite counselor, Mr. Bassiouni has directly advised CEOs, industry leaders and dignitaries on complex, and often sensitive, global events ranging from management/labor issues and corporate transition to financial restructuring and shareholder disputes.

Click for More…

As the Group Manager at Weber Shandwick’s Corporate Issues Group (New York), Mr. Bassiouni counseled numerous Fortune 500 clients on corporate strategies relating to reputation management, corporate positioning, CEO communications, high-profile litigation, financial restructuring, crisis management, labor relations, corporate reorganizations, M&A transactions, hostile takeovers, financial restructuring, regulatory enforcement, product liability and management transitions. His client list ranged from major financial institutions and pharmaceutical firms to hotel chains/tourist destinations, multi-sector manufacturers and energy companies.Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Mr. Bassiouni was an Associate Director at Gavin Anderson & Company, a leading financial & corporate communications firm. There, he was part of the team that provided strategic counsel to the United Nations, supporting the Office of the Secretary General during the launch of the Independent Inquiry Committee and the subsequent introduction of Secretary Annan’s landmark reform program. He also spearheaded and assisted on corporate communications programs for Caremark Rx, Inc., PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Sovereign Asset Management, United Kingdom Trade & Investment and other leading organizations.Mr. Bassiouni has also worked at Shandwick International (Weber Shandwick Worldwide), Kratz & Jensen (Euro RSCG), The Halo Group and Winstar Communications (IDT Corp.). As the Media Relations Manager at Winstar, he oversaw the company’s media relations and marketing initiatives throughout the United States, Western Europe, Asia and South America. In addition to the Technology, Energy, Financial, Telecommunications and Consumer sectors, Mr. Bassiouniis also experienced in Government, International Affairs, Healthcare and Higher Education.Educated in Britain (Scottish boarding schools) and raised in eight different countries across Europe and Africa, Mr. Bassiouni takes a uniquely multicultural approach to his work. He graduated with honors from McGill University, Canada, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature & Cultural Studies. Mr. Bassiouni is conversant in basic French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic.Mr. Bassiouni has spoken on a variety of international development/business issues at numerous venues including The Harvard Club, Columbia University, and City University New York.He is the Associate Director of The Mary N. Bassiouni Foundation, which is dedicated to empowerment and advancement of South Sudanese girls and women. Mr. Bassiouni is also a Special Advisor to Project Education South Sudan, which increases access to primary and secondary education with a special focus on girls.

Samantha Nolan

Project Manager

Samantha Nolan is a Project Manager at The Bassiouni Group where she supports the company’s mission by playing an active role in project coordination, proposal development and procurement, as well as, new business development including trade and investment opportunities. Ms. Nolan started with TBG in 2011 and prior to working as a Project Manager she served as an Associate with the TBG Internship Program as well as an Account Executive.

During her time at TBG Ms. Nolan has had the opportunity to assist a variety of teams on multiple projects. She has worked on multiple UN Evaluations including the Evaluation of UNESCWA Statistical Subprogram and the UNDP Moldova Country Project.  After finishing her degree she continued to work for TBG as a contract consultant on the Evaluation of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission Social Development Division and Information Communication and Technology Division, and the UNFPA End of Program Evaluation of the Africa Regional Program.

Ms. Nolan is a dedicated to the study of international relations and development. She received her B.S. in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida and her M.A. in International Studies with a major in Foreign Policy and Security Studies from Florida International University.  Ms. Nolan’s focal area during her graduate program was the analysis of linkages between security and development in the Middle East. Her areas of specialization have been Middle Eastern affairs with a focus on religion in politics, conflict resolution, strategic studies and globalization with a focus on developing countries. She is very passionate about Middle Eastern studies and continues to study Arabic to further her understanding of the region.

Outside of her education and experience with TBG, Ms. Nolan has also worked in the field of emergency management. She worked on the Emergency Management in Higher Education grant from the U.S. Department of Education where she and a team of researchers created an effective emergency management plan for the University of Central Florida.

 


Laura Wicks

Project Manager

Laura Wicks is a Project Manager at The Bassiouni Group where she supports the company’s mission by supporting consultancies, proposal development, and procurement, while also finding new and innovative trade and investment opportunities.  Ms. Wicks started with TBG in 2012 as an Associate with the internship program, which followed with her working with the company as an Account Executive. During her time with the company she has assisted with a variety of projects including assisting in a number of evaluation and consultancy projects with UNICEF, UNFPA, FAO, and UNDP.

Ms. Wicks is a passionate international development scholar.  She received her B.A. in Social Anthropology from the University of Michigan and her M.A. in International Studies with a major in Foreign Policy from Florida International University.  Her focal areas have been education development, microfinance, and economic development with a focus on developing countries.  Her Master’s thesis, titled, “Rwanda’s Miracle: From Genocide and Poverty to Peace and Prosperity” analyzes the economic reform and liberalization processes Rwanda has undertaken since 1995.

Outside of her education, Ms. Wicks has worked with a variety of NGOs helping with development both within the United States and abroad.  In the United States, Ms. Wicks has worked with multiple NGOs in the Detroit area, working in youth shelters, on crisis lines, and with afterschool literacy programs.  She also worked with Global Visionaries in Seattle as the Assistant Program and Communications Manager.  At Global Visionaries, Ms. Wicks developed a Microfinance program for 15 high school students that resulted in them raising $2,000 to provide as loans to a sustainable coffee growing and roasting cooperative in Antigua, Guatemala.  Also with Global Visionaries, Ms. Wicks developed and implemented a mentorship program to assist the at-risk youth involved in the program in completing their program and funding requirements.  The mentorship program lowered the dropout rate by 10% in the first year.

Abroad, Ms. Wicks spent over 3 months in Pisco, Peru helping with the immediate disaster response after an 8.0 earthquake struck off the coast in 2007.  There she led a team of 12 volunteers in building temporary housing for the victims of the earthquake.  She also helped with the initial rubble removal, raised over $3,000 for what was to be a sanitation station but ended up supporting families over Christmas time, and taught English to local high school students.  Ms. Wicks also spent 3 and a half weeks in Nepal where she helped start the building of a school in a remote village on the Indian border with the NGO, BuildOn.  Ms. Wicks has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America, having spent over a month in more than 10 countries.

 


Danite Arefaine

Junior Account Executive

Danite Arefaine is a Junior Account Executive at The Bassiouni Group where she has taken on a number of increasingly important and complex task, supporting Project Managers with extensive research and overall backing in analytical and editorial services for several UN-funded projects. Ms. Arefaine began at TBG in 2015 as a Research Associate before being promoted to her current position.

She is deeply passionate in using her research skills to effect change on a broad scale, primarily in the area of peace building and reconciliation. Prior to TBG, Ms. Arefaine spent several years in Europe working with International Organizations, NGOs and social enterprises on advocacy, research, marketing, and program strategies. She holds a BA in International and Comparative Politics and International Law from the American University of Paris. Her thesis “Society and its Discontent: Tracing the Origins of 21st Century Social Revolutions,” examined the origins of social revolutions and their changing nature under the process of globalization. She also wrote a second thesis, titled “Third World Approaches to International Law Revisited: The African Reconstruction of the Right to Self-Determination,” which looked into the critical school of international legal scholarship, examining the context of Third World Approaches to the legal principle on the right of self determination. Ms. Arefaine was also the founding member and president of the American University in Paris’ first Jessup International Law Moot Court Team, competing for a prestigious, worldwide competition that pits top law students in the world over a number of international jurisprudence. She helped train students in oral argumentation as well as, led research and writing of memoranda over questions of right to self-determination, international and municipal contract law, and intellectual property, for both applicant and respondent.

Before joining TBG, Ms. Arefaine was a Public Affairs Coordinator at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where she supported the organization to develop and implement public affairs strategies to increase the organizations visibility and enhance engagement with member-state governments and public and private sector stakeholders. Prior to the OECD, Ms. Arefaine was a Public Policy intern at the Office of the Mayor in New York City, where she provided analytical assistance to a number of senior policy advisors, contributing to quantitative and qualitative data analysis and the identification and assessment of operational improvement opportunities at different agencies. She furthermore provided project management assistance, including developing and maintaining project plans and documents, reviewing agency work products and ensuring efficient progress on implementation for city-wide initiatives such as Vision Zero and Mayor de Blasio’s comprehensive homeless services plan. Ms. Arefaine has also conducted several traineeships, with organizations such as the International Chamber of Commerce; headquartered in Paris; Developing Indigenous Resources, an NGO based in India; and the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, a think-tank based in Berlin, Germany.

At TBG, she provides organizational support to project teams and senior executives by drafting research reports, project support, supporting documentation for meetings, summary papers, market research, coordinating schedules, and organizing materials for design proposals. Additionally she oversees the research, design and drafting of project and technical proposals for international organizations such as UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, WHO, among others, and manages the company’s graduate internship programme. She is fluent in English and Tigrinya, with working knowledge in French and basic German.

 


Executive Leadership Team

TBG’s executive leadership team is comprised of Senior Partners and Senior Consulting Partners who (individually) possess more than 30 years of experience in the international development, governmental and corporate sectors. All are called upon to advise the firm on strategic, managerial and operational activities.

Advisory Council

TBG’s Advisory Council is composed of influential and knowledgeable experts drawn from a broad and balanced variety of fields and sectors. Members are selected for their expertise, knowledge and specific interest in issues linked to Global Sustainable Development. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to provide independent, external advice and expertise to help shape the company’s strategic direction, current activities and future plans. Following are brief profiles of some of our the Advisory Council members:

Mr. Salvano Briceno

Mr. Sálvano Briceño is an experienced Disaster Reduction expert who served as the first Director of the Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) 2001-2011. His career spans over several decades and has focused on the management of environmental and sustainable development programmes at the United Nations, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the Government of Venezuela. Mr. Briceño has a Doctorate in Administrative Law from the University of Paris II (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1984. A Venezuelan and French national, his languages are Spanish, French and English.

Mr. Fouad Kronfol

A seasoned former UNICEF official, Mr. Kronfol maintains extensive senior level experience in management both in the field and at headquarters. During over 35 years of service with UNICEF, Mr. Kronfol held numerous positions including UNICEF Director of Division of Human Resources, Regional Director and Representative. Notably, Mr. Kronfol served as the UNICEF Representative directing the post-war programme of reconstruction and rehabilitation in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and revamping it towards long-term development.

Dr. Peter Tingwa

Dr. Tingwa, a South Sudanese, is a renowned expert with over 30 years of experience in the fields of Agriculture (education, research, planning and implementation), Peace Operations (economic recovery, reconciliation, and the restoration of governance and state authorities) and Higher Education (teaching, research planning and the management of universities).He served as the Dean College of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, and Associate Professor at Khartoum University. He is also an expert on peace operations and the restoration of governance and state authority in post-conflict settings. He has a proven track record working with UN agencies, including UNDP, UN missions (UNMISS, UNMIL, UNAMSIL, UNOMIL, UNOSOM), government agencies, public sector institutions and NGOs.