Our mission is to convene and mobilize diverse actors to catalyze sustainable economic and social development in the Maghreb. MEF believes that an informed, active citizenry is the key to building sustainable economies and inclusive societies.


The Maghreb Economic Forum (MEF) is an independent Think-and-Do Tank founded in 2011 on the premise of supporting economic and social development in the Maghreb region. MEF’s staff, fellows and board believe in the possibility of transformative change.



  • Conducting research and publishing policy analysis on contemporary issues in the Maghreb.
  • Fostering dialogue among key community stakeholders.
  • Transforming research into impactful action.

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Our Board, Our Team, Our Experts.


President of the Board

Slim Othmani

Slim Othmani has been heading NCA-Rouiba Juice Co. since 1999, after having spent seven years as Operations Manager in Fruital-Coca-Cola. Prior to this, he acted as the Regional Sales Manager, North Africa, for a Montreal-based technology firm called Alis Technologies.

He holds a Computer Science Engineering degree from the University of Mathematics and Computer Sciences in Tunis and an Executive MBA from the Mediterranean School of Business in Tunis. He is both a member and the co-founder of various Algerian entrepreneurial associations such as FCE (Forum des Chefs d’Entreprises); Club CARE (Club d’Action et de Reflexion autour de l’Entreprise); the Algerian Drink Producers Association (APAB); Maghreb Economic Forum (MEF) and Hawkama AlDjazaier.

He is also the former president of Injaz Al-Djazaier (a project launched by Injaz Al-Arab).


Board Member

Bahia El-Oudi

Bahia El Oddi is currently pursuing her MBA at Harvard Business School, where she received First Year Honors. Prior to that, Bahia worked at Google, managing projects to increase Google’s social impact in the cultural and education sectors through breakthrough technologies. Prior to Google, she worked as a consultant at Bain & Company in London, where she worked closely with top executives on international strategy, merger and acquisitions, and capital project improvements. She more recently led the strategy and the implementation plan of the Education Outcomes Fund in Morocco, working closely with the Ministry of Education and donors. Jointly with the Africa Leadership Academy, she was also engaged in the development of one of the first Education Accelerator in Africa aiming to support social entrepreneurs in the continent.
Originally from Morocco and conscious of the critical role of education in Africa’s social and economic development, she is engaged across Harvard University in projects evaluating the use of emerging technologies to transform education in emerging countries. Passionate about culture, she recently founded Dar El Oddi Cultural Center in Tetuan, Morocco. Bahia speaks English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Catalan

Board Member

Hedi Larbi

Dr. Hedi Larbi is currently an Associate Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, at the Belfer Center’s Middle East Initiative. He most recently served as Advisor to the MENA Vice President at the World Bank. Dr. Larbi has over 35 years of professional experience in economic and social development as both a policy advisor and policy maker. He served as both the Minister of Economic Infrastructure and Sustainable Development and the Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Tunisia.

Board Member

Kamel Lazaar

Mr. Kamel Lazaar founded Swicorp in 1987 and serves as its Chairman. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Swicorp. Mr. Lazaar has firmly established Swicorp’s reputation as an innovative provider of business solutions. Before founding Swicorp, he served as Vice President of Citibank in North Africa and Europe and was part of the Citibank team that founded the Saudi-American Bank (Samba) in Saudi Arabia. He is a philanthropist and is president of the Kamel Lazaar Foundation; that promotes cultural initiatives in North Africa and the Middle East and has become a lighthouse in supporting art in the Arab world. He founded MEF in 2011 with a strong will of being a driver of economic development in Tunisia. He holds a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from the Institut Supérieur de Gestion in Tunis and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Tunis.

Secretary General

Amel Karboul

Dr. Amel Karboul is Secretary-General of the Maghreb Economic Forum (MEF) and Commissioner at the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunities.

Dr. Amel Karboul is a social entrepreneur, businesswoman, author and politician. She is passionate about working with leaders, teams and organizations assisting them in creating breakthroughs in their thinking and transforming themselves.

Master’s with honors in Mechanical Engineering, Karlsruhe Institute of technology (KIT), Germany; Doctorate in Coaching and Mentoring, Oxford Brookes University, UK. Held leadership roles in Mercedes-Benz, DaimlerChrysler; senior consultant roles at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Beratergruppe Neuwaldegg.

Quickly became known as an award winning executive coach, published author and a trusted sparring partner for CEO’s of global organizations as well as family owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Visiting professor at DukeCE; member of the Global Diplomacy Lab; advisory board member of WTFL and GBCEd.

She was until Feb 2015 Minister of Tourism in the Tunisian transition government that has been appointed after the successful quartet negotiations and nominated as one of 10 leading young African politicians.

She recently published her newest book Coffin Corner; outlining a new leadership culture suited to the complexity and dynamics of the 21st century!


Slim Bahrini

Executive Director

Slim Bahrini

Slim is the Executive Director of the Maghreb Economic Forum. He joined MEF in December 2017 as the Director of Communications before taking on his current position in 2018. Over the past eight years, Slim has overseen several civil society projects related to youth leadership, employment, and entrepreneurship in North Africa. Before joining MEF, Slim worked with Article 19, a Tunisian organization focused on access to information and freedom of expression. He is an experienced trainer with expertise on non-profit leadership, communication strategies, community outreach, and marketing. He speaks French, English, and Arabic.

Nabil Barkati


Nabil Barkati

Nabil Barkati is a researcher at the Maghreb Economic Forum working on the research study “Tackling Youth Radicalization in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia Through Inclusion”. He has worked in several initiatives related to mitigating and preventing Violent Extremism in Tunisia since 2012. For instance, he worked on advocating alternative messaging as a tool to prevent and counter Violent Extremism. He, also, has been part of an initiative that promotes youth leadership to reinforce community resilience to radicalization. Additionally, Nabil worked on a project that worked on measuring youth susceptibility to violent extremism in vulnerable areas in Tunisia in order to reinforce youth resilience to radicalization and extremism.


Imen Al-Nighaoui

Research Assistant

Imen Al-Nighaoui

Imen is a Research Assistant and Data Analyst at the Maghreb Economic Forum. In her free time, she is an activist blogger for UNICEF Voices of Youth as well as Climate Tracker, a global network of young journalists publishing works on climate change. She holds a Master’s degree in Translation Studies from Le Faculté des Lettres et des Humanités de la Manouba. Imen speaks Arabic, English, French, and Turkish

Nizar Ben Salah

Lead Researcher

Nizar Ben Salah

Nizar is a Lead Researcher at the Maghreb Economic Forum. He has worked on several youth empowerment and positive youth development projects in North Africa with organizations such as Badr, iDebate, and UNESCO. Formerly an engineer, Nizar is interested in how technology can impact social change in the Maghreb.

Roland Gillah


Roland Gillah

Roland is a Researcher at the Maghreb Economic Forum, where he studies the deradicalization and disengagement of returning foreign fighters. Before joining MEF, he worked as Senior Analyst at BMNT Partners, a civil-military relations firm based in Silicon Valley, where he focused on identifying risks faced by military personnel in conflict zones and rapidly fielding technological solutions. Roland graduated from Tufts University where he studied International Relations, French, and Arabic.

Chourouk Amouri

Lazord Fellow

Chourouk Amouri

Chourouk is a Lazord Fellow at the Maghreb Economic Forum. She is currently studying for her Master of Entrepreneurship at Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales Carthage. She has volunteered with the feminist art festival “Chouftouhonna” in Tunis and was a participant of the Study of the U.S. Institutions Exchange Program, where she focused on women’s leadership. Chorouk speaks Arabic, French, and English.

Francesca Romana Russo

Executive Assistant

Francesca Romana Russo

Francesca is the Executive Assistant at the Maghreb Economic Forum. She holds a Master of Science degree in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and she has been trained in policy analysis of Euro-Mediterranean Relations at the International Affairs Institute in Rome. Her Master’s thesis was entitled “The Evolution of Hezbollah’s Stance on Lebanese Confessionalism and Sectarianism: An Intra-Shi’a Political-Economic Perspective”.  Francesca speaks Italian, English and Arabic.



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Have a vision for a better Maghreb? While there are no current openings, feel free to send your CV to contact@magef.org.