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Major Positions

Executive Director of The Arab Institute for Women (AiW), Lebanese American University.
Board Member of several organizations.

Major Accomplishments

Dr. Lina Abirafeh is the Executive Director of The Arab Institute for Women (AiW) at the Lebanese American University. She is based in New York and Lebanon. Abirafeh assumed the position in 2015 and brings a strong feminist activist orientation to the Institute, promoting education and research to advance social change and policy change – and ultimately to improve the lives of women and girls in the region. Prior to joining AiW, Abirafeh had over 20 years’ experience in development and humanitarian assistance, with an expertise in gender-based violence prevention and response. Abirafeh has worked extensively with the United Nations and other international organizations in countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, and others.

Abirafeh completed her doctoral work from the London School of Economics and published “Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan: The Politics and Effects of Intervention” based on her research. She speaks and publishes frequently on a range of gender issues such as gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights, what’s holding Arab women back from equality, bodily integrity and autonomy, women in conflict – for instance in Sudan and Yemen, and so on. Abirafeh is a board member of various organizations including SheDecides, Forced Migration Review, and Greenpeace MENA, amongst others. In 2018, Abirafeh was listed as one of the Gender Equality Top 100: The Most Influential People in Global Policy - one of only two Arabs to make the list. She received this honor again in 2019 from over 9000 nominations.

Last modified: 09/09/2019

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