From a young age, Ali Chahine has woken up every day believing that even in the most difficult of circumstances, life offers opportunities. His favorite proverb, “well begun is half done,” reminds Chahine that although peacebuilding is an incredibly difficult process, and will inevitably encounter obstacles, it is that first step that makes any project possible. Growing up in Lebanon he saw firsthand the effects of sectarian violence, and recognized the importance of reconciliation and dialogue. Despite the challenges of working both politicians and local communities, Chahine persevered, and has successfully facilitated numerous dialogue initiatives in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. He is a strong supporter of the bottom-up approach to dialogue and believes that any successful dialogue, and improved relationships, must begin in the local community.
Ali Chahine is currently a member of the United States Institute of Peace Regional Facilitators Forum and a facilitator for the Lebanese Common Space Initiative, a program focusing on national dialogue. He is also a member of UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, the UN Express Roster, UN Political Department Mediation, and the UN Headquarters Unit roster.
Throughout his career, Mr. Chahine has participated in and coordinated several reconciliation and mediation interventions in the MENA region. He has worked on programs for INGOs, UN agencies, and government institutes in the Middle East and Europe. These include his work on relief and capacity building projects in Iraq and in Lebanon, with Relief International and ACDI/VOCA. Since 2011, Mr. Chahine has been involved in dialogue initiatives in Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, and Libya, where he contributed to the design, analysis, and training of local peace mechanisms and national dialogue processes. Prior to that Chahine worked as a cooperation and communication delegate for the International Committee of Red Cross in Kosovo, Somalia, and Zimbabwe where he designed and implemented training projects aimed at developing local organizational capacities in governance and reporting. He has worked as a freelance trainer and facilitator since 2007 in areas of conflict management, project management cycle, and advocacy, in addition to team dynamics and soft skills like leadership, team effectiveness, and communication skills. He served as a member of the UN Secretary General Special Envoy Team in the Yemeni and Syrian negotiations.
Mr. Chahine has MA in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut and a BSc in Engineering, Computer and Communication Engineering from the American University of Beirut.