Oussama K. Safa


While attending classes on negotiation and conflict resolution at the American University of Beirut, Oussama Safa realized that he wanted to focus his career on peacebuilding and reconciliation. Growing up during Lebanon’s civil war, and watching Lebanon continue to struggle 27 years later, Mr. Safa knew from first-hand experience how imperative it is for Arab youth to move away from political corruption and competition for profit, and instead embrace cooperation for the benefit of their countries.

Mr. Safa is currently the Chief of the Participation and Social Justice Section for the UN Economic and Social Commision for West Asia (UN-ESCWA) where he works on public policy, governance, citizen engagement, and civil society in countries in transition. Prior to that he worked for UN-ESCWA as Social Affairs Officer for the Participator Social Development Section. He was Secretary General of the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE), Lebanon’s leading NGO for electoral reforms, and held the role of General Director at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies. He has also worked for Search for Common Ground and ECO Consult.

Mr. Safa has founded numerous forums and organizations: Common Space Initiative and Conflict Transformation Collaborative – both global forums for peacebuilding professionals, the Civil Campaign for Electoral Reforms in Lebanon, the Global Partnership for Conflict Prevention and Human Security, and the Arab Association for Democratic Elections. In 1998, he co-founded the Lebanese Transparency Association which is now Lebanon’s leading anti-corruption watchdog.  He is also a senior facilitator for the Lebanon Conflict Resolution Network.

Safa is an experienced facilitator and mediator with over twenty years of experience in multi-ethnic, labor, and social conflicts. He founded and continues to work with the Lebanon Conflict Resolution Network in Beirut. He has publications in outlets such as: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Freedom House, Berghof Center, Journal of Democracy.

Safa holds MAs in International Development and International Politics from The American University in Washington, DC, and a BA in Political Science from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.