Dr. Nasser Saidi is the former Chief Economist and Head of External Relations of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Executive Director of the Hawkamah-Institute for Corporate Governance and The Mudara Institute of Directors at the DIFC between 2006 and 2012.
In these capacities he conceived and developed the role of the Chief Economist of the DIFC providing strategy & advice to the DIFC and Dubai Government; acted as spokesperson & developed a series of broadly disseminated publications, and promoted the DIFC internationally. He established and developed the external relations of the DIFC with international financial institutions (IMF, OECD, IFC, World Bank, MIGA) and international financial centres. Dr. Saidi designed and set-up DIFCSTAT, a secure, inter-active, on-line, web-based, registration, reporting and statistical system for DIFC entities. As founder and Executive Director of Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, he developed the regional institute to bridge the corporate governance gap through advisory services, research and advocacy.
Dr. Saidi is a member of the IMF’s Regional Advisory Group for MENA and Co-Chair of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) MENA Corporate Governance Working Group. He is a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the Global Corporate Governance Forum, an institution of the World Bank driving global corporate governance reforms. He is also Chair of the regional Clean Energy Business Council.
In 2012, he was named among the 50 most influential Arabs in the World by The Middle East magazine, for the fourth consecutive year.
Dr. Saidi was the Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry of Lebanon between 1998 and 2000. He was the first Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon for two successive mandates, 1993-1998 and 1998-2003. He was a Member of the UN Committee for Development Policy (UNCDP) for two mandates over the period 2000-2006, a position to which he was appointed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, in his personal capacity.
He has written a number of books and numerous publications addressing macroeconomic, capital market development and international economic issues in Lebanon and the region and is the author of, “Corporate Governance in the MENA countries: Improving Transparency & Disclosure”. His research interests include macroeconomics, financial market development, payment systems and international economic policy, and information and communication technology (ICT).
Dr. Saidi was a private banker and served as an economic adviser and director to a number of central banks and financial institutions in Arab countries, Europe and Central and Latin America. Prior to his public career, Dr. Nasser pursued a career as an academic, serving as a Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics in the University of Chicago, the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, CH), and the Université de Genève. He also served as a lecturer at the American University of Beirut and the Université St. Joseph in Beirut.
Dr. Saidi holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester in the U.S.A, a M.Sc. from University College, London University and a B.A. from the American University of Beirut.
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