Our Team

Lina Abou-Habib


Lina Abou-Habib is the Director of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut. She is also the co-gender director of the AUB MEPI-TLS program and teaches undergraduate and graduate gender courses. Abou-Habib is a feminist activist and researcher with a long career working with local, regional, and international institutions on gender mainstreaming and feminist activism. She has designed, implemented, and led multi-year gender equality initiatives including training, research, and community actions. She currently serves on the boards of the Urgent Action Fund, the Doria Feminist Fund, and Haven for Artists and is a member of the editorial committee of the Gender and Development Journal. She served previously as secretary and Chair of the board of AWID.

Carla Akil

Assistant to the Director

Carla Akil is a feminist researcher, project manager, and certified gender trainer with extensive experience in advocacy for gender equality, including developing and implementing social media campaigns as well as organizing and moderating webinars. Her research work is focused on women’s rights and gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including internalized misogyny, feminist funding narratives, and feminist collective action. Carla completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the American University of Beirut in 2021 and the Professional Development Programme for Gender Trainers at KIT Royal Tropical Institute in 2022.

Hala Yanni

Finance and Grants Manager

Hala Yanni manages the administrative and financial matters of the Asfari Institute, including budgeting, financial reporting, systemizing office logistics, and university liaison. She is directly responsible for all the financial matters of the office, including the recording and tracking of grants and their proposals. She monitors and coordinates the administration of post-award grants to ensure that budgeting and administrative policies, procedures, allowable and non-allowable costs, reporting, and funding agency requirements are being followed. Prior to joining the Asfari Institute, Ms. Yanni served as a Financial Analyst at the Office of Financial Planning at AUB (2013-2014); Executive Officer at the Vice President for Facilities at AUB (2012-2013); Internal Auditor at BLOM Bank (2008-2012); Administrative Officer at the Auxiliary Services at AUB (2004-2008); and External Auditor at KPMG (2002-2004). Ms. Yanni received her MBA with an emphasis in internal audit from the Lebanese American University (LAU) in 2010.

Fatima Nasser

Administrative Officer

Fatima Nasser graduated from AUB with a MA in Public Administration focusing on Consultancy Management and Public Policy. Her thesis was on “Women Leadership in Disaster Management: Case of Beirut Blast”. She has a BA in Public Administration from AUB. Nasser has received Erasmus+ Staff training certification on Celebrating 50 years of Inclusivity and Sustainability in International Education at the University of Limerick in Ireland (2022). Before joining the Asfari Institute, she was an intern at the Issam Fares Institute (2017-2018) and World Vision (2017-2018). Nasser received two training workshop certifications on Innovation and Entrepreneurship with Nawaya-UNICEF and the Switchmed Program. She has also worked as a part-time work-study student in several departments at AUB and AUBMC (2015-2018).

Sarah Al Bouery

Senior Research Assistant

Sarah Al Bouery has collected experience from all non-profit, public and private sectors, particularly serving as a Research Associate at the Institute of Finance at the Ministry of Finance, working in private consultancies, and taking part in non-profit training and research work. She is a recipient of multiple awards such as the MEPI-TLG award, the USAID award, and the USP Excellence award. She has also presented her research work at multiple international conferences, such as the IAPSS World Congress and the AUB-Bobst Princeton Initiative conference.

Ingrid Chahine

Senior Research Assistant

Ingrid Chahine holds a BA in Journalism and is an MA Candidate in Media Studies at the Faculty of Information at the Lebanese University. His interdisciplinary work mainly focuses on social movements, feminist and queer theory, as well as cultural production and representation. Before joining the Asfari Institute, Ingrid was a data analyst and a copywriter for 6 years. He also carried out his certification program as a fitness instructor at Europe Active while simultaneously conducting research in evidence-based training and sports science.

On secondment 

Vanessa Zammar

Research Assistant

Vanessa Zammar is a sociologist, a period poverty activist, and co-founder of Jeyetna, a feminist collective based in Lebanon. She graduated from the American University of Beirut with an MA in Sociology and completed her graduate thesis about women’s strategies within the Lebanese sectarian and patriarchal legal and bureaucratic systems. Mixed-heritage daughter of the diaspora, she was born and raised in Switzerland and settled in Lebanon in 2018 to volunteer with Palestinian and Syrian women in a school. This experience steered her interest in how women go about xenophobic and sexist legal/bureaucratic systems. Her feminist perspective is one based on intersectional political solidarity & sisterhood and this is how she addresses the fight against period poverty.

Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship

American University of Beirut


PO Box 11-0236

Riad El Solh, ​1107 2020
Beirut, Lebanon

Tel: +961-1-350000 EXT. 4469


The Debs Center, 3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th floor
New York, NY 10017-2303, USA

Tel: 1-212-583-7600