Ziad is an interdisciplinary thinker able to draw from multiple fields and areas of expertise to create new innovative ideas, strategies, and business plans. He has experience in architecture and design, strategic planning, business management, online businesses, technology for development, private high-end tourism, micro-enterprise development, youth and community development, and social entrepreneurship.
Over the past seven years, his focus as an independent consultant has been on projects related to livelihoods, economic empowerment of vulnerable communities, local community and youth development, and social entrepreneurship. The nature of the projects varies from program design and development to program implementation and the creation of comprehensive capacity building packages.
Among others, he has developed the social entrepreneurship training module that was incorporated in the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) “Know About Business (KAB)” extensive training program, and also developed for the ILO an innovative package based on illustrations and stories to teach illiterates how to start micro businesses. Currently he is engaged in projects to build the capacities and increase the resilience of Syrian refugees in the Middle East and in Europe with UNESCO.
He is involved in mentoring and coaching many youth across the Middle East on developing innovative business plans. He also serves on several committees across the Middle East that review and assess the work of social entrepreneurs.
Ziad is also the co-founder and CEO of “My Middle East” (www.mymiddleeast.me), a socially responsible, private travel business to the Middle East and East Mediterranean. “My Middle East” designs customized private leisure trips for its guests, while ensuring the local community directly benefits from the execution of those trips.
Prior to that, Ziad was the Regional Project Manager of UNDP/ICTDAR (ICT for Development in the Arab Region). Based in Cairo, Egypt, ICTDAR was a regional program of the UNDP that focused on the use of technology and social networking as a tool for development with the objectives of increasing access to knowledge, building capacities, creating jobs, and reducing poverty in the Arab region. Special focus was given to youth capacity building, women's rights and empowerment, and micro businesses. Flagship programs included an initiative to promote active and responsible citizenship, encouraging a healthier relationship between citizens and their communities.
He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the American University in Beirut, and a Masters in Business Administration with a focus on entrepreneurship from Babson College in Boston.