The Team

Dr. Florence Eid-Oakden

Dr. Florence Eid-Oakden

CEO and Chief Economist

Dr. Florence Eid-Oakden is the CEO & Chief Economist of Arabia Monitor Research & Strategy. Formerly head of MENA research at JP Morgan, Dr. Eid-Oakden has also worked with the World Bank on Latin America and North Africa, and subsequently, on the buy side as a hedge fund investment professional. She has been a professor of economics and finance at the American University of Beirut and a visiting professor at INSEAD and HEC Paris. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Natixis Saudi Arabia where she chairs the Audit & Risk and Compensation Committees. Previously, she has served as a member of HSBC’s Middle East Financial System Risk Advisory Committee and, for a period of 9 years (three terms), as a Director of the Arab Banking Corporation International Bank in London, and of Bank ABC Jordan (2 terms). She has also been a Director of Shuaa Capital in Dubai. Dr. Eid-Oakden is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Arab Bankers Association of North America in New York, and sits on the Advisory Council of the Al Faisal University College of Business, Saudi Arabia, where she also advises the Saudi Government. A few years back, she enjoyed serving as a Trustee of the American University in Paris, where she was once an undergraduate student.

Dr. Eid-Oakden received her Ph.D. in Organization Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a joint MIT-Harvard Doctoral Committee, under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Professor Bengt Holmström. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, with a working knowledge of Italian and Portuguese.

Mingqiao Zhao

Mingqiao Zhao

Senior Business Development Associate and Analyst

Mingqiao Zhao is Arabia Monitor’s Senior Business Development Associate and Analyst. Having founded and worked for her own firm in China, Mingqiao joined Arabia Monitor to support its operations in China and beyond. She also researches on Sino-MENA trade and investment relations in light of Belt & Road Initiative. Mingqiao holds an MA (Hons) in International Relations and Modern History from the University of St Andrews, and an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She also read Arabic at St Andrews and in Palestine for two years and has travelled extensively in the MENA region. She is fluent in Mandarin and English, and advanced in Arabic.

Leila

LEILA LAJEVARDI

Geopolitical Analyst & Business Development Associate

Leila Lajevardi is Arabia Monitor’s geopolitical analyst and business development associate. Leila's analysis focuses on geopolitics in MENA looking specifically at Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and some North African countries. Before starting at Arabia Monitor, Leila worked on political campaigns in the US in addition to interning at the US House of Representatives. Leila holds an BA (Hons) degree in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from New York University and a MSc in International Social and Public Policy  from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she conducted research on subsidy reform in Iran. She is fluent in English and Persian.

Ghalia Bajali

Ghalia Al Bajali

Analyst & Business Development Associate

Ghalia Bajali leads the production of macroeconomic and geopolitical reports, especially focusing on the GCC, Levant, and Egypt. She also produces thematic papers which focus on analysing key sector in MENA such as energy, capital market, tourism and banking and finance. Prior to Arabia Monitor, Ghalia worked in the field of investments, primarily consulting early stage start-ups and leading impact investment opportunities. She also worked with the European Investment Bank on policy reform targeting SME growth and EU Fintech regulations. Ghalia holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Economic Policy and Social Impact from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a BSc. in International Management with Middle Eastern and North African Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She is fluent in English and Arabic with basic knowledge in Spanish.

Bouchra Abaakil

Bouchra Abaakil

North Africa Analyst
Bouchra Abaakil is Arabia Monitor’s North Africa analyst and business development associate. Bouchra focuses on macroeconomic and geopolitical trends in the MENA region, focusing specifically on North African countries. Prior to starting at Arabia Monitor, Bouchra worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Morocco. She holds a BSc in Politics and International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Bouchra is fluent in English, Arabic and French.
Peiting Sun

Peiting Sun

Sino-MENA Analyst

Peiting Sun is a member of Arabia Monitor’s China and Francophone countries team. Mr. Sun has studied Economics at the Sciences Po Paris Campus of Menton, which is specialised in Mediterranean and Middle East studies. Peiting is fluent in English, French and Mandarin with a basic working knowledge of Arabic and Spanish.