The Team

Dr. Florence Eid-Oackden

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.

Charlene Rahall

Charlene Rahall

Senior Analyst

Charlene Rahall leads the Arabia Monitor analyst team that produces macroeconomic and geopolitical/policy reports, especially on the GCC, Lebanon and Egypt. Charlene also covers key sectors such as energy, healthcare, education and tourism and the analysis of surveys such as the YPO Global Pulse on CEO confidence in MENA. In addition,  Charlene  leads the production of thematic papers aimed at identifying  and analysing medium to long term economic and geopolitical trends including China’s One Belt One Road and its impact on MENA, economic diversification and subsidy reform. She also contributes to projects Arabia Monitor is commissioned to carry out including bespoke reports and presentations. Born and raised in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Charlene also covers MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa relations. While living in Sierra Leone, Charlene interned with the United Nations Development Fund in Freetown, where she assisted in implementing youth empowerment programmes. Charlene holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Economics from the University of Liverpool. She is fluent in English and Arabic.

 Mingqiao Zhao

Mingqiao Zhao

Senior Business Development Associate
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 Lajevardi

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.