Energy and the Arab Awakening: A View from Riyadh

Apr. 30, 2013

The Middle East Initiative and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs hosted distinguished scholars and energy experts from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a panel discussion on Thursday, April 25.  The panelists included:

Dr. Mohammed Al Sabban, Professor, King Abdulaziz University, former advisor to Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources;

Mr. Ali Al Shihabi, Founder, Rasmala Investment Bank;

and Mr. Abdulaziz al Fahad, Principal of Abdulaziz al Fahad Law Firm.

The panel was moderated by Professor Henry Lee, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.

The video recording of this event is below, along with biographies of the speakers.

About the panelists:

Dr. Mohammed Al Sabban

Dr. Mohammed Al Sabban is Professor of Economics at the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah and former Senior Advisor to the Saudi Oil Minister and former Chief Climate Change Negotiator. Dr. Al Sabban obtained his MA in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and his Ph.D in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Between 1983 and 1987, he was part-time advisor to the Minister of Industry and Electricity; between 1987 and 1997, he was part-time advisor to the Minister of Petroleum. Since 1997, he is senior economic advisor to the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. He has led the Saudi delegation and served as chief negotiator to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 1991. Moreover, he has participated in many OPEC and OAPEC ministerial committees and special meetings. He sits on the economic advisory panel of the Saudi Supreme Economic Council. 

Mr. Ali Shihabi

Mr. Ali Shihabi is Founder of the Rasmala Investment Bank. A businessman and author, Mr. Al Shihabi obtained his BA in Political Science and Government from Princeton University and his MBA from the Harvard Business School.  He is the author of Arabian War Games: Cataclysmic Wars Redraw the Map of the Middle East (2012), in which he examines the Arab-Israeli conflict and Arabian-Iranian tensions.  Mr. Shihabi sits on several boards, including the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation and RAK Petroleum.

Mr. Abdulaziz al Fahad

Mr. Abdulaziz Al Fahad is Principal of Abdulaziz Al Fahad Law Firm.  His areas of practice are: corporate, banking, litigation, intellectual property, international transactions and arbitration. Mr. Al Fahad obtained his JD from Yale Law School, his MA in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He occasionally writes and lectures on Middle Eastern laws, politics and economics. Mr. Al Fahad is also a member of several public, join-stock and private corporate boards. 

For more information on this publication: Please contact Middle East Initiative
For Academic Citation:Energy and the Arab Awakening: A View from Riyadh.” News, , April 30, 2013.