Houssam is chief of the Private Sector Partnerships MENA unit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He started the unit in the United Arab Emirates and is now covering the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with a regional team that focuses on providing diversified funds for the regional and global needs of refugees. In his talk, Houssam will take you through the journey of where and how he started and what are the challenges and opportunities in a fundraiser’s career. He will share his personal experience and professional struggle to bring Islamic philanthropy into the UN system and will elaborate on the cultural, religious and professional specificities of philanthropic work in the MENA region.
Houssam has served as the Head of UNHCR Private Sector Partnerships in the MENA Region since 2011. He is responsible for the development of private sector fundraising programs in the region and overlooks the development of UNHCR’s global Islamic Philanthropy and the Refugee Zakat Fund. Prior to joining UNHCR, Houssam worked with not-for-profit organizations such as Greenpeace and the governmental sector like Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, specializing in Strategic Planning, stakeholder engagement, and advocacy and fundraising campaigns.