Maysa Jalbout

Maysa Jalbout

Maysa Jalbout is a recognized leader in international development and philanthropy, and a nonresident senior fellow in the Center for Universal Education at Brookings. She is deeply committed to supporting the most vulnerable people in the world through her expertise in education, jobs and technology. A true industry veteran, Jalbout has over 25 years of experience in building effective organizations, initiatives and innovative partnerships in Canada, the Middle East, and in developing nations.

She was the founding CEO of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education—a landmark philanthropic initiative based in Dubai with a budget of $1 billion. Within four years, Jalbout built the foundation into one of the most respected institutions in the region and abroad, having established tens of partnerships, multiple programs and reached tens of thousands of youth from 18 countries.

Forbes recognized Jalbout as one of the 100 most powerful businesswomen in the Arab world in 2016-2018. Her alma mater, McMaster University, recognized her as Distinguished Alumni for the Arts in 2018.

She has held senior roles including as the founding CEO of the Queen Rania Foundation and trusted advisor to global leaders, philanthropists, companies and aid agencies.

Jalbout accredits her early career years in Canada—working on global education, development and youth employment—with preparing her for the challenging issues and organizations she manages today. She served at Global Affairs Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada.

In her capacity as nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Jalbout has produced visible research and thought leadership strategies in education.

As a former refugee, Jalbout is passionate about supporting refugees. She has authored a series of reports on refugee education, developed national strategies endorsed by global leaders and designed high impact initiatives funded by philanthropists.

She has been an advisor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Learning Initiative and Arizona State University. She serves on the boards of Generation: You Employed and Alfanar Venture Philanthropy. She is co-founder and host of the Impact Room—a podcast about the people and ideas tackling the most challenging development issues of our time.

  • Past Positions

    • Nonresident Fellow, Center for Universal Education, Global Economy and Development, Brookings
    • Visiting Scholar, Arizona State University and MIT’s Open Learning
    • CEO, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education
    • CEO, Queen Rania Foundation, Jordan
    • Vice-Chair, Jordan River Foundation, Jordan
    • Director of Research and Strategy, Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah
    • Assistant Director, Social Development Policies and Senior Advisor, Education Group, Canadian International Development Agency, Canada
    • Senior Analyst, Social Policy Directorate, Human Resources Development Canada
    • Vice-President of Programs, AIESEC Canada National Committee
  • Education

    • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, McMaster University
    • Master's in Education, Athabasca University
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