OUR STORY

In October of 2014, during a gathering of World Bank officials in Washington, D.C.,a small group of us representing the United States and the Levant countries attended a session that outlined some of the complex economic and humanitarian challenges that are holding back chances for peace, stability and economic development in the Middle East, specifically in the Levant region.

Afterwards, a few of us continued the conversation over dinner, and we came to the conclusion that, “ideas really do count, idealism counts, and why can’t those concepts apply here to help solve some of these problems? Doesn’t everyone want and deserve a decent life, to have self-respect, to live with dignity?” Obviously, significant problems continue to exist in the Middle East, both large and small, but we decided that we should get involved, and just do something: take one step. And so we founded Global Alliance, a Washington-based non-profit whose mission is to take action to promote positive change.

Our group firmly believes that it is the young people of the region and around the globe who offer the best hope, and who literally can change the world, and we wanted to offer a vehicle where thousands, or even millions, of idealistic young people could unite to solve problems that earlier generations could not.  And we wanted to begin by focusing attention on the critical Syrian Refugee Crisis.

 

OUR MISSION

During this period of enormous upheaval and unprecedented change in the Middle East, there exists a unique window of opportunity to find solutions to extremely difficult problems.

In response to these challenges, the Global Alliance has combined the talents and imagination of experts from around the world, applying their knowledge and ideas to create a force to promote civility and to effect positive change. In order to meet the wide-ranging challenges of the Middle East region and offer constructive alternatives to violence and destruction, we have partnered with highly respected professionals in business, academia, other non-profit groups and public sector organizations.

Global Alliance is dedicated to building a better understanding between the United States and the Middle East, specifically the Levant countries, by developing public/private partnerships that promote economic activity; organizing leadership training and cultural exchanges; and, most importantly, offering young people hope for a better future. In pursuit of these goals, Global Alliance is introducing programs that help create an environment for economic development and growth — offering paths to education and training, job skills, opportunities, and a better quality of life, while also developing innovative programs that address the status of women.

Recognizing that the power of ideas can change attitudes, behavior, and ultimately the world, Global Alliance will seek to utilize television, film and social media to reach broad audiences with positive messages that encourage global engagement in the furtherance of human dignity.

WHO WE ARE

Ambassador Paul A. Russo

President

Walter Carozza

Treasurer

George A. Ramonas, Esq.

Director

Dr. Colm O’Muircheartaigh

Director

Dr. Tony Ghorayeb

Director

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Ambassador Paul A. Russo

President

Over the past several decades, Ambassador Paul A. Russo has served in senior positions in business, government, and national politics.

He was appointed by President Reagan to serve as United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean from 1986 through 1988, a position which required confirmation by the United States Senate.

Ambassador Russo is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University; he teaches a course on the modern U.S. Presidency as part of Georgetown University’s Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies Program. Mr. Russo serves as the President of the Global Alliance Institute, a Washington-based non-profit institute committed to building better understanding between the United States and the Middle East. He is also head of a Washington firm that specializes in the development and financing of projects in the Middle East, with focus on the United Arab Emirates and northern Iraq.

Ambassador Russo was a founding member of a bi-partisan organization comprised of American foreign policy leaders who work to help strengthen U.S./Arab relations via television programming. During Ronald Reagan’s first term, Ambassador Russo served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President for Political Affairs, and he then became Deputy Under Secretary of Labor. Mr. Russo was a senior member of Ronald Reagan’s national campaign staff during all three of Mr. Reagan’s presidential campaigns. As Director of Congressional Relations in the 1980 race, Mr. Russo acted as the principal contact with members of the United States House and Senate and Governor Reagan.

Ambassador Russo founded and then served as Executive Director and Treasurer of Campaign America, a political action committee chaired by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, and when Ronald Reagan was Governor of California, Mr. Russo served as Special Assistant to the Governor. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Levant Investment Bank (LIBank) and also serves on the boards of the Council of American Ambassadors, the Institute of World Politics, and the Council for American Universities Abroad.

A native of Ohio, Ambassador Russo holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University, with additional studies at Case-Western Reserve University and Georgetown University.

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Walter Carozza

Treasurer

Mr. Carozza has over 20 years experience as an attorney, direct investor, executive level manager and fund manager, for both private and public companies, focusing primarily on the fields of healthcare and information technology in the United States and Europe.   He currently serves as General Counsel of Continuum Care Holdings, LLC.   Mr. Carozza is also a General Partner and investor in Perun Capital.  As an investor and fund manager, he has structured, invested in and managed private equity financings, IPOs, secondary offerings, reverse mergers, PIPEs and other financing transactions.  Mr. Carozza has also structured and overseen a variety of legal matters worldwide, and has negotiated, drafted and reviewed many United States and international transactional and other agreements.  

Previously, Mr. Carozza served as a General Partner of East River Ventures, L.P.   He also co-founded and managed various international investment and consulting funds targeted at both foreign and domestic early-stage companies.  Mr. Carozza’s prior experience was as an attorney at McDermott, Will & Emery, and Levine & Okoshken.   He has spoken extensively on international investment and legal issues and is fluent in both French and Italian.  Mr. Carozza was a Rotary Scholar in Law at the University of Liege.

Mr. Carozza received a J.D. and B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin, completed work on a license special en droit at the University of Liege, and has studied Law at the University of Paris and the University of Rome.

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George A. Ramonas, Esq.

Director

President of The Advocacy Group, Mr. Ramonas has, for over two decades, effectively developed legislative strategies for his clients, as well as interfaced with federal agencies on their behalf. He has achieved dramatic results in his efforts to match a client’s capabilities with funding opportunities both within the Congress and among the federal agencies of the Executive Branch and has developed an effective process to assist clients in examining new opportunities for funding and program growth.

On Capitol Hill, Mr. Ramonas served for seven years as Legislative Director for Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico, a prominent Republican Senator and former Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

In his capacity as Legislative Director, Mr. Ramonas developed the reputation as one of the top experts in the Senate on the budget, authorization, and appropriation processes.

From 1985 to 1991, Mr. Ramonas was in private practice, representing various universities and state-of-the-art technology companies. His practice specialized in promoting a federal financial role for high technology and critical technology infrastructure for various projects throughout the country.

George Ramonas is a graduate of Case Western Reserve School of Law.

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Dr. Colm O’Muircheartaigh

Director

Colm A. O’Muircheartaigh, professor at Chicago Harris, served as dean of the Harris School from 2009 to 2014. His research encompasses survey sample design, measurement errors in surveys, cognitive aspects of question wording, and latent variable models for nonresponse. He is a senior fellow in the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), where he is responsible for the development of methodological innovations in sample design.

O’Muircheartaigh is co-principal investigator on NSF’s Center for Advancing Research and Communication in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (ARC-STEM) and on the National Institute on Aging’s National Social Life Health and Aging Project (NSHAP). He is a member of the Committee on National Statistics of the National Academies (CNSTAT) and of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee (FESAC), and serves on the board of Chapin Hall Center for Children.

O’Muircheartaigh joined Chicago Harris from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he was the first director of the Methodology Institute, the center for research and training in social science methodology, and a faculty member of the Department of Statistics from 1971. He has also taught at a number of other institutions, having served as a visiting professor at the Universities of Padova, Perugia, Firenze, and Bologna, and, since 1975, has taught at the Summer Institute of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

Formerly president of the International Association of Survey Statisticians and a council member of the International Statistical Institute, O’Muircheartaigh is actively involved in these and a number of other professional bodies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He was a member of the U.S. Census Bureau Federal Advisory Committee of Professional Associations (chair of the statistics subcommittee), a member of the Advisory Boards of the Panel Study on Income Dynamics (PSID) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), and a member of the National Academies Panel on Residence Rules for the 2010 Census. He has served as a consultant to a wide range of public and commercial organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands. Through his work with the United Nations (FAO, UNDP, UNESCO), OECD, the Commission of the European Communities, the International Association for Educational Assessment (IEA), and others, O’Muircheartaigh has also worked in China, Myan Mar, Kenya, Lesotho, and Peru.

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Dr. Tony Ghorayeb

Director

Dr. Ghorayeb is Chairman of LIBank (Levant Investment Bank), a fully chartered independent investment bank, launched in Lebanon in 2013 and regulated by the Central of Lebanon.  For over 35 years, Dr. Ghorayeb has practiced banking and legal consultancy in London, Geneva, and New York and has held senior positions at HSBC, Credit Commercial de France, Banque Indosuez, and BSI.

He is a founding member and Secretary General of the Levant Business Union, a union of the International Chambers of Commerce of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Syria, founded to promote regional economic integration through free trade, mobility, open markets, and investments among the member countries.  

Dr. Ghorayeb co-chairs the Dean’s International Council of the School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and also serves on the boards of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC); the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIAB); is a founder of the Brazilian/Lebanese Chamber of Commerce; and a member of the Lebanese -Turkish Council

From 1975 – 1981 Dr. Ghorayeb lectured in constitutional law and administrative law at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon, at the Law School.   He has published an essay on the Lebanese electoral system and a thesis on double taxation, and he also directed seminars on public finance for two years at Saint Joseph University between 1979 and 1981.  

Dr. Ghorayeb has a law degree from Saint Joseph University, as well as a political science degree.  He has a Ph.D. in Law from Lon II University in France, in addition to a master’s degree in political science.

Dr. Ghorayeb is married with five children. He speaks English, French, and Arabic.

PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS

Our initiatives are made possible in part by support from the following: