Big Ideas Fest Speakers
Lena joined MECI in 2015 to establish a DC base for the organization and manage MECI's partnership development. While Lena's previous experience focused predominantly on women's micro-finance and empowerment programs in both India and West Africa, her passion has always been in education. During her Masters studies in Global Human Development at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, Lena specialized in education programming and well as refugees and humanitarian emergencies. She consulted with Mercy Corps to design innovative education programs for adolescent Syrian refugees living in Jordan. As the Director of Strategic Partnerships for MECI, Lena is growing MECI's partnerships to develop education programs for Syrian refugee children living in Jordan. Currently, MECI is conducting an informal and remedial education program to educate out-of-school Syrian refugee children in partnership with UNICEF, and another informal & remedial education program with a focus on girls empowerment in partnership with the Malala Fund. In total, MECI is educating over 6,000 Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian children living in Jordan's host communities. Lena was born and raised in Los Angeles to Syrian and Egyptian parents, which has allowed her to maintain close ties to the Middle East and establish a deep passion for its development.