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The Team

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 

Nagla Rizk
Founding Director

Dr. Nagla Rizk is Professor of Economics and Founding Director of the Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) at the School of Business, the American University in Cairo (AUC). She is also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, an Affiliated Faculty of Harvard Law School's CopyrightX course, and an Affiliated Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. 

Dr. Nagla Rizk’s research and teaching interests include economics of knowledge, information technology and development, with a focus on business models in the digital economy, intellectual property, and human development. She is the co-author of the first Arab Knowledge Report 2009 and the “National Strategy for Free and Open Source Software in Egypt.”

Dr. Nagla Rizk is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association, a Founding Member of the Access to Knowledge Global, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR). She also served as an associate dean for graduate studies and research and chair of the economics department at AUC's School of Business. She taught at Columbia University, Yale Law School, and the University of Toronto. 

 

Dr. Nagla Rizk earned her Ph.D. degree in Economics from McMaster University in Canada, as well as MA and BA degrees in Economics from The American University in Cairo. She also received AUC Distinguished Alumni Award, in Spring 2016.

To visit Professor Rizk's website, click here

A2K4D Team

   

 

Christine Kassasseya
Communication and Social Media Officer

Christine Kassasseya is a Communication and Social Media Officer at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC. Christine is responsible for developing strategies, implementing social media marketing communication projects, and propagating content across relevant channels. She works with the broader team to help them bring their research and findings online.  

 

Christine gained experience in journalism and marketing prior to her service at the center. She received her BA in Communication and Media Arts with a double minor in Economics and Psychology from AUC. 
 

Dana Elbashbishy

Research Assistant


Dana Elbashbishy is a Research Assistant at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC as part of The Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR) New and Emerging Researchers Group (NERG) funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is also a Teaching Assistant at AUC in the Digital Economy: Information Technology, Knowledge and Intellectual Property course. 


Prior to joining Open AIR, Dana completed the CopyrightX course by Harvard Law School in 2015. Her research focuses on access to knowledge and its contribution to human development in Egypt and Africa. Dana is currently working on metrics research in which she helps construct surveys, write blog posts, and extract evidence from previously made case studies that are relevant to innovation taking place in enterprises and makers paces in Africa.  

 

Dana is currently pursuing her BA in Economics at the American University in Cairo’s School of Business. 

 


 

Fernando Revelo La Rotta
Researcher

Fernando Revelo La Rotta is a Researcher at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC, contributing to research focused on gender throughout and assisting in the editing of the upcoming book Access to Knowledge and Mobile Technologies.


Prior to working at A2K4D, Fernando was a high school teacher/counselor at St. Andrew’s Refugee Services, a community-based school for refugees and migrants in Cairo. Fernando was also a visiting fellow at the Cairo Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (CILAS).


Fernando graduated from The American University in Cairo with an MA in Gender and Women’s Studies in the Middle East and North Africa. His Master’s thesis explores the role of digital Internet technology in particular dating applications and user-produced photographs (selfies) in the construction of the self through a psychoanalytic lens. Fernando also graduated from Duke University with a BA in Cultural Anthropology, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Arabic Concentration), and Women’ Studies

 

Gina Alaschkar

Business Support Officer


Gina Alaschkar is a Business Support Officer at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC. She ensures smooth operation of activities at the center and serves as the backbone of all A2K4D business support activities and internship programs. She keeps a close contact with A2K4D's director and team members, as well as local and global partners. 


Prior to joining A2K4D, Gina used to work for Oracle Systems Ltd as a Senior Partner Business Consultant, covering Saudi Arabia, Middle East, Africa, UK, and Ireland. 


Gina earned her BA in Economics and Political Science from Cairo University.

 

Joey Shea
Researcher

Joey Shea is a Researcher at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC. Her diverse research interests include Artificial Intelligence and the future of work in developing economies, discursive framings of the “sharing economy” and their effects on digital labour, and surveillance. She is currently working on projects related to Uber and ride-hailing in Egypt. 


Joey has previously interned at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut and the Mada Association in Akkar, Lebanon. She is interested in the subfield of comparative political theory; specifically, the intersection of modernity, religion, labour, and colonialism in the Middle East. 


Joey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from McGill University and Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto

 

Menna Badreldin
Researcher 

Menna Badreldin is a Researcher at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC, currently working on finding alternative metrics to measure innovation activity more accurately in the African context. The "Metrics, Laws and Policies" theme is one of the main research pillars within The Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR), it cross-cuts through all other themes by quantitatively analyzing innovation activity which happens on the ground in both, the formal and the informal sectors in Africa. 


Menna has completed her MSc in Behavioral Economics from the University of Essex in the UK. She holds a BA in Economics from the American University in Cairo.

 


Nadine Weheba

Senior Research Officer

 

Nadine Weheba is a Senior Research Officer at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC. Her research interests involve political economy of knowledge, technology, and development.

 

Nadine works as part of The Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR) that takes place in its North African Hub at A2K4D. Her projects focus primarily on knowledge governance, openness, collaboration, and alternative metrics for innovation in Africa. Further, she examines digital economy, namely new business models, and access to knowledge in Egypt and the region. 

 

Nadine graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London in 2013, with an MSc in Development Studies, and from The American University in Cairo, with a BS in Economics. 
 

Nagham El Houssamy 

Senior Researcher 


Nagham El Houssamy is a Senior Researcher at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC, working on research related to knowledge, technology, entrepreneurship and development. She joined the center in June 2012, serving as the network's North Africa Hub coordinator for The Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR). Nagham was awarded an Open AIR fellowship to spend three months in the Intellectual Property Unit at the University of Cape Town, South Africa from November 2013 - February 2014. 


Prior to joining A2K4D, Nagham was an Economic Researcher in the Macro-Fiscal Policy Unit at the Egyptian Ministry of Finance. She also interned at the ICT Policies Unit of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia in Beirut. 

 

Nagham graduated from The American University in Cairo with an MA in Economics in International Development and a BA in Political Science, specializing in International Law and International Relations, with a minor in Economics.

 

Nancy Salem
Research Officer

Nancy Salem is a Research Officer at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC. She researches the potential of data and digital technologies for economic and community development in the Middle East and North Africa. Nancy is also a co-coordinator for the regional Open Data for Development (OD4D) Node in MENA and a member of the EQUALS Research Group led by the United Nations University Computing and Society under the Global Partnership for Gender Equality.

 

Nancy holds an MSc degree in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. She obtained her BA in History from AUC.

Sarah El Saeed

Researcher


Sarah El Saeed is a Researcher at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC, and works on projects within The Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR) that examine the linkages and tensions between African innovation and knowledge governance systems in the continent. Sarah has several years of work experience in the field of legal research, both in international organizations and private law firms. 


Sarah holds an MA in International Human Rights Law from the American University in Cairo, and a BA in Political Science from AUC.

 

Stefanie Felsberger

Senior Researcher


Stefanie Felsberger is a Senior Researcher at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC. Her work focuses on questions of access and control of data, knowledge and technology, as well as the political economy of data, surveillance theory, and the politics of gender. 


Stefanie is the center’s Bartlett Fellow and works in cooperation with the Access to Knowledge (A2K) Fellow at the Internet Society Project at Yale University and the Access to Knowledge Global Academy (A2KGA). Stefanie is also a member of the EQUALS Research Group led by United Nations University Computing and Society under the Global Partnership for Gender Equality and contributes to the center’s research in the area of Open Data for Development. Stefanie has been a Researcher at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) and Research Intern in Center for Development Studies at Birzeit University.   


Stefanie holds a magister (equivalent of BA and MA) both in Political Science and Arabic Studies from University of Vienna and spent a year at University of Warwick, United Kingdom. 

 
 

Yara Sultan

Senior Research Specialist


Yara Sultan is a Senior Research Specialist at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC. Her research interests involve urban planning and urban mobility, and their intersection with the potential of data and digital technologies for economic and social development in the Middle East and North Africa region. 


Yara works as part of the Data for Development Node in the Middle East and North Africa, led by A2K4D.

Her projects focus primarily on access to information, knowledge, governance, collaboration with open data communities, innovative data collection, techniques, and alternative modes to urban development in the Global South.


Yara received her MA in Cultural Anthropology as well as a double major in Anthropology and Middle East Studies from the American University in Cairo.

 
 

Youmna Hashem

Research Assistant 


Youmna Hashem is a Research Assistant at the Access to Knowledge for Development Center at AUC, focusing primarily on “Harnessing the Economic Power of Data in the Middle East and North Africa” project that encapsulates the role of data in informing policy and guiding reform. 


Prior to joining A2K4D, she pursued a degree in teaching English as a foreign language and taught university students. She earned her BA in Integrated Marketing Communications from AUC with a minor in History in 2016.