Working Group

Working Group for the Sustainable States project

Dr. Faten Attig-Bahar
Dr. Faten Attig-Bahar is a researcher at the University of Carthage, a research board member at the World Meteorological Organization, and a member of Future Earth’s steering committee for the food-water-energy nexus. From February 2019 to July 2020, she served as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow for the International Climate Protection Program at the University of Rostock. Since 2016, Dr. Attig-Bahar has been an executive board member of the Young Earth System Scientists (YESS) and is also the junior ambassador for Tunisia at the Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN). She has previously worked as a public relations manager at Green Shift Africa, an organization based in Cape Town, South Africa working on sustainable development across Africa. Dr. Attig-Bahar is also a successful author who has published 19 children’s books in Arabic, one of which was endorsed by the Tunisian cultural ministry. Dr. Attig-Bahar holds a Ph.D. from the Polytechnic School of Tunisia at the University of Carthage.

Dr. Wassim Chaabane
Dr. Wassim Chaabane is an environment and waste management expert at Cyclos GmbH and a country representative at the African Circular Economy Network. Before joining Cyclos GmbH, he was a national expert on Tunisia at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) from 2015 to 2016 and a technical coordinator for GIZ’s SWEEP-Net from 2013 to 2015. From 2013 to 2014, Dr. Chaabane also served as a platform manager for the European Commission’s USUDS project. In 2012, he founded the Tunisian Mediterranean Environmental Association, where he served until 2015. Dr. Chaabane holds a Ph.D. from the University of Rostock, an M.S. from the University of Sfax, and a B.S. from Nasria School.

Karim Elgendy
Karim Elgendy is a sustainability consultant and an architect based in London, with extensive experience practicing design and sustainability in the United Kingdom, the United States and the Middle East. Over the past two decades he has helped create sustainable buildings and urban environments across four continents. Karim is an Associate at Dar and an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House). His research interests include developing sustainable and resilient cities, and assessing the role of policy, economics, urban planning, urban mobility, and building design in reducing the impact of cities on resources and the environment. Karim is also the Founder and Coordinator of Carboun, an advocacy initiative promoting sustainability in Middle East cities, and edits its online publication, the Carboun Journal. He is the recipient of the 2013 Global Green Building Entrepreneurship Award by the World Green Building Council. Karim is a chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and an accredited professional under several green building certification systems including LEED, BREEAM, EcoDistricts, and GSAS.

Dr. Annabelle Houdret
Dr. Annabelle Houdret is a political scientist and senior researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) where she works on water governance, natural resource conflict and cooperation, and decentralization. Before joining DIE in 2012, she was head of the water department at Adelphi, a Berlin-based consulting firm from 2009 to 2011. From 2008 to 2009, Dr. Houdret served as a consultant for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), and from 2005 to 2007, she was a research fellow at the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Dr. Houdret holds a Ph.D. from the University of Duisburg-Essen and an M.S. from the University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis.

Annika Kramer
Annika Kramer is a senior project manager and the head of the water program at Adelphi, a Berlin-based consulting firm. Kramer has experience developing and leading international consulting and research projects in the Middle East and North Africa on behalf of the European Commission, German federal ministries, and international development organizations. Before joining Adelphi, she gained international experience at OneWorld, a consulting firm in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Nexus Institute for Cooperation, Management, and Interdisciplinary Research in Berlin. Kramer studied environmental engineering at the Technische Universität Berlin and the Universidade de Aveiro.

Jessica Obeid
Jessica Obeid is a senior global advisor at London-based consultancy Azure Strategy, an academy associate with Chatham House’s Energy, Environment, and Resources Programme, and a non-resident fellow at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies. Since 2018, she’s also been an independent energy policy consultant and she has worked on projects for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and World Bank and International Institute for Sustainable Development, among others. From 2017 to 2018, Obeid was a resident fellow for energy, environment, and resources at Chatham House. From 2016 to 2017, she served as the chief energy engineer at the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Beirut, where she previously served as an energy engineer from 2008 to 2016. Obeid has been awarded the European Union Visitors Programme, the U.S. Department of State’s TechWomen, and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office’s International Leaders Fellowships. She holds an M.A. from Paris-Sud University and a B.E. from the Lebanese American University. She is currently a Ph.D. scholar at the University of East London.

Maisam Otoum
Maisam Otoum is the Jordan country manager at cewas Middle East, a Swiss center for water management and a dedicated water and sanitation start-up incubator and training program. Prior to joining cewas Middle East, Otoum served with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), first as a monitoring and evaluations officer from August 2017 until December 2018 and then as the Jordan national project officer from December 2018 to March 2020. Before serving with the UNDP, he worked as a program development officer at the Rural Family Society in Amman, Jordan, where he implemented USAID-funded environmental advocacy projects. From February 2012 to March 2015 Otoum worked as an analysis geophysicist at MicroSeismic in Houston, Texas. He has also worked as a highway design engineer at ACE International Consultants in Jordan and as a geophysical operations intern at ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas. Otoum holds a B.Sc. from the Jordan University of Science and Technology and an M.S. from the University of Houston.

Mohammad al-Saidi
Dr. Mohammad Al-Saidi is a research assistant professor at the Center for Sustainable Development at Qatar University. In 2020, he served as an adjunct faculty member at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies in Qatar teaching a course on human and environmental security. From 2011 to 2016, Dr. Al-Saidi worked as a senior researcher for the Institute for Technology in the Tropics (ITT) at the TH Köln University of Applied Sciences. He has worked on projects and published papers on Yemen, the Gulf, east Africa, and Jordan, ranging from development and the environment to water resources, management, and sustainable transitions. Dr. Al-Saidi holds a Ph.D., an M.A., and an M.S. from Heidelberg University.

Tessa Terpstra
Tessa Terpstra is a Dutch diplomat and the first Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) MENA envoy for water and energy security, where she works on climate change, natural resource scarcity, and community engagement in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and the West Bank and Gaza. From 2006 to 2011 Terpstra served in Cairo in various roles including the head of section political affairs, and from 2002 to 2006, she worked in the Netherlands as a policy officer. Before joining the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she was a program manager in Afghanistan with the International Rescue Committee from 2000 to 2001. She worked as a documentary researcher for the VPRO from 1997 to 1999 and as a researcher for the SNV Netherlands Development Organization in 1996. Terpstra holds an M.A. from the University of Amsterdam.

Franziska Wehinger
Franziska Wehinger is the director of the Regional Energy and Climate Project MENA at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, where she advises governments on a socially just energy transition in the Middle East and North Africa region. From 2015-2017, she worked as a desk officer at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, where she enhanced environmental and social standards in trade agreements between European and Asian partner countries. From 2013-2014, Wehinger worked at the German Development Institute, first as a postgraduate trainee and then as a researcher. She worked as a research assistant focusing on the MENA region at the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict from 2010-2013. Wehinger also interned at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and for the German federal foreign office. She holds an M.A. from King’s College and a B.A. from Heidelberg University.

Salman Zafar
Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a consulting and advisory firm focusing on biomass energy, waste management, and waste-to-energy initiatives. In 2012, he founded EcoMENA, a Qatar-based volunteer initiative to promote sustainable development and raise environmental awareness in the MENA region. He has been a freelance contributor to Forbes Middle East since 2015. Prior to founding EcoMENA, Zafar was the director of Global Vantage LLC from 2010 to 2012. He has authored more than 1,000 articles in journals, magazines, newsletters, and websites on waste management, renewable energy, resource conservation, and sustainability. Zafar holds an M.Tech from Aligarh Muslim University.