Mayssam Zaaroura


Mayssam Zaaroura is an expert on Gender and Governance in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, with a particular focus on forced migration and women’s political and economic empowerment. Ms. Zaaroura is the Program Officer with the Safe and Inclusive Cities Initiative in the Governance and Justice Program. She has over 10 years of experience in the field of international development, with expertise in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Ms. Zaaroura previously worked with the Governance and Justice Team as a Research Officer and a Research Award Recipient, with research focused on the Syrian conflict and on women’s political empowerment in Southeast Asia and the MENA region. Prior to joining IDRC, Ms. Zaaroura was the Business and Partnerships Development Manager at a private Canadian consulting firm focused on democratic transitions in the MENA region, working with civil society organizations and political actors on political settlements, forced migration, conflict and transition processes; women and political empowerment in conflict and post-conflict settings.

As a communications expert, she was National Desk Editor and Senior Political Journalist at The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon, covering political issues in the MENA region. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Development and Global Studies from the University of Ottawa (2011), and a Bachelor’s in Communications and Languages from the University of Sunderland in the UK (2002).

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