For the purpose of breaking the cycle of political inheritance, the National Bloc eliminated the "supreme leader" position and transferred his absolute powers to an executive committee presided by a Secretary-General.
Bechara Mouannes was born in Jbeil in 1961. He is an architect who graduated from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon, in 1986 and was awarded his Master of Advanced Studies in architecture and archeology from France in 1989. In addition to engineering projects at his own office, he worked at the TRIAD CONDAS INT in Paris, graduated from the Faculty of Archeology in Greece and Cyprus, and engaged in works for France’s Autun and others.
He has been a member of the Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut since 1987 and has already been elected for four consecutive sessions as a member of the Order’s Council of Delegates for the category of architects since 1998.
In the public sector, Bechara Mouannes was elected as a member of Byblos City’s Municipal Council and served as Chairman of the Planning and Works Committee throughout the period of his service between 2010 and 2016. Between 2002 and 2003, the Minister of Justice selected him to be a member of the Advisory Committee on the needs and characteristics of Justice Ministries and their equipment. He is a former member of the Independent Engineers office at the Order of Engineers and Architects, elected in 1992, and in the same year, he was appointed by the Minister of Public Transport as member of the Advisory Committee for the rehabilitation and preservation of the Jbeil archaeological port. He also teaches at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik as an associate professor.
In the field of research and publications, he was engaged in several draft development studies in the districts of Jbeil and Zgharta, and made several contributions to the publications of the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik and in France. He has also lectured in Egypt, Lebanon, and Italy.
Mouannes won several awards for architectural projects he designed such as the Jbeil Garden which won the Barcelona City Projects Award, and for the Municipal Palace design concept in the Halat area in 2012. He also participated in numerous architectural competitions in Lebanon and abroad.
Secretary General Pierre Issa
Pierre Issa was born in Zahlé in 1957. He founded the NGO "arcenciel" in 1985 and served as its General Manager. "arcenciel" is one of Lebanon's largest independent social institutions and the first association to win the 2010 Takreem Award, in addition to other awards. He was formerly the General Manager of Domaine de Taanayel which includes agricultural territories and a farm for dairy products covering an area of 2.2 km2 in the Bekaa region, which is also an eco-tourism destination. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of Lebanon Water Company – “Sannine”, and later on, he served as the General Manager of “Lignes et Couleurs” which produced furniture.
Pierre Issa lectures regularly at universities and forums in Lebanon, France, and Tunisia, and has actively participated in the World Economic Forum – Davos in 2015.
In 2014, Pierre was awarded “Chevalier” in the French “Legion d’Honneur” and “Commandate” in the Spanish “Order of Civil Merit” in recognition of arcenciel’s achievements in Lebanon and abroad. In 2015, he was awarded “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Schwab Foundation, the founders of the World Economic Forum, which was the first time it was awarded to a Lebanese citizen.
Fadel was elected as a member of the Lebanese parliament in 2009 and submitted his resignation in 2016 following the extension of the parliament’s term. He summarized the reasons for this move in a statement he issued, at the beginning of which he said: “A deputy cannot be happy at the expense of the people’s misery”. He previously served, between 2009 and 2017, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors – General Manager of “ABC”, a joint stock company which, through its numerous branches, is a pioneer in the field of retail in Lebanon. He is currently a member of its Board of Directors. Prior to that, Fadel served as a consultant in Boston and Paris at Monitor Group, a global consulting company specializing in business strategy.
Fadel founded and headed the NGO “Bader Foundation” which focuses on encouraging entrepreneurship in Lebanon and reducing brain-drain. He also participates, with his wife, Hala Frangieh, in many charitable activities such as the “Ruwwad Foundation” which has been run by Hala since its foundation. On the anniversary of his father's death, Fadel and his wife launched the “Maurice Fadel Prize” which recognizes the best development projects in North Lebanon.
He co-authored the book "Regards sur la France" published by Seuil publishing house in 2007.
Fadel is currently a member of the International Crisis Group's Board of Trustees.
Salam Yamout was born in Beirut in 1963. She holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arizona in the United States and an MBA from ESA Business School in Beirut.
Yamout has been Internet Society's Regional Manager for the Middle East since November 2016. This organization was founded in the United States and deals with Internet protocols and relevant international policies. Prior to joining Internet Society, Salam served as the National Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Strategy Coordinator at the Office of the Prime Minister of Lebanon in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, a post she held for a six-year period. She brings over 25 years of experience in the development and management of ICT systems domain and their impact on business, governments, and society at large. She worked with industry leaders such as Cisco Systems and international organizations such as the European Union and UNDP.
Salam has founded several associations, the most important of which is "Women in IT". She also serves as vice chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB), and she served on the boards of international organizations such as RIPE NCC - The Internet Registry for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia.
Born in Beirut in 1985 and raised there, Lyna has been an activist in civil society and political movements since 2005. She holds a PhD in Development Studies and is the author of “Post Conflict Transition in Lebanon; The Disappeared of the Civil War” published with Routledge in 2019. Over the past 10 years, her policy interests have included peacebuilding, transitional justice and dealing with the past, as well as governance and institutional reform.
Lyna likes to dream of a different scenario for Lebanon’s exit from the civil war. During her PhD, she looked at the case of the disappeared of the civil war to understand the tactics used by the confessional political regime - currently in a total collapse since 2019 - to privilege the status quo and avoid dealing with its past. In 2010, she co-founded Act for the Disappeared, today the leading NGO raising awareness on the issue in the country. She has taught Transitional Justice at the American University of Beirut, and in 2016, she organized a simulation for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, imagining together with students that Lebanon had held one in 1991 after the end of the civil war. Earlier in 2012, with a group of young political activists from the Danish Youth Forum and the Democratic Renewal Movement, she took a key role in challenging the absence of policies on dealing with the memory of the civil war in Lebanon by organizing “Another Memory”, an interactive exhibition that showcased the contradictory memories related to key events of the war, in an effort to argue for the recognition of the memory of the “other” as a first step towards reconciliation.
Lyna believes in contributing to causes related to children. She climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with her husband to raise funds for Heartbeat. After the August 4th catastrophe, she opened her home for child-to-child discussions around what had happened, in an effort to help them deal with their anxieties by sharing their experience with other peers. She dreams of building a platform to speak to Lebanese children about politics one day.
Lynn Harfoush was born in Beqaa in 1992, and has a certificate in Intercultural Communication from Ohio University, and a degree in public relations from the Lebanese International University.
She worked in the internet field and was an activist with women rights NGO’s, and is now an executive committee member with the National Bloc Party, taking an active role in the revolution and opposition political ground, fighting for sectarianism and public liberties.
She currently works as a “General Coordinator” at the National Bloc, serving as the main connection between all departments and projects within the party. She is also the founder of "Siyasiyyat", an initiative aimed at supporting women in their political journey, through a set of workshops and sessions, for the purpose of having more female candidates in elections.
Frederic Khair was born in Beirut in 1983. He is a political advisor and analyst. He holds a BA in Administrative and Political Sciences from the Saint Joseph University in Beirut (USJ), a Master-Grande Ecole from the “Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris” (ESCP Europe), and is a graduate of the Foreign Service Programme (Diplomatic Studies) from the University of Oxford.
After 2005, he worked as a consultant for political figures and parties in Lebanon as well as in a consultancy firm in the Gulf states. In 2012, he was part of the US State Department's IVLP program for young leaders in the world.
He ventured into politics early on and was one of the leaders of youth and student organizations between 2005 and 2008. Between 2010 and 2016, he was elected member of the municipal council of “Wadi Shahrour” area. He was also appointed a member of the Board of Trustees of the Racing Club Beirut in 2015. He is currently a member of the Maronite League and the Maronite General Council.
Myriam Sayah was born in Jbeil in 1986. She is a professional Human Resources generalist who obtained her master’s in Human resources management from Saint-Joseph University in Lebanon in 2012.
She holds a bachelor’s degree as well in Political and Administrative Sciences as well as a Diploma in training certification from that same institution.
Myriam worked for over ten years as a Human Resources Coordinator at the University’s central administration before moving to the National Bloc headquarters to manage HR and Administration.
Her passion for writing allowed her to have 3 of her English poems published in the Unites States of America. One of her French poems also won a poetry competition organized by Société des poètes français in 2004. In 2019, she published her first book “Moi, l’Autre”.
Myriam Sayah believed in the National Bloc’s vision since her early activism in 2005. She took over the party’s student council in 2008 and became a General Assembly member in 2020 before joining the executive committee in early 2021.
Born in Geneva in 1989, Michel Helou grew up in Switzerland and France, his family having fled the civil war in Lebanon.
After graduating with an Msc in Management from HEC Paris business school in 2013, he joined Bain & Company in Dubai, a leading management consulting firm.
In 2015, he moved to Beirut to become the executive director of L’Orient-Le Jour, the oldest newspaper published in Lebanon, with a mission to modernize the group.
For 6 years, Helou worked to restructure and turn the outlet into a digital-first media group, while fighting to maintain the independence and integrity of this symbolic institution. In October 2020, he launched the group’s English-language publication, L’Orient Today.
Naji Abou Khalil
Naji Abou Khalil was born in the city of Tyre in 1985. He holds a master's degree in international security from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) and a master's degree in international law from the University of Lille II. He is an expert on the reform of the security sector and the political economy of armed groups and has specialized in the affairs of Libya and North Africa.
Between 2015 and 2018, he was part of a team of experts working on Libyan affairs in affiliation to the UN Security Council. He was entrusted with following up on the implementation of the international sanctions imposed on Libya and detecting violations and submitted six reports to the UN Security Council. Previously, he had worked with Altai Consulting on projects aiming to reform the security sector and governance. Prior to that, he had worked in Paris with Total Co. as an analyst for political and security risks relating to its work in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Naji Abou Khalil is a founding member of the NORIA Research Network which was established in 2011 and headquartered in Paris. He has also completed research on armed groups and contributed to a number of publications in cooperation with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).