Baker al-Hiyari

New York City

A peace, conflict transformation & development advisor, inter-faith and inter-cultural specialist. A firm believer & advocate for the advancement of inter-cultural exchange & multi-religious cooperation through civil society & civic engagement.

Enjoying over twenty years of active experience at the intersection of politics, development, governance, civil society, religion & public affairs in the Middle East, North Africa and West Asia regions. I have worked closely with leading politicians, policy makers, academics, & youth & women groups, in addition to international governmental & non-governmental bodies, development organizations & advocacy groups. I amassed experience working within the private sector, advising a range of companies from start-up social & business enterprises, to leading regional organisations.

Previous to my responsibility as Special Advisor on Middle East and North Africa Affairs for Religions for Peace International, I served as Deputy Director and founding member of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (RIIFS) in Amman, Jordan, the first institution to provide a venue in the Arab world for the interdisciplinary study & discussion of religion, religious issues, & diversity.

As Special Advisor on MENA Affairs for Religions for Peace International, I engage traditional communities across the region, & manage multi-layered programs that promote religious freedom & diversity, advance social cohesion & human rights. Through supporting multi-religious cooperation, my work harnesses the assets of local communities to enhance their resilience, build peace, advance good governance & confront violent extremism.

A former Associate Member of the Club of Rome, I held several leadership positions in non-governmental institutions, civil society organizations & regional multi–stakeholder initiatives. As an executive, I led the Secretariat of the West Asia North Africa (WANA) Forum, served on the advisory board of the Third Way Institute (TWI). I remain an active member of the International Advisory Council of the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES).

In 2004-2006, I assumed the responsibility of organizing the Second World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES-2) as Secretary General, bringing together over 1200 scholars and experts from around the world to explore all issues pertinent to the MENA region.

  • Work
    • MENA Special Advisor @ Religions for Peace Int.