Iraq’s Economy: Challenges and Opportunities


08.30 a.m. – 09.30 a.m. Registration and light breakfast


09.30 a.m. Opening remarks

Introduction by:

  • Sasha Toperich, Senior Fellow and Director, Mediterranean Basin Initiative, CTR-SAIS
  • Michael J. Delaney, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South Asia
  • Lukman Faily, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to the United States


10 a.m. – 11.15 a.m. Economic Mosaic of Iraq


  • Joseph S. Pennington, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Iraq, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Noori Abdulrahman, Chairman, Board of Investment and Minister of Coordination and Follow Up, Kurdistan Regional Government
  • James Parks, Financial Advisor to the KRG Deputy Prime Minister



  • Mark Kimmitt, Brigadier General (U.S. Army, ret.)



  • Andrew Parasiliti, Director, Center for Global Risk and Security, RAND Corporation


11.15 a.m. – 11.30 a.m. Coffee break


11.30 a.m. – 12.45 p.m. Centralization or Decentralization of Iraq’s Economic and Commercial Policy


  • Hoger Shalli, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Electricity, Kurdistan Regional Goverment
  • Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the United States
  • Sami Al-Araji, Head of the Iraq National Investment Commission (Via Skype)
  • Justin Carney, Regional Vice-President, Middle East North Africa at Business Impact Networks



  • Daniel Serwer, Professor and Director, Conflict Management Program, and Senior Fellow, CTR at SAIS


12:45 p.m. – 1.15 p.m. Doing Business in Iraq


  • Iraq Commercial Office, Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Washington, D.C.


12.30 – 12.45 p.m. Speech:


  • Jasim Husein, Commercial Attache’, Iraq Commercial Office, Embassy of the Republic of Iraq


12.45 – 1 p.m. Presentation:


  • Qasim Basry, Executive Assistant, Iraq Commercial Office, Embassy of the Republic of Iraq


1.15 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. Lunch Break


2.30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Business Challenges and Opportunities


  • Steve Lutes, Executive Director, Middle East Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Ginger Cruz, CEO, Mantid International LLC
  • Rebwar Berzinji, Founder and President, Pericles Capital Advisors, LLC



  • Sasha Toperich, Senior Fellow CTR at SAIS


4 p.m. – 5.15 p.m. Economic Growth and Trade Competitiveness Through Job Creation and SME’s


  • Zainab Allawi, Advisor to Executive Director, The World Bank
  • Marc Tejtel, Deputy Chief Counsel for the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP), US Department of Commerce
  • Christopher Schroeder, Venture Investor and Author, Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East



  • Rebeen Pasha, Founder & President SDH/REbuild Iraq and Middle East Young Entrepenurs’ Dreams


5.15 – 5.30 p.m. Coffee Break


5.30 p.m. – 6.45 p.m. Private Sector Growth – Strengthening Transatlantic Partnership


  • John J. Sullivan, Mayer Brown LLP
  • Jorge Restrepo, Managing Partner, New Frontiers Legal Consulting Services
  • David M. Tafuri, Partner, Dentons US LLP and President of the US-Kurdistan Business Council



  • Sasha Toperich, Senior Fellow CTR at SAIS


6.45 p.m. Reception