The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) is an independent, research-based policy-oriented institute that aims to harness the policy-related research of AUB’s internationally respected faculty in order to achieve several goals: to raise the quality of public policy-related debate and decision-making in the Arab world and abroad, to enhance the Arab world’s input into international affairs, and to enrich the quality of interaction among scholars, officials, and civil society actors in the Middle East and abroad. IFI is committed to increasing and deepening knowledge production in and about the Arab region and to create a space for the inter-disciplinary exchange of ideas among researchers, civil society actors and policy-makers.


IFI considers that it is crucial to understand and connect policy issues, problems and subjects on the local, national and global levels with the various players and power structures that shape and respond to them. In this sense, IFI understands policy as embedded in larger historical, social, economic and political contexts, rather than just a technical process to be implemented. IFI’s main goals include enhancing and broadening public policy-related debate and knowledge production in the Arab world and beyond; better understanding the Arab world within shifting international and global contexts; providing a space to enrich the quality of interaction among scholars, officials and civil society actors in and about the Arab world; and disseminating knowledge that is accessible to policy-makers, media, research communities and the general public.