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Rebeen Pasha

Pasha is President and founder of Social Development Horizons LLC, a social enterprise working on youth engagement and a new vision for local economic resilience in the Middle East, operating as Resilience through Economic Building Blocks (www.rebuildiraq.org), as well as the Middle East Young Entrepreneurs’ Dreams, Dialogue, and Development (www.MyeDream.me), a public-private partnership and development facilitation hub to leapfrog people-owned economic growth in the Middle East through investing in youth engagement in private sector, entrepreneurship, and cultivating the next generation of businesses and community leaders. Pasha is also Chair and co-founder of the Kurdish American Relations Center/Friends of Kurdistan (www.friendsofkurdistan.us), promoting better friendship and relations between the people of the United States and the Kurdish people, and facilitating dialogue to strengthen learning and exchange between Kurdistan and the United States.

Pasha has given multiple lectures in Iraqi Kurdistan on youth engagement and entrepreneurship, and currently focuses his work on youth engagement and building resilience through inclusive economic growth to turn the tide against youth disenfranchisement, fragility, and despair in Iraq and Syria. Pasha’s research interests are in good governance and youth engagement through enabling economic opportunities of job skills and entrepreneurship as a way to create resilient and sustainable institutions and leapfrogging responsible and inclusive private sector growth. His secondary work and interest is in confederacy and federalism in Iraq and Syria as a way to rebuild co-existence and reconciliation.

In his prior work, Pasha has served as Senior Advisor to the Middle East Bureau of USAID as well as Health Team Lead, and had also served with the Bureau of Global Health, overseeing programming related to leadership, management, and governance, where he worked with missions around the globe to ensure sustainability planning and local ownership in partnerships and programs between USG missions and host countries and communities. Pasha has also worked as Chief of Management and Operations for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), where he assisted missions with sustainability planning, strategic operational planning, and cost-effective operations, and was Agency Representative for Management and Budget, approving $5.4B budget annually for over 50 countries.

Pasha was with the United Nations in Iraq afte the war, both WHO and UNDP, and was part of the drafting of the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) section on Inclusive Economic Growth for Iraq. During his time in Iraq with WHO as Technical Officer for Health and Development and the Manager of the Local Area Development Programme, he established the Healthy City initiative, signing up twenty-six cities and towns, and assisting central and local governments in creating effective multi-sectoral committees for engaging people in rebuilding Iraq. Pasha has also had extensive experience in global health and development throughout Africa and Asia, including managing 44 countries programs in youth engagement and vocational training in Africa, CMMB government relations manager for a $2.5B US nonprofit, raising $100M from various donors for HIV and AIDS projects implementation, working on recruitment and retention factors for health workers for malaria programs, and refugee mental health.

Pasha has had various consulting roles in the Middle East in the early-mid 2000s including on donor-funded Iraq humanitarian projects, Kurdistan Regional Government governance projects, and domestic US management consulting projects, and has been senior advisor to several international social enterprises, including B-Change and GiveBackGlobal. Pasha has also served on the board of Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) and was founding board member and co-chair of Finding the Cure.

Pasha has a Masters of Science in health policy from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and did his thesis work in coordination with Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and the Gates Foundation on devising national programs for community health workers in Zambia. Pasha studied international health & development policy at the University of Virginia, where he wrote his interdisciplinary/distinguished major BA thesis on the effects of the use of chemical warfare by Saddam Hussein, especially studying the effects on the social fabric and politics of fear. Pasha founded events and organizations focused on “Children of War” and trauma in armed conflict at both schools.

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