Mr. Yasser Akkaoui is the founder of KConcept Holding, the mother company of Capital Concept sal, Prime Job, News Media and the Center for Strategic Studies.
Through his leadership in his Business Development and Advisory Firm – Capital Concept sal – Mr. Akkaoui has become one of the reference names in Corporate Governance activism in the Middle East. He has been a committee member of Human Rights Watch in the Middle East since 2010. He is a member of the Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation’s taskforce for Middle East and North Africa stock exchanges. He is the regional consultant for the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). In April 2010, he was invited to Washington by US president Barack Obama, along with delegates from around the world invested in advancing entrepreneurship, to discuss the state of entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa.
Since 2011, Mr. Akkaoui has been the chairman of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), the most respected think tank in the Middle East. Established in 1989, it operates as an independently managed, politically neutral, think tank initiating many advocacy initiatives for judicial reforms, transparent budget process, decentralization and local governance, and the enhancement of the function of business associations in policy making. In a recent survey of think tanks conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, LCPS was ranked first out of eleven Lebanese think tanks and eighth out of 217 Arab think tanks. (LINK) From 2008 to 2012, he has been a board member of the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA), Transparency International’s Lebanese chapter and through LTA, he has co-founded the Institute of Directors in 2010 which aims on promoting good governance in Lebanon.
Mr. Akkaoui also created PrimeJob, a headhunting agency working alongside some of the biggest companies throughout the Middle East. As an economist specialized in finding alternative Human Resources Development solutions for Third World countries, Mr. Akkaoui aims to promote the free movement of labor throughout the Middle East region, especially from developed countries to emerging economies. Across this field, his overlying interest has been in the area of sustainable development, and its attainment through foreign direct investment and technology/human resources transfer.
Mr. Akkaoui is the founder of the Center for Strategic Studies; a non-profit organization engaged in awareness creation for employment concerns and resource development strategies for the 21st century. The organization understands and fills the need for guidance in addressing the challenges of a changing job market in a developing country/region, and in tandem also advises government officials on labor-economic principles, especially the close relationship between FDI and the labor market. In 2006 The Center for Strategic Studies was officially assigned by the Lebanese Council of Ministers to develop the National Human Resources Development Program.
Mr. Akkaoui has been representing the interests of Executive Magazine since 2001, a media platform he uses to advocate reforms in the Middle East. Executive, established in 1999, is dedicated to providing its readers with in-depth and forward thinking analysis, solid reporting and punchy opinion on Middle Eastern business, economy and public policy. Beyond its commitment to the highest level of business journalism, Executive’s mission is to cover issues that impact the economic development of the Middle East as well as widespread abuses of human rights, corruption in public and private spheres and disregard for the environment and cultural heritage.
In 2010, Executive Magazine became the first Lebanon-based, pan-Arab member of Business Publications Audit BPA Worldwide, the world’s largest media auditing organization. In May 2013, Akkaoui was elected board member of Lebanon’s chapter of the International Advertising Association for a two-year mandate. In the same month, he was also selected to be Lebanon’s representative of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the 2013 and 2014 awards
Mr. Akkaoui is the Vice Chairman of Young Arab Leader, and is also a Business Ethics instructor at The American University of Beirut.
Since its inception in 2010, Mr. Akkaoui has been a strategic partner for the Beirut Art Fair. The Beirut Art Fair, held annually, is an exhibition of contemporary art and design from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region featuring 40 galleries in an indoor/outdoor space of 5,000 square meters.