DR. NAJIB GHADBIAN
Special Representative to the United States and United Nations
Dr. Najib Ghadbian is the Special Representative to the United States for the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces. Dr. Ghadbian is a Syrian pro-democracy activist and academic. He served on the Board of the Day After Project, a cooperative movement by members of the Syrian opposition to outline a plan to rebuild the country and end the Syrian conflict once Bashar al-Assad is ousted from power. An Associate Professor of Political Science and Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas, he is the author of Democratization and the Islamists Challenge in the Arab World (English 1997 & Arabic 2002). His second Arabic book, The Second Assad Regime: Bashar of Lost Opportunities was published in 2006. He has contributed political commentaries to several US, European, and Middle East media outlets. Dr. Ghadbian’s research interests include democratization and leadership in the Arab world, Syrian politics, and US-Mideast relations. He serves as a Board member of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies, and is a founding member of the Democratic Network in the Arab World. Dr. Ghadbian is a signatory to the Damascus Declaration (2005), and was a founding member of the Syrian National Council (SNC).
BASSEL KORKOR, Esq.
Bassel Korkor is a Syrian American attorney and serves as US Counsel to the Syrian Coalition's Washington and United Nations offices. He advises the Coalition on various legal and policy issues, including sanctions compliance, economic development, and diplomatic matters. Mr. Korkor has been advising Syrian opposition groups, businesses, and humanitarian aid organizations throughout the course of the revolution. He is a partner at ZKT Law in Washington, DC and previously practiced in the National Security and Political Law group at Arnold & Porter and Corporate Litigation at Jones Day. He majored in International Studies with a focus on Middle East at Northwestern University, and he studied Law and Arabic at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he served as an editor on the law review and graduated cum laude.
Chief of Staff
Oubab Khalil is the Chief of Staff for the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces’ Representative Office in Washington, DC. A Syrian attorney and businessman, Mr. Khalil has a degree in Law and Business Administration from the Beirut Arabic University. He was active in the Day After Project, a cooperative movement by members of the Syrian opposition to outline a plan to rebuild the country and end the Syrian conflict once Bashar al-Assad is ousted from power. Mr. Khalil was elected and served on the Boards of the Syrian Expatriates Organization and the Syrian Support Group. He recently participated in the “We Are All Syrians” Conference in Cairo.
Director, New York Office
Mariam Jalabi was born in Damascus, Syria and raised in the Golan Heights. She currently serves as Director for the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces’ Representative Office to the United Nations. She holds degrees in Political Science from McGill University in Montreal and Fashion Design from FIT in New York. One of the founding members of Syrian Non-violence Movement (SNVM), Ms. Jalabi has organized events and rallies in support of the Syrian revolution in NYC and Montreal. She also participated in the formation of the Syrian National Council (SNC). Ms. Jalabi owns a brand building and retail consulting business based in New York City.
Deputy Legal Director
Strategic Communications Advisor
Oubai Shahbandar is a Syrian-American, former Department of Defense official, and currently serves as a Strategic Communications Advisor to the Syrian Coalition. With over seven years of experience working for the Department of Defense as a strategic analyst and foreign affairs specialist, Mr. Shahbandar has an extensive and diverse background in developing national security policy throughout the Middle East and South Asia. He served a one-year tour in Iraq from 2007 to 2008 during General Petraeus' surge as a strategic analyst supporting counterinsurgency operations and the U.S. military's outreach to the Sons of Iraq program.
From 2010 to 2011, Mr. Shahbandar served as a senior civilian advisor to the Combined Forces Special Operations Command-Afghanistan, working on the critical Village Stability Operations program. He served for four years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a Foreign Affairs Specialist focusing on Middle Eastern and Gulf Security Affairs.
He also provided strategic communication and political support to the Syrian Opposition negotiating delegation in Geneva, Switzerland.