Dirk Kunze holds a Master’s degree in political science from the Free University Berlin, Germany. He worked many years for the German Bundestag (Parliament) in Bonn and subsequently in Berlin. He also researched on and at parliaments worldwide and published on parliamentary traditions. From 2009 to 2012 he was seconded by the Parliamentary Group of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) to Brussels, Belgium to liaise with the European Union. From 2012 to 2019 he lived and worked in Cairo, Egypt and Beirut, Lebanon where he reviewed and communicated on current political developments in the MENA region. Since summer 2019 he heads the FNF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in Amman, Jordan.
Sophie Schmid holds a B.A. in Islamic Science and Anthropology as well as an M.A. in Arabic Studies from the University of Zurich and the Freie Universität Berlin where she graduated in 2016. Before joining FNF, she has worked for the German Near and Middle East Association in Berlin as Regional Manager. At FNF her main responsibilities are in Monitoring and Evaluation. Sophie Schmid is a member of the Free Democratic Party (FDP).
Yara Asmar is the Regional Strategy Manager at FNF MENA. She is specialized in the fields of Middle Eastern studies and party politics. She is a researcher on Iran and social movements. She published a study in 2018 on regime change and contentious politics in Iran. Yara holds a BA in Communication Arts and Journalism from Notre Dame University- Lebanon and an MA in International Relations from the Central European University – Budapest where she graduated 2018. Yara Asmar started her adventure with Friedrich Naumann Foundation in 2014 at the Beirut based office.
Regional Finance Coordinator
Prior to joining the team at FNF, Shayar worked at USAID - the US Agency for International Development in Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism projects. She graduated with honors from the American University in Madaba with a degree in Banking and Finance. Coming from a financial background, Shayar also found her passion for human rights and democracy – hence, she joined the Foundation for Freedom two years ago.
Formerly, Shayar was a Project Coordinator for the FNF Jordan office. Now, together with Al Hurriya Liberal Network (AHLN), she aims to be part of the drive to realise and live liberal values in the region.
Christine graduated from the Lebanese University with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism in 2011 and another Bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 2016. She began working for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom-Middle East and North Africa Office as a Program Assistant in June 2020 and soon became the Outreach Officer for the Regional Office. Christine is passionate about creating content and acquiring knowledge and skills that help her advance both personally and professionally.
Ghiwa Karam is the program assistant at the FNF MENA Regional Office. Ghiwa started as an intern at the beginning of September, 2020. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy at Notre Dame University (NDU) – Zouk in January, 2020. Ghiwa uses her positive attitude and tireless energy in the workplace.
Khouloud has been working for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for more than 15 years and considers FNF her second home. It always brings her joy when she cook for everyone in the office every day and sees the smiles on their faces. She is happy to work in the MENA office as it's always a positive atmosphere.
Mufleh has been working for more than 4 years in the MENA Regional Office, and considers the FNF staff his friends. Mufleh says it is always fun to work with them, "even when we are working until late at night." Mufleh is very grateful to be part of this Foundation.