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Ibrahim Osta

Senior Advisor, Strategy & Partnerships Ibrahim Osta

Ibrahim Osta is an international economic development expert with experience in international trade and investment promotion, youth entrepreneurship, and tourism development. He has designed, launched, and managed international development projects exceeding $140 million in donor financing with an additional quarter billion dollars in leveraged funds from public, private, and international institutions. Currently based in Washington, DC, he is senior advisor, strategy and partnerships within the Economic Growth & Trade practice for Chemonics International.

Ibraham designed and led as chief of party the USAID Developing Sustainable Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2002-2005). From 2005-2017, he designed and led the $100+ million USAID tourism development portfolio in Jordan, which helped grow the tourism economy several billion dollars. Over the years, he designed, led, advised, and supported tourism development initiatives in various countries such as Uzbekistan, Nepal, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Timor Leste, Egypt, Tunisia, UAE, and Lebanon. His engagements included being a member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Panel of Experts; a board member of the Governing Body of United Nations Foundation World Heritage Alliance (where he co-designed the People Protecting Places campaign adopted by UNESCO); now being a member of the international Executive Leaders in Resilience group; board member of Jordan’s Development & Employment Fund (where he received the King Abdullah II Award for Entrepreneurship). He regularly speaks in international tourism forums such as World Travel Market (WTM London and Latin America), ITB Berlin, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and other countries. Ibrahim co-led the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism Global Forum with the World Bank, UNWTO, and Government of Jamaica, leading to a 1,700-strong conference on sustainability and jobs. He also serves as a member of the Tourism Employment Expansion Mandate (TEEM) international coalition focused on hospitality sector employment growth. His experience includes export and investment promotion, workforce development, higher education capacity building, vocational training development, nature conservation and protected area expansion, job creation, and destination resilience.

Previously, he was senior economic growth advisor and Middle East & North Africa Region director for Chemonics International. Ibrahim supported the formulation of Egypt’s business reform agenda in 1999, the first of its kind since the Gamal Abdel Nasser socialist revolution, then led the creation of Injaz, a youth entrepreneurship organization modeled after the US-based Junior Achievement International, which has now reached millions of children in over twelve Arab countries. In his early career, he was executive director of the US-based American Arab Chamber of Commerce.

He served as part of the first task force that advised on creating the International Stock Ownership Plan (IESOP) that extended stock ownership to Chemonics’ global workforce. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in international business law (University of London), Masters of tourism administration (George Washington University), and a degree in finance and economics (University of Michigan).

by Ibrahim Osta

3 Questions with Ibrahim Osta on Strengthening Tourism in Jordan

Ibrahim Osta is the chief of party for the Building Economic Sustainability Through Tourism (BEST) program in Jordan, which focuses on improving the country’s tourism sector and ensuring that Jordan has the skilled workforce needed to keep the sector competitive. The BEST program works at the intersection of tourism and economic development. Could you elaborate…