A2K4D Team

Meet The Team

Dr Nagla Rizk

Nagla Rizk, Founding Director

Nagla Rizk is an experienced and competent scholar with diverse professional experience as a:

To visit Rizk's website, click here.

Nadine Weheba

Nadine Weheba, Associate Director for Research, Global North and South

Nadine Weheba’s research interests are the political economy of Information communication technologies, innovation, and development.

As part of the Open African Innovation Research projectof which A2K4D is the North African hub,  she is engaged in research on knowledge governance, openness, collaboration, and alternative metrics for innovation in Africa. Weheba's also studies the sharing economy and issues of artificial intelligence and inclusion in the context of Egypt, Africa, and the region.

She received her MSc in development studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London in 2013 and holds a BA in economics from The American University in Cairo.

Nagham ElHoussamy

Nagham El Houssamy, Associate Director for Research, Middle East and Africa

Nagham El Houssamy is working on research on the intersection of knowledge, technology, entrepreneurship and development. She joined the Center in June 2012, serving as the North Africa Hub coordinator for the Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR).

Prior to joining A2K4D, El Houssamy was an Economic Researcher in the Macro-Fiscal Policy Unit at the Egyptian Ministry of Finance. She interned at the ICT Policies Unit of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia in Beirut. El Houssamy graduated from The American University in Cairo with an MA in economics in international development and a BA in political science, specializing in international law and International relations, with a minor in economics.

Gina Alaschkar

Gina Alaschkar, Administrative Affairs Manager and Outreach

Gina Alaschkar manages the operations at A2K4D and is the core focal point internally for the center's activities at AUC and externally. Liaising with collaborators and institutions within the center’s regional and international networks. Prior to joining A2K4D, Gina worked for Oracle Systems Ltd as a senior partner business consultant, covering Saudi Arabia, Middle East, Africa, UK, and Ireland. Alaschkar earned her BA in economics and political science from Cairo University.

Dana ElBashbishy

Dana Elbashbishy, Research Assistant and SSHRC Fellow

Dana Elbashbishy is a member of The Open African Innovation Research Partnership’s (Open AIR) New and Emerging Researchers Group (NERG). She assists in center research on alternative knowledge and innovation metrics. She is also a Teaching Assistant at AUC in the digital economy: information technology, knowledge and intellectual property course.

As a member of New and Emerging Researchers Group (NERG) in The Open African Innovation Research Partnership, Elbashbishy is engaged in the research on finding alternative knowledge and innovation metrics in an attempt to better capture and represent the informal innovation in Africa. She also examines different other topics such as The Sharing Economy in Egypt, Artificial Intelligence, and development. She is also a Teaching Assistant of the digital economy: information technology and inclusive development economics course at the American University in Cairo. Elbashbishy holds a BA in economics from the American University in Cairo.

Khadiga Hassan A2K4D

Khadiga Hassan, Researcher

Khadiga Hassan completed her undergraduate studies at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science in economics with honors. She moved back to Cairo and joined Access to Knowledge for Development as a researcher. Prior to her move back to Cairo, Hassan was an international market researcher at the Massachusetts Export Center located in Boston. She developed an interest in econometrics, data analysis, market research, and economic theory for development. She is aiming to pursue her master’s degree in development economics.

Haya El Zayat

Haya El Zayat, Research Assistant

Haya El Zayat is a recent graduate holding a BA in economics with the highest honors from The American University in Cairo, with a double minor in development studies and business administration. She joined Access to Knowledge for Development over the summer of 2021. El Zayat's research interests align with the center’s work and include development studies and policy, feminist economics, gender theory, and technology for development. She is aiming to pursue a master’s degree in development studies next fall.

Batoul Al Mehdar

Batoul Al Mehdar, Senior Researcher

Batoul Al Mehdar recently joined the Access to Knowledge for Development Center in February 2022. Her research interests include "digital era" governance, empirical methods for policy analysis, behavioral economics for social impact and innovation in public services delivery.  

Prior to joining, Al Mehdar was global partnerships manager at Riseup and managed the Hajj Hackathon in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She also worked on several research projects at the Department of Political Science at the American University in Cairo (AUC). 

Al Mehdar graduated with a Master of Public Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2020 and holds a BA in Economics and Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Rolane Eissa

Rolane Eissa, Project Officer

Rolane Eissa has been the Center's Project Officer since March 2022. She is responsible for designing, planning, and reporting on several research projects about data, artificial intelligence, new forms of work, technology, and inclusion in the MENA region. She also oversees the implementation of these projects' activities and leads the communication with their respective partners and stakeholders. 

Eissa was previously the program associate of Peacekeeping (and Peacebuilding) at the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Peacebuilding (CCCPA). In that capacity, she was part of the organization of the first and second editions of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development.

Eissa holds a dual Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences from Cairo University and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University (2016). During her undergraduate studies, she was a column writer for an "Egyptian Story" at The Insider, an independent student-run newspaper in Egypt.