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Dr. Fadi Salem

Director of Policy Research

Dr. Fadi Salem is the Director of Policy Research Dept. at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (formerly Dubai School of Government). He is also the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Dubai Policy Review journal and leads the Future Government and Innovation research Group in the School as a Senior Research Fellow. During his tenure, he founded numerous high-impact multi-year global research programs, including the Governance and Innovation Program and the MENA Digital Government Program. Earlier, he was a Research Associate with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); and a Fellow with the I+I Policy Research Centre, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY SPP), National University of Singapore. Fadi holds a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Oxford, an MSc in Information Systems Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and a B.Eng. in Computer Engineering from Aleppo University. 

Dr. Salem is an international authority in digital governance, future technology and data policy domains. He was selected among the 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government worldwide (Apolitical), and over two decades has been an influential thought-leader in numerous fields related to digital government, AI policy, data and technology governance. He serves as a member of several influential governance, boards and international expert groups, including the Artificial Intelligence Ethics Advisory Board (Dubai Digital Authority), the Digital Government Society Board (DGS), the Global Council on SDG 16 (World Government Summit), the Expert Group on Governance Implications of Artificial Intelligence (ISO SC42 Working Group) and the Open Loop initiative’s Global Experts on the Governance of Emerging Technologies. His areas of expertise extend to AI’s societal implications, data governance, digital transformation, Govtech, open government, smart cities ecosystems and the ethical implications of emerging tech. Additionally he has extensive publications on ‘future of government’ applications, electronic participation, social media and public policy, and the impact of digital transformations in the Arab region. Some of the leading publications include the influential Arab Social Media Report series ( , the Arab World Online series, the Dubai Policy Review (, the Arab SDGs Index and Dashboard ( and the Global Economic Diversification Index (

Dr. Fadi has over twenty years of multidisciplinary working experience in top-tier centers of government, international media organizations, research institutions and policy think tanks. He also led tens of advisory projects with the World Bank, UNDESA, UNDP, UNCEPA, WEF, OECD, Arab League among others. Prior to joining the Dubai School of Government, he worked in The Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, advising senior leaders on technology policy and digital economy. He also was an editor of two leading international information and communication technology periodicals. He is a public speaker and a frequent guest in international conferences and policy forums. He frequently comments in the media, where his work and interviews have been featured (among others) in The Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Foreign Policy Magazine, Foreign Affairs, BBC, CNN, Der Spiegel and numerous other global and regional media outlets.

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