10th Annual Convention at the University of Pennsylvania

March 31 - April 2

We are extremely proud to announce that the 10th annual convention of the Lebanese Collegiate Network will be hosted at the University of  Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA this year from March 31st-April 2nd, 2017! Last year, the University of California, Santa Barbara won the LCN’s Most Outstanding University Lebanese Club award. With 22 University Lebanese Clubs registered this year and the LCN entering a decade since its inception, there is no doubt that this convention promises to be one of the best to date.  

The national convention is LCN’s hallmark event, and we cannot wait to see you there! The goal of the LCN is to create an environment that fosters the growth and development of upcoming leaders through workshops and training sessions. These leadership sessions will provide the tools necessary for open-minded discussion and healthy dialogue. Leadership qualities are cultivated by establishing common ground and problem-solving skills, as well as promoting research and community involvement. The annual convention not only provides the opportunity to develop and hone these skills through the leadership workshops and training but also gives members access to a lasting network of peers and professionals located throughout the United States and the world.

This year, we are honored to have Mr. Omar Blaik, Founder and CEO at U3 Advisors, Randy Rayes, Founder and CEO at VenturePact and Outgrow and Hagar Hajjar Chemali, Founder and CEO at Greenwich Media Strategies as keynote speakers. Our workshops cover topics from energy, music, entrepreneurship, non-profit leadership, consulting, and more. Scroll down for the list of speakers (more to come!). 

Convention registration is easy.  You may purchase your convention ticket by visiting lcn17.eventbrite.com or clicking the button below under Convention Tickets.  Remember to register early; prices will increase periodically as we get closer to the date and tickets are likely to sell out. Last year, the convention at UCLA sold out three months in advance! 

The LCN is excited to be partnering with Wharton Middle East North Africa this year to provide a joint ticket that allows members to attend both the LCN Convention and the Wharton MENA Conference on March 31, 2017. The conference will include keynote speakers and panelists from the Middle East and the US, covering a range of relevant topics to the region and beyond. Topics include entrepreneurship, healthcare, finance, innovation to solve the refugee crisis, and the macro-level political and economic outlook. Please contact Riad Hamadeh at [email protected] for more information on how to purchase joint tickets. 

The Wharton MENA conference attracts participants from various backgrounds, including undergraduate and graduate students, professionals, and educators, and offers plenty of opportunities for networking and meeting potential employers.

The LCN will officially be staying at Embassy Suites by Hilton Philadelphia Center City. If you are attending the convention and need a roommate, you may contact us and the LCN will do its best to pair you with another attendee. No roommate matches are guaranteed.

If you will be flying into Philadelphia for the convention, the closest airport to the University of Pennsylvania and the hotel is the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).


Remember, the LCN convention is open to everyone! Share this information with your peers and club members. We encourage you to invite students and alumni from across the United States!

We are confident you will enjoy the programs offered at the convention this year. Due to the nature of the convention, ticket purchases are non-refundable.

For more information, please email Riad Hamedeh: [email protected] 

Convention Tickets

Purchase your 2017 convention ticket by clicking the button below, which will redirect you to our official Eventbrite. Due to the nature of the convention, all ticket purchases are non-refundable. Please direct any questions or inquiries concerning the convention to Riad Hamadeh, Vice President of Events at [email protected]


Eventbrite - 2017 LCN Convention at the University of Pennsylvania

Hotel Reservation

This year, we will be staying at Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel, located at 1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, PA.

The LCN is proud to provide its members with a discounted rate for the hotel. This discount will expire on February 28, 2017 and space is limited, so be sure to reserve your rooms early to secure a room at the discounted convention price.

Reserve Here!

Getting Here

  • By air: PHL, EWR and BTI. The Amtrak connects EWT and BTI to Penn’s campus. The stop is 30th Street Station. 
  • By rail: Take the Amtrak from major East Coast cities to 30th Street Station. 
  • By bus: Boltbus, Megabus and other major bus companies connect Penn’s campus to all East Coast cities. The closest stop is on JFK road.
  • By car: use Google Maps to find us! 


The 2017 Convention schedule is ready for the world!
You can find it at the bottom of the page or by clicking


Keynote Speakers

Hagar Hajjar Chemali, LCN Annual Banquet Keynote
Greenwich Media Strategies, LLC | Alma Mater: Columbia University, Barnard College

Hagar Hajjar Chemali is Founder and CEO of Greenwich Media Strategies, LLC. Hagar’s professional background and expertise has been shaped by a number of senior public affairs and policy-making positions she held over the course of 12 years in the U.S. Government. Her skills allow her to provide a unique, personalized experience in helping you strategically and effectively shape your message to targeted audiences.

Prior to launching her company, Hagar was Director of Communications and Spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and for Ambassador Samantha Power, where she directed all strategic and media communications, public messaging, and public diplomacy for the Mission. She was also Spokesperson for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Treasury where she handled all communications and public affairs related to sanctions policy, illicit finance, and enforcement actions. From 2010-2012, Hagar was Director for Syria and Lebanon at the National Security Council, where she advised on and coordinated the implementation of U.S. policy toward Syria and Lebanon. Hagar also worked at the Treasury Department as a Middle East Policy Advisor, focusing on illicit finance and sanctions policy in the Levant and Iraq, and as Special Advisor to Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Glaser.

Hagar is a member of the Global Business Advisory Group and has been featured in a number of U.S. and international press outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Reuters, AP, Bloomberg, and CNN, among others. She has a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Columbia University’s Barnard College. She is also a graduate of Greenwich Academy.

Randy Rayess, Opening Ceremony Keynote
VenturePact, Outgrow | Alma Mater: University of Pennsylvania

Randy Rayess is the cofounder of VenturePact and Outgrow. Outgrow is a growth marketing platform where any marketer can build highly converting calculators & viral quizzes to increase customer engagement and boost demand generation. VenturePact is a marketplace for businesses to hire and manage vetted software development teams. He is passionate about growth hacking, content marketing and remote software development. He previously worked in private equity at SilverLake Partners, in machine learning and in payments.

Randy graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with an MSe in Systems Engineering, BSe in Systems Science and Engineering and BS in Economics from the Wharton School. Randy was awarded the Wharton Dean’s Award for Innovation.

Omar Blaik, Business Day Keynote
U3 Advisors | Alma Mater: New York University, University of Southern California, Cairo University

Omar Blaik is CEO of U3 Advisors. Prior, Senior Vice President of Facilities and Real Estate at the University of Pennsylvania. Omar founded U3 Ventures LLC, a predecessor of today’s firm, in 2006 with the belief that anchor institutions hold the key to sustainable community and economic development in many cities across the country. Omar leads the advisory and development efforts of U3 Advisors, working with university leaders, city and state governments, non-profit foundations, and real estate developers to provide expertise on institutional anchor strategy, campus edge planning, local economic development, and place-based real estate strategy.

He has had the privilege of advising senior leadership from foundations such as the Kresge Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and from institutions such as the University of Maryland College Park and the University of Chicago, creating strategies around real estate, community engagement, and economic development. While at Penn and under Omar’s management, he University embarked on more than $2.0 billion of construction and real estate developments that transformed both the campus and the surrounding community.

Omar received his MBA from New York University’s Leonard Stern School of Business, his MSe in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California and his BS from Cairo University.

Session Speakers

Hazami Sayed
Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture | Culture & Community: The Importance of Non-Profit Work

Hazami, an Arab-American, grew up in the Arab region and came to the U.S. to pursue higher education. She began Al-Bustan with the launch of a language and cultural day camp in July 2002, which grew out of a desire to develop a creative and supportive environment where her young boys could learn the Arabic language and be immersed in the richness of Arab arts and culture while navigating their place in American society. Hazami has worked in the fields of architecture and urban development in Philadelphia and New York City. Her areas of research were community development and affordable urban housing in which she was a consultant and taught a seminar at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a photographer and has exhibited her work in Philadelphia. She received her BA in Economics from Stanford University and Master of Architecture from Columbia University. Hazami is a recipient of the Leeway Foundation’s 2012 Transformation Award given to Philadelphia-area women artists committed to art-making for social change. She is the mother of two boys, ages 21 and 18 years.

Rabih Nassar
Scriptr.io | Entrepreneur Panel

Rabih is the founder and CEO of Scriptr.io, an enterprise cloud platform that simplifies IoT product interoperability and allows developers to bring solutions to market faster and more reliably. In 2008 he founded Apstrata, a cloud platform that helps Mobile Network Operators benefit from the mobile developer economy. In 2006, Rabih served as SVP of Engineering for Vidavee, a cloud B2B video on-demand startup acquired by Vignette (VIGN/OTEX). In 2003 he co-founded ElementN, the holding group behind Scriptr. In 2000 he co-founded Super11.net which became one of the largest Latin American ISPs, Application Service Providers and portals. Rabih earned a B.S. in Telecommunications from the St. Joseph University and an MBA from the École Supérieure des Affaires in Beirut.

Nour Chamoun
Scopio | Entrepreneur Panel

Nour Chamoun is the co-founder and Creative Director of Scopio, a platform for companies to search, license, and publish photos & videos from social media. In 2015, Scopio was the first class to complete the Columbia Startup Lab incubator program in New York. After launching in August 2016, Scopio recently completed the 500 Startups Seed Accelerator in Silicon Valley. Based in New York, Nour leads design strategy and collaborates with the team of engineers. With a background in User Experience Design and Visual Design, she has experience working in creative firms in New York and Beirut. Her work involves branding, mobile app design, web design and development. Her interests lie in designing beautiful interfaces and visualizing systems that tell meaningful stories. Nour received her Masters in Design + Technology at the Parsons School of Design and her BS in Graphic Design from the Lebanese American University.

Patrick Sislian
Deton Corp, UCLA Venture Capital Fund | Entrepreneur Panel

Dr. Patrick Sislian is the CEO of Deton (www.detoncorp.com). He has raised more than $1.5MM and built a team tan engineering, management, and clinical experience needed to successfully commercialize Deton’s medical solution. He has established multiple partnerships including those with the University of California, San Diego, Global Good, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and other commercial entities. Patrick also serves as a member of the Investment Committee at the UCLA Venture Capital Fund where he evaluates early stage life science companies.

Prior to Deton, Patrick was a Senior Process Engineer at Intel Corporation where he designed processes for the fabrication of next generation processors. During his graduate studies, Patrick started the Technical Entrepreneur Community (TEC) to encourage engineers to commercialize their research. Patrick has authored three peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on two patents. He co-founded the Lebanese Collegiate Network in 2007 and served as its President from 2007 until 2009. He has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UCLA and dual Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from UCLA.

Christina Elhaddad
Arab American Association of New York | The Immigration World Under the Trump Presidency

Christina Elhaddad is an Immigration Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow barred in New Jersey and awaiting admission in New York with local and international immigration law experience. Ms. Elhaddad derived her international experience when she established the Washington College of Law chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project. She worked on several refugee cases for clients from Kurdistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and Somalia. She also worked closely and trained with UNHCR, the International Rescue Committee, and other international organizations. Ms. Elhaddad also traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan to meet with Kurdish leaders and refugees to work on improving refugee conditions in the region.

As an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow at the Arab American Association of New York in Brooklyn, NY, Ms. Elhaddad helped start the organization’s legal department and expand their immigration legal services available to many minority communities in South Brooklyn. The services include but are not limited to asylum applications, T and U Visas, VAWA applications, stays of removal, and many other complex issues. Ms. Elhaddad is a graduate of The American University Washington College of Law and Rutgers University. Ms. Elhaddad is fluent in Arabic, English, French and Spanish and is of Lebanese descent.

Bahige El-Rayess
AT Kearney | The Global Food & Beverage trends and the Implications for Lebanon

Bahige El-Rayes is a principal with the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney working in the firm’s global food and beverage sector. Bahige advises companies across the end to end value chain including agricultural grain traders, food processors, service providers, restaurants and food retailers. Bahige publications focus on commodity management and implications for Food and Beverage companies. He is the leader of A.T. Kearney’s annual commodity survey, the annual consumer and retail M&A report and is a frequent speaker in industry conferences covering Food & Beverage topics.

Bahige is based in New York and has been the recipient of two Global Client Service awards (best account and best project) and elected into Americas High Potential Program. Prior to New York, Bahige was based in Dubai for 4 years where he helped set up the A.T. Kearney office.

George Sassine
General Electric Oil & Gas | Big Data and Analytics

Georges Sassine is President of the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative (LOGI), an NGO building a global network of experts to help Lebanon benefit from its oil and gas wealth. In his private sector career, he is currently a senior product manager at GE Power. He previously led strategy and business development for GE’s emergency power business and was part of GE Energy’s Global Strategy team. He previously worked with several multinational corporations driving policy analysis, investment and business strategy. He was part of Deutsche Bank’s Energy & Climate Change Advisors team in New York, Man Group’s energy private equity fund in London, the American Enterprise Institute and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute in Washington DC, as well as the UNDP project at the Lebanese Ministry of Energy & Water. Georges has been published advancing innovative solutions to Lebanon’s pressing challenges including the Financial Times, CNN, the Huffington Post, Annahar, L’Orient le Jour, Executive Magazine and the Daily Star. Georges holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University, and a bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut.

Sevag Sislian
Amgen | Situational Negotiations

Sev is a member of the Global Strategic Sourcing senior leadership team at Amgen, one of the worlds’ largest biotechnology companies. At Amgen, he oversees the internal sourcing strategy in delivery devices and technology innovation and leads the engagement with Business Development and Strategy & Innovation CEO staff members. Sev joined Amgen in 2012 and has assumed increasing levels of responsibility and scope; he has led multiple strategic negotiations for Amgen both in public and private (development/supply) deals. He has also been a part of three combination product launches. Prior to Amgen, he completed his Commercial Leadership Program at GE Energy in 2009, where he then managed wholesale distribution and sales in Arizona and Nevada.

Sev is a co-founder of the LCN and took-on the roles of VP of Membership, Treasurer and, eventually, President in 2011. He continues to be involved in multiple LCN initiatives and has added multiple LCN members to his professional teams over the years.

Sev holds a dual B.S. from the University of Southern California in Chemical Engineering and Math Economics as well as an M.B.A from UCLA Anderson.

Gustave A. Cordahi
Booz Allen Hamilton | Being a Transportation & Technology Strategist in this Transformational Era

Gustave A. Cordahi is a Lead Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C. He currently leads the Strategy & Policy cross-cut within Booz Allen’s Transportation team. He is an expert in Transportation Strategy & Technology and has led a range of Performance Management projects, including Program Evaluations, Impact Assessments of emerging technologies, process evaluations, and benefit-cost analyses for a wide range of Transportation Programs, for clients spanning from U.S. Federal and National agencies to State and Local Departments of Transportation.

Winner of Booz Allen Hamilton’s most prestigious award, the VIP (Values In Practice) Award. Was also awarded The Stephen Penrose Award for the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA), and The Distinguished Graduate Award for the Department Civil and Environmental Engineering Department by the American University of Beirut (AUB) after being constantly ranked in the top tier of his class and being placed on the Dean’s Honor List during all his semesters. Received a Research Fellowship from the University of California at Berkeley.

Holds a Masters of Science (MS) in Transportation Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley (2008) on top of his Bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with distinction from the American University of Beirut, AUB (2007) and his Research Experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Hani Keirouz
Ombligo Inc | Entrepreneur Panel

Hani is currently the Chief Operating Officer and acting Chief Financial Officer for Ombligo, Inc. – an Information Technology Services provider that refurbishes IT equipment for resale and licenses out software that helps companies manage their IT infrastructure. Hani works closely with the CEO on strategic growth initiatives, and helps run the day-to-day business. He began his career in 2001 as a Financial Analyst at TechSmart, a technology startup in New York. Hani left TechSmart in 2003 to join Rho Capital Partners – a leading global Venture Capital fund and one of Techsmart’s primary Venture investors – as a Senior Analyst where he helped recommend investments in software, biotechnology and energy startups in the US. Hani left Rho Capital Partners in 2005 to earn his M.B.A. at the Columbia Business School where he combined his studies with a consulting role for Bitshelter, a New York technology startup. After completing his postgraduate studies, Hani joined Merrill Lynch (later Bank of America Merrill Lynch) as an Investment Banking Associate, later promoted to Vice President. In that capacity, he advised companies in the Consumer Products and Retail Sectors on a host of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, new debt issuances, equity offerings and divestitures. Hani left Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2012 to return to his startups and operations roots, and consulted for a wide range of technology startups in the US primarily on management and strategy. In 2013, he joined Ombligo – one of his main clients – on a full-time basis.

Gilbert Haddad
Big Data and Analytics

Gilbert Haddad heads the Big Data and Analytics for BAM in New York. Gilbert was previously with Schlumberger, where he was the Director for Digital Transformation and Global Analytics Director. Prior to Schlumberger, Gilbert worked as a Lead Data Scientist for GE Software and Analytics. Gilbert earned his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He also holds a Master of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Maryland.

Karim Abdallah
AKA Link | Building a Strong Founding Team

Karim Abdallah is the Co Founder and COO of AKA Link, a social enterprise that provides project management solutions for Small Medium businesses in the greater New York and Philadelphia Areas. Through his vast experience with helping found 3 startups, as CEO, COO and Chief Strategist respectively, and his work with talent acquisition with AKA Link, Karim has developed a keen sense for team and talent management in cross-functional organizations. Previously, he has worked in Investment Advisory in Switzerland and Mechanical Engineering design in California. He holds a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics from EPFL in Switzerland.

Are you interested in hosting an LCN Convention at your university? The opportunity to host the 12th annual convention in 2019 is now open for submission!

Please email the completed RFP to [email protected] by March 13, 2017 for consideration. 

You may download the RFP application here


University Lebanese Clubs
Distinguished Speakers

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