Sawsan Abou Zainedin

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Madaniya

Sawsan Abou Zainedin is the Chief Executive Officer of Madaniya. Sawsan is an architect and urban development planner by training. Her extensive professional background spans a decade in the development sector and involves a multidisciplinary approach to addressing the manifestations of the Syrian conflict through research and practice. Prior to joining Madaniya, Ms. Abou Zainedin consulted for several notable international organisations, including UN ESCWA, GIZ, the European Institute of Peace, Arab Reform Initiative, and PAX, among other. She has also worked with prominent Syrian organisations, including the Syrian Centre for Policy Research and the Syrian Women Political Movement.

Ms. Abou Zainedin has published numerous articles with distinguished institutions like The Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center, Chatham House, the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut, The Shattuck Center at the School of Public Policy in the Central European University, the Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit at UCL, Aljumhuriy, and with the Arab Reform Initiative. She lectured at prestigious universities such as the University of McGill, Bath, UCL, and Istituto Superiore di Politica Internazionale, and presented at multiple international conferences, roundtables, and panel discussions. She co-coordinates the Syria Resource Group; a multidisciplinary brain trust of Syrian experts working to promote a local vision for the country’s recovery and the international financing of it. She has co-founded multiple community-based organisations and social enterprises, including Hooz Centre in northern Syria and Sakan Housing Communities in the UK.

Ms. Abou Zainedin is a Chevening scholar. She holds an MSc in Urban Development Planning from the Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit of UCL. She also earned a postgraduate diploma in Integrated Planning and Urban Strategies from the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies at Erasmus University and a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from the University of Aleppo.