Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications
LAU extension: 1148
Gabriel Abiad is at the forefront of developing and implementing a strategic communications and marketing program for LAU. In his role as the head of MarCom, he manages integration across digital and mainstream channels, develops strategic plans to expand the reach and reputation of LAU, and supervises the production of communication vehicles, namely the university’s websites and key publications. Gabriel started his career in the advertising/marketing industry in Lebanon and later moved to Canada where he developed public campaigns for various governmental agencies. Back in Lebanon, he advanced several top brands as a key member of FP7 (Fortune Promoseven) and as marketing director for McDonald’s Lebanon. He has a bachelor’s and an M.B.A. from LAU as well as a graduate diploma in education from Concordia University, Montreal.
Director of Integrated Marketing Communications
LAU extension: 1465
Karina Rodriguez manages LAU’s main website and directs the team that produces websites for the university’s schools and departments. She led a major redesign of the central website that was rolled out in December 2008. Karina is an LAU graduate in communication arts with a journalism emphasis. Her interest in online communication and information technology spans back to the early days of the World Wide Web. A true MarCom pioneer, she joined the department when it was known as the Publications Office in 1998, the year after she helped develop LAU’s first website while still a student in 1997. She was also a key part of the founding editorial team of LAU Magazine & Alumni Bulletin, and helped introduce new standards to major university publications. The granddaughter of Lebanese emigrants, she hails from Argentina.
Director of Public Relations
LAU extension: 2871
Nada Torbey joined MarCom in 2017 as Director of Media and Public Relations after nine years with the Advancement division during which she spearheaded special projects. She now leads a team of social media and public relations experts, oversees the development of LAU’s media relations strategy, evaluates opportunities for partnerships, sponsorships and advertising, seeks high-level placements in print, broadcast and social media and leverages existing relationships while cultivating new contacts with prominent media outlets to cover activities and events organized by LAU.
In her previous role as Director of Special projects, she orchestrated the implementation of several media strategies, notably in television, shedding light on LAU’s academic achievements to significantly increase reach, and built a network of local, regional and international media. Prior to joining LAU, she had spent fifteen years at An-Nahar Research Center for Documentation, where she was a key contributor to the creation of its automated archiving and information management system. Nada holds a B.A. in Political Science and Public Administration, and an M.A. in Public Administration, both from AUB.
LAU extension: 1921
Louisa Ajami joined MarCom in November 2017, having returned to Lebanon from her home state of New Jersey after a stint doing corporate communications work there. She started her career as an editor at the news website Now Lebanon before moving into the marketing realm with a job at Berlitz Corporation. As managing editor, she brings new standards of quality and a consistent voice to major LAU publications, including the university’s website, magazine, reports, and marketing pieces. Louisa works closely with MarCom’s writers, designers, PR and marketing professionals to deliver high-quality, informative content. She holds a BA from Rutgers University and a master’s in Middle East Studies from the American University of Beirut.
Senior Assistant Director of MarCom - Client Servicing
LAU extension: 1940
Zeina Abdallah plans and manages integrated communications for the schools of Arts & Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. She joined MarCom in April 2009 from her role as a communications coordinator for the newly established School of Medicine. Prior to LAU, Zeina was at AUB where she earned a BA in Public Administration. She went on to earn a master’s in international affairs from LAU. While at AUB, she worked for the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of English in administrative roles. She was one of the founding members of the Volunteer Outreach Clinic, an NGO that provides primary health care to people in need.
Widad Abou Diab
Lead Web Developer
LAU extension: 1933
Widad Abou Diab joined MarCom in early 2008 after working for two years as a senior web developer with SABIS Educational Services. In her role, Widad concentrates mainly on programming and system administration to make sure the LAU website is up and running. Her experience spans a wide variety of web tools and technologies that are used to develop, deploy and maintain LAU’s website. Widad has a B.S. in computer science from Notre Dame University.
Nayla Abou Merhi Moujaes
Assistant Director of MarCom - Client Servicing
LAU extension: 2870
Nayla Abou Merhi Moujaes plans and manages integrated communications for the schools of Architecture & Design, Engineering, and Business. She joined MarCom in 2008 as an account manager, after three years in a similar role at Grey World Wide, a leading global advertising agency, where she handled media relations, communication and PR planning, as well as event management. An LAU graduate with a BS in Business Studies, Nayla went on to pursue her MBA in France, at ESSEC University, as part of a joint venture with Cornell University, Ithaca. She was actively involved in the process to develop and deploy LAU’s re-branding initiative in 2008–2009, including research, planning and implementation activities.
Senior Public Relations Officer
LAU extension: 1958
Pierre Atallah, a seasoned journalist specialized in Middle Eastern politics and social affairs, joined MarCom as Senior Public Relations Officer in September 2017. He brings a new level of Arabic-language writing and reporting to the team, having served with An-Nahar for 20 years, several of which as a Paris-based international correspondent. He has also worked for the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat and the local newspaper Ad-Diyar. His reporting took him to various locations such as Moscow, Belgrade and Tokyo. He also taught journalism at Notre Dame University in Lebanon, and worked on various public relations campaigns in the political field. Pierre holds a B.A. in Public Administration and Political Science from the American University of Beirut.
Assistant Director of MarCom - Client Servicing
LAU extension: 1929
Linda Dahdah plans and manages integrated communications for the key offices of Alumni Relations, Facilities Management, GSR, and the Provost, as well as the Centre for Lebanese Studies. She joined MarCom in 2011 as a senior web editor for the university’s online publications. For two years prior, she was program coordinator at the Basil Fuleihan Institute of Finance, a public institution involved in civil agents’ capacity building. Linda began her career in 2003 as a journalist for the Daily Star and later worked as a program officer for the International Relations and Exchanges Board (IREX), focusing on media development in Yemen, Morocco and Gulf countries. She has freelanced for several news networks and think tanks. She holds a master’s in International Relations and Diplomacy from the French Institut Libre des Etudes de Relations Internationales (ILERI) in Paris. Looking for new experiences brought her to work at the Section of French Interests in Baghdad in 1998, and later to live in China from 2007–2008.
Sana Kouatly Saneh
Senior Account Executive
LAU extension: 1917
Sana Kouatly Saneh plans and manages integrated communications for the offices of the President, Development, and HRUS, in addition to the Center for Lebanese Heritage and the Staff Advisory Council. She joined MarCom in 2011 as executive assistant after years of experience in the administration field. Prior to that she was assistant to the principal of the American Community School (ACS) in Beirut. A competent multitasker and problem solver, she was recognized by the National Honor Society Administrator by the ACS NHS chapter for outstanding accomplishments in the areas of character, leadership, and service. Before ACS, Sana held positions in various businesses, seizing training opportunities in Lebanon and abroad. She earned a BS in Business Studies in 1994 from LAU (then BUC).
Lead Graphic Designer
LAU extension: 1891
As the lead graphic designer at MarCom, Izzat Kreidieh is responsible for conveying key messages through compelling visuals in promotional and informational materials. In addition, he assists the team in designing a wide variety of branding pieces for numerous university events. Izzat joined MarCom in February 2017 after working for four years as graphic designer and UI/UX designer at Khatib & Alami, an engineering and geographic information firm. He has also freelanced for various clients including academic institutions, associations, NGOs, private sectors, and publication houses. He earned a BFA in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut in 2012.
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Media
LAU extension: 1703
Bert Makadessi joined the team in January 2017 when the former PR and Media Office, where she had worked for 11 years, merged with MarCom. In her current role, Bert continues to support LAU’s public relations efforts in their various aspects and oversees the university’s official social media channels, developing strategies to increase brand awareness and public engagement. She also creatively contributes to the production of multimedia content and provides training to junior staff on the use and promotion of social media tools. Bert started her career as a graphic designer, having earned a B.S. in Graphic Design from LAU in 2004.
LAU extension: 1930
Charbel Nassar joined MarCom in August 2015 after working as a web developer at Ethos Interactive, a regional digital agency. Passionate about digital media, he started his career at a young age while actively involved with several NGOs. At age 20, he was appointed instructor and publications designer at Collège des Saints Cœurs – Sioufi. Soon thereafter, he initiated the school’s social media strategy and carried out major website revamps for sister institutions belonging to the Saints Cœurs network. Charbel has established and maintained online solutions for global brands, governmental organizations, real estate agencies and financial institutions, providing design, web development and online marketing. He was a five-time full merit scholarship recipient at USEK, where he earned a B.A. in Multimedia in 2013.
LAU extension: 1798
Hanan Nasser joined MarCom in October 2017 as an associate writer and web content editor for the School of Arts and Sciences. She began her career with The Daily Star in 2001 as a news editor, and went on to become head of the MENA news section. She also copyedited articles for several publications, including the Dubai-based Newsweek Middle East. Hanan holds an MA in Islamic Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies–University of London and a BA in Communication Arts, with a minor in journalism, from LAU.
Assistant Director of MarCom – Web Master
LAU extension: 1945
Samah Rifai joined MarCom in July 2012 after working for five years as a web administrator/developer with the UNDP Project at the Ministry of Administrative Reform. Totaling eight years of experience in the public sector, she supervised and implemented several web projects that supported the online presence of the Lebanese public sector and led the project for the establishment of Website Standards for the Government of Lebanon. As a web manager, her role at the MarCom involves ensuring the continuity of LAU’s web presence by supporting various tasks such as project coordination, external services, documentation, archiving and evaluation. Samah has a B.S. in computer science from the American University of Beirut and an M.S. in computer science from LAU.