Azmi Bishara is the General Director of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies and a member of its Executive Board. A prominent researcher and writer, Bishara has published numerous books and academic papers in political thought, social theory, and philosophy, in addition to several literary works. He was Professor of Philosophy and History of Political Thought at Birzeit University, from 1986 to 1996. He also co-founded Muwatin, the Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy, and Mada al-Carmel, the Arab Center for Applied Social Research. Bishara was the principal founder of the National Democratic Assembly (Balad), a Palestinian-Arab party inside the Green Line, which supports democratic values irrespective of religious, ethnic or national identity. For four consecutive session, from 1996-2007, he represented his party as an elected member of parliament. In 2007, Bishara was persecuted for his political positions at the hands of the Israeli authorities, and currently resides in Qatar. He is the recipient of the Ibn Rushd Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2002 and the Global Exchange Human Rights Award in 2003.
Dr. Kanaan is a Researcher at the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. He hold a PhD in Economic Science from Cambridge University, and brings a rich and varied experience to his current position. Kanaan has served in a number of academic and government roles, including, Minister of Development (1998-1999), Planning (1986-1989), and Minister for Occupied Territories Affairs (1985). He has participated in designing development policies and programs for the Ministry of Planning in Iraq and was the State Secretariat of Planning in Morocco. Dr. Kanaan has also held a number of positions within the United Nations in New York, Beirut, and Geneva. In later years, he was elected by the UN ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council for voluntary service as a member of the UN Committee for Development Planning (Policy) from 1996 to 2000 and as a member of the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration and Public Economics, from 2005 to 2008. He contributed to the UNDP Arab Human Development Reports of 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2008. Dr. Kanaan is also a volunteer in a number of civil society organizations, including membership of the Boards of Trustees and Management of the Arab Anti-Corruption Organization, and of the Institute of Palestine Studies. At the ERF (Economic Research Forum (for the Arab Countries, Turkey and Iran in Cairo) the Assembly of Fellows elected Dr. Kanaan for Membership of the Board of Trustees for two consecutive terms (10 years), and he continues to be a Senior Research Fellow of the ERF.