Rayan Nahas
Financial Planning & Strategy Advisor
Since 2017, Rayan has contributed to Embrace’s development. Leveraging his professional experiences in management consulting and corporate strategy, he has provided support with business and finance activities. He holds a master’s in business administration from the Harvard Business School (2021) and a bachelor’s in business administration from the American University of Beirut (2014).
Lila Khederlarian
Lila Khederlarian is a healthcare researcher who leverages techniques in statistics and data science to enable data-driven decision making. She holds master's degrees in Cognitive Neuroscience and Healthcare Analytics & Informatics from UCL and KCL respectively. She is currently a Data and Operations Analyst at a biotech startup based in London. Prior to that Lila held various positions within the research department at Embrace where she supported on academic research efforts and was involved in the development and implementation of monitoring and evaluation plans for various projects.
Dr. Hala Kerbage
Hala Kerbage is a psychiatrist and published researcher. She graduated as a psychiatrist in 2013 from Saint-Joseph University in Beirut, with an additional post-graduate specialized training from University of Paris. Since then, she has been working in the mental health field in Lebanon, as a clinician, mental health advocate, researcher, instructor at Saint-Joseph University School of Medicine, and mental health consultant for various local and international NGOs. Her main research work revolves around mental health amidst social adversity and the various presentations of trauma among youth. She uses a participatory methods approach to highlight the emic perspective of mental health conditions, traumatic experiences and mental health resources among youth in marginalized communities. She has participated in amending and publicizing the mental health draft law with The Legal Agenda and is a vocal advocate for social justice as an essential component of mental health for individuals and communities.
In November 2020, she joined the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department of the University Hospital of Montpellier, France, as an attending psychiatrist while keeping with her ongoing academic and research commitments in Lebanon.
Hala additionally holds a masters in Bioethics from Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, a specialized training in Medical Anthropology from Newcastle University, UK, and is currently conducting a PhD on traumatic experiences and prevention of post-traumatic stress disorders among youth in France and Lebanon, with Paris-Saclay University.
Dr. Pia Zeinoun
Vice President/ Director of EMHC
Dr. Pia Zeinoun is currently the Vice President of Embrace, who along with the Embrace team has contributed to the strategic expansion of the organization. Dr. Zeinoun has initiated and led several projects including the establishment of the Embrace research hub, and most notably the Embrace Mental Health Center in 2021 – a full multidisciplinary clinical center and university-affiliated training program. From 2016 to 2021, Dr. Zeinoun served as Assistant Professor of Psychology at the American University of Beirut’s Department of Psychology, while prior to that she co-founded and led the Psychological Assessment Center at the AUB Medical Center since 2013. Clinically, Dr. Zeinoun specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental and acquired disorders. Her research includes more than 30 peer-reviewed publications focused on cross-cultural and indigenous measurements of clinical symptoms and personality. Her education includes graduate training at the Johns Hopkins/Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland, USA, a PhD in Psychology from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, while prior to that she had a Fulbright sojourn at Illinois State University, where she obtained a master’s degree in Clinical & Counseling Psychology. She is a member of the Lebanese Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, and International Test Commission, and serves as an associate editor academic journal.
Mia Atwi
Mia Atoui is a Clinical Psychologist and the Co-founder and President of Embrace, a leading mental health NGO in Lebanon. Mia has a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from the American University of Beirut. She has worked in the field of mental health in Lebanon for the past 10 years and is a published researcher in the field. Since 2013, she has been active in addressing stigma, awareness and accessibility of mental health care in Lebanon working in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health and multiple local and international organizations to lobby for equity of care in mental health, quality rights for persons with lived experience with mental illness, and implementing projects across sectors with the aim of improving mental well-being of individuals and communities. She has extensive experience in suicide prevention in Lebanon and has been leading and advocating for Lebanon’s National Emotional Support and Suicide Prevention and Helpline in Lebanon - Embrace LifeLine (1564). She is an active member in civil society and conducts trainings to local communities and organizations across Lebanon to build the capacities of first responders and health professionals in detection and prevention of mental illness, suicide, and psychological resilience among various vulnerable groups in the community.
Dr. Farah Yehia
Farah Yehia is a doctor in Health Services Research and Policy and a Healthcare Consulting Manager based out of the UAE. Her work focuses on healthcare system transformations in the GCC and her research interests lie in mental health policy, health economic impact assessment, and pharmaceutical drug pricing. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr.  Yehia worked for 3 years on mental health system reforms in Lebanon at the American University of Beirut Medical Center and co-founded “Embrace” where she worked closely on the inception of the region’s first suicide prevention helpline. She has also served as a Research Affiliate for the Knowledge-to-Policy Center at the American University of Beirut since 2013 helping deliver evidence-informed recommendations to policymakers on priority public health issues. She holds numerous publications in refereed journals including JAMA Internal Medicine and the Annual Review of Public Health and has presented her research at multiple academic conferences including the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) and Academy Health. She is also a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society and former president of the Arab Public Health Organization at Johns Hopkins.
Farah earned her PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2020 and her Master’s in Public Health and Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut.
Zeina El Jordi
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