Hisham Elkoustaf is a tri-lingual attorney with over fifteen years of experience at the intersection of law, economic development and foreign policy. A member of the New York Bar, Hisham honed his legal advocacy skills in corporate litigation departments of renowned law firms and with the in-house litigation team of a global media and entertainment company. Hisham later joined the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Department Commerce. As a Senior Counsel with the Commercial Law Development Program, Hisham traveled across the Middle East and North Africa to advise ministers, legislators, judges and members of the private sector on implementing commercial law reform strategies to promote economic growth and attract greater foreign investment. In his first year at the US Department of Commerce, Hisham received the “Attorney of the Year” award for his excellent contributions to the work of the office of the General Counsel. After five years with U.S. federal government, Hisham provided legal and policy counsel to American and international firms seeking to do business in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the GCC countries. Hisham later served as principal legal advisor to the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the U.N. before transitioning to his current role as legal and economic advisor at the Consulate General of the State of Qatar in Los Angeles.
An avid soccer player and fan, Hisham is passionately committed to using the sport as a tool for development. He has advised soccer foundations on program and business development and in negotiating partnerships with educational and healthcare providers to deliver essential services to poor communities. He has spoken at domestic and international fora, including the World Justice Forum in Barcelona, the Global Diaspora Forum in Washington D.C., and the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles on the potential of soccer to unite diverse communities and to create meaningful educational opportunities for underprivileged youth. He has also led a State department-funded “soccer-for-diplomacy” initiative in Algeria. He currently advises an Abu Dhabi-based tech startup that serves as a communication and recruitment platform designed to maximize the exposure of youth soccer players before universities and professional clubs.
Hisham received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He earned an M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. Hisham received his B.A, with honors, from Columbia University where he earned a varsity letter as a member of the Men’s Division I soccer team. In his second year at Columbia, Hisham received a Fulbright Hays fellowship to study advanced modern Arabic at Yarmook University in Irbid, Jordan.
Hisham is fluent in Arabic and French and has worked in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, Spain, France, Belgium, England, and Switzerland. Before his legal career, Hisham worked with the Ford Foundation and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. Hisham is married to Dalia Hashad, a civil and human rights lawyer, and they have two daughters, Iman and Camilia, both of whom play AYSO soccer in Southern California.
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