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DeepRoot Consulting is a leading social enterprise working on advancing inclusive, sustainable solutions to a range of political, economic, and developmental issues in Yemen. DeepRoot has extensive experience in providing platforms for dialogue on peacebuilding, producing in-depth reports and expanding stakeholder understanding of the local dynamics in different areas of the country. DeepRoot has implemented multiple track II initiatives in direct and indirect support of the Office of the UN Special Envoy to Yemen’s efforts to negotiate a political settlement to the conflict. For more information please check out

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Ala Qasem
The CEO of DeepRoot Consulting

Ala Qasem is The CEO of DeepRoot Consulting. He previously served as the Managing Director of the Executive Bureau (EB) for the Acceleration of Aid Absorption and Support for Policy Reforms where he advised the Prime Minister and a number of senior cabinet ministers on various economic and development policies. In his capacity as EB Managing Director, Ala led government negotiation efforts to develop a rapid stabilization program for Aden, secure debt relief from the IMF, and participate in the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative among other efforts. Prior to joining the EB, Ala served as the Consensus Committee Technical Advisor for Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference (NDC) Secretariat.


Ala has founded and sits on the board of a number of civil society organizations in Yemen, including Resonate Yemen, the Civil Alliance for Peacebuilding, and the Yemen Youth Observatory. He has an MPP from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Sultan Barakat
Senior Project Advisor

Professor Sultan Barakat is the senior project advisor and general coordinator of the Hikma Fellowship. Dr. Barakat is an internationally renowned expert in the field of peacebuilding and transition from conflict. He has over 25 years of professional experience working on issues of conflict management, humanitarian response, and post-conflict recovery and transition, and he regularly provides guidance as a senior adviser and consultant to the UN, World Bank, EU, DFID, ILO, and a variety of governments and international non-governmental organizations. 


He is a professor of politics and post-war recovery studies at the University of York, where he founded and led the Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit between 1993 and 2014. Dr. Sultan co-facilitated the Forum of Emerging Leaders from Yemen and the Gulf held in July 2019, and has served as a senior advisor to DeepRoot on numerous projects since its founding.

Abeer Al-Mutawakel
Project Manager

Abeer Al-Mutawakel is the project manager of the Hikma Fellowship for Public Leaders, and previously worked as a researcher and consultant for DeepRoot. She previously worked as a researcher at the Center for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University. Her research and consulting work focus primarily on development and humanitarian interventions in conflict settings, addressing issues such as forced migration, peacebuilding, and empowering marginalized groups. While mainly focused on Yemen, Abeer has also worked closely on the Syrian refugee crisis, studying the impact of Syrian refugees and displaced persons on host communities in Lebanon.


Abeer previously served as general manager of one of the largest hospitals in Yemen. She earned her master’s in development and emergency practice from Oxford Brookes, and her bachelor’s in information management systems.

Rami Huwaidi
Project Officer

Rami Huwaidi is the project officer of the Hikma Fellowship for Public Leaders. Previously, he worked as a senior projects coordinator with several organizations that focus on the economic empowerment of Yemeni youth and support their career development. He has also worked as a training coordinator with various companies that aim to raise the capacity of NGOs and INGOs. Prior to that, Rami worked as a manager in the construction sector, working on projects to expand and maintain the country’s infrastructure. He holds a degree in civil engineering.

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