Fadi Elsalameen was born in Hebron in 1983 and moved to the U.S. in 2000. He is currently a non-resident fellow at The Foreign Policy Institute at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and president of the Palestinian Security Project, a new think tank seeking to develop a Palestinian national security strategy. In addition to these roles, Elsalameen is also an adjunct senior fellow at the American Security Project, a Washington, DC think tank. Previously, Elsalameen was a fellow with the New America Foundation’s American Strategy Program, a nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. Before that, he served as the director of institutional advancement at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) where he secured the first foundation grant to the organization.
Elsalameen has also worked extensively with youth employment groups in the Middle East. From 2005 to 2007 he served as a program adviser at the Imaginenations Group where he worked with teams of international development finance and youth experts to design investment strategies for youth in the Middle East and South America.
Elsalameen has been involved in the political arena at a young age. Since 1998, Elsalameen has been an active participant in the international organization Seeds of Peace participating in and lecturing at numerous leadership summits and conferences on topics related to Middle East youth, conflict resolution, and extremism. He was handpicked to take part in this organization by late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.
Elsalameen was invited personally by US President Bill Clinton to attend the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005, and helped secure a commitment for a political risk insurance initiative to encourage investment in Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal at the time.
In recent months Elsalameen became a vocal critic of the current Palestinian government. In February, 2011 Elsalameen called for the resignation of Palestinian President Mamhmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyadin an article he first published in Ma’an News.
Elsalameen is also part of a new non-partisan Palestinian youth movement that calls for reform in the Palestinian territories in a non-violent way. Writing for Time Magazine, Joe Klein wrote about Elsalameen and his involvement in the movement. He says: “El-Salameen has spent much of his time in the U.S. and has achieved a certain prominence—he is quietly charismatic, a world-class networker, the sort of person who is invited to international conferences—but he is now spending more time at home in Hebron, organizing the March 15 movement in the West Bank’s largest city. ‘I met some of the leaders of the Tahrir Square movement at a conference in Doha,’ he tells me. ‘They don’t fit the usual profile of a ‘youth leader.’ They are low-key, well educated but not wealthy. They are figuring it out as they go along, trying to figure out what works.’ His comments about the non-violent resistance among Palestinians were also highlighted in an article in The Economist.
The political prospects of Elsalameen were highlighted by American political commentator M.J. Rosenberg who predicted that he will run for president one day in a piece published on TPM cafe.
Elsalameen also calls for the use of green environment and technologies to resist the Israeli occupation.
Elsalameen is a principal of YCF Group LLC. He is actively involved in several of YCF Group’s portfolio investments including YCF Maritime, a leading global shipping services company and YCF Agriculture, a large-scale international agribusiness company. At YCF Maritime, Elsalameen serves as Senior Vice President-Government Relations for LISCR, the management company of the Liberian Registry. The Liberian Registry is the world’s largest white-listed ship registry and a leading corporate jurisdiction. With nearly 4000 vessels of an aggregate carriage capacity of exceeding 150 million deadweight tons, the Liberian Registry represents 13% of the worldwide oceangoing fleet.
At YCF Agriculture, Elsalameen is actively involved in E-Chicks and E-Feed, Agribusiness and food distribution companies based in Ethiopia. Elsalameen has extensive experience structuring investments and raising capital from private investors, sovereign wealth funds, and multilateral lenders for a variety of development projects across several emerging markets.