Our Team

The AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative is under development. We currently rely on a small staff to support our research, workshops, and advocacy intiatives. Current staff supporting AEI include the following:

Pat Cline is the Director of the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative and Senior Lecturer in the Business Department. He has returned to the university after being a professor at AUIS from 2009 to 2015. In the interim years, he was Director of Programs at a New York-based social enterprise. Most recently, he was Director of Training and Business Development at Five One Labs, a start-up incubator based in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Pat has spent most of the last fifteen years in education and entrepreneur development, and is very interested in growing the local start-up ecosystem. Prior to coming to Iraq, Pat was a business development consultant in Ethiopia and Small Enterprise Development volunteer in the Peace Corps in Cameroon. He has an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and a BS in Financial Management from Clemson University.
Office: B-F2-14

Ahmed Tabaqchali is an advisor to the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative and senior fellow at IRIS. He is the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of AFC Iraq Fund and a board member of the Credit Bank of Iraq with over 25 years of experience in US and MENA markets. He formerly served as the Executive Director of NBK Capital, the investment banking arm of the National Bank of Kuwait, and Managing Director and Head of International Institutional Sales at WR Hambrecht + Co. based in London, New York, and San Francisco. Prior to these roles, he was a Managing Director at KeyBanc in London and Head of Capital Markets & Institutional Sales at Jefferies International in London. Mr. Tabaqchali started his career at Dean Witter International in London. He holds an M.Sc. in Mathematics from Oxford University in the UK, a B.Sc. (Hons, 1st class) in Mathematics from Victoria University in New Zealand, and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from Canterbury University in New Zealand. His research at IRIS focuses on the development and sustainability of the post-ISIS economies of Iraq and Kurdistan. Read his analysis in Iraq Business News here or his IRIS reports below:

Emily Burlinghaus is Program Manager at AEI and Research Associate at IRIS. She joined IRIS in September 2017 and has since helped get the Entrepreneurship Initiative off the ground. Prior to starting work at AUIS, she worked as a research assistant at The Washington Institute for Near Easy Policy in Washington, D.C. She also spent a year abroad in the United Arab Emirates and conducted research at think tanks in D.C., including Hudson Institute and the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategicc and International Studies. She graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, where she studied Persian and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.