Founding Director

Bilal Wahab, Founding Director CDNR

Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani 

Bilal A. Wahab is a faculty member at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS). Dr. Wahab teaches courses on the petroleum industry, public policy and international politics. His research focuses on Iraq’s petroleum policy, policy networks, and economic and political development in transitioning countries. He was AUIS’s first Research Fellow at the Institute of Regional and International Studies, where he published a report, "Iraq and KRG Energy Policies: Actors, Challenges and Opportunities", on the Iraq-Kurdish dispute over the management of petroleum resources. He recently published another report, "Escaping the Rentier Model: Reforms in Iraq and the KRI", co-authored with AUIS faculty member Djene Bajalan

Prior to joining AUIS, Wahab worked at the World Bank, the United Nations, and numerous USAID programs. He has spoken at numerous campuses and think tanks across the United States, Europe and Iraq, and has been featured in leading media outlets, including the New York Times, Aljazeera and the Financial Times. In 2005, Wahab was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, which he applied toward a Master’s degree in international affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. He earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Mason University, where his dissertation focused on oil federalism in Iraq.  

He can be contacted at bilal.wahab@auis.edu.krd