His Excellency Mr. Issam M. Fares was born in Bayno, Akkar, North Lebanon in 1937. After graduating from the Tripoli College concentrating on business, he worked in the Arabian Gulf and rose rapidly in the realm of investment and international business. He founded dozens of major corporations, and cultivated business and political contacts with leaders in Lebanon, the Arab East, Europe, the US, Canada, and Latin America.The great needs of Lebanon after its war led Mr. Fares to concentrate his efforts on the democratization and reconstruction of Lebanon on improving Lebanon’s relations with the international community, and on working with all concerned for a just and stable peace in the region. In his opinion, a just peace is the best guarantee for a future Lebanon that is free, pluralistic, and democratic.Mr. Fares has become a prominent Lebanese statesman with great influence on the political process, nationally and regionally. In this capacity, he supports all those who in Lebanon or outside Lebanon could contribute to the welfare of his country.In Lebanon, he lends his influence to the Government, to the administration, to syndicates, to universities, to social organizations, to hospitals, to municipalities, to urban and rural NGO’s, and to cultural centers.As member of Parliament and as Deputy Prime Minister, he has mobilized his world-wide network of relationships to draft modern laws and to pursue governmental policies leading to Lebanon’s financial stability, and economic progress.His role as statesman and philanthropist has been recognized by nations that have granted him their highest decorations, by universities that conferred on him the honor of Doctorate Honoris, and by dozens of national, foreign, and international organizations by presenting him with their medals and awards.In addition to his many public functions and world-wide philanthropic activities, Mr. Fares continues to serve on boards of international organizations, on boards of major business corporations, and on boards of universities and institutions of higher learning. To all his activities, he brings a wealth of experience and a passion to help organizations succeed and excel.