The 12th Tunis Exchange: Meet Key Leaders Across Tunisia

*June 9-June 16, 2019

*Registration Deadline I April 15/Registration II May 15, 2019
*22 slots only/Rolling acceptance

The 12th Tunis Exchange will be held in Association with the Democracy and Governance Program at Georgetown University June 9-16 and will engage participants from around the world in a multifaceted discussion of some of the key issues facing Tunisia and the wider region. The Tunis Exchange program specifically rests on two tracks this Summer:

Who Should Register:

— Foreign diplomats;

— NGO practitioners;

— Researchers, analysts and journalists;

— Academics working on the region.

Professional & Academic:

Participants will attend a series of lectures led by prominent academics, analysts and activists from Tunisia and the wider region. Themes will include, among others:

– The history and internal transformations of Ennahda, including organizational and ideological evolution since the revolution;

– The post-revolutionary evolution of the UGTT, Tunisia’s powerful labor union, and its role in politics (including implications of its role as primary mediator in the National Dialogue of late 2013);

– The composition, platforms of, and alliances between major parties (including Jebha Chaabia, Nidaa Tounes and Afeq Tounes, among others);

– The state of the Tunisian economy, including regional inequalities, budget transparency and decentralization, etc.;

– Security sector reform and the response to terrorism;

– Institutional and legislative reform needs following the passage of Tunisia’s constitution, focusing particularly on reform of the Ministry of Interior (security sector) and Ministry of Justice (judicial sector), Tunisia’s two most problematic ministries;

– Human rights in the new Tunisia (addressing issues such as freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, status of women, use of torture and the terrorism debate);

– Salafism, its composition (political, quietist, jihadi) in Tunisia and its relationship to and implications for party politics, stability, and governance moving forward;

– Taking stock of what Tunisia has done regarding transitional justice, what steps are planned to realize the recently passed transitional justice law, and what more needs to be done;

– The role of the media and civil society organizations;

– Youth politics and activism within and outside formal party structure;

– The scope and underlying causes of recent protest movements.

Dialogue with Leaders:

Participants will have the opportunity to meet, listen and engage leading social, political, religious and economic leaders from across the spectrum in Tunisia.



NOTE: Accepted applicants will receive the full list of confirmed speakers prior to the opening of the Exchange, as well as readings pertinent to the sessions.

Sunday, June 17

7:00pm – Introductions, House Rules & Safety: Nicholas Noe & Monica Marks

8:00pm – Ouiem Chettaoui, USIP & Mohamed Dhia-Hammami, Wesleyan University

Monday, June 18

9:30am – Monica Marks, Oxford University

11:30pm – Lunch

12:30pm – Tarek Kahlaoui, Al-Irada

2:00pm – Moncef Marzouki, Al-Irada

3:00pm – Amine Ghali, Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center

4:00pm – Ahlem Belhaj, Tunisian Association of Democratic Women

5:00pm – Radwan Masmoudi, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy

6:30pm – Huda Mzioudet, Carnegie Endowment

Tuesday, June 19

9:30am – Stefan Buchmayer, Democratic Control of Armed Forces

11:00am – Nicolas Kaczorowski, International Foundation Electoral Systems

12:30pm – Fadhel Ben Omrane, Nidaa Tounes

2:00pm – Lunch

3:00pm – Houda Slim, Machroua Tounes

4:30pm – Chawki Tabibi & Mohamed Ayadi, INLUCC

6:00pm – Mahmoud Mezoughi, Retired Military Officers Association

Wednesday, June 20

9:30am – Salwa Gantri, International Center for Transitional Justice

10:30am – Chaima Bouhlel, Barr al-Aman

12:00pm – Yamina Thabet, Tunisian Association for Support of Minorities

1:00pm – Robert Blotevogel, International Monetary Fund

3:00pm – Yassine Brahim, Afek Tounes

6:00pm – Yassine Ayari, Independent MP

Thursday, June 21

11:00am – Mohamed Ben Salem & Adil al-Maize, Truth & Dignity Commission

12:45pm – Lunch

2:00pm – Zied Boussen, Jamaity

3:00pm – Rached Ghannouchi, Mehrezia Laabidi, Ossama Sghir, Amal Soud

6:00pm – Mouheb Garoui, Co-founder I-Watch

8:00pm – Bus leaves for Sidi Bouzid

Friday, June 22

9:30am – Moncef Hamdouni, The Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fishing

11:00am – Souha Bouazizi, WeDo NGO

1:00pm – Lunch

3:00pm – Ikram Nsiri, Lingare NGO

5:00pm – Amel Dhafouli, Manich Sekta @ Popular Front HQ

7:00pm – Check in Gafsa

Saturday, June 23

10:00am – Rabeh Ben Othman, Tunisian Forum for Economic & Social Rights

1:00pm – Ayoub Edaoui, An-Nahdha Youth

3:00pm – Myriam Bribri, Activist

6:00pm – Ayman Bouhajeb, Machroua Tunis

8:30pm – Check in Sfax

Sunday, June 24

9:30am – Mekki Jaziri, Nidaa Tounes

11:00am – Abdul Hedi Ben Jemaa, UGTT

2:00pm – Tunis Airport/End Program


Program Format:

The Tunis Exchange will open at the Novotel/IBIS Hotel in downtown Tunis with an orientation and security briefing at 6pm on Sunday, June 9 (the timing may change to accommodate late arrivals). On June 13 at 6pm, the group will travel south for two days of meetings in the interior regions. We will return from the south by 1pm on Sunday, June 16 to Novotel/IBIS and close The Exchange (we therefore recommend booking departure flights after 4pm on Sunday, June 16). In order to promote small group dynamics, the number of participants will be capped at 22. Sessions themselves will be conducted on an individual rather than a panel basis for all speakers and will generally allow ample opportunity for question time (consecutive translation into English will be provided when necessary). All sessions will also be held under the Chatham House rule, although we customarily work with our speakers to approve any quotes/references that participants may need for their own work.


Participation Fee  – $950; Note that participation fee discounts are available for participants who wish to attend multiple Exchanges as well as for Tunisian researchers resident in Tunisia. For more information, please email us here. Furthermore, all our programs are funded on the basis of fees paid by the participants themselves: There is no government, private or non-profit support, an aspect that we believe provides a relatively neutral platform for dialogue and understanding.

Accommodation – A single room at IBIS is available upon request for $70 per night inclusive of all taxes and breakfast. Participants are welcome to arrange for their own housing, although all participants are required to pay $120 for the two nights stay in the south.

Airfare – $300, approximate from the European Union.

About the Co-Directors:

Monica Marks is a Raphael Morrison Dorman Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow, Weatherhead Scholars Program at Harvard University. Her work, which focuses on politics, institutional reform, and Islamist movements in Tunisia and Turkey, has appeared in peer-reviewed books and journals, news outlets including The Guardian, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and The Washington Post, and for think tanks including the Carnegie Endowment, the Brookings Institute, and The Century Foundation.

Daniel Brumberg is associate professor of Government at Georgetown University and acting director of USIP’s Muslim World Initiative in the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, where he focuses on issues of democratization and political reform in the Middle East and wider Islamic world.

Safa Belghith is an International Relations graduate from the Higher Institute of Human Sciences at Al-Manar University where the focus of her research thesis is Media and Politics. She also has a degree in English Linguistics, Literature and Civilization from the University of Manouba. She works as a freelance journalist and research consultant on issues related to Tunisian politics and women’s rights.