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Dr. Sami Mahroum

Senior Lecturer

Academic and Executive Director

INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative

Research Profile

Dr. Sami Mahroum is the Founding Director of the INSEAD Innovation & Policy Initiative (IIPI).  He provides executive and intellectual leadership for the programme and its associated members. In this role, he works closely with the local community to identify and develop opportunities for applied research and engagement activities in the area of entrepreneurship, innovation and socio-economic development. Sami delivers various specialised seminars and participatory workshops on topics related to innovation and location, innovation policy, government innovation, and innovation measurement. In his workshops, he uses various experiential learning tools, including drawing and design thinking methods.


Prior to INSEAD, Sami was a Senior Analyst at the OECD in Paris and the Research Director for Regional and International Innovation at the UK leading innovation agency- Nesta. At both organisations, Sami was fortunate to work on high profile projects including: the UK Innovation White Paper (2008), and the OECD Innovation Strategy (2010). Much earlier, as a Research Fellow at the (EU) Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Sami contributed directly to the flagship EU project Futures Europe 2010.


Sami has a long standing interest in studying the relationship between agency and place. How do places shape people and organisations and how do people and organisations shape places? In that pursuit, he has contributed to major measurement of the innovative capacity of countries and regions, including: the 2nd European Science & Technology Indicators Report, the Ontario Science & Technology Indicators, the Nordic Innovation Scoreboard, and the UK Innovation Index.  Sami also did various pieces of work on place making and on the dynamics of international competition for highly skilled talent. Most recently, he published a book on the dynamic relationship between the entrepreneur and place entitled “Black Swan Start-Ups: Understanding the Rise of Successful Technology Business in Unlikely Places” (Palgrave MacMillian, March 2016).


He is a Non-Resident Senior Policy Fellow at the Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy at the American University of Beirut and a Visiting Fellow at the School of Management, Birkbeck College, and University of London.  Sami is a member of the World Economic Forum Regional Strategy Group for the MENA region. He was as a former member on the inaugural Advisory Board for the Mohammad Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation and was a member of the World Economic Forum Education & Skills Council.


Sami completed a PhD in Business and Social Studies from the German Armed Forces University in Hamburg, on a project that began at the Department of Geography at University College London. Before that, he completed an MSc in Science & Technology Dynamics from the University of Amsterdam, and a BA in Political Science & Economic Development from the University of Oslo, Norway.  Sami is also an alum of the d-School: Institute of Design at Stanford.


Sami's writings appeared in peer-reviewed journals as well as in broadsheets like the Financial Times and BusinessWeek and more frequently on Project Syndicate.  He sits on the Editorial Board of the journal Science & Public Policy and serves as a reviewer for most journals dedicated to innovation policy research.


Selected Publications

  • Mahroum, S. and Al-Saleh, Y.M. (2015). The surrogate model of cluster creation: the case of Mubadala in Abu Dhabi. Science and Public Policy, in Press.
  • Mahroum, S. (2014). Outcomes-oriented innovation policy design: an analytic-diagnostic framework. In Handbook of Politics and Technology, Hilpert, U. (Eds.). London: Routledge.
  • Mahroum, S., Al-Saleh, Y.M. (2013). Towards a functional framework for measuring national innovation efficacy. Technovation, Vol. 33, no. 10, pp. 320-332.
  • Mahroum, S. (2013). Policy innovations: towards an analytic framework. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 182-197.
  • Mahroum, S. and Al-Saleh, Y.M. (2012). Demand-led related diversification: an innovation policy approach to economic diversification and development. Science and Public Policy, Vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 406-418.

Professor Yves Doz
Academic Fellow, INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative
Professor of Strategic Management
The Solvay Chaired Professor of Technological Innovation
Executive Education Progamme Director, Managing Partnerships and Strategic Alliances

Dr. Yves Doz is the Solvay Chaired Professor of Technological Innovation at INSEAD and Visiting Professor at the Helsinki School of Economics. He was Dean of Executive Education (1998-2002) and Associate Dean for Research and Development (1990-1995) at INSEAD. Professor Doz also was Director of the Management of Technology and Innovation programme at INSEAD, a multi-disciplinary effort involving about 20 faculty members and researchers that ran from 1987 to 1994. Yves Doz received his Doctoral degree from Harvard University and is a graduate of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (Jouy-en-Josas, France). He has also taught at the Harvard Business School, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Seoul National University, and Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

His research on the strategy and organization of multinational companies, examining specifically high-technology industries, led to numerous publications, including several books, in particular The Multinational Mission: Balancing Local Demands and Global Vision, co-authored with CK. Prahalad (1987) and From Global to Metanational: How Companies Win in the Knowledge Economy co-authored with José Santos and Peter Williamson, two INSEAD colleagues (Harvard Business School Press, 2001) which shows how companies can mobilize dispersed knowledge to learn from the world. His research on strategic alliances has been summarized in Alliance Advantage, published in 1998. His research work won numerous awards: a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Academy of Management (2003) and an election as “Inaugural Fellow of the Strategic Management Society” (2005). Prof. Doz was most recently elected Fellow of the Academy of Management (2006), and was also nominated by The Economist as one of a handful of European ‘Management Gurus’. He is a frequent speaker at management conferences and corporate events. He was elected President of the Academy of International Business in 2008.

Dr Kai L. Chan

Distinguished Fellow, INSEAD Innovation & Policy Initiative

Dr Kai L. Chan is a Distinguished Fellow at INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative. He is also part of the senior management team of a Montreal-based technology (cloud) company.

Previously Dr Chan was a special adviser to the UAE federal government on competitiveness and statistics, where he focused on that country's positioning on global performance indices. He was also a member of the Dubai Expo 2020 bid team.  


Prior to moving to the UAE in 2011, Dr Chan served as an associate and the in-house economist for a consumer finance merchant banking firm in Manhattan. Before that, he worked in the Singapore office of a global management consulting firm with assignments in Asia and Europe covering risk management and strategic planning for banks.


Dr Chan’s expertise/research cover education, income distribution, migration, government & policy, and performance measurement. He is the creator of the Power Language Index, Gender Progress Index, and Intelligence Capital Index. His works and analysis/commentary are often covered by the media.


Dr Chan holds an undergraduate degree (BSc) in economics & mathematics from the University of Toronto, and graduate degrees (MA, PhD) in economics from Princeton University, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on monetary policy. He has taught courses in economics, mathematics and statistics at Princeton, the University of Toronto and Concordia (Montreal).


Kai grew up in Toronto, Canada, but currently resides in Montreal. He speaks English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin and German, and is currently learning Russian. He enjoys playing (ice) hockey, training mixed martial arts (Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu), gastronomy and travelling in his free time.

Dr. Wifag Adnan

Distinguished Fellow, INSEAD Innovation & Policy Initiative


Other Affiliations: Assistant Professor of Economics at NYUAD, Research Affiliate at IZA, Research Associate at ERF


Dr. Wifag Adnan’s research focuses on how labor markets function in developing and emerging economies and the topics she has worked on span labor mobility, job search, unemployment, wage differentials, female labor force participation and education.


Her doctoral dissertation covered major challenges faced by the Palestinian Labor Market during the period of 2000-2010. In ongoing research with the London School of Economics, she is working to uncover the determinants of female labor force participation and entrepreneurship in the UAE and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.


She has been invited by well known government entities including the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (formerly known as the Ministry of Labor) to conduct labor market research and make policy recommendations related to meeting strategic national goals.


Dr. Allen Gomes

Affiliated Fellow, INSEAD Innovation & Policy Initiative


Dr. Allen Gomes has over 20 years experience in labour market, health, education, community development and innovation policy.


He was previously a consultant fellow at the OECD in Paris, a senior manager in  public policy research and evaluation for the New Zealand government, and a senior research officer at the Centre for Mental Health Services Research in Australia.


Allen received his MPsych (Clinical & Health) and PhD from Curtin University of Technology in Australia. He has extensive experience and knowledge in project management, instrument design, program evaluation and longitudinal research, and has taught survey design, structural equation modelling and academic and public policy writing.

Dr Yasser M. AL-SALEH

Affiliated Fellow, INSEAD Innovation & Policy Initiative

Dr. Al-Saleh is an Affiliate of IIPI, where until recently he worked as a Senior Researcher working on various issues pertaining to innovation, energy, sustainability and economic diversification. He is also an Assistant Professor at Mohammad Bin Rashid School of Government where he continues to pursue research on innovation, energy, and sustainability.


Yasser was awarded a PhD by the University of Manchester, an MSc(Eng) with Distinction from Leeds University (UK) and a BSc(Hons) degree in Southampton (UK) with First Class Honours.

Dr Elif Bascavusoglu-Moreau

Affiliated Fellow, INSEAD Innovation & Policy Initiative


Dr. Elif Bascavusoglu-Moreau is a Affiliated Fellow at INSEAD’s Innovation & Policy Initiative and an Assistant Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Abu Dhabi School of Management. She is also a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge. She holds a PhD in international economics from University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Her research interests relate to three inter-related areas. One strand focuses on how firms develop their innovation strategies and methods in order to maintain or increase their competitiveness, focusing particularly on service innovation, servitization and open innovation strategies. The second relates to internal and external sources of innovation capabilities in small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in emerging countries. Finally, she is also interested in intellectual property rights and the analysis of patents and design rights.