Our Team

The Foundation has an active team that manages the day-to-day and long-term activities of the Foundation. This is done in close cooperation with the Board and under the supervision of the Chairman.


Salim Rabbani, Chairman

salim_rabbaniSalim Rabbani (1962) is Managing Director of RTC Rabbani Trading and Consulting BV based in The Hague, The Netherlands. RTC is an international business development and strategy consulting firm specialized in developing projects, strategies, networks and partnerships for European firms in the Middle East and North Africa and vice versa. Mr. Rabbani is Chairman of the Netherlands – Middle East Business Council, the leading private sector trade and investment promotion organization in The Netherlands. In addition, he is Chairman of the Middle East Work Group, a Public-Private partnership initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs together with the leading Dutch industry associations. Salim Rabbani was born and raised in The Netherlands to Palestinian parents. After finishing his secondary education in The Netherlands he completed his graduate and undergraduate studies in the United States (MBA, University of Southern California; BS in International Business, California State University).

Jan Donner, Former President, Royal Tropical Institute

jan-donnerDr. Jan Donner (1947) was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and obtained his doctorate in law in 1978 from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He did his Ph.D. on higher education policies and management. He lived and worked in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Throughout his career he has worked in academic and entrepreneurial environments. At the Dutch ministry of Education he was in charge of the programme to replace the University Medical Centers in Amsterdam, Leiden, Utrecht, Maastricht and Groningen before being appointed vice-president of the University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, followed by appointments in senior healthcare management posts until 1991. He was appointed vice-president of the Vrije Universiteit in 1991 and president of the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam in 2001. He participated in peer reviews in universities all over the globe, was amongst the initiators of the Arab European Universities Association in 1998 and started many SME’s in developing countries in Africa and Latin America. He retired in 2012 but is active in many national and international roles, chairing several boards of directors. He travels widely and continues to publish on higher education.

Joumana El Zein Khoury, Director Prince Claus FundJoumana-El-Zein-Khoury zwart wit3

Joumana was born in 1975 in Beirut, Lebanon and is currently Director of the Prince Claus Fund for culture and development in Amsterdam. Previously she was Director of the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation, Programme Coordinator for Grants and Collaborations at the Prince Claus Fund and consultant in Development and fundraising for various cultural organisations. Joumana obtained her MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University, New York.

Frank Houben, Delegate to the Board of KLM

frank-houbenFrank Houben was born in 1971 and is currently Delegate to the Board at KLM, where he began his career in 1998. In recent years his success in turning KLM into a prominent social brand has been internationally recognized, with awards for the notable “Tile and Inspire” campaign (Delft Blue aircraft) and other creative brand campaigns such as “Be My Guest” (meet & seat) and “Miffy in China”.

Maya Meijer, DGA MeijerBergman Erfgoed Groep

Maya Meijer is an art historian with specialized knowledge of architectureboard and the contemporary art scene. She holds many important positions in different organizations, including the family business MeijerBergman Erfgoed (heritage), which owns the real estate projects Paleis Soestdijk and Doornburgh Estate in Maarssen, member of the Advisory Board of the Cancer Center Amsterdam, member of the Board of the Alzheimer Foundation VUmc, Governor of the Holland Festival, as well as former Director of Stichting Den Haag Sculptuur, former Chairman of Pink Ribbon Breast cancer Awareness Foundation and former owner and Director of  Promenade Hotel Holding  – to name but a few.

Jan Peters, Professor Emeritus in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen

jan-petersDr. Jan Peters was born in 1940 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1961. He studied in Nijmegen, Beirut and Leiden and graduated in philosophy (1964), theology (1970) and Arabic Studies (1972). He was chair of the department of Middle Eastern Studies in the Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen from 1976-1987. From 1984 till his retirement in 2005 he was member of the Board of Governors of this university. He was a member of the Research Council for the Humanities in the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and chair of the Council for the Humanities in the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was president of the Federation of Catholic Universities in Europe (FUCE, 1997-2000) and president of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU, 2000-2006).

Yonet Schroder, Manager External Affairs, Rabbani Trading and Consulting

yonet-schroderFollowing her studies in Sociology and Public Administration in Toronto, Ontario, Yonet Schroder (1961) joined the Ontario Psychological Association, a professional organisation that helps to improve psychological well being through advocacy, education and support for the science and practice of psychology. Upon moving to the Netherlands in 1992, Ms. Schroder worked as a Research Consultant with the Butler Cox Foundation, an information technology research and advisory service firm. She has been active as Manager of External Affairs for RTC, Rabbani Trading and Consulting since 1993 and joined the Board of the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation that same year. In this capacity, she brings over twenty years of management experience.

Ehsan Turabaz, Manager International Sales, Inter IKEA Systems B.V.

turabazDrs. Turabaz (1959) has been living in the Netherlands since 1981. He is currently working as the Manager International Sales at Inter IKEA Systems B.V., which is the owner and worldwide franchisor of the IKEA concept. Besides this, Mr. Turabaz occupies the position of honorary consul general of Afghanistan in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Board member of Netherlands–Middle East Business Council at the NCH. Mr. Turabaz studied Law and Political Science and International Relations at the Kabul University, Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and Leiden University. Moreover, he established the Netherlands-Afghanistan Business Council, and has been president of this Council since 2006.


Heba El – Kholy, Director

Born and raised in Egypt, Heba brings a life long passion for social justice and inclusion, and decades of experience in the policy and practice of international development and peace-building. Heba held senior leadership positions in the United Nations (UN), including as the UN’s Resident Coordinator in Tunisia, the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Country Director in the Sudan, and the Director of the UNDP’s Global Governance Policy Center in Oslo. Her experience prior to the UN included pioneering work on women-headed households in Egypt, and serving as a Programme Officer for Urban Poverty at the Ford Foundation’s MENA office. A development anthropologist and Chevening scholar, Heba holds a PhD from SOAS, an MA from Cornell and a BA from the American University in Cairo. She has published on governance, poverty, and gender. In 2018 she completed the THNK Executive Programme for Creative Leadership in Amsterdam.

Annelot Menken

Annelot Menken holds a Bachelor degree in Commercial Communications with a specialization in International Business Strategies. She grew up near the international city of The Hague and always had an interest in the Middle East. For over a year she worked as an intern at the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation where she organized many big events such as the 2014 Euro-Arab Dialogue Forum in the Peace Palace, the 2015 event ‘Entrepreneurship: A Euro-Arab Solution?’, and  other projects which promoted dialogue between Europe and the Arab World. After graduating she joined the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation as a Programme Officer.

Isabela Avila

Isabela Avila holds a Master’s degree in Arts, Culture and Society from Erasmus University Rotterdam with a specialization in Cultural Heritage. Spending her formative years living in Oman has awakened her interest in the Middle East and allowed her to experience many different aspects of the region. Besides her academic focus on Middle Eastern cultural heritage and previous working experience as a fine art researcher and cataloguer, she has also worked as a volunteer for a humanitarian project focused on refugee children and youth in the Netherlands. In the end phase of her studies she has joined the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation as Programme Associate.

Caroline Guillet

Caroline Guillet holds a bachelor degree in European and International Studies from the University of Versailles and is currently enrolled in the Advanced Masters of International Relations and Diplomacy at Leiden University. Prior to joining the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation, she did an internship at the Geneva Center for Security Policy. Her interest in the Middle East ranges from various issues related to politics but also the intersection of history, religions and cultures. This interest led her to volunteer in Alexandria in Egypt and in Isfahan, Iran, where she offered German and English classes to students. She has joined the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation as a Programme Associate.