YouthPower Learning Webinar: Unpacking Career Centers

Unpacking Career Centers Webinar

YouthPower Learning
Cross-Sectoral Skills Community of Practice Webinar

Unpacking Career Centers

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. (EDT)

The recording and slides from this webinar are available here

YouthPower Learning’s Cross-sectoral Skills Community of Practice would like to invite you to the first in a series of webinars, co-hosted with the USAID-funded Workforce Connections project, focused on Workforce Development and Higher Education. This first webinar, “Unpacking Career Centers”, will concentrate on the impact that Career Centers can have on youth transition into the workforce and into self-employment.  Many countries are experimenting with various models of Career Centers, both physical and virtual. Looking closely at USAID’s Career Center programs in Morocco and Egypt, this webinar will share lessons learned and best practices with a particular emphasis on the following topics:
• Private sector engagement in Career Centers: What works, what does not work and why?
• What are some examples of sustainability models for Career Centers?
• Does scaling mean just doing more? How can Career Center models best be scaled?


  • Ms. Alexandra Balafrej, Chief of Party, USAID Morocco Career Center (UCC) Project
  • Ms. Nadia Amrani, Development Specialist, Gender Advisor, USAID/Morocco Economic Growth Office and COR of USAID Morocco Career Center (UCC) Project
  • Ms. Maha Fakhry, Chief of Party, University Centers for Career Development (UCCD) Project
  • Ms. Maha Guindi, Principal Investigator, UCCD and former Principal Investigator, ECDC
  • Ms. Wafaa El Adawy, Project Management Specialist, USAID/Egypt Office of Education and Health/AOR Egypt Career Centers Project
  • Ms. Grace Lang, Division Chief, Higher Education, Youth Workforce Development, Office of Education, USAID

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Speaker Bios

Alexandra Balafrej is currently the Chief of Party (FHI360) of the USAID Career Center program in Morocco. This youth workforce development initiative aims to enhance youth employability by assisting young people’s transition from education to employment. The Career Centers invest in all labor market actors to provide youth with a better understanding of employment trends, demand for skills, and opportunities to connect with the private sector. 
Alexandra has more than eighteen years of experience in program design and management, youth mobilization, facilitation, and organizational capacity building in countries across North and West Africa, the Middle East, but also in Russia and Vietnam.
After a start in her career in the private sector with the L’Oréal Group in Paris, Alexandra spent three years in Australia as the Development Manager of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. She has been living in Morocco for thirteen years where she worked on several USAID and MCC-funded projects in the fields of civil society strengthening, support to at-risk youth, basic and higher education, local governance, and business facilitation. 
She has worked as an international consultant for a variety of donors including USAID, MCC, UNCTAD, UNESCO, the European Union, and the World Bank Institute. 
She holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Political Science Institute, Paris, and speaks English, French, Moroccan Arabic and Russian.

Nadia Amrani serves as a Development Specialist and the Gender Advisor for USAID/Morocco. She has worked with USAID for 17 years.  Before joining USAID, she worked for a USAID contractor for six years. She manages the Career Center program, currently USAID/Morocco’s largest activity, and a few other grants including a public-private partnership with Volvo to implement a demand-driven workforce program.  Areas of expertise among others are business environment, employability, livelihoods, youth, social and economic inclusion, gender equality and women empowerment, inclusive development (people with disabilities), civil society capacity strengthening, water, sanitation and hygiene  (WASH), and local solutions. Nadia is an economist and holds a Master’s Degree in Franchising from Robart Schman Institute in Strasbourg and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Louis Pasteur Institute in Strasbourg, France.

Maha Fakhry is the co-founder and a catalyst for new initiatives and programs throughout the initiation (1991) and maturity stages of the career center at the American University in Cairo. Her initiative, drive and passion are instrumental in the conceptualization and start-up phases of new programs, functions and events. With a strong belief in youth development and the importance of incorporating employability skills and industry needs in higher education, she served as the co-principal investigator of a USAID funded project and successfully established two sustainable career development centers at one of Egypt’s largest public universities – Ain Shams University. Currently, as chief of party of University Centers for Career Development (UDDC), she leads a $20M USAID funded project for establishing 20 Career Centers in 12 Egyptian public universities within 11 governorates serving approximately 1M Egyptian youth.Fakhry earned her bachelor and master degrees from AUC. Later, she received her Master of International Business Administration from Paris with emphasis on personality-type research and its implications on career-related choices. She is a professional resume writer, certified Career Development Facilitator Instructor (CDFI) and holds a certificate of competence in psychometric and occupational testing from the United Kingdom. 

Grace Lang is a career Foreign Service Education Officer.  After joining USAID in 2001, she served in Haiti, Afghanistan, Morocco, and Washington, DC.  As the Director of the Education Office at USAID/Morocco (2001-2016), she advised the Ministry of Education on a large-scale reform of the primary education curriculum for reading instruction and designed a highly successful cross-sectoral youth activity for marginalized youth in northern Morocco. Ms. Lang holds a Bachelor of Arts  in French Language and Literature from Salisbury University and a Master of Arts in International Education and Human Development from The George Washington University.

Wafaa El Adawy joined USAID in 2006 and is now Project Management Specialist in the Office of Education and Health, the AOR for the University Centers for Career Development (UCCD) project implemented by the American University in Cairo (AUC) . Ms. El Adawy served for seven years at the Office of Middle East Programs (OMEP), the regional office that was located in Egypt Mission until 2014. Prior to joining USAID, Ms. El Adawy was Chief Editor for a widely-read Arabic monthly youth magazine. Ms. El Adawy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Cairo University and a Diploma in Executive Management from the American University in Cairo.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm

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