Myrna Atalla is Executive Director of Alfanar, the first venture philanthropy organization to work exclusively in the Arab region. Alfanar fosters the growth of innovative social purpose organizations that are improving children’s education and economically empowering women and youth. Atalla has scaled Alfanar’s reach both within Egypt, its primary operating market, and beyond to Lebanon and Libya, nearly doubling its impact on lives. She has also strengthened Alfanar’s ability to provide aspiring social enterprises with management guidance around financial sustainability. On average, investees experience 50% revenue growth over the course of Alfanar’s investment.
Previously, Atalla worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in Beirut, managing its civil society-strengthening program and women’s candidate trainings. Atalla has coached numerous advocacy groups and aspiring candidates on strategic/campaign planning and communications. Atalla also helped run regional initiatives, including international election observation missions to Egypt, Morocco, and Yemen.
Atalla has conducted workshops on social entrepreneurship and leadership with youth and civil society leaders in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, the U.K. and Saudi Arabia.
Atalla holds a dual-degree MPA from Columbia University and the London School of Economics and a BA from Brown University.