Walid Salem is a Doctoral Researcher at the Institute of Development Studies. He has more than 20 years’ experience, working in the private sector in entrepreneurial roles as well as working in international development consulting, managing donor-funded development projects. Salem’s research at IDS focuses on innovation systems, knowledge flows, the political economy of innovation, institutional change, value chains and the role of innovation policy as a driver for competitiveness, inclusive-equitable economic growth, and sustainable development in developing countries. This is central to his doctoral research which is being supervised by Dr Seife Ayele, Dr Anabel Marin at IDS and Dr Giorgia Baldi at UoS.
Prior to joining IDS, Salem served as Chief of Party (appointed to the position at the age of 28) for USAID-Egypt Growth Through Globalisation (GTG) Program, managing the monitoring and evaluation of USAID-Egypt Private Sector Development Portfolio. The GTG program encompassed a $135 million set of 16 projects designed to increase the competitiveness of Egyptian export enterprises and stimulate private sector-led export growth. These projects included economic policy reform and advocacy, institutional development, firm-level technical assistance, technology transfer, management training, and others. Salem conducted research, led roundtable discussions with policy makers and business leaders, and provided guidance and support to USAID-Egypt senior management, on issues pertaining to private sector development and export promotion. His work addressed gaps in economic growth, capacity building, cluster-based workforce development, and competitiveness policy.
After obtaining an MBA, Salem co-founded and served as CEO / Global Business Development Director of a multi-million dollar, privately owned global food processing and exporting business in Egypt. In this capacity, Salem continued to work closely with a multitude of government bodies, business/trade association on policy reform advocacy initiatives aiming at enhancing the environment for business in Egypt. His advocacy efforts also focused on finding creative, collaborative solutions, at the intersection of government, private sector and civil society, to address societal challenges such as youth engagement and women empowerment and to address the needs of disenfranchised populations.
Salem holds BA in Economics, and MA in Development Studies from the American University in Cairo, MA in Management from Imperial Collage and an MBA from London Business School.
Salem doctoral research delves into understanding knowledge flows and innovation pathways in the food processing value chains in Egypt as a bottom-up approach to studying national innovation systems in developing countries.