Mr. Hisham Elkoustaf is a Member of the MNCAA Advisory Board and is instrumental in MNCAA’s role as bridge between the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Elkoustaf is a tri-lingual attorney with over fifteen years of experience at the intersection of law, economic development and foreign policy. Licensed to practice law in New York, Mr. Elkoustaf began his legal career in 2002 with Morrison Cohen Singer & Weinstein LLP. Mr. Elkoustaf worked with senior partners from the litigation, corporate and bankruptcy departments and represented clients from the airline, banking, insurance, real estate and entertainment industries. Hisham also worked with the litigation group at NBC Universal and with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.
In 2005, Mr. Elkoustaf joined the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce. As a Senior Counsel with the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP), Mr. Elkoustaf traveled across the Middle East and North Africa to advise ministers, legislators, judges and members of the private sector on implementing commercial law reform strategies to create a legal environment conducive to economic growth and to attracting greater foreign investment. Mr. Elkoustaf led workshops, seminars and conferences on various commercial laws and legal topics, including: legislative drafting, contract formation, negotiation of joint venture agreements, drafting model hydrocarbon laws, competition and consumer protection, electronic commerce, technology transfer, intellectual property and international arbitration. Mr. Elkoustaf also advised governments on international trade issues such as WTO accession and compliance with bilateral and multi-lateral trade agreements (FTAs and TIFAs). In his first year at CLDP, Mr. Elkoustaf received the “Attorney of the Year” award for his excellent contributions to the work of the office of the General Counsel. In 2010, Mr. Elkoustaf relocated to Southern California where he continues to counsel American and international firms on investment and business opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa. He also advises foreign governments and companies on legal and regulatory requirements for investing in the U.S.
Mr. Elkoustaf received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law where he was Staff Editor of Hybrid: The Journal of Law & Social Change. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Law and Development from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, Cum Laude, in Political Science from Columbia University.
Born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco, Mr. Elkoustaf is fluent in Arabic and French and has worked in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, Spain, France, Belgium, England, and Switzerland.