Maryan Hassan is the Chief Legal Adviser to the Federal Government of Somalia (Office of the Prime Minister). It is under this capacity that she serves as Chief Negotiator for Somalia’s Accession to the WTO, working in tandem with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Office of the President. Prior to working in Mogadishu, Maryan worked at the law firm Al Tamimi & Co in Dubai, the International Chamber of Commerce in Rome and the Somali Mission to the UN in New York. She currently serves on the SIAC Africa Users’ Council in Singapore and YIAG – LCIA Africa Representative in London. Maryan is a member of the World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) panels of arbitrators and conciliators – making her the youngest member ever appointed in the center’s 50-year history.
She founded the task force for the establishment of the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce’s Arbitration Centre for the Horn of Africa under the auspices of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and also leads on the New York Convention Task Force for Somalia alongside the world’s leading authority on International Arbitration, Prof Gary Born and other global practitioners. Her reformative work with the Government of Somalia and IGAD is recognized globally – she and her team were most recently nominated for the prestigious Global Arbitration Review (GAR) Awards with the Federal Government of Somalia shortlisted for “Best Development”. During the Obama Administration, Maryan was selected as a ‘Young Leader’ by US Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Matthew Barzun. Currently, she is handling complex negotiations on behalf of her government and drafting Somalia’s Model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the support of her arbitration task force.
Maryan holds a postgraduate law degree from SOAS, University of London where she focused on investment and commercial arbitration, international trade and post conflict development and human rights – of which her research on Somalia was selected for presentation at the Institute for Global and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School. Also during her time at SOAS, Maryan was a Visiting Researcher at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge where her research focused on security and natural resource law in Somalia. Her work was awarded the Young Scholars prize in Energy Law at the Annual Texas Energy Law Symposium at TMSL. She also holds an undergraduate law degree from Kingston University’s School of Law, where she graduated with honors. Maryan speaks at many conferences and Universities around the world on investment arbitration and trade in the horn of Africa, and is the first Somali recipient of the prestigious JAMS International Weinstein Fellowship – placed at Columbia University, ICSID and Harvard University.