Georges S. Zakhem
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Georges S. Zakhem
Georges S. Zakhem

George is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Zakhem Group since its establishment in 1964 and its restructuring later in 1975.

In 1964 he founded Zakhem Engineers SAL with his brother Abdallah in Beirut, Lebanon. He acted as chair for the company, which took its first project in Iraq, and then extended to Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Jordan, Libya, Sri Lanka and other countries.

With the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon in 1975, the company had to relocate in London, England. Zakhem International SA, a Luxembourg Holding Company, was founded to own the shares of all operating subsidiaries around the world, including the USA, the UK and that of African Continent. Although construction remained its main line of business, the group diversified in other sectors such as property development, hotels and the food industry.

Prior to his successful leadership role with the Zakhem Group, George held several positions with Contracting and Trading Company (CAT), where he first joined as a Trainee Engineer in 1955, in Qatar and Kuwait.

After his graduation in June 1957 he was appointed Site Engineer with CAT in Pakistan. He then became Project Manager with the company, working on different projects in the Pakistan. In 1962, he was promoted to the position of Area Manager in Karachi. He also entered in business partnership with late Emile Bustani on an independent company that lasted until 1964.

George has always been committed to serving his country Lebanon through developing its youth. In 1982 he set up an endowment fund in the name of his mother for needy students at Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut.

He also established a multi-million-Dollar fund by the Zakhem Group to support universities and students in Lebanon and abroad. The Zakhem Engineering building at LAU, Byblos; and The Hanneh and Salim Zakhem Building at Balamand University Campus are shining examples.

In 1983, George was a founding member and a Patron for Centre for Lebanese Studies at Oxford University, UK, and for the British-Lebanese Association in London.

In 1984, he chaired the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese American University (LAU) until 1990. Under his guidance and focused leadership Byblos Campus was founded, and the existing Beirut University College BUC was upgraded to become what is currently known as LAU.

George is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Balamand University since its establishment in 1987.

Additionally, he was the elected president of the International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association (IPLOCA), for a 1-year period in 1988.

In 2006, the Zakhem Group made a generous gift in kind to the American University of Beirut, for the Engineering School Deanship.

In 2009, George created a chair for Kahlil Gibran at the University of Maryland, Washington DC that shall be known as George and Lisa Zakhem - Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace.

George graduated from the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1957. He also holds an honorary Doctorate Degree from Lebanese American University in 1998.

He is the recipient of a number of awards including the IPLOCA shield in 1989, St. Peter and St. Paul Medallion from Patriarch Ignatius IV in 1995, Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Engineering at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2003.