The announcement comes less than two months after a devastating explosion rocked the capital and worsened economic hardship in a country hampered by decades of corruption and political mismanagement.
Ghosn, himself facing allegations of financial wrongdoing after dramatically escaping Tokyo to Beirut in December 2019, said the initiative was not politically motivated but was aimed at supporting Lebanon “during this time. difficult “.
“It is about creating jobs, jobs and entrepreneurs to allow society to play its role in the reconstruction of the country,” he said at a press conference announcing the program.
Until his arrest in November 2018, Ghosn was widely celebrated for turning the fortunes of Japanese automaker Nissan. A businessman born in Brazil and raised in Beirut, he was a dominant figure in the automotive industry and held key leadership positions at Renault, Mitsubishi Motors and Michelin North America.
The partnership with USEK, for which Ghosn was approached by the university shortly after returning to Lebanon late last year, is dubbed “Moving Forward”. It will focus on helping struggling businesses and teaching individuals how to “become valuable”.
He will be joined in his oversight role by international executives such as Jaguar and Land Rover CEO Thierry Bolloré and former Goldman Sachs vice president Ken Curtis, who have agreed to teach pro bono courses.
“The model is my background, what I think are the basic needs of a senior manager in a very competitive environment,” Ghosn said.
The first of the courses, which is expected to launch in March, will be accessible to 15-20 senior managers in Lebanon and the Middle East.
The second program focuses on technical training, including in areas such as computer-aided design and artificial intelligence, while the third will serve as an incubator for start-ups, with particular emphasis on impact. environmental.
“If you bring back the confidence, the money will come,” Ghosn said. “You can have a great plan for Lebanon, but if you don’t execute it, you’re not even at the starting point. “