The Lebanese American Council for Democracy (LACD)


The Lebanese American Council for Democracy (LACD) is powered by those in the Lebanese-American community who are dedicated to restoring Lebanon’s democracy, stability, integrity, and sovereignty. We strive to build awareness of Lebanon within the American government, media, and culture. The LACD is dedicated to providing policy makers, diplomats, and journalists with facts, scholarly research, and commentaries on issues relating to Lebanon and the Middle East. Fundamental to the LACD’s activity is the indisputable notion that the Lebanese and American people share the same patriotic values; namely, cherishment of democracy, liberty, tolerance, coexistence, peace, and human rights, and therefore, the Lebanese and American people are natural partners.

The LACD strives to impact formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, on the basis of safeguarding Lebanon as a strategic ally. The LACD believes that Lebanon is a vital element in overcoming terrorism and democratizing the Middle East, and that the U.S. should highlight Lebanon’s role in the Middle East as a paradigm for a free, progressive, and stable Middle Eastern democracy. In this way, the LACD seeks to, positively influence relations between Lebanon and the United States, solidify the bond between their respective peoples, and strengthen the long-term security of both countries.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Lebanese American Council for Democracy (LACD) is to collaborate with the United States in order to bring greater stability and security to Lebanon, the Middle East, and America by promoting and enforcing the principles of liberal democracy, free markets, peace, and the rule of law, as well as the unconditional respect for human rights.

Founders

Gabriel Issa’s patriotic journey started shortly after he arrived to the USA in 1976. After earning a civil engineering degree from the Detroit Institute of Technology, he started spending his personal time advocating and promoting peace and unity for his native Lebanon. Through leading by example, he reinforced his belief in attaining peace by organizing marches in support for the stability and unity of Lebanon, and lobbying for the formulation of foreign policies that support and enhance freedom and democracy and eradicate prejudice and conflict.

Issa joined efforts with co-founder, Tony Haddad, to form the LACD core lobbying group in 1990 and coin the concept of "making the cost of occupying Lebanon outweigh its benefits". Their first lobbying achievement was in passing in 1993, the non-binding Sense of Congress Resolution 28, which opened the floodgate for several other resolutions in subsequent years in support of a free Lebanon and served as precursor to eventually passing a binding Bill, The Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, that transformed the U.S. policy toward Lebanon and led to the withdrawal of occupying Syrian troops. In 2005, Issa also acted as President Michel Aoun's special envoy to Syria to negotiate a peaceful Syrian troops withdrawal. Issa currently resides in Michigan with his family.

Tony Haddad moved to the US from Lebanon in 1981 and soon after, became a dynamic Lebanese-American activist. Ever since, he devoted most of his personal time and resources in a tireless pursuit of a free, sovereign, and peaceful Lebanon. He took a leading role in rallying and empowering Lebanese-Americans to utilize their resources and help their war-stricken homeland. The most noteworthy accomplishment that Haddad has made was his contribution in drafting, introducing, and advocating The Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, which was signed into law in December 2003.

Mr. Haddad lives in Maryland, is the president of the Haddad Development Group and owns businesses in the metropolitan DC area.

President

Dr. Joseph Khalil was born in Lebanon, in 1974. As a child and young adult, he was an active member of the Scouts du Liban and the Lebanese Red Cross; both of which had a major impact on his leadership, beliefs, and work ethic. In 1989, he volunteered with the Bureau Central de Coordination National (BCCN) to help support the protesters at the Lebanese Presidential Palace in Baabda. Following the invasion by Syria on October 13th, 1990, he fled political persecution and immigrated to the United States of America.

In the United States, he continued his academic growth and graduated from the Medical College of Virginia as a Doctor of Dental Surgery in 2000. He continued his education completing a residency program in prosthodontics at the University of Iowa. He is currently giving his wealth of knowledge and training to patients and practices in Arlington and Oakton, Virginia.

In 2003, Dr. Khalil joined the first LACD chapter under the leadership of Gabriel Issa and Tony Haddad. He had been an integral part of several fundraisers, the 2005 visit by President General Michel Aoun, and the protests against Syrian occupation. He has worked fervently at building friendships and relationships with high ranking officials at the local, state, and federal levels in both Lebanon and the United States and in 2016, he was elected for the presidency of the LACD.

A family man at heart, he has a beautiful wife, Jennifer and three lovely children, Christopher, Michael, and Elena. Beyond his passion for dentistry, he enjoys politics, reading, traveling, photography, and cycling.