Since 2003, Lana Abu-Hijleh has been the country director of Global Communities Palestine, a nonprofit international development organization. She leads a team of 200 Palestinian and international professionals in designing and implementing assistance programs that focus on economic revitalization, community and social infrastructure, democracy and governance, job creation and food security in the West Bank and Gaza. Abu-Hijleh initiated the Youth Local Council, a movement which offers Palestinian young people an opportunity to participate in, and run their own electoral process, respond to constituent concerns, plan and execute community improvement projects and shadow local ministers and council members in efforts to learn about good governance practices and become engaged citizens in the political process. In 2014, she was named a McNulty Prize laureate for her work to create and scale the Youth Local Councils.
Previously, Abu-Hijleh served as the deputy resident representative of the UNDP Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People for more than 17 years. She is the first Palestinian woman to become a member of the board of directors of the Palestine Investment Fund and the Bank of Palestine. She is a fellow of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network, a member of the global Young Presidents’ Organization, and vice chair of the Partners for New Beginning, Palestine chapter. She serves on the boards of Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, Arab Hotels Company, El-Funoun Palestinian Dance Troupe and the Palestinian Institute for Public Diplomacy. She is also a member of the Education for Employment Foundation-Palestine and the Business Women Forum.