Global Women's Forum Dubai, the first international Women's Forum meeting in the MENA region, gathers together leaders from the public and private sector – women as well as men – to encourage and enable women's contribution to business and society in the region and beyond. Building on the theme Let's Innovate!, Global Women's Forum Dubai is an unprecedented platform for developing workable strategies and lasting networks, and for inspiring women across all generations and geographies
Rania Al Yassin was born on 31 August 1970. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American University of Cairo in 1991. She applied this, first, to a banking career in Jordan and, later, to the information technology sector.
After marrying Prince Abdullah bin Al Hussein on 10 June 1993, they went on to have four children: Prince Hussein, Princess Iman, Princess Salma, and Prince Hashem. In addition to being a wife and mother, Queen Rania works hard to lift the lives of Jordanians by supporting their endeavours and helping to create new opportunities for them. Locally, she is committed to breathe new life into the public education system; empower communities and women especially through microfinance initiatives; protect children and families; and drive innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, especially amongst young people. Internationally, Queen Rania is an advocate for tolerance, compassion and bridge-building between people of all cultures and backgrounds.
Her efforts to simultaneously challenge stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims, and promote greater understanding between people of all faiths and cultures, have won her global recognition. Her Majesty’s passion is education. She believes that every Jordanian girl and boy, and all children, should have access not only to stimulating classrooms and modern curricula, but inspiring teachers and technology.
Her efforts in the education sector complement the work of the Ministry of Education through initiatives such as the Jordan Education Initiative, the Queen Rania Teachers Academy, Madrasati, Edraak and others. To realize these and so much more, Queen Rania has encouraged private sector partners to drive improvements and strengthen the foundations of Jordan’s education system.
Queen Rania is also a global voice for access to quality education for children around the world.
In 2009, Her Majesty championed the 1 Goal campaign for education; she is Honorary Chair of the UN Girl’s Education Initiatives and has advocated access to education in forums and gatherings around the world. Her work to improve the learning opportunities for children have been recognized at the highest levels, nationally, regionally and internationally.
Through her position on their boards, Her Majesty contributes to the work of the United Nations Fund and the World Economic Forum. She is the Eminent Advocate for UNICEF; and she was part of the UN appointed High Level Panel who advised on the shape and content of the Sustainable Development Goals which aim to improve the lives of millions of people before 2030. In recognition of her work, Her Majesty has humbly accepted many awards, locally, regionally and globally.
These include the Walther Rathenau Award, Germany; the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award from Tech Awards, USA; the Arab Knight of Giving Award, UAE; the North South Prize, Portugal; as well as the YouTube Visionary Award.
Her Majesty authored several books primarily for children including the Sandwich Swap, which was inspired by her own childhood experiences.
Michelle Bachelet was born in Santiago on 29 September 1951. She is the daughter of Alberto Bachelet, a General in the Chilean Air Force, and anthropologist Ángela Jeria. In 1964, Bachelet finished her secondary studies as a distinguished and active student at Liceo N° 1, Javiera Carrera High School in Santiago. In 1970 she began studying in the Medical School at the University of Chile and became an active member of the Youth Socialist group. In 1975, both Bachelet and her mother were expelled from Chile.
She lived in exile in Australia and Germany where she continued to study medicine and married Chilean architect Jorge Dávalos. In 1979 she received her Medical Degree in Surgery. In 1990, and in conjunction with the return of democracy, Bachelet worked in the Westen Metropolitan Area Health Service; was incorporated into the National AIDS Commission, was a consultant for the Pan-American Health Organization (OPS) and worked in the Ministry of Health. In 1996, interested in participating in the remerging of the civil and military worlds, she specialized in topics related to National Defense, completing two courses on military strategy and continental defense.
She later became an advisor to the Ministry of Defense. In March of 2000, Michelle Bachelet became the Health Minister in Ricardo Lagos Escobar’s government, Defense Minister: In 2002, she became the Defense Minister, making her the first woman to hold this position in Chile and Latin America. In March of 2006, after winning widespread support in elections the previous year, Bachelet became the first female President of the Republic, marking the beginning of a period where the government focused on achieving greater equality and social inclusion in Chile.
On 14 September 2011, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon named Michelle Bachelet the first Director of the recently created UN Women agency, an organization dedicated to fighting for the rights of women and girls internationally. On 23 March 2013, after two and a half years, she resigns from the organization to return to Chile.
On 27 March 2013, Michelle Bachelet returned to Chile and publicly shared her decision to once again become a Presidential candidate, confirming her dedication to public service and to those Chileans who feel she possesses the necessary leadership skills that the country needs.
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim was sworn in as the 6th President and the first female president of the Republic of Mauritius. Previously the Managing Director at CIDP R & I, the company that she incorporated in 2009, she was the first woman professor at the UoM. She has served as Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor (2004-2010), and as Independent Director on the board of Barclays Bank Mauritius Ltd (2012-2015). Ms Gurib-Fakim earned a BSc Chemistry from the University of Surrey (1983) and a PhD from the University of Exeter (1987), UK. She has collaborated with many international institutions including, the European Union, the World Bank.
A founding member of the Pan African Association of African Medicinal Plants, she co- authored the first African Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Author and/or co-editor of 28 books and book chapters, she has authored several scientific articles. Elected Fellow: Linnean Society of London (2007), Islamic Academy of Science, Jordan (2009); African Science Institute (2010) and the African Academy of Sciences where she is a member of the Governing Council, Ms Gurib-Fakim received the 2007 L’Oreal- UNESCO Prize for Women in Science; the National Economic and Social Council Prize; the CTA/NEPAD/AGRA/RUFORUM and the African Union Commission Award for Women in Science in 2009.
Elevated to the Order of the Commander of the Star and Key by the Government of Mauritius in 2008 and admitted to the Order of the Order of the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the Government of France in 2010, she has received DSc’s from: Universite Pierre et Marie Curie (Sorbonne Universite), Paris, France (2013) and University of Greenwich Pakistan (2015). In 2014, she became the first Mauritian to address the TED Global Conference in Rio de Janeiro.
In 2015, she was elevated to Grand Commander of the Star and Key by the Government of Mauritius.
Born in Paris in 1956, Christine Lagarde completed high school in Le Havre and attended Holton Arms School in Bethesda (Maryland, USA). She then graduated from law school at University Paris X, and obtained a Master’s degree from the Political Science Institute in Aix en Provence.
After being admitted as a lawyer to the Paris Bar, Christine Lagarde joined the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie as an associate, specializing in Labor, Anti-trust, and Mergers & Acquisitions.
A member of the Executive Committee of the Firm in 1995, Christine Lagarde became the Chairman of the Global Executive Committee of Baker & McKenzie in 1999, and subsequently Chairman of the Global Strategic Committee in 2004. Christine Lagarde joined the French government in June 2005 as Minister for Foreign Trade. After a brief stint as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, in June 2007 she became the first woman to hold the post of Finance and Economy Minister of a G-7 country.
From July to December 2008, she also chaired the ECOFIN Council, which brings together Economics and Finance Ministers of the European Union. As a member of the G-20, Christine Lagarde was involved in the Group’s management of the financial crisis, helping to foster international policies related to financial supervision and regulation and to strengthen global economic governance. As Chair of the G-20 when France took over its presidency for the year 2011, she launched a wide-ranging work agenda on the reform of the international monetary system. In July 2011, Christine Lagarde became the 11th Managing Director of the IMF, and the first woman to hold that position.
Christine Lagarde was named Officier in the Légion d’honneur in April 2012. A former member of the French national team for synchronized swimming, Christine Lagarde is the mother of two sons.
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates on the 9th of February, 2006. The ministry’s role focuses on maintaining clear political positions that support the UAE’s relationships with its regional and international partners while promoting the UAE as a regional leader in different fields. Also, as foreign minister, he focuses on establishing specialized diplomatic capabilities and encouraging political talents to address international concerns and provide distinct consular and other services in looking after UAE nationals and the issues they may face during their travels.
He is also a member of the UAE’s National Security Council, Deputy Chairman of the UAE’s Permanent Committee on Borders, Chairman of the board of trustees of Emirates Diplomatic Academy, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and Board Member of the National Defense College.
He represents the UAE at Arab and international conferences and meetings. He launched important international forums such as Sir Bani Yas Forum and Global Forum on Relationships between the Arab World, Latin America and the Caribbean.
He guided a rapid expansion of diplomatic links with countries in Latin America, South Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia. Sheikh Abdullah holds a degree in Political Science from UAE University. He was appointed Minister of Information and Culture in 1997, a post that he held until 2006. He served as Chairman of Emirates Media Incorporated, Chairman of UAE Football Association (1993 – 2001), and as the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Culture from 1995 to 1997.
He was born in Abu Dhabi on the 30th of April, 1972 and is an avid reader, a student of history, a keen sportsman particularly interested in scuba diving, football and cycling. He also enjoys classical music. He is married to Her Highness Sheikha Alyazia bint Saif Al Nahyan and has four children: Fatima, Mohammad, Zayed and Saif.
In February 2008, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy was sworn in as minister of state in the cabinet of the United Arab Emirates. Appointed as UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation in February 2016.
Since her ministerial appointment, Her Excellency has managed the International Affairs Office of the UAE Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Additionally, she holds responsibility within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the UAE’s bilateral relations with India, Pakistan, Sub-Saharan African countries and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Her Excellency is also director general and board representative on the higher committee of the Expo 2020 Dubai, in preparation for the mega-event. Her Excellency is chairperson of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, whose mission is to strengthen and enhance the UAE’s national data and competitiveness capacities.
She served as chairperson of Dubai Cares, a philanthropic organization that aims to improve access to primary education in developing countries. Prior to her position as Minister of State, Her Excellency served as commercial attaché, and subsequently deputy chief, of the UAE Embassy to the United States of America in Washington, D.C. Her Excellency holds a Bachelor’s degree in international relations and French from Tufts University, and a Master’s degree from Harvard University.
H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the Minister of State for Tolerance in the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has had numerous personal, professional and official achievements. In 2016, HE Sheikha Lubna was appointed Minister of State for Tolerance, and in 2008, she was appointed Minister for International Cooperation and Development (MICAD).
In 2008, she was appointed Minister of Foreign Trade. Before that, she was named the UAE Minister of Economy in 2004, becoming the first woman to hold a cabinet post in the country. On 4 March 2014, Her excellency was appointed as President for Zayed University. She was also appointed as the Head of the UAE Committee of Humanitarian Aid in May 2014.
Sheikha Lubna served as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the UAE’s Securities & Commodities Authority from 2004 to 2008, and acted as the head of the Dubai e-Government executive team instituting e-Government initiatives throughout Dubai’s public sector in 2004. In 2000, she was appointed CEO of Tejari (www.tejari.com), the first business-to-business e-market in the Middle East. Sheikha Lubna has Honorary Doctorates in Science, Law and Economics from California State University at Chico (US), University of Exeter (UK), and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Korea), respectively.
Sheikha Lubna topped the Arabian Business Magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Arab Women” list for five years in a row 2011 – 2015, and is considered to be representative for the new face of professional women in the Arab region.
Internationally, Sheikha Lubna has featured in the Forbes magazine list of the “World’s Most Powerful Women”, and the Wall Street Journal’s “50 International Women to Watch”. Sheikha Lubna received as well the “Clinton Global Citizen Award” from the Clinton Global Initiative making her the first Emirati to receive this award.