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.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
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.
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, UAE
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.
UAE MINISTER OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION; DIRECTOR GENERAL, EXPO2020 DUBAI BUREAU
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.
Margrethe Vestager, age 47, is EU Commissioner for Competition. She previously served as Minister for Economic Affairs and the Interior (2011-14) and Minister for Education (1998-2001) of Denmark, and as President of the ECOFIN Council during the Danish EU Presidency (2012). She was Political leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party (2007-14), and has worked for the Danish Ministry of Finance (1993-95). Ms. Vestager holds an MSc in Economics (University of Copenhagen).
Senior Payload Engineer, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE
A graduate of the American University of Sharjah, Amal joined Mohammed bin Rashid space center three and a half years ago where she started as a ground segment development engineer in the ground station. During that period she worked working on the launch and early operations (LEOP) team of DubaiSat-2. After that she worked as UAV payload systems engineering for the High Altitude Pseudo Satellite project which was flight trail in collaboration with Airbus DS to fly Zephyr, a high altitude long endurance UAV with the world record for the longest flight, in Dubai. Currently she is working as the navigation system lead for the Emirates Mars Mission. She is responsible for developing and operating the system which will be used to navigate EMM from the UAE. The Navigation system is used to defining the probe location in space and guiding it to its desired orbit. In addition to that she is also involved in the Space Center Nanosat Outreach Program (NSOP) as CubeSat system engineer. NSOP is a program created by the center to give the opportunity to student in universities to work on cubesat missions and to learn about space systems. She is responsible for the system development process and student training and development.
Senior Manager of Marketing Communications, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, UAE
As a Senior Manager, Mrs. Koshak is heading the Marketing Communication Department of DEWA with her responsibilities closely related to drive DEWA’s vision as a sustainable innovative world-class utility. Her contributions to the society is noteworthy and diverse, where she facilitated the reduction of millions of KWh of electricity and millions of Imperial Gallons of water providing reduced levels of carbon emissions. Mrs. Koshak graduated from University of Central Florida, USA in 1991, with a BS degree in Operation Engineering Technology. Soon after, joined DEWA as a Graduate Trainee and professionally progressed to the ranks of Senior Manager, Demand & Tariff Management. With 19 years of productive service, her initiatives and pursuance upon the cause of environment sustainability has raised public awareness tremendously; augmented the strategic value and credentials to Dubai’s sustainable development efforts at large. In addition to her core management responsibilities, Mrs. Koshak continuously seeks and studies strategic opportunities in the field of Marketing Communication to enhance the development and implementation of DEWA’s strategic goals and vision, in tandem with the green development vision of the nation. Achieving maximum awareness and savings possible for DEWA in the consumption and conservation of Dubai resources is her day-and-night dream and dedication for securing future generations. When translated into financial terms, the accumulated Electricity and Water savings for the last 5 years were 662 million Dirhams .
An independent researcher in public policy and political development, as well as a consultant in Human and Economic Development, Political Participation, Human Rights and Dialogue. He served at the Omani Majlis Ash-Shura between 1999-2008 in several capacities, the last of which was Assistant Secretary General for Information. He is currently an expert at the Office of the Executive President at the Capital Market Authority in the Sultanate of Oman. He is also the Chairman of the SASLO Legal Training Center. He has a BSc (Hons) from University of Glamorgan, and an MA in Economic Development (branch of Political Economy) from Durham University, UK. He is an alumnus of the US-based Georgetown University Leadership Seminar, and the Southern Methodist University Rule of Law Program. During his long standing service, Ahmed provided policy advice and research on several cultural, historical and socio-political issues, in addition to his research in various public policy fields. Moreover, he has been serving on the National Committee for the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women since 2005. Having been brought up by a strong and caring mother and a wise and compassionate father, and as an husband of a life-loving wife, a father for four boys and a conscientious cook, he remains deeply committed to human dignity.
Chancellor of State, Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland
Anja Wyden Guelpa (42 years old), was the first woman elected as Chancellor of State in Geneva in 2009, and reelected in 2013 for a second term. She presides over the “Collège des secrétaires généraux” of the seven State departments of Geneva and is a board member of Swiss Tourism and of the RTSR regional council (Radio Télévision Suisse Romande). Originating from the canton of Valais, Mrs. Wyden Guelpa is bilingual in French and German by choice and determination; she learned English in Oxford and studied political science in Geneva and Tübingen (Germany). In addition to a Bachelor in political science, she has a Master in public administration. Fascinated by innovation and change as the natural order of things, she began her career at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) as project manager in charge of pilot projects straying from the beaten tracks, with main objective to test and evaluate new tools to be implemented in the law. She moved on to work for IBM Business Consulting and advised, in this position, both Public Administrations and private companies with regard to change management and strategy. With this strong experience and background, she joined the public administration of Geneva in 2003, first as Deputy Director, then as General Director of the Social policy division. In this strategic function, half-way between politics and operational services, she managed over 300 employees, a hundred of subsidized entities and an annual budget of 1.5 billion Swiss francs. She also modernized numerous procedures and regulations pertaining to social benefits in order to suppress threshold effects and improve benefits targeting. Anja Wyden Guelpa is a member of the socialist party, married and mother of two teenage boys.
Dr. Ashraf Gamal El Din is the Chief Executive Officer of Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance, the DIFC. He is also a jury member of the Arabia CSR Award. Prior to joining Hawkamah, Dr. Ashraf was the Executive Chairman of Egypt Post. Before that, he was the Deputy Executive Director of the Egyptian Banking Institute, the training arm of the Central Bank of Egypt. He was also the founder and Project Manager of the Egyptian Corporate Responsibility Center working on promoting the concepts and application of CSR in Egypt. Furthermore, he was the Executive Director of the Egyptian Institute of Directors (EIoD), the Institute of Corporate Governance in Egypt and the Arab Region Dr. Ashraf served as a board member and head of the Audit Committee in a number of listed, non-listed, State Owned and family owned companies. He also served a member of the General Assembly of the Holding Company for Transportation. Furthermore, Dr. Ashraf holds a PhD degree from Manchester University, UK, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Carleton University, Canada. He further holds a Bachelor‘s degree in Business Administration from Cairo University with highest honor.
Independent Non Executive Board member of TECOM Group, Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee, and Vice Chairman of the Executive Human Capital Committee, UAE
Ayesha Sultan has 16 years experience as a strategy and investment professional, across the industries of Transport and Logistics, Government, and Banking. She has worked in the UAE, UK and France, for multinational organizations, including DP World, PA Consulting Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Government entities. She currently serves as an Independent Non Executive Board member of TECOM Group, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee, and Vice Chairman of the Executive Human Capital Committee. She has also previously served on the Boards of DP World London Gateway Port and DP World London Gateway Park, in the UK. Ms. Sultan holds an MSc. in Operational Research and BSc. in Mathematics and French from the University of Southampton, UK, and a Leadership Certificate from Wharton University USA. She is also a Fellow and Chartered Director, from the UK Institute of Directors (MSc, BSc, CDir, FIoD).
Ms. Sultan is on the steering committee of the 30% Club GCC Chapter, as well as a mentor on the European Women on Board programme in Brussels.
CEO, Alsayedah Khadijah Bint Khawilid Lobbying Center, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry, KSA
A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the center specializes in lobbying for the economic empowerment and advancement of women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Omair worked on many regulatory reforms that came into effect recently allowing women’s increased participation in national development in many different sectors. She continues to strive for the increase of women’s participation in all levels of an organisation, while ensuring work-life balance for women. Dr. Omair serves as an Advisor to the His Excellency the Minister of Labor, and His Excellency the Minister of Economic and Planning of Saudi Arabia. Raised and educated in the United States for more than 23 years Dr. Omair has a deep understanding of both cultures taking the best of both worlds. Prior to her current post, Dr. Omair was a Consultant for American University in Washington DC and the Global Peace Organization evaluating the education system in Iraq (2003). A Corporate Social Responsibility consultant to the Savola Group in Saudi Arabia, she worked on the employment of people with special needs in the private sector. She is a member on many leading boards including the advisory board of women’s employment at the Saudi Ministry of labor. Dr. Omair has been named one of the top 100 most powerful Arab women by Arabian Business and one of the 30th most powerful and inuential Saudi women. She received her BS in Business Administration & Marketing (1993), MS, in Special Education (1997), and her PhD in Education Technology/ Management and Leadership (2004) from American University, Washington DC.
Becky Anderson is one of CNN International’s highest profile anchors. She hosts “Connect the World with Becky Anderson.” Anderson is based in CNN’s Abu Dhabi bureau, allowing her a distinctive regional perspective on some of today’s most important news stories, including the deepening humanitarian crisis in Syria and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Anderson is a skilled interviewer, adept at close questioning and has interviewed many of the world’s leading politicians, decision-makers and thought-leaders, including most recently President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam and President Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia. She is equally at home quizzing the world’s A-listers, including George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey. Anderson has extensive business journalism experience including posts with the UK’s ITN, CNBC Europe and Bloomberg. She began her career in journalism as a print reporter with various business publications, after gaining a Master of Mass Communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.
Country Managing Director, Oman and Bahrain, ABB, Oman
Brian Hull is currently Country Managing Director for ABB in Oman and Bahrain, a role which he has had for the last two years. In these territories ABB has business covering the full range of power and automation offerings. Support to local customers is provided with a range of sales, engineering and service teams across a range of industrial customers, utility providers and infrastructure projects.
Prior to this he ran ABB’s instrumentation business in the UK and Ireland. This included responsibility for three manufacturing plants supplying flow and analytical products globally to customers in water utility and COG (Chemical, Oil and Gas), including an R&D team of c 40 people. In the earlier part of his career he managed a switchgear assembly plant (ABB) and held various consulting and project engineering roles in a global chemical company, ICI. Brian is married with three children and currently living in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Outside of work his interests include badminton and hill walking.
Chairman, Public Establishment of The Palace, The Museum and The Estate of Versailles, France
Born in Le Havre, France, Catherine Pégard studied at History and Political science, before she began her career as a journalist in 1977 at the daily newspaper J’informe. Between 1978 and 1982, she wrote about politics in Le Quotidien de Paris, joined the weekly magazine Le Point as a political journalist in 1982 becoming deputy editor in chief and in 1995, editor in chief. Ms. Pegard published a weekly note
“Political notebook” fed from the backstage of politics. At the same time, she discussed political news on Radio Classique (radio station) with Jean-Marc Lech. From October 2004 to 2007, Ms. Pégard also cohosted the show Les Femmes et les Patrons d’abord (“Women and Bosses First”) on Paris Premiere (TV Channel) alongside Alexandra Golovanoff.
In May 2007, Catherine Pegard left Le Point and was appointed as adviser to the President of French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy. In August 2011, she was appointed as President of the Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles and took office in Octobe 2011.
External Relations & Events Director, Cartier International, France
After graduating with a degree in Communications and Foreign Languages, Christine Borgoltz took part in many publishing projects in line with her interests:
From 1979 -1984 she was in charge of institutional and press relations at JPN (RSCG Group). From 1984 -1992 she created the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain with Alain-Dominique Perrin and Marie-Claude Beaud serving as Director of Public and Press Relations. Since 1992 she has been Corporate Communication and Public Relations Director of Cartier International. She remains devoted to the Fondation and continues to take on new challenges such as the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, to help women entrepreneurs of all continents express their ideas. In 2010, she was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
Elin Hurvenes was a key player when Norway implemented world-leading legislation for companies to have 40% women on their boards. She founded the Professional Boards Forum in 2003 and through pioneering events she has created an attractive arena for European Chairmen and CEOs to meet women board candidates in a board-like situation. She runs the Professional Boards Forum in Norway, the UK, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany – www. boardsforum.eu & www.boardsforum.eu
The Professional Boards Forum is at the forefront of international discussions of women on boards with Elin regularly consulted as an authority by the world media and invited as keynote speaker at high-profile international conferences and corporate events. Elin Hurvenes is a Partner with Chairman Mentors International, which provides Chairmen Mentors for top executives in global firms http://www.chairmanmentors.com
Emma Bonino is a former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. She also served as Vice-Chair of the Italian Senate. She has been Minister for International Trade and European Affairs. First elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1976, she has served in the Italian and in the European Parliament. Between 1994 and 1999, she was EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Fisheries, Consumer Policy, Consumer Health Protection and Food Safety. As a Commissioner, she confronted the major man-made crises of the 1990s, which resulted in millions of refugees and displaced persons, including in the Great Lakes Region and in the Balkans. Emma Bonino spent four years in Egypt, where she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University of Cairo. As part of her work in the region, in January 2004, she headed the political process that led to the Sana’a InterGovernmental Regional Conference on Democracy, Human Rights and the Role of the ICC. Since 2003, she has also been campaigning against female genital mutilations and for the adoption of UNGA Resolution banning this practice worldwide. Her conviction that the rule of law is a pre-requisite for the protection of vulnerable people finds expression in her commitment to the development and strengthening of the international criminal justice system, with the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, and for the establishment of the ICC. She is co-Chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Fida Chaaban, in her capacity as editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Middle East is a big believer in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region’s startup ecosystem. Fida endeavors to use both print and web to positively encourage development in various entrepreneurial spaces and across industries. Based in Dubai, UAE, Fida is a social media enthusiast and sees it as the medium of today’s successful enterprises. Talk to her on Twitter @Fida.
International Marketing Director, Twitter, Singapore
Freddie has been with Twitter for the past two years as the International Marketing Director for APAC, India, China, Middle East, Africa, Russia and Latin America. Her charter across international geographies is focused on platform evangelism and crafting Twitter’s story and message to win the hearts and minds of consumers, businesses, publishers, and top leaders. Freddie has been at the forefront of many growth initiatives for Twitter helping open new markets, a dozen offices, and support 70% of the user base and $500M revenue monetization in the Asian and emerging markets. Previously, Freddie was a Senior Director at Microsoft where she was the CMO for Asia-Pacific. In this role, she developed the regional marketing strategies for all of the company’s offerings across commercial and consumer products. In her role, she headed up the Asia-Pacific community of CMOs in the region providing region-wide marketing talent management, marketing campaigns, governance, marketing excellence, and marketing planning, execution and measurement supporting Microsoft devices and services. Prior to joining Microsoft, Freddie was with the WPP Group, where she held numerous leadership positions, most recently running operations for Ogilvy in Asia, as the Managing Partner of Bates141. Freddie successfully strengthened the agency’s credentials and thought leadership profile across the region. As a core member of the management team, she oversaw all of the agency’s key clients, many of which were in the technology category which has given her great depth of experience in this sector (Sony, Dell, Samsung, Virgin Mobile, Nokia, Cisco, AT&T). Prior to this, Freddie had a long-standing career at Y&R and Ogilvy in New York and Los Angeles. She is @Freddie_covi
Professor / Chief Department, Medical School Laboratory of Human Genetics, Tunisia
Dr. Habiba Bouhamed-Chaabouni is professor of medical genetics in University of Tunis, Tunisia and Chief of the Department of Congenital and Hereditary Diseases, Charles Nicolle Hospital, Tunisia. She is director of the Human Genetics Research Laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine, Tunis. She is the manager of a medical and scientific team composed of more than 50 members. In 2006, Prof. Chaabouni received the prestigious award of L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science based on her groundbreaking achievements and contributions to scientific progress. Recently she received in Rome the International Price “LATIUM tra Europae Mediterraneo” for Scientific Research.
Hana Alawai is a UAE national working in the field of finance for Mubadala Development Company dealing with investment opportunities in various industries such as healthcare, aerospace and services. Hana has considerable experience consulting with PwC in London and with Morgan Stanley, Boston Consulting Group and other leading providers.Her experience working with AIESEC enabled her to become an active change agent. She believes firmly in the holistic thinking model and making a lasting impact while increasing the financial bottom line. Hana has been involved in the Emirates NBD Conversations 2012 SROI and du’s Mawaed Al Rahman SROI.
Hana Al Rostamani has more than 15 years of experience in the field of Banking and financial services. She is currently the Head of Consumer Banking Group at FGB. She has a master’s degree in Information Management from the George Washington University, USA and has also completed a certificate in Bank Card Management from Visa International Association and the UK Chartered Institute of Bankers.She was appointed in 2012 as chairperson of the board of Aseel Finance Company, and she is also Chairperson of Dubai First.
Founder & Managing Director of Pharmamed, Member of Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Jury, Lebanon
Hanan Saab graduated with a BS in pharmacy from the AUB in Lebanon. She is the CEO, Co-owner and Managing director of Pharmamed, a company that she founded despite the political unrest late in 1992 in Beirut Lebanon. She was named by Forbes as one of the 200 most powerful Arab Women in 2014, and was also featured in Arabian Business Magazine (Dubai); in the Financial Times in July 2007 as a role model for women in the MENA region; and in two books on women entrepreneurs in the MENA region. Mrs. Saab participated as a speaker in various conferences on women’s entrepreneurship in the MENA by MEPI, World Bank, Woodrow Wilson Conference, MEDA business women Forum in Barcelona, Spain. She participated as a speaker in The Economist First Business roundtable in Beirut June 2010, in the panel on Lebanon’s talent.
Director INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme (ISEP), INSEAD, France
Hans H. Wahl, joined INSEAD in 2007. He is an educator, trainer, and human rights activist, based in Paris. He has more than 35 years of experience in education, management, and economic and political development in over 40 countries. The Social Entrepreneurship Programme at INSEAD is one of the most highly respected in the field and housed at one of world’s leading business schools. Specifically his work focuses on educational design, programme development, and impact assessment. He is also a founding director of the Governance and Justice Group, a multi-disciplinary group that carries out research and advises on issues of access to justice, rule of law and human rights. Among his recent work in this field is designing and leading a series of programmes to prepare teams of paralegals for work in post-conflict Africa states; developing a training programme for prison officials in Bangladesh; leading an effort to promote innovative teaching methods at a government academy in the Ukraine, leading a high-impact staff development programme for the prison department of Sudan, and promoting access to legal aid among police in Afghanistan. Mr. Wahl led UNESCO’s Poverty and Human Rights Programme and brought the agency’s multi-disciplinary resources to bear on the task of poverty eradication. Previously, he directed an international training programme for Penal Reform International and held senior staff positions at Amnesty International and regional community development organizations. He has launched several social ventures including a sustainable tourism enterprise in the high Caucuses of Georgia. He has studied, written and consults on issues of civil society development, human rights, and capacity building in many parts of the world. He is Austrian-American and holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.
Director of Digital at Dubai channel network, founder and President of Social Media Club, UAE
Heba Al Samt is a great talent and power in digital media. She entered this field in 2009, starting the first social virtual community called “Emiratweet”, which gained huge success and acceptance in the UAE and GCC community. DMI headhunted her after noticing her success in this field, and appointed her to initiate the first digital media department in DMI and in Dubai Government. She developed that department from scratch, restructured it’s digital assets, platforms, apps, websites and social media accounts and took them to a new level of professionalism, and a much higher level of followers and engagement with the UAE and GCC target audience. She also initiated the UAE chapter of the international Social Media Club, and is a member of the MENA chapter. along with everything else she does, she’s also a trainer in Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy and consults with to a number of Government Entities in the UAE.
Broadcaster, Confrence Host & Analyst, BBC News, UK
Henry Bonsu is one of Britain’s leading broadcasters of African origin. A graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford University, he has presented programmes for the BBC, and satellite TV channels like Vox Africa, Press TV and BET International. He has also been an analyst on Sky News, Al Jazeera and Arise News and written columns for newspapers including The Times, the Guardian, the Mail and London’s Evening Standard. Henry is now an international conference facilitator, and has hosted global events at the UN General Assembly in New York, in Brussels, Abidjan, The Hague, Kigali, Mexico City, Addis Ababa, Kilimanjaro, Macau, Seoul, and Cape Town. As well as development events, Henry moderates major business gatherings like the African Banker Awards, and the Global African Investment Summit. His corporate clients include Maersk and KPMG for whom he has hosted symposiums on issues ranging from sustainability to diversity. For the last four years he has MC’d the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards at the Women’s Forum in Deauville, and in March 2016, he will host the inaugural New African Woman Awards ceremony in London.
H.E. Dr Hissa Al Otaiba has been the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Kingdom of Spain since 2008. In addition to her diplomatic duties in Spain, she has also been the UAE’s non-resident ambassador to the Vatican and to the Principality of Andorra since 2010. Prior to her current posting she worked as a consultant for the Department of Planning and Economy in Abu Dhabi. From 2000 to 2008 she held a position as the Assistant to the Resident Representative for Operation at the United Nations Development Programme in Abu Dhabi. From 2002 to 2007 she was in charge of Information Technology for the Women’s International Forum based in New York City. H.E. Ambassador Al Otalia attended and participated in several International conferences in UAE and Spain and was a member of the UAE delegation for the Non Alliance Countries Summit, held in Cuba in 2005, and in 2006. Ambassador Al Otaiba holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the Lausanne Business School and an MA in Computer Data Management from Webster University, Geneva. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Cairo. She is fluent in Arabic, Spanish, French, Portuguese and English.
Dr. Hong Sheng Chiong is an ophthalmology registrar based in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is also the founder of oDocs Eye Care, a social enterprise with the aim of reducing the prevalence of blindness by making eye equipment more affordable and accessible globally.
Dr. Hong and his team have created a set of ophthalmic examination tools that would allow clinicians to perform eye examination in various clinical setting. This is the world’s first open-source affordable eye equipment. Dr. Hong has also won many awards including the New Zealand’s People Choice Innovator Award, Clinician Challenge 2015, 3D printing grand prize, and has been nominated for the Innovator of the year 2016. He is also a public speaker and spoken at a TEDx event in Auckland in 2015. Dr. Hong’s research interest covers various fields of ophthalmology, telemedicine, and bio-engineering.
“I don’t really believe in limits. Since I was a kid, I’ve always seen obstacles as opportunities: to make ourselves vulnerable, to learn about each other, to stretch way beyond our boundaries. Looking at life this way is generally exhilarating. But it can also be exhausting. So a year ago, when my work with the Watch the Throne tour wrapped up and I suddenly had some free time, I did what most of us would do. I slept. And in that sleep, the deepest I had in a very long while, I dreamed of SHADOW. SHADOW is the world’s first alarm clock that helps people remember and record their dreams. It transcribes your dreams, pulls out the keywords, strips away any data that could identify you, and pushes it to a giant global data cloud—where other SHADOW users can see global dream pat-terns and find dreamers like them around the world. Why do I care so much about dreams? Because we sleep for a third of our lives, and we forget 95 percent of our dreams within five minutes of waking up. But some really pivotal things—laws of physics, technological advancements, classic works of literature—were born of dreams. We’re socialized to think of sleep as inactivity, but certain parts of our brain—the parts that handle things like problem-solving and memory—are most active while we’re sleeping. That’s a huge amount of potential we’re forgetting each morning. Like astronauts gazing back on Earth for the first time, SHADOW is way to see the world from a different angle. It’s also a bit of a gamble. We want to create a global dream community and as-semble the world’s largest dream database.”
Manager, Strategic Research Section, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE
Ibrahim Hamza Al Qasim leads the education and media outreach programme at Mohammed bin Rashid Science Centre, and works with universities and high schools to develop space research initiatives such as the high school CanSat and the Nayif-1 CubeSat mission developed in collaboration with the American University of Sharjah. Ibrahim started his career at MBRSC, joining the Space Program Department as the first non-engineer. He worked as a representative of international affairs and was in charge of managing MBRSC’s international agreements and collaborations. Ibrahim then moved to the Project Management Office where he was assigned as project manager of the high school satellite initiative, CanSat. In 2014, Ibrahim was assigned as the Manager of Strategic Research at MBRSC. He was also assigned as the Project Manager of the UAE’s first CubeSat mission Nayif-1. Ibrahim graduated from the United Arab Emirates University with a Bachelor’s in Finance in 2010.
Iman Ben Chaibah comes with IT Management experience of 10 years, most of which were spent in Emaar Properties and Emaar Retail and entertainment, heading technology advancement projects and introducing eCommerce solutions across the business. She started Sail eMagazine five years ago to document the societal debates and discussions in the community in the form of opinion articles, to foster knowledge growth among young people and to represent the thought process of Emiratis to the international reader. She then expanded Sail into a publishing house for digital books and magazines to grow local content in the digital sphere internationally, and to give more chances for writers of all genres to be published. As a result of the efforts she has been making, she received the UAE’s Young Digital Publisher Entrepreneur Award, was chosen as a Delegate to the International Achievement Summit in San Francisco, received the Young Entrepreneur Award from Startup Businesses magazine, and received the Arab Woman Award in Literature. Iman has also completed the elite Magazine Publishing Course at Yale University. Iman had always been passionate about literature, reading and writing. She has also been supportive of community initiatives that sooner or later developed into businesses, and had ensured Sail is a continuous vehicle for that support.
Dr. Irina Khanna is one of the most renowned facilitators with Illuminations. Her professionalism, combined with her understanding of human behavior and intuitive skills, drives the successful results she gets with clients who consult with her. Her bachelor’s qualifications include a medical background degree in dentistry, a masters in psychotherapy, a certification in hypnotherapy and trans-generational healing which focuses on resolving inherited family programs through constellation therapy.
Her abilities as a clairvoyant and psychic healer hae drawn recently clients from all the world who consult her for guidance and counseling.
She began her career after experiencing life-changing results from experiencing and resolving unconscious patterns. This led her to study further on how our mind and energy levels influence areas of our life that appear unknown to our conscious understanding. Her goal is to spread this awareness and encourage individuals to explore their power from within.
She is originally from Georgia in Eastern Europe but has lived in India for the last 18 years and is currently heading and offering her services in the Pune branch of Dubai’s Premiere Well-Being Center known as Illuminations. In her spare time you will find her reading, researching and traveling to learn more about the different ways in which we can acquire knowledge to transform our lives.
Jason is the best-selling author of twelve books on health, addiction and juicing. His books have now sold over 4 million copies and have been translated into many languages. Jason has also released a series of health and addiction apps for Android and iOS. Each of these have reached No.1 in their respective categories, beating Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Deliciously Ella and Gordon Ramsey in ‘Highest Grossing’ in the extremely competitive ‘Food & Drink’ category. Jason’s most well known book– ‘7lbs In 7 days: The Juice Master Diet’ – also went to number one of all books on Amazon and on Play.com. It even knocked the Da Vinci Code from the top spot!
Jason wasn’t always slim and healthy; he used to suffer from severe psoriasis, eczema, asthma, hay fever and obesity. He used to smoke 2 – 3 packets of cigarettes a day and drank very heavily, drinking up to 14 pints of lager a day. He has used juicing as the main tool to clear his skin, drop the weight and free himself of illness. He is now on a mission to ‘Juice The World’ and help people to turn their health around using natural means where possible. For over 15 years, Jason has pioneered the world of juicing in the UK and his most recent feat includes his groundbreaking documentary Super Juice Me! The Big Juice Experiment in 2014. The UK premiere took place at London’s prestigious Odeon ‘West End’ on Leicester square to a celebrity packed audience. The film has received 5* reviews and thousands of people viewed the film in its first week of release– with over 1 million views to date.
John Defterios is CNN’s Emerging Markets Editor. Based in the network’s Abu Dhabi bureau since 2011 his reporting focuses on the top business stories from emerging economies. In addition to his daily reporting for CNN’s main business programming, John hosted ‘CNN Marketplace Middle East’, a weekly business programme featuring in-depth analysis and top newsmakers from across the Middle East and ‘One Square Meter’, a segment which explores urban planning and property development in emerging markets. Defterios has more than two decades of financial news and current affairs experience covering some of the landmarks events during that period including the Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the World Trade Centre bombings and G8/G20 summits from his postings in London, Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Rome and the Middle East. He is a World Economic Forum media leader and member of the Global Agenda Council on the Arab World and has served as Chairman of the Business Week Leadership Forums in London, Beijing and New York, the World Islamic Economic Forum amongst others. Defterios started at CNN in New York as correspondent on ‘Moneyline with Lou Dobbs’, anchored CNN’s ‘World Business Today’ and the top rated U.S. morning business program ‘Ahead of the Curve’. Defterios has secured numerous interviews with high-level figures in the worlds of politics and economics including: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Ali Al Naimi, Petroleum Minister of Saudi Arabia, HH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and British Prime Minister David Cameron as well many of the top executives in the Fortune 500 including BP CEO Robert Dudley and Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote. He has travelled on assignment throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Prior to CNN, Defterios worked for Reuters Television as European Correspondent, West Coast Correspondent and special series producer in a joint-venture with The Nightly Business Report on PBS-TV.
Khalid Al Ameri is an Emirati opinion writer and social commentator on issues such as employment, entrepreneurship, and social development in the Arab region. His experience has seen him go from sailing on oil tankers and gas carriers, investments in the public sector with five years experience in Mubadala Development Company, to co-founding a food and beverage startup Slices based in Abu Dhabi. Khalid holds an MBA from Stanford University, and is currently working with young people on education and employment readiness.
Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Communications at Dubai Electricity & Water Authority
Khawla Al Mehairi is Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Communications at Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, she has succeeded in realizing the vision and brand strategy of DEWA, positively positioning its reputation as a sustainable innovative world-class utility. A seasoned high–achieving leader with over 17 years of professional and corporate experience in the private and public sectors, she has an excellent performance track record and has held many key roles as chairperson of committees & a Board Member of Dubai Women’s Establishment, Khawla graduated from Dubai Women’s College, with a BSc Degree in Applied Science – Business Administration. She has an Executive Diploma from Cambridge UK with distinction in Strategic Management and Strategic Marketing, and has a Master’s Degree in International Marketing from Edinburgh Business School, with distinction in Economics, Strategic Management and Marketing.
Kinda Ibrahim is the Director of Media Partnerships for Twitter MENA. Based in Twitter’s recently opened Dubai office, she leads the team responsible for accelerating Twitter’s push for content partnerships across the news, politics, sports, TV and entertainment verticals by prioritizing Twitter as the first and immediate platform to reach, delight and engage with their audience across Twitter’s live, public platforms, including Twitter, Vine and Periscope. Ms Ibrahim has over 12 years of international experience in digital media, marketing and analytics acquired in both the Middle East and North America. She joined Twitter from Microsoft where she was the Editor-in-Chief responsible for English MSN Arabia. Prior to that she led the media operations division at Yahoo Maktoob. Previously, she played an instrumental role in shaping the digital and data strategy at companies such as EMAP Middle East, the Yellow Pages group and the National bank of Canada. Kinda holds an MBA in Marketing and finance from Concordia University in Canada and a BSc in computer science from the American University of Beirut.
As Twitter’s EMEA Safety Outreach, Kira O’Connor works to define policy and ensure user safety and security in the challenging realm of modern social media. Kira and the global team work around the clock to keep Twitter users safe by fighting online abuse including targeted harassments, child sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and cyber-bullying. Kira joined Twitter in early 2013 as a part of the Media Partnerships team where she worked with government bodies, non-profit organisations, and high profile individuals – helping them use Twitter effectively. Kira’s past experiences include, policy at Access.org and LiveStrong, legal clerk and research assistant, and in a previous life she was an on-air personality on both radio and TV. Kira earned a B.A. in Media Studies and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Oregon School of Law.
Dr Lamees Hamdan is a native of Dubai, UAE. A medical doctor by training, she graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1998. Her interest in dermatology led her to forming Shiffa in 2002, a luxury skin and body care company that combines the latest advances in science and dermatology using premium grade organic natural products. In 2005, she was chosen as Best Business Leader and Best Health and Wellness Company by the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Awards for Young Business Leaders. Dr Hamdan has been the Commissioner of the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates since the inaugural pavilion in 2009. . She spearheaded this initiative which was the first participation in la Biennale di Venezia from an Arab Gulf country. Dr Hamdan sits on the Advisory Board of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and is the fund curator for the Daman Middle East Art Fund. She is an avid art collector boasting an extensive collection of contemporary Middle East art and a continuous supporter of various initiatives and publications related to Middle Eastern art. Dr Lamees Hamdan is a Board Member of the in 2010 Dr. Hamdan was bestowed with the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity for her work spearheading the first UAE National Pavilion at the 53rd International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, 2009. The order is granted to non-Italian citizens making a significant contribution to the country
Originally from the US, Leanne Graves is currently the energy correspondent on the business desk for Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, The National. She graduated with a from the University of Southern Mississippi Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2004.
Ms Graves has been a journalist for close to a decade, working in New York City before moving to Cairo, Egypt in 2008. There, she covered the energy sector spanning throughout the African continent until joining The National in 2014.
Representative, Government of Singapore, ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), Singapore
Laura Hwang is Singapore’s appointed Representative to the ASEAN Commission for Women’s and Children’s Rights (ACWC). She is admired for her strong strategic, business and leadership abilities. Besides her commitment as a former President of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), she also co-chairs gender-balanced business advocacy BoardAgender and chairs the audit committees of the KKH Health Endowment Fund and the Centre for Fathering, where she is a trustee and board member, respectively. She was the first Singaporean and first woman to be appointed Managing Director/ CEO of an international merchant bank, with regional responsibilities and board positions in the group’s offices in Thailand and Hong Kong. Her responsibilities included Corporate Banking, Foreign Exchange, Asset Management and she was one of the earliest to introduce and promote Private Banking services out of Singapore to the region. She has had a significant role encouraging the acceptance of women in financial circles, and has inspired other women to look seriously, and confidently, at careers in the banking industry. Her financial expertise led to seen the successful development of a family investment vehicle and her appointment to non-profit boards, including serving and chairing audit committees and investment committees. Her commitment to community service is evidenced in the wide spectrum of areas that she has been deeply involved in for many years – women’s well-being, leadership and development, the Arts, and other public-related endeavors. She was the recipient of the Public Service Medal for the 2013 National Day Awards and the APEC WES Social Innovation Award in San Francisco 2012.
New Business Energy South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Engie Board member for the Clean Energy Business Council, UAE
Laure Alazet works as a New Business Developer for ENGIE, covering the Middle East, South & Central Asia and Turkey. With a background in business strategy in emerging markets she is responsible for initiating and developing disruptive business models for ENGIE across the region. She succeeded in initiating and developing decentralized renewable energy business in India. She is also a board member of the Clean Energy Business Council and is part of the launch of the Women in Clean Energies initiative for the CEBC.
Laure has an international experience in emerging markets with various positions in strategy and business development for ENGIE in the Asian division in Bangkok, on a project-basis in South Africa and in London and for Total E&P in Kazahstan. Ms Alazet graduated with a Master’s Degree in International Business and Finance from Science Po in Paris and has also studied at Moscow State University, the University of Amsterdam and Renmin University of China in Beijing.
Maja Rottboell works as a trainer, graphic facilitator and visual magician. She uses large-scale imagery and visual metaphors to lead groups and teams through innovation processes and strategic workshops, enabling them to innovate and reach their goals more efficiently and effectively.By using fast drawing techniques and process facilitation skills as her tools, Maja inspires people to draw and use their creativity in the process. Maja holds a degree from the unique and renowned Kaospilots academy – a hybrid business and design school focusing on value-based leadership, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. The focus of Kaospilots is to produce graduates who do not simply fit the future, but create it. Working via the NGO Women 4 sustainable Growth, she has been active in the Gulf region in recent years, training women leaders in the UAE and Scandinavia how to lead themselves and others in sustainable ways. She is one of two founding partners of Process Ink, a graphic facilitation company based in Denmark. See: www.processink.dk
CEO and Member of the Board, Dubai Noor Foundation, UAE
Dr. Manal Taryam is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Primary Health Care Service Sector (PHCSS) at the Dubai Health Authority since November 2013. In her capacity as CEO of the sector, she is responsible for the functioning of the PHC sector, which includes Family Medicine, Community Medicine, Dentistry and specialized services such as Child Health, Elderly Health, Preventive Medicine, and Women’s health. She started her career as a physician at DHA in 1996. Later, she moved to Germany to complete her postgraduate studies, in Ophthalmology and Vitreo-Retinal surgery. She then returned to DHA in 2004 and helped develop the Vitreo-Retinal unit. In 2008, she became the President of the Ophthalmology Society at the Emirates Medical Association, which caters to the needs of all Ophthalmologists and eye-care providers in the UAE. She also established the Emirates Ophthalmology Congress. In the same year, she joined the Middle East and Africa Council of Ophthalmology as a board member. During her seven years of work with the council, she has been a faculty member at the leadership development program, co-founder and Secretary General of the regional Retina association and Vice- President of the World Ophthalmology Congress 2012 which hosted over 12,000 delegates from around the world. In the field of philanthropy, she is a trustee member and Chief Executive Officer of the Noor Dubai Foundation, an NGO specializing in prevention of blindness globally. The charity provides long-term programs to help eradicate blinding diseases in Africa & Asia. Dr Taryam holds an MBBS in Medicine from the Dubai Medical College, the German board from the University of Cologne and a fellowship in Vitereo-retinal surgery. She is the recipient of many awards including the Sheikh Rashid Award for Academic Excellence and the Dubai Government Excellence Program Award 2006 for Distinguished Female Employee category.
French Minister of State for Commerce, Small Scale Industry, Consumer Affairs and The Social & Solidarity Economy of the French Government, France
Since June 2015 Martine Pinville has served as France’s Minister of State reporting to the Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, with responsibility for Commerce, Craft Industries and Trades, Consumer Affairs and the Social and Solidarity-based Economy.Elected positions: June 2007 to July 2015, Socialist MP for the 4th Charente constituency. Rapporteur on the Act on Adjusting Society to Ageing. Co-author of the report on the assessment of the development of personal services (December 2014).
Author of the report, commissioned by the Prime Minister, on an international comparison of practices to prevent, plan for and adjust society to ageing (March 2013). Rapporteur on the care home sector for the Social Security Budget Bill for 2013 and 2014. 2012 to present, Secretary of the French National Assembly Social Affairs Committee. Co-author of an informative report on school medical care to the French National Assembly Monitoring and Evaluation Committee.
She has also been a Mayor and Town Councillor 1995 – 2012: Deputy Mayor of Balzac 1989 -1995: Town Councillor of Balzac (Charente département) Intermunicipal office, 2001 to present: President of Pays d’Entre Touvre et Charente. Political positions, June 2012 to April 2014: National Secretary of the Socialist Party responsible for Health Affairs.
Mary Fitzgerald, Journalist and analyst, and Women’s Forum Rising Talents Alumnus. Mary Fitzgerald is a journalist and analyst specializing in the Euro- Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. In her previous role as Irish Times foreign correspondent, she reported from more than 40 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Her work has appeared in publications including the Economist, Foreign Policy, the New Yorker, the Washington Post and the Financial Times. Mary was a founding member of the British Council’s Transatlantic Network 2020 and was selected for the European Young Leaders 40 under 40 program in 2013. She was chosen as one of the Global Women’s Forum “Rising Talents” in 2013.
Engineer, Space Science, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE
Maryam Al Shamsi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the American University of Sharjah (AUS). She began her career at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) as a software developer working with a team on the mission control software for DubaiSat-2 satellite.
In 2014, she joined the Advanced Aerial System Program (AASP) to work as an Avionics System Engineer on a collaboration project with Airbus DS known as the High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) in which she was part of the team that accomplished the first successful flight trial ever to fly in Dubai airspace reaching an altitude of 61,000ft for a flight duration of almost 24 hours. In 2015, with the directive to develop Emarati skills in Planetary Science, she joined the science team of the Emirates “Hope” Mars Mission as an Instrument Scientist. Her role is to develop the necessary tools to provide ready data from the instruments that will then be used to answer the science questions.
In MBRSC, she is now part of the Space Science section where she is working with the team on establishing this new division at the Centre. Maryam also works on promoting Space science to the UAE science community and the general public through outreach activities.
Host of ‘The Dr. Oz Show’ and Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery Columbia University, USA
Dr. Oz, three-time Daytime Emmy® Award-winning host of the three-time Daytime Emmy® Award-winning “The Dr. Oz Show,” is Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complimentary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He also hosts the internationally syndicated “Daily Dose” in 134 radio markets and a newspaper column in 175 markets internationally. Dr. Oz launched his magazine ‘The Good Life’ with Hearst Corporation in spring 2014. Dr. Oz was born in Cleveland, Ohio, raised in Delaware and received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University (1982) and obtained a joint MD and MBA (1986) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton Business School. Previously, Dr. Oz was a featured health expert on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for six seasons, spanning over 60 episodes. He also served as chief medical consultant to Discovery Communications, where his “Transplant!” series won both a Freddie and a Silver Telly award. Dr. Oz authored seven New York Times Best Sellers, including “You: The Owner’s Manual”, “You: The Smart Patient”, “YOU: On a Diet”, “YOU: Staying Young”, “YOU: Being Beautiful”, “YOU: Having a Baby”, “YOU: The Owner’s Manual for Teens”, as well as the award-winning “Healing from the Heart”. In addition, Dr. Oz has been named Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Forbes’ most influential celebrity, Esquire magazine’s 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century, a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum, Harvard’s 100 Most Influential Alumni, as well as receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and AARP 50 Influential people over 50. He won the prestigious Gross Surgical Research Scholarship, and he has received an honorary doctorate from Istanbul University.
Founder and Principal Architect Maisam, Architects & Engineers
Meisa Batayneh is the founder and principal architect at Maisam Architects & Engineers. She is experienced in multiple facets of design including architecture, planning, urban design and place branding. Over her long and distinguished career, Meisa has led multi-disciplinary teams on large-scale international and regional projects in the USA, Pakistan, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and UAE. She has created regional landmarks and master plans for projects such as the Rift Bay Project at the Dead Sea in Jordan, New Ravi City in Lahore, Pakistan and the Umm Yafenah Islands in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has also acted as a consultant on projects for members of the Royal Family in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Mrs. Mette Laursen is leading the Nordic delegation together with EU Commissioner Mrs. Margrethe Vestager. She is the CEO and Founder of LinKS, the leading educational network for top influencers in the Nordics. In the heart of LinKS, they have educated society as a whole for almost two decades. Representing the Wharton school in the Nordic countries and collaborating with other leading business schools of the world, they design and deliver exclusive programs on Leadership, Governance, Strategy and Innovation. Hereby they have the opportunity of developing women and men across boarders, industries, disciplines, organisations and gender. Their close ties with the UAE are based on an experience of a country with global ambitions and an open invitation outwards to join. The Nordic element finds a natural place in the cooperation with the culture in the UAE, and they are truly inspired by the highly set bar for the level of ambition for the country’s development, where H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum opens up the economy for youth, for globality and for humanity. His Highness has become a symbol for inspiration when it comes to creating room for executive women’s development and influence. The UAE is by no comparison a lead in diversity inclusion when it comes to women and globality. The Nordics connect as a natural partner in this vision. As LinKS ranges far in network, so does her personal portfolio. She is educated in fine arts as well as in econometric modelling. She serves as chair of what many people perceive as one of the leading theatres of Copenhagen, The Betty Nansen Theatre. When in the UAE, her family visits her extended family of the Emirates, they discuss societal issues, of course reaching out to the great woman here as well as the opportunities in business that the UAE serves.
Born and raised in Lebanon, Mirna trained professionally as a Graphic Designer at the American University of Beirut, before delving into the world of product design. After working in branding for several years, Mirna co-founded Kashida, a product design studio creating bespoke design pieces based on 3D Arabic typography. The company’s designs are produced by local craftsmen and artisans. Mirna has received the Maurice Fadel Prize, TasmeemDoha Entrepreneurship winner, Finalist at OECD MENA100, Finalist at MIT Grow my Business, and is a published winner at Communication Arts Typography Annual 2012. She was also a speaker at TasmeemDoha 2011 and Nuqat Creative Conference 2012.
Monique Villa is CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Founder of TrustLaw and Trust Women. She has been ranked among the world’s 100 most influential people in Business Ethics by Ethisphere. Since her appointment in 2008, she has transformed the Foundation, launching a number of programmes that leverage the expertise of Thomson Reuters to trigger change and empower people across the world. Among them, TrustLaw, the Foundation’s global pro bono programme, which connects the best law firms in the world with NGOs and social enterprises; produces groundbreaking legal research; and offers innovative training courses. Since its inception, TrustLaw has generated over $70 million in free legal support. Villa is also the founder of Trust Women, a fast-growing movement to empower women and to fight slavery worldwide. At the annual conference, Trust Women delegates take action and forge tangible commitments to empower women to know and defend their rights. Under Villa’s leadership, the Foundation strengthened its commitment to free and independent journalism. The Foundation’s award-winning editorial team covers issues that mainstream media often forget and the media development team offers training to strengthen free media globally. Prior to joining the Foundation, Villa was Managing Director of Reuters Media and Chairman of Action Images. A French national, she spent the first part of her career at Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Founder of Izil Beauty, Laureate of the 2015 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, UAE
The creative force behind IZIL Beauty, Mouna first became interested in Argan Oil during her assignment with the Morocco pole of OXFAM Quebec when she was in charge of finding funds to help argan local co-operatives to develop and modernize. After graduating in marketing from IIHEM, she moved to Dubai in 2005 where she held managerial positions in multinationals such as Kraft Foods & L’Oréal. In 2012, the idea of creating a Moroccan skincare brand based on argan oil began to take shape. In 2013, her IZIL brand was launched and Mouna decided to leave corporate life to lead and grow IZIL worldwide,and she now has four stores. She is currently studying Cosmetic Science with SCS based in London.
Nermin is a fiercely independent woman who recognizes the needs /struggles of modern Arab woman. She was listed in the 2014 and 2015 “100 World’s Most Powerful Arab Women” for her achievements and impact in the region. She is a Senior Mechanical Engineer and CEO Founder of Handasiyat.net. Graduating from the University of Jordan, she lived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for more than 15 years working as a mechanical engineer. She has worked with many leading companies and executed many projects, where she simultaneously built bridges of trust with her clients. She also participated in the translation field, working on engineering related topics, in an effort to enrich Arabic Content in the field.
Chairperson & Managing Director, Delta Shield for Investment, Egypt
Neveen Al Tahri graduated from the Cairo University Faculty of Economics & Political Science. She began her career with Chase National Bank of Egypt “CIB”. In 1994 she established one of the first Brokerage firms “Delta Securities Egypt”. In 2007 she sold majority stakes in most of the companies she founded and established “Delta Shield”, focusing on advising Family Businesses the newly established “Delta Inspire” is the specialized incubation/acceleration arm, is “138 Pyramids” and the funding arm. Neveen was the first woman elected to sit on the board of the Egyptian Stock Exchange. She was also the Country Representative of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, NRS International, UAE
Ms. Nicole Malick has designed and led program design, procurement, and corporate social responsibility initiatives throughout the Middle East, Asia, and East Africa with public, non-profit and social enterprises, including Her Royal Highness Princess Basma’s Youth Resource Center and U.S. Agency for International Development. Trained as a licensed social worker, Nicole has over ten years’ experience leading teams, conducting research and managing projects working on gender empowerment, peace building, youth engagement, and human trafficking with budgets up to $345 million.
Ms. Malick holds a dual Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Administration of Criminal Justice and Psychology from Salve Regina University and a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Rutgers, The State University in New Jersey. She is a recipient of two USAID Meritorious Honors Awards, a U.S. Department of State Meritorious Group Award, and received a Recognition of Service Medal from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for her work in Afghanistan. She was nominated as a mentor for the National Network for Social Work Management for her commitment as an international social worker.
Noura Sadaka started her career in the performing and visual arts, and for more than 15 years has coached many artists on stage, working on their voice, body language, presence, communication and authenticity, leading them to give their best. As her work became known, she began to receive requests to apply her skills and knowledge within the corporate world. Helping corporate leaders to connect with their authentic selves and integrate their heads and hearts to create dynamic leadership impact, is of key interest to Noura Sadaka. Through her work clients have been empowered to carry their presence in a much more powerful and genuine way in their workplace. Applying the same skill set to group work, she also facilitates a suite of business skills trainings, designed to empower and activate key business competencies in her clients. Noura’s broad experience base includes the performing arts, Media, TV,Banking, Oil and Gas, Investment, Hospitality, Management Consulting and Public Relations. Some of her Clients are mbc television, First Gulf Bank, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Dubai Petroleum, Shell, Boston Consulting Group, APCO Worldwide. Within these organisations she works actively with a broad range of clients of different nationalities and seniority levels. Noura has a Master’ s degree in Economics/Management from la Sorbonne Paris France. She is a qualified coach from Harmoniques school of Paris, for Art and Stage Performance. She is also qualified as a Mindgym Coach and is a certified Coach with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC).
Senior Vice President, Member of P-12, Publicis Groupe, France
After having been CEO of Les Echos group, Olivier Fleurot was with the Financial Times Group in London, between 1999 and 2006, first as Managing Director of the newspaper, then as CEO of the FT Group. He joined Publicis Groupe in 2006 as Executive Chairman of Publicis Worldwide. Between July 2009 and August 2015, he was the CEO of MSLGROUP, the strategic communications, PR and events network of Publicis Groupe. As of September 2015, Olivier is SVP of Publicis Groupe, responsible for overseeing Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Insurance, Real Estate and cross-disciplinary programs such as Altaïr.
Emirates Mars Mission Project Manager Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE
Omran Sharaf is currently Director of Program Management Department at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). Omran and his team are responsible for directing, managing, and supporting various ongoing programs within MBRSC and identifying new strategic technical and scientific areas/ projects for Dubai and UAE. Omran joined MBRSC in the early stages of its development, and worked with different teams and projects within the organization. He was responsible for the Command & Data Handling Subsystem (C&DH) in DubaiSat-1 and worked on DubaiSat-2 system engineering and C&DH. Omran led the electrical and electronics team in DubaiSat-2, and was assigned as the Director of Space Image Processing and Analysis Department from late 2011 to early 2014. He and his team worked on developing solutions for satellite image utilization accross various applications, analyzing images to support decision makers, and developing image enhancement techniques to achieve better image quality. In addition to his current duties, in July 2014 Omran was assigned as Project Manager for Emirates Mars Mission. Omran earned his bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia, USA, in 2005, and Master’s in Science and Technology Policy from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea, in 2013. Omran was a member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) delegation to different committees, and has represented the government in different international meetings since 2008. He is a member of the UAE’s delegation to the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG). In 2013, Omran chaired the eighth meeting of ICG, which was held in Dubai, UAE. Moreover, he has been a member of the UAE delegation to the United Nation Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPOUS) since 2010, where he also represented the government in two UNCOPOUS subcommittees, the Technical & Scientific Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee.
Senior Executive VP International Development, Thales, France
Pascale Sourisse is Senior Executive Vice President, International Development of Thales and is also President of Thales International. Pascale Sourisse began her career holding management positions within France Telecom, Jeumont- Schneider and Compagnie Générale des Eaux, as well as with the French Ministry of Industry.
She joined Alcatel in 1995 as VP, Planning and Strategy of Alcatel Space and, in 1997,she was appointed Chairman & CEO of SkyBridge. In 2001, she became CEO of Alcatel Space and President of Alcatel’s space activities. In 2005, she was appointed as President & CEO of Alcatel Alenia Space. In 2007, Pascale Sourisse was appointed Senior Vice President of Thales’s Space Division, and President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space.
In 2008, she was appointed SVP of the Land & Joint Systems Division and in February 2010, became SVP of Defence & Security C4I Systems. She was also President and CEO of Thales Communications & Security and President of Thales Services.
Pascale Sourisse graduated from the Ecole polytechnique and the Ecole Supérieure des Télécommunications (ENST). Pascale Sourisse is an Officier of France’s “Légion d’honneur” and a Commandeur of the French “Ordre du Mérite”. She is a Director of Renault, Vinci and Areva, and Board Chairman of Telecom ParisTech.
Dr. Ghubash has had a remarkable career of academic achievements, managing scientific institutions and contributing to public works. She was the former President of The Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain (2000 – 2009).
She was also the first psychiatrist in the UAE to conduct first-of-its-kind research in the Gulf region, focused on comprehensive epidemiological studies in the UAE, publishing 45 research papers in various scientific journals. After years of practicing psychiatry, she branched into new areas within the field. She began focusing on the treatment of individuals through sessions on identity, history, language and culture, which are all constituents of mental health on a societal level.
She asserts that if there is a consistency between a person, their culture and core values, they will surely never suffer from alienation, which is the essence of mental illness.
Rama Kayyali is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Little Thinking Minds, a company passionate about providing engaging Arabic teaching tools for young children globally. Rama runs the day-to-day operations of the company from its headquarters in Amman, Jordan.
Rama’s background in media production for the past 17 years in the USA and Jordan coupled with her passion to give back pushed her into co-founding LTM. Rama has a BA in journalism and Mass Communications from UNC- Chapel Hill and an MA in Mass Communications from the American University, Washington DC. She was the Middle East finalist for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, October 2014.
Rana El Chemaitelly received her BE in Mechanical Engineering in 1993, an AUB Penrose Award 1993, and her Master’s in Engineering Management in 2008. In 2009 she launched The Little Engineer®, an Edutainment center to engage young minds in STEM while they working on their leadership and presentation skills. For her initiative, she was recognized as one of MENA’s most promising entrepreneurs by MIT in 2009. She is one the Laureates of the 2011 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. She is working hard to be a voice of change, investing in youth, developing the future leaders, preparing them for the challenging future while at the same time aiming high to empower woman in her community, country and around the world.
Vice-President Access to Medicines, Sanofi, France
Dr Robert Sebbag is Vice President Access to Medicines at Sanofi. In this role, he participates in the company’s access to medicines strategy development for the Southern Hemisphere. Before joining Sanofi, he worked for the European Pharmaceutical Industry Association on creating a communications platform for pharmaceutical companies operating in Europe. He was also Senior VP of Communications for the vaccine company Aventis Pasteur. Besides his activities within the pharmaceutical industry he also teaches public health courses within the Paris hospital system, focusing on tropical parasitic diseases. He is active within the French Red Cross and has participated in numerous health missions in the Southern Hemisphere. Dr. Sebbag is a Doctor in Medicine specializing in tropical parasitic diseases and training in psychiatry.
Senior Features Writer and Columnist, The National News Paper, UAE
Rym Tina Ghazal is an award-winning senior journalist, Middle East war zone Correspondent, a professor, mentor, humanitarian, published author for young readers, documentarist, researcher and currently senior features writer and columnist for The National Newspaper, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Building on a powerful network developer over 13 years of dedicated work in media (from covering wars to elections to interviews of VIPs) Rym launched The Hidden Beauty Project, a special monthly gathering dedicated to empowering women by helping them realize their dreams projects and meet powerful inspirational “heroes”.
She has taught at universities, holds workshops, and has a Master’s in Journalism from Carleton University in Canada. She has won 2014 prestigious Anna Lindh Foundation Mediterranean Journalist Award. She has also won the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Award. Her photo of Syrian refugees won Peer ViewBug award, participated in Abu Dhabi Reading Festival 2015 by Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation. Humanitarian work includes racing cars to raise funds, animal welfare, and launched Reading Therapy in conflict zones. Most recent efforts include Foosball tournaments through WAR CHILD with Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Also giving out EID gifts to refugees. In 2014, her work earned her recognition at UNHCR, and was invited to be a guest speaker to discuss how “one person can make a difference” initiative at UAE’s biggest regional conference dedicated to the protection of refugee children and adolescents – “Investing in The Future: Protecting Refugee Children in the Middle East and North Africa” Rym was also behind the #UAEREADS campaign, launched by The National Newspaper, and often a judge on writing competitions. Ran workshops with Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Cultural Foundation (with children) & Sheikha Jawaher AlQassimi, Ruler’s wife, leadership workshop for women. Guest author at Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
Head of the UAE’S Council of Scientists Deputy Project Manager & Science Lead of the Emirates Mars Mission, Head of the Science Section Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE
Sarah Al Amiri is currently the Deputy Project Manager and Science Lead of the Emirates Mars Mission (Hope) at the Mohamed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). Her current task is to enable the research environment for the first generation of UAE Planetary Scientists. Sarah specializes in capability and new initiatives development at MBRSC; and has spent the last five years working in this area. In 2015 Sarah was selected as one of 50 young scientists by the World Economic Forum for her contribution to the development efforts in the fields of Science, Technology and Engineering. Sarah has a Masters degree in Computer Engineering from the American University of Sharjah.
Sarah Hawilo is a 30-year-old Lebanese entrepreneur who cofounded serVme, a data analytics software applicationrevolutionizing the Food & Beverage industry by helping restaurants and clubs capture data about diners to deliver better service and internally enhance their operations. Working with a team of 11 employees and dealing directly with clients, Sarah learned about operations, technology, and people. Delivering innovative solutions to clients and seeing how clients use her software gives her great satisfaction, and reinforces her faith in growing her company.
Seema Shetty is the founder & Managing Director of BiteRite, BRS Catering, Zari Zardozi, FoodWorld, Foodlands, Zari Spa for Men & Women. She is a board member of Special Care Centre-Abu Dhabi, on the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board of New York University Abu Dhabi and an Advisor of Boston University Alumnae Leadership Council – Middle East. Seema is one of the four children of Dr. B. R. Shetty, Founder, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of the renowned NMC Healthcare and Managing Director and CEO of UAE Exchange. Mrs. Seema Shetty started her career with NMC Healthcare in 2004. She launched the first-of-its-kind Geriatric Care in 2004, providing economical home healthcare services to the community. In the same year she set up Zari Zardozi Restaurant which offers an enchanting journey for tantalizing the taste-buds through a conflux of Indian traditions and a mix of modern cultural influences. In 2005, she set up BiteRite with the core concept of Guilt Free Hunger to provide healthier eating options and weight management solutions, especially for people with diabetes, hypertension and obesity. She diversified her forays and took over the reins of New Beauty Centre, revamping and rebranding it to Zari Spa & Beauty Centre. In 2007, she set up FoodWorld Restaurant, an authentic multi-cuisine experience that offers “cuisines of the world at your fingertips” in Al-Ain. Apart from her various entrepreneurial pursuits she is also the Head of the Corporate Training Cell in NMC Healthcare and the Founder of Toast Masters NMC Community Chapter. She married Mr. Nirman Shetty in the year 2009 and was blessed with two daughters, Vivanya and Tanaya.
Flagship Projects Managing Director & Founder of BabNoor app, UAE
Shadi Al Hassan has had 20 years of high-level industry experience in the Middle East market, with contributions to creative communications field and digital solutions having earned him significant industry recognition.
He has spoken at conferences and seminars throughout his career and is a regular resident at renowned Pan Arab satellite programs. Some of Shadi’s key projects include the successful development, planning and execution of branding and integrated marketing campaigns for multinationals, Philips, Hyundai, BP Middle East and many government departments in the region besides the recently-added Smart Media service to his company.
Shadi is an ex M&C Saatchi creative director – local partner, and he currently heads up sister company, Simaty Communication and Rufoof Online “the first Arabic e-book platform on mobile”. Shadi’s areas of specialisation include: online creative solutions, branding, art, communications architectures and recently, smart technology solutions.
Fragrance Evaluation & Development Director, Guerlain, France
Sylvaine Delacourte joined Guerlain in 1983 and was nominated in 2002 at the Director of Fragrance Evaluation and Development. Since then, she has participated in the development of numerous perfumes that have enriched Guerlain’s olfactory patrimony: L’Instant de Guerlain, Insolence, the exclusive and tailor made fragrances of La Maison Guerlain. Since 2008, she works with the creator Thierry Wasser. She fulfilled different roles at Guerlain, each of them serving to communicate her vast knowledge of Guerlain’s heritage to others, along with her passion for fragrances.
“One of my life’s ambitions is to convey my passion for the world of perfume and my deep attachment to the prestigious House of Guerlain and its legendary heritage. My role is to communicate my belief in the desire to please. Guerlain has always tried to capture, in its fragrances and the appealing curves of the bottles, the most intangible essence of human desire: pure seduction.” Her passions: her job, perfumes, history of art, drawing, jewellery design, travel.Her favourite raw materials: vanilla, benzoin, iris, violet.
Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares since 2009, is responsible for strategically defining and leading a UAE-based global philanthropic organization working on providing children in developing countries with access to quality education. Tariq has enabled Dubai Cares to contribute to the evidence-based education programs, leverage funding, and invest in strategic relationships and programs that support the global education development agenda. Tariq has been the driving force behind Dubai Cares’ involvement in global development efforts such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and has allowed the organization to play a more effective role as a global advocate, champion of education, strategic convener and information disseminator. Tariq’s past experience includes twelve years at various senior management positions within the consumer and corporate banking at Emirates NBD (formerly known as National Bank of Dubai). He is a Founding Board Member and Deputy Chairperson of the UAE Genetic Diseases Association (UAE GDA).
Ulysse Gosset, is the foreign affairs columnist of BFM TV, the number one French news channel. He is a professional TV journalist with extensive experience covering world affairs: the fall of the Soviet Union, Bill Clinton’s Presidency, 9/11 and America under attack, George W. Bush at the White House, the 2008 world financial crisis and the G20 Summits. He is also an interviewer for Politique Internationale, Paris, France, the main french foreign policy review. Ulysse Gosset, a former Director at France Televisions Group, was COO and member of the board of France 24, in charge of News and Programming and former Director of the channel, anchor and executive producer of the show “The Talk of Paris”, on France 24, the first French International News Channel. Ulysse Gosset was Editor in charge of national news at France 3 Televisions, France Televisions Group, in Paris, prior to working with the International News Channel, France 24. Ulysse Gosset began his career in public broadcasting where he covered international news, at Radios France Inter, France Info and France Culture between 1977 and 1993. In 1986 Gosset was named permanent envoy to Moscow for private network TF1 French Television and spent the next seven years covering the reforms of Mikael Gorbachev, the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of Boris Yeltsin: In 1993 Gosset was named head correspondent and bureau chief of TF1 in the United States where he covered the Clinton years and the arrival of George Bush to power.
President of the Ile-de-France Region (LR), and former Minister, France
Valérie Pécresse was elected member of the French Parliament, the National Assembly, in June 2002, re-elected in 2007 and 2012. She was appointed Minister for Higher Education and Research by President Nicolas Sarkozy in May 2007.
In 2011 she became Minister of the Budget and Government spokesperson. From June 2012 to December 2015, she acted as leader of the opposition group at the Regional assembly of the Ile-de-France region as well as Member of Parliament, member of the Finance Commission. Graduated from both HEC (Management school) and ENA (school of administration), Valérie PÉCRESSE started her career as fa Judge (Maître des Requêtes) at the Conseil d’Etat, the highest administrative jurisdiction.
On December 13th 2015, she won the regional elections and became the President of the Ile-de-France Region. She resigned from the National Assembly and from Conseil d’Etat, in accordance with her campaign promise to concentrate on her term of President exclusively.
Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University, Japan
Professor Yoko Ishikura currently serves as an independent consultant in the area of global strategy and global talent. Dr. Ishikura received her MBA from Darden School, University of Virginia; and DBA from Harvard Business School.
Her expertise is in global business strategy, competitiveness innovation, and global talent. She was a professor at Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University, at Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University, and at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. She was a consultant at McKinsey & Company Inc. Japan. She also served as vice president of the Science Council of Japan.
She is currently a non-executive Director of Nissin Foods Holdings, Lifenet Insurance Co., Sojitz Corporation and Shiseido Group. Professor Ishikura has been a frequent speaker at management conferences, seminars, and workshops throughout the world. Currently she is a member of Global Agenda Council, the World Economic Forum.
Zein Shiyyab is Business Process Manager at Trust Holding and Managing Director (Co-Founder) of Senses for advanced Technology. With 11 years of experience in Projects Management, E- Business Development & Process Improvement. Provides different Projects Management, Business development, and Quality improvement Services as well as Training programs through delivering a successful solution to highly demanding and challenging business environments toward improving their processes and identifying their key problems assuring smooth process standards and policies implementation utilizing available resources with minimum risk. Has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Master in Business Administration.