The Global WIL Economic Forum is held under the patronage of His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, United Arab Emirates.

Endorsed by the UAE Ministry of Economy for the past five years, Naseba Global WIL Economic Forum brings together over 500 global business leaders, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, NGOs, artists and youth to champion diversity as the cornerstone of sustainable economic development.

Initiated in Dubai in 2009, the forum has since then travelled and evolved from being a singular platform dedicated to gender parity, to a purpose-driven community. Throughout the year and over these two days, the WIL Forum celebrates the big and small steps taken by large corporations, governments and individuals to promote diversity & inclusion and shares the stories of every day heroes, storytellers and game changers.

Held under the theme “The Butterfly Effect – From Intent to Impact”, the 19th edition placed a particular focus on enacting social change through social entrepreneurship, impact investment, philanthropy, Diversity & Inclusion, education and the arts.

Designed to drive action, the program leverages the experience of business and community leaders to give attendees a roadmap to further their personal development, and organisations with the tools to make a difference.


Building diverse and inclusive workforces and communities is not a publicity-focused CSR initiative, or a matter of meeting quotas – there is a clear economic case to ensure that we address all segments of our diverse, modern society.

Sophie Le Ray, CEO, Naseba

forum format


Listen to and learn from the most successful and renowned thought leaders on diversity and inclusion principles.

Get your questions answered by expert panelists as they share their viewpoints on some of the most pressing diversity and inclusion challenges.

A highlight of the forum, the awards ceremony acknowledges individuals and organisations for their impactful support of women’s empowerment.

Gain insight into some of the best diversity and inclusion practices through real-life examples.

Choose from a variety of specialised workshops, each delivering practical knowledge through simulations, group exercises and case studies.

Cement and build relationships with cross-sector peers and industry leaders in an environment built to harness the principles of diversity and inclusion.

Book ‘brain dates’ with like-minded peers using our online app ( and kick off conversations in our brain dating lounge at the forum.

Download the 2017 post-event report

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H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori

H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori

Minister of Economy, United Arab Emirates H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori View Profile
H.E. Noura Al Kaabi

H.E. Noura Al Kaabi

Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, UAE H.E. Noura Al Kaabi View Profile
Dr. Auma Obama

Dr. Auma Obama

Founder & Director, Sauti Kuu Foundation Dr. Auma Obama View Profile
Haben Girma

Haben Girma

Global inclusion advocate, President Obama Champion of Change Haben Girma View Profile


Chairperson, Al Maskari Holding H.E. DR. SHAIKHA AL MASKARI View Profile
Melissa McSherry

Melissa McSherry

SVP, Analytics and Data Products, VISA Melissa McSherry View Profile
H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori
His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori has been appointed as Minister of Economy in the UAE, effective 17th of February, 2008.

His Excellency Sultan holds a Bachelor’s degree (B. Sc.) in Industrial Engineering & Management Systems from Arizona State University, USA. He also has a Diploma in Computer System Analysis from the Institute of Computer Technology, Los Angeles, California, USA.

In addition to his position as Minister of Economy, His Excellency Sultan holds the positions below:

Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection

Chairman of the Coordinating and Economic Cooperation Committee

Chairman of the National Committee for the Follow-up Program of Investment Climate

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Securities and Commodities Authority

Chairman of the Insurance Authority

Chairman of the Federal Civil Aviation Authority

Prior to his current responsibilities, His Excellency Sultan held the previous positions below:

Minister of Government Sector Development (2006-2008)

Minister of Transport and Communications (2004-2006)

Chairman of Aman (Dubai Islamic Insurance Company) (2002-2008)

Vice President of Dubai Islamic Bank (1999 – 2008)

Group Managing Director of Saeed & Mohamed Al Naboodah Group (1998 – 2004)

Deputy Director General – Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (1996 – 1998)
H.E. Noura Al Kaabi
Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi was appointed as the UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development in October 2017. As Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Her Excellency is responsible for the promotion of all UAE cultural fields on both a national and international level. She also sponsors and supports activities to develop and nurture young talent within the community. She previously held the post of Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs.

Her Excellency also holds the position of Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi (MZA) and twofour54, the home of media and entertainment in Abu Dhabi.

She is Chair of Abu Dhabi Media Company and Chair of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC Group). She is also on the board of the UAE’s National Media Council.

Her Excellency is the first UAE national to be ranked in Foreign Policy magazine’s ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers List’. In 2014, she was named as one of Forbes Middle East’s 30 Most Influential Women in Government; and was awarded ‘Business Woman of the Year’ at the Gulf Business Industry Awards. Her role in growing the UAE’s media industry was recognised by America Abroad Media in 2015; and she was named as one of the 20 most powerful women in global television by The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. She has been a WEF young global leader since 2014.

H.E. Noura Al Kaabi holds a B.A. in MIS from UAE University and has also completed the Executive Leadership Programme from London Business School.
Dr. Auma Obama
Born and raised in Kenya, Dr. Obama studied in Germany, obtaining a Masters degree at the University of Heidelberg, completing her doctorate studies at the University of Bayreuth and also graduated from the Berlin Film and Television Academy. Dr. Obama lived and worked in Germany and the UK for several years before returning to Kenya to work for the humanitarian agency, CARE International. A key component of her work there was to create and coordinate of the "Sport for Social Change Network", an initiative that brought together grassroots organizations from various countries (East Africa, Egypt, Bangladesh) that used sport - with a special focus on girls -, as a tool for social change.

In 2010 Dr Auma Obama founded the Sauti Kuu Foundation ( The Foundation seeks to give a voice to financially and socially disadvantaged children and youth. Using a Self-Help Model of intervention the Foundation works to unlock their potential and enable them to improve their lives.

Dr. Obama is the Director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation. She also has held/ holds the following positions: Trustee of the Jacobs Foundation (2011 – 2015), Councilor of the World Future Council (2015 - Current), Patron of the Storymoja International Festival (2014 – Current), and the WeLT Business Club (2017). She is also a Trustee of the Stiftung Lesen (German Reading Foundation (2015 – Current), and a Council Member of the Kilimanjaro Initiative since 2014 to date Dr. Obama is the Initiator of the Sauti Kuu Act Now Youth Awards 2015

Dr Obama is a published author. Her memoir ‘Das Leben kommt immer dazwischen’, was first written published in German in 2010. The English edition ‘And Then Life Happens’ later came out in 2012. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her humanitarian work as well as an international Speaker, who has given numerous presentations worldwide on sustainable Socio-economic Development, with special emphasis on the relationship between the ‘Developed’ and ’Developing’ World.

Dr. Obama, is an alumni of the Rockefeller Foundation‘s Bellagio Centre Residency Program.
Haben Girma
Haben Girma has earned recognition as a White House Champion of Change, Forbes 30 under 30, and BBC Women of Africa Hero. The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben advocates for equal access to information for people with disabilities. Haben holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College. Because of her disability rights advocacy she has been honored by President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, and many others. Based in San Francisco, Haben enjoys salsa dancing, surfing, and traveling the world.

Haben has been featured extensively in media around the world, including the BBC, NBC, Forbes, NPR, and many more. Learn more about Haben at
Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari started her career with ADNOC Group and in 1989 she joined her family petroleum company, Tricon Energy Operations. Under her leadership, Tricon evolved into a conglomerate comprised of multinational firms and government-linked companies. In 2008, HE Dr. Shaikha established Al Maskari Holding (AMH), the privately owned holding company of the Al Maskari portfolio that controls the family’s operating subsidiaries, joint venture companies, strategic partnerships, and private equity.

For national corporate social responsibility, HE Dr. Shaikha founded the Global Institute of Justice & Technology and the Global Paramedic & Rescue Academy. Both have trained hundreds of UAE Ministry of Interior personnel in advanced police sciences, security, search and rescue and emergency medical services and have won numerous national, regional and international awards. In 1993, she set up her family charity, United Mercy Foundation (presently operated underneath her family foundation), which sponsors orphans and orphanages and provides food, medical, and emergency relief in crisis zones in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. In 2003, she co-founded the Diyarbakir ( Grameen) Microcredit Project in Turkey.

On 17th March, 2017, in UK Parliamentary Debates (HANSARD), House of Lords Official Report, Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari was paid a tribute for having “dedicated her time, energy and personal funding to numerous refugee camps”.

On 19th October, 2016, His Majesty the King of Sweden Carl the XVI Gustaf bestowed upon HE Dr. Shaikha the Order of the Polar Star, Member 1st Class. The Order of the Polar Star was awarded for her service to Sweden.

Also, on 19th October, 2016, she was awarded “the Emirati Honorary Shield” for her pioneering Humanitarian contributions to the development of the State.

In honor of Emirati Women’s Day 2016, the UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority published “Emaratiyah” a collection of profiles of the UAE Inspiring Women. HE Dr. Shaikha was included for her roles as a leading businesswoman and a philanthropist.

HE Dr. Shaikha was recognized by Forbes Middle East in their 2015 list and in their 2017 list of 100 Most Powerful Arab Business Women. She has been conferred by the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce & Industry : “Award For Excellence In Leadership And Contribution to the Economic Empowerment of Emirati Women ” ; by Enterprise Asia the “2016 Asia-Pacific Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” ; by the Australian Trade Minister in 2015: for “Making outstanding contribution to enhancing Australia-UAE Relations”; by the WWLCA: “Women Leadership Achievement Award 2015”; by Arab Woman Awards: “Emirati Businesswoman of the Year 2014; by Global Thinkers Forum: “Excellence In Business 2014”; by Petroleum Institute and Kuwait University: “For Contribution in Offshore Engineering”; by Am/Cham Abu Dhabi: Falcon Award 2013 “ For Promoting UAE-USA Trade Relations,” ; by Am/Cham MENA: “Best Woman Entrepreneur 2012”; by HH Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cultural Center for “ Promoting and Contribution to Indo-Arab Relations”; by TIAW World of Difference Award 2012: “For outstanding contribution to the economic empowerment of women” ; honored by United States CAPSTONE Military Program for her services in enhancing bilateral relations; and recipient of several awards from the UAE Red Crescent for on-going contributions to international emergency relief. Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari earned her BA at the University of London, MA and PhD (Geology) at Indiana University, and trained in geophysics with the US Geological Survey.

HE Dr. Shaikha is Chairperson of Al Maskari Holding (AMH), Emirates & Al Maskari Holdings, and Tricon Energy Operations. Board memberships include GR Vision Pte Ltd and Property Facilities Services Pte Ltd. HE Dr. Shaikha also serves on several Boards of non-profit organizations; she is a Board member of Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF), a member of the International High Advisory Board of International Cooperation Platform (ICP), Advisory Board member of the Emirati-Swiss Friendship Forum, Advisory Board member of Enterprise Asia, and Advisory Board member of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF).
Melissa McSherry
Current Position and Responsibilities Melissa McSherry joined Visa in 2016 to lead the Analytics and Data Products team. That team serves clients globally with benchmarking products, predictive models to drive customer engagement, and individual projects leveraging transaction data. In September, Ms. McSherry took on the Global Credit team, which builds capabilities to support issuers in growing their credit card portfolios.

Other Information

Prior to Visa, Ms. McSherry spent 12 years at Capital One where she managed Subprime Acquisitions, Decision Sciences, and Marketing and Credit for cobrand and private label partnerships. In Subprime acquisitions, she led a major shift into internet originations, tripling the share of originations from that channel in one year. The Decision Sciences team under her leadership launched the first competing risk model for real time credit decisioning among major banks in the US. While she was leading marketing and credit for Partnerships, that business grew from $30 Million in loans to $25 Billion in loans. Prior to Capital One, Ms. McSherry was a Vice President of Product Marketing at a technology start up. She holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Harvard.
Frederic Kanoute
Frédéric Kanouté is a one of the most prolific African footballers of the modern era. A former African Footballer of the Year, Freddie was capped 39 times for Mali, scoring 23 goals and playing a vital role in propelling Mali to the final of the African Cup of Nations in 2010.

He had a distinguished domestic career, playing in the French and English top tier leagues before moving to Seville in Spain, where he helped guide the club to two UEFA Cup victories, a UEFA Super Cup, a Super Copa De Espana and two Copa Del Rey trophies between 2005-12. In recognition of his success, Freddie is now an official global La Liga ambassador alongside luminaries such as Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos, Patrick Kluivert and Gaizka Mendieta.

Freddie is a longstanding and committed philanthropist. Following a brief spell with Beijing Guoan in China in 2012, Freddie retired to Dubai to set up the KAFO (an abbreviation of 'Kanoute Football') youth academy and to continue his charity work. He has previously worked with global organisations including UNICEF and Making Poverty History and been lauded for his efforts in raising awareness and funds for a number of causes, including Champions for Africa.

The primary focus of Freddie’s philanthropic efforts, however, is the Kanouté Foundation, an initiative he established in 2004. A central pillar of the foundation is the Sakina Village Orphanage in Mali, an holistic charity project designed to help vulnerable children by providing them with housing, healthcare and an education, and the skills to break the cycle of poverty.
H.H. Sheikha Mariam Al Mualla
Mariam Al Mualla works and volunteers on different initiatives at the Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qassimi. One of the initiatives, FUNN is dedicated to promoting and supporting media art for young children and the youth of Sharjah and UAE. Another initiative is The Big Heart Foundation, which aims to raise funds for sustainable projects for refugees in the Middle East.

She recently joined the organization on a trip to Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan in an effort to use arts and media as a means to bring hope and joy refugee children and youth; the team organized various workshops for 7-18 year olds including handing out new cameras and providing photography workshops.

Mariam is passionate about education for all and cultural diplomacy. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Applied Communications from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Sharjah.
Iris Epple-Righi
Iris Epple-Righi is the CEO of the ESCADA Group since September 1, 2016.

Mrs Epple-Righi has considerable experience in international apparel brands. For the past 13 years she has worked for Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, both owned by PVH Corp., most recently as President Brand Management for Calvin Klein Europe.

Before Calvin Klein, Iris Epple-Righi worked for Tommy Hilfiger, where she was responsible for several years for their retail business and later for the product.

Mrs Epple-Righi started her career at the German department store Breuninger, where she was in various positions in the buying department and for her last 6 years as GMM.

She has a Master of Business degree from Eberhard Karls University in Germany.
Tessy holds an M.Sc. in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS and is a fellow at the center for Global Health Security at Chatham House. She has extensive experience in informal and formal diplomacy as well as public representation. Tessy has worked as an ambassador for UNAIDS (Global Advocate for Young Women and Adolescent Girls) and has been appointed patron to UNA-UK. Tessy spent five years in the military, during which she was deployed in Kosovo as a peacekeeper and detached to the Luxembourg Commission and Embassy both in Geneva and London.

Tessy actively promotes a number of issues, including global health and women’s rights. She is passionate about development and has committed her time and energy to furthering the work of organizations in which she believes. Moreover, she is actively committed to strengthening basic human rights for all and empowering young women and adolescent girls around the world. In 2012, Tessy received the Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau. In 2016, Tessy received the Mrongovius medal of recognition for her work on spreading humanistic ideas globally. Moreover, in January 2017, Tessy received the ‘Woman of the Decade Award’ from the Women Economic Forum for her work in women empowerment, security and peace.
H. E. Maha Ali
Ms. Ali served as Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply in 2015/2016. She worked at the Trade Ministry since 1998, served at Jordan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva in 2002, and was appointed as the Ministry’s Secretary General in 2010. She has a BSc in Industrial Engineering, an MBA and a Trade Policy Diploma.

During her ministerial service, Ms. Ali was ranked the 8th most powerful Arab woman in government by Forbes Middle East/2015. She has a broad experience in international trade, industrial and trade policies. She was a member of the negotiation teams for Jordan’s accession to the World Trade Organization and Jordan’s Free Trade Agreements with the US, Singapore, Canada, and Turkey.

Ms. Ali was awarded the Royal Medal by His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Third Order in 2008 and of the Fifth Order in 2000. In 2016, she received the Governor General’s Medallion by the Right Honourable David Johnston Governor General of Canada in appreciation of efforts exerted in fostering greater ties between Jordan and Canada.
Kristina Kuzmic
Energetic, funny, and obsessed with creativity, Kristina has an in-your-face perspective on issues of parenting and life in general. In fact, you may have seen Kristina recently on your Facebook feed, or on any one of a number of internet, radio or TV outlets. She has become a YouTube sensation with her “mom-centric” videos about raising children and juggling all of life’s challenges. With over 300 million views across media outlets and websites worldwide, Kristina already has a voice and personality that has proven to be a hit with a massive audience (from young millennials through Gen-Xers and even Baby Boomers).

The Huffington Post referred to Kristina’s videos as “Parenting comedy at its finest,” and The Inquisitr has praised her “witty charm.” People Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Yahoo have all posted articles on her creative parenting advice and unique humor, and media outlets across the country are picking up on her videos and re-posting them. Kristina has quickly made a name for herself as a creative, yet unpretentious parent, as well as a motivational speaker/comedian. In 2011, Kristina was chosen from 20,000 applicants and crowned the winner of Mark Burnett’s reality TV competition: “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” The competition involved numerous grueling challenges, such as writing and producing television segments, and interviewing celebrities including Susie Orman, Gayle King, Arsenio Hall and Oprah Winfrey herself.

Kristina’s first reality show titled “The Ambush Cook,” aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Oprah said of Kristina, “What is that THING?…That’s so charming and charismatic and connected to the audience that makes you feel like, I know her, I want to be her, I’m like her… She has all of that. She is an ‘IT PLUS’ girl… I wanna watch her!” Kristina has been approached by various sites to create original content, and in 2016, she made the decision to partner with, the largest women’s lifestyle site. Little Things nicknamed Kristina the “Truth Bomb Mom.”

Kristina’s blog posts, which incorporate her unique insights on family-related topics, have been published on various websites, including and The Huffington Post.

Kristina and her husband currently live in Southern California, where her most important, rewarding, and exhausting careers include being a sanitation engineer, chef, chauffer, and conflict resolution guru for her three (mostly satisfied) clients – her children.
Carolyn Everson
Carolyn Everson is Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook where she leads the company’s relationships with top marketers and agencies for all of Facebook’s family of apps including Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Carolyn oversees a team of regional leaders, and the teams focused on global partnerships, global agencies, global gaming, and the Creative Shop.

Prior to Facebook, Carolyn was the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Global Advertising Sales and Trade Marketing Teams. Carolyn also spent seven years at Viacom. Her last role was as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of U.S. Ad Sales for MTV Networks, where she oversaw strategic planning, operations, and finance for MTVN’s U.S. Ad Sales department. Prior to Viacom, Carolyn held roles at Primedia, The Walt Disney Company and Accenture Consulting.

Carolyn has been named to AdWeek’s “AdWeek 50” since 2013. In 2015, she was named to the top of Business Insider’s list of the Most Powerful Women in Advertising, and she has been named a “Woman to Watch” by Advertising Age. Carolyn was twice included on Fortune’s “40 Under 40.”

Carolyn is on the Board of Directors of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc.; serves on the boards of DonorsChoose, Effie Worldwide, the Mobile Marketing Association, and She Runs It; and is an advisor to Luma Partners. She is the Chair of We Day, United Nations, which encourages and supports young people who are creating transformational social change. Carolyn is a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.

Carolyn holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and communications from Villanova University, from which she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She also obtained a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. Carolyn also received an honorary doctorate from Mount Saint Mary’s University. Carolyn is a member of the Villanova University Board of Trustees, and a trustee of The Montclair Kimberley Academy. She resides in Montclair, New Jersey with Doug, her husband, and Taylor and Kennedy, their twin daughters.
Tonye Cole
Tonye P. Cole is the co-founder and executive director of the Sahara Group. An architecture alumni of the University of Lagos and Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program (AMP186), Tonye Cole, together with his partners has grown the company, founded in 1996, from a single entity to a leading African Energy (Oil, Gas and Power ) and infrastructure conglomerate with operations in over 10 countries across four continents of the world.

Tonye is an active member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and also represents Sahara as a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the United Nations Sustainable Development Fund (UN SDG-F) - in recognition of Sahara Group’s role in promoting inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, capacity building, food security and access to potable water in Africa.

His passion for youth development and giving back to the less privileged is expressed through his foundation Nehemiah Youth Empowerment Initiative and Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the group, Sahara Foundation; which has recorded many interventions in the area of Education, Environment, Health, Capacity building and currently in the area of Extraprenueurship using a model that seeks to drive sustainability and create platforms that finds, creates and connects young people with business interests in emerging markets.

A motivational speaker, ordained minister, entrepreneur and firm believer in Africa's inherent greatness, he has travelled vastly delivering numerous papers to the continents youth. He is a regular columnist for Thisday Style and the author of Morning Reflections, an inspirational devotional and My God Thinks.

He is married to Dr. Sylvia Cole with whom they have three children.
Afra Atiq
Afra Atiq is an Emirati award-winning poet, having recently won the ADMAF Creativity Award. She is the first spoken word poet to win the award.

In early 2016, Afra left the corporate word, with nothing but faith in her heart, to pursue poetry. She has been featured in 13 cities across 4 countries and proudly gives back to her community through mentorships and workshops with Untitled Chapters (a thriving hub for Emirati female writers).

She has been a featured performer/speaker at platforms like the Emriates Airlines Festival of Literature, Step Music Festival, TedxAUS, TedxTCHS, NYUAD, Sheraa Sharjah, as well as at numerous universities and schools. Afra was named Best Performer for 2015-16 by Rooftop Rhythms and has performed at the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe in New York. In addition, Afra is the only Emirati to perform at the Bowery Poetry Club and win the PoetsNY poetry slam at the same venue.

Technically, she holds a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy (specializing in Middle Eastern politics, gender policies, and power dynamics) and is pursuing a PhD at UAE University —however, performing poetry takes center stage in her life.
Donna Benton
Donna Benton started the Entertainer in 2001 after identifying a market need for both providing consumers with dining incentives and enabling restaurants to reach new customers. The Entertainer filled this gap by providing buy one get one free offers to the best restaurants, cafes, nightspots and attractions. Donna worked alone to build the business from the ground up – managing all of the corporate legalities to set the business up, recruited all of the merchants the first year, oversaw the printing and production and did most of the sales herself, literally door to door.

Word of mouth from delighted customers drove strong book sales and Donna – a native of Melbourne, Australia – grew the business into different countries using the same model, while also expanding her product line to include spas, beauty and hotel accommodation. In 2013, the Entertainer launched its award-winning smartphone App, which allows consumers to redeem their buy one get one free offers directly from their phones.

Over the past fifteen years Donna has used her passion and enthusiasm to drive the company from a single Dubai book to a Dubai-based international brand. The Entertainer portfolio now includes 39 products, providing offers across 18 destinations in 14 countries – including every GCC country, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Africa, London, Athens, Cyprus and Malta. With offers from over 10,000 merchant partners, the Entertainer drives over US$ 1.3 Billion dollars into the global economy each year.

More information available at:
Website –
Twitter – @Entertainer241
Facebook -
Olatorera Oniru
Olatorera Oniru née Majekodunmi, is an assiduous entrepreneur passionate about all things Africa. As the CEO of, she is currently leading initiatives to shift the balance between importation and home-grown production – focusing on innovation to maximize Africa’s natural resources and human capital. A member of The National Scholars Honor Society USA, Ms. Oniru started her career working for two Fortune Top 5 companies, namely Bank of America Merrill Lynch and General Electric. She also worked for one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, Lars Magnus Ericsson, as a global senior consultant and later as Head of Sales Governance. During the course of her career as an employee, she traveled to over 50 cities in over 10 countries in 4 continents.

Ms. Oniru is one of the world's youngest and most sought-after public speakers on topics related to leadership, entrepreneurship and technology driving Africa's growth. As a leading champion of the Made in Africa Movement, she has been recognized by Commonwealth Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, was named amongst Forbes Most Promising Africans,'s Top 5 Youngest Entrepreneurs and was awareded at the Nigerian Innovation Awards and African Achievers Awards.

Her track record of success has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post and several other leading publications. In 2016, She was invited to speak at AfricaCom, NigeriaCom, World Retail Congress, TMT Finance, Seamless Africa, African Development Forum, Women in Business South Africa and several other leading events. Ms. Oniru holds a scholarship-based Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious Emory University USA and Executive Management Certificates from Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden and International Institute for Management Development, Switzerland.

Ms. Oniru's passions include: Innovation, Poverty Alleviation, National Development, Good Governance, Happy People.
Dimple Sahni
Dimple is responsible for originating investments, managing relationships, and helping to execute strategies for the portfolios at Anthos Asset Management dedicated to impact investing. This includes Skopos Impact Fund, a global, private, impact investing fund focused on measurable, positive social and environmental returns alongside financial returns, with the aim to promote human dignity and social justice.

Dimple is an experienced investment professional who began her career in finance at Goldman Sachs. She then launched an Edtech startup, which was acquired by Accenture. Afterwards, she was a Kauffman Fellow for L Capital Partners before joining the Omidyar Network. Most recently she advised Unilever Corporate Ventures on its exploration of a venture investment program in emerging Asia.

Dimple holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago. Based in Amsterdam she is bilingual and a dual citizen of India and the US.
Dr. Patty Ann Tublin
Dr. Patty Ann Tublin is an internationally recognized relationship, communication and “soft skills” expert. A best-selling author of “Money Can Buy You Happiness: Secrets Women Need to Know to Get Paid What They Are Worth!” and "Not Tonight Dear, I've Got a Business to Run!” which received a 4-star review from SUCCESS Magazine Book Review. As a professional speaker, she delivers inspirational keynote speeches, workshops & seminars to corporations, universities & entrepreneurial groups.

As a passionate behavioral and relationship expert, Dr. Patty Ann understands that Human Capital is every company’s most important asset. She is the Founder & CEO of Relationship Toolbox LLC, a company committed to the development of all employees through workshops, seminars, and executive coaching that utilizes communication and relationship skills to enhance individual and overall company performance. Optimizing her experience as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Patty Ann is a human behavior & motivational expert who is uniquely qualified to utilize proven psychological principles and techniques to optimize performance at every level throughout corporations, entrepreneurial groups and universities.

Passionate about utilizing her almost three decades of experience as a communication and relationship expert, Dr. Patty Ann shows professionals how to optimize "soft skills" for success in business. She is especially passionate about helping women learn to succeed and lead in business while "having a life!" Her expertise includes equipping leaders with the skills necessary for success in a global and diverse marketplace. Dr. Patty Ann has been featured as an expert on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX News, Sirius XM & Money 101 with Bob McCormick. She is the weekly relationship expert for CT's #1 Radio Morning Talk Show & a frequent guest on WFSBTV & WTNH NEWS 8.

Published in The Wall Street Journal, SUCCESS Magazine, CNN.Fortune Postcards, Fortune, Huffington Post, Entrepreneurial Women Magazine, Lifestyles Magazine, Woman's Day and Ladies Home Journal.

Awarded the Leadership Award from The Women’s Center 29th Annual Leadership Conference along with other dignitaries such as Mrs. Colin Powell.

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, two Master's Degrees, RN.
Molly Hayward
Lina Khalifeh
SheFighter is newly established firm by a young entrepreneur Lina Khalifeh. SheFighter was born in the mind of Lina in January 2010, however the legal registration and formal birth of SheFighter was in April 2010, in Amman, Jordan.

After starting training women at the basement of her parent’s house, Lina managed to start her own and first SheFighter studio in 2012.

SheFighter Studio is the 1st Self-Defense Studio designed to empower women both mentally and physiologically through Self-Defense Techniques. By learning SheFighter’s Techniques women will feel more confident, secure and strong to defend themselves from different violent situations.

The Idea of SheFighter about women’s Self-Defense has come from its founder about violence against women by which Lina describes it as “I didn’t find one real solution for violence against women”.

Lina has more than 17 years of experience in practicing Martial Arts like Taekwondo, Kick-Boxing, Kung Fu and Boxing. As well, the founder holds the black belt in Taekwondo 3DAN, and has represented Jordan in many competitions and championships (National and International). Lina got also certified as a trainer in Canada and North America.

SheFighter has become really well known among women and girls for its successful activities.
A former business reporter for CNBC, Vibha has studied Journalism and Broadcasting from Boston University and New York University. Vibha’s films have been aired on HBO and Lifetime TV in the United States.

Her latest film ‘DAUGHTERS OF MOTHER INDIA’ is the winner of the National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues, awarded by President of India. This is the highest honour in Indian Films. Her previous films include TERROR AT HOME, a film which was part of the United States Government’s Emmy Award winning campaign to Stop Violence Against Women and TOO HOT NOT TO HANDLE, HBO’s highly acclaimed film on Global Warming.

Ida Beerhalter
Ida Beerhalter heads IOME, a private investment partnership of women principals from the Gulf region with its head office in Riyadh, KSA.

Additionally, Mrs Beerhalter also serves as Member of the Board, Trustee, Advisor, and Expert to various for-profit and not-for-profit organizations around the globe (amongst others Astia USA, Omnia Strategy UK, WIP – Women in Parliaments Global Forum, Bellwald Partner GmbH Switzerland, Impact Investment Partners LLP UK, Sauti Kuu Foudation Kenya & Germany, Yunus Social Business GmbH Germany, Social Business Earth Switzerland, First Light Trust UK, TBLI Group The Netherlands, Charité Entrepreneurship Summit Germany) specialized in a wide range of issues, including social business, entrepreneurship, impact investment, gender inclusiveness, women empowerment, investment in emerging markets, and wealth management, family governance and succession planning.
Satish Modi
‘I feel that real philanthropy is to enable the
disadvantaged to earn a decent living’ – Satish K Modi

The chairman of Modi Global Enterprises, Satish Kumar Modi, is part of a family and a business that plays a leading role in India and, increasingly, around the world. His father, the late Rai Bahadur Gujar Mal Modi, established the Modi Group of Industries and, in 1933, established the industrial township of Modinagar, which now has a population of half a million people. The group has a turnover of about US$1.2 billion. The Modi Group has interests in many products and services, from textiles & fashion, chemicals and telecommunications to medicines, property development, air transport, finance and automotive parts, as well as links with a range of global companies and their brands.

Satish Modi started India’s first offshore mutual fund – J.F. India Fund and he is on the board of this Fund, which is part of J.P. Morgan Chase.

In collaboration with TTI, Hong Kong, he is marketing world class home appliances in India and also in other International markets through his company, Modi Hoover Limited.

He is working actively on a project to develop Modinagar into a smart city. The Town will have most modern facilities for education, residential, recreation and health.

Satish Kumar Modi started India 's first private airline, ModiLuft in partnership with Lufthansa and is credited with re-launching this airline as SpiceJet a leading private airline of India.

He is also the Chairman of Rajputana Fertilisers Limited – a company having huge real estate and land bank in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Beyond business success, Satish Modi has maintained the legacy of his philanthropist parents by supporting a range of charities, educational institutions and the arts. His Foundation runs the programme, ‘Right to Education' which provides subsidized/free education to four thousand underprivileged children in India. The philanthropic project, ‘A Stitch in Time' is an initiative to empower women. This has enabled thousands of women to earn their livelihood respectfully.

Satish Modi is President and Managing Trustee of the Shree Durga Charitable Society, which owns and manages the Laxmi Narayan Temple at Modinagar, popularly known as ‘Modi Temple’, and, for the comfort of pilgrims, has Dharamshalas in various places in North India, including Haridwar, Kedarnath, Mathura, Vrindavan, Jwalamukhi and Badrinath. Being a champion of peace, Satish Modi is planning to establish an inter-faith spiritual centre in Modinagar soon.

Satish Modi is President of the Dayawati Modi Foundation for Art, Culture and Education. Mother Teresa was one of the first to receive its annual award. His Holiness the Dalai Lama received the Dayawati Modi Award for Art, Culture and Education in 2011.

He is also President of the G.M. Modi Science Foundation that promotes Science and Technology in India and has instituted the prestigious annual G.M. Modi Science Award. Among the recipients is Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India.

In May 2000 Satish Modi and his wife Abha established the International Institute of Fine Arts ( to provide quality education to students in the fields of art and creative design. Currently, IIFA has over 450 students studying degree courses in Fashion Design, Textile Design, Painting and Applied Art. Under Satish Modi’s leadership, the college, today, has become a premier institution in the country with established alliances with schools around the world.

IIFA is partnered with two UK-based institutions – the Royal Drawing School (President: HRH the Prince of Wales) and the University of the Arts London. Both organisations are global leaders in their field and regularly send teachers and students on teaching assignments to IIFA every year. IIFA also has an MoU with the largest arts university in Switzerland, the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). The present Animation Department at IIFA is being expanded into the Institute of New Media Design, in association with the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), Switzerland. This will be a landmark institute offering a range of disciplines in New Media. IIFA is also developing a collaboration with the Columbia University School of the Arts, New York, for setting up a T.V. & Film Institute in India. The Columbia University will be sending their faculty to IIFA to teach television and screen writing.

In 2010 Satish Modi launched Arts for India, a charity, registered in the U.K., to help support underprivileged, yet talented artists from India ( The charity has also been launched in Switzerland, USA and Hong Kong.

In collaboration with Times Foundation & Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai, IIFA produced an innovative art show on CNBC India called “The IIFA Art Show”. Conceptualized and created by Mr. Satish Modi, the show was a unique programme in itself, with both performing as well as visual artists coming together on television. Some of the eminent artists who participated in the show included Mr. S.H. Raza, Mr. Krishan Khanna, Mr. Akbar Padamsee, Ms. Anjolie Ela Menon and Mr. Satish Gujral.

One of Satish Modi’s aims has been to draw international audience to recognize Indian artists and consider the fine nuances of Indian art. Under his leadership, IIFA has organized several art exhibitions at various venues around the globe, including the Tate Britain, London; Chelsea College of Art and Design, London; Chapel Gallery, Singapore, the House of Lords, London and the New York Academy of Art, New York. On the invitation by the United Nations, IIFA held an exhibition of contemporary Indian art, ‘Indiart for the Power of Peace’, at UNESCO’s Global Forum on the ‘Power of Peace’ at Bali, Indonesia in January 2007. IIFA was also invited by the governments of Japan and India to organize an exhibition of contemporary Indian art, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Indo-Japan Friendship Year in 2007.

Satish Modi has written a book entitled, ‘In Love with Death’. The aim of this book is to help people overcome their fear of dying, to make them look at death positively, motivating them to live their lives filled with goodness, love and compassion. The book, published by Birlinn Limited, was released in May 2014.

Satish Modi was invited to deliver a talk on education at the ‘Partnering for Global Impact’ conference, held at Lugano, Switzerland in July 2012.

For his services to the nation, Satish Modi has received a number of awards and honours including the Vijaya Ratna Award, the National Unity Award, Gem of India Award, the Rajiv Gandhi Medal of Merit and the Philanthropist Award by the Indian National Overseas Congress.

Satish Modi is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London. He was appointed an ‘Ambassador for Philanthropy’ by the UK's Founding Ambassador for Philanthropy, Dame Stephanie Shirley, in recognition of his philanthropy in India and role as an advocate to others. In 2010, he was nominated for an Arts & Business Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy. He was also presented the World

Peace Tartan in Edinburgh in 2012. In November, 2015, Satish Modi was honoured with the Tara Award by Venerable Mae Chee Sansanee Sthirasuta, Founder of Sathira-Dhammasathan, Bangkok.
Alice Laugher
Karen H. Jones
Karen Henson Jones is a Philippine-American author. Her first book Heart of Miracles has been featured on CNN Profiles Philippines, and in The Washington Post and LA Yoga.

She has spoken at Talks@Google and Hay House’s I Can Do It. She is also a contributor to The Huffington Post. She attended the Lam Rim teachings taught by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in India.

Karen is a graduate of Cornell University and London Business School.
Amna Al Owais
Amna joined the DIFC Courts in 2006, she became the Deputy Registrar in 2008 and Deputy Chief Executive of the Dispute Resolution Authority in 2014. Previous to her employment at the DIFC Courts, she practiced as a lawyer in the litigation department with Hadef Al Dhahiri and Associates (Hadef & Partners now) in Dubai. Prior to that, she trained at the UAE Ministry of Justice and was admitted to practice in both the Dubai local and federal courts. Amna obtained her Masters (LLM) with Commendation in International Commercial Law from Kingston University, London.

In addition to her role as Deputy Registrar of DIFC Courts she is also Deputy Registrar of the Special Tribunal Related to Dubai World, Chairwoman of the DIFC Courts’ Users’ Committee, a member of the Consulting Council for the University of Sharjah College of Law. In 2014, after an extensive selection process Amna was selected to join the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development – the Young Leaders category and in the same year, appointed to the Advisory Board of the International Bar Association's Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee.

Amna has played a key part in the establishment and development of the DIFC Courts and creation of the Dispute Resolution Authority in 2014. She spearheaded the establishment of the DIFC Courts’ Pro-Bono Programme launched in 2009, which is the first scheme of its kind in the Middle East. In 2011 Amna was recognised by the International Bar Association as one of the top 3 young lawyers in the world.

Within her role as Deputy Registrar of DIFC Courts Amna undertakes various judicial functions and other duties as prescribed in Article 17 of the DIFC Courts Law No. 10 of 2004. As Registrar of the Small Claims Tribunal, one of the busiest of the DIFC Courts, Amna coordinates all of the claims lodged and undertakes case consultations with the parties.
H.E. Mohammed Al-Shihhi
H.E. Eng. Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi is Undersecretary for Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Economy of the UAE, and has been at the Ministry since 2006. He is on the board of Emirates Petroleum, serves as Chairman of Arab Mining Company, and is a board member of the Emirates Identity Authority and the Emirates Standardization and Metrology Authority. He also heads the Competition Committee of the UAE and Agency Committee, along with the Trade Marks Committee. Previously, he held senior executive roles at Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) in an eventful career that spanned 17 years. He holds an executive master’s degree in business management from the American University of Sharjah.
Fida Chaaban
Fida Chaaban is the Chief Communications Officer of KBW Investments, a privately held Dubai-based investment concern that works across multiple sectors. Prior to her most recent appointment, Fida was the founding Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East and Entrepreneur Qatar magazines. She is a big believer in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region’s startup ecosystem, and 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 effective enterprises. Talk to her on Twitter @Fida.
Balvinder Powar
Director, BOOSTER Space Industries & AERDRON

His core skills are in leadership, communications, business development and sales, mediation, marketing, negotiation, research and set-up of new projects, especially in media and business and social development (strong experience in broadcasting, NGOs and luxury goods), and finding strategic partners.
Eithne Treanor runs a specialist media consultancy company based in Dubai. She is a professional conference moderator and facilitator and an expert media and communications trainer as well as a seasoned energy industry commentator.

Eithne acts as OPEC’s official on-air conference and webcast moderator. She has moderated at a large number of other conferences including the International Energy Forum, ADIPEC, World Energy Forum, the Africa Global Business Forum and the Excellence in Energy Awards. She is CNBC Arabia’s Special Consultant and she has worked as an international television journalist for ABC News, Sky News, BBC World, Bloomberg Television and CNBC Europe. She has interviewed thousands of leading politicians, dignitaries, energy ministers and high-ranking business people around the world. She is a guest presenter on Dubai Eye radio on the award winning Business Breakfast show and she regularly comments on energy matters.

She studied Politics and Sociology at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and has a degree in Broadcast Communications from Columbia College in Chicago and a post-graduate diploma in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
With over 20 years of professional experience in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry, Harald Wolf is General Manager at Roche Diagnostics Middle East responsible for leading 16 countries including: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and Maldives.

In addition to this role, he is currently Head of the Working Group Point of Care (POC) where he is responsible for the Point Of Care Diagnostics business strategy implementation in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Throughout his career, diversity and inclusion remained a priority where the percentage of women in the 45 countries under his management during his tenure and in leadership roles reached over 50% and 35% respectively. These achievements are remarkable; especially in an industry typically perceived to be male-oriented.

Harald started his illustrious career in 1986 with Boehringer Mannheim and held several management positions before re-joining Roche Diagnostics in 1996. Since then, he occupied several leading roles with increasing responsibility in Romania, Switzerland and the United States.
Petrina D’Rozario
Founder President, Women in Film & Television Association India

COO, Purple Pebble Pictures

Born and raised in Calcutta, Petrina was an all-rounder in school winning accolades in literature, sports, dramatics and elocution. At 14 she won the inter-school championship in athletics and would often be seen volunteering for extra-curricular activities. At 17 her family moved to Bangalore, where she joined Mount Carmel College and graduated in 2002 with a degree in Communicative English (Mass Communication) She was nick-named the ‘Prithviraj of Zee’ by her classmates, because while she was interning at Zee News her colleagues would call her ‘Prithvi-na.’

At 19, she worked as a journalist intern with Zee News and The Times of India - where she combined her love for meeting new people with literature and thus began her tryst with journalism. After graduating in 2002, Petrina travelled and lived in Australia and New Zealand and wrote for the Sunday Star Times & Sunday News – two national weeklies in NZ. Her love for filmmaking made her take a year-long sabbatical during which she enrolled into South Seas Film School in New Zealand and graduated with a distinction & double major in documentary directing and producing, while simultaneously freelancing with a local production house Mirchi , producing /anchoring a weekly magazine food show ‘Aapka Ghar’ and a part time features writer.

Ideating, developing, executing and marketing projects with efficiency are Petrina’s forte. She has been part of various co-productions for feature films, television and short films with Greece, Australia, New Zealand and India in the capacity of an associate producer, producer, executive producer, assistant director and creative director. Having worked with leading production houses in NZ – Greenstone Pictures, Eyeworks Touchdown Petrina’s trans-global sensibilities helps her when working with co-productions. Since returning to India, (2010) she has worked as a Producer on more than 60 adfilms and it was during this time she realised the need for a networking platform for women working in the industry.

With plenty of support from the WIFT International chair she initiated the need for a WIFT(Women in Film & Television), chapter in India. With the support of an advisory board of Anupama Chopra, Ashvini Yardi, Kiran Rao, Vandana Malik, Zarina Mehta, Madhusree Dutta, Ashni Parekh, Sooni Taraporevala and Uma da Cunha, Petrina spearheads the shaping of WIFT India ( and is responsible for the development of the chapter’s strategy, network and aim to enhance the visibility of women working in film & television. Today she sits on the board as the Founder President of WIFT India and on the International Board of WIFT (L.A) in the Communications and Marketing committee. Petrina was featured in the June 2012 issue of Femina which highlighted her journey in setting up WIFT India and 2013 Vogue India & Hello! Magazine.

Her first short film produced, ‘PYAAS’(2013) was selected in various international film festivals including River to River Indian Film Festival in Florence where she was invited along with the director to showcase the film. She has been a jury member on the ‘Celebrate Age’ competition section at the 14th MAMI Film Festival (2012) alongside noted author and columnist Shobhaa De with National Award winning directors Bhavna Talwar, Sachin Kundalkar, and noted actor Ranvir Shorey. The National Anthem conceptualised & produced by her as a celebration to women empowerment featured 40 women from across different film fraternities in India played across 400PVR screens on WOMEN’S DAY -8th March 2014 and continues to be screened at select PVR theatres.

Recently Petrina completed a year with BBC Worldwide India as a Creative Director where she developed ideas to be pitched to channels. She developed, scripted and directed a 10-part series on the endangered species of crocodiles – Gharials – for BBC Earth (digital). She was the creative director on the cooking show STAY HOME CHEF for TLC Discovery and was instrumental in the creative concept for the documentary on Mahindra’s electric vehicle, the e2o, for Discovery’s INSIDE OUT.

Petrina attended the WIFTI Summit in Washington DC where she was invited to stay at Catherine Wyler’s home – daughter of Hollywood’s favourite director William Wyler, who’s film ‘Ben Hur’ won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Holding the infamous Ben Hur OSCAR in the living room of Catherine Wyler was one of her most unforgettable and inspirational moments she holds close to her heart. Hoping that someday she will win one too for a story waiting to be told!
Noor Shamma
Curiosity, emotion and desire drive the work of Noor Shamma. Noor consciously remains ‘unclassifiable’ as an artist so that she can express herself through many different mediums. Noor’s current work explores the relationship between art, identity and emotion through a plethora of imagery, texture and expressive styles.

As the originator of the popular and ongoing Postcard Initiative sweeping through the nation (and beyond), Noor also finds time to teach children art in her spare time. Noor is Head of Communications and Public Affairs at the Paris-Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi. She lives in the United Arab Emirates and holds a BSc in Design Management from the American University of Sharjah and has an Executive Masters in Marketing, Management, Communications and Media with first class honors: mention très bien, from the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.
Alia Al Rifai
Al Rifai assumed her current position on July 1, 2016, after almost two years as Senior Executive Vice President of Finance for the company’s Energy Management Division in the region.

Al Rifai, whose career at Siemens spans close to two decades, is leading the company’s financial operations in the Middle East, focusing on strengthening key growth areas, driving profitability and promoting diversity and local value creation.

From her base in Siemens Middle East headquarters at Masdar City, Al Rifai oversees key growth markets for Siemens in the region, including the UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. During this exciting time of development in the region, Al Rifai plays an instrumental role in driving expansion across different sectors, with energy efficiency and digitalization taking center stage.

In addition to strengthening the company’s portfolio and providing customized, innovative technologies to Siemens’ customers, adding value to society and contributing to local knowledge transfer are some of her key priorities.

Al Rifai started with Siemens as Commercial Project Manager in Damascus, Syria, in 1997. Since then, she has worked in the UAE and Qatar, covering different markets in the region and holding multiple leadership positions within the company, including CFO of Siemens UAE and Qatar.

Syria-born Al Rifai is a graduate of the University of Damascus. She is a strong proponent of diversity in the workplace, employee empowerment and ownership culture, and is also a spokesperson for Siemens’ Business to Society initiatives in the Middle East.
Assia Grazioli-Venier
Assia Grazioli-Venier is a media executive, angel investor and advisor to high-growth tech startups, entertainment companies and venture capital firms.In 2016, Assia launched Muse Capital with her business partner Rachel Springate. An early stage strategic angel investment fund, Muse focuses on consumer-facing entrepreneurs and technologies that are creating next-generation products from fin-tech to healthcare to entertainment.

A sought-after digital media strategist and consultant to international organizations and leaders, Assia is on the board of directors of Italy's legendary Juventus Football Club. Appointed in 2012, she is the first female and youngest board member to serve in such a role in the 120-year history of the club. Assia is also on the board of advisors of Northzone, one of Europe's leading technology investment partnerships whose portfolio includes Spotify, iZettle, MarketInvoice, Outfittery, Trustpilot, Fyndiq and Qapital.

She recently joined the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Assia has also been a senior advisor to Spotify for over six years, where she was involved in global strategic initiatives that contribute to Spotify's growth and innovation.

Assia has a BA with Honors from Barnard College, Columbia University in the City of New York, and completed the London Business School's Emerging Leaders Programme.

She is an avid marathon runner and a staunch supporter of Augie's Quest - an organization that funds research and drug development aimed at ending ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease.

Born in Rome and raised in the US., Assia is fluent in four languages and has lived in New York City, London, Milan and Stockholm. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
Dawn Metcalfe
Dawn Metcalfe is an executive coach, facilitator, trainer and leadership advisor. She is also the author of Managing the Matrix (published in both English and Arabic) and Hard Talk™. Dawn is the founder of Dubai based PDSi, which helps individuals and teams get even better at what they do, and has worked with business leaders around the world to change the way they see the world, their behaviour and their impact on others.

Her insights and straight-talking approach has kept her constantly in demand from large multinationals and government entities, across the Middle East, over the last 10 years. Dawn’s latest project, HardTalk, is an innovative programme designed to help people get better at having the difficult conversations needed for success.

Dawn writes and speaks regularly in various media both in the UAE and internationally. And can’t be stopped from tweeting.
Maysoun Ramadan
Maysoun Ramadan is the Head of Communication and Public Affairs for Roche Diagnostics Middle East, where she is responsible for corporate communications in which, under her capacity, fall the strategic external communications in 16 countries and internal communications to over 350 employees across the region.

She is a strong and active advocate for women in leadership and women’s health initiatives with extensive experience in oncology, hematology and breast cancer, which has allowed her to develop communications campaigns that focus on driving early diagnosis and treatment to help people live longer, better lives.

With over 10 years’ experience in the medical and marketing industry, Maysoun is responsible for driving all strategic marketing communications and branding activities at Roche Diagnostics in the freshly established management centre based in Dubai. She manages all public relations activity working closely with a variety of stakeholders including health regulators, NGOs, patient groups and the media.

With her in-depth knowledge, experience and qualifications in the pharmaceutical field, Maysoun has been able to establish relationships with key opinion leaders, manage issues and crisis’ and develop key messages and stories to communicate the company’s leadership position in the market.

Maysoun is a certified Arabic editor and TV presenter and holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University Of Jordan.
Helen McGuire
Helen McGuire is the Co-Founder and MD of Hopscotch. Formerly the Head of Digital Content at Impact BBDO/Proximity, she launched Hopscotch in March 2016 whilst seven months pregnant with a mission to enable professional women to play a part in the workplace in the Middle East, no matter what their personal commitments. The company now employs a strong team across events and recruitment; has welcomed thousands of women to its database since launch; set up successful skills workshops with key clients and placed women in a variety of roles. Helen is a mum of two – Clementine (21months) and Arlo (four months) - and lives with her husband in Dubai.
Lama Younis
Lama graduated from Saudi Arabia's Effat University in 2005 with a degree in Counseling Psychology. She pursued her graduate studies in the UK and obtained her Masters degree from Middlesex University in London where she double majored in Criminology and Forensic Psychology. She has completed the final requirements for her Ph.D in International Childhood Studies, department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, UK, a world-class institution recognized for its excellence in research and teaching.

Lama's professional skills and strong educational background were determinant in her joining the Human Relations Institute in Dubai, UAE in 2007. The institute offers individuals and organizations across the Middle East professional services in psychology and human resources. In this capacity, Lama traveled across the entire Middle East region, providing qualified and expert consulting and educational services. During this time Lama was also affiliated with Effat University, teaching Developmental Psychology and Communication Methods courses in their Department of Psychology.

Continually in search of furthering her professional development, in 2008, Lama attended a post-graduate course at Harvard University entitled Delinquents, Criminals, Psychopaths, and Terrorists. This course proved crucial to broadening her development and understanding of the relationship between psychology and the law. In Spring 2010, Lama attended "Developing Critical Thinkers", a course at Teachers College of Columbia University which introduced critical thinking as the central process in the practice of leadership and teaching. Intent on building on this knowledge, later that year Lama attended a course entitled "Healing and Reconciliation in Relationships" taught by Harvard University professor Dr. Donna Hicks in the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Teachers College in Columbia University.

In this course, Lama, using evolutionary theory, explored with Dr. Hicks, emotional human vulnerability and the fact that threats to inner psychological stability are as dangerous as physical wounds. Hicks' framework included the language of dignity and indignity for describing the universal effect of emotional injuries.

In 2013 Lama completed a Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma in Traumatology and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Diploma is accredited by the Counseling and Psychotherapy Central Award Body. In this same year she was also a guest speaker on a panel in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science and Forensic Science in the Islamic Legal System. The topics discussed on this panel were "Discipline and Punishment of Children" as well as, "Child Abuse: A General Perspective in Saudi Arabia."

In 2014, Lama received an award in the ‘Women in Business’ category at the 2nd Arabian Business StartUp Awards for her successful contributions to the business world through Hissah Enrichment Center.

Her passion to create change in the GCC led to her powerful campaigns on child abuse and child protection. She was recognised for these life changing campaigns and was listed in ‘The 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40” by Arabian Business, April 2015 and “Middle East, 50 personalities you need to know” by the Italian news from the world website, SecoloNuovo, April 2015. In May 2015, Lama served as a panel member in the seminar “The Role of Women in Family Business” hosted by Crowe Horwath UAE, in partnership with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) which was held in support of the noble legislation undertaken by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai in 2012, to make it compulsory for companies and businesses to appoint women to their boards and senior managerial roles.

To commemorate survivors of cancer, Lama organised the first National Cancer Survivors Day in the GCC registered by The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, Tennessee, U.S.A. on 7th June 2015 where cancer survivors, caretakers and professionals from various fields came together to celebrate, support and share stories with one another on cancer survivorship. The event paved way to honouring different organizations which work towards the good cause of supporting individuals battling with cancer. In August 2015, to mark World Humanitarian Day by United Nations, Lama organised an awareness lunch where people were educated on the importance of World Humanitarian Day and was asked to be a part of humanitarian efforts by sharing kindness with the less fortunate. As a humanitarian effort, Lama showered children and the general public of the U.A.E with acts of generosity. Lama Younis is a strong advocate for children’s rights for the past 10 years and she believes it is time to mark the cause with a name which is ‘The Lama Campaign’. ‘The Lama Campaign’ aims to reach out and educate the people living in the GCC on different topics related to child abuse. Towards the end of the campaign each year, Hissah Enrichment Center will use its profits to visit shelters in developing countries around the world to provide emotional and financial support to abuse victims.

For her distinguished achievements, Lama was awarded “Young Achiever Award 2015” by the World Leadership Congress and “Sustainability Leadership Award 2015” by the World Sustainability Congress. She was also nominated for the Emirates Woman of the Year Award 2015 in the “Visionaries” category by the Emirates Woman Magazine.

Lama’s incessant desire to contribute to the well-being of the region continues to gain recognition and support. Among her many distinctions, in 2016, she was listed as one of the “most influential Arab people under 40” and served as a panel speaker for the Young Leaders Global Debate on “Sustainability, science, new media and education”.

As evidenced through her dedication, passion and work, Lama aims to enrich communities by providing critical services that will have a meaningful and long-term impact on the gulf region and aims to eradicate the taboo of child abuse in the GCC, Insha'Allah

Hissah Enrichment Center Press Release:
Louise Karim
Co-Founder of Mums@Work, Louise Karim, is an experienced Communication Specialist with more than 14 years’ experience in both the international and regional markets.

Living in Dubai since 2009, Louise has led teams at leading regional and international companies including DABO & Co, The Dubai World Trade Centre and Emirates Airlines. More recently she set up the digital department for two highly successful Dubai-based agencies. Representing a vast number of global brands including Virgin, Coca-Cola and The Four Seasons, Louise, a natural communicator with a drive to achieve, specialises in developing digital plans, which deliver strategic results.

2016 saw Louise take a shift in her career path, when she joined the Mackenzie Jones group to develop and lead the Mums@Work business. Louise’s insight into the target market through her own personal experience of juggling her role as a mother while still sustaining a successful career, is an integral part of the partnership with co-founder David Mackenzie.

A dedicated mother to two young boys, Louise is very passionate about the Mums@Work concept and the opportunity it brings to mothers in the region. She champions supporting women back to the workplace, together with building the concept and uptake of flexible work opportunities in the region.
Ghosson AlKhaled
Ghosson Ghassan Ahmad Al Khalid is currently holding the position of a Deputy CEO of ACICO Industries Company, the largest manufacturer of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete in the Middle East. Ghosson is directing a 1.3 billion dollar Asset company with a turnover of 300 million dollars. “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the company and the achievements of all its executives and employees,” says Mrs. Al Khaled. In addition to Kuwait, ACICO Industries is currently operating in Saudi, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.

Under its umbrella, ACICO is employing about 4100 employees from at least 15 different nationalities with different seniorities (GMs, Senior Managers, Managers, Employees, and labors). During her tenure starting 2002, Ghosson’s one and only motto has been: “One Team, One Dream”. Different colors, different religions, and different races meant nothing but a motivation to unity and a drive to Success. “We are all ACICOIANs here, and we are all walking under the same path: Path of Success” she stated. Historically, ACICO’s staff turnover has been kept at a minimum level which shows employees loyalty to the firm due to being well treated and appreciated despite of getting multiple financially better offers.

In 2012 and 2013, Ghosson was selected as one of the most 100 powerful Arabian women as per the analysis of Arabian Business Magazine. In 2014 and 2015, Ghosson was recognized as one of the most 200 powerful Arab women as per Forbes Magazine. In 2015, Ghosson was selected as one of the most influential Arabs under 40 years by Arabian Business magazine also she was selected as one of the most powerful 100 Arab women by Forbes magazine.

Ghosson is known for her kindness and continuous support to all managers and workers. Ghosson is a big fan of employees’ self-development and this resulted in people under her management getting professional certificates such as CPA, CFA, CMA, CIA, and PMPs.

As part of her social responsibility, Ghosson established in 2016 a nonprofit autism treatment center, Autism Partnership Kuwait (APK), which uses the latest and proven methodologies in applied behavior analysis treatment.
Dr. Ozge Akbulut
Dr. Akbulut is an Assistant Professor at Sabancı University since February 2012. She received her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering at Sabancı University in 2004. Her PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2009) focused on cost-effective fabrication of biomolecular devices and surface science. She continued her studies as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University (2009–2011) on developing tools/techniques for resource-limited settings. Her main research interests are rheology modifiers and silicone-based composites. She also co-founded a company, Surgitate, on tactile surgical training platforms, in 2014,
Reem Al Fahim
Reem Al Fahim is the Chief Executive Officer of SEDRA Foundation, she is responsible for driving SEDRA's vision of facilitating inclusion in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

She oversees all aspects of Foundation operations, including the overall supervision of progams, strategies, and staff. She has advocated for persons with disabilities for over 15 years as a consultant and service provider.

She sits on several boards including UAE University, Make A Wish Foundation, and is the Vice Chairperson of Special Care Centre Abu Dhabi, a school for children with disabilities in Abu Dhabi. She has a BA in Psychology and an M.Ed in Special Education from Boston University.
Michaela Alexis
Michaela graduated from Carleton University with Bachelor of Arts degree (with distinctions) with a major in legal studies, and a minor in psychology. Michaela currently works as the President of Grade A Digital, a Social Media and Personal Branding Agency in Ottawa, and has thrived in the content marketing community, successfully managing over 100 brands in the past 7 years.

In March 2016, Michaela’s article about landing her dream job went viral on Linkedin. Since then, she has replicated her viral success with multiple articles about her experiences in the business world. Recently, her article, “It’s Called a Life not a Life Sentence”, was picked by CNBC, and has amassed over 10,000 shares, and 130,000+ reads. Since then, Michaela’s articles have been featured and published in CNBC, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, The Muse, PR Daily, and more.

Armed with just a tiny dry erase board and her writing skills, Michaela has gained over 70,000 LinkedIn followers in the past year, garnering over half a million views on photo updates that bravely document her career journey.

In Ottawa, Michaela currently sits on the advisory committee for the Ottawa Network for Education and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa’s Awesome Auction, and works as a Community Connector for the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services. She regularly speaks at high schools and colleges, sharing her advice on networking and the power of personal branding in today’s digital landscape. Her greatest goal is to equip students with the advice and knowledge that they need to succeed, and model by example.
Edward Matti
As Managing Partner for CCM Consultancy, Mr. Matti’s responsibilities put him in front of clients from all industries and with wide-spanning challenges. From effective talent management strategies to the design of complex progression models set to instil behavioural change, his team consults on end-to-end solutions for their clients.

He is an experienced leader with over 17 years of leadership experience in human resource development and financial services, where he has proven his ability to manage, motivate and influence others through strong and effective communication skills and a commitment to realising individual and team success. Prior to moving to Dubai to head up CCM Consultancy, he lived in Toronto and was Regional Director for Canada’s largest financial planning firm.

An accomplished public speaker and TV commentator in Canada, Mr. Matti still meets with clients to consult on their issues, develop solutions and deliver riveting interventions.

He and his team have helped clients in sales, management and leadership needs as well as branded culture and customer centric experiences.
Manal Elattir
Manal is the head of ASILA GROUP, which regroups two social businesses: ASILA (previously named Anarouz) and ASILASHOP. In 2012, Manal founded Anarouz (now named Asila), one of the first social enterprises in Morocco that aims at empowering women through leadership, entrepreneurship and market access. She then launched a global ecommerce business ASILASHOP ( that partners with women--‐led handicraft businesses and cooperatives to create a new luxury style that fosters ethical fashion, preserves Morocco’s craft heritage and empowers women entrepreneurs. Products range from handmade leather bags, accessories, jewelry, home decor as well as corporate gifts and conference bags. She is also a consultant with SILATECH on youth employment and career orientation. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Manal was the director of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Alumni Network, a network of activists, politicians, entrepreneurs and civil society actors that worked in synergy to design and lead development initiatives in Morocco. Manal is also a motivational speaker and an international public speaker on issues ranging from entrepreneurship, women empowerment, employment and intercultural dialogue.

Manal has been recognized at the international level for all the work that she has done. She has been nominated and selected in prestigious programs and won various awards. Some of them include the UNAOC International fellow, FORTUNE Most Powerful Women, UNESCO Human Rights Chair fellow, KVINFO MENTORING Certificate, Women Leaders of the World by the Global Women Leadership Network, AUSTRALIAN Arab Women Dialogue, VITAL VOICES Lead Fellow, Architects of the future award, the Australia Middle East media Women’s Award and the World of difference award by the INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR WOMEN. She is a Phi Betta Kappa Honor graduate from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and she completed the International Business and Trade Washington semester program at American University in Washington DC.
Claire Sharrock
Claire Sharrock is an accomplished journalist, broadcaster and creative consultant with 20 years’ experience in the media industry spanning print, radio and digital.

Her career started with the BBC in London, where she worked across radio and television, before seeking adventure in Dubai.

During her 16 years (and counting) in the UAE, she was part of the team that launched the popular newsbrand 7DAYS, eventually becoming the country’s first female editor of a daily newspaper in 2007. She was later promoted to Managing Editor, helping to develop the media company’s digital and commercial content divisions.

Since the 7DAYS journey ended, Claire has continued to create content, in particular for ARN talk radio station, Dubai Eye 103.8, and as a digital storyteller, working with brands to tell their stories through video.

Having been the lone female voice in a management team for a number of years, Claire is a strong supporter of women in leadership and a firm advocate of balance in the boardroom.
Patricia is the co-founder and director of operations at Five One Labs, a start-up incubator for refugee and conflict-affected entrepreneurs in the Middle East, launching first in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Prior to Five One Labs, she worked as a Middle East political risk analyst at the Dubai office of consultancy Control Risks, where she advised clients on the political, security and reputational risks to their operations in the region. She has a Master of Public Administration in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Economics from Tufts University.
Samia Hasan
Samia Hasan is the founder of Direction Dose – crafting millennial experiences through events, career and startup coaching, writing, training and speaking. She’s a certified Strengths Strategy coach, NLP Practitioner and IPCC from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). After completing her MBA in Marketing, she started her career with Procter & Gamble, world leading FMCG organization. She worked her way up as a Senior Regional Brand Manager, growing some of P&G’s billion dollar brands for 9+ years. Throughout this time, she experienced tremendous learning and growth, managed a huge business with multiple geographies and teams, until she discovered ‘people development’ as her true calling. At Direction Dose, Samia helps young professionals see who they are and achieve what they are capable of. As a career coach, she helps them find their passion and calling, discover and leverage their strengths, enabling them to excel in their careers. As a startup coach, she enables entrepreneurs outline a clear business strategy and craft their unique brand stories, carving out a business they’d be proud of. Having lived in UAE for more than 20 years during different stages of her life, she witnessed the country’s remarkable growth and the limitless possibilities it offers. Samia has recently launched a millennial network event series Unwind the Grind which is an after hour affair where young folks chill out in an interactive and inspiring place to discuss what they love to talk about most – their work! The show features music gigs, drama, stand-up comedy, career confessions, live mentoring, fireside chat with success stories and networking with like-minded millennials. As a budding thought leader, Samia writes about career and startup topics pertaining millennials as a regular contributor at Huffington Post and Entrepreneur ME.
Sallyann Della Casa
Sallyann Della Casa is the Lead Tree Shaker at the Growing Leaders Foundation since 2011. Her first act was as a corporate lawyer for 10 years in the US.

GLEAC her latest venture brings full circle her data-driven legal mind, her people driven strength as an organizational behavior professional working with companies such as Nestle, DP World, NBAD, Repsol, Mubadala, Careem etc. and her expertise as a curriculum and systems designer for her Foundation.

Sallyann is a dual citizen of Trinidad and Canada. She holds a doctorate, degrees and certifications in Law, Urban Planning, French, Italian and Organizational Behavior from Harvard University, University of Miami, St Thomas University, and Franklin College, Switzerland.Yes, she is a proud nerd!
Catherine Ladousse
A graduate of the University of Aix en Provence, with degrees in literature and philosophy, Catherine Ladousse also holds a diploma from the Institut Français de Presse, University of Paris II.

Catherine Ladousse began her career with the Association of Francophone Universities before joining the Communications department of Credit Agricole in Paris, then in Cairo. In 1991, she became Communications Director & Customer Satisfaction at American Express, France. She joined IBM in 1995, first as Head of Media for the EMEA PC division then became the Communication Director for IBM France. She joined Lenovo in 2005 as Executive Director of Communications for EMEA. She then helped create the company's global diversity program, “Women In Lenovo Leadership” in 2007.

Since 2012, Catherine has led all corporate and executive communications, major events and diversity initiatives throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Outside Lenovo, Catherine dedicates her time to gender diversity in the workplace and is the co-Founder and Chairman of the French women's network, “Cercle InterElles” which is sponsored by 14 blue-chip companies, in the Technology and Sciences space
Nadine Benchaffai
Nadine started her career in the world of FMCG marketing initially at Kraft Foods in the Middles East, Nestle Purina at European Head Office and then Yoplait UK Innovation. She covered a variety of roles from brand management, to strategy development and innovation processes. She left to embark on her MBA at London Business School and decided to take the entrepreneurship route. She joined fellow LBS alum Brandon Stephens in launching Tortilla in 2006 where she remained on the Board until her move to Dubai. She is still an investor at Tortilla which now has more than 30 stores in the UK.

Nadine co-founded and launched Taqado Mexican Kitchen in 2012 in Dubai which now has 14 stores with aggressive expansion plans in place. In 2015, she went on to launch a new concept called Park House Cafe targeting the underserved beach and park locations. She is also an investor in a number of other start-ups.
Mashal Waqar
Mashal Waqar is the co-founder and CTO of The Tempest, the fastest growing media company changing the narrative of diverse millennial women in the world. She is a strong advocate of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, and has previously worked on Deaf accessibility initiatives at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Dubai campus, as well as at The Tempest.

Waqar strongly believes in empowering women and bringing their voices to the forefront; her prior work experience comes from transitioning in roles in cyber security, digital marketing, and tech while working for various startups. She is also passionate about bringing forward conversations of mental health; she has recently worked on a UNHRD project in collaboration with RIT Dubai, to help children in crisis, from a behavioral and neuroscience perspective.

Although she completed her Bachelors in Computing Security with double minors in International Business, and Networking & Systems Administrations from RIT this year, she’s been an active part of the community, advocating for changes both on campus, and globally at the RIT Student Government Consortiums in Croatia and the U.S. She started the Dubai campus’ first student-run publication as editor-in-chief of WRITERS Magazine, served as Student Government President 2016, IEEE Student Branch chair, and was the UAE delegate for the RIT 2017 Commencement Ceremony. She was also awarded the President’s Cup award for her contributions to the RIT community.
Gillian Jones
Gillian Jones-Williams is an author & founder of Emerge Development Consultancy and Managing Director. Gillian’s main focus is in organizational strategy development and change initiatives and she has successfully implemented HR strategies and projects, coaching and mentoring strategies and visions for many organizations. Her understanding and application of psychology, hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming allows her to build deep rapport and achieve outstanding and lasting behavioural changes with individuals and groups.

Gillian partners with many organizations to implement organizational changes and has designed and delivered programmes of varying sizes to national organizations and independent companies. She works well in multinational cultures having facilitated events and coached executives in Paris, Milan, Hamburg, The Netherlands, Barcelona, Norway, Brussels, Madrid, Dublin, Portugal, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, USA, China and Australia.

In her career as an author Gillian has contributed to the coaching book “Best Practice in Performance Coaching” published by Kogan Page in September 2007 and endorsed by Sir John Whitmore and Sir Richard Branson, she has also co-authored 50 Top Tools for Coaching which was published by Kogan Page in Autumn 2009 and is now on its 3rd edition. Gillian is an expert in organisational culture change and her book ‘How to Create a Coaching Culture Strategy’ was published in June 2014. She also recorded a DVD of 10 Top Tools for Coaching.
Florence Fontani
Florence Fontani is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience across Europe and the Middle East.

Florence has worked with some of the world’s most recognised brands, including Nestle and La Henin Bank.

Florence has been an integral part of the ENGIE team since 1998, when she joined Suez HQ as Head of Internal Communication before moving to Head of External Communication in 2000. In her 19 years within the organisation, she has seen it transform.

A passionate advocate for women in the global energy sector, today, Florence is the Executive Vice President of Strategy, Communications and Environmental Social Responsibility, Middle East, South & Central Asia and Turkey (MESCAT).

Florence holds Masters Degrees in Finance from Paris IX Dauphine and Advance Studies in Communication and Marketing from CELSA. In her spare time she enjoys listening to music and flying drones.
Radhika Punshi
Radhika Punshi is the co-founder and managing director of The Talent Enterprise. As an organizational psychologist and HR professional with over fifteen years of experience in the GCC region, she is an expert on local talent development, with an emphasis on gender and youth inclusion. With an Ivy League education and two master’s degrees in organizational behaviour and psychology, Radhika is the first person from the MENASA region to be awarded a degree in positive psychology.
Laila Alawa
Laila Alawa is the Founder and CEO of The Tempest, the fastest-growing media company changing the global narrative of diverse millennial women. The Tempest connects millions of people daily with thousands of female thought leaders on every issue under the sun, disrupting the global media status quo. She is also the host of a critically-acclaimed podcast called The Expose. Laila presented a TedX Talk, The Secret Behind World Domination, and is amongst the 40 Women to Watch list. Since founding The Tempest, Laila has been quoted in nationwide outlets like The New York Times, The Guardian, and CNN Money as a disruptive force in media. Prior to founding the company, Laila worked at the White House and Congress, and previously served as a research specialist at Princeton University, studying socio-cognitive processing under the framework of community identity and belonging.
Rana Nawas
Born in England to a Palestinian father and Lebanese mother, I grew up like many Western educated Arabs facing the dichotomy of liberal and traditional values. An obligation to challenge the status quo was instilled in me during my undergraduate years at Oxford - and I have honoured it ever since. My problem-solving skills have been honed using win-win negotiation techniques I learnt at Harvard.

My career started as a business analyst at McKinsey & Company’s London office. I then worked for the Dubai Government on attracting foreign direct investment. Today, I am SVP of Sales for GE Capital Aviation Services.

Over the last few years I've become heavily involved with initiatives empowering women. Among them are the regional GE Women's Network, which I co-led from 2011-2014, and Ellevate Dubai which I joined in 2010 and now run. It gives me immense pleasure to create a platform where awesome women can meet regularly, share ideas, and inspire each other. I regularly give talks to large corporations on matters of gender parity in the workplace.

I am a wife and mother of two, an avid traveler and retired wannabe yogini.

Jos Dirkx
Jos Anna Dirkx is an international public speaker, a marketing and communications advisor and world traveler. She is the founder of Girls & Football SA, an award-winning NGO, which has received a letter of recognition from former First Lady Michelle Obama. She is a two-time TEDx speaker, a 2013 Women Deliver Young Leader and the Managing Director of a creative communications consultancy based in Dubai, the UAE. In the first year of inception, her team received a Bronze Award at the Transform Awards MENA. She co-launched a mobile health app, mGirls, which delivered free healthcare information to 65,000 girls. Her upbringing in 12 countries and travel through 95 countries fuels her passion for creativity, cross-cultural communications, and arts-based storytelling, and led her to a new venture, the DxBAcademy, which focuses on reinspiring creativity for professional success. She is passionate about working with people in creative spaces to ensure personal and collaborative success.
Mara Kronenfeld
Mara Kronenfeld is an international development specialist with over 15 years of experience designing, implementing, and leading youth development programming in the Middle East and North Africa, a region where she has lived and worked in for many years. Mara has extensive leadership experience in youth workforce development, with a strong focus on program design and development, organizational capacity strengthening, and multi-sectoral partnership cultivation and collaboration. Mara currently serves as Regional Director of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) programs at the International Youth Foundation (IYF) where she has worked for close to a decade. As Regional Director, Mara oversees a diverse portfolio of youth education, employability, and empowerment programs in collaboration with partners such as the World Bank, USAID, OCP Foundation (Morocco), Hilton, Samsung, JP Morgan, Saudi Aramco, the King Khalid Foundation, and hundreds of local NGOs and community based organization across the Middle East and North Africa. Before joining IYF, Mara served in the Business Development department at AMIDEAST where she managed corporate, foundation, and individual fund-raising efforts and also as manager of the Fulbright scholarship program for students from the MENA region. Mara was a U.S. Fulbright grantee to Syria herself between 2001 and 2003 and while in Syria, also managed a U.S. State Department funded teacher training project and UNRWA’s English Language Club for Palestinian vocational students. She has also worked for the American University in Cairo. Mara brings Arabic language skills and a deep knowledge of the MENA region to IYF. Mara holds a Masters Degree in Near Eastern Studies from New York University and a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from Stanford University.
Mariam Farag
Mariam Farag is leading the CSR program at MBC Group, which is responsible for driving its corporate responsibility vision and strategy in the region & globally. Farag brings to MBC Group over 18 years of experience working in the fields of social development, humanitarian relief, communication, corporate & social responsibility in the MENA region. Prior to joining MBC Group, Farag was developing strategic partnerships and community outreach programs at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), aligning with AUS strategic goals in the UAE and the GCC region. In addition, Farag lead the Partnerships & CSR department for the Community Development Authority, Dubai Government, where she focused on building strategic partnerships between the private and public sector to mainstream initiatives, spreading CSR awareness and maximizing impact in Dubai. In 1999, after receiving her master’s degree, Farag started her career with United Nations Development Program (UNDP), where she managed a nationwide campaign focusing on the social and economic empowerment of female heads of households in 22 governorates in Egypt. After the campaign was kicked off and achieved nationwide success, Farag followed her passion for humanitarian relief and joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) part of the International Protection Legal team where she was part of various regional and international missions working on refugee status determination, protection issues, advocacy and vulnerable cases.

Mariam serves on multiple Boards such the regional board of Injaz Al Arab, the UAE Advisory Board of Education for Employment (EFE), the regional board of Marwa Fayed Toy Run Foundation & the SOS Villages Strategic Advisory Network. She is active in the entrepreneurial & youth development field volunteering her time as a CSR expert but also in her capacity as a mentor & judge on several regional and global competitions.

Mariam Farag received her B.A in Political Science specialized in International Relations from The American University in Cairo (AUC) and completed her M.A in International Relations and Political Theory from University of Westminster in London, UK.
Deirdre Walker
Deirdre Walker is Head of Norton Rose Fulbright Middle East. She recently moved to the region from London, where she was Head of Dispute Resolution and Litigation, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Deirdre has considerable experience in all forms of dispute resolution including litigation, mediation and arbitration as well as general banking and commercial dispute resolution, with a particular specialism in commercial fraud and interlocutory applications.

Deirdre was one of the founding partners and is a longstanding champion of the Women in Norton Rose Fulbright (WiN) group. Deirdre’s work with this Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) group over the years has included acting a senior role model for women looking to progress in the legal world, as well as building a forum where issues affecting women (in law and across our clients' industries) can be freely raised and discussed.

Now in the Middle East, Deirdre will be driving Norton Rose Fulbright’s Ta’theer initiative. Ta’theer seeks to encourage, champion and educate people in the workplace on gender parity and it also provides opportunity, development, training and networking for female employees.
Cordelia Henry
Cordelia Henry empowers & inspires women to make connections & build supportive networks that increase business revenues & accelerate corporate careers.

Cordelia host’s dynamic events that bring women together to connect grow and learn from each other. She provides interactive training programs that teach women how to deeply connect, build networks and live spectacular lives.

She is also a web host and gathers, inspirational stories from authentic women who are willing to “share all” about their experiences.

Cordelia is an inspirational speaker and has an authentic, practical and inspiring way to energise her audiences and open their hearts and minds to what she has to say.

She is passionate about encouraging women to speak up and believe they can do it! Each topic that Cordelia speaks about is designed to inspire women to reach deep within themselves and discover what is possible on their unique journey to greatness, while creating massive success in their business & career.
Anjum Malik
Anjum Malik is a global professional with over three decades of experience in the fields of international education, educational consulting, business development, entrepreneurial management and conference planning both in the US and internationally. Anjum has built an extensive network of global contacts, which she leverages on behalf of her clients, connecting people and organizations for success. Along with her expertise in strategic planning, market development, negotiation and management, her work with the U.S. and multiple international agencies documents an impressive record of success.

Anjum's belief in the power of education to improve society is evident in all aspects of her professional life. She has enriched the academic, linguistic, and professional development of international students, scholars and administrators. The organizations she has created and managed have enhanced the global competence of more than 150,000 students and hundreds of professionals. Within her most nurtured passion - international education - Anjum constantly seeks innovative tools to improve teaching, learning, and access. In all her endeavors, she strives to advance the empowerment of women and their increased participation in the workforce.

Anjum co-founded the Alhambra-US Chamber in 2009 with the mission of promoting constructive educational, commercial, and diplomatic global connections in the service of individuals, organizations, universities, governments and other entities dedicated to building a better world. Along with her husband she co-founded HOFT Institute (HOFT) in 1982 and its subsidiary, HOFT ESL in 1992. A multi-dimensional corporation, HOFT specializes in providing educational solutions to individuals, families, educational institutions, governments and corporations around the world

Anjum consults and trains on a wide variety of issues related to international education, such as accreditation (presented to Saudi deans and senior university officials), gap analysis (presented at WISE and FranIndia conferences), leadership and professional development (conducted at universities all across the MENA region, China and India), empowering women (IECHE conferences in Riyadh, WISE Conference in Malaysia, WIL-UAE), franchising and strategic planning (CLICKS Dubai Conference, Gulf Education Conferences in London, and at various institutions of higher learning). She also developed an innovative approach to pre-departure training for international students, parts of which have been adopted by universities around the United States as well as the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission in Washington DC, The Qatar Supreme Education Council in Doha, Qatar and Liaoning Education in China.

Based in Texas, she has partnered with institutions in locations as diverse as Turkey and Korea as well as colleges and universities across the US. She has earned a reputation as an expert on international higher education and as a business woman with extensive experience and contacts in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, India, China and Eastern Europe. Anjum has given expert testimony on higher education matters before the Texas Legislature, has served as an advisor to The Initiative to Educate Afghan Women, worked with multiple educational and cultural outreach programs, served on numerous boards and has been interviewed and quoted in national and international media.

Anjum was the Director of International Marketing and Public Relations for The University of Texas at Austin's Global Initiative on Education and Leadership, advising the initiative on international strategy, identifying opportunities for international collaborative projects, business endeavors as well as cross-cultural and educational exchanges, and negotiation of bi- and multi-lateral agreements.

The Alhambra US-Chamber has working relationships with the OIC embassies and, through Anjum, was instrumental in organizing the annual Embassy-University Showcases in Washington, D.C. Because of her entrepreneurial leadership in education development and delivery, the Chamber was invited to become a member of President Barack Obama’s Partners for a New Beginning Program. In recognition of her global contribution to women entrepreneurship, Anjum was designated as an Honorary Ambassador of the Polish Network of Women Entrepreneurship Ambassadors during the 2015 European Congress of Small and Medium Enterprises in Katowice, Poland. The Chamber is an implementation partner of the New York Academy of Sciences’ Global STEM Alliance and a partner of STEMconnector®. Through these partnerships, the Chamber strives to advance women’s participation in the field of STEM education.
Rania Kassab
Rania Kassab is leading GSK’s Women Leadership Initiative (WLI) Chapter for the GCC countries. GSK started the WLI at global level with the objective of providing GSK female employees with the right resources to realize their aspirations and contribute to the business and to effectively empower them to realize their full potential without limitations. GSK’WLI is focusing on three pillars: connect, engage and develop. Along with other initiatives the WLI’s aim is to make GSK the best place to work by embracing Diversity & Inclusion in the work place to create a positive impact on the business Rania joined the GSK GCC WLI chapter as the lead since its inception in 2016. Rania has an experience in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 13 years. Her experience includes roles in different areas of the business-like sales, marketing and trade channel. Rania joined GSK in 2004 and has progressed in her career since then and is now Global Market Access Manager as part of the company’s global talent program. Rania is an honours graduate with a BS in Pharmacy from BAU-Lebanon as well as a MBA from SBS.
Dr. Linzi J Kemp
Linzi J Kemp PhD., Manchester Metropolitan University; M.B.A., Brunel University; BEd. (Business), University of Huddersfield; Higher Diploma in Marketing, Chartered Institute of Marketing; Higher National Certificate (Business), British Technical Education Council. Member of the British Academy of Management.

Linzi is an Associate Professor with the American University of Sharjah, teaching Women in Leadership, Leadership and Organizational Behavior to graduate and undergraduate students. Her research focuses on women in employment and leadership in the United Arab Emirates, and wider Middle East region. Previous experience has been in management, training, and lecturing. Prior to the AUS, she spent five years with the State University of New York as Chair of a marketing and organizational behavior program, and was responsible for the professional development of part time employees. In the UAE, Linzi taught business; was a Professional Development Coordinator; and was a trainer for the Institute of Leadership & Management (UK), training college faculty and administrators, and managers of an international hotel chain. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, she coordinated the information technology curriculum, and was responsible for marketing a new High School. At a teacher training college in the People's Republic of China, Linzi trained new and in-service teachers. Originally from the UK, Linzi worked there as a Team Leader, Hospital Administrator, and Area Manager in private and public organizations, within the fields of education, retail and the National Health Service.

Further details:
Women & Leadership portal

Recent publications/presentations

Kemp, L. J. (2016). "‘Trapped’ by metaphors for organizations: Thinking and seeing women’s equality and inequality." Human Relations 69(4), pps. 975-1000.
Kemp, L.J., Zhao, F. (2016). Influences of cultural orientations on Emirati women’s Careers. Personnel Review, 45(5), pps. 988-1009.
Kemp, L.J. (2015). Business Women Associations in the United Arab Emirates: Influence of the Network and Networking. In Women and Leadership Around the World, Women and Leadership: Research, Theory, and Practice, Part iii Middle East. edited by Madsen, S. Ngunjir, F, Longman, K.A., & Cherrey, C. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Kemp, L.J., & Rickett, B. (2015). Expatriate women in the UAE: A study on the experiences of becoming and being leaders in the workplace. Paper presented at the Reading-UNCTAD International Business Conference, Reading, UK, June 13-14, 2015.
Kemp, L.J., Angell, L., & McLoughlin, L. (2015). The symbolic meaning of artifacts for the workplace identity of women in academia. Gender in Management: an International Journal 30(5), pps. 379-396.
Kemp, L.J., Madsen, S., & Davis, J. (2015). Women in business Leadership: A comparative study of countries in the Arab Gulf states. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management 15(2), pps. 215-233.
Rachel Ellyard
Ms. Ellyard is the MENA Talent Leader (HR Director) at EY MENA. During her 8 years with EY MENA, she has led various programs and divisions, including Reward, HR Operations, the HR Shared Service Centre and Diversity & Inclusiveness, as well as holding a number of generalist and policy roles. Before joining EY, she worked for one of the world’s leading property and legal firms across Europe and Asia.

She has worked in China, Japan, Portugal, Spain, India, the UAE and the UK and has provided extensive virtual HR support to France, Italy, Greece, the Middle East and North Africa region and Central and Eastern Europe.

She holds a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Occupational Psychology from the University of Guildhall.
Abby Bailey
Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa (MEISA)

Abby Bailey is the Head of Communications and Community Engagement for FedEx Express serving the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa (MEISA), a role she has held since February 2017. Abby first joined FedEx in Asia Pacific as a Senior Communications Specialist in 2003, responsible for South East Asia, Australasia and Pacific Islands. She then moved to the regional headquarters for FedEx Express Europe Middle East, Africa and India (EMEA) in 2006.

Based in Dubai, Abby is responsible for communications and engaging team members form across the business, in addition to the company’s corporate social responsibility strategy and activities. With a team of specialists across the region, her role is critical to ensure all team members are both aware of, and fully support the FedEx people-first culture, and the regional strategy to ensure customer satisfaction, and deliver business success.

Beyond the formal responsibilities of her position, Abby is a passionate supporter of workplace diversity and inclusion, including the identification of future women leaders. Her focus on the development of her team, identification of future leaders, and inspiring team members to engage with the FedEx culture provides the foundation for her role and responsibilities within the company.

With more than 20 years’ experience, Abby has worked in a variety of roles relating to communications across the Middle East, Europe and Asia Pacific, developing a wealth of experience at multinational corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and in public service. She has extensive experience across several industries, including logistics, manufacturing, construction, consulting and government.

Abby holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts (Politics and English Literature) from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Sarah Al Hashimi
My name is Sarah Alhashimi, I am a 23 year old Emirati student at Zayed University, Majoring and Specializing in film and video making, and Director of the Documentary film “Lemonade” that speaks about the challenges of an autistic adult in the UAE. Was awarded the title of “2017 Rising Talent Leader” at World of Women Film Fair Middle East. Before going into film and taking it as my professional career, my father who also chose filmmaking as his profession introduced me to the cinema and film world. I grew up watching documentaries and films he created about our late father “H.H sheikh Zayed (may he rest in peace)” and the old Dubai and instantly saw the beauty of creating films, My father got me hooked into this passion and I hope that one day I inspire people to peruse their passion just like my father did with me. Upon my graduation from University I look forward to working with more filmmakers to help grow this little community of local filmmakers into something more publicly acknowledged in our society. I want us to work together and open doors for more filmmakers and potential films to create more room for opportunities both locally and internationally.
Menassie M. Taddese
Menassie M. Taddese is the Regional President for Pfizer’s Innovative Health Business in Africa and the Middle East. In this capacity, Menassie oversees Pfizer’s commercial and marketing organizations for the company’s innovative products in the areas of vaccines, oncology, rare diseases, internal medicine and inflammation/immunology. Prior to this role, Mr. Taddese was Chief Financial Officer for Pfizer's North America Global Innovative Business.

Mr. Taddese began his career with Pfizer in the Finance Division and held a series of global roles of increasing responsibility in Treasury and Corporate Finance, and in Pfizer’s BioPharmaceutical Finance Division. Complementing his deep experience in the US and developed markets, Mr. Taddese has held significant posts in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe as well as Africa and the Middle East.

Mr. Taddese holds a bachelor's degree in Economics and Accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and an MBA in Finance from The Smeal College of Business at the Pennsylvania State University, where he graduated with distinction. Prior to finishing business school and joining Pfizer, Menassie worked at Unisys and Newbridge Networks.

He lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with his wife, two daughters and son.
Shabana Karim
Sonia Weymuller is a Founding Partner of VentureSouq, a UAE-based early stage investing platform that has funded tech ventures from the US, UK, Africa, India and the MENA region. Previously, she headed Advertising Sales for Turner Broadcasting’s portfolio of children’s platforms across MENA and Africa. Prior to Turner, Sonia worked with Viacom’s Emerging Markets’ Strategy Group and Microsoft’s Strategy and M&A team in London. Sonia holds a B.A. from Yale University and a MSc from the London School of Economics. She is a Charter Member for TiE's Dubai chapter, serves as the UAE Director for the Yale Alumni Schools Committee, is a Board member and mentor for e7 Daughters of the Emirates and an advisor to Air Shepherd, a non-profit that harnesses the power of technology to pre-empt poaching activities in Africa.
Birgit Zenkl
Nada Doumit
Nada Doumit has been the Head of Legal Roche Diagnostics Middle East since April 2016, and has joined Roche Diagnostics Middle East in 2012 in the capacity of Legal Counsel, establishing the legal and compliance functions in the Middle East.

With a penchant for lucidity and analysis, Nada leads a regional team of legal counsels responsible for counseling and empowering the organization to achieve full potential of its regional growth plans and to make informed decisions in a volatile and complex set-up across 16 countries.

Previously, she has served as the Senior Legal Advisor for a leading retailer, bringing notable regional experience after serving as an Associate in prestigious law firms in Lebanon. Nada holds Private and Public Law degree from La Sagesse University, Lebanon.
Ravi Kumar
Mr. Kumar is the Head of Human Resources at Roche Diagnostics Middle East (RDME), where he is responsible for executing human resources strategy, in alignment with business goals, for over 400 employees across 16 countries in the Middle East.

With over 20 years of professional experience across multinational organisations in the Middle East and India, Mr. Kumar’s key responsibilities include setting up an environment with strong employee engagement and a performance-driven culture, while leading a team of dedicated HR professionals.

Starting his career as a management trainee at Larsen & Toubro in India in 1997, Mr. Kumar joined Roche India in 2006 as Head of Human Resources to initiate and implement HR strategies that would assist in achieving above-market sales growth and market leadership in the IVD segment. With increasing responsibilities that led him to his current role, Mr. Kumar is currently in Dubai as Head of HR for the Middle East region.

Mr. Kumar holds an MBA in Human Recourses from the Xavier Institute of Social Studies in India, and is a member of the leadership team responsible for driving Roche’s business in the Middle East.
Sandra Skrebutis
Sandra Skrebutis has been the Head of Finance and Compliance for Roche Diagnostics Middle East since May 2017. With a passion for exploring synergies and driving unconventional solutions, Sandra is a part of the leadership team, and oversees the financial development and professional compliance of Roche Diagnostics in the Middle East.

She has an illustrious career, having previously been the Finance Manager for Roche Diagnostics Norway, leading a team of 14 and looking after finance, administration, supply chain, and customer support. After several roles with increasing responsibility in the Group Audit function, Sandra also made key contributions to Group, Pharma and Diagnostics Finance projects at Roche Group Headquarters in Switzerland. Sandra holds a Business Administration degree from EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht in Germany.
Dr. Nadir Mohammed
Dr. Mohammed is the Country Director of the GCC countries in the Middle East and North Africa region of the World Bank. He joined the Bank in 1998 as country economist for Egypt and Yemen, became Country Manager for Albania, and returned to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as Operations Director in 2007. During 2010-2012, Dr. Mohammed was on external assignment from the Bank where he served as Acting Director of Strategy at the Kuwaiti Prime Minister’s Office. He also served as a Senior Advisor in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) network during 2009-2010 and 2012-2013.

Before joining the Bank, Mr. Mohammed worked in two multilateral development banks (African Development Bank, 1994-1996) and the Islamic Development Bank (1996-1998). Mr. Mohammed started his career in academia as a lecturer and research officer at universities in Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Cambridge and Oxford.

Dr. Mohammed is a graduate of the University of Khartoum (BS in Economics) and has two post-graduate degrees in Economics from the University of Cambridge (M. Phil and Ph. D). He published widely on issues of economic development, public finance, conflict and civil wars, natural resource management, poverty reduction, governance and defence economics.
Margery Kraus
Margery Kraus, founder and executive chairman of APCO Worldwide, a global consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., specializes in public affairs, communication and business consulting for major multinationals. Ms. Kraus founded APCO in 1984 and transformed it from a company with one small Washington office to a multinational consulting firm in major cities throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In September 2004, Ms. Kraus led a management buy-out of her firm, making APCO one of the largest privately owned communication and public affairs firms in the world.

Throughout the years, her approach has been to fuse the best local experience with a global perspective, resulting in an international agency with a unique culture based on seamless teamwork. Ms. Kraus’ achievements have been recognized over the years through a number of prestigious awards, including the PRWeek Hall of Femme (2017); PR News’ PR People Hall of Fame (2015); C200 Foundation Entrepreneurial Champion Award (2015); PRWeek Hall of Fame (2014); U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress Corporate Statesmanship Award (2013); Volunteers of America (Greater New York) Spirit of the Founders (2012); the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations’ Agency Mentorship (2012); Global Thinkers Forum Excellence in Leadership (2012); Arthur W. Page Society’s Hall of Fame (2011); Institute for Public Relations’ Alexander Hamilton Medal for lifetime contributions to professional public relations (2010); Washington Business Hall of Fame (2009); Enterprising Women Hall of Fame (2009); Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in the services category in Greater Washington (2006); Washington PR Woman of the Year (2006); and PR News Lifetime Achievement (2005).

Ms. Kraus specializes in providing strategic counsel on issue-based communication, crisis management, market entry and corporate reputation across diverse industry groups. The range of her experience is reflected in APCO’s industry practice groups. In addition, she pioneered one of the industry’s earliest practices in corporate responsibility and the development of public/private partnerships.

Prior to starting APCO, Ms. Kraus assisted in the creation and development of the Close Up Foundation, a multi-million-dollar educational foundation sponsored in part by the United States Congress. Ms. Kraus continues to be involved with the foundation by serving on its board of directors.

Ms. Kraus is active on other institutional and corporate boards and committees. She is chairman of the board of the Women Presidents’ Organization and a trustee of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation and the Institute for Public Relations. Ms. Kraus is also on the advisory board of Enterprising Women magazine and is a past chairman of the Public Affairs Council and the board of directors of the Council of Public Relations Firms.

In addition, she serves as a trustee of American University and sits on the advisory board of the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, as well as the steering committee of the school’s Center for Executive Women.

Ms. Kraus is the author of numerous articles in the fields of public affairs management and corporate reputation and has been a guest lecturer throughout the world. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in political science and public law from the American University.
Oualae El Alami
Oualae has over 17 years of experience in Health care and industry in numerous in-country or regional roles.

She is currently leading Pfizer Innovative health across Egypt, Levant, Iraq and Iran markets. Prior to that, Oualae played in instrumental role in establishing Pfizer Oncology Organization in Africa-Middle East to become a fast growing unit, recognized by the Oncology community as a key Player in the region.

Oualae has special interest in women in leadership and is playing a very active role in leading the efforts within Pfizer to promote diversity in the region and position it as the best working place for women in the industry.

Oualae joined Pfizer in 2004, coming from Novartis. She assumed several marketing and leadership roles within the primary care and Specialty unit at local and regional levels.

Oualae gained her initial experience in health care in France, as a family and pharmacovigilance pharmacist, before joining the pharmaceutical industry in 2000.

Oualae holds a doctorate in Pharmacy from Paris XI University and has a Master in Business, Management and health economics from ESSEC, Paris, France.
Christine Grove
Christine is a Dubai-based journalist and communications expert from South Africa who has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, covering everything from hard news, to the arts, to business & tech. She's been part of three launch teams of three different media startups, so she's intimately familiar with what it takes to get a publication off the ground, and indeed, what drives it back into the ground. She now works as the Online Editor and Senior Reporter for Inc. Arabia, which she helped launch in 2016. Inc. Arabia is the MENA region’s edition of Inc. Magazine, the world's leading publication for fast growing companies. Having been bitten by the travel bug as an infant, she finds it fairly easy to uproot herself in search of new adventures and stories. And with degrees in both fine arts and journalism, she's equally interested in visual storytelling as well as the written word.
Raha Moharrak
Always a curious child, for as long as she can remember, Raha dreamt of challenging adventures, seeing the world and perhaps even changeling it. From a young age her eccentricity was obvious, blessed with parents who never asked her to change, teaching her to dream big and live even bigger, and raised her with the belief that life is what she makes of it and her dreams are a reflection of the endlessness of her capabilities.

Graduating with a bachelors in Visional Communications from the American University of Sharjah then started her career at a leading advertising agency, Raha’s life changed the day she summited Kilimanjaro and challenged herself, her society, and culture. It was there, between the clouds, standing on Africa’s roof where her spirit could no longer be silenced and nothing could hold her back from her love of adventure, Kilimanjaro open the doors to 8 more summits, yet still her love affair with altitude was insatiable, and her curiosity as to where her limits were grew fierce, just when she thought she found them, she set eyes on Everest, and the dream that turned her into an accidental role model was born, on may 18th 2013 a year after seeing the legendary mountain Raha made history by being the first Saudi woman to summit Everest and the seven highest mountains in each continent forever proving we could attempt the impossible and maybe even achieve it no matter where we are from, she’s living proof that if children are raised confident and curious, unapologetically who they are, then¬ we’re capable of anything, Even for a Saudi woman to stand on top of the world.
As Senior Channel Manager for MBC 2, 4, Max & Variety, Lina Matta coordinates the programming strategy and vision of the channels while working on achieving the ratings and financial targets set. Prior to MBC, Lina re-launched Dubai One, DMI's English language TV channel. She is also the founder and curator of ANA Contemporary Arab Cinema, an annual film series celebrating the best Arab Directors working today. The series takes place at the Jacob Burns Film Center in NY.

Lina is also the co-founder of NY based, Brown Hats Productions. BHP produced two award-winning documentaries Running for Bogota and Prison Lullabies, an American online literary talkshow,, and runs the annual Arab film series, ANA Contemporary Arab Cinema.

Lina organizes a monthly meetup that hosts speakers from the regional film & TV industry, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Mohamed Bin Rashed School of Communication at AUD.
As Senior Channel Manager for MBC 2, 4, Max & Variety, Lina Matta coordinates the programming strategy and vision of the channels while working on achieving the ratings and financial targets set. Prior to MBC, Lina re-launched Dubai One, DMI's English language TV channel. Lina is also the co-founder of NY based, Brown Hats Productions. BHP produced two award-winning documentaries Running for Bogota and Prison Lullabies, an American online literary talkshow,, and the Arab film series, ANA Contemporary Arab Cinema.

Lina sits on the Advisory Board of the Mohamed Bin Rashed School of Communication at AUD, and is on the selection of the UAE submission to the Foreign Language Film award category at the Academy Awards.
Anurag Kashyap
A multi-talented filmmaker who has been credited as a Director, Producer, Writer and also as an Actor, in over 40 films.

3 of his recent films have premiered at Cannes, and his epic 2-part film Gangs of Wasseypur is hugely popular.

He has also served on the jury of Sundance, Venice, CPH Pix and Marrakech film festivals.
He was awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letter, by the French government in 2013.
Chantel Rijtma
Passionate about helping children and youth to fulfil their potential, Chantel is a Director at PDSi Kids, a BSc (Hons) Psychology graduate and certified Coach.

Chantel began her professional career in the financial sector; after a decade of successfully working within global banking institutions, she decided to expand her horizons and pursue her interest in coaching and psychology. After completing her degree and certifications, she began practicing as a Coach, quickly establishing a strong reputation and a great rapport with her clients.

Retaining skills and experiences from her corporate career, Chantel has combined these with her training and passion for coaching to develop her own approach to working with clients and empowering them to tackle challenges and drive their professional and personal lives in a new, more positive direction.

Chantel has extensive experience working with children and young adults.

Chantel helps them to strengthen and develop their leadership and professional skills in order to thrive and compete in the corporate environment. She has a great desire for developing their unraveled talents and helping them to discover their strengths, their qualities and how to utilize it more consistently. She provides her students with tools and techniques that will equip them in the present and in the future, so that they will be more accountable for exceeding their goals accompanied by invaluable support. Chantel believes the quality of thinking is the key to professional success.

  • Working with the youth
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Talent Management
  • Leadership Development
  • Social Anxiety Disorders
  • Confidence and motivation
  • Encourages creative thinking
  • Teaches open minded thinking

  • Chantel’s Approach:

    Chantel has a more holistic approach to education, designed to help children and young adults make vast improvements in crucial skills like collaboration, communication, creativity, and broad open minded thinking. She has helped her students gain back their sense of self-worth and have helped them transform their mindsets for the future.

    Chantel inspires and motivates her students using a variety of scientific yet practical methods. Her main purpose is to give her students the confidence to realize their own full potential. She believes each one holds the power within themselves. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.
    Bedour Al Raqbani
    Graduate of American University of Sharjah in Visual Communication, Bedour’s vision of Kalimati Speech & Communication Center started when her little daughter, Noora, was diagnosed with profound hearing loss. Not being satisfied with the quality, service and lack of warmth of speech therapy centers in the UAE, she decided to create one. With the support of her family and friends, Kalimati was born on 10/10/2010. Kalimati, created by a family to reach out to other families. Bedour was awarded several awards such as The Arab Knight Award for Supporting Special Needs 2012, The Arab Woman Award UAE 2013 in Education and Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum & HMH Excellence Award 2014.
    Lina El Sharif
    Lina El Sharif is the Regional Culture & Communications Manager of OneFoods & The Founder of Hookin Good and Co-Founder of Pink Ribbon Crafters; which are both fundraising projects that supports Breast Cancer fighters with limited financial support in the UAE.

    Based in Dubai the projects focus on creating handmade pieces as part of the healing & meditation process of the ladies who are making them, along with selling them to support breast cancer fighters who are less fortunate with limited/ or no insurance coverage. She is the mother of 4 years old Tarek & wife to her supportive husband Ramy Tolba.
    Aradhana Khowala
  • CEO & Founder, Aptamind Partners
  • Special Advisor to the Board, World Tourism Forum Lucerne
  • Chairwoman of the Advisory Board, The Global African Tourism Summit
  • Member of the Board, Educating the Children, Africa

  • Aradhana is a global authority on the travel, tourism and hospitality industry with 17 + years of experience in four continents across 50+ different countries. In 2014, she was chosen and featured as one of the 50 most influential next generation leaders who will likely define the future of the hospitality industry by Swiss Economic magazine Bilan.

    Aradhana is founder and CEO of Aptamind Partners (previously Bridge.Over Group) a specialist Strategic Hospitality & Tourism Consulting practice that advises ambitious leaders in family offices, governments, private investors and international organisations on hospitality related investments. Aptamind works in over 60+ countries, spanning Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa providing critical direction and insight that translates into measurable business growth.

    She also serves as Special Advisor to the Board of World Tourism Forum Lucerne a highly focused, top level, strategic body that brings together selected leaders around the world to reflect on the big challenges facing the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. As part of the Global Think Tank she is one of the select group of 30 leaders from the industry who convene annually to draw attention to key issues and drive coordinated and lasting impact in the hospitality and tourism sector. Aradhana is also Chairwoman of the Board for the Global African Tourism Summit. Hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, The Minister of Tourism and The Mauritius Tourism and Promotion Authority, The Global African Tourism Summit is the leading African Summit that congregates Operators, investors and industry figures to develop new tourism projects throughout Africa and the Vanilla Islands.

    Previously she has worked for Jones Lang LaSalle, the largest money management firm in the world covering UK, Benelux and Scandinavian markets. She has also worked for a Strategy Consulting practice in Europe and Asia as well as in Hotel Operations in Asia. Aradhana has an MBA from the prestigious Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland and also read at the renowned Cornell University in New York.

    A keen industry practitioner, she is a regular speaker, moderator and presenter at the foremost Family Office conferences as well as Tourism Summits. She also is a guest lecturer for MBA level courses at different Universities and organisations focussed on the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Sectors. Aradhana also serves on the Board of ETC which is a charity that beautifully weaves together her passion for Africa with the purpose of educating the children - a cause very close to her heart.
    Adda van Zanden
    Adda is a professional actress. She regularly tours Europe with the theatre company 'Theatre of Eternal Values' performing 'Shakespeare’s Women'.

    Adda incorporates performance tools in her work as a trainer and facilitator, resulting in dynamic training sessions and a valuable, active learning experience. Over the last 15 years, she has built up extensive experience training a variety of clients - from government ministries and banks, to universities and schools, and multinationals like DLL and ASML. Sessions are tailor-made for each group, whether politicians, IT specialists and managers, or students and teachers.

    She developed "Shakespeare and the Power of Presence" as a combination of performance and lecture. Engaging actively with the audience.

    This production was carried out in Amsterdam, London, New York and Philadelphia.

    Adda is passionate about sharing the knowledge she has build up the past 20 years in the theatre. Not only does she use performance tools based on body, breath and voice, she also helps people to develop a strong and authentic 'Presence'.

    Presence is the energy that comes from you that connects you to the outside world. It is when you are fully present that you make your deepest impression, you are heard, remembered and powerful.
    Simon O’Connell
    With over two decades experience working in international relief and development in a wide array of different countries and contexts, Simon O’Connell is an experienced and entrepreneurial leader.

    Simon has been the Executive Director of Mercy Corps’ European entity and Senior Vice President for Global Partnerships since early 2015. With responsibility for Mercy Corps’ European headquarters, Simon oversees a global portfolio of programmes supported by the organisation’s European partners. Simon also spearheads Mercy Corps’ global partnerships and influence team and strategy, focusing on – amongst others – The Gulf and China, where he travels to regularly.

    Passionate about promoting equitable access to opportunity and catalysing positive change, Simon’s main areas of expertise are in setting strategy, leading teams and fostering partnership; particularly new partnership models in fragile environments. Prior to his current role, Simon was Mercy Corps’ Regional Director for West and Central Africa, managing large teams and a substantial portfolio of programmes in some of the continent’s most challenging environments. Earlier in his career, Simon held several country leadership positions and has worked in over 20 countries in Africa.

    A regular speaker, opinion piece writer and influencer in social change, Simon has and is serving as an advisory board and council member to several World Economic Forum and World Bank initiatives.

    Simon attended the London School of Economics and Imperial College London. He lives in the UK with his French wife and two small children.
    Lisa Lang
    Lisa Lang is a digital information technology and new media game changer. She has worked for big international technology organizations like Campus Party, Smashing Magazine , SitePoint and Twilio (a Silicon Valley unicorn), and has extensive experience as team and business leader.

    Lisa has been named one of the top 100 most influential people in wearable tech worldwide, 25 leaders in fashion and technology worldwide, 50 most important women for innovation & startups in the EU.

    Lisa was raised in a German craftsman family, studied Arts, New Media, software engineering as well as international business management and innovation. Having lived and worked around the world, she developed a superpower: Lisa brings people together to create new, innovative, and beautiful products.

    Since 2012 has Lisa volunteered for the Berlin Geekettes (Women in Technology) as evangelista, managing events (Europes biggest female hackathon sponsored by Coca Cola) and mentoring young women in technology in business leadership (Google mentorship program). She’s mentoring at programs like Techstars and Startupbootcamp and developed education concept for FashionTech for Fablabs, Esmod Fashion university and Goethe Institute.

    In 2016 she was appointed as the expert mentor for FashionTech for the German Fashion Council scholarship program for H&M. Lisa Lang is a seasoned business developer, having founded six different fashion tech companies in the last four years and turned them into thriving businesses. She’s now dedicated to establish a European fashion tech network to support innovation but also manufacture and scale sustainable products. She’s a part of the Fraunhofer Institute and DIN house network where she’s working on standardising processes for fashion tech manufacturing.
    Hugo Willis has spent over 25 years getting the best out of people, formerly in the British Army and now as an advisor, coach and mentor. Allowing people the space to make mistakes, helping them to learn from them and building confidence out of the experience are at the heart of his approach.

    He has worked with young people in a wide variety of circumstances including two years as a governor of a primary school. His travels have taken him all over the globe and what has he learned? "If we look around this wonderfully diverse world, we can always find common ground - if we look with our hearts."
    Hermoine Macura
    Hermoine Macura Noble is a well known TV Anchor and founder of the US based charity, The House of Rest, established in 2014. A 501 (c3) non-political, non-governmental resource center for women in Northern Iraq that aims to bring hope to women caught in one of the most horrific humanitarian crises since World War II – The House of Rest was Macura's answer to the cries for help she witnessed during her time reporting on the Syrian humanitarian crisis. Offering humanitarian solutions to those in need, the resource center also conducts regular health, educational and training programs for women and children throughout the year. A house of help, healing and creative programs to women at risk, in need, survivors of Islamic State, widows and other victims of war, The House of Rest focuses on embracing all women, regardless of their nationality or religious affiliation.

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    Roche have taken the unprecedented move of being the first IVD company to have a Management Centre and a logistics hub in the Middle East. Roche has extended its ownership of the entire supply chain, quality control and customer support all the way into the centre of the region. This base of operations reinforces the commitment to global Roche standards and is driven by a full team of vastly experienced specialists offering a complete portfolio of services.

    With this regional empowerment, Roche has moved its leadership and decision-making closer to its customers and distributors. These investments allow Roche Diagnostics Middle East to develop from being a supplier into becoming the preferred IVD partner for its customers. Roche Diagnostics Middle East offers a complete portfolio of services in 16 countries: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and Maldives.

    Roche Diagnostics Middle East FZCO
    Jebel Ali Free Zone – JAFZA One, Tower A, Floor 24
    P.O. Box 261001
    Dubai, UAE

    T +971 4 816 9000
    F +971 4 816 9001

    At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care products.

    Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with healthcare providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable healthcare around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.

    Pfizer Gulf FZ LLC
    Pfizer Building, Dubai Media City,
    P.O. Box 502749,
    Dubai, UAE

    T +971 4 453 2000
    Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments.

    We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks - VisaNet - that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants.

    Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products.
    FedEx Corporation provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $61 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 400,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.     FedEx Express Sunset Mall 2nd Floor, Jumeirah Road P.O. Box 9239 Dubai, UAE T +971 4 331 4216 F +971 4 331 0714
    Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years.

    The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalisation. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is the Number 1 in offshore wind turbine construction; a leading supplier of gas and steam turbines for power generation; a major provider of power transmission solutions; and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions, as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry.

    The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics, as well as clinical IT.

    In the 2015 fiscal year, which ended on September 30th, 2015, Siemens generated revenue of €75.6 billion and net income of €7.4 billion. By the end of September 2015, the company had approximately 348,000 employees worldwide.

    Further information is available at

    Siemens AG
    Building B-05 (Siemens Building)
    Masdar City (opposite Presidential Flight) P.O. Box 47015
    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

    T. +971 2 616 5100
    Founded in 1958 by two brothers, the Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group is among the most well-respected family company names in the UAE. The management of the Group’s operating businesses is undertaken by Al Naboodah Group Enterprises (ANGE). Employing over 16,000 people and over 40 nationalities, the ANGE business focus covers civil engineering, building and MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) as well as representing a diverse portfolio of global brands in the transportation, travel, electrical, logistics, heavy equipment, agriculture and fit-out arenas. The Al Naboodah brand is renowned for the delivery of world-class projects and services within demanding schedules and exceeding the quality demanded by its clients. Our business is headquartered in the UAE but we also have operations in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and East Africa.
    About ENGIE

    ENGIE Middle East, South & Central Asia and Turkey (MESCAT) is a regional market leader in low-carbon energy solutions. The BU produces ca. 32 GW of gas-fired power and has close to 1 GW of solar power in operation & under construction or development. In the Gulf region, it is also a leading producer of desalinated water with a capacity of ca. 5.5 million m3/day.

    ENGIE MESCAT is the region’s foremost provider of Facility Management Services, particularly in the UAE and Qatar (through Cofely-Besix Facility Management) and offers Operations & Maintenance services both in power & water and gas. In Turkey, ENGIE also has 370,000 customers in gas distribution via IZGAZ, provides 145,000 m3 floating gas storage & regasification capacity and is active in energy retail, trading & origination. In the light of the region’s need to adopt strategies to diversify the energy mix and improve energy efficiency, ENGIE MESCAT will continue to develop and operate utility scale low-carbon energies and will grow its regional position in Integrated Solutions for customers.
    American University of Sharjah (AUS) was founded in 1997 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Located in University City, Sharjah, AUS is a not-for-profit, independent institution of higher education, formed on the American model.

    AUS offers 26 majors and 45 minors at the undergraduate level, and 14 Master’s degrees through the College of Architecture, Art and Design; the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Engineering; and the School of Business Administration. These programs are designed to meet the challenges of a competitive business and industrial environment. AUS degree programs are based on the North American model of education, which integrates broad-based liberal arts education with professional education studies.

    AUS is licensed and its programs are accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation of the UAE Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Affairs Division. AUS is accredited in the USA by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    American University of Sharjah
    PO Box 26666
    Sharjah, UAE

    T +971 6 515 5555
    F +971 6 515 2200
    As clients' needs have become more complex and specialized, thus widening the gap between HR needs and work force capabilities, we have proudly worked hand in hand to provide a variety of management consulting services to assist companies in achieving more.

    CCM Consultancy offers integrated end-to-end solutions focusing on organizational transformation, people development and branded customer experiences. Upskilling individuals and enhancing organizations, while ensuring a return on investment have been our main drivers, and has earned us the privilege of supporting clients considered to be leaders in their industry.

    We represent TACK International and TMI World, two of the world’s largest learning and people development companies with a long-standing history of 67 and 40 years respectively.

    CCM Consultancy’s dedicated team of consultants and support staff deploy high-level concepts and have the competence to utilise inspiration as a catalyst to overcome resistance to change, to facilitate the transformation process and to shape the organisational culture.

    CCM Consultancy
    Mazaya Business Ave.
    AA1, Office 2602,
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    T +971 4 447 2187
    F +971 4 447 2189
    EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

    EY refers to the global organisation and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organisation, please visit

    The MENA practice of EY has been operating in the region since 1923. For over 90 years, we have grown to over 6,000 people united across 20 offices and 15 countries, sharing the same values and an unwavering commitment to quality. As an organisation, we continue to develop outstanding leaders who deliver exceptional services to our clients and who contribute to our communities. We are proud of our accomplishments over the years, reaffirming our position as the largest and most established professional services organisation in the region.


    Al Saqr Business Tower
    Sheikh Zayed Road
    P.O. Box 9267,
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    T. +971 4 332 4000
    GSK is a leading healthcare company on a mission to help people do more, feel better and live longer. Regionally and globally, we have a proven track record for providing medicines, vaccines, and consumer products.

    GSK has a 300-year global legacy and 65 years of local presence in the GCC; GSK opened its first office in the region 65 years ago and has been providing greater access and innovation to patients and consumers ever since.

    API Tower, 28th Floor,
    Next to Fairmont Hotel,
    Sheikh Zayed Road,
    P.O. Box 50199,
    Dubai, UAE

    T +971 4 403 7100
    F +971 4 332 9964
    Launched by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.

    Our core philosophy at NAMA is to raise awareness that women are an indispensable human resource for the development of every nation. NAMA was conceived to go beyond the remit of supporting women and ensuring gender equality to a broader scope that aims to see women become influential key members of society, thereby enabling them to climb the ladder of success. It encourages policies and legislation to support women and actively pursues programmes that support gender integration into all sectors and abolishes unjust practices and policies that discriminate against the advancement of women.

    Its five affiliates, Sharjah Business Women Council, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, NAMA Fund, Badiri Education and Development, and Anwan, fall under the umbrella of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment.

    For more information, visit

    NAMA Women Advancement Establishment

    The Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi
    Al Qasimi Street,
    P.O. Box 2334 Sharjah, UAE

    T. +971 6 594 1262
    F. +971 6 523 9339
    Established in 2001, Schaduf provides inspired urban, green solutions to elevate quality of life, through social and environmental change.

    The company creates bespoke, vertical green walls for both residential and commercial spaces, providing clients with consultation, design, implementation, and maintenance services. Schaduf is also a specialist in landscape projects, transforming arid spaces into lively green areas, by combining design and technology to optimise smart irrigation.

    304 Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktum Building
    Al Qusais,
    P.O. Box 233101
    Dubai, UAE
    T. +971 50 888 7325

    As a global leader in medical technology, services and solutions, Medtronic improves the health and lives of millions of people each year. We believe our deep clinical, therapeutic and economic expertise can help address the complex challenges — such as rising costs, aging populations and the burden of chronic disease — faced by families and healthcare systems today. But we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re committed to partnering in new ways and developing powerful solutions that deliver better patient outcomes.

    Founded in 1949 as a medical repair company, we're now among the world's largest medical technology, services and solutions companies, employing more than 85,000 people worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals and patients in more than 160 countries. Join us in our commitment to take healthcare further, together.


    Dubai Internet City, Office Park Building
    Block D, 2nd floor
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    T +971 4 818 2666
    F +971 4 818 2600

    Mundipharma and its independent associated companies, Purdue, NAPP and Mundipharma, are privately owned companies. Having started in 1957, they now cover the world’s pharmaceutical markets. Today, Mundipharma makes its presence felt across the globe, and as a result, has acquired several distinctions among its partners and followers.

    It is known as a fast-growing, speciality pharmaceutical company, and one of the leading players inmoderate to severe pain management, inAsia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. It has established itself as a pioneer in controlled release technology (ACROCONTIN) for pain management, over 12 hours, to help alleviate pain in patients and improve quality of life. And finally, it has built a strong presence in medical education and in the promotion of pain management awareness among caregivers and patients.

    Mundipharma Middle East FZ LLC
    Business Central Towers A,
    Floor 32, Office 02, Dubai Media City,P.O.Box 502927, Dubai, UAE

    T +971 44 398 777

    The Sharjah Business Women Council was established in 2002 to contribute to the economic and social development of the Emirate of Sharjah by supporting women's full economic integration and assisting them in maximising their potential. SBWC currently has 1,500 business women, professionals, students and graduates, and aspiring individuals amongst its members.

    SBWC is able to communicate, connect and cater to members through a tailor-made membership management system. A core focus of the council is entrepreneurship development, which it encourages through programs such as Badiri Women’s Enterprise Development Virtual Academy and Jeel, geared towards creating the next generation of women and youth entrepreneurs.

    Sharjah Business Women Council
    Al Qasimi Street,
    P.O. Box 31122
    Sharjah, UAE

    T +971 6591140

    Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 119,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

    Novartis Pharma
    5th Floor, Limitless Building
    Jumeirah Village, Al Khail Road
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    T. +971 4 818 5448
    ACICO is an established group in the manufacturing, building materials, quality property and construction sectors, with a track record of over 25 years of experience in the Arabian Gulf construction industry. The group also has over 15 years of experience in real estate development.

    We established our business operations in Kuwait, backed by our competencies in the manufacture of autoclaved aerated concrete. This was under the license of the prestigious Hebel Company in Germany and complements our experience in working with major real estate developers. We have since gained a reputation as a manufacturer of products and services that meet the essential requirements for modern building materials – and a reputation as a developer of quality residential developments that target the retail and enterprise markets.

    Over the years, we have built up a sound reputation as a reliable building materials supplier and contractor, able to undertake a wide spectrum of projects for both public and private sector clients. Most of our customers are established names, including government bodies and major real estate developers. Our main construction business is undertaken through our subsidiary, ACICO Construction, which holds the highest (A1) grading for general building works - and therefore allows us to undertake public sector construction projects with an unlimited contract values.

    ACICO Industries
    Kuwait Sharq,
    Al-Hamra Business Tower, 34th Floor
    P.O. Box 24079
    Safat, 1310, Kuwait

    T. +965 188 8811
    F. +965 2 242 2103
    Founded in Chicago, US, Diversey Corporation has grown to become a leader in the cleaning and hygiene industry – transforming sustainable, end-to-end solutions into business-changing results.

    The company’s products, systems and expertise have been making food, drink, and facilities safer for almost 100 years, and today the company remains committed to its vision to be a leading global provider of commercial cleaning, sanitation, and hygiene solutions.

    By uniting ingenious ideas and wide-ranging expertise, Diversey re-imagines the industries it serves to discover new possibilities and create new approaches; enhancing business and the wider global environment.

    Diversey Gulf FZE
    Jebel Ali Freezone
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    T. +971 4 881 9470
    F. +971 4 881 9488
    Standard Chartered is a leading international banking group, with more than 80,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. Standard Chartered banks the people and companies driving investment, trade and creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Standard Chartered’s heritage and values are expressed in its brand promise, Here for good.

    In the UAE, Standard Chartered opened its first branch in 1958 in Sharjah. The Group’s business gradually increased in the UAE with the opening of several branches and today, Dubai is the Bank’s regional hub for the Africa and Middle East region and is the centre for its Islamic Banking arm, Standard Chartered Saadiq.

    Standard Chartered UAE is offering an extensive range of Islamic and conventional products and services for consumers, local companies, multinationals, corporate and financial institutions.

    Standard Chartered Bank UAE

    DIFC, P.O. Box 999
    Sheikh Zayed Road
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    About JLL
    JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specialises in real estate and investment management. A Fortune 500 company, JLL helps real estate owners, occupiers and investors to achieve their business ambitions.

    In 2016, JLL had revenue of $6.8 billion and fee revenue of $5.8 billion and, on behalf of clients, managed 409 million square metres and completed sales acquisitions and finance transactions of approximately $136 billion. At year-end 2016, JLL had nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 77,000. As of December 31, 2016, LaSalle Investment Management has $60.1 billion of real estate under asset management. JLL is the brand name and a registered trademark of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.

    About JLL MEA
    Across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) JLL is a leading player in the real estate and hospitality services markets. The firm has worked in 35 countries across the region and employs over 520 internationally qualified professionals across its offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Cairo, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi.

    For further information, visit:;

    Office 403, Emaar Square,
    Building 1, Downtown,
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    T. +971 4 426 6999
    F. +971 4 365 3260
    Lenovo is a US$43 billion global Fortune 500 company and a leader in providing innovative consumer, commercial, and data center technology. Our portfolio of high-quality, secure products and services covers PCs (including the legendary Think and multimode Yoga brands), workstations, servers, storage, networking, software (including ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile solutions), smart TVs and a family of mobile products like smartphones (including the Motorola brand), tablets and apps.

    We are proud to actively promote gender diversity in our workforce through our WILL (Women In Lenovo Leadership) initiative, which was launched on International Women’s Day in 2007 with the purpose of addressing key priorities to support a woman’s growth and contribution to the company.


    Business Central Towers Building A
    35th Floor Media City
    P.O. Box 500832
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    T. +971 4 429 4300
    F. +971 4 363 6763
    Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm. We provide the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 4,000 lawyers and other legal staff based in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

    Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through our global risk advisory group, we leverage our industry experience with our knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide our clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

    Our work in the Middle East encompasses the entire Middle East region and extends into Central Asia and Africa. We advise regional and international businesses on major transactions, projects, ongoing commercial operations, disputes and regulatory matters, many of them award-winning. Our in-depth knowledge of the local legal, regulatory and business environments enables us to provide our clients with a comprehensive service to meet their business requirements.

    Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.
    ADCB was formed in 1985 and as at 30 June 2017 employed over 4,500 people from 78 nationalities, serving retail customers and corporate clients in 48 branches, 3 pay offices and 2 branches in India, 1 branch in Jersey and representative offices in London and Singapore. As at 30 June 2017, ADCB’s total assets were AED 259 billion.

    ADCB is a full-service commercial bank which offers a wide range of products and services, which include retail banking, wealth management, private banking, corporate banking, commercial banking, cash management, investment banking, corporate finance, foreign exchange, interest rate and currency derivatives and Islamic products, project finance and property management services.

    ADCB is owned 62.52% by the Government of Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Investment Council). Its shares are traded on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. As at 30 June 2017, ADCB’s market capitalisation was AED 36 billion.

    P.O. Box 939
    Abu Dhabi, UAE

    T. +971 2 696 2222
    UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Learn more about our efforts at Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at and its corporate blog can be found at To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter.

    UPS Middle East FZE
    P.O. Box 262970
    Plot No. S20118, Road SW101
    Jebel Ali Free Zone (South), Dubai, UAE
    Entrepreneur Middle East (ME) is a licensee of U.S.-based Entrepreneur, a monthly print publication devoted to business endeavours that act as a valuable resource for business people globally. In addition to print, Entrepreneur as a global brand makes strategic use of various other mediums in the realm of the web and social media.

    Entrepreneur ME, in adherence with our global parent company standards, is committed to localize and high-quality content delivery under the following section headers: Tech, Money, Start It Up, ‘Treponomics, and Culture.

    Entrepreneur Middle East

    Al Thuraya Tower #1, Dubai Media City
    P.O. Box 502511, Dubai, UAE
    T +971 4 420 0506
    F +971 4 420 0196 is the first company to offer non-traditional and flexible working options in the MENA region. Catering to professional women and forward-thinking businesses alike, it was launched in April 2016. The brainchild of Helen McGuire and CEO of MCG Group Justin McGuire, the company sources and supports skilled women back into the workplace by matching them with progressive businesses that understand the value of flexible working.

    Hopscotch also offers exclusive skills workshops sessions as well as a one-to-one coaching service on a host of work related issues by a certified trainer in order to ensure the return to work process is a smooth one. The company has experienced huge success so far with thousands of women registered through its site and a constant stream of active jobs offered by its growing client base.


    MCG Associates FZ LLC
    1409 DAMAC Executive Heights
    Barsha Heights, P.O. Box 211 802
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    T +971 4 275 7600

    The British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates (BBG) is the region’s foremost business-to-business membership networking group, enabling like-minded professionals to further their business interests in the UAE and wider region.

    To that end, we work closely with the UK and UAE governments to provide support, counsel and advice to British businesses in the UAE, as well as those seeking to establish a commercial foothold in Dubai and the northern emirates.

    We also connect to a wider network of similar entities across the region and, with many companies choosing Dubai as their hub for coordinating commercial operations in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Indian sub-continent, we are a valuable source of information and links for businesses seeking to expand their operations.
    Established in 2002, under the umbrella of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Business Women Council is the UAE’s leading platform for the personal and professional development of women in the Emirate of Dubai.

    In 2017, DBWC is celebrating 15 years of pioneering a fresh approach to enhancing positive change towards a more gender balanced society.

    Providing strategic education, training and networking opportunities to aid the holistic development and aspirations of UAE-based women is at the heart of the DBWC’s mission to inspire women to be productive members of the society and economy.

    DBWC’s tailored workshops and training sessions are hosted exclusively for its members and provide information about the latest knowledge, skills and best practices for women entrepreneurs and leaders. For more information about the DBWC and how to join its community of visionary and influential trailblazing women, visit Log on to the Council’s Facebook page - or the DBWC Twitter page
    Founded in 2002 in Doha, the main objective of the GBCQ is to promote, cultivate and assist business relations between Germany and Qatar by forming a platform where business representatives of both nations can meet and exchange views and ideas and create new opportunities. To promote the business relations among our members, the Council regularly organizes business and social networking events and forums featuring industry experts as well as government officials. The GBCQ is successfully managed by the German Industry & Commerce Office Qatar (AHK), a semi-government trade promotion office and part of the worldwide network of German Chambers of Commerce abroad.
    AmCham Abu Dhabi (the trademark of the American Business Group of Abu Dhabi) is a member of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce. Active since 1986, the AmCham Abu Dhabi mission has been to promote commerce, investment and goodwill between the United States of America, the membership, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. AmCham Abu Dhabi is an independent, not-for-profit association comprised of Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium sized companies and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs. AmCham Abu Dhabi provides a uniquely situated platform through which executives pursue and discuss issues impacting business operations between the U.S. and U.A.E. Substantive government advocacy programs, educational and networking programs and customized business service are just a few of the many benefits AmCham Abu Dhabi provides its members. Through the support of its members, AmCham Abu Dhabi has become the recognized voice of U.S. business in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. For more information, visit:
    Since 1987, the French Business Council (FBC) is the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dubai & Northern Emirates. 10th French chamber abroad and the largest in the Middle East, the FBC gathers 750 members including representatives of French companies based in the UAE and France, as well as local and global companies interested in the French market.

    The FBC works closely with French governmental organizations and local authorities. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is its legal sponsor. Through these privileged connections, members have access to all they need to engage in and pursue their business development, both in France and in the UAE.

    The FBC mission is to help foster and develop the economic and commercial relations between France and the UAE. The 15 FBC dynamic business-oriented sectorial committees, clubs and working groups, give members the opportunity to share their experience and to stay up to date with the latest developments in their industry.

    The French Business Council organizes more than 90 events per year, including conferences, corporate forums, workshops, networking gatherings and a Gala Dinner, and offers effective communication platforms: E-Newsletter and email campaigns sent to 8,500 contacts, a corporate website registering 6,500 visitors/month and social media with more than 6,000 fans & subscribers.
    Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading global nonprofit organization accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 800 supporting organizations, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.
    Description:The American Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates (ABC Dubai), the first bilateral trade organization established in the UAE, operates under the local patronage of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. ABC Dubai represents corporate and individual members with business interests across the Middle East and functions as an official international chapter of the US Chamber of Commerce. The organization’s membership is comprised of American Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, large and small UAE organizations, and professionals from all sectors of business and industry – all accepted after review of eligibility based upon membership qualification criteria. ABC Dubai maintains strong ties with local and international, public and private sector leaders, providing a wide range of services and organizing events and business advocacy efforts on behalf of its members.
    Mompreneurs Middle East empowers female entrepreneurs in the region with the entrepreneurial education and community support they require to start and scale their businesses. It is a platform that connects businesses together and allows entrepreneurs to share expertise, advice, recommendations and contacts.

    Mompreneurs ME is founded on the vision that “Empowered Mothers Raise Empowered Children”, and therefore champions women’s empowerment in the region through entrepreneurial education and mompreneurship.

    Mompreneurs Middles East tackles the four main challenges that entrepreneurs face on their journey: Mentorship, Fundraising, Education and Community Support. This is achieved through our Flagship course: Mompreneur Rising, events such as The Global Mentoring Walk - Dubai Chapter, and other activities and initiatives throughout the year.

    Mompreneurs ME also supports the community of entrepreneurs by providing them access to specialized events and exhibitions taking place in the region. Collectively, the community of female entrepreneurs is stronger and better able to compete in today’s business environment where information sharing and mentorship leads to the collective success of all members.

    Instagram: @MompreneursME

    Our Why
    Empowered Mothers raise Empowered Children who are our Future Leaders.

    Our Vision
    A world in which mothers are accomplished and fulfilled. They have found harmony between their roles as a mother and entrepreneur and they feel empowered.

    Our Mission
    Empower mothers to find balance, harmony, and success in their personal and professional lives through entrepreneurial education and mompreneurship.

    Our Core Values
    Integrity, Growth, Impact, Harmony, Collaboration.
    WOMENA is a UAE-based angel investment network that empowers and educates women to invest in promising startups, to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation in the MENA region. With strong ties to innovation hubs around the world, WOMENA stands at a unique crossroads to be able to foster growth and diversity in the MENA startup ecosystem.
    12 years of experience helping Spanish companies doing business in UAE

    The Spanish Business Council is a private non-profit organization whose aim is to establish a corporate platform to strengthen business and cultural ties between Spain and the United Arab Emirates, by linking Spanish companies to Emirati public and private entities.

    It has been founded in 2005 and supported by the Spanish Embassy and the Spanish Commercial Office in the UAE. The Spanish Business Council gathers Spanish companies/individuals or foreign companies/individuals, which want to establish business relations in the United Arab Emirates. Our vision is to improve commercial relations between Spain and UAE playing a leading role in the expansion of the bilateral relationship.

    Our mission
    • To promote Spanish commercial and business interests in the UAE and encourage economic and commercial activities and other initiatives between the UAE and Spain.
    • To offer to the members a platform to exchange information and experiences and to communicate and interact with Public and Private entities and persons in the UAE by means of meetings, gatherings, seminars, conferences and receptions.
    • To strengthen commercial, economic and cultural ties and promote mutual awareness between the UAE and Spain.
    • To reinforce the image of Spain in the UAE.
    Women-able is a high impact economic development initiative that works in partnership with sponsors and funding partners.

    Our BUILD and GROWTH programs run over 12 months as practical and real time initiatives focused on the owners actual business. We develop the skills and mind set to build commercial acumen, financial literacy and increase confidence.

    Throughout the last 4 years, working with our International partners and supporters, we have developed tools and a proven methodology to skill women to create viable business models, increase sales and revenue channels, create jobs and enable women owned business become investment and export ready.

    Powered by grow.ME, a Dubai based impact development consultancy and a support network of over 350 alumni, mentors and coaches, Women-able provides a platform to thrive.

    Quite simply, we power women for business.

    Join us and lets make equal economic participation for women a reality .
    Weyakum, meaning ‘with you’ in Arabic, is a nonprofit social enterprise that equips United Arab Emirates youth and young professionals (18-32) with the skills necessary to realize their educational and professional aspirations. Whether it is helping them set up their social enterprise, join the United Nations or pursue a degree at a top notch academic institution, Weyakum supports them throughout the process. Follow @weyakum on instagram or visit to learn more!
    ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

    Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development. We aim to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of consistent global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that, through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We work to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers to entry, ensuring that our qualifications and their delivery meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.

    We support our 188,000 members and 480,000 students in 178 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of 100 offices and centres and more than 7,400 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
    Mums@Work has one very simple aim – re-connecting professional women to the workplace after they have taken a career break and supporting working women to find more flexible work options. Mums@Work are bringing a mass of untapped talent back to the workforce, changing the playing field for women in the UAE.

    With the backing of Mackenzie Jones, one of the largest independent recruitment firms in the GCC, who have a network with hundreds of clients and over a decade's worth of regional experience.

    Since its launch in 2016 Mums@Work has created a community of 10,000 professional women; of which they have trained and placed over 1,000 candidates.

    Mums@Work strive to mentor and empower their candidates on their journey back to work through regular training events, an online career hub and 121 coaching with their certified coach. With events focusing on topics such as; CV writing, interview skills and personal branding, candidates are supported every step on the return to work journey.
    About Ellevate   We believe women are awesome. We believe the research is clear that companies and the economy perform better when they fully engage women. We believe women are still an under-tapped resource in the business world and in society at large – and that it's time to change that. We believe that networking and lifelong learning are keys to business success. And we believe that by providing these capabilities, by working with companies and investors to help them see the opportunity, and by truly investing in women - we can be an active and positive part of that change. Ellevate is a global professional women's network dedicated to these beliefs and to the economic engagement of women worldwide. The most expansive and diverse network of its kind, our community is made up of successful, motivated and passionate professional women from various industries and walks of life with one common belief: that investing in themselves and in other women is good business. Our members are at all stages of their careers: groundbreakers, thought leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, board members, and visionaries. They are alumnae and students of some of the world's leading academic institutions. Some are at the top of their fields, and others are on their way. Thousands of women strong, our community is large and growing by the day.
    Description: Founded in 2014 as the first information design & data visualization agency in the Middle East, focuses on helping companies communicate data to stakeholders clearly and effectively in order to help drive business. Core services include infographics, infographic trainings, explainer videos, data visualizations, reports and presentation design.
    Inc. Arabia, the magazine for growing companies in the Middle East and North Africa, delivers information and advice for region's ever-increasing band of innovative business builders. Covering virtually every business and management task, including marketing, sales, finding capital and managing people, Inc. Arabia helps the region's business owners and CEOs start, run and grow their businesses., a city marketing portal that provides media and marketing solutions servicing to both local and international clients, and support major events through sponsorship, organizing, and marketing services such as:

    • Email campaign
    • Banner advertising
    • Social Media Campaign
    • SMS Campaign
    • Events $ Training Marketing
    • Public Relations Services
    • Web Design & Development Services
    • Advertising, Media, Graphic Design

    Contact Eye of Riyadh:
    Tel: +966 11 2288587
    The Tempest is a groundbreaking technology and media company aimed at building, amplifying and connecting innovative products and experiences for diverse millennial women. Launched in March 2016, The Tempest has exploded into the global conversation, reaching millions of millennials a month. With an audience spanning over 90 countries, The Tempest is disrupting traditional media models and putting the power in the hands of diverse millennial women to own their stories and define global conversations. Visit for more information. Thank you!
    Philanthropy Age is an award-winning magazine dedicated to inspiring and informing intelligent giving among those who can change lives for the better. The magazine is a leading source of philanthropic news, views, trends and analysis for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, and a vital resource for those working for good.

    Philanthropy Age is available in print, online or via download, in English and Arabic. The magazine is a grantee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Philanthropy Age

    412, Loft Office 2B
    Dubai Media City
    PO Box 502034
    Dubai, UAE
    t. +971 (0)4 568 3650 offers a peek into the lives of influential Arab women through award-winning features and real-life stories. The lifestyle platform pulls back the curtain on individuals who are defining cultural trends now and covers a wealth of diverse topics from fashion and beauty to travel and food: who to watch, what to wear, and everything else in-between.
    Business magazine
    Circulation: 53,000
    Distribution: MENA
    Audited by OJD

    Unrivaled intelligence on Arab Affairs

    TRENDS is the leading magazine on Arab affairs in the Mena region. The magazine provides business leaders with critical insight and indepth analysis of issues and developments in the Middle East, while forming opinions on business, social, political and economic matters. Delivering sterling information and analysis on the region for more than 15 years, Trends has established itself as the premier source for Arab affairs.

    Business magazine
    Circulation: 38,700
    Distribution: GCC

    Connecting regional business, finance and economics

    Saneou Al Hadath is a unique monthly Arabic business magazine, addressing middle- and top-level managers in the Middle East interested in daily business issues. Offering a lively look at the entrepreneurs who have helped build empires, Saneou Al Hadath connects the business and human aspects of commerce and helps business relationships and recognise the achievements of companies. Explaining the economy in a unique, clear and simple way has become its trademark. For the fifth consecutive year, Saneou Al Hadath has been ranked as the No.1 magazine in its category by Ipsos-Stat.
    The ultimate Middle East business resource

    AMEinfo, the Middle East's leading business news website, has been providing senior executives and decision makers with information on the Middle East for more than 12 years, delivering press releases, daily news wires, analysis, special reports and microsites via video, audio, mobile, RSS, email and more. AMEinfo's core strength lies in the breadth and amount of content covered – posting more than 1,500 stories a week, in both across 15 verticals.
    Fashion magazine
    Circulation: 36,000
    Distribution: UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman

    Think smart, look amazing

    Marie Claire is a fashion magazine with character substance and depth for woman with a point of view, an opinion and a sense of style. It inspires readers to “Think smart and look amazing.”

    Marie Claire is known for its insightful and inspiring, yet relevant and entertaining content. It delivers fashion, beauty and lifestyle mixed with challenging reports on real life issues. It is a successful formula that combines solid journalism, aspirational fashion and inspirational beauty.
    Consumer magazine
    Circulation: 90,000
    Distribution: GCC

    The only weekly magazine on fashion and beauty

    Detailing the latest trends, styles and beauty secrets, Haya has established itself as a must read for today’s fashionistas. This weekly Arabic magazine keeps its readers one step ahead of the fashion pack, while providing interviews, celebrity profiles and unique editorial content. Glamorous and sophisticated, Haya epitomises the Middle Eastern modern woman.

    Haya has been the fastest-growing magazine in its category since its launch in 2008.
    Since 2009, our professional training division (formerly called MiH Training Academy) has enabled over 5,000 professionals, managers and senior executives to develop their skill set and gain career-advancing knowledge.

    Our wide range of training programs cover areas including finance, healthcare, hospitality, HR, IT, leadership and management, marketing, oil and gas, PA and strategy, as well as soft skills.

    Qualified trainers from all corners of the globe have a wealth of experience in their respective fields and a proven track record of successfully helping clients take their careers to the next level.

    Naseba professional training
    Boutique Villa n°5, Media City,
    P.O. Box 500563,
    Dubai, UAE

    T +971 4 367 1376
    F +971 4 367 2764
    For 25 years, Right Selection - The Speakers Bureau (RSSB) has transformed lives and added value to the worldwide community by matchmaking educational, engaging and inspiring speakers with corporate clients, conference and seminar organisers globally.

    Connected to an elite group of high-class international, motivational speakers, RSSB identifies and nominates thought leaders and transformational gurus, across hospitality, customer service, sales, marketing, leadership, strategy, team building, communication skills, mind mapping and more. Bringing a special touch of class to each event, RSSB’s well selected list of renowned international speakers, elevates public and private customised events through presence, caliber and futuristic thinking.

    Right Selection- The Speakers Bureau
    1603, The Citadel
    Business Bay, Dubai
    T. +971 4 420 5599
    As part of the WIFT International network the WIFT Mumbai Chapter is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to provide a dynamic platform to facilitate the exchange of ideas, accelerate the professional development and recognise the achievement of women in film, television and other screen based media.

    Its mission is to help in the development and achievement of women working in film, television and other screen based mediums.


    • To provide a forum that will promote the interest of women working in film, television and other screen based media.
    • To enhance the international visibility of our members
    • To provide exclusive networking opportunities for our members
    • To provide global expertise for professional development, leadership skills and production training for women working in screen-based media.
    • To offer an educational forum through activities and programs based on research that will meet the needs of our members.
    Spicee is a brand new online TV reports and documentary pla7orm (and mobile applica9on). It was launched on June 15 th , 2015, by two confirmed news and media professionals: Antoine Robin who created Havas produc9on within the Havas group and Jean-Bernard Schmidt, previously senior execu9ve of M6 (private French TV network). Spicee features, almost exclusively, original and interna9onal media reports and documentaries on demanding subjects. Spicee also broadcasts innova9ve modules and programs. All of Spicee’s video reports are exclusively produced by its journalists and documentary-makers. Spicee is a completely independent media; it is not sustained by adver9sing but rather by its subscribers and its community.

    Spicee features almost exclusively original and interna9onal documentaries on demanding subjects. Spicee also broadcasts innova9ve modules and programs. All of these video reports are exclusively produced by our journalists and documentary-makers. Videos can last from 5, 15, 30 to 52 minutes, and there will be new videos every week on the website. Our authors enjoy a great freedom in the expression of their crea9vity. Here, there is no censorship. This is the Spicee signature. We also select for you, the best documentaries and TV reports from the last years. Documentaries and inves9ga9ons that oben cast an interes9ng light on today’s news (Spicee Select).

    Spicee is a completely independent media, that is to say that, it is not sustained by adver9sing but rather by its subscribers and its community. Therefore, we are free to deal with any topics we want, without any restric9on.

    The World of Women’s Cinema – WOW Film Fair Middle East is the first women’s short film fair that promotes and awards the talents of women producers, directors, writers, editors and cinematographers in the film industry internationally. Founded by leading News Anchor and CEO of Straight Street Media, Hermoine Macura – it's an event that offers emerging and established the filmmakers the opportunity to “see the world through the eyes of women”. The event is a non-profit project that is committed to improving the status of women, both on and off the screen, by supporting and advancing women working in the film, television and related screen industries. is the #1 job site in the Middle East, offering a complete range of end-to-end employment solutions and career planning tools. Founded in 2000, is fully functional in English, Arabic and French, and offers the fastest, easiest, most effective and cost-efficient methods for employers to find quality candidates, and for job seekers to find top jobs, in the Middle East and North Africa. is firmly committed to the region and has an excellent and thorough understanding of the Middle East and North Africa recruitment market and business landscape. This evidenced by's fully trilingual recruitment platform, which is the first and only such platform in the region, as well as its 12 regional offices in Abu Dhabi, Al Kuwait, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Doha, Dubai, Eastern Province, Jeddah, Manama, Muscat and Riyadh. It is also evidenced by's leading track record of continued success serving the region's jobseekers and employers in finding top jobs and top talent respectively. With over 26,500,000 professionals and over 40,000 leading organizations using's recruitment platform across all industry categories and career levels, is today the single largest marketplace of professionals and companies in the region.
    Grosvernor Business Tower
    Barsha Heights, Dubai
    TEL: +971.4.449.3100
    Launched in 2013, MBC Group’s CSR arm, MBC Al Amal, is an ongoing interactive initiative that is the collective umbrella for the multitude of campaigns, initiatives, and contributions whether created, launched, supported or adopted by MBC Group. MBC Al Amal’s core focus is on the empowerment and development of Arab youth, for our future and theirs. Our strategy is also about developing and implementing initiatives to show our ongoing commitment to education, capacity building and work readiness, supporting entrepreneurship, and humanitarian causes.
    DETOX DELIGHT offers you a whole different type of convenience food. True to our motto “Well-being delivered,” we help you get through the day, the week and the year in healthy style with our cold-pressed juices, vegan soups and raw food meals.

    No matter if you are starting a several-day cleanse with us as the first step on your way to a healthier diet or if you want to replace individual meals with juices from our JUICEBOXES: We help you become more aware of healthy dietary choices, break free from old habits and build your own personal healthy lifestyle – as a means of becoming fitter, more active and more energetic.

    DETOX DELIGHT smooths your way to a healthy diet – simple, convenient and made from the very best ingredients. Lovingly prepared fresh each day by hand.
    Conceptualised in 2002, The Nail Spa caters to the needs of stylish and discerning women, across 13 tranquil spas in prime locations throughout the UAE. Building on its award-winning reputation, The Nail Spa combines the finest beauty techniques with the latest retail products, to offer each client a fully immersive and relaxing spa experience. Helping female clients to rebalance their zen, The Nail Spa celebrates inner beauty and supports the humble, charming and fierce ladies of the UAE, to lead successful and fulfilling lives.
    Galeries Lafayette Dubai launched Le Gourmet Events and Catering in 2012, in response to the growing demand for bespoke, high-quality cuisine for private events. Located at Galeries Lafayette, at The Dubai Mall, Le Gourmet is a temple to gastronomy with menus based on thoughtful authenticity, developed with tradition and passion, by chefs from all over the world.

    Bringing traditional and tantalising flavours to client’s homes, offices and parties, Le Gourmet provides food, service, industry knowledge and teamwork to rival any other caterer. Creating distinctive and personalised menus for each dinner party, casual get together, corporate lunch, store opening or cocktail reception, only the finest ingredients make it into Le Gourmet.

    Galeries Lafayette
    The Dubai Mall
    Dubai, UAE

    T. +971 4 33 99 933
    eBarza is online furniture retailer in UAE focused on delivering fashionable, contemporary furniture and decorations to style-minded customers. With design influences sourced predominantly from Europe and America, we offer replica designer furniture for our customer’s home or workplace at affordable prices. Our product catalogs include modern, contemporary, and classic furniture suited for residential and commercial use.

    To find out more, visit their website:
    At Mindfulness Dubai, our mission is to enable individuals to thrive inside and outside of work. In the age of digital disruption don't let your days be characterised by chaos, overwhelm and stress. Learn the life skills essential to increase resilience, emotional intelligence and happiness. Through our sister company The Workplace Yogi, we pioneered teaching mindfulness programs in the region. Taking that work forward Mindfulness Dubai is now positioned as the regional expert for delivering mindfulness programs to businesses and the public working only with certified, qualified mindfulness teachers.
    Emerging artists and grassroots initiatives struggle with exposure and access to resources. The AJALA Project connects private and public entities with artistic endeavors and causes that matter. Through its platform, strategic partnerships, events and exhibitions; The AJALA Project empowers artists, grassroots initiatives and communities around the world


    Presented by H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy

    • award categories


      award categories


      This category recognises a policy-maker or public figure in the public sector for her strong commitment to developing female talent, her leadership, her ability to innovate and pave the way for future generations of female leaders.
      Open to: Women in leadership positions in the public sector (Chairwoman, Director General, Minister, CEO, Deputy CEO, Undersecretary, Governor, Managing Director, etc.)


      This category recognises a policy-maker or private figure in the private sector for her strong commitment to developing female talent, her leadership, her ability to innovate and pave the way for future generations of female leaders.
      Open to: Women in leadership positions in the public sector (Chairwoman, Director General, Minister, CEO, Deputy CEO, Undersecretary, Governor, Managing Director, etc.)

      Female Entrepreneur of the Year | NOMINATE NOW

      This category recognises a woman entrepreneur who has successfully established a new business or developed an existing business over the past 12 months.
      Open to: Any female founder / owner / co-founder a private or public companies, non-for-profit organisation or educational institutions.


      This category recognises a young leader, mover or shaker who is an inspiring leaders in his/her community, has successfully established an initiative or demonstrated a significant and measurable contribution to an existing initiative over the past 12 months.
      Open to: Young leaders under the age of 26.

      Male Champion of Change | NOMINATE NOW

      This category recognises a male business leader, policy maker or public figure for his strong commitment to developing female talent and supporting women’s economic empowerment.
      Open to: Men in leadership positions (Chairperson, President, CEO, Regional Director, Founder, etc)

      Most Woman-friendly Employer MNC / SME | NOMINATE NOW

      This category recognises an organisation which actively encourages its female executives to develop skills through training, leadership and mentorship programs, and advocates for gender equality at the workplace. In order to ensure fair competition, SMEs and MNCs will be rewarded in two separate categories.
      Open to: Any entity with a registered office in the MENA region.)

      Most Impactful D&I Initiative | NOMINATE NOW

      This award will honour an initiative created and implemented by a private company, public company, educational institution, public sector, non-governmental organisation or non-profit organisation to encourage the development of a diverse and inclusive workforce.




      Individual Past Winners

      • Leading Businesswoman of the Year

        Hala Badri

        Executive Vice President – Brand & Communications

      • Most Innovative Woman Entrepreneur

        Lama Bazzari

        Founder and Chief Executive Officer
        Nstyle International

      • Leading Woman in Public Sector

        Dr Aisha Bin Bishr

        Assistant Director General
        The Executive Office

      • Male Champion of Change

        Tarek Rabah

        Area Vice President, Middle East & Africa

      • Best Local Initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment

        Uforo Iban Uto Inwang

        She’s Empowered through Agriculture
        People, Environment and Sustainability Foundation

      • Best Global Initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment

        Women. Fast Forward


      • Most Woman-Friendly Employer

        PepsiCo Greater China Region

      • WIL Honorary Achievement Award

        Khalid Alkhodair,

        CEO, Glowork

      • Women’s Empowerment Recognition Award

        Almas Jiwani

        UN Women Canada National Committee


      • Award Guidelines* Required

        Please fill up the form below to become a sponsor. And we will get in touch with you shortly.

    submit your nominations
    • submit your nominations* Required

      Please complete the form below to receive the nomination forms and guidelines and we will get in touch with you shortly.

    The WIL Forum launched its Short Film Competition for Women’s Economic Empowerment and invites you to raise YOUR voice to change the narrative around women.

    best short film competition for women’s economic empowerment


    5 Delegates

    (5% discount)

    10 Delegates

    (10% discount)

    5 Delegates

    4* accommodation

    5 Delegates

    5* accommodation
    $500 Off

    10 Delegates

    4* accommodation

    10 Delegates

    5* accommodation

    Request booking form

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    • Register now* Required

      Complete the form below to register for your chosen package. Your booking form will be emailed to you within 24 hours of submission.

    • Price: $0.00
    The prices above do not include the 10% DTCM fee levied by the government on any delegate for any event held in Dubai.

    The WIL Economic Forum is a unique opportunity to find yourself absolutely surrounded by powerful, strong women–the resulting inspiration, knowledge and connections will be life changing.

    Kristen Pressner – VP, Head of HR Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Diagnostics Division, Roche

    I was very impressed with the comprehensive agenda and broad mix of high quality speakers at the WIL Economic Forum. It was time worth spent and another big step forward on the important topic of diversity and inclusion in this part of the world.

    Assaf AlQuraishi – VP, Human Resources, Unilever MENA

    Businesses cannot be successful without diverse thinking styles and approaches to leadership. The Women in Leadership Economic Forum provides an important opportunity to listen and share how to integrate these differences into the everyday processes, projects and values of the organizations in which we work.

    Walter Hurdle – Global Chief Diversity Officer, AIG

    Women are increasingly moving into roles as decision-makers and leaders in both private and professional spheres. It is important that they now step up and engage in the change process.

    Jennifer O’Lear – Head of Corporate HR Development & Engagement, and Chief Diversity Officer, Merck

    As the pipeline of female talent continues to expand, it is up to corporate stakeholders to make the ‘business case’ for investing in women and act as catalysts for change.

    Dr Leila Hoteit -Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

    I left the Women in Leadership Economic Forum feeling inspired and energised. While we have certainly come a long way, there is much more work to be done to support and foster equality for women in every segment of our economy. Onwards and upwards!

    VP of Talent Planning & Inclusion, Pfizer

    Gender diversity makes good business sense and everyday women are making positive changes to workplace culture by driving service excellence and enabling a balanced economic growth.

    Nathalie Amiel-Ferrault – VP, EMEA Customer Experience, MEIA Marketing & Communications, FedEx Express

    Women are typically adept at managing complexity, coping with ambiguity and bringing clarity to situations. Conferences like WIL give women the chance to pause, reflect and recharge their batteries by creating new global networks.

    Wendy Alexander – Associate Dean, Global Business, London Business School


    If you have questions about any aspect of the forum or require more information, please contact our team below.


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