This forum is held under the patronage of His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, United Arab Emirates.

The 19th Global Women In Leadership (WIL) Economic Forum is bringing together up to 500 global male and female business leaders, policy makers, as well as young female professionals and entrepreneurs. They’re gathering to dissect the challenge of diversity, share experiences and produce actionable strategies to strive for women’s economic empowerment.

Endorsed by the UAE Ministry of Economy for the past three years, the forum has championed the recognition of women as key economic drivers for over a decade. It aims to highlight inspiring stories of successful women and best practices from organisations that are leading the way in this domain.

The forum also hosts the WIL Achievement Awards, presented by the Minister of Economy, His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, to honour such exemplary individuals and organisations.

This year’s conversation revolves around three pillars: story-telling, future-building, and game changers. The agenda is designed to facilitate discussion, promote innovative thinking and have an impact on the global discourse around the role of women in the global economy.

Participants will also receive a CPD-certificate at the end of the forum.






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

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.

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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 State for Federal National Council Affairs, UAE H.E. Noura Al Kaabi View Profile
Maha Ali

Maha Ali

Former Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Maha Ali View Profile
Haben Girma

Haben Girma

Global inclusion advocate, White House Champion of Change Haben Girma View Profile


Chairperson, Al Maskari Holding H.E. DR. SHAIKHA AL MASKARI View Profile
Becky Anderson

Becky Anderson

One of CNN’s highest profile anchors Becky Anderson 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
Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs of the United Arab Emirates and Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi and twofour54

Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi was appointed as the UAE Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs in February 2016. In this role, H.E. Noura Al Kaabi acts as the key link and facilitator between the Cabinet and the Federal National Council

Noura is Chair of the Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi (MZA) and twofour54, the home of media and entertainment in Abu Dhabi; Chair of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC Group) and Chair of Abu Dhabi Media Company. She is also the Media & Marketing Chair for the Special Olympics. She is on the committee of TCA’s Museum Acquisition Committee and is part of the Advisory Board for Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation and Qasr Al Hosn. She is also a board member of the UAE’s National Media Council, International Federal Council, Image Nation, National Archive, Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Zayed Sports Council and Young Global Leader. Noura is the first UAE National to be ranked on 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.

H.E. Noura Al Kaabi holds B.A. in MIS from UAE University and has also completed the Executive Leadership Programme from London Business School.
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.
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 AlMaskari portfolio that controls the family’s operating subsidiaries, joint venture companies, strategic partnerships,and private equity.

For 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, and emergency medical services and have won numerous 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 Microcredit Project in Turkey.

In 2016, His Majesty the King of Sweden Carl the XVI Gustaf bestowed upon Her Excellency Dr.Shaikha Al Maskari the Order of the Polar Star, Member 1st Class. The Order of the Polar Star was awarded for her service to Sweden

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. The same year she was awarded the Emirati Honorary Shield for her pioneering Humanitarian contributions to the development of the State.

HE Dr.Shaikha was recognized by Forbes Middle East in their 2015list of 100 Most Powerful Arab Business Women. She has been conferred by the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce & Industry : “Award For Excellence In Leader ship 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 and Qatar Red Crescent for on-going contributions to international emergency relief.

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 Board member of Women For Sustainable Growth(W4SG), 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).

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.
Becky Anderson
Becky Anderson is one of CNN International's highest profile anchors. She hosts "Connect the World with Becky Anderson.”

Anderson is based in CNN's Abu Dhabi bureau, allowing her a distinctive regional perspective on some of today's most important news stories, including the deepening humanitarian crisis in Syria and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Anderson is a skilled interviewer, adept at close questioning and has interviewed many of the world's leading politicians, decision-makers & thought-leaders, including most recently President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam and President Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia. She is equally at home quizzing the world's A-listers, including George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey.

Anderson has extensive business journalism experience including posts with the UK's ITN, CNBC Europe and Bloomberg. She began her career in journalism as a print reporter with various business publications, after gaining a Master of Mass Communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maryam Al Mheiri
Maryam Al Mheiri is Acting Chief Executive Officer of Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi (MZA) and twofour54. Maryam is responsible for leading and MZA’s strategic agenda, aiming to build a sustainable media industry that contributes to the economic and cultural development of Abu Dhabi and positioning the Emirate as the regional hub for media and entertainment. In her role as CEO of twofour54, Maryam leads engagement between local government and the private sector to grow and develop the media industry, and encourages public private partnerships with the international industry to serve the needs of the growing Middle Eastern market.

Maryam is a board member of Abu Dhabi Media Company, a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council’s Economic Development Committee, which is responsible for developing the overall economic sector in Abu Dhabi and encouraging local and foreign investment. Maryam is also a a member of the Abu Dhabi Investment Committee, and a member of the higher committee that was established to oversee the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

Maryam has held senior positions in a number of UAE entities including Thuraya Satellite Telecommunication Company and the Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research.

Maryam holds a Global Executive MBA jointly issued by NYU Stern, LSE and HEC Paris and completed her undergraduate studies in Accounting & Business Administration with distinction and honours at the UAE's Higher Colleges of Technology.
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 -
Kerry Dolan
Kerry Dolan, an award-winning journalist, is an Assistant Managing Editor at Forbes magazine based in San Francisco. She is one of two editors who oversee the magazine's signature lists of The World’s Billionaires and the Forbes 400 Richest Americans. She also writes about philanthropy. Her reporting for Forbes has taken her around the world, from the slums of Manila to gold mines in Mexico and palaces in Saudi Arabia. Ms. Dolan joined Forbes as a reporter in New York in 1994, and previously worked for the English language publications of Japan’s Nikkei business daily in Tokyo.
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.
Ms. 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.
Muna AbuSulayman
A diverse and impactful leader with a unique cross-sectorial work experience for over 19 years, Muna AbuSulayman is recognized as an expert in the fields of Sustainable Development, Management, Philanthropy, Education, Human/Community Development, Communications, and Media.

AbuSulayman has successfully launched, managed, and scaled multiple socially conscious initiatives, businesses and foundations throughout her career and is continuously placed in lists naming her one of the most influential Arabs in the world due to the impact and reach of her work and media footprint.
Molly Hayward
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.
Samra Zafar
Samra Zafar is an international, TEDx Public Speaker, an author, a women's rights activist and a social entrepreneur. She is one of 8 highly distinguished alumni to serve as a Governor for the University of Toronto, and the youngest person to receive that honour. Samra will be speaking at TEDx Mississauga 2017 about domestic abuse, women’s rights to respect, and what individuals and communities can do to make a difference. She is the founder of Brave Beginnings, a non-profit organization, dedicated to providing survivors of abuse with mentorship and friendship to support them in their goals and help them build a life of respect, dignity and freedom. Her passion is to promote diversity and inclusiveness, paying in forward, and to motivate and empower people to believe in themselves, achieve their goals and reach their full potential, no matter what the circumstances might be. Her story and work have been featured in prominent media platforms, including Toronto Life, CTV, CBC, Global News, Yahoo Canada and many others.

After arriving in Canada as a teenage bride in a forced marriage, Samra faced over a decade of abuse, oppression and opposition against her education. Refusing to give up, she pursued her education as a single mother while working multiple jobs and raising her two daughters. She graduated with a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Toronto with the highest distinctions, while winning over a dozen awards and scholarships. She was the first mature student to win the most prestigious John Moss Award, a $17k scholarship awarded annually to the single most outstanding student across all three U of T campuses. Since then, she has received several awards for being a community leader and icon. She currently works as a manager in commercial banking. Her free time is dedicated to her two beautiful daughters and her passion for empowering others through her advocacy and social entrepreneurship work.
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.
Ms. Kountoura is the Alternate Minister for Tourism at the Greek Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism. She was member of the Greek National Track and Field Team. She holds numerous national records, international titles and awards. She was elected five times as member of the Hellenic Parliament. She has also served as an independent MP, and established the Parliamentary Group of the Movement "Anexartitoi Hellines" (Independent Greeks) along with nine other MPs. In the 2012 elections she was elected in the first position of the "Independent Greeks" ballot in Athens.

She served as Secretary of the Movement’s Parliamentary Group, was assigned with the overview of Tourism Affairs and was a member of the Greek Parliamentary Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (member of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons and alternate member of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination).

Ms. Kountoura has been honoured for her support in spreading the values of Paralympic Volunteerism in Greece. In 2007, she was honoured by the Greek Government as a Goodwill Ambassador for Social Volunteering. She graduated from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science at the University of Athens.
H.E. Mohammed Al-Shihhi
Nadir A. 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.
H.E. Prof. Hassan Diab
H.E. Prof. Hassan Diab is currently Vice President at AUB and a Professor of Computer Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, AUB. He has over 130 publications in internationally refereed journals and conferences and has supervised 80 research projects. He is a registered Chartered Engineer in the Engineering Council, UK, and a registered Chartered Professional Engineer in the National Professional Engineers Register, Australia. He is Fellow in IET (UK), IEAust (Australia) & Senior Member in IEEE (USA).

He received 30 national/international awards and was invited for inclusion in over 40 international biographies with over 100 citations including Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Science & Engineering, and Outstanding People of the 21st Century, as well as honorary membership on boards of several biographical institutions.

He was seconded by AUB to serve as Founding President and Dean of the College of Engineering at Dhofar University, Sultanate of Oman. Effective October 2006, he was appointed as Vice President for Regional External Programs (REP) at AUB with an annual projects budget of over $22Million.

Effective June 13, 2011, he was appointed as Minister of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) in the Lebanese Cabinet to take over the largest ministry in Lebanon. MEHE is composed of major directorates and offices including Directorate of Education, Higher Education, Vocational and Technical Education (VTE), Central Administration, Education Center for Research & Development, Education Sector Development Secretariat, etc. MEHE includes 60,000 employees across the country and controls or oversees over 3000 schools, 50 higher education institutions, and 450 VTE institutes in both the public and private sectors culminating in over 1.3 million students. Minister Diab managed an annual budget of around $1Billion. During 2011-2014, an unprecedented number of accomplishments in MEHE were achieved, many of which for the first time in the history of MEHE.
Chetna Sinha
Ms. Sinha is an economist, farmer, and activist who works for social change in some of the poorest and most drought-stricken areas of rural India. She was part of the Gandhian movement, and is the Head of the Mann Deshi Foundation and the Founder and President of the Mann Deshi Mahila Bank, a micro-enterprise development bank. She has been nominated as a Member of the Governing Board (GB) of Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) and a Member of the National Committee for the Promotion of Social and Economic Welfare.

Since 2006, she has partnered with global organisations such as HSBC, British Asia Trust, Accenture, EdelGive Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Limited, UNICEF, the Clinton Global Initiative and Deutsche Bank to develop corporate community partnership programs for the corporate sector in Europe and the US.

She was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 for India by the Schwab Foundation and has been honored with the 2005 Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar award for rural entrepreneurship. She has also been awarded lifetime membership with Ashoka Innovators for the Public, and was selected for the first class of Yale University’s World Fellows program in 2002-3. She aims to support one million women entrepreneurs by 2025.
Mohammed Al Otaiba
Prior to his position at The National, he served as Head of Image Nation Abu Dhabi. After being appointed head of the organisation in October 2011 he helped develop Abu Dhabi’s film industry.

Mohammed Al Otaiba holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the American University in Cairo, and a master’s degree in administrative studies from Boston University, with a concentration in multinational commerce.

Mohammed Al Otaiba has a background in diplomacy and media, including 10 years representing the UAE at the UN in New York, Beijing and London
Dr. Shurooq Amin
Dr. Amin is a mixed-media interdisciplinary artist and an Anglophone poet. She has been published and anthologized internationally. She has been a guest speaker at various universities, a judge for various events, and has been interviewed by BBC’s Stephen Sackur on HARDTalk, where she was the first Kuwaiti female guest, as well as BBC’s Democracy Day.

She has had 14 solo exhibitions, more than 45 group exhibitions, her paintings have been sold at auctions, commissioned privately and publicly, awarded prizes locally and internationally, and shown at biennales and art fairs. A retrospective of her work was featured in the biannual art journal Contemporary Practices: Visual Arts from the Middle East. Her poetry has been published into two books to date, in more than 40 literary journals across the globe, and has been anthologized in “Gathering the Tide: An Anthology of Arabian Gulf Poetry”. She is the first Kuwaiti to be nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. In 2012 she was nominated as one of Kuwait's 46 Inspirational People in Sheikha Intisar Al-Sabah's book “The Alchemy of Wisdom”.

Dr. Amin holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Warnborough University, specializing in Modern Poetry in the subject of Ekphrastic Art and Poetry.
Barbara J. Krumsiek
Ms. Krumsiek’s professional background spans four decades in the asset management field, including most recently as the CEO and Chair of Calvert Investments, Inc. During her tenure at Calvert, she developed the Calvert Women’s Principles, a global code of conduct adopted by the U.N. Global Compact and U.N. Women as the basis for the U.N. Women’s Empowerment Principles.

She serves on the Investment Committee of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and Chairs the Investment Committee for the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. Her prior Board service includes an eight-year tenure on the Board of Pepco Holdings, Inc. and 17 years on the Board of Calvert Mutual Funds and the Calvert Foundation.

Among her honors, Ms. Krumsiek was awarded the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mutual Fund Industry Awards. She received Columbia University Business School’s Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics in 2012 and is a Washington Business Hall of Fame Laureate. She was named in Ethisphere’s 2015 list of the 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics.

Graduating Phi Beta Kappa with University Honors and Honors in Mathematics from Rutgers University, Ms. Krumsiek holds a Master of Science in Mathematics from New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
H.E. Dr. Aisha bin Bishr
Prior to assuming her current role, Dr. Bin Bishr worked as Assistant Director General of the Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. Part of her role was leading the Smart Dubai task force team from the time of the announcement of the Smart Dubai initiative in March 2014, to the formation of the Smart Dubai Office.

Dr. Bin Bishr also worked in the Ministry of Labor as an Assistant Undersecretary and has over 20 years of experience in information, communication and technology (ICT) development in public and government sectors.

She holds a PhD in Management, Science, Technology and Innovation and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Policy and Research on Engineering, Science and Technology from Manchester Business School. She also holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Applied Science (Business Information Technology) from Higher Colleges of Technology, and a degree in Public Finance Management from Dubai School of Government and an Orchestrating Winning Performance Diploma from IMD.

Dr. Bin Bishr has received many awards; most recently, she was named Leading Woman in the Public Sector 2015 at the Global WIL Economic Forum.
Rebecca Barry
Rebecca Barry directs and produces across a variety of genres. In 2012 she founded Sydney based production company Media Stockade with fellow producer/director Madeleine Hetherton. Rebecca has won many awards, is passionate about storytelling and has a strong background in producing and the creative realisation of successful programs. Recent productions include the feature documentary film I Am A Girl (nominated for 4 AACTA awards and winner of best documentary film at the 2014 SPA Awards, ABC & NatGeo); producing the critical and ratings success The Surgery Ship (SBS) which is now in production as a series with NatGeo; producing the ground breaking documentary Call Me Dad (ABC) and soon to be released feature film The Opposition. Through her experience in hybrid self-distribution of her own films she has become a sort after expert in alternative pathways to audience and activating measurable impact. Twitter: @becbarry
Alia Khan
Ms. Khan is the Founder and Chairwoman of Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC), an organisation established for the development of the Islamic fashion and design industry worldwide.

With the support of her IFDC team, training programs, and commercial initiatives, Ms. Khan is determined to fill the void that she’s identified in the Islamic fashion and arts industry. She has made historic deals with global retailers, fashion weeks, and media to open immense doors for the industry players that were only open to mainstream fashion players until now. She has spearheaded partnerships with key entities around the world to develop an unprecedented global network now well known as IFDC.

She is a recognised industry expert and speaker at top business forums, conferences, and events including World Islamic Economic Forum, Turin Islamic Economic Forum, Bosphorus Summit, Dubai Shopping Festival, MOCAfellows, International Textile Fair, among other government and private events. She has also been featured in multiple global publications including Thomson Reuters GIES Report 2014/2015, EuroMonitor’s Halal Fashion and Arts booklets, Elle Magazine, Vanity Fair, Financial Times and CEO Magazine. She has been nominated Business Woman of the Year by CEO Magazine and Entrepreneur of the Year by Gulf Business News.
Ellen Ryan Mardiks
Ellen Ryan Mardiks is vice chair of Golin, an integrated agency with PR and digital at its core. In addition to her vice chairmanship, Ellen leads Golin’s global consumer marketing practice, the agency’s largest and its historic strength.

Over the years she has created and led communications campaigns for iconic yet game-changing brands including Walmart, Nestlé, Unilever, Crayola, Purina and Mattel. She’s known for her ability to find and articulate the “aha” insight that is the foundation of successful marketing campaigns.

Ellen is a sponsor and catalyst for the development of strategies and tools to advance the practice of marketing public relations. A key example is Golin’s Relevance Roadmap process, which helps brands make real and meaningful connections with their consumers while staying true to their unique purpose. She also leads the agency’s client management efforts.

Ellen graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and also studied at the University of London.
Rapelang Rabana
Ms. Rabana founded Rekindle Learning, a learning technology company. Rekindle Learning was profiled in the McKinsey report Lions go Digital as a ‘striking innovation’ in mobile learning and serves academic learning institutions and corporate training environments. Previously, she was the founding CEO of Yeigo, an innovative startup that developed some of the world’s earliest mobile VoIP applications.

She was featured on the cover of Forbes Africa before the age of 30, and named Entrepreneur for the World 2014 by the World Entrepreneurship Forum. She serves on the boards of Standard Chartered Botswana Education Trust, Moro Group and Generation Ubuntu. She has been listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 – Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs and on CNBC Africa’s “Next List”.

Ms. Rabana holds a BBS in Computer Science (Honours) from the University of Cape Town.
Hermoine Macura
Ms. Macura is the CEO of Straight Street Media, author of the book “Faces of the Middle East” and the first Australian female English speaking TV news anchor in the Middle East.

Prior to establishing Straight Street Media in 2012, Ms. Macura was one of the main anchors on Dubai One TV's Emirates News. Her portfolio includes the delivery of live-to-air news bulletins, frequently whilst being in the midst of breaking stories both locally and across the Middle East.

She has also hosted hundreds of other shows, including the three-hour live launch of the Burj Khalifa and “Maak Ya Lebanon”, which featured exclusive interviews with several key players in aid programs in Lebanon which raised 55 million dirhams to help people caught in the conflict. She has also interviewed a variety of decision makers, from the Duchess of York to Hollywood actor Michael Douglas and government officials in the country.

In 2014, Ms. Macura’s love for the Arab people led her into war-torn Iraq, where she has set up the House of Rest – a privately funded, non-political and non-governmental resource centre run by women for women survivors of sex slavery, war, violence and oppression.
Alexander Kjerulf
Mr. Kjerulf is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Woohoo Inc. and one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work. He is an author and speaker, presenting and conducting workshops on happiness at work at businesses and conferences in over 30 countries. His clients include companies like Hilton, Microsoft, LEGO, IKEA, Shell, HP and IBM.

He holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern Denmark, and was a co-founder of the Danish IT company Enterprise Systems. Mr. Kjerulf is the author of 4 books, including the international bestseller “Happy Hour is 9 to 5 – How to Love Your Job, Love Your Life and Kick Butt at Work”. The book has been well-received globally and is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Vietnamese, Farsi, Indonesian and Chinese.

His work has been featured in CNN, The New York Times, Times of India, The Times, BBC, Financial Times and many others.
Amna Al Haddad
Ms. Al Haddad is a former journalist and an Olympic weightlifter. She is the first hijabi athlete to compete in Crossfit and Olympic weightlifting in the Middle East.

After being introduced to Crossfit in 2011, she made history as the first Emirati, GCC national and Arab female to compete in the Reebok Crossfit Games Open in 2012. In 2015, she competed at the IWF Asian Interclub Championship, where she won six gold medals and three silver medals. In 2016, she represented the UAE at the Asian Championships.

She has been featured in three global Nike campaigns: “Better for It”, the launch of the Arabic NTC app, and “Inner Strength – Raising the bar”, a documentary film with a reach of 10 million viewers.

Ms. Al Haddad’s first public speaking engagement was at a TedX event. She has been represented in over 100 interview and media outlets over the past five years, including two documentary films showing in the UK and the US. In 2016, she won the Femina Middle East “Unstoppable” Award.

Ms. Al Haddad studied Mass Communication and Journalism, with a minor in Psychology, at the American University of Sharjah. She is currently writing a book.
Shelli Brunswick
Brunswick joined the Space Foundation in 2015 after a distinguished career as an acquisition and program management professional for the United States Air Force, and most recently, as a key leader within the Air Force Congressional Liaison office working both within the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill.

As Chief Operating Officer, Brunswick serves as a corporate officer, and is responsible for Space Foundation operations, facilities, processes and personnel. Functions reporting to her include education, philanthropy, marketing and communication, operations, human resources and administration, customer service, information technology, facilities, maintenance, security and assurance. She has primary responsibility for Space Foundation headquarters, the Space Foundation Discovery Center and operational management of the annual Space Symposium, Space Technology and Investment Forum and the Faga Forum on Space Intelligence.

Brunswick is 2016 Chair of Women in Aerospace (WIA), and she serves on the board of directors of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Rocky Mountain Chapter.

Brunswick graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern Colorado in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, and earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix in 1998. She is a Certified Project Management Professional, and was a Professor of Acquisition Management at Defense Acquisition University.
Liliane Kanaan
With over 20 years of professional experience across multinational organizations in the Middle East and North Africa, Ms. Kanaan’s responsibilities include leading and managing the first sales affiliate for Roche Diagnostics in the region as Country Manager Egypt.

Starting her career with the Ministry of Health in Abu Dhabi, UAE in 1989, Ms. Kanaan joined Roche in 2001 as Head of the Promotional Office for Roche Diagnostics in Syria. With increasing responsibilities that led her to her current role, Ms. Kanaan is currently based in Cairo, Egypt.

Ms. Kanaan holds a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from Paul Sabatier University.
Anna Roberts
Ms. Roberts is an international TV and radio presenter, speaker and moderator with over 10 years of experience. She has interviewed CEOs, government leaders and award-winning athletes. In 2015 she launched Nudge, a communications advisory focusing on public speaking and media training. Her belief is that anyone should have the ability to address an audience, but you need to approach a speech or presentation it as you would a marathon; break it down step by step, train daily for muscle memory and build a support network around you.

With a focus on channeling her expertise to help career-oriented women, she also founded earlier this year to meet a growing gap in the market. Having read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean in years earlier, she felt it didn't address the way women were being raised and educated differently to men and therefore were always a step behind their male counterparts when they finally got the seat at the boardroom table. She creates video and podcasts and curates articles from around the world.

She has spoken and contributed to leading events and publications in the region and has called Dubai home for the past 22 years, but is still a proud New Zealander.
Hala Sleiman
Since 2014, Hala Sleiman has been the General Manager of Merck, Near East region. She delivered sustainable double digit growth and improved profitability in the last 3 years. Hala put together a strong performance team and embedded positive leadership. She drove dedicated strategy for Iraq where she tripled the sales in 2 years. She lead 5 years growth strategy for Iran via innovation and pioneer approaches, putting Merck on the map among top 5 International companies. She delivered a sustained profitable growth in Levant area, more than double the market growth.

Hala has diverse experience in different functions in the Pharmaceutical industries over the last 20 years. To name some, she was the Head of Regulatory Affairs for ME, Africa, Russia and Turkey. She lead as well for the same region, the Business Development department where she played a major role in the Africa project by delivering a solid plan and continuous progress on new product introduction and cross-functional alignment. At Merck, Hala was as well Country Head for Iran business.

Prior to joining Merck, she worked in Marketing at Novartis, as Brand Manager for the cardiovascular line for MEA. Previously, she was the RA Head and Member of the Executive Boardof MEA at Novartis, based in Beirut. Before this, she worked at Eli Lilly, in various roles in sales, marketing and regulatory, where she drove significant sales growth for Prozac, and participated in the launch of Evista.

Hala holds a Pharm. D. from the Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon.
Omar Al Busaidy
With an unbridled passion for youth development and a desire to showcase his country’s culture to an international audience, UAE National Omar Al Busaidy is always happy to open a dialogue for positive change. The author of the critically acclaimed self-help book and e-book “Just Read It”, and currently the acting Manager of Tourism Investment Promotion at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority; Omar is regularly invited to mentor students on entrepreneurial and leadership skills at several universities across the region. He has also spoken to industry professionals at seminars and events such as TedX and the 37th World Diamond Congress, to name a few. With more than 13 years’ experience working in some of the UAE’s most prestigious private and public sector companies, Omar is keen to embrace his newest role as a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum.
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.
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.
Hoda Abou Jamra
Ms. Abou-Jamra has forged a successful investment career in the MENA region, driven by her experience in US and European pharma and life science business development, as well as fundraising for US and European life science investment firms. She was the driving force behind the establishment of TVM Capital in the MENA region from 2007 onwards and co-founded TVM Capital Healthcare Partners in 2009.

She is a regular speaker and commentator in the regional private equity and healthcare arena. Additionally, as an advocate of social impact investing and promoting diversity, she is engaged on the U.S. as well as the UAE as a member of the Dubai Business Women’s Council (DBWC), the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation (WBL), and the Private Equity Women Investor Network (PE WIN). She is also the Founding Chair of the GCC Chapter of the 30% Club.

Ms. Abou-Jamra is the founder and CEO of the non-profit think tank organisation The BioExec Institute Inc., as well as the recently founded HealthExec Institute. Before co-founding TVM Capital Healthcare Partners, she was the CEO of Boston BioCapital.

She holds a degree in Pharmacy from the Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University.
Sonya Richardson
Ms. Richardson has extensive experience in change and transformation. She is a partner at Spark Company, a niche consultancy dedicated to facilitating change by sparking energy and excitement for growth. She works with global clients across industries - from banking to technology to fashion - in changing or reinforcing organisational cultures, strengthening top team effectiveness and increasing personal fulfilment. As a McKinsey & Company alumni, Ms. Richardson is dedicated to facilitating change for growth and passionately contributes personal time as a PWN Global board member to expand the Professional Women’s Network and transform leadership to include more female talent. As a former financial reporter, she aims to continuously spread the news on the relevance of diversity in decision making bodies, from institutions to corporate organisations to politics. She lives with her partner and two children in Utrecht.
Hayla Ghazal
Paolo Carli
Paolo Carli is the Head of Middle Near East, Saudi Arabia and Egypt since 1st February, 2013, based in Dubai. Paolo leads the commercial operations of these markets, which are part of the Intercontinental region of Merck Serono.

Paolo joined Merck in 2008, as member of the Mergers & Acquisitions team in Darmstadt, Germany. In this role, he actively participated in the execution of key transactions for the Merck Group, including, among others, the acquisition of the US-listed Millipore and the disposal of Theramex, the former Women’s Health Franchise of Merck Serono.

Prior to joining Merck, Paolo worked with Deutsche Bank, both in Italy and in Germany, where he successfully contributed to the regional expansion of the retail franchise in Europe and in several Emerging Markets like India, China, Turkey, and Vietnam.

Paolo is Italian. He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Turin and an Executive MBA from Ashridge Business School in the UK.

Paolo is married and has two children.
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.
Leila Hoteit
In her role as Partner and Managing Director at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Dr. Leila Hoteit provides strategic leadership advice to an extensive portfolio of high profile clients across the Middle East’s government sector. Her primary responsibility is to strengthen capabilities across the Human Capital Development space covering Education, Education for Employment and Women’s Economic Empowerment.

Dr. Hoteit’s career spans over 13 years in the management consulting industry. Her projects have centered on several key areas of specialization from policy planning to strategic planning, organizational development and business model design.

As part of her assignments, Dr. Hoteit has covered a slew of in-depth societal issues that punctuate the MENA region; these include women’s empowerment, human capital development, education, employment and culture.

Dr. Hoteit was named ‘Young Global Leader’ for the World Economic Forum in 2014 – a multi-stakeholder community of exceptional young leaders who share a commitment to shaping the global future.

Dr. Hoteit has recently given a TED talk on women economic empowerment in the Arab world. She has served as a key speaker at various conferences including the World Energy Forum 2012; the 2013 Women Entrepreneurs in MENA; and, the 2012 MENA Business Network Women Forum. In addition, she has co-authored and contributed to numerous research articles for renowned publications such as The Economist, The Financial Times,, Arabian Gazette and The New York Times.

Dr. Hoteit holds a Bachelor’s degree and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London, as well as an MBA from France’s INSEAD.
Rana Nawas

Senior Vice President, Structured Finance & Capital Markets, GE Capital Aviation Services

Rana Nejem
Ms. Nejem is an author and social and cultural intelligence coach. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at Jordan Television. After working with CNN during the First Gulf War, she moved to the Royal Hashemite Court where she was responsible for His Majesty the late King Hussein’s International Media Department for 2 years. She then moved into the field of communications and public relations leading the public diplomacy and communications work of the British Embassy in Amman for 18 years.

She founded her own company, Yarnu, in 2013. She has since been coaching, training and advising business executives, diplomats and officials, helping them refine their professional profile, increase the impact of their presence and raise their intercultural intelligence.

Her first book “When in the Arab World: An Insider’s Guide to Living and Working with Arab Culture” was published in 2016. She is regularly invited to speak on the subject of cross-cultural communications.

Ms. Nejem holds a Master’s degree in International Communications and Negotiations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and is certified as an international etiquette consultant by the International Etiquette and Protocol Academy in London. She was also trained by The Protocol School of Washington
Gaelle Sundelin
Ms. Sundelin is a reporter at Caravelle Productions and the France 24 correspondent in Jordan. Caravelle Productions is a news agency based in Dubai and reporting across the region for France’s major TV channels.

A former print journalist, she worked for three years as a reporter for The Jordan Times. Although she initially focused on culture, she soon moved on to report on gender, politics and refugees.

She has spent the past year producing documentaries and news pieces on topics ranging from Syrian refugees to the war in Syria. She has also highlighted issues facing women in the region such as early marriages, sexual harassment or rape laws.

A social entrepreneur at heart, Ms. Sundelin also founded a volunteer-led organisations to provide relief to thousands of Syrian refugees living in urban areas. The NGO had four programs focusing on women empowerment and education while also providing basic needs to underprivileged Jordanians and Syrians. The organisation won international recognition and appeared on numerous European media channels.

Ms. Sundelin graduated from EHSAL, a business school based in Brussels, Belgium and also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. She recently moved to Ankara, Turkey.
Daniel Godsall
Mr. Godsall is a former Managing Director at Barclays Bank Plc, with almost 30 years of experience in leading and coaching diverse teams of talented men and women. In 2014, he decided to quit his corporate career to become a stay at home dad to his six-month-old son, Jesse. It was during this time that he became aware of the significant and often unspoken challenges new parents face when transitioning back into the workplace after maternity or paternity.

In 2015, he founded WOMBA, a training and coaching consultancy that works with companies to support employees and increase manager capability, to reduce the loss of current and potential talent from the workplace during this critical life stage.
David Jones
David B. Jones is the co-founder and chief executive officer of The Talent Enterprise, the region’s premier human capital ‘think’ and ‘do’ tank. With a background in labour market economics, David has over twenty-five years of experience in consulting and HR across Europe and the Middle East. He is a senior adviser to the policymakers and business leaders on strategic human capital issues and challenges, and has lived and worked in Dubai for over eighteen years.
Lucy d’Abo
As Managing Director of Edelman DABO Experiential, Ms. d’Abo leads all concept creation and strategy for the Live Events and Experiential Marketing division.

She has 15 years of experience in the marketing and communications field, and has lived in the Middle East for 12 years. Prior to setting up DABO & CO in 2004, she worked with advertising clients including Pirelli, BenQ, DSF, Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group, and Unilever. She then joined Streamline Marketing to head up their events division within which she managed the IMF and World Bank Meetings in Dubai.

Ms. d’Arbo prides herself on working with some of the region’s most prestigious brands and high profile events. Highlights include organising the Ferrari Mondiali World Finals at Yas Marina Circuit and working with UNHCR for their first conference in the Middle East in 2014, the grand opening of the JW Marriott Marquis in 2012, the annual Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge with HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein since 2005, the launch of TV channels MBC Action and MBC Max, celebrity management for events and conferences like GM Style, OK! Magazine, Atlantis and GGICO, and the opening of offices for international finance players such as Julius Baer.
Reem Al Ghanim
Reem is currently heading the Women Development & Diversity Division at Saudi Aramco. In line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision and Saudi Aramco’s strategic intent of becoming the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals company, Saudi Aramco encourages, empowers and increases the competencies of women in the workforce, supports inclusive leadership, offers outreach for women at University, to help bridge the gap between academia and the workplace, and supports STEM education for young girls in elementary and middle school in Saudi Arabia.  In her organization, she oversees this by offering the below focused programs/initiatives:
  • Women in Business Program
  • Women in Leadership Program
  • Women @ Work
  • Mentorship Programs
  • Diversity Awareness and Leading with Inclusion Programs
  • Using Diversity Scorecards to Measurement Impact
  • STEM for Young Girls
  • University Outreach
  • Establishing new Technical Degree Programs for Women in KSA
Other positions that she has held include: 
  • Division Head of Internal Mobility (2014)
  • Division Head of Career Planning/Competencies Development (2012-2013)
  • Division Head of Expat Employment (2011)
  • Supervisor of the Academic Programs in Dhahran and in Houston, where she partnered with over 40 different Universities in the US, Canada and the UK. (2007-2010)
She has also served as:
  • Vice Chair: Women Development and Diversity Advisory Board (2015 – present)
  • Founding member: Council for Advancing Women in Leadership (2015 - present)
  • Committee Leader: Leadership Excellence for Women Awards - LEWA (2015)
  • Advisory Board member and panel speaker for Women’s Global Leadership Organization (2009-2010)
Reem has participated and presented in a number of global conferences and workshops that include SHRM, MEOS, NAFSA, MEPEC and ATD. She attended the Executive Education program at Emory University, has a M.Ed. in HR Development from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in English-Education from the University of Bahrain. 
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.
Vilma Jukurte
Over the past ten years Vilma has lived and worked in New York, Chicago, London and Dubai, garnering extensive experience in the field of international business with a particular focus on the development of creative communities.

As director of Alserkal Avenue, Vilma has been instrumental in the evolution of Alserkal Avenue, a regional hub for the development of arts and culture. The creative centre has grown to become the most prominent arts district in the region, housing close to thirty contemporary art galleries, and creative and alternative community spaces within the Industrial quarter of Al Quoz.
Dr Saeeda Jaffar
Dr Saeeda Jaffar is Managing Director at the consultants Alvarez & Marsal. An Emirati by birth, she studied at Boston University and M.I.T. before embarking on her consultancy career with McKinsey & Company. She subsequently worked at Bain & Co, where she became a Principal, prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal in 2015.
Maya Hojeij
Maya Hojeij is Editor in Chief and Presenter of “#Mal” daily business news show on Dubai TV and has produced and presented Show in 2012.

Between 2002 and 2011, Ms. Hojeij was a Business News Presenter at Al Arabiya news channel part of MBC Group., she was part of the launch of AL Arabiya News Channel, and was one of the first Stock watchers in the Arab world.

During her time with Al Arabiya, Maya contributed in producing and training with a main focus on reporting.

In addition to her experience in television and training, Ms. Hojeij teaches Media courses as an adjunct instructor at the Mohammed Bin Rashed School of Communication at the American University of Dubai and leads workshops there.

Ms. Hojeij has also moderated panels for local and international organizations such as the Dubai Press Club and the World Economic Forum, and interviewed hundreds of business and political personalities in her career and is also a Certified Professional Trainer.

Dr. Natasha Ridge
Dr. Ridge is currently the Executive Director of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research. Prior to this, she was the Acting Director of Research at the Dubai School of Government. She has a number of publications, including a book entitled “Education and the Reverse Gender Divide in the Gulf States: Embracing the Global, Ignoring the Local”. Her additional publications include chapters in the World Education Yearbook and in publications of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and UNESCO, as well as working papers for the Dubai School of Government and the Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.

Dr. Ridge holds a Doctorate of Education in International Education Policy from Columbia University and a Master's in International and Community Development from Deakin University, Australia. She is also a founding board member and former president of the Gulf Comparative Education Society. Her latest research focuses on the educational aspirations and choices of young men in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Arab migrant teachers, and access and equity in private education in the GCC.
Baljeet Nagi
Ms. Nagi is an ACCA certified accountant and the Director of ERP - SCM Sales Development &Strategy for the Middle East and Africa at Oracle. She has 20 years of experience in the IT and ERP domain. She joined Oracle in 1997 and has worked across EMEA, APAC and now MEA. She has helped drive digital financial transformation for organisations both on premise and SaaS across MEA.

Prior to joining Oracle, she worked as a Financial Controller at blue chip companies in the UK. She supports charities in various ways, including through raising funds for children’s charities and helping charity organisations prepare financial statements. She climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2006 and takes three-hour-long, nonstop Spinning classes.

She is the Chairperson of an Asian elderly care facility in the UK, and the Country Leader of Oracle Women Leadership in Dubai.

Ms. Nagi holds a BSc (Honours) in Biology from Bristol University.
Dr. Ismahane Elouafi
Dr. Elouafi joined ICBA as Director General in 2012. Prior to that, she held management positions with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. She also worked as a scientist with several international research organisations, including the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Japan International Research Centre for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and International Maize and Wheat Centre (CIMMYT).

She holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from Cordoba University, and has a passion for science, including its management and its integration with policy. She believes that science has to be the basis of decisions and development plans in order to achieve efficiency and alleviate discrimination and poverty.

She is a recipient of many international awards, including the Excellence in Science award from the Global Thinkers Forum (2014), and the National Reward Medal by His Majesty Mohamed VI, the King of Morocco (2014). In 2014, Muslim Science ranked Dr. Elouafi among the 20 Most Influential Women in Science in the Islamic World under the Shapers category, and the CEO-Middle East Magazine listed her among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women in the Science category.
Thea Myhrvold
Being half Arabic, Ms. Myhrvold’s goal has always been to be a part of the growth and development in the region. As a woman and a teacher, her dream is to contribute to worldwide educational reform, by breaking down barriers to learning and improving how we transfer and understand knowledge.

At 21, she created one of the first gamified apps for high school students for Economics. Her passion continued to develop through her teaching. This lead her to create her third venture at 23, a global platform for personalised learning through – a global marketplace for one-to-one learning in real time, providing an alternative to current online solutions.

Ms. Myhrvold is an award-winning speaker, and has been featured in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Arabian Business. She holds a BA in International Relations, Economics and Psychology from Webster University.
Joy Aljouny
Ms. Ajlouny is an e-commerce industry professional. She is the co-founder of Fetchr, a Silicon-Valley backed technology company based in Dubai aimed at solving the "no-address" problem hindering growth in emerging markets. Fetchr uses patented technology allowing people to use their mobile phone's GPS location as their address. Fetchr is the first start-up in the Middle East to be funded by the largest and most successful venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, NEA. Ms. Aljouny, on behalf of Fetchr, was on the cover of Forbes Magazine in the Middle East, which named Fetchr the #1 startup in the region. Prior to Fetchr, she founded Bonfaire, an e-commerce discovery platform for luxury footwear and accessories. Bonfaire was acquired in 2013 by fashion e-commerce giant Moda Operandi, owned by LVMH and Condé Nast.

While only 2.7% of venture capital funding has been raised by women, she has successfully raised funds for two startups from the most prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firms. This puts her in the top 1% of female entrepreneurs. She is passionate about using technology to solve persistent issues in emerging markets, as well as empowering women entrepreneurs to break out of traditional roles, especially in the Middle East.
Wendy Mackey Jones
Wendy has worked across Europe, in USA and SE Asia in organisational development and change, in the public sector with local governments; across multiple industries in the private sector, including IT, pharmaceutical and oil & gas; and with not-for-profit organisations.

As a strong, dynamic leader, Wendy has proven history in implementing strategic vision to optimise growth and opportunities globally. Her strengths are in influencing teams and individuals to transform strategic concepts into tangible business deliverables and results. Wendy is a solution finder who thrives in working with diverse, challenging and innovative teams, pulling together best practice with creative ideas.

Wendy is inquisitive with a passion for learning!
Amruda Nair
A third generation hotelier, Amruda obtained an Economics degree from Jaihind University, India, before pursuing a specialised Bachelor’s in International Hospitality Management at the CHN University in The Netherlands. She subsequently pursued a Master of Management in Hospitality by the world's leading hotel school, Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration in New York, which included exposure to the Asian market through an alliance with the Nanyang Business School, in Singapore.

While in the United States, Amruda interned with the Mandarin Oriental New York, with a focus on Guest Relations, Sales & Marketing and Public Relations. In 2007, she interned with Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels (JLLH) Singapore, during which she contributed to a research publications on hospitality development across the South East Asia region. She later joined the hospitality brokerage team as a full-time analyst involved in investment sales mandates across Asia including Indonesia, Japan, P.R.C, India and Thailand. In 2008, Amruda joined the corporate advisory team and acted as an Owner’s Representative for a fund LaSalle Investment Management managing three trading assets in Singapore and Shanghai, for properties operated by IHG, Fairmont and Starwood. As a consultant she conducted pre-opening budget reviews, management contract negotiations and mystery guest audits for hotels in Bali, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Beijing and contributed to research articles on investment opportunities in upcoming markets such as Indochina and Thailand.

In 2009 Amruda joined as Head - Asset Management for the Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts. In her role, Amruda conducted performance reviews for the group’s eight operating properties, reviewed pre-opening budgets for upcoming projects and annual business plans. With a diploma from the London School of Journalism, Amruda published The Leela Magazine, the group’s luxury lifestyle magazine. She currently serves as an Independent Director of Camphor and Allied Products Limited and as a Board Member of Entrepreneur’s Organisation Mumbai.

Amruda is Associate Member of Sahachari Foundation, a charity which stands for ‘women who walk together’ in support of societal responsibility and empowerment. She is Vice President of Apne Aap Women’s Collective, an anti-trafficking organization that serves the women and children in the red light area of Mumbai.

Amruda was awarded the “Generation Next Awards” for Hospitality (2011) by The All India Association of Industries and the Young Entrepreneurs Society as well as the Young FICCI Ladies Organisation Women Achiever’s Award (2012).

Inspired by her entrepreneurial grandfather who started The Leela at the age of 65, Amruda is partnering with Al Fasial Holding, Qatar’s leading commercial conglomerate to create a next-generation hospitality brand of lifestyle hotels built for the Indian and Middle Eastern traveller that caters to ‘Aspirational Luxury’.
Butheina Kazim
Ms. Kazim is the co-founder of Cinema Akil, an independent cinema platform in Dubai. She was a Fulbright scholar of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University (NYU) in New York. She has contributed to publications including Al Jazeera, Gulf News, Jadaliyya and the Art Dubai blog. She has been involved in programming cinema popups including Abu Dhabi Film Festival at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, Cinema Akil at The Third Line gallery, the Cinema Akil Outbox Short Film Festival in Alserkal Avenue and a Focus on the UAE program at the Short Film Week (Kurzfilmwoche) in Regensburg, Germany.

She is the producer of short documentary ‘Letters to Palestine’; winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (2010) which has been screened internationally at festivals. She was on the jury for the iEmmys Asia & Africa Competition, the International Competition at the Short Film Week (Kurzfilmwoche) in Regensburg, Germany, Imagine Science Film Festival Abu Dhabi and A Shaded View on Fashion Films (ASVOFF) in Paris at the Centre Pompidou. Ms. Kazim holds an Honours BA in Design from York University and Sheridan College in Toronto and an MA in Media, Culture and Communication from NYU.
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!
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.

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AstraZeneca is one of only a handful of pure-play biopharmaceutical companies to span the entire value chain of a medicine from discovery, early- and late-stage development to manufacturing and distribution. We drive the global commercialisation of primary care, specialty care-led and specialty care medicines that transform lives.

Our primary focus is on three important areas of healthcare: cardiovascular and metabolic disease (CVMD); oncology; and respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity (RIA). We are also active in the infection, neuroscience and gastrointestinal (ING) disease areas.

We operate in more than 100 countries and our innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. We want to be valued as a source of great medicines and trusted as a company that delivers business success responsibly. We are committed to operating with integrity and high ethical standards across all our activities.
We push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines.

2nd Floor , Block D, # 27
Ibn Sina Building
Dubai Healthcare City
P.O. Box 505070
Dubai, UAE

T + 971 4 362 4888
F + 971 4 362 4899

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, United Arab Emirates

T + 971 4 8169000
F + 971 4 8169 001

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
FedEx Corporation provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of 49 billion USD, 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 340,000 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
Dubai World Trade Center,
26th Floor, 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 digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 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 fiscal 2015, which ended on September 30, 2015, Siemens generated revenue of EURO 75.6 billion and net income of EURO 7.4 billion. At the end of September 2015, the company had around 348,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at
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 13 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 United States of America by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

American University of Sharjah
P.O. Box 26666,
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

T +971 6 558 5555
F +971 6 558 5858
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
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 organization, 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 organization in the region.

EY refers to the global organization, 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 organization, please visit

Al Faisaliah Office Tower,
King Fahad Road, 2732,
Riyadh 11461, Saudi Arabia

Telephone: +966 11 215 9898
Fax:  +966 11 273 4730
Company Email:
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders.

As of June 30, 2016, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks, and included the capability to send money to billions of accounts. In 2015, The Western Union Company completed 262 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving 82 billion USD of principal between consumers, and 508 million business payments.

Western Union Financial Services, Inc.

Dubai Internet City, Building 12,
4th Floor, Offices 408-420,
P.O. Box 500333, Dubai, UAE
T +971 4 437 3600
F +971 4 437 3686

Johnson Controls Building Efficiency offers an unmatched portfolio of HVACR products and solutions to increase energy efficiency, lower operating costs and create more comfortable, safe and efficient buildings.

Operating in more than 150 countries through a strong network of offices and distribution channels, Building Efficiency’s breadth of offerings helps building owners, operators, engineers and consultants impact the full lifecycle of a building. Its market leadership is established through trusted brands such as YORK, Sabroe and Metasys, as well as its smart building integration capabilities and energy financing solutions.

Johnson Controls is a top corporate citizen and continues to align environmental, social and governance responsibilities with economic priorities, resulting in positive results for businesses, our communities, and our planet. Since 2007, Johnson Controls has featured on Ethisphere Magazine’s list of World’s Most Ethical Companies, is a member of the Billion Dollar roundtable and features on the Fortune 500 and the Global 2000 indexes.

Johnson Controls
P.O. Box 31065,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T +971 4  309 9999
F +971 4  309 9792

Cummins Inc., a Fortune 200 Company, takes pride in designing, manufacturing, distributing and servicing engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.

Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana (USA), Cummins serves customers in more than 190 countries, through a network of more than 600 distributors and 7,200 dealer locations. The energy and commitment of its 54,600 employees worldwide makes it possible for the company to maintain a leadership position in the global power market. In 2015 Cummins Inc. earned 1.4 billion USD from sales of 19.1 billion USD.

Cummins’ presence in the Middle East began in 1956 and the territory now spans 14 countries.
In 2016 Cummins Inc. and the Olayan Group announced the formation of Cummins Arabia, a 50:50 distribution joint venture across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait. The vision of the JV is to consistently deliver seamless world class service and support to customers across the three countries.

The company lives by the Cummins values of integrity, innovation, delivering superior results, diversity, global involvement and corporate responsibility. Cummins recognises that every corporation has a responsibility to help improve the communities in which employees work and live.

Cummins Middle East

Jebel Ali Free Zone South
P.O. Box 17636
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T +971 4 880 9911
F +971 4 886 0518

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

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 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

PWN Global is a not-for-profit global professional network and a social catalyst for balanced leadership. Globally and locally, PWN supports some 50 organisations in their strategy to build gender balanced leadership within their organisation. As a dynamic, fast-growing offline and online networking and leadership development platform, PWN Global supports professional women and men in all sectors and industries. With over 3,500 members and more than 90 nationalities, PWN Global is a volunteer-led organisation delivering over 600 events per year, in 26 city networks. Recognising the importance of personal development, PWN Global also offers a comprehensive cross-border, cross-industry mentoring programme to all members. 

Join the mission of this incredible organisation – connect, share, learn – ADVANCE!

PWN Global
4, Rue Galvani
75838 Paris Cedex 17

T +33 9 70 46 65 64

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.
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., 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
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
Amouage fragrances have reflected the wonderful traditions of luxury perfume creation internationally for 35 years. The brand has a global reputation for bringing true artistry to all its creations. Other categories have been added to the overall range and today Amouage is not just a perfume brand, but expresses a luxury lifestyle. Amouage’s portfolio has extended to include luxurious bath ranges, a beautifully perfumed, long-lasting range of candles and parfums d’ambience, an amazing hand-crafted range of small leather goods and handbags and a recently-launched collection of bespoke printed silk scarves, all of which reflect innovation, attention to detail and luxury.

Led by the CEO, David Crickmore, for over the last ten years, Amouage adopts an inventive approach to all its creations. Along with Creative Director, Christopher Chong, they have together reinvented the brand aiming to render it appealing to today’s international consumers. Amouage perfumes are developed according to Mr. Chong’s detailed and inspirational brief, which is then assimilated by world-recognised perfumers in Paris, Grasse, Geneva and New York.

With a retail footprint spanning 20 standalone shops and 35 shop-in-shops across 66 countries, Amouage plans gradually to roll out a programme of stand-alone retail shops in key cities around the world.
Our Mission is to improve the community by helping individuals and companies dramatically transform the results they are achieving For over two decades, Right Selection Speakers Bureau (RSSB) have been passionately encouraging and relentlessly promoting a learning culture globally and are now maestros at inspiring success for all.

Conference Organizers, Events Planners and Major Corporates regularly source leading speakers through RSSB who are well connected with an elite group of high-class international motivational speakers. These thought leaders and transformational gurus add a special touch of class and elevate each event with their expertise and futuristic thinking in various fields like hospitality, customer service, sales, marketing, leadership, strategy, team building, communication skills, mind mapping and more.

Practical and inspirational tools like Books and CDs are also sourced worldwide and made available to conference organizers to gift their delegates and also for the benefit of the learning and development centers of the corporates.

Right Selection- The Speakers Bureau
1603, The Citadel
Business Bay, Dubai
Call: +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.


  • award categories


    award categories

    Woman Game Changer – Private / Public sector | NOMINATE NOW

    This category recognises a female business leader, policy-maker or public figure for her strong commitment to developing female talent, her ability to innovate, disrupt existing practices and help pave the way for future generations of female leaders. This award will recognise one woman from the private sector, and one winner from the public sector separately.
    Open to: Women in leadership positions (Chairperson, President, CEO, Managing Director,Minister, Director General 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.

    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 of the Year – 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

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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.


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

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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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