Thomas G. Abraham is a nationally recognized business entrepreneur and civic leader. He is the son of the late Genevieve and Anthony R. Abraham who was the last living member of the founding members of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, founded by Danny Thomas. Mr. Thomas G. Abraham’s father, Anthony R. Abraham, was the honorary consul of Lebanon in Miami for over three decades. He was a founding member of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church on Coral Way in Miami. He received numerous awards and recognitions through the years including The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Syrian-Lebanese–American “Man of the Year”, and the National Order of the Cedar from the Lebanese Government.
Thomas Abraham currently serves as President/Partner in the following family enterprises AA Miami Group, Ltd., TATM Tampa Group, Ltd., ANAB and A.R.A. Group. He has served with distinction for more than thirty years in senior executive roles as President, officer and partner in numerous successful family-owned and operated businesses founded by Anthony R. Abraham in the automotive and insurance industries including, Anthony Abraham Chevrolet Co., Ltd., Miami; Anthony Abraham Oldsmobile Inc., Miami; Anthony Abraham Buick-GMC Truck, Inc., Miami; Abraham Chevrolet Company, Inc. Tampa; American Risk Assurance Company; Florida Leasing & Rental Co., Inc; Florida Life Insurance Company, and Coral Premium Finance Co., Inc.
While achieving national recognition as an innovator in the automotive dealer industry, Mr. Abraham also achieved widespread acclaim for his vision and cultural commitment to contemporary artists in Founding Miami’s not-for-profit StarArt Foundation which has provided extensive support for a multitude of civic events and organizations including: Grammy’s MusiCares Foundation, Panther Poster Project for the Miami Herald charities, South Florida Botero Sculpture exhibit, The America’s Cup, Swatch Watch Summit of the Americas, Hurricane Relief Effort, American Airlines Miami Mile, Miracle Rock, and The MOVADO Watch for the Benefit of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and UNICEF, among numerous other initiatives.
Mr. Abraham was born in Beirut, Lebanon on January 6, 1952, and is a life-long resident of the Miami area. He attended the University of Miami, and University of Denver in the 1970’s prior to embarking upon his career in the automotive industry and was instrumental in the creation of a number of startup’s that dealt with the technology industry. He is committed to continuing to search out those endeavors that will help empower those in need.
Mr. Issa Abu-Issa - Qatar
Issa Abdul Salam Abu-Issa is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Salam International Investments (SIIL) and Salam Bounian. As the head of one of Qatar’s largest companies with more than a 60-year heritage, he led the transformation of Salam from being one of Qatar’s family-owned businesses into a public shareholding company which operates both locally and regionally. He oversees his company’s diverse investments and operations in five fields: Technology and Communications, Construction and Development, Luxury and Consumer products, Energy and Industry, and Investments and Real Estate. SIIL operations extend over Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, 17, Jordan, and Lebanon. He is also the Secretary General of the Qatari Businessmen Association, a Member of the Board of Directors at Palestine Investment Bank; Amwal Invest, a Member of the Board of Trustees of Al Shaqab Equestrian Academy Qatar, Vice-Chairman of Serene Real Estate in Lebanon and Co-Chairman of the Qatari-Turkish Business Council. He holds membership in the World Economic Forum and The Arab Business Council. Issa Abdul Salam Abu Issa holds a BS in Business Administration from the United States International University in San Diego, California.
Mr. Moataz Al Afi - Egypt
Moataz Al-Alfi is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Egypt Kuwait Holding “EKH”, one of the largest private equity and venture capital companies in Egypt focusing on strategic sectors such as utilities and infrastructure and petrochemical industries; President of Americana Group, the largest food conglomerate in the Middle East operating in 24 countries with 65,000 employees.
Al-Alfi is highly active on the public, social and philanthropic fronts. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The American University in Cairo. He also established Al Alfi Foundation for Human and Social Development to help through education and training discover future leaders among Egyptian youth. He has effectively contributed in qualifying over 100,000 fresh graduates and helped them get employed through his role as the Vice Chairman of the Professional Development Foundation (formerly Future Generation Foundation “FGF”), one of the largest social foundations in the Arab world. He adopted several initiatives run by FGF that changed the work culture in both public and private sectors. He founded and assumes leadership roles in several non-profit NGOs in the fields of education, health care and community development. His contributions are extended to the field of health care, as he is a board member of Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded by the world-renowned surgeon Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub along with Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Ahmed Zewail to provide free world-class medical services to the less privileged in Egypt and throughout the region in the scope of cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Nouha Al Hegelan - Saudi Arabia
Nouha Al Hegelan, as the wife of a Saudi Arabian ambassador, has lived all around the world and has had the privilege of meeting and getting to know a spectrum of personalities and nationalities ranging from Spain to Latin America, Europe to North America, and of course the Middle East. Due to this exposure, she realized the misconceptions the world often has of the Arab world and the amount of unrecognized Arab excellence. Nouha has spoken out about life in the Middle East, having crisscrossed the USA to give talks at universities and numerous organizations ranging from World Affairs Council of San Diego to the Foreign Policy Association in New York, as well as numerous appearances on TV programs. In addition, she challenged stereotypes, refusing the imposition of certain rules on her simply because she was a woman, and stood up for her personal views, publicly protesting in Washington D.C. against the Israeli blockade of water, food and electricity on West Beirut in 1982. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Allegheny College and was decorated with the Lazo de Dama de la Orden de Isabel la Católica in 1968, and holds a Law Degree from Damascus University.
HE Shaikha Mai Al Khalifa - Bahrain
Sheikha Mai is a leading figure in the Arab culture and art scenes, she has spearheaded national efforts to develop the cultural infrastructure in the Kingdom of Bahrain for heritage conservation and the growth of sustainable tourism. The President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Sheikha Mai is the foremost public expert in the field, holding the unique portfolios of the Ministry for Culture & Information and then the Ministry for Culture. As the Founder of the Sheikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research and Chair of its Board of Trustees since 2002, she works actively to foster culture and preserve the traditional architecture of Bahrain. It was to this end, that she launched the nation-wide ‘Invest in Culture’ initiative, building an unprecedented partnership between the private and public sectors for heritage preservation, leading to the establishment of the Bahrain Fort Site Museum and the Bahrain National Theatre. In addition, Sheikha Mai champions youth capacity building programs in the fields of heritage and culture development. She established Taa’ Al Shabab, a Bahraini youth forum for emerging talent in which cultural dialogue is cultivated. Amongst her myriad achievements have been the 2005 and 2012 inscriptions of the Bahrain Fort and the Pearling: Testimony of an Island Economy as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in addition to the founding of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage, a UNESCO Category 2 Centre, established to conserve the MENA region’s cultural and natural heritage. Today, a role model for culture and heritage enthusiasts, Sheikha Mai was the first laureate of the Colbert Prize for Creativity and Heritage in 2010, she received the Légion d’Honneur, the Moroccan Order of Ouissam Alaouite (Grand Officer) and the Order of the Italian Star, as well as the First-Class Order of Merit from HM King Hamad of Bahrain, she is also renowned as a local historian whose work has been published both in Bahrain and internationally.
Mrs. Asma Seddiq Al Mutawa - United Arab Emirates
Asma Al Mutawa is the founder and president of Salon Al-Multaqa. Established in 1999, the Salon Al Multaqa is a bi-weekly book club for female members in the region to discuss both Arab and International literature. Recently recognized as a member of the UNESCO Book Clubs, it plays an important role as a literary hub for Arab writers and intellectuals in the region. Al Mutawa also runs the Education Program at the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khaled Al Nahyan Cultural Center.
Active in regional aid and development organizations, Asma Al Mutawa is an advisor to the UAE Assistant Director General for Culture in UNESCO, a consultant to the UAE Regional Director of Medicines Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and their regional Goodwill Ambassador, and a member of the Sorbonne University Friends Committee of Abu Dhabi and the founder of the Friends of Al-Quds University Association.
Al Mutawa received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the United Arab Emirates University in 1987 and a Master’s in Contemporary Islam from Zayed University in 2013.
HE Shaikha Paula Al Sabah - Kuwait
Shaikha Paula Mubarak Al-Sabah is a senior ranking member of the Kuwait Royal Family. In 1974, she left New York with her diplomat husband and moved to the Middle East. Since then, fostering understanding between East and West countries has been a priority in her life. She is a Founding Board Member of the Kuwaiti-based Early Learning Disability Center in the Middle East, a Founding Board Member of Art Dubai, on the council of the Serpentine Gallery in London, Board Member of Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center in New York, Board Member of the Arts Arena in Paris, on the advisory board of Canvas magazine and a Board Committee Member of START; an NGO that runs art workshops for refugees, orphans and children with special needs across the Middle East and India. She is an avid collector of contemporary art, both Western and Eastern, and holds a degree in Child Psychology from Hunter College and New York University. Shaikha Paula is the mother of 6 children and a grandmother to 12.
HM Queen Noor Al-Hussein - Jordan
Queen Noor is an international public servant and advocate for cross cultural understanding and conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty, climate change and disarmament. Her peace-building work has focused on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Queen Noor’s work in Jordan and the Arab world has focused on national and regional human security in the areas of education, conservation, sustainable development, human rights and cross-cultural understanding. Since 1979, the initiatives of the Noor Al Hussein and the King Hussein Foundations which she founded and chairs have transformed development thinking in Jordan and the Middle East through pioneering best practice programs in the fields of education, poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, microfinance, health and art as a medium for social development and cross-cultural exchange. The two foundations provide training and assistance in implementing these programs in the broader Arab and Asian regions.
Queen Noor has made environmental priorities an essential component of her work to promote human security and conflict resolution. In 1980, she became patron of Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), the Middle East’s first environmental NGO. She is Patron of IUCN, the oldest international conservation organization in the world. She is also the Founder and Emeritus President of Bird Life International, Trustee Emeritus of Conservation International, and a member of the OceanElders.
A long-time advocate for a just Arab-Israeli peace and for Palestinian refugees, Queen Noor is a director of Refugees International and an outspoken voice for the protection of civilians in conflict and displaced persons around the world. Her ongoing focus includes advocacy for Iraqis displaced in Iraq, Jordan, Syria and other countries after the 2003 Iraq conflict, and for the millions of Syrians and displaced since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
She is a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons, created in 1996 to promote reconciliation and conflict resolution through the identification of missing persons from the armed conflicts in the Balkans. Today, she is the leading global provider of DNA-assisted identifications for natural catastrophes and human rights cases. (She has also been an expert advisor to the UN focusing on implementation of the MDGs in Central Asia and on behalf of Colombia’s displaced.)
Queen Noor has been an advisor and global advocate for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and a founding leader of Global Zero, an international movement for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons. She represented Global Zero at the historic 2009 UN Security Council meeting and was an advisor to the 2010 documentary film, Countdown to Zero about the escalating global nuclear arms threat. She is also involved with a number of other international organizations advancing global peace-building and conflict recovery. She is President of the United World Colleges and a Trustee of the Aspen Institute.
In recognition of her efforts to advance sustainable development, democracy and peace, Queen Noor has been awarded numerous awards and honorary doctorates in international relations, law and humanitarian efforts.
She has published two books, Hussein of Jordan (KHF Publishing, 2000) and Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life (Miramax Books, 2003), a New York Times #1 best seller published in 17 languages.
Sheikha Hala Al-Khalifa - Bahrain
Sheikha Hala Mohammed Al Khalifa is the Director of Culture & Arts at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA). She began her professional work at the University of Bahrain, where she taught arts. Then she joined Qatar Museums Authority as the Head of Art Education at the Museum of Islamic Art and then joined the Public Art Department as Education Manager and Curator. In addition to her experience in arts and museums’ management, Sheikha Hala is a renowned and refined creative artist who has participated in many exhibitions, such as the Bahrain Annual Arts Exhibition. Her art works were exhibited in many solo exhibitions in Bahrain and abroad as well. Sheikha Hala has participated in a number of local and international exhibitions; and she has also implemented the distinctive Artist Residency Project, where she set up the Fire Station: Artist in Residence Program, in Doha. Sheikha Hala's work was acquired by several institutions including the MATHAF Museum in Doha, The National Museum in 17 and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts. She holds a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the Museum of Fine Arts School & Tufts University, Boston Massachusetts, USA and a Master's degree in Fine Arts from UCL at the Slade School of Fine Arts, in London.
Mr. Riad Al-Sadik - Palestine
Riad Al-Sadik is the Chairman of the Al Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) at Leighton Holdings Limited. He is involved in the hotel, construction, machinery and stone works businesses. He serves as the Chairman of KazaX Minerals and has also been its Director since 2013. He started his career in Saudi Arabia with the Ministry of Transportation. In 1970, he established Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Palestine Studies and the Board of Trustees of the American University of Sharjah. Beyond his business interests, Riad is an active philanthropist who promotes the improvement of industry standards and supports the humanities. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Pearl Initiative, as well as on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Palestine Studies, Birzeit University, Bethlehem Development Board and the American University of Sharjah. He is also a sponsor for the Riad Toufic Al-Sadik Chair of Civil Engineering at the American University of Sharjah and the “Riad Toufic Al-Sadik School of Law and Management” at Birzeit University. He holds a degree of Civil Engineering from the American University of Beirut.
Sheikh Saleh Al-Turki - Saudi Arabia
Sheikh Saleh Al-Turki is the President and Chairman of Nesma Holding, a company involved in many sectors, including oil & gas, construction, real estate, hospitality, tourism, telecom, IT, and more. It is headquartered in Saudi Arabia, with offices in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Turkey. Sheikh Saleh holds many titles at various companies. He is the chairman of Jeddah Holding Company, Saudi Foras Investment Company, and is Director of the Board for Arab Poultry Breeders Company, Saudi Economic and Development Co, Umm Al-Qura Development Company, ReAya Holding, and Al-Bilard Newspaper & Publishing. He has also held very trusted positions, such as Chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, appointed Honorary Consul of the Republic of Austria, Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, among many others. Sheikh Saleh is also known for his philanthropy. The Saudi Ministry of Social Affairs honored him as one of the most important supporters of social work, he also received an award for the Support of Young Entrepreneurs by King Salman and the Prince Mohammed Bin Fahad Award for Service of Charitable Activities. In 2008, he received an Honorary Doctorate degree in Humanities and Social Services. Sheikh Saleh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the American University of Beirut, a Master’s in Public Administration from California State University.
HRH Princess Banderi AlFaisal - Saudi Arabia
HRH Princess Banderi AbdulRahman Al Faisal has been the Director General of the King Khalid Foundation since 1999. During her tenure, Princess Bandari has worked to build formal structures within the foundation, institutionalizing measurements and evaluations. As Part of her work, one of the most critical discoveries has been the overwhelming need for capacity building in Saudi Arabian nonprofits. Princess Bandari focuses first on sustainability, not dependency. The foundation assists with strategic planning, mentoring and program development. Princess Banderi has coached philanthropists and other foundations in the realities on the ground, including the need for program-building funds to ensure a robust nonprofit system. And, perhaps to ensure continuity, she has also established the Princess Banderi Al Faisal Fellowship at the Kennedy School to support students from the Arab League. She also contributed in launching several social development initiatives and programs across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and has also participated in numerous conferences and forums both locally and internationally to promote the concept of strategic philanthropy. She is a member of Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women, The ADHD Society & Support Group (AFTA) and The Voice of Down Syndrome Society (Saut). Princess Banderi holds a BA. in English Literature from King Saud University and Masters in Public Policy from Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government.
HE Dr. Farida Allaghi - Libya
Farida Allaghi is the Senior Advisor to HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President of the Arab Gulf Program for the United Nations Development Organizations in Saudi Arabia. She is also a freelance Regional and International Consultant in the areas of civil society, human rights, democracy, public policy and advocacy, women’s issues, and youth. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Mentor Foundation, an international NGO that focuses on the prevention of drug misuse among young people, and the promotion of their health and well-being. She was also the Director of the Woman and Child Division of the Arab Gulf Program and served as the General Coordinator for the Arab Council for Children and the the Arab Network for Civil Society. Farida is a contributing editor to the United Nation’s Arab Human Development Report and serves on the International Advisory Committee for the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project, a research initiative that documents, analyzes, and evaluates the scope, structures, financing and role of private, non-profit institutions at the international level. Her challenging stands in human development and human rights have led her to live in exile for the past 25 years in Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Farida holds a Ph.D. in sociology Planning, and Development from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, USA.
HE Dr. Hanan Ashrawi - Palestine
PLO Executive Committee Member, Member of Palestinian Legislative Council and Head of the PLO Department of Culture and Information.
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi is a distinguished Palestinian leader, legislator, activist and scholar who served as a member of the Leadership Committee and as an official spokesperson of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace process, beginning with the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991. Dr. Ashrawi was appointed as the Palestinian Authority Minister of Higher Education and Research (1996), but she resigned from the post in protest at the non-implementation of reform plans in governance and peace talks (1998).
Dr. Ashrawi was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council representing Jerusalem (1996). Making history as the first woman to hold a seat in the highest executive body in Palestine, she was elected as member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2009.
As a civil society activist, she founded MIFTAH, the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (1999) and continues to serve as head of its Board of Directors. In the same year, Dr. Ashrawi founded the National Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN). Moreover, she is the founder of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) and has served as its Commissioner since 1994.
Dr. Ashrawi serves on the advisory and international boards of several organizations, including the World Bank Middle East and North Africa (MENA); the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD); the International Human Rights Council; US/Middle East Project; TAKREEM Arab Achievement Awards; International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) – Sweden; the Project on Justice in Times of Transition, USA; and the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
Dr. Ashrawi is the recipient of numerous awards from all over the world, including the 2005 Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation; the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize; the 2002 Olof Palme Prize; the 1999 International Women of Hope “Bread and Roses”; the Defender of Democracy Award – Parliamentarians for Global Action; and the 50 Women of the Century.
Mr. Samir Assaf - Lebanon
Samir Assaf is Chief Executive of Global Banking and Markets at HSBC Holdings. He is also a Group Managing Director and a member of the Group Management Board. Mr. Assaf assumed these responsibilities on 1 January 2011.
Mr. Assaf joined HSBC in 2000 when the bank acquired CCF. At HSBC, he started as Head of Fixed Income Trading, Europe, and Head of Global Markets at HSBC France. In 2006, he was promoted to Head of Global Markets, EMEA, and in 2007, assumed the additional role of Deputy Head of Global Markets.
Mr. Assaf became Head of Global Markets in January 2008 and a Group General Manager in May 2008. He was given management responsibility for Global Research in September 20009 and joint management responsibility for HSBC Securities in 2010.
He joined CCF in 1994 from Groupe Total, where he was Head of Treasury. At CCF, he was appointed Head of Markets in 1998.
Mr. Assaf holds a BSc degree in Finance from l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and an MBA in Economics from La Sorbonne University.
In May 2014 Mr. Assaf was appointed chairman of GFMA (Global Financial Markets Association).
HE Mr. Andre Azoulay - Morocco
Born in Essaouira-Mogador (Morocco) in 1941, André Azoulay was educated in Paris where he studied economics, journalism and international relations. Graduated by the french High School of Journalism (CFJ) in 1962, he made his specialization in economics and finance in Brussels and Paris (1963). He is married with three children.
Previously to his current position as Counsellor to His Majesty the King of Morocco, A. Azoulay had a long career with the Paribas Bank in Paris (1968-1990) where, as Executive Vice-President, he covered the Middle East and North Africa Regions as well as heading the Bank Public Affairs department.
As Counselor of His Majesty the late King Hassan II from 1991 to 1999, and since then of His Majesty Mohammed VI, André Azoulay has largely contributed to the implementation of economic reforms which have been applied throughout the Kingdom since their inception in the early 90s. He also played a significant role in the privatization and deregulation programs which began in 1993. He emphasized the need for sustaining the role of the private sector and encouraging the international investment to sustain the economic growth in Morocco. A. Azoulay has also largely contributed to promote Morocco throughout the world and to improve the relations with the European Union and the USA.
A. Azoulay is also known for his input in the follow-up of the peace process in the Middle East and the many initiatives he has been involved in the perspective of deepening the logic of reconciliation between Jews and Muslims. In addition to his professional responsibilities André Azoulay has always fought for peace and dialogue between the Arab Muslim World and that of the Jewish Communities in Europe, the United States, Morocco as well as the Arab and Jewish diasporas worldwide. In this vein he created the “Identité et Dialogue” group in 1974 in Paris. This NGO was at that time, the first organisation to be formed consisting of Jewish intellectuals calling for a Palestinian State living in peace side by side with Israel.
For over 30 years A. Azoulay has taken an active part in supporting the activities of different movements and associations whose vocation is to help the process of better understanding and mutual respect between Islam and the Western World.
President of the Executive Committee of the Foundation of the Three Cultures and the Three Religions based in Seville (Spain), he is one of the founders of the Aladin Group (Paris) created to promote mutual knowledge and intercultural relations among Muslims and Jews.
Member of the Board of Al Akhawayne University (Ifrane), A. Azoulay belongs to the Scientific Committee of “Medinas” a think-tank created by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank to protect, restore and promote the “Medinas” in the Arab World.
In August 2005 A. Azoulay was also nominated member of the “High Level Group” for the “Alliance of Civilizations, set up by the United Nations. Instigated by Spain and co-sponsored by Turkey, this initiative is addressing the issue of the relations between Islam and the Western World.
In this context, he was elected the 5th of March 2008 and reelected the 9th of September 2011 as President of the Euro-Mediterranean Anna Lindh Foundation and member of the Executive Committee of the Mediterranean Council for Culture (Paris) as well as Board member of the Mediterranean Study and Research Center (Marseille) the Yala online leadership Academy and the Institut de Prospective et d’Etudes pour le Monde Méditerranéen (Paris).
HRH Prince Mansour Bin Nasser - Saudi Arabia
HRH Prince Mansour Bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz was for many years the Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Mosques, a position he held until February 2015. He advised on various economic issues related to the Kingdom.
After finishing his elementary and secondary education in KSA and Lebanon, Prince Mansour completed his undergraduate and graduate education in England, receiving his Masters in Philosophy of International Affairs from the University of Salford.
Prince Mansour has founded several companies, including Saudi Oil Services Co Ltd., Maps and Geosystems, Saudi Company for International Military Services Ltd. and IZCON for regulatory and technical examination. He is currently the CEO and Chairman of the board of Mansour Bin Nasser Holding Corporation. He is the Chairman of the Board and a Partner of IZCON, and a Partner in Maps and Geosystems.
HRH Prince Mansour Bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz has been recognized for his global business leadership.
Prince El Hassan Bin Talal - Jordan
His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal born on March 20, 1947 in Amman. In April 1965 he was officially crowned as the prince of the Hashemite Throne of Jordan, and he was a close political advisor and confident of the king. He completed his B.A. and Masters degrees in Oriental Studies at Oxford. Prince Hassan created and founded several international Jordanian institutes and committees such as the: “The Arab Thought Forum” in 1981 and “The West Asia – North Africa Institute” in 2009.
Prince Hassan also left his mark on the international stage through proposing several initiatives such as the establishment of the New International Humanitarian Order, which prompted the Secretary General to found and co-chair the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues (ICIHI), which was adopted as a resolution at the 42nd general assembly of the United Nations. The prince is also chair and member of a number of international committees and organizations such as the Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues. Prince Hassan encourages sports in Jordan and other countries as well and he is the President of the Federations for Martial Arts, Polo and Squash.
His highness received many prestigious awards and was decorated by over twenty nations and he also received many honorary degrees. In March 1987, he received Jordan’s highest decoration; the Order of Al Hussein bin Ali, by His Late Majesty King Hussein. He also received many honorary degrees.
HE Dr. Lakhdar Brahimi - Algeria
Lakhdar Brahimi, is an Algerian diplomat whose lengthy career included peacemaking efforts in Lebanon, South Africa, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. During Algeria’s struggle for independence from France in the late 1950s and early 60s, he was a representative of the National Liberation Front, the group that led the liberation struggle, in Southeast Asia. He served in the Algerian government as Presidential Adviser (1982–84) and then served as Under-Secretary General (1984–91) of the Arab League before returning to the Algerian government as Foreign Minister (1991–93). He subsequently headed UN missions to South Africa (1993–94) and Haiti (1994–96) before being appointed to represent the UN in Afghanistan in 1997. Frustrated with the inability to resolve the conflict between the Taliban and other factions in Afghanistan, he resigned from his post in 1999. In 2000, he was lauded for his Report of the Panel on UN Peace Operations (commonly known as the Brahimi Report), which recommended broad changes to the way UN peacekeeping missions were conceived and implemented. The report was critical in particular of UN inaction in both Rwanda in 1994, and Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1995. Lakhdar was appointed Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the UN in January 2004. In May the UN sent him to Iraq to help that country recover from the U.S. invasion of 2003. He was charged with aiding in the effort to restore Iraqi independence, which hinged on the country’s first democratic elections, scheduled for early 2005. He retired from his position at the end of 2005, indicating that the U.S. invasion in 2003 had caused more problems than it had solved. In August 2012, he was appointed the UN’s special envoy to Syria. He replaced Kofi Annan, who had resigned after failing to broker a cease-fire in the Syrian Civil War during his six-month tenure. Lakhdar was also unable to negotiate a peace deal, and he left the post in 2014. He was a member of the Elders, a group of international leaders established in the early 21st century to promote peaceful conflict resolution throughout the world. Lakhdar was educated in Algeria and France specializing in Law and Political Science.
Mr. Samir Brikho - Lebanon
Samir Brikho was Chief Executive of Amec Foster Wheeler plc. Since his appointment in October 2006, Mr. Brikho has led the transformation of the business through the creation of Amec Foster Wheeler into a leading supplier of consultancy, engineering and project management services to its customers in the world's oil and gas, mining, clean energy, and environment and infrastructure markets. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive, Mr. Brikho was a member of the Group Executive Committee of ABB Ltd., Switzerland, Head of the Power Systems Division and Chairman of ABB Lummus Global.
In addition to his role as Chief Executive of Amec Foster Wheeler plc, Samir Brikho is a United Kingdom Business Ambassador supporting the government in promoting the UK’s excellence internationally. From 2008-2010, he also held the position of UK Energy Excellence Chairman.
Mr. Brikho is a director of the United Kingdom-Japan 21st Century Group and currently sits on the Advisory Board of Stena AB and is an independent non-executive director of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB). He is co-chair of the UAE-UK Business Council and the UK-Korea Global CEO Forum. He is chair of the World Economic Forum’s Disaster Resource Partnership and chaired Offshore Europe in 2011.
Mr. Brikho is a UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow. He holds an MS in Thermal Technology and a BS in Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. He completed the YMP Program at INSEAD in France in 1991 and completed a Senior Executive Programme at Stanford in 2000. He speaks Swedish, Arabic, English, German and French fluently.
Prof. Alain Carpentier - France
Alain Carpentier, perhaps the world's most renowned cardiologist, not only pioneered novel methods for repairing faulty hearts, he found a way to replace them.
The 82-year-old French heart surgeon invented the Carmat heart, the world's first fully implantable, self-regulating heart.
Unlike similar prosthetics, Carpentier's device mimics the heart's natural physiology, adjusting the volume of blood it pumps depending on whether its recipient is active or resting.
HE Dr. Mohamed El Baradei - Egypt
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei was Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from December 1997 until November 2009. He is also Director General Emeritus of the IAEA. He had been an IAEA staff member from 1984, holding a number of high-level policy positions, including that of Legal Adviser and subsequently Assistant Director General for External Relations.
Dr. ElBaradei was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1942. He gained a Bachelor’s degree in Law in 1962 at the University of Cairo, and a Doctorate in International Law at New York University School of Law in 1974. He began his career in the Egyptian Diplomatic Service in 1964, serving in the Permanent Missions of Egypt to the UN in New York and Geneva.
From 1974 to 1978 Dr. ElBaradei was a special assistant to the Foreign Minister of Egypt, including as a member of the negotiating team that led to the conclusion of the disengagement agreements between Egypt and Israel. In 1980, he left the Diplomatic Service to join the UN and became a senior fellow in charge of the International Law Program at the UN Institute for Training and Research. From 1981 to 1987, he was also an Adjunct Professor of International Law at the New York University School of Law. He has lectured widely in the fields of international law, international organizations, arms control and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and is the author of various articles and books on these subjects.
In October 2005, Dr. ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way." Dr. ElBaradei has received multiple other awards and honorary degrees for his work as a public servant and as an advocate of tolerance, humanity and freedom.
Dr. Akef El Magraby - Egypt
Akef El Magraby is the Founder and Chairman of the Magrabi Eye Hospitals and Centers in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Akef also founded the Magrabi Eye Foundation; the first non-profit organization for prevention of blindness in the Middle East. Furthermore, he founded the Middle East Journal of Ophthalmology, the Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) and was its President for 18 years. Akef is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Saudi Institute of Health Services (SIHS), Founder of the Magrabi International Faculty of Nursing in Egypt, and a former Board Member of Board of Trustees of John’s Hopkins University in USA. His great concern for the prevention of blindness in undeveloped countries was instrumental in the formation of the International Federation of Eye Banks and he also played a significant role in transferring new technologies in ophthalmology from western countries to the Middle East. He established the Magrabi-ICO Cameroon Eye Institute (MICEI), the first sub-specialty, non-profit hospital in Central Africa. Because of his initiative, the inception of the annual International Blindness Prevention Award for the American Academy of Ophthalmology was materialized. He received numerous awards and was decorated with the Cedar of Lebanon by the President of Lebanon in 2001 and awarded the Golden Medal Award of the Algerian Ophthalmological Society in 2004, among many more. Akef holds a medical degree in Ophthalmology.
HE Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali - Egypt
Boutros-Ghali was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations and served
as Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt in 1991 and as Minister
of State for Foreign Affairs from October 1977 until 1991. He earned a Ph.D. in
international law from Paris University in 1949 and holds a Bachelor of Laws
degree, from Cairo University in 1946, as well as separate diplomas in
political science, economics and public law from Paris University. During the
course of his career, Mr. Boutros-Ghali received multiple awards and
gratifications including an honorary degree from the School of Foreign Service
at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. in 1994 and the Onassis Award for
International Understanding and Social Achievement in 1995. Boutros-Ghali died aged 93 in 2016 and a military
funeral was held for him
Mr. Carlos Ghosn - Lebanon
Carlos Ghosn is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the automotive collaboration of France's Groupe Renault, Japan's Nissan Motor Company and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. Carlos, is perhaps best known for orchestrating the remarkable turnaround of Nissan from near bankruptcy in 1999-2000. In addition to being the auto industry’s longest-serving current CEO, he is the first executive to run two companies on the Fortune Global 500 simultaneously. He is an outspoken proponent of zero-emission electric vehicles. Today, more than half the electric vehicles (EVs) on the world's roads, were produced by the Renault-Nissan Alliance. He is also establishing the Alliance as a leader in the development of future automotive technology, such as autonomous drive and connected vehicles and services. The Alliance, which also includes Russia's largest automaker, AVTOVAZ, has grown to become one of the world’s largest automotive groups and to date it remains the most productive, longest-lasting, cross-cultural partnership in automotive history. Carlos serves on the Board of Directors of the Brazilian bank; Itau Banco and on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut. He is a World Economic Forum Governor, a member of the International Advisory Council of Tsinghua University in Beijing and a member of the Strategic Council of Saint Joseph University in Beirut. He received numerous honors such as the Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic of Spain in 2012 and he was also added to the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2004. Carlos holds Engineering degrees from Ecole Polytechnique and from Ecole des Mines de Paris.
Mr. Anis Haggar - Sudan
Mr. Anis George Haggar serves as Chairman of Haggar Holding Company Ltd. and of the board of trustees at the Haggar Foundation. He was awarded the "Order of the Loyal Son of Sudan" in June 1999 and the "Commander of the Order of Civil Merit" by King Juan Carlos of Spain.
He participated and presented papers at a number of National and International Conferences, in diversified fields, including and not limited to: Peace and Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Trade and Economics, Relief and Humanitarian issues, Corporate Social Responsibility and the UNGC, together with other issues of importance to Sudan and the Region. He's also the former Honorary Consul General, Republic of Liberia and Honorary Consul, Kingdom of Spain.
Dr. Ahmed Heikal - Egypt
Ahmed Heikal is the Chairman and Founder of Qalaa Holdings, a leader in infrastructure and industry with subsidiaries in energy, cement, agribusiness, mining, transportation and logistics in Africa. Prior to founding Qalaa Holdings, Ahmed was an Executive Board Member and Managing Director of EFG Hermes Holding, which he helped transform from a small financial consultancy into the leading investment bank in the Arab world and the second largest full-service investment bank in global emerging markets. There, he spearheaded highly successful private equity investments, one leading to the creation of Egypt’s leading IT company; Raya Holding and another to the nation’s largest natural gas distribution company; Genco. He also raised three rounds of finance for regional mobile telecommunications operator Orascom Telecom and led the IPOs of Orascom Construction Industries and Orascom Hotels, among other landmark transactions. Ahmed holds a Master’s degree and a PhD in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford University.
Dr. Elyès Jouini - Tunisia
Elyès Jouini is a professor at the Université Paris-Dauphine where he currently serves as vice-president. He is also Fellow of the Econometric Society and of the Institute for Labor Studies (IZA). Previously, he taught at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, at the ENSAE (National School of Economics and Statistics), at Ecole Polytechnique and, at the Stern Business School of New York University. He is a member of the High Level Advisory Group to the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation and a member of the Tunisian Economic Analysis Council (attached to the Head of Government), after having been a member of the French Economic Analysis Council (attached to the French Prime Minister), and of the High-Council for Science and Technology (attached to the French President). He also served as member of the Scientific Committee of the Banque de France Foundation. After the Tunisian revolution, he served as Minister of Economic and Social Reforms in the Tunisian transition Government and as a Prime Minister's Sherpa for the G8 meeting (Deauville). He received the Knight of the Légion d’Honneur of France and Commander of the Order of Merit of Tunisia. Elyès holds a degree from the Ecole normale supérieure, Paris and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.
Mrs. Nora Joumblatt - Lebanon
Nora Joumblatt is a prominent advocate of women’s rights in Lebanon. She has been well-recognized for her work with Lebanese female youth in rural villages, encouraging them to engage in national politics. Since the beginning of the Syrian refugee crisis, she has spared efforts alongside civil society groups in order to raise funds, provide education and help host Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon and to that end, she founded the Kayany Foundation in 2013. She also established the Beiteddine Art Festival in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War. Nora, first started off as a painter and opened Gallery 50-70 in Beirut that exhibited many artists' works. Over the years, she has maintained her interest and support of the arts through serving as the President of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the American University of Beirut Museum and she is a current member of the Executive Board of the European Festivals Association. In Addition, Nora has been an active member of the Executive Committee of the Children Cancer Center of Lebanon (St. Jude) since 2005, as well as a member of Board of Trustees of the Samir Kassir Foundation, and of the Executive Committee of ROTA (Reach Out to Asia) Qatar Foundation. She received many honors such as the “Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite Français,” after achieving the title of Commander of the Spanish Order of Isabella the Catholic in 2009. Nora is married to the Lebanese Politician, Walid Joumblatt, and is the mother of two sons. She holds a BA. in History of Art and Fine Arts from the École des Beaux Arts in Paris.
Dr. Suad Juffali - Saudi Arabia
Suad Juffali, widow of the Late Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah Juffali, is a renowned philanthropist and a well-respected social figure. She has been a social entrepreneur before the phrase became popular. She is the Co-Founder of the Help Center, a special education institution for children with intellectual disabilities. She is also the Chairperson of The Brain Forum Board of Foundation, and the Managing Director of The Ahmed Juffali Benevolent Foundation. Suad is a generous and active philanthropist. She is the patron of Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology at KAUST established in 2013; and has received numerous awards for her charitable services in various areas of education and welfare of women and children. She established her own foundation contributing scholarship funds to Arab students in support for their higher education, and providing chairs in different universities, globally. Suad was also involved in establishing and organizing the 1st women welfare society in Jeddah in 1956; and followed by helping and organizing Al-Faisaliyah Women Society. Both of these societies deal with mother and child welfare in health and education, helping to eliminate illiteracy for women. Her vision and leadership has made these welfare centers a reality. Among many other positions, she sits on the Board of various national and international educational institutions, including the American University in Cairo, Effat University, and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. Suad holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Sociology from the Beirut College for Women (BCW), presently Lebanese American University (LAU), in Lebanon and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the American University in Egypt and LAU in Lebanon.
Mr. Samer Khoury - Palestine
Samer Khoury is President of Engineering & Construction of the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), a multi-billion engineering group and the largest construction company in the Middle East. He is at the helm of CCC, which today is a large conglomerate with a broad range of activities ranging from its conventional engineering & construction role to the more complex role of an oil & gas and power developer. CCC employs more than 100,000 individuals worldwide. According to the annual Engineering News Record (ENR) surveys, CCC ranks continuously among the top 20 largest International Contractors and first in the Middle East region. Samer, is highly involved in business, social and educational activities in the US, the Middle East and Europe focusing on: Engineering Innovation; Sustainability; Economic Collaborative Development; Peace & Conflict Resolution Dialogues; Youth Empowerment; Knowledge Societies; and Social Enterprise Philanthropies. He is a board member of several associations including: Welfare Association; Governors for Engineers and Contractors; Arab Business Council, World Economic Forum; Consolidated Contractors International, Greece; National Petroleum Construction Company, UAE; Palestine Investment Fund; Palestine Electric Company; Solomon Pools Project, Gaza International Hospital; Bethlehem Cardiology Hospital, and many more. Samer holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from California State University in Chico and an MBA from the University of Southern California.
Mr. Marc Levy - France
Marc Levy is a French author. At the age of 18, he joined the French Red Cross where he spent six years in various positions. In 1983, he created a company specializing in computer graphics in France and the United States and in 1989 he lost control of his group and resigned. At 29, from scratch, he returned to Paris and founded with his brother-in-law an office architecture firm, Eurythmic Cloiselec. At 37, Marc Levy writes a story, encouraged by his sister writer, the novel; "And if it was true ...", became a bestseller overnight in France as well as overseas. It was made into a film by Steven Spielberg and Dream works in 2005. After the huge success of his first novel, Marc Levy resigns at the age of 38 from his architecture firm and leaves to live in London to devote himself exclusively to writing. Since then, he has written fifteen novels including: Finding You (2001, adapted for television in 2007), Seven Days for an Eternity (2003), In Another Life (2004), and Another Idea of Happiness (2014). Marc wrote some short stories and directed a short film for Amnesty International," Nabila's Letter "(2003), adapted from a short story he co-wrote with Sophie Fontanel. He has also written songs for different artists including Johnny Hallyday. In 2017, he signed a series of children's books devoted to expressions of the French language (illustrated by Florent Bégu) for McDonald's. Marc holds a degree in management and computer science from Paris Dauphine University.
Mr. Amin Maalouf - Lebanon
An accomplished storyteller, a political writer of the highest standard and a refined humanist, Maalouf is a Lebanese author who writes in French. Transcending identity, religion and nationality Maalouf’s characters are travelers voyaging over lands, languages and beliefs in historic settings that tell of their beauty and pain to the modern reader. Most are marked by his experiences of civil war and migration. His gem, Rock of Tanios won the French Prix de Goncourt in 1993
HE Mr. Mohamed Mansour - Egypt
Mr. Mohamed Mansour founded ManCapital LLP in early 2010 and serves as its Chairman of the Board. Mr. Mansour is the Founder and Chairman of ManCapital LLP. He is the Founder of Mansour Automotive Company. In 1975, he focused on the automotive business building the partnership with General Motors which began the profitable growth. Mr. Mansour was the Minister of Transport in Egypt from 2006 to October 2009. Mr. Mansour has led Mansour Group, together with his brothers, from one business breakthrough to the next. He expanded Mansour portfolio. He was the President of the American Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Secretary General of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES). He serves as the Chairman of the Board at Mansour Automotive Company.
Mr. Mansour also serves as the Chairman of Mantrac. He serves as a Director of Mansour Group. He serves as a Member of Global Advisory Board at Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. He served as the Chairman of Credit Agricole - Egypt Bank (S.A.E.). He was the Founder and Chairman of the Lead Foundation. He held a directorship in the Egyptian Stock Exchange and Chairman of the Egypt US Business Council. Mr. Mansour’s leadership grew the partnership to six more African nations as well as Iraq and Russia and is consistently in Caterpillar’s top 10 distributors globally. He completed his education in the United States.
He holds MBA at Auburn University in 1971, he then was selected to join the faculty and taught at Auburn University’s School of Business. He achieved a BSE in Engineering at North Carolina State University, class of ’68.
HE Mr. Aziz Mekouar - Morocco
Aziz Mekouar’s career in the foreign service of the Kingdom of Morocco spanned over 30 years. He was Ambassador to the United States from 2002-2011, during which time Morocco was declared a major non-NATO ally of the US. Prior to this, he was Morocco’s Ambassador to: Italy, Albania and the Sovereign Order of Malta; Portugal; and Angola. He was also the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and was elected Independent Chairman of the Council of the FAO from 2001-2005. Upon his return from Washington, Aziz went into the private sector as an adviser for major Moroccan groups and multinationals since 2011. From January 2016 till November 2017, he was appointed Ambassador for multilateral negotiations and chief negotiator for COP22, the conference on Climate Change that was held in Marrakech. He is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Bank of Africa and was decorated with several honors such as the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Portugal and the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Italy. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the French Lycée Charles Lepierre in Lisbon, Portugal, and an MBA from HEC Paris.
HE Dr. Amre Moussa - Egypt
A staunch defender of Arab democratic change, Amr Moussa was Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the U.N (1990 - 1991), the Foreign Minister of Egypt (1991-2001) and the Secretary General of the League of Arab States (2001-2011). In 2012, he ran for President of Egypt as an independent candidate with a vision to reform Egypt's ailing bureaucratic and economic infrastructure, in the country’s first democratic elections following the 25 January Revolution. He lost the elections but continued his political career serving Egypt as an elected member of the Constitutional Assembly, writing the constitution of 2012 and leading the liberal members in their negotiations. He resigned after four months of active participation due to attempts to monopolize the drafting of the constitution. Later, he founded the Congress Party of Egypt and is also among the founding members of the National Salvation Front, which was an Egyptian political alliance established in reaction to President Mohammed Mursi’s constitutional decree. Amr was also one of the leaders who called for and marched during the June 30th revolution that deposed President Mursi and brought in reforms in accordance with the agreed-on road map. In 2014, Amr was Chair of the Fiftieth Committee for the Egyptian Constitution that all Egyptians voted and agreed on. In the course of his diplomatic career, he received a number of awards including the Grand Cordon of the Nile from the Egyptian government in May 2001, the Order of the Two Niles, first class, from Sudan in 2001, and high decorations from Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina and the German Federation. Amr holds a Law degree from Cairo University.
HE Dr. Marwan Muasher - Jordan
Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment, where he oversees research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East. Previously he was senior vice president of external affairs at the World Bank (2007-2010).
Muasher has served as Jordanian Foreign Minister (2002–2004) and deputy Prime Minister (2004–2005). He has also held the posts of Minister of Information, Jordanian ambassador to Washington and Jordan’s first ambassador to Israel. While in Washington Muasher negotiated the first free trade agreement between the United States and an Arab nation. During his time as foreign minister he played a central role in developing the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East Road Map. He was a member of the Jordanian Senate (2006-2007).
Muasher began his career as a journalist for the Jordan Times. He later served at the Ministry of Planning, at the Prime Minister’s office as press adviser, and as director of the Jordan Information Bureau in Washington.
Muasher is the author of The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation (Yale University Press, 2008). He is a senior fellow of Yale University.
Ricardo Karam’s interview with Marwan Muasher took place between Washington D.C., USA and Beirut, Lebanon
Lady Hayat Palumbo - Lebanon
Lady Hayat Palumbo is the owner and chairman of the city club Walbrook, a private members club in London, which opened in May 2000. The club is as well known for its impressive art collection as it is for its famous clientele. Lady Palumbo has lived in London since 1986 when she married Lord Peter Palumbo, property developer and Patron of the Arts, Former Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain and Chairman of The Pritzker Prize for Architecture. During her first year in London, she founded a needlework shop specializing in hand painted designs. In addition to her passion for art, she also plays a leading role in charities such as: St Jude's and Cancer Research in the UK. Before she moved to London, she worked for two years as a reporter for the Daily Star and then a year at Jeune Afrique in Paris in the early seventies, as well as Actis International, an institutional PR firm. Lady Hayat was born and raised in Lebanon, daughter of a newspaper publisher, Kamel Mroueh, who was murdered by extremists in his Beirut office when she was sixteen. She holds a BA in Middle Eastern History from the American University of Beirut and a Master’s in International Relations from the Sorbonne in Paris.
HE Dr. Leila Sharaf - Jordan
Mrs. Leila Sharaf holds an impressive series of firsts on her political record. She became Jordan’s first Minister of Culture and Information in 1984 and was also the first Jordanian Minister to resign in almost thirty years. Her resignation was to protest the lack of liberalizing laws with regard to press censorship and the dilution of the influence of tribalism in society.
In 1989, she became the first female member of the Jordanian Senate House. A Jordanian of Lebanese origin, Sharaf was born in Beirut in 1940. From an early age she exhibited a passion for politics, developing a reputation for staying true to her ideals.
She holds a BA and an MA in Literature from the American University of Beirut and has occupied diverse positions throughout her life, including working for the News Department of Lebanon TV, and being on the Chief Councils at both Philadelphia University and the Palestine International Institution. She married H.E. Sharif Abdul-Hamid Sharaf, a member of the Al-Hashimi dynasty and cousin of King Hussein of Jordan, having met him as a fellow member of the Arab Thought Forum. He held many illustrious posts including Ambassador to the USA and delegate to the UN (during which time Leila spent nine years with him in the US), as well as government posts including Jordan's Prime Minister, shortly before his death in 1980.
Leila Sharaf herself has received many honorary offices, including at the Jordan TV and Radio Institution, on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Public Education and Training in the Middle East, the Advisory Committee for the Theater under the Ministry of Culture, the Executive Board for Social Movement in Beirut, the Boards of Trustees of the King Hussein Foundation, the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, the Board of Directors Academic Advisory Committee of the League of the United Nations for World Peace, the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut and the Arab Open University in Kuwait. She is also the President of the Islamic Cultural Society in New York and a founding member of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation in Jordan.
Mr. Raja W. Sidawi - Syria
Raja W. Sidawi is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Energy Intelligence Group (EIG), a company that specializes in providing the highest quality business intelligence on global oil and gas industries. With offices in New York, Washington D.C., Houston, London, Singapore, Moscow, Dubai and Beirut, the EIG publishes 17 newsletters as well as a number of high-quality reference works focused on the international energy industry. In 1970, prior to his publishing business, Raja founded a company to study and invest in energy projects throughout the Middle East and Africa. In 1976, he began investing in the U.S. energy industry and was a Founding Member of Weatherford International, an oil services company. As a Founding Member of the French think tank, Le Club des Vigilants, Raja has also been involved in cultural projects. In addition to the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress, his board memberships have included the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Guggenheim Foundation.
HRH Princess Alia Tabbaa - Jordan
Princess Alia Tabbaa is the former wife of Prince Faisal bin Hussein and she is the daughter of Sayyid Tawfik al-Tabbaa and Lamia Addem. Her father was a well-known and respected Jordanian businessman and the Founder and President of the Royal Jordanian Airlines. Princess Alia studied at The Ahliyyah School for Girls in Amman during her school years, where she was always heavily involved in community service and voluntary work. Princess Alia shared the passion of flying with Prince Faisal and obtained her Private Pilot License in 1989 and was proudly awarded her wings by His Late Majesty King Hussein. She is the Founder and President of the Promise Welfare Society, the President of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, and as of 2006 became the President of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, following Queen Noor of Jordan. In addition, she is the Head of the Board of the Zaha Cultural Centre, Honorary President of the Friends of Children Society, which encourages equal learning opportunities for all children, and the President of Air Force Wives Club since 1988. Princess Alia holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Sussex.
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