The Harvard Arab Alumni Association (“HAAA”) is delighted to invite you to attend our 12th annual Harvard Arab World Conference, which will be held in the Dead Sea, Jordan on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea. This conference is open to both Harvard and non-Harvard affiliates.


Under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II, the 12th Annual Harvard Arab World Conference (HAWC) will be held in the Dead Sea, Jordan on March 11, 2017. The theme of this year’s HAWC will be “BUILDING TOMORROW” and will explore initiatives across the region that are currently (re)shaping the face of the Arab world.

The HAWC proposes several panels that bring together multi-disciplinary leaders to discuss the region’s tomorrow for future generations in healthcare, education, entrepreneurship, policy, and law. The conference will ask how the region and its people can harness its collective power to drive positive change and how can the rising generation of Arabs leverage current and emerging resources to inspire transformation. The conference will also include a startup pitch competition to show-case and support regional startups.

Imagine if the next Google, Facebook, AirBnB, or Uber came from the Arab world.

In this exciting event, marking the second HAAA-sponsored startup pitch in the Arab world, startups from across the Middle East (including Amman, Dubai, Beirut, Riyadh, and Cairo) will pitch their business ideas.

Startups will pitch for 5 minutes, and answer questions from our high-profile panel of judges for 5 minutes. Judges include representatives from tech companies in the region, as well as investors and venture capitalists.


The Harvard Arab Alumni Association is pleased to announce that it will organize a workshop for Jordanian high school and college students on admission to Harvard’s undergraduate and graduate programs. Further details will be provided on how to register for the workshop and its precise time and location.

Civic Lab will showcases and discuss the most progressive digital engagement initiatives

Civic Lab will showcases and discuss the most progressive digital engagement initiatives that aim to help citizens collaborate with government for the betterment of their societies. A panel of experts will discuss and analyze how technology can help societies have better means of communication and action to achieve better developmental results.

Friday March 10, 2017

4:00 pm-6:00pm
Seminar on Harvard admissions process for Jordanian high school students and graduate students. Seminar is free but attendees need to register through Sajilini

6:30 pm-8:00pm
Civics Lab with Hafez Gahem, Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa

8:30 pm
Networking Dinner at the Main Restaurant (Obelisk): Attendees must pay individually for the dinner (30 Jds), as it is not included in the conference package

Saturday March 11, 2017

8:00-9:00 am
Registration & Refreshments

9:00-9:30 am
Opening Remarks:
HAWC 2017 Welcome Remarks
Carine Abi Akar, Conference Co-Chair and Vice-President of the Harvard Arab Alumni Association
Dr. Mohammad Hajjiri
HAAA Welcome Remarks
Dr. Hesham Hamoda, President of the Harvard Arab Alumni Association
Harvard University Welcome
Mark Elliott, Vice-Provost of International Affairs at Harvard University

9:30-10:00 am
Opening Keynote Address
Remarks by Her Royal Highness Princess Ghida Talal
Keynote Address
Remarks by His Excellency Omar Razzaz

10:00-11:00 am
Plenary 1 : Building Arab Healthcare: Sustainable delivery of quality care

11:00-11:30 am
Coffee Break

11:30-12:30 pm
Plenary 2 : The Future of Arab Diplomacy

12:30-1:30 pm
Parallel Sessions
Panel 1A: Building Arab Education: Preparing our youth for the jobs of the future
Panel 1B: Building after Conflict
Civics Lab

1:30-2:30 pm

2:30-3:30 pm
Parallel Sessions
Panel 2A: Fostering a Sustainable Middle East from the Ground Up: Commercial Law Reform to Ensure Private Sector Growth
Panel 2B: Unlocking the Talents of Refugees
Civics Lab

3:30-4:30 pm
Parallel Sessions
Panel 3A: Tasawurat: Arab Art at a Time of Turmoil
Panel 3B: Entrepreneurship: Vehicle for Change, or Just a Buzzword?
Civics Lab

4:30-5:00 pm
Coffee Break

4:30-5:00 pm
Special Session: Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Arab World
Civics Lab

5:00-6:30 pm
Startup Pitch Competition

6:30-7:00 pm
Conference Closing Remarks
Philip Lovejoy, Executive Director of Harvard Alumni Association
Noura Al-Saket, Conference Fundraising Chair

8:00-10:30 pm
Gala Dinner (Must have purchased separate ticket to attend)

Introducing HAWC 2017 Sponsors
Organized by Harvard Arab Alumni Association
Keynote Speakers
HRH Princess Ghida Talal

After graduating from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, HRH Princess Ghida Talal pursued a career in journalism. In 1991, she married HRH Prince Talal Bin Muhammad of Jordan and the late King Hussein asked her to establish the International Press Office of the Royal Hashemite Court and to become his Press Secretary.

In October 2001, HM King Abdullah II appointed her as Chairperson of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center. As the wife of a cancer survivor, Princess Ghida devoted herself to the fight against cancer and is a tireless fundraiser and advocate for the Center. Princess Ghida - born Ghida Salaam to a leading political family in Lebanon - has served for two terms on the Board of Regents of Georgetown University, and currently serves on the Board of Georgetown’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

Princess Ghida joined the Board of the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Scholar Rescue Fund in 2007 and IIE’s Board in October 2012. She played a role in launching the Iraq Scholar Rescue Project that rescues persecuted scholars from Iraq. This earned her IIE’s Humanitarian Award for International Cooperation in 2008. In 2011, Princess Ghida represented Jordan at the United Nations by addressing the UN General Assembly’s High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), where she joined world leaders in calling for urgent and immediate action on NCDs.

Princess Ghida lives in Jordan with her husband Prince Talal and their three children: Prince Hussein (born 1999) and twins Princess Rajaa and Prince Muhammad (born 2001).

Dr. Omar Razzaz

Dr. Omar Razzaz is the Minister of Education in Jordan. Previously, he served as the Chairman of Board of Directors of Jordan Ahli Bank; Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jordan Strategy Forum (JSF); Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oasis 500 Venture Capital Fund; and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD).

He also headed the International Commission for Evaluating Privatization in Jordan (2013-2014), and the Jordan National Employment Strategy team in (2011-2012). He was the Director General of Jordan’s Social Security Corporation (2006-2010). Prior to his return to Jordan, he worked for the World Bank, Washington D.C. (1997- 2002) in various posts and regions, and as Country Manager of the World Bank’s Lebanon Office (2002-2006). Dr. Razzaz was Assistant Professor at MIT in the International Development and Regional Planning (IDRP) Program (1995-1997).

He holds a PhD from Harvard University in Planning with a minor in Economics, a post-Doctorate from the Harvard Law School, and a Master’s degree from MIT.

He was a member of several boards of private and not for profit organizations including the Jordan National Center for Human Rights, Jordan University for Science and Technology, and the Economic and Social Council. He has a number of publications in refereed journals. His work experience covers Europe, Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Organized by Harvard Arab Alumni Association
Panel Speakers
Yasser Akkaoui

Yasser Akkaoui is a corporate governance activist and publisher. Since 2005, he has been advising companies and regulators in the Middle East on how to embed a culture of accountability and transparency in their corporate culture. In media, Akkaoui is the publisher of Executive magazine since 2001, a platform he uses to advocate for reforms in the Middle East. He is often invited to speak at international conferences on the topic of corporate governance and his insight has contributed to the publication of reports discussing the development of policies and reforms in the Arab World. Through Capital Concept, a company he founded in 2005, Akkaoui advises institutional investors, companies and regulators in the Middle East on corporate governance and was instrumental in the generation of a number of codes. He advises large institutional investors and corporates in the Middle East. He is often invited to deliver presentations on corporate governance in the Middle East. He is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's taskforce for Middle East and North Africa stock exchanges. He is the regional consultant for the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). From 2008 to 2012, he has been a board member of the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA), Transparency International’s Lebanese chapter and through LTA, he has co-founded the Institute of Directors in 2010 which aims on promoting good governance in Lebanon. As of 2014, Akkaoui is on the steering committee of the Middle East and North Africa Private Equity Association. In 2006, Capital Concept was instrumental in the creation of Hawkama, the Dubai based institute of corporate governance for the Middle East and helped raise funds for its setup.

His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Al Shiyyab

His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Al Shiyyab is the current Minister of Health in Jordan. He held the position of the President of Jordan University for Science and Technology, in addition to Chief Executive Officer of King Abdullah University Hospital. Dr. Al Shiyyba is a pediatric hematologist and oncologist and trained in Birmingham Children’s Hospital in the United Kingdom where he received his registrar post.

Dr. Najwa Khuri-Bulos

Dr. Najwa Khuri-Bulos is Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Infectious Disease at the University of Jordan and is an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, USA. A graduate of the American University of Beirut (MD with Distinction), Dr. Khuri-Bulos is American Board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases served as Chairman department of Pediatrics, Dean of Research and was founder of the Infection Control Unit and the Infectious Disease and Vaccine Center at the University of Jordan. She also was the chairman of the Pediatric Board and later the Infectious Disease Board Committees at the Jordan Medical Boards. Dr. Khuri-Bulos is the Chairman of the Immunization Committee and the Polio eradication committees at the Jordan Ministry of Health and served on many international committees including the IPAC with WHO Geneva and the standing committee of the IPA. She also served as a board member of the Brighton Collaboration.

Salma Jaouni

Salma Jaouni is the Chief Executive Officer of the Health Care Accreditation Council since May 2012, the Arab region’s only independent not-for-profit organization that aims at improving the quality of health care services and promoting patient safety. Ms. Jaouni has been leading the HCAC in designing and providing capacity building services for health care professionals and accreditation of schemes for health and social care organizations to ensure the continuous provision and improvement of quality services. Ms. Jaouni holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Systems Management from the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the University of London and a Bachelor of Sciences degree from the American University of Beirut in environmental health.

Diana Tannous

Diana Tannous is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Board Certified Nutrition Support Clinician. She holds a master’s degree and specialty from Yale New Haven and Massachusetts General Hospital respectively, and is a Harvard Business School Alumna. Diana is currently the Chief Dietitian at Clemenceau Medical Center Johns Hopkins International in Beirut, Lebanon, and is heavily involved in programs throughout the Middle East aiming at improving patient care and the public health.

Dr. Walid Tohme

Dr. Walid Tohme is a Beirut-based Partner with Strategy&, and a member of the firm’s Health and Digital Business practices. He works with major healthcare providers, payors, and ministries of health across the GCC. He specializes in strategic and operational transformations, healthcare investment strategies, post-merger integrations, and joint ventures. Additionally, he is one of Strategy&’s experts on digitization and Big Data, and leads the firm’s efforts in this area in the Middle East.He has more than 40 publications to his name in leading healthcare and technology journals and speaks regularly at major international conferences.He joined Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) in 1998, leaving in 2003 to join Georgetown Medical Center, Washington D.C., as a professor and division COO. He rejoined the firm in 2008. Walid has a Ph.D. from Paris Sorbonne University in the management of health systems, and an MBA, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering, from Georgia Tech in the U.S

Lakhdar Brahimi

One of the world’s leading experts in peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction, Lakhdar Brahimi is a former Algerian Foreign Minister and veteran UN diplomat. He was the UN Special Representative in Afghanistan 2001-2004, the UN Special Envoy in Iraq 2004 and the Joint Special Representative of the UN and Arab League for Syria 2012-2014. He is also a member of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights founded by Nelson Mandela.

Marwan Muasher

Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where he oversees research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East. Muasher served as Jordanian foreign minister (2002–2004) and deputy prime minister (2004–2005). In 1995, Muasher was Jordan’s first ambassador to Israel, and served in Washington as ambassador from 1997 to 2002. From 2007 to 2010, he was senior vice president of external affairs at the World Bank.

Dr. Aref Ali Nayed

Dr. Aref Ali Nayed is the Former Ambassador of Libya to the United Arab Emirates and is the Founder and Director of Kalam Research & Media (KRM) and Chairman of the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS). During the Libyan revolution he was also the Chief Operations Manager of the Libya Stabilization Team. He has taught and lectured Islamic Theology, Logic, and Spirituality at the restored Uthman Pasha Madrasa in Tripoli, Libya. He is Senior Advisor to the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme; Fellow of the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute in Jordan; Visiting Professor at Fatih Sultan Mehmet University in Istanbul; and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Templeton Foundation. He was Professor at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (Rome), and the International Institute for Islamic Thought and Civilization (Malaysia). He previously headed an Information Technology company based in the UAE and Libya. He received his BSc in Engineering, MA in the Philosophy of Science, and a PhD in Hermeneutics from the University of Guelph (Canada). He also studied at the University of Toronto and the Pontifical Gregorian University. He has been involved in various Inter-Faith initiatives since 1987, including the seminal “A CommonWord” process, which was one of the most important inter-faith initiated by Muslims.

Aiman Mazahreh

Aiman Mazahreh is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Office of STS with more than 35 years of experience in Information Technology. Aiman graduated with a BS degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University, California USA. In 1989 he joined his friends to co- found STS which is now recognized as one of the leading and most successful IT Solutions Providers in Jordan and the region. Aiman was the chairman of the board of (Intaj) the Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan for the period 2010-2011 and is also one of the founding board members of Oasis500 the leading early stage and seed investment company, the first of its kind in Jordan and the MENA region. In June 2016, Aiman Mazahreh was appointed to the Kingdom Economic Policies Council under the direct supervision of HM King Abdulla II and chaired by the Prime Minister. He also served on the “National Committee for Human Resources Development” entrusted with developing the Kingdom’s Human Resources strategy in addition to serving as member of the ICT Advocacy Council of MOICT and a local community representative in the Princess Summya Technology Council.

Ghadeer Khuffash

Ghadeer Khuffash is a workforce and women rights activist. She has been working in the Education, Higher Education, Vocational Training and Workforce Development for a number of years. She is CEO of Jordan Education for Employment (JEFE), a nonprofit organization that is part of a network affiliates in Washington, Madrid, Dubai, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine. JEFE works on empowering youth with the needed soft and technical skills and then link them with the private sector with jobs based on a demand driven approach.

Dr. Omar Razzaz

Dr. Omar Razzaz is the Minister of Education in Jordan. Previously, he served as the Chairman of Board of Directors of Jordan Ahli Bank; Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jordan Strategy Forum (JSF); Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oasis 500 Venture Capital Fund; and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD). He also headed the International Commission for Evaluating Privatization in Jordan (2013-2014), and the Jordan National Employment Strategy team in (2011-2012). He was the Director General of Jordan’s Social Security Corporation (2006-2010). Prior to his return to Jordan, he worked for the World Bank, Washington D.C. (1997- 2002) in various posts and regions, and as Country Manager of the World Bank’s Lebanon Office (2002-2006). Dr. Razzaz was Assistant Professor at MIT in the International Development and Regional Planning (IDRP) Program (1995-1997). He holds a PhD from Harvard University in Planning with a minor in Economics, a post-Doctorate from the Harvard Law School, and a Master’s degree from MIT. He was a member of several boards of private and not for profit organizations including the Jordan National Center for Human Rights, Jordan University for Science and Technology, and the Economic and Social Council. He has a number of publications in refereed journals. His work experience covers Europe, Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Dr. Dirk Schmautzer

Dr. Dirk Schmautzer is a Partner in the Middle East Office of McKinsey & Company and the leader of the Firm’s Education Practice in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EEMA). He has supported major system- and institution-level transformations in multiple countries both in the field of K12 education as well as higher education and vocational education and training (VET). His experience also includes supporting the design and launch of new educational quality assurance agencies and supporting education systems in terms of reforming their operating models, governance and organizational setups. Dirk also works at the intersection of human capital and economic development and has supported economic transformation programs at the national, regional and city-level across EEMA.

Nima Elmi

Nima Elmi was born in Somalia, spent part of her childhood in China before moving to the UK. She read Law at King's College, London, and in Oxford and completed a LL.M as a UK Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School. She is a qualified Solicitor in England and Wales, with 8 years of experience specializing in international law. She has previously worked in investment banking, at the United Nations, and for international law firms. Nima is a faculty member of Africa International Legal Awareness, a mentor through the Black Solicitors Directory in the UK and supports grassroots programs in Somaliland. Most recently, Nima worked as a Senior Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation in the Republic of Somaliland, where her role focused on public policy, providing strategic advice in relation to geopolitical affairs, peace and stability in the Horn of Africa, as well as trade, energy, infrastructure and economic development in East Africa. As recognition for her achievements to date, Nima was noted as a Rising Star by the Powerlist in the UK in 2012 and selected to join the Forum of Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2016.

Dana Erekat

Dana Erekat is a Research Fellow at the Center of Development Studies at Birzeit University. Her research focuses on development and planning in conflict areas. She previously served as Head of Aid Management and Senior Advisor to the Minister of Planning in Palestine, and as a consultant for the private sector and the World Bank. She is the author of several publications, and her photography series Borders Crossing Bodies has been exhibited internationally. She holds a Master’s degree in City Planning from MIT and a B.A. in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley.

Mr. Gustavo Gonzalez

Mr. Gustavo Gonzalez is the UNDP Sub-regional Development Coordinator for the Syria crisis since November 2013, based in Amman, Jordan, and covering Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. Since 2014, he co-chairs the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) for the Syria Crisis, in partnership with UNHCR. Mr. Gonzalez has been working for more than twenty years in crisis and post-crisis countries, performing for several international organizations and UN departments and programmes engaged in transitional countries. His most recent assignment was as UNDP Senior Country Director in Yemen (2011-2013), leading integrated support of the organization to the emerging Yemeni transition. Prior to Yemen, he was the UNDP Country Director in Burundi (2008-2011), involved in the implementation of the pilot-UN integrated mission framework (BINUB) in support of the peacebuilding transition. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, he established the UNDP Post-Conflict Unit (2003-2007), leading –amongst others- the Ituri Stabilization Operation, in Northeastern DRC. Before joining UNDP, Mr. Gonzalez led several post-crisis programmes, working for the World Bank funded Transitional Programme in Guinea Bissau (2000-2002); the United Nations Office for Project Services, in Central African Republic (1998-2000); the UN Department of Humanitarians Affairs in Angola, Liberia and Mozambique (1994-1997), and the Organization of American States (OAS), in Nicaragua (1990-94). As a peacebuilding advisor, he participated in the preparation of the Lusaka Agreement for the Angolan peace process (1994); the Bangui Peace Accord for Central African Republic (1998), the Dar Es Salaam Protocol for the Demilitarization of the Ituri in Democratic Republic of Congo (2004) and the implementation of the Pretoria Talks for the Burundi peacebuilding process (2009). Mr. Gonzalez holds a PgD from University of Oxford – Said Business School (UK) and a MA in Philosophy from Universidad del Salvador (Argentina). He is married and the father of five daughters.

Mr. Ahmad Al Hanandeh

Mr. Ahmad Al Hanandeh joined Zain Jordan as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with an impressive professional track record, and recently being a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the successful Zain Sudan mobile operation in March 2011. Prior joining Zain Family, Hanandeh was the General Manager for four years of Posta Plus, the Gulf-based company specializing in world-class delivery, courier and postal services across the Middle East. Back in 1994 and till 2006, he was a key member of Aramex Group, where he initially joined as an accountant and became a country manager in numerous Aramex’s Asian stations. Worth mentioning that CommsMEA magazine, that entails critical analysis for telecommunications executives, awarded Hanandeh the Award for Telecoms Professional of the Year 2012. Hanandeh also claimed Socrates Award 2014 as he was presented the title ‘Best Manager of the Year’ by the Europe Business Assembly, along with winning "Telecom Man of The Year for 2014" Award by the 11th Pan Arab Excellence Awards Academy. Moreover, Hanandeh was shortlisted to be among the final list that includes the CEOs nominated for the award of “CEO of the year 2014” by Asia Communications Awards. In November 2014, Hanandeh was recognized as “The Operators’ Telecom Leader of The Year 2014” during The Telecom Review Awards 2014. In May 2016, CEO of Zain Jordan was presented with the ‘Champion of Change Award’ at the 2016 MENA HR Excellence Awards, one of the most prestigious awards within the region across all industries, during the 11th Annual Human Capital Forum. Hanandeh was born on 1973, and holds a Bachelor degree in Banking and Finance from Yarmouk University in 1994.

Chaker Khazaal

Chaker Khazaal is a Palestinian-Canadian reporter, speaker, Huffington Post contributor, and author of the Confessions of a War Child trilogy. Chaker is an advocate for refugees and aspiring young writers. A savvy communicator, he has spoken at a number of platforms including United Nations Headquarters (New York), HuffPost Live, Google (San Francisco), msnbc’s Road Map show, International Youth Conference (Bahrain), Thomson Reuters Foundation (London), and the launch of the 8th Arab Youth Survey (Dubai). He is an ambassador for Mentor Arabia, Social Enterprise Project in Jordan (SEP), and Silatech. In 2015, Esquire Middle East named Chaker Man of the Year; and in 2016, Chaker was ranked first by Arabian Business Magazine in the 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40. In the same year, he was presented with the Mentor Arabia Award by Queen Silvia of Sweden and Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. In December 2016, Chaker was awarded the Global Trailblazer together with Arianna Huffington by New York based NGO Bridges of Understanding. Chaker is based in New York and currently writing his fourth novel, Tale of Tala.

Tarek Hajjiri

Tarek Hajjiri is the Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs, at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Prior to joining DIFC, Mr. Hajjiri was the Director of Legal Policy at Dubai Economic Council, Government of Dubai. He is a member in the Advisory Board of the American University of Dubai IBM Center of Excellence and a member at the Strategic Committee of the United Arab Emirates University Science & Innovation Park.Mr Hajjiri has over 21 years of experience working in corporate and public sectors focusing on legal and regulatory matters at both local and federal levels including economic and free zones that improves Dubai’s economy and competitiveness. Mr. Hajjiri is a Jordanian citizen with global education and experience. He holds Master’s degree in law from the USA, and is currently preparing for his Phd in commercial law.

Rasha Manna

Rasha Manna is Managing Director of Endeavor Jordan, where she is responsible for overseeing the search, selection and support of high-impact entrepreneurs with the potential of catalyzing economic growth. Her role also entails building and managing the mentor network charged with guiding Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Endeavor, Rasha comes from an Investment Banking background. Rasha has a BSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics and an Executive MBA from the American University of Beirut. Other designations include; Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor.

Omar Obeidat

Omar Obeidat’s main field of specialization is in Intellectual property laws covering advisory, enforcement, litigation and prosecution. Omar also specialized in competition law, regulatory affairs, compliance and consumer protection in the Arab region. His experience in the field of Intellectual property enabled him to train judges, prosecutors, Government enforcement and administration officers on IP. Omar sits as a Board member of the Brand owners Protection Group (BPG) and member to the Middle East Global Advisory Council and MEASA Subcommittee on Legislation in International Trademarks Association (INTA).

Sharif Zu'bi

Sharif Ali Zu’bi is the senior partner at Ali Sharif Zu’bi Advocates & Legal Consultants, a leading Jordanian law firm. Mr. Zu’bi has served in the Government of Jordan as Minister of Industry & Trade and Minister of Justice. He was also a senator in Jordan’s Upper House of Parliament, and a member of the Higher Council for the Interpretation of the Constitution, and the Senate’s Legal and Foreign Affairs Committees. Mr. Zu’bi is a past member of the Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Jordan and a former Chairman of the Council of the Arab Regional Forum of the International Bar Association. Mr. Zu’bi is currently a member of the Royal Commission for Judicial Reform and the Rule of Law, the Board of Trustees of the King Hussein Cancer Centre Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah II Centre for Excellence.

Mary Nazzal-Batayneh

Mary Nazzal-Batayneh has been chosen as one of Forbes Most Powerful Arab women for consecutive years running. Her work was featured as a Forbes cover story. Mary was also chosen as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum as the only Jordanian in the class of 2013. Young Global Leaders are chosen based on their commitment of their time and talent towards making the world a better place. She is the founder of Landmark Hotels which owns and manages Landmark Amman. Landmark Hotels is committed to building local capacity and prioritizes the needs of the local community in all decisions. Landmark was the first local hotel brand to expand outside of Jordan by opening and managing the St George Landmark hotel in Occupied East Jerusalem. She has been a political activist for Palestinian rights for over 15 years in Europe and the US and is a founding member of the boycott, sanctions, and divestment movement (BDS) in Jordan. She was the chair of the Palestine Legal Aid Fund which seeks to support legal action to hold Israel accountable for crimes against the Palestinian people. Mary completed a BA in political science from Barnard College, Columbia University, and law degrees from SOAS, University of London, the College of Law London and the Inns of Court School of Law London. Mary serves on several Boards including the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), the Royal Film Commission of Jordan, and Al Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. She is also a volunteer brand ambassador for the Social Enterprise Project (SEP) which produces high-end fashion accessories by female artists living in the Gaza refugee camp in Jordan. Mary has 3 children.

Mary Louise Cohen

Mary Louise Cohenco-founded Talent Beyond Boundaries in 2015 to connect skilled refugees with global job opportunities. Talent Beyond Boundaries is currently working with UNHCR on a pilot project in Jordan and Lebanon. She is a founding partner of Phillips & Cohen LLP, and has represented whistleblowers for more than 25 years in lawsuits brought to remedy fraud against the United States. Her firm has recovered more than $11 billion for state and federal governments in cases filed under the False Claims Act. In 2007, Mary Louise joined with African singer Angelique Kidjo to create the Batonga Foundation to promote and support secondary education for girls in Africa. In 2010, together with Dr. Aziza Shad of Georgetown University, she founded the Aslan Project to improve survival rates for children with cancer in the developing world. Mary Louise graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Mary Louise and her husband, Bruce Cohen, were 2014 Fellows with the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. The Advanced Leadership Fellowship is designed to enhance the ability of highly-accomplished leaders to help solve significant social problems. Mary Louise and Bruce began work on Talent Beyond Boundaries during their Harvard Fellowship.

Zeina Saab

Zeina Saab is the Founder and Director of The Nawaya Network, an organization that develops the talents and skills of marginalized and at-risk youth in Lebanon by connecting them to various resources and opportunities in the community. Nawaya has three main programs: an entrepreneurship and innovation program for unemployed Lebanese and refugee youth called Impact Lab, a coding bootcamp called SE Factory, and a talent development program. In 2013, she was the recipient of the King Abdullah Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement, and has been featured in various media outlets, including CNN and The Huffington Post. Her vision is to expand Nawaya throughout the Arab region in order to empower thousands of marginalized Arab youth. She has worked as a consultant with the UN, USAID, and the EU on gender and youth empowerment in Lebanon and New York. Zeina is Lebanese-American and received her B.A. in International Studies-Political Science from the University of California – San Diego in 2006, and her Masters in City Planning and International Development from MIT in 2009. Zeina is also a freelance writer and college admissions/essay advisor with Tickle My Brain, where she helps students capture their voices effectively in writing. She is a member of Global Shapers in Beirut, a co-founder of Volunteer for Lebanon, and an MIT Educational Counselor.


Nadi joined Eat Offbeat last July with a mission to grow the social enterprise beyond New York City. Nadi has a Computer Engineering degree from the American University of Beirut and an MBA from Waseda University in Tokyo. Prior to joining Eat Offbeat, he launched Kactus, an iPhone app that allowed people in Lebanon and the region to share guidelines about government paperwork and other processes. He has lived in Paris, Beirut, Doha, Berlin, Tokyo and New York and his passion for nature and traveling made him organize backpacking trips to more than 30 countries around the world.

Dr. Anna Grichting

Dr. Anna Grichting is an architect, urbanist and musician from Switzerland and graduated with a Doctor of Design in Urbanism from Harvard University. She has lived, practiced and studied in England, Ireland, Switzerland, the USA, and the Gulf region, and conducted research in Cyprus, Korea, Berlin and Qatar. She is interested in holistic and systems approaches to Design and her academic experience includes teaching at the Universities of Geneva and Harvard, developing an Education Initiative for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and teaching the Balkans Peace Parks Academic Expedition Summer Course. Her research interests include Public Art and Public Realm, Food Security and Food Urbanism in Drylands, Urban Biodiversity, the Urban Legacies of Mega Events, Public Art in Contemporary Urban Realm, Cultural and Memorial Landscapes and Ecotourism and Healing Ecologies in Border Landscapes of Conflict. She has published numerous book chapters and papers and given keynote speeches and papers at international conferences. She has also participated in Art Exhibitions, namely Stitching the Buffer Zone in Nicosia, Cyprus. As a musician, she has released a CD with Desert Bridges in Qatar in 2014. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at Qatar University, teaching courses in Sustainable Architecture, Urban and Landscape Design, and Architectural Design Projects. You can find out more about her at http://www.annagrichting.com.

Ibi Ibrahim

Born in the United States but raised throughout the the Middle East, between Yemen, Libya, Iraq and the Unites Arab Emirates, Ibi Ibrahim reflects his multi-cultural mindset through his works of photography and film. While many of his pieces are based on his own life- experiences, they often address controversial topics which conflict with the traditional Yemeni society he comes from. Ibrahim's work touches upon issues of sexuality, gender, and tradition and through his unfiltered images, he has succeeded in instigating heated discussions between Yemeni youth regarding the social and cultural effects of the widespread conservatism which has grown in his country and the region over the last forty years. In his body of work, Ibrahim seeks to emphasize a pivotal aspect of Middle Eastern culture and history that is accepting and open to change, regardless of conservative trends that have swept throughout the region. He also hopes to shed light on the the clear tradition of liberalism in the region dating back centuries which now can only reveal itself through contained spurts. Through his practice, Ibrahim engages in controversial topics in an effort to normalize public discussions about self exploration, sexuality, gender equality and freedom of expression in his country and the region as a whole. In 2014, Ibi Ibrahim received the Institut Français art residency award to take part in the Cité Internationale des Arts residency program in Paris. During the residency period, Ibrahim began developing a series of experimental paintings solely made using Yemeni Coffee, The result of the work created during the residency was exhibited at JAMM Art gallery in Dubai as his first solo exhibition in the region. "Light, Leaves and Yemeni Coffee" marked a new direction in the career of an emerging artist often associated with sexual and tabooed topics in the Muslim world. Ibi Ibrahim's work has been exhibited through out the United States, Europe and the Middle East. It is part of a number of private prestigious collection as well as the Colorado College (USA) and Barjeel Art Foundation (UAE). He lives between Germany and Yemen.

Raed Ibrahim

Born in 1971, Al-Khobar KSA, Lives and works in Amman. His work sheds light and generates debate on taboo subjects. His “State of Ishmael” (2009) declared the founding of the State of Ishmael on the canton of Aargau in August 2009, and showed its historical artifacts and flags in the city’s main square. "For Every Ailment There is a Remedy" (2009) he developed his own medicines that would cure awkward social circumstances, all addressing sensitive topics in Arabian culture. Each medicine was accompanied by a promotional poster all in the satirical genre of the pharmaceutical world, using language that encouraged the view that the bottle and poster were real. Ibrahim received Bachelor degree in drawing and painting from the Lebanese University (1998), and MFA in Art in Public Spheres, from ECAV Switzerland.

Souad Massi

Born in 1972 in Bab El Oued, the old working-class neighbourhood of Algiers that has nursed more than one revolution, Souad Massi grew up in the suburb of St Eugene, amidst gardens that smelled of honeysuckle. Flamenco gave her goose bumps. Spain wasn’t very far away and Spanish culture was always a big presence in Algeria. She joined a flamenco group called Les Trianas d’Alger and began to play small gigs for fellow students and friends. But Les Trianas were only imitators. Souad wanted something more, so she joined a hard rock band called Atakor, named after an arid mountain in the Algerian Sahara. “When I wasn’t feeling happy, hard rock did me good!” There were protests by fundamentalists at her gigs. Riots too; youth smashing things up. But shefound it hard to scream: “I was so used to singing in secret because I was scared that my father would find out what I was singing about.” Souad released a six-track cassette called Souad, full of folksy balladry. TV and radio were taking notice. Souad hardly earned a cent, but she became quite famous, which wasn’t very welcome. Being a famous female musician in mid-1990s Algeria was very risky. Musicians, theatre directors, movie people, journalists and intellectuals were being murdered every day. After graduating from the School of Public Works, Souad found a job in a townplanning practice. She gave up music for a while.Then in 1998, she received a call from Aziz Smati, who invited Souad to Paris to take part in a festival called Femmes d’Algerie in 1999. Her debut album Raoui was produced by Bob Coke and released in 2001. It wasn’t rai music, it was araboandalusian music, it wasn’t Maghrebi rap. Souad was something new: a modern north African singersongwriter who sang gentle pareddown ballads of great simplicity and emotional intensity, in Arabic. Souad several major awards in France for Raoui. In 2003, she released her second album Deb and headlined at L’Olympia in Paris, a mark of ‘arrival’ in the career of any Francophone star. Deb won Best World Music Album at the Victoires de la Musique in 2004 and Souad toured the world. Souad returned to Algeria in 2003 and found the atmosphere in the country much improved under the new regime of Presient Abdelaziz Bouteflika. She called her third album Mesk Elil, which means ‘honeysuckle’. It was released in 2005 and on it she sings about her grandfather’s house (‘Dar Dgedi’) and the meeting of old lovers (‘Denya Wezmen’). There was another five years before arrival of her fourth studio album Ô Houria (‘Freedom’) in 2010, produced by Francis Cabrel. One sleepless night, Souad happened to watch a documentary on TV about Cordoba and the wonders of medieval Spain. “I was ashamed,” she says, “I asked myself ‘How come I’ve been all around the world but I’ve never been there. How come nobody ever talk about all those men of learning…Avicenna, Ibn Arabi. Why do people talk about little Arab hoodlums who’ve stolen something or other, but never talk about these great wise men?’” This epiphany, gave Souad a new mission and renewed energy. She formed a group called Les Coeurs de Cordoue (‘The Hearts of Cordoba’) with the Spanish guitarist Eric Fernandez, and plunged into the study of Arabic philosophy and poetry. She wanted to pay homage to a time when the art of kalām or ‘discourse’ was valued by Muslims, rather than feared, when the central ideas and principles of the faith could draw strength by being subjected to rational argument and debate. In medieval Spain, the wise men in the council of discourse were called the mutakallimoun - the scholars of debate - and each of the songs of Souad’s new album of the same name is an attempt to encapsulate their spirit of openness, intellect and tolerance in music; each with a piece of poetry at its heart, written by great men who didn’t fear danger, like the 9th century Iraqi poet Al Mutanabbi, or his modern counterpart Ahmed Matar.

Jennifer Colville

Jennifer Colville manages UNDP’s Innovation portfolio for the Arab States region, covering 18 countries from the Gulf to the Maghreb. She manages regional activities to introduce new and alternative approaches to development, such as big data for development, games for social change, behavioural insights, and innovative forms of financing for development. She supports colleagues and partners in a continuous scanning of the horizon for fresh thinking to reframe development challenges, prototyping to quickly and inexpensively figure out what works and what does not, and “working out loud” to share successes and hard-won lessons learned. Prior to this position, Jennifer was an international development policy and programme advisor in UNDP Headquarters, with experience in capacity development and institutional effectiveness. Before joining the UN system, Jennifer worked for many years in the private sector as a management consultant with Accenture and Burson-Marsteller. Jennifer earned her Masters of Business Administration from Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University) and her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University; she also attended an Executive Education programme on “Innovations in Governance” at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Jonathan Chang

Jonathan Chang is the Executive Director of Lien Centre for Social Innovation and an Adjunct Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Singapore Management University, with interests in entrepreneurship, social policy, and government. He pioneered Ashoka Changemaker Campus accreditation for SMU, the first and only university in Asia to receive the honor. Jonathan is the Harvard Kennedy School Ambassador to Singapore, and a member of HKS Alumni Board of Directors. Prior to Singapore, Jonathan founded and co-founded four startups across multiple industries in Silicon Valley and Manhattan. Most recent venture was founding OhMyGreen, a social enterprise, data-driven, organic and non-GMO food-focused wellness platform in California. As a Fellow at The Earth Institute of Columbia University, Jonathan taught and conducted research on entrepreneurship as a tool for social change in Rwanda. He has been invited to support social innovation initiatives in many countries such as Nepal (sponsored by UNICEF and Microsoft), Japan (by Toyota Foundation), Korea (by Hope Institute), Hong Kong (by Chivas Regal), Bangladesh (by BRAC), Malaysia (by MaGIC), Thailand (by Thai Social Enterprise Office), Cambodia (by UNDP), and Indonesia (by Universitas Gadjah Mada). Jonathan has been quoted by BBC World News, Channel NewsAsia, The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Billionaire Magazine, and The Peak. Jonathan earned his degrees from UC Berkeley, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Jonathan received Stanford’s Miller Social Change Leadership Award, and was selected as the Harvard Law School’s Digital Problem Solving Initiative Fellow.

Hafez Ghanem

Hafez Ghanem an Egyptian and French national, is the Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa since March 2, 2015. He is a development expert with more than thirty years of experience in policy analysis, project formulation and supervision, and management of multinational institutions. Dr. Ghanem leads the World Bank’s engagement with 20 Middle East and North African countries through a portfolio of ongoing projects, technical assistance and grants worth more than US$13 billion. Prior to his appointment as Vice President, Dr. Ghanem was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Global Economy and Development program leading the Arab economies project, focused on the impact of political transition on Arab economic development. Between 2007 and 2012, he served as the Assistant Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Thus, he was responsible for the Economic and Social Development Department and FAO’s analytical work on agricultural economics and food security, trade and markets, gender and equity, and statistics. He also led the reforms of the Committee on World Food Security to make it more inclusive and responsive to country needs. Dr. Ghanem returns to the World Bank where he had already 24 years’ experience (1983-2007), and has worked on Bank operations and initiatives in over 20 countries in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Southeast Asia. His previous positions at the World Bank include: Country Director for Nigeria where he led a multinational team of more than 100 professionals, managing the Bank’s loan portfolio of some USD 1.5 billion; Country Director for Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles; and Sector Leader for Public Economics and Trade Policy in the Europe and Central Asia Region. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Economics from the American University in Cairo and a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Davis. He is fluent in Arabic, English and French.

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon is an associate professor in the department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College where he is the founding director of the Engagement Lab (http://elab.emerson.edu). He is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Eric studies public and civil society organizations and their use of media for public engagement. He is specifically interested in the application of games and play in these contexts. He has served as an expert advisor for the UN Development Program, the International Red Cross / Red Crescent, the World Bank, as well as municipal governments throughout the United States. In addition to articles and chapters on games, digital media, urbanism and civic engagement, he is the author of two books: Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World (Blackwell 2011, with Adriana de Souza e Silva) and The Urban Spectator: American Concept Cities From Kodak to Google (Dartmouth 2010). His edited volume (with Paul Mihailidis) entitled Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice was published by MIT Press in 2016. He received his Ph.D. in 2003 from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

William Long - Hack A Vision Hackathon Winning Hacker

Will is a junior at Harvard College pursuing a Joint Concentration in Computer Science and Government. His aspiration is to start his own tech company and eventually become involved with politics and public office. Beyond academics, he also leads the campus international development club, does research in a Neurobiology/Robotics lab, and holds debates with the John Adams Society. In what free time he has, he rows crew for his Harvard House, works on tech startups, and has recently gotten into painting and philosophy. Originally from Oklahoma, Will has both a younger brother and sister with whom he enjoys playing soccer, traveling the world, and generally making mischief.

Haytham Al-Hawaj

Haytham Al-Hawaj is the founder of Deera , a non profit initiative that crowd sources reporting to individuals through a mobile application that enables its users to snap a shot of the reported issue, describe it and easily locate it using the GPS capabilities of today's smartphones. Haytham is also the Co-Founder, Managing Director of Designed - Value Innovation in Kuwait, a pioneering firm providing inventive design, branding, and marketing services and is partner in Snaprint, ,Kuwait's first mobile and computer based photo printing and delivery service.. He has founded a number of ventures including AbiDoc an online patient scheduling and monitoring platform connecting patients to doctors by allowing patients to book appointments directly with doctors and Think Cafe & restaurant. Haytham holds a Bachelor’s degree in Bio Engineering from Arizona State University and an MBA from Kuwait University.

Saed Karazoun

Saed Karazoun is a journalist, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, founde of YouKnow platform http://youknow.ps/ , a free, interactive portal that aims at providing access to information for citizens and increase accountability for politicians. The platform is designed to bring activists, journalists, bloggers and citizens together in one place for direct interactions with decision-makers, including the Palestinian Authority (PA), healthcare providers, telecommunications, and businesses. He is as well the CEO of Taghyeer for Social Media, a non-profit company working on developing social media usage in Palestine and making a change in society on issues revolving around women and youth such as: YouKnow: freedom of the Internet, BlogBus – We blog to Develop, Mappingher – Tech for Women. In May 2016, Saed was awarded the $50k King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement (KAAYIA) for the Arab countries. In October 2015 Saed was awarded the ASHOKA" Prize; the world’s largest entrepreneurship prize. In 2015, he published his first Book “30 Secret Numbers” and was chosen as a 2015 Internet Freedom Fellow under the auspices of the United States Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. In December 2014, Saed won the German Transparency International prize, Social Entrepreneurs Initiative Global 2014. Saed holds an MA in International Relations and Affairs/Diplomacy and a BA Journalism and Media from Birzeit University, Palestine.

Muhamad Al Bakri

Muhamad Al Bakri is an Ashoka fellow who founded the Arabic Theory of Change Platform ( http://www.arabictoc.com) /that enables community development practitioners and social entrepreneurs in the Arab World to better plan and track their community initiatives and projects by adopting one of the best strategic planning frameworks used by the leading non-profit organizations. Muhammad is also the CEO of YIG, an IDEO & Experience Point Certified, Design Thinking Social Enterprise focused on designing community solutions. He has led nationwide effort in Saudi Arabia to professionalize volunteerism since 2009 and encourages professionals and youth to participate in community-led initiatives through customizing sustainable development frameworks such as Theory of Change and Design Thinking. He trains the volunteers on these frameworks and enables them to execute their initiatives in partnership with local NGOs. Muhammad holds a BA in political economics from the American University of Sharjah, a diploma in leading and organizing change from Harvard Kennedy School and an executive education certificate from Columbia Business School.

Elie Abou Saab

Elie Abou Saab is an Ashoka fellow who founded Jouwar,com, Jouwar being the Arabic word for “pothole”, Elie is mobilizing community members and crowdsourcing information from citizens on road hazards and poor road maintenance in their neighborhoods. The website allows any user to report one of the road hazards they face, and find the relevant municipality to direct the complaint to. To ensure credibility of the reporting, users have to file their complaints supported by pictures and all reports are open for public voting so that other fellow citizens can petition and agree on the reported information, eventually leading to a critical mass of approval. Once a significant amount of awareness is generated around one pothole or one road hazard, the local municipality, wanting to maintain a good relationship with its constituents, takes responsibility of repairing the hazard. He is and Ashoka fellow and is founder and managing director of CreaPix, A web design development agency Elie holds a degree in computer science from the Notre Dame University in Louaize (Lebanon).

Mohammad Alahmadi

Mohammad Alahmadi is the founder of 362, a social crowdfunding platform. He is a fixed income trader with Banque Saudi Faransi from Jeddah. He holds a bachelor of science in Finance and investment banking from ICMA centre in UK and Masters of Laws (LLM) in corporate finance from University of Reading in the UK.

Ali Malkawi

Ali Malkawi is a Professor of Architectural Technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Founding Director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cites, a multidisciplinary research institution that seeks to transform the building industry through a commitment to design-centric strategy that directly links research outcomes to the development of new processes, systems, and products. Professor Malkawi is an international scholar and expert in building simulation, energy conservation, and sustainability in buildings. He teaches architectural technology and computation and conducts research in the areas of computational simulation, building performance evaluation, and advanced visualization. Professor Malkawi is part of many large-scale research initiatives and is the recipient of several prestigious and extensive grants. He has lectured and conducted research at numerous universities, conferences, and public events. Malkawi serves as a consultant on many high-profile projects, including airport designs, super towers, industrial factories, cities, and commercial and residential showcase projects. He leads efforts in sustainability framework developments including the development and implementation of the Qatar Sustainability Rating System (GSAS) and provides strategic guidance and engages with energy efficiency policies in the U.S. and abroad. Malkawi is lead author or co-author of over 90 scientific papers and two books: Advanced Building Simulation and Performative Architecture–Beyond Instrumentality. He serves as a board member and scientific reviewer for many leading journals, conferences, and research centers, and is the associate editor of the international journal Building Simulation. Malkawi received his BS in architectural engineering and environmental design from Jordan University of Science and Technology in 1989, his MArch from the University of Colorado in 1990, and his PhD in architectural technology/artificial intelligence from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994 and an Honorary Masters degree from Harvard University in 2013.

Emile Cubeisy

Emile Cubeisy is a Founder and Managing Partner of Silicon Badia, an Accelerator Technology Holdings (ATH) company. Previously Managing Partner of IV Holdings, Emile is currently a board advisor of Oasis 500 and is director of several regional online and digital media companies. Actively engaged in developing the Jordanian ecosystem, Emile was selected as a member of the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2006. He is a Fellow of the Middle East Leadership Initiative of The Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He graduated from the University of Southern California and completed the Senior Executive Program at the Harvard Business School.

Sharif El-Badawi

Sharif El-Badawi currently serves as Partner at 500 Startups, the most active venture capital firm in the world. In his role, he manages 500 Startups' MENA fund, focusing on seed stage investments in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, Sharif is the Chairman of the Board and Head Mentor at TechWadi, where he leads the TW100 mentors and helps bridge MENA startups with Silicon Valley and serves on several advisory boards for startups in the MENA region and Silicon Valley. Previously, Sharif was the Partner Lead to VCs and Startups at Google where he worked with top tier VCs and their most promising startups on strategies that bring all of Google to their businesses. Joining from AdMob almost 7 prior, he led performance advertising strategy for Google's largest customers in North America covering Mobile, Search and Display ads. Before AdMob, Sharif was a technologist and serial entrepreneur having founded or co-founded over 5 companies in the Consumer Internet and B2B space for twelve years. Sharif earned his MBA from UC Irvine Merage School of Business and his BS in Neuroscience from UCLA. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and three children.

Lana Ghanem

Lana Ghanem is the Managing Director of Hikma Ventures which she helped establish in 2015. Lana started her career at Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC in 2012 as the Assistant to the CEO and Director of Corporate Strategy & Development where she worked on strategic projects across the company’s various functions including strategy, M&A, operations and finance. Prior to joining Hikma, Lana worked as a Financial Analyst in the Mergers and Acquisitions department at Dresdner Kleinwort Investment Bank in London where she worked on transactions for clients across multiple industries. Lana holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelors of Commerce degree from McGill University.

Nour Khrais

Nour Khrais is Founder and CEO of Maysalward and Chairman of Jordan Gaming Task Force with over than 18 years of international experience in the top leading Online and Mobile Value Added Services companies. Before forming Maysalward, he worked in a multicultural environment between VAS companies in Jordan, UAE, Egypt, Qatar and France. Under a Glocalized vision, in Nov 2003 KHRAIS Launched the first Mobile Game Development operation in the Middle East Region offering unique Casual games targeting the Middle East and Emerging Markets. Developed the First Arabic Mobile Game in 2004, his startup "Maysalward" since then is creating high-quality Free to Play mobile games with hundred thousand daily active users enjoying the Free to Play games Maysalward is offering. KHRAIS a certified Scrum Master and holds a Master Degree in International Business, Global Marketing and Internationalization, Diploma in Mobile Telecommunication and Bsc of Agriculture Engineering.

Hossam Shobokshi

Hossam Shobokshi is one of the founding partners of the Dubai based Saray Capital – one of the leading value investment firms in the MENA region with focus on listed equities as well as commercial real estate in the MENA as well as developed markets. Earlier, Hossam was Managing Director – Regional Head for Middle East North Africa (MENA) for Private Equity at Standard Chartered Bank based in Dubai, UAE. Before joining Standard Chartered Bank in 2006, Hossam gained extensive investment experience in both public and private equity in the MENA region with a focus on Saudi Arabia and Egypt. He was a board member of three listedcompanies in Egypt i) Bisco Misr, ii) Cairo Housing & Development, and iii) United Housing & Development. He also held board positions in a number of privately-held companies, including Suez Industrial Development (SIDC) and Nile City Investment Company. Moreover, Hossam founded AlThuraya Foundation, a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Orgnaization based in Edinburgh, that focuses on granting hope and opportunity to outstanding young individuals from the MENA region through the granting of scholarships to study in the most critical scientific fields at the world's most prestigious universities. Hossam graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management (Honors), from the University of Pennsylvania –the Wharton School of Business.​

Khaled Kteily

Khaled Kteily works as a Lead with the World Economic Forum’s Middle East North Africa team, where he manages government relations and studies policy priorities in the region. Khaled received a Master's in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2016), where he received highest distinction on his thesis studying behavioural economics in the Arab world. Khaled received his Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University (2010). Prior to the World Economic Forum, Khaled worked as a management consultant with Oliver Wyman and as a consultant with the United Nations. By background, Khaled is a Lebanese-Canadian of Palestinian origin. He currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland. To get in touch, you can reach him through his contact information shared on LinkedIn.