Board of Advisors



Victoria Budson – Executive Director WAPPP Harvard Kennedy School

Victoria Budson

Victoria A. Budson is a founder and the Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. WAPPP is the preeminent institution for advancing interdisciplinary research on approaches to closing gender gaps, educating students and leaders on gender policy, and implementing policy changes at local, state, and national levels. WAPPP created and hosts one of the field’s most significant research seminars to foster faculty dialogue, promote the exchange of innovative ideas, and disseminate findings. Budson’s policy advice is regularly drawn upon by leaders across the sectors including: the White House Council on Women and Girls, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Army and Air Force, as well as multinational corporations leading on diversity and inclusion. She is Chairperson of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and has served as a board member or advisor to numerous other organizations including the Eisenhower Fellowships, the Boston Mayoral Women’s Workforce Council, the Global Thinkers Forum, Womensphere, Women2Women, the Women and Public Service Project, and the National Council for Research on Women. She speaks regularly on topics related to closing gender gaps such as gender and public policy, electoral politics and political action. Budson also addresses how diversity and gender equality improve the profitability of corporations and the prosperity of families and society. She focuses on evidence-based methods that are proven to improve diversity and gender equality in the workplace. Budson is a frequent commentator for news publications, television, and radio programs including CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, C-Span, CNBC, The Boston Globe, New York Times Magazine, US News & World Report, USA Today, and National Public Radio. She has received numerous awards and honors. She was recognized by CNN as one of Ten Visionary Women from across the globe (2014) and by Boston Magazine, as a member of the “The new Power Class; the visionaries, idealists and thinkers whose insights are transforming the way we live, work, learn and play” (2014). Budson graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College. She also earned a master degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she received the Lucius N. Littauer Fellow award for academic distinction and leadership.


Maxime Chaya – Adventurer, Public Speaker

Maxime Chaya

Lebanon’s foremost sportsman and climber, Maxime Chaya was the first person from his home country to hoist its flag atop Everest. He did so at the climax of his challenge to ascend the highest mountain on every continent – the Seven Summits – while also skiing to the North and South Poles. After his homeland’s civil war resulted in a multi-cultural Lebanese, French, Greek and Canadian education, Max graduated with honours from the London School of Economics, and today he regularly visits schools, universities and clubs to help motivate youngsters to ‘climb their own Everest’. Knighted twice for his achievements, Max lives on the Mediterranean coast, just north of his native Beirut, with his children Edgard and Kelly.


Femi Oke – ‎Host at Al Jazeera English

Femi Oke

Femi Oke is an international broadcaster, journalist and writer. She is currently based in Washington D.C. where she hosts the interactive current affairs show “The Stream” for Al Jazeera English. Femi’s work has been recognised by The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Communications Agency and InterAction. Since the 1980’s she has worked for BBC television and radio, Sky TV, all the UK terrestrial television networks, CNN and U.S. public radio. Femi is British by birth, Nigerian by parentage and a Washingtonian by zip code! You can reach her anytime on Twitter @FemiOke.


Her Excellency, Dr Joyce Banda

Dr Joyce Banda

An entrepreneur, activist, politician, and philanthropist, Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda was also the President of the Republic of Malawi (2012-2014). She was Malawi’s first female president and Africa’s second. Voted as Africa’s most powerful woman by Forbes Magazine for two years running and voted as one of the most powerful women in the world, Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda is a champion for the rights of women, children, the disabled, and other marginalized groups.

Before becoming President of Malawi, Dr. Banda served as a Member of Parliament; Minister of Gender and Child Welfare; and Foreign Minister and Vice President of the Republic of Malawi. While serving as Minister of Gender and Child Welfare, Dr. Banda championed the enactment of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill in 2006, which provides a legal framework for the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.

A recipient of more than 15 international accolades including the “Hunger Project Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger” shared with President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique in 1997, President Banda is a strong advocate for women and girls’ emancipation and empowerment and a prominent civil rights campaigner. She founded the Joyce Banda Foundation International, which guides projects that range from empowering women to providing for orphans’ education.

On the international scene, President Dr. Banda was instrumental in the formation of such organizations as the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (AFWE), currently running in 41 countries in Africa; the Council for the Economic Empowerment of Women in Africa (CEEWA); and the American & African Business Women’s Alliance (AABWA), of which she served as First President.

President Banda sits on a number international organization bodies. These include the Executive Advisory Committee of UNIFEM, the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, and the Scientific Advisory Board for the program in Global Health and Social Change at Harvard Medical School.


Greg Beitchman – VP Content Sales and Partnerships, CNN International

Greg Beitchman

Greg Beitchman is VP Content Sales and Partnerships, CNN International. In this capacity he is responsible for overseeing and developing the network’s content sales business internationally, with a focus on leveraging its broadcast and digital assets. His role encompasses content sales and partnerships, out of home services, and licensing deals. He also works across CNN’s NewSource content syndication service, its out-of-home distribution channels, and its international affiliate business of more than 1,000 broadcast partners. Prior to joining CNN International, Beitchman worked for Reuters where he was Global Head of Multimedia Content. An accomplished journalist with over 20 years’ experience, Beitchman’s multiple achievements span both editorial and commercial disciplines, and include the development of strategic partnerships and channel launches for Reuters, Times Global Broadcasting, CCTV and The Tribune Group, as well as a range of international editorial postings in India, China and Japan among others. He holds a BA in Government and East Asian Studies from Colby College and speaks fluent English, Japanese, French and Hindi / Urdu.


Sharon Schweitzer, J.D. – Cross – Cultural Consultant, International Protocol Expert, Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, LLC

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D.

Sharon Schweitzer is a cross-cultural consultant, business etiquette expert, international business consultant, sought-after speaker and award-winning author. She has built her career helping business leaders and organizational teams understand cultural differences—and the tremendous role these cultural nuances play in establishing strong, successful international business relationships. Sharon is author of the best-selling international business book, Access to Asia, a guide providing insider tips on culture, dining etiquette and business protocols across the globe, USA and in 10 Asian countries. The book has received high praise and numerous accolades, including being named a Best Book of 2015 by Kirkus Reviews. Sharon is a regular on-air contributor for NPR, CBS, and has been highlighted in Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, Inc., The New York Times, Bangkok Post and numerous other media. She was an honoree in the City of Austin program Celebrating the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Austin Women in 2009 and was a finalist in the 2015 Austin International Business Awards.


Sir Dirk Brossé

Sir Dirk Brossé

Sir Dirk Brossé, born in Ghent, Belgium, in 1960, is a multi-faceted composer and a respected conductor on the international music scene. He is currently Music Director of ‘The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia’, Music Director of the Filmfestival Ghent and Music Director and Principal Conductor of the ‘Star Wars in Concert World Tour’. Sir Dirk Brossé began his music studies at the Music Conservatories of Ghent and Brussels. He subsequently specialised in conducting, which he studied in Maastricht, Vienna and Cologne. Alongside his many guest professorships, he is currently Professor of Composition and Conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Ghent. Dirk Brossé has conducted all the leading Belgian orchestras, among them, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Flemish Opera and the National Orchestra of Belgium. Outside his native Belgium, he has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Shanghai, the Vancouver Opera, the KBS Symphony Orchestra of South Korea, l’Orchestra de l’Opéra de Lyon, the World Symphony Orchestra (Japan), the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, the Ulster Symphony Orchestra of Northern Ireland, the Camerata St Petersburg, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Orchestras of Venezuela and Ecuador. Dirk Brossé is also a versatile and prolific composer. He has written some 200 works, including concerti, oratorios, lieder, chamber music and symphonic works, that have been performed all over the world and have been recorded in more than 40 countries. His most important works are ‘La Soledad de América Latina’, written in collaboration with the Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, ‘Artesia’, a universal symphony for orchestra and ethnic instruments, the ethno-classical symphony ‘The Birth of Music’, the oratorio ‘Juanelo’, the lieder cycles ‘Landuyt Cycle’ and ‘La Vida es un Sueno’, the ‘War Concerto’ for clarinet and orchestra, and the violin concertos ‘Black, White & Between’, ‘Sophia’ and ‘Echoes of Silent Voices’. In 2010, at the request of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, he wrote ‘The Hallow-e’en Dances’. This Halloween-inspired work is specially written for age-old, traditional Chinese instruments. Besides this, on numerous occasions, Dirk Brossé has composed for the theatre and the cinema.


Valerie Keller – CEO Veritas & WEF Young Global Leader

Valerie Keller

An entrepreneur, consultant and public policy advocate, Valerie Keller’s work bridges sectors and industries. As CEO of a social enterprise she focused on sustainable models for economic development including field research and pilot programs serving more than 20,000 in the poor regions of the U.S. along the Gulf Coast. She also established healthcare facilities and real estate developments for urban revitalization. In the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Valerie co-founded two coalitions in the U.S. representing hundreds of government agencies, corporations and NGOs to enact federal systems reform in housing and healthcare, securing tax credits and policy incentives to address market failures and stimulate public-private partnerships. She has provided U.S. Congressional expert testimony and served as regional broadcast media guest host and commentator. Valerie has raised $100M USD and served on more than a dozen governing and advisory boards including the board of the Global Thinkers Forum. As Associate Fellow of Oxford University’s Said Business School, Valerie is focused on engaging corporates and institutions for initiatives across the school. She is founder and CEO of Veritas, an advisory based in New York City working in the Americas and Europe helping high-growth ventures to scale. She was recently honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.


Roya Mahboob – CEO Afghan Citadel

Roya Mahboob

Roya Mahboob was named to TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2013 for her work in building internet classrooms in high schools in Afghanistan and for Women’s Annex, a multilingual blog and video site. The TIME essay was written by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg. Roya is an Afghan entrepreneur and businesswoman. She is the founder and CEO of the Afghan Citadel Software Company, a full-service software development company based in Herat, Afghanistan. She is garnering much attention for being the first female tech entrepreneur in Afghanistan, where women rarely work outside the home. Roya is working for women’s education and empowerment by providing access via social media and the internet. Mahboob founded the Afghan Citadel Software Company (ACSC) in 2010 along with two university classmates with an investment of $20,000. The aim was to create jobs for recent university graduates—especially women—in Afghanistan’s growing tech market. In 2012, Citadel of New York was founded to develop and promote Examer, an interactive and educational social networking platform with a Micro Scholarship Payment System, which Mahboob helped to develop.


Saskia Sassen – Columbia University

Saskia Sassen

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University ( Her recent books are Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages ( Princeton University Press 2008), A Sociology of Globalization (W.W.Norton 2007), and the 4th fully updated edition of Cities in a World Economy (Sage 2011). She is currently working on When Territory Exits Existing Frameworks (Under contract with Harvard University Press). Recent edited books are Deciphering the Global: Its Spaces, Scales and Subjects (Routledge 2007), and Digital Formations: New Architectures for Global Order (Princeton University Press 2005). The Global City came out in a new fully updated edition in 2001.For UNESCO she organized a five-year project on sustainable human settlement with a network of researchers and activists in over 30 countries; it is published as one of the volumes of the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (Oxford, UK: EOLSS Publishers) [ ]. Her books are translated into over twenty languages. She has received several honors and awards, including multiple doctor honoris causa from universities in the US and other countries. She serves on several editorial boards and is an advisor to several international bodies. She is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Cities, and chaired the Information Technology and International Cooperation Committee of the Social Science Research Council (USA). She has written for The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde, Newsweek International, among others, and contributes regularly to and


Dr. Roger Hayes – FCIPR, Member Emeritus IPRA

Dr. Roger Hayes

Dr. Roger Hayes (FCIPR, Member Emeritus IPRA) is a leading international public relations and public affairs professional with 30 years experience in trade associations, corporations and consultancies and has also advised governments. He has been Director‐General of the British Nuclear Industry Forum, a lobbying and trade body, CEO of the International Institute of Communications,a research-based think-tank, SVP of PR and Government Relations at Ford of Europe, Director Corporate Communications Thorn‐EMI plc., Head of Corporate Communications PA Consulting Group and a Director of the strategic communications firm Burson‐Marsteller, operating from London and New York. He began his career as a Reuters correspondent in Paris. He was also co‐founder and Non-Executive Chairman of Echo Research, an international stakeholder insight firm.

For the past eight years he has been a Senior Counsellor with strategic communications and public affairs consultancy APCOWORLDWIDE, based in London, although he recently returned from a more than one year assignment as interim MD of the firm’s Indian operation based in Delhi, acting for private and public, Indian and international organisations. Roger is currently an adviser to the UK-India Business Council. He has also spent considerable periods of time as senior adviser to the African operation based in Johannesburg. He was for some years an adviser to the President and Government of Ghana.He is an experienced trainer, running workshops in SE Asia, Africa, India and the Middle East. He is also an approved EU institutions trainer.

During this time Roger Hayes completed his Doctorate in Public Relations and Public Diplomacy in a Globalised World at Henley Business School (2012), conducting research in eight countries. A graduate of London University (Bsc Economics) and the University of Southern California (MA International Relations), he often writes and lectures on leadership communications and public diplomacy issues around the world. He is part-time faculty at Henley Business School and Greenwich University. He is the author of the management best seller Systematic Networking and is currently writing a book on business-government-civil society collaboration.


Dr Daniel Fung – Vice Chairman Salzburg Global Seminar

Dr Daniel Fung

Daniel R. Fung, SBS, SC, QC, JP, is the first person of Chinese extraction who served as Solicitor General of Hong Kong (1994-8) under Chris Patten, the last Governor of the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong and the Honorable C H Tung, the first Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR, is a specialist in complex commercial litigation and in public law, specifically judicial review of legislative and administrative action, supervision of regulated industries including the financial services and the television & broadcasting sectors. In addition, Mr Fung is a specialist in China-United States relations, specifically the security dimension and military-to-military relations, and in Chinese state-owned enterprises covering both and overseas operations.
A graduate of University College London (LLB 1974, LLM 1978) and made a Fellow of his alma mater in 2005, Visiting Scholar to Harvard Law School (1998-99), Senior Visiting Fellow to Yale Law School (1999) and Distinguished Fulbright Scholar accredited to the United States from Hong Kong (2000), Mr Fung was called to the English Bar (at Middle Temple) in 1975 and admitted to the Hong Kong Bar in 1977. Mr Fung was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1990. Mr Fung is a National Delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (2003-2013), a current member of the Hong Kong Government’s Strategic Development Commission, also serves as Chairman of the United Nations Peace & Development Foundation, member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Rule of Law, President of the International Law Association (ILA) Hong Kong Chapter, Chairman of the Board of International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), Treasurer of the Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS), Vice Chairman of the Salzburg Global Seminar (2006-2011), Vice-President of the Academy of Experts, Member of the Board of Governors of the East West Center (EWC), Council Member of International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Council Member of China Law Society (CLS) and Founding Governor of the China-US Exchange Foundation. In 2003, Mr Fung was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star by for services to constitutional development in Hong Kong and made a Justice of the Peace in 2004. In 2011, Mr Fung was honored by UNDP in recognition of his contribution to the work of UNDP China and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Marc Ventresca – Fellow and University Lecturer University of Oxford

Marc Ventresca

Marc Ventresca is an organisational and economic sociologist who teaches strategy, leadership and organisation theory at Said Business School with a focus on innovation and on how new markets get built. He is a Fellow of Wolfson College and affiliated Fellow of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS). He also works as Senior Scholar with Center for Innovation and Communication at Stanford University. Marc holds a lead faculty role in research and teaching initiatives focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, including service as faculty lead for Science Innovation Plus (a collaboration on enterprise skills with the Oxford Sciences Division). His research investigates governance innovation among global financial markets, entrepreneurial leadership in knowledge- and -information-intensive organisations, and value creation in emerging ecosystem services markets. Beyond Oxford, Marc serves on several journal editorial boards and is a regular reviewer for the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Oxford University Press. He contributes to scholarly and professional activities in the American Sociological Association, the Academy of Management and the European Group for Organisation Studies. He is Research Associate Professor of Global Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School and a research affiliate at University of California Irvine Center for Organizations Research and at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University. Marc is a GTF Awards Excellence in Innovation judge.


Gary Horsley – Senior Communications Consultant

Gary Horsley

For more than 30 years Gary has been a consultant on international communications issues, helping to shape strategies that reach out to client audiences, markets and partners across the globe. During that time he has worked with major industrials, professional services, government departments and NGOs, helping them to communicate effectively across different cultures. He has extensive experience of working with European institutions, providing communications strategy and actions in areas as diverse as EU investment in R&D and the work of the EC’s Humanitarian Office. In three years of this latter role he managed many donor networking and aid support activities, including events in the West Bank and Gaza and EU presence at the signing of the anti-landmines treaty in Ottawa. For the last six years Gary has been at the heart of a media consultation involving journalists and associated media interests from EU Member States and the countries on the Union’s borders to the South and East. Discussion and analysis in more than 30 conferences, seminars and workshops has tackled key issues for the region: migration, terrorism, human rights, racism and xenophobia, reporting conflict and media freedom. It has also established an informal network of journalists focused around common professional interests, offering mutual support and providing distribution for news direct from colleagues on the front line of the Arab Spring uprisings.


Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan – President of the Royal Scientific Society

HRH Princess Sumaya

Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan is Founder and President of El Hassan Science City, President of the Royal Scientific Society and Chair of the Board of Trustees of Princess Sumaya University for Technology. HRH is also Director and Chair of the National Campaign for Public Awareness of the Drivers of Change, a Jordanian initiative to outline and debate the factors that are driving change in the Kingdom. HRH is an advocate of science and technology as a catalyst for change in the Arab World, through education, research and innovation. She seeks to promote sustainable development by maximising human potential through education and opportunity. The Princess is an avid archaeologist and is closely involved with the work of the British Institute in Amman for Archaeological Research and the Council for British Research in the Levant. HRH was appointed by HM Queen Rania as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the first Jordan National Museum, where she is overseeing its development.



HRH Sylvia Nagginda

Her Royal Highness the Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda is the wife of the King of Buganda, King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II. She is a traditional and cultural leader of the people of Buganda, the largest Kingdom in Uganda occupying almost a quarter of the country with a population exceeding 7 million people, which is equivalent to 25% of the total population. Her Royal Highness is the first Nnabagereka (Queen) in the history of the Buganda Kingdom to set up a fully-fledged Office, a very crucial phenomenon that has greatly complimented the ongoing development work in the Kingdom and Uganda at large.

The Nnabagereka carries out charity work for and through the institution of the Kingdom of Buganda, international, national and local organizations and the Nnabagereka Development Foundation (NDF) which she founded in 2000. Using the Foundation HRH works for children, the youth and women through support for socio-economic development initiatives including education, health care, community empowerment and the advancement of good cultural values and practices.

A pillar for development and held in high esteem, HRH plays a major role in sensitizing and mobilizing the general population on issues of Health; Education Culture Preservation and Sustainable Livelihoods Promotion. Through the above, HRH has graciously supported and empowered marginalized groups of youth, women, children and persons with disabilities.

The Nnabagereka is a Good Will Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Uganda – working with Population Secretariat (POPSEC) and Partners in Population and Development (PPD-ARO). She is also a Torch Bearer for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG3); Ambassador for Mama Club – an initiative of mothers living with HIV/AIDS; a Champion in the Campaign to End Pediatric HIV/AIDS (CEPA) in Uganda. HRH is also a Patron of several organisations including: Hospice Africa Uganda, Child Fund Uganda, Female Sponsorship Foundation Makerere University, Special Olympics Uganda, Programme for Accessible Health Communication and Education (PACE), Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), and Buganda Tourism Board. She a visionary Founder Member of the African Queens and Women Cultural Leaders Network (AQWCLN) and Co Founder and Patron of African Royals for Culture and Development (AFROCAD). HRH is a core member of the African Philanthropy Forum and an Advisory Board member of the Global Thinkers Forum. In addition, HRH collaborates with the Ministry of Health, and UN Agencies such as UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF, and WHO as well as other NGOs on community health related initiatives.


David Rodin – Carnegie-Uehiro Senior Fellow, Global Ethics Fellow

David Rodin

David Rodin is a leading authority on the ethics of war and conflict. He is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. His publications include War and Self-Defense (OUP 2002), which was awarded the American Philosophical Association Sharp Prize, articles in leading philosophy and law journals and a number of edited books. A Rhodes Scholar from New Zealand, David has a B.Phil. and D.Phil in philosophy from Oxford University. He was previously Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National University. He was the inaugural Director of Research at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and a founding member of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War. David has a busy teaching and consulting schedule and is a regular lecturer at the UK Joint Services Command and Staff College where he provides ethics training for senior officers up to the rank of two-star General. He has also worked in the private sector as a Senior Associate with the Boston Consulting Group.


Elif Shafak – Author, Columnist, Speaker and Academic

Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is an award-winning novelist, women’s rights & LGBT rights advocate and an inspirational public speaker. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 15 books, 10 of which are novels, including The Bastard of Istanbul and The Forty Rules of Love. Her novels have been published in 47 languages and she has been featured in major newspapers and periodicals around the world. Shafak has been long listed for the Orange Prize, MAN Asian Prize, the Baileys Prize, the IMPAC Dublin Award; shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize. She was awarded the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.


The Rt. Hon. the Lord Alderdice – Chairman for the Centre for Democracy & Peace Building, Belfast

The Rt. Hon. the Lord Alderdice

As Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, Lord Alderdice played a significant role in the Talks on Northern Ireland including negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He was the first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly and on retirement in 2004 was appointed to the Independent Monitoring Commission, tasked with closing down terrorist operations and overseeing normalization of security in Northern Ireland.


Reem N. Bsaiso – Senior ICT Consultant Knowledge Economy

Reem N. Bsaiso

Reem is a Senior Consultant specializing in knowledge economy policies and public reform; her focus is on merging ICT in Education and national training schemes, working with international agencies on ICT in Education in the MENA region, such as World Bank, UNESCO and EU Investment Bank. She’s an advocate of Open Education Resources (OER), part of the US Department of State “Open Book Initiative” with the League of Arab States, and member of the UNESCO-Paris Advisory Panel of Experts on Debt Swaps & Innovative Approaches to Education Funding. She is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the new Global Outreach, to bridge knowledge across the Gulf and between West and East. Reem is ex-CEO of World Links Arab Region and World Links International, initiated by the World Bank committed to spreading and merging ICT-based Knowledge Economy & Entrepreneurial skills in education and training of youth and women. She has created scalable and sustainable schemes that reached millions of students and youth through highly effective and low-cost models. She was part of the Prime Ministerial National Agenda of Jordan for the Labour, Employment & Vocational Training and Education components. In 2002 – 2003, she initiated Jordan’s first National ICT Training Strategy, anchoring ICT-literacy, e-learning and technical maintenance in public education under a UNDP/ Government of Jordan scheme.


Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani – Founder &Chairman, Arab International Women’s Forum

Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani

Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Founder Chairman, Arab International Women’s Forum is well known in international government and business circles as a high-impact change agent focusing on leadership in cultural and gender issues. An economist and graduate of the American University of Beirut and Oxford University, she brings a wide range of skills and experience to her personal mission of encouraging greater cultural understanding between Arab and international communities, supporting a strong role for women in that process.
Mrs Al Kaylani holds senior roles in several cultural, commercial and educational UK and international organisations. These include: Board Member, The Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard Kennedy School; Advisory Board Member, The Middle East Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; Advisory Board Member, The Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World, Lebanese American University, Beirut; Board Director, EastWest Institute, and Board Member, The Arab British Chamber of Commerce in London. Mrs Al Kaylani serves on The Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance. Mrs Al Kaylani became the first Honorary Member, the Euro Mediterranean Association for Cooperation and Development (2012) and serves as a Freeman of the City of London.
Haifa Al Kaylani received recognition as one of the Women eNews 21 Leaders for the 21 Century (2006); was included in the Muslim Power 100 Leaders in the UK listing (2007) receiving the Education Excellence Award; she is a recipient of the International Alliance for Women 2008 World of Difference Lifetime Achievement Award; and was named one of the 20 leading Muslim women in the UK in The Equality & Human Rights Commission Muslim Women Lists 2009-2012 and received the United Kingdom Muslim Woman of the Year Award in 2013.
Haifa Al Kaylani was presented with an Award for an Outstanding Contribution as a Women Leader of Palestinian Origin and was honoured by the Qatari Businesswomen Association and presented with an Award for her contributions to the growth and development in the Arab region. She was the recipient of the Global Inspirational Leadership Award 2013 and was honoured for individual achievements as a role model and having made contributions worthy of acknowledgement towards the role of women in Emerging Economies by the Georgia General Assembly.
Mrs Al Kaylani was included in the Power 100 List, compiled by Arabian Business Monitor and recognised on the Arabian Business Power 500 List published by Arabian Business Magazine and placed in the highest ever recording of 118 women in a list of Arab men and women leaders .Mrs Al Kaylani was Inducted in 2013 by the Centre of Economic Leadership & Development into The Global Women Leaders Hall of Fame as a distinguished achiever and symbol of female achievement globally. Mrs Al Kaylani received The Excellence in Life Award presented by The Global Thinkers Forum in Dubai December 2014.
In 2015, Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, received “The Pearl Initiative Recognition for a Career Focused on Arab Women in Leadership”, presented by the Pearl Initiative Honorary Chairman H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Narayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development in the United Arab Emirates on the occasion of The Pearl Initiative & United Nations Global Compact Forum held in Dubai.


Muna Abusulayman – Co-Host KalamNawaem MBC

Muna AbuSulayman

Muna AbuSulayman, named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World in 2009-2012 for her work in media, gender, leadership and education, is a very popular Arab media personality and humanitarian. Currently as the head of Directions Consulting and Partner in Glowork, she is focusing her development efforts on unemployment and entreprenuership in the Arab world. As the former Secretary-General of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, she supported innovation and strategic initiatives to combat poverty, empower women and reframe the Islam-West dialogue. She is also a founding Co-Host of KalamNawaem, one of the Arab world’s most popular TV shows. In 2007, AbuSulayman was appointed as the first Saudi UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. A Member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, an aspiring novelist, a Yale World Fellow and Aspen Institute Middle East Fellow, she serves on several non-profit boards and is the recipient of numerous awards, including a “PhD in They Didn’t Teach That in School from Life/MOM University”. In 2014 Muna received the Global Thinkers Forum Award for Excellence in Media.


Elizabeth Filippouli – Founder & CEO Global Thinkers Forum

Elizabeth Filippouli

Elizabeth Filippouli is an entrepreneur and global leadership expert with particular focus on accountable leadership and inclusive growth. She is the Founder & CEO of Global Thinkers Forum (GTF), an international organization that works as an agent for positive change by connecting international thought leaders and promoting values-based leadership, collaboration and cross-cultural understanding. GTF is a London-based and UK registered social-purpose organization with presence in 6 countries: UK, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, UAE, Saudi Arabia and a fast growth rate. It was launched in 2012 in Amman, Jordan under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania and is proud to have Board members representing more than 20 countries.



Lucian Sarb

Lucian Sarb

Lucian Sarb serves as the Editorial Director and Member of the Board of the global news channel, Euronews. Since 2009 Lucian has been in charge with the editorial strategy of the most viewed news broadcaster in Europe, a multiplex of 24-hour news with 450 journalists from more than 35 different nationalities.
Over the last five years, Lucian Sarb, together with his editorial team, launched five new euronews channels: Euronews Turkish, Euronews Farsi, Euronews Ukrainian, Euronews Greek and Euronews Hungarian. Before Euronews, Lucian Sarb, served as Project Manager and Editorial Director of one of the first business news channels in Eastern Europe, based in Bucharest, Romania.
Prior to this function, he was Head of News at Romania’s public state television, TVR, where he completely re-branded news programmes, the editorial concepts and the budgets. In 2005, he was in charge of the world politics magazine broadcast live every Saturday on TVR1. In parallel to these duties, Lucian Sarb was a member of the Executive Committee Newsgroup of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union).
Following his studies in Communication and International Relations and Politics, Lucian Sârb decided to start a career as a journalist, becoming a news correspondent for Romanian Public Station in 1994. His assignments took him around the world, including the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Michael E. Economakis – Executive Vice Chairman of A.G.Leventis Group (Plc)

Michael E. Economakis

Michael E. Economakis started his career 34 years ago, in Coca-Cola Hellenic the 2nd biggest bottler of The Coca-Cola Company in the world, operating in 28 countries – in Sales, holding variety of Sales Field positions in the first years of his career. He then progressed throughout his career into ever-increasing roles of responsibility within Coca-Cola Hellenic that included:

  • Commercial Manager
  • General Manager, Rhodian Bottling Company (Coca-Cola Hellenic subsidiary)
  • General Manager, West Greece
  • General Manager for all mainland Greece operations of Coca-Cola Hellenic

End of 2003 he was assigned Managing Director of Tsakiris S.A., Coca-Cola Hellenic’s snack food business in Greece, which was acquired by Coca-Cola Hellenic that year. During next year Coca-Cola Hellenic acquired a distribution company “ELXYM S.A.”, which was also assigned under his management. As of 2006 up to 2009, he was Managing Director of Pivara Skopje AD, a three parties JV Company (Coca-Cola Hellenic, Heineken, M6), being responsible for the operations of Coca-Cola Hellenic and Heineken in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as for sales and distribution operations for beer business in Kosovo, Albania, and Southern Serbia. As of Q2 2009, he was assigned CEO of Nutriart S.A., a listed company, operating in the Food Sector. His main focus was the financial and operational restructuring of the company. As of Nevember 2012, he was appointed Board Director and one year later Executive Vice Chairman of A.G.Leventis Group (Plc), a conglomerate which operates in Nigeria almost 80 years. Michael E. Economakis is, also, member of the Board of Directors of GNCCT (Greek – Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Technology), and member of CEO ASSOCIATION GREECE.


Akinwole Omoboriowo II – Chairman & CEO Genesis Energy Holdings​

Akinwole Omoboriowo II

Akinwole Omoboriowo II (AOII) is a 1993 graduate of Economics from University of Jos, alumni of the London Business School, from where he acquired specialist training in Electricity Pricing & Modeling course in 2006, and a 2011 Post-Graduate Diploma Alumni in Strategy & Innovation from the Prestigious Oxford University’s Said Business School, U.K. AOII has over 16 years of experience in the Oil & Gas Sector and Power Sec- tors in Africa, where he has consistently led other equally distinguished colleagues in pioneering several initiatives including but not limited to African-owned & managed Independent Power Producing companies, well-Structured Oil Trading Companies, thriving Utility Companies, amongst others. Akinwole Omoboriowo II’s top management work-history includes being an Executive Director of Christley Petroleum Ltd, the Managing Director of Besse- Oil & Services Ltd, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of PPI(a Foremost Oil & Gas Company in Africa, with several trail-blazing market initiatives to it’s credit), Vice-Chairman of Vatternfields Utility Ltd(a Utility Company currently managing & operating PrePaid & PostPaid Revenue Collection initiatives in West Africa), and CEO of Genesis Electricity Ltd(GEL). On completion of installation of Guinea Bissau’s first Independent Power Pro- ject (IPP), Akinwole was nominated and briefly served as a Chairman of Guinea Bissau’s Bissau Electricidade e Agua (Bissau Electricity and Water) Joint Ven- ture Utility entity, which was tasked with infusing private sector-led initiatives into the ailing utility company of that country. He serves as a Board member of several international companies including Walters Power Africa (a British Virgin Island company Co-Owned by GEL and a US-Based Company Owned by a Former Governor of the State of Oklahoma- David Walters), Nagarjuna-Christley Fuels Ltd(a company now at advanced stage of deploying renewable energy investments in Ethanol production & sup- ply in Nigeria), Avi Alliance Ltd( an airline company whose Sister entity is the GSA to Delta Airlines in Ghana, Liberia, Benin Republic, Sierra Leone, amongst others now being developed), Alliance Energy Sao Tome Limited, and several other international corporations. He was recently invested with Honoris Causa Fellowship of the Certified Board of Administrators of Nigeria (CBAN) He is happily married with children.


Geraldine Sharpe-Newton – Senior Communications Advisor

Geraldine Sharpe-Newton

As a Public Relations Executive, Journalist and TV Producer, on both sides of the Atlantic, Geraldine Sharpe-Newton has worked at the heart of media relations and corporate communications for more than three decades. She has been head of communications for three of the world’s major news organisations, CBS News in the US, ITN in the UK and CNN International. Early years in U.S broadcast journalism led her to Burson-Marsteller, Public Relations in New York. She handled the U.S PR launch of The Economist News magazine and was a Vice President at publishers, ‘Simon & Shuster’. Back in broadcasting, at CBS News, she led the ‘transition, communications-team’ during the handover from Walter Cronkite to Dan Rather. In London she ran the ITN Communications and PR operation. She was Communications Director at the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and later at Turner Broadcasting was Senior Vice President in charge of international press relations outside the US, for all Turner products.

Geraldine was a longtime President of The Media Society, and now is a specialist business Mentor for The Prince’s Trust, on the Advisory Board of The Global Thinkers Forum, an Associate for Editorial Intelligence and has been named as the Chairman of Ei’s Comment Awards. She is deeply involved in ‘mentoring’ and conducted media training for the Clore Leadership programme. She is a Board Member at Theatre 503, in Battersea, and was on the Development Committee of The Tricycle Theatre. She is also a Critical Eye Associate and was latterly UK chair of the International Women’s Forum. Since becoming a consultant in 1998, she has been committed to helping people tell their stories, has created and implemented media strategies, product publicity, launches and issue management, for a wide variety of clients, including film companies, a Government appointed agency and an independent industry watchdog. Renowned for her networks and travels to uncommon places she is now working on her first book of short stories.


Jana Cohen Barbe – Partner and the former Global Vice Chair, Dentons

Jana Cohen Barbe

Jana Cohen Barbe is a Partner and the former Global Vice Chair of Dentons, the largest law firm in the world. Since its inception, Jana has been integrally involved in the development and implementation of a strategic vision that created a top tier global legal business with 149 locations in 61 countries. In addition to serving on the Global Board of Dentons, the Global Advisory Committee and the U.S. Board, Jana chaired the firm’s Financial Institutions Sector – the largest sector of the law firm – as well as its pre-eminent real estate practice. Jana advises leading global financial institutions and insurance companies on community development and social investing; her substantive expertise bridges tax, corporate, partnership, finance and real estate law and she is ranked among the best real estate attorneys in the world. Equally committed to serving her community, Jana is the president emerita of Thresholds, Illinois’ oldest and largest provider of supportive services and housing to individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Her service to Thresholds, which serves more than 9,500 adults and youths each year, has spanned more than 25 years. Recognized for her transformative and pioneering leadership, Jana is a frequent author and speaker on women in business, globalization, entrepreneurship and authenticity.


Stay tuned…..Important additions and updates coming up….

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