Board of Advisors
Maha Abouelenein Head of Global Communications & Public Affairs – MENA Google
Maha Abouelenein is the Head of Global Communications & Public Affairs for Google in the Middle East & North Africa. With more than 20 years experience in corporate communications, PR strategy and campaign management, Maha oversees the company’s communications efforts across 18 countries in MENA. As Head of Communications for Google in the Middle East and North Africa, she demonstrates how the internet is a net contributor to society and shares the magic and momentum of Google in MENA.
Maha is an American Egyptian and has been a communications expert in the Middle East for the past 15 years. Before joining Google, Maha was Founder and Managing Director of OC, her own communications firm and Regional Director for Weber Shandwick in the Middle East overseeing 19 offices. Before moving to the region, she worked for General Mills, managing corporate promotions for leading brands such as Betty Crocker and Yoplait. She holds a Masters Degree in Communications from Minnesota State University – Mankato, USA and an undergraduate degree in International Business & Marketing with a minor in French.
Prof. Dr. Nakiye Avdan Boyacigiller Dean, Sabanci School of Management, Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey
Born in the US and educated in Turkey, France and the US, Dr. Boyacigiller’s research, teaching and leadership activities all reflect her interests in enhancing the effectiveness of multicultural work groups and cross border collaboration. Her research on cross cultural management has appeared in leading academic journals and research compendiums. Recent work has focused on the conceptual foundations and importance of developing a global mindset as well as the challenges of creating a shared organizational culture in global organizations. Her seminars on the cultural context of Turkish organizations are a favorite with both corporate and academic audiences.
Dr. Boyacigiller received her doctorate from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, her MBA degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her BA degree from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. An award winning teacher, in 2007 Boyacigiller was elected a Fellow of the Academy of International Business in recognition for her contributions to the scholarly development of the field of international business.
Dean Boyacigiller holds advisory board memberships at WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business), Cyprus International Institute of Management, EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht, the Board of Directors and European Advisory Council of the AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), KAGİDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey), Istanbul Policy Center and Make a Wish Foundation, Turkey.
Reem N. Bsaiso
Reem is an independent Senior Consultant specializing in knowledge economy policies and public reform; her focus is on 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 is Founder of Global Tech-Net (G-TeN), a non-profit initiative registered at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Jordan. Reem is ex-CEO of World Links Arab Region and World Links International, initiated by the World Bank committed to spreading and merging ICT and knowledge economy skills in education and training of youth and women. She has created scalable and sustainable schemes to reach hundreds of millions of youth through highly effective and low cost models. She was part of the Prime Ministerial National Agenda of Jordan, and worked on the labour, employment, vocational training, education and social components. In 2002 – 2003, she initiated the Jordanian national strategy for merging ICT in education, established the first ICT department and programs for ICT literacy, e-learning and technical support, under a UNDP/ Government of Jordan scheme.
Maggie Eales Senior Vice President CNN International Broadcast Relations, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited
Maggie is responsible for relations with broadcasters in EMEA, negotiating sales of CNN stories and Live Breaking News to both private and public broadcasters and overseeing a multi-million dollar budget. Her role also encompasses oversight for CNN International EMEA marketing, PR and business development functions. She worked with CNN colleagues to develop the CNN Journalism Fellowship which takes place at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta. The programme mentors journalists from across the world to gain greater expertise of news gathering from CNN. Maggie is also responsible for the development and implementation of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards, an event she has been involved with since 1998. Now in its 17th year, the 2011 award ceremony was hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa and in previous years Kenya, Mozambique, Ghana and Uganda. It is recognized as the most prestigious event of its kind in Africa.
She has also been a judge for The One World Media Awards which recognize the most outstanding media coverage from the developing world. Also, several times for the Royal Television Society Awards (RTS) and in 2012 is judging the Current Affairs – Home category. Prior to joining TBS in May 1992, Maggie was the Senior Foreign Editor for ITN in the UK for nine years, spanning the time from the Falklands conflict to after the first Gulf War. Other highlights included the fall of the Berlin Wall and the release of Nelson Mandela.
Elizabeth Filippouli Founder & CEO Global Thinkers Forum
Elizabeth Filippouli is an entrepreneur and communications & business strategist with particular focus on social entrepreneurship, innovation, future trends and visionary leadership. She is the Founder & CEO of Global Thinkers, a UK-based and internationally operating Strategic Communications & Business Development consulting firm and of Global Thinkers Forum a non-profit think tank bringing together incumbent and future leaders and promoting excellence in leadership and governance. Elizabeth has studied Strategy and Innovation at Said Business School Oxford University, Transnational Media and Globalisation at London City University and taken the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Education program on “Shaping Change in the Information Age”. Born in Athens, Greece Elizabeth’s background is in media having worked as a journalist with Greek press and TV and international organizations such as Al Jazeera English and CNN. As a media & expert she has worked among others with the Olympic Games (Athens 2004), the Eurovision, the National Lottery UK and Coca Cola.
Elizabeth moved to Qatar in 2005 joining AJE as a presenter and correspondent and since 2007 she is based in London (UK) but travelling extensively for the needs of GT and GTF.
Chris W. J. Gaunt
Chris has a degree in Modern History from Leeds University in the UK. He began his career in 1973, in the Wine and Spirit Division of the Whitbread Brewery Group, and went on to work in prominent UK Beverage companies progressing to senior management positions with HP Bulmer and Allied Domecq. In 1992 Chris embarked on his International career and moved to Croatia as a consultant with Coopers and Lybrand to work on a major restructuring project for a newly privatized group of FMCG companies. In 1993 Chris joined the Coca-Cola initially in Croatia, followed by Senior Management/ GM positions in Eastern Europe and start up operations in Central Asia. From 1999 to 2000 he served as CEO of Panonska Pivovara Croatia (Carlsberg International) prior to joining the Efes Beverage Group; a subsidiary of Istanbul based Anadolu Holdings, as the General Manager of operations in Bulgaria. He was later appointed President of Efes Invest in 2001, responsible for Coca – Cola Bottling operations in South Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East. Following the merger in 2005 of Efes Invest and Coca – Cola Icecek (CCI) Turkey, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the newco. In 2007 Chris was appointed President of CCI International Operations (10 countries) from which position he retired from CCI in 2009. Subsequently he set up his own consultancy company “Euroasia Consultancy” based in Istanbul.
Additionally, Chris holds the following positions:
Chairman British Chamber of Commerce Turkey
Chairman of Brandtone Turkey a subsidiary of Brandtone Holdings based in Dublin.
Non-Executive board memberships:
Eksen Holdings Turkey
Som Hotelcilik A.S. Turkey
Board Advisor to Kells Engineering International based in Ireland.
Chris is married to his Turkish wife Gulten, and resides in Istanbul.
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.
Valerie Keller CEO Veritas
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 Saïd 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.
Shannon McElya Founder at GreenSuccesses
Shannon has a unique talent as a technology and partner evangelist to translate technology vision into compelling customer and partner benefits and create a partnership ecosystem. She has a proven track record bringing startups to market, including three successful IPOs and several profitable acquisitions. Shannon specialises in envisioning business strategies, creating marketing and business initiatives that drive demand, quickly developing solid alliances and channels to facilitate revenue generation and steady growth. By blending technical acumen and passion, she represents leading-edge and disruptive technology as a new market evangelist. Shannon also has deep knowledge in sustainability, clean tech, renewable energy and enabling technologies.
Lindsey Oliver International Commercial Director at Bloomberg Television
Lindsey is an experienced media professional and she is also a trained lawyer and has worked for large media organizations in both capacities. General Counsel for CNBC Europe for ten years, Lindsey moved across to head up their distribution team. Following her tenure at CNBC Lindsey became Commercial Director at Al Jazeera English, based in Doha, where she was part of the team that launched the English language version of one of the world’s most controversial media brands. After successfully rolling out the channel Oliver moved to the Internet arena with Jalipo, an online content provider, before taking up her current position at Bloomberg Television. In her role she is responsible for distribution across Europe, Middle East and Africa and has been leading The Channel’s International localization initiative which, under her guidance has seen the completion of several new localization deals including BloombergHT in Turkey, Al Arab in the Middle East, RBC in Russia and Bloomberg West Africa in Nigeria.
Richard Sambrook Professor of Journalism
Richard Sambrook is Professor of Journalism and Director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. For 30 years, until February 2010, he was a BBC journalist and news executive. He spent ten years on the management board of the BBC becoming successively Director of BBC Sport, BBC News and, latterly, Director of BBC World Service and Global News. From 2010 until 2012 he was Global Vice Chairman and Chief Content Officer of the Edelman public relations agency.
Lucian Sârb, Director of News and Programmes, EURONEWS
Lucian Sârb began working for TVR (Televiziunea Român), the Romanian public broadcaster and shareholder of euronews, in 1994. During his time with TVR, Lucian Sârb came to know euronews in his capacity as a member of the Board of Directors, from 2003 to 2005. He was instrumental in organising a project between euronews and TVR to launch the first daily news programme of euronews in Romanian, in 2004, broadcast on the channel TVR2. Since then, the service has been expanded to include five weekly magazines, still broadcast on TVR2.
Lucian Sârb then went on to serve as Project Manager and Editorial Director of The Money Channel. Since 2006, he has helped establish and develop the leading business and financial news channel in Romania.
Prior to these functions, he was head of the TVR newsroom as of 2001, where he completely re-branded news programmes, editorial concept and budget. In 2005, he was in charge of the world politics magazine broadcast live every Saturday on TVR1. In parallel to these duties, Lucian Sârb 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 TVR in 1994. His work took him around the world, including the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Since May 2009, Lucian Sârb is working for euronews as Director of News and Programmes managing a newsroom of 270 journalists that make the 12 language teams.
Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University (www.saskiasassen.com). 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) [http://www.eolss.net ]. 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 www.OpenDemocracy.net and www.HuffingtonPost.com.
Amy Selwyn CEO Storytegic
Amy is CEO of Storytegic. Her first paying job was as an actress! She was five years old. Despite rave reviews, Amy opted for a life in the business world, starting her career in 1983 with Salomon Brothers in New York. In 1987, she followed her heart and her passion for news, and she has remained in the industry since then, for a total of 25 years’ experience. In 1987, she joined The New York Times as a marketing strategist, then moved to The Associated Press in 1993 first as Deputy Director of Strategic Planning and, then, as the AP’s first Director of Marketing. In 1998, she moved to London with the AP, serving as Director of Sales, Strategy and Marketing for APTN. In 2000, she went to work with the BBC, where she headed up Rights & Business Development. In 2004, following an 8-month sabbatical in Rome, she returned to London and launched an independent consulting practice, specializing in brand strategies for news organizations. That independent consultancy has evolved into Storytegic. In this capacity, she is the Managing Director of News Xchange, the news industry’s most thought-provoking conversation. In addition, she works with the BBC, the EBU, Eurovision, the Arab News Agency, the Press Association, ITN and others.
Geraldine has had a 35-year career in media relations and corporate communications. She has been head of communications for three of the worlds major news organisations, CBS News (in New York), ITN (in London) and CNN International.
Her early experience in American broadcast journalism led her to become one of the first public relations executives to specialise in the electronic media. Geraldine worked for Burson-Marsteller Public Relations in New York where she covered all sectors from Fortune 500 companies to some of the worlds great wines. She handled the U.S. launch of The Economist and became a Vice President at Simon & Shuster Publishing, where she advised sports figures, politicians and writers. Leading ITN’s Press & Public Affairs operation for nine years brought her to the heart of British and European politics, news and cultural life. This crucial experience she then took to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) as Communications Director, and later to Turner Broadcasting as Senior Vice President in charge of international press relations outside of the US, among them CNN International and the Cartoon Network.
Geraldine is President of the Media Society, has been UK chairman of the International Womens Forum, and is Specialist Business Mentor the Prince’s Trust, Mentor at the School for Creative Startups, Theatre 503 Board and a long-time member of Soho House, The Groucho Club, and Blacks. Geraldine is a Criticaleye Associate.
Safa USLU was born in 1979. He finished his Bachelor Degree in Sakarya University in Business Administration in 2000 and completed his Masters degree in Durham University – School of Government Department. Mr. Uslu started his working career in Turkish National Assembly as an assistant to an MP. In 2004, he was appointed as the Chief of Cabinet to the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul. After Abdullah Gul has been elected as the new President, Mr. Uslu continued his service to the President as his Advisor. Recently, he has been appointed as the Deputy General Director of International Relations Department in Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Mr. Uslu, also, is still continuing his Phd programme in Durham University on Turkey – China Political Relations. He is married and has got a 2 year old baby girl.
Marc Ventresca Fellow and University Lecturer University of Oxford
Marc Ventresca is an organisational and economic sociologist who teaches strategy, leadership and organisation theory at Saïd 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.