Saskia Sassen, Academic

Saskia Sassen

Professor Sassen is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Visiting Professor at LSE.

Saskia Sassen’s research and writing focuses on globalization (including social, economic and political dimensions), immigration, global cities (including cities and terrorism), the new networked technologies, and changes within the liberal state that result from current transnational conditions. In her research she has focused on the unexpected and the counterintuitive as a way to cut through established “truths.” She serves on several editorial boards and is an advisor to several international bodies. She is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Cities. She has received a variety of awards and prizes, most recently, a Doctor honoris causa from Delft University (Netherlands), the first Distinguished Graduate School Alumnus Award of the University of Notre Dame, and was one of the four winners of the first University of Chicago Future Mentor Award covering all doctoral programs. She has written for The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, the International Herald Tribune, Newsweek International,Vanguardia, Clarin, the Financial Times, among others.

Safwan Masri, VP Global Centres at Columbia University

Professor Safwan Masri

Professor Safwan M. Masri is Vice President for Global Centers at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia Business School faculty since 1988 and was appointed Vice Dean in 1993, a position he held for thirteen years. Professor Masri has been Director of the Columbia Global Centers | Middle East since its founding in 2009. He was Visiting Professor at INSEAD in 1990 and 1991, and has also held teaching positions at Stanford University and Santa Clara University. Professor Masri earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in 1982; his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering also from Purdue in 1984; and his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford University in 1988. He was honored with the Singhvi Professor of the Year for Scholarship in the Classroom Award in 1990, the Robert W. Lear Service Award in 1998, and the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in a Core Course in 2000. He has also been honored with the 2003 American Service Award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Professor Masri is Founding Chairman Emeritus of King’s Academy, Chairman of the Queen Rania Teacher Academy, Trustee of International College, Trustee of the National Children’s Museum in Jordan, Director of Endeavor Jordan, Director of the Luxury Education Foundation, and member of the advisory boards of the School of Business and the Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo. He has also served as Advisor to Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah. Professor Masri’s area of expertise is in operations management, with a focus on supply chain management, technology change management in the financial services industry, and manufacturing flexibility. His recent work has focused on education and business development in the Middle East.

Fadi Ghandour, Founder & CEO Aramex


Fadi Ghandour

Fadi Ghandour is the Founder and CEO of Aramex International, one of the leading logistics and transportation companies in the Middle East and South Asia, and the first company from the Arab world to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The company now trades on the Dubai Financial Market. Fadi is a Founding Partner of Maktoob.com; the world’s largest Arab On-Line community recently acquired by Yahoo!; is a member of the Board of Abraaj Capital, is a Founding Board Member of Endeavor Jordan and serves on the Advisory Board of the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut. Between 2003 and 2005, he was the Middle East and North Africa Area Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Fadi is passionate about social entrepreneurship. He is the founder of Ruwwad for Development www.ruwwad.net, a regional private sector-led community empowerment initiative that helps disadvantaged communities overcome marginalization through youth activism, civic engagement, and education. He serves as a Member of the Board of Business for Social Responsibility www.bsr.org; is a Member of the Board of the “National Microfinance Bank” in Jordan www.nmb.com.jo, and has served as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jordan River Foundation www.jordanriver.jo for over 10 years.

Saad Mouasher Editor At Large Reuters

Saad N. Mouasher

Saad N. Mouasher is Deputy CEO of Jordan Ahli Bank (www.ahli.com), Jordan’s oldest and 3rd largest financial institution, with a presence in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Cyprus. In his capacity as Head of Group Strategy, Marketing and Sales, Saad guided the development of a detailed, comprehensive, bank-wide five year action plan consisting of more than 700 strategic projects and imperatives, designed to transform the bank into a world-class financial services institution, and to prepare Ahli Bank for aggressive regional expansion. The action plan was based on “Project Jubilee”, a historic, bank-wide initiative that was initiated and directed by Group Strategy. In late 2006, Saad was officially charged by H.E. CEO Mr. Marwan Awad to support, guide, monitor, and direct all Ahli Bank divisions in executing the bank’s highly ambitious transformation plan and aggressive growth strategy. As a direct result of the strategic transformation program, the bank has become one of the best performing and fastest growing banks in Jordan, and has achieved a compound annual growth rate of 23% in profitability between 2007 and 2011. As part of Ahli Bank’s transformation program, Saad was directly involved in creating and supporting, amongst many other projects, Jordan’s first specialized Small & Medium Sized (SME) Business Division. Today, Jordan Ahli Bank has the fastest growing SME banking segment in the country. Saad is also Managing Partner, co-founder and co-owner of ALNABIL LLC, a member and key shareholder of the Y.I.Mouasher Group of Companies, considered by many as one of the largest and most successful business groups in the Levant.

Majd Shweikeh Group CEO VTEL Middle East & Africa Limited

Majd Shweikeh

Mrs. Majd Shweikeh is the CEO of VTEL Holdings since 1st July 2010; then in June 2011 she became the Group CEO of VTEL Middle East and Africa Limited. Mrs. Shweikeh was the Vice President of Jordan Telecom Group and CEO Orange Mobile until 31st May 2010. She had held this position since January 2006. Mrs. Shweikeh is the President of the International Women’s Forum / Jordan Chapter and a member in the Economic and Social Council and She is also at the Board of trustees for Isra’a University and at the Board of Directors for Union Bank. Mrs. Shweikeh is also the Vice Chair of the Friends of Global Fund to fight Aids, Malaria and Tuberculosis, and Board Member in the Young Presidents’ Organization, a board member in the Swiss Jordanian Business Club, Member in Business Professional Women-Amman and Honor Member in the Inner Wheel Club of Amman, and Member in Haya Cultural Center. Prior to assuming the CEO position, she was the Chief Financial Officer and member of the Operating Committee since 2000 for MobileCom ( currently branded Orange Mobile); Finance Manager at DHL, the international carrier service, since 1992; Project Accountant for budgeting and project planning at the American International Contractor Inc. (AICI) from 1988 to 1992; and an Auditor with Arthur Anderson. Mrs. Shweikeh served as a board member at the Social Security Investment unit from 2006 till 2009. Mrs. Majd Shweikeh holds a first class Honors BSc in Finance from Yarmouk University, and she received the Certified Management Accountant certification from the USA in 1999.

Hayat Sindi Founder and President of i2institute

Dr Hayat Sindi

Hayat was born in Makkah, Saudi Arabia and is one of the world’s leading biotechnologists. As a child she was inspired by great scientists who changed the world. She left Saudi Arabia in her teens and worked against the odds to become the first female from the Gulf to earn a PhD in biotechnology, studying at King’s College London, Cambridge University, MIT and Harvard. Hayat was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University for 5 years, and a co-founder of Diagnostics For All, which offers cost-effective point-of-care diagnostic tools enabling the treatment of the 60% of people living beyond the reach of medical infrastructures. She has been a PopTech fellow in both Science and Social Innovation, advancing her longstanding goal to more closely link science and social impact. Her dream is that i2 will make stories like hers less exceptional and more possible for every young innovator. Dr Sindi will receive the Global Thinkers Forum Award in “Excellence in Science”

Usama Fayyad Executive Chairman Oasis500

Usama Fayyad

Dr. Usama Fayyad is Executive Chairman of Oasis 500, a regional early-stage fund and entrepreneurship initiative based in Jordan and aiming to create an early-stage/angel stage investment base in the region along with funding up to 500 start-ups in technology (ICT and interactive media focus). He is also Chairman of d1g.com, a new generation Internet community and rich media content sharing site focused on Arabic Speaking online audiences. In the U.S. he is CEO of Open Insights, LLC, a data strategy, technology and consulting firm he founded to help enterprises understand data strategy and deploy data-driven solutions that effectively and dramatically grow revenue and competitive advantages. Until September 2008, he was Yahoo!’s chief data officer and EVP of Research; Strategic Data Solutions. The industry’s first chief data officer, he was responsible for Yahoo!’s global data strategy, architecting Yahoo!’s data policies and systems, prioritizing data investments, and managing the Company’s data analytics and data processing infrastructure. He also founded and managed the Yahoo! Research organization globally. Yahoo! Research is the premier scientific research organization to develop the new sciences of the Internet, on-line marketing, and innovative interactive applications.
Prior to joining Yahoo!, Fayyad co-founded and led the DMX Group, a data mining and data strategy consulting and technology company that was acquired by Yahoo! in 2004. DMX Group International still operates in the Middle East and is headquartered in Dubai. In early 2000, he co-founded and served as CEO of digiMine Inc. (Audience Science/Revenue Science, Inc.), a data analysis and data mining company that built, operated and hosted data warehouses and web analytics for some of the world’s largest enterprises in online publishing, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications and financial services.

H.E. The British Ambassador to Jordan Mr. Peter Millett

Peter Millett

Peter arrived in Amman on 13 February 2011 to take up his post. Previously he was British High Commissioner to Cyprus from June 2005 to April 2010. He has served in a number of positions in the British Diplomatic Service since joining in 1974. He was Director of Security in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2002-2005, dealing with all aspects of security for British diplomatic missions overseas. From 1997-2001 he served as Deputy Head of Mission in Athens. From 1993-96 Mr Millet was Head of Personnel Policy in the FCO. From 1989-93 he held the post of First Secretary (Energy) in the UK Representative Office to the European Union in Brussels, representing the UK on all energy and nuclear issues. From 1981-1985 he served as Second Secretary (Political) in Doha. Peter was born in 1955 in London. He is married to June Millett and has three daughters, born in 1984, 1987 and 1991. His interests include his family, tennis and travel.

Valerie KellerCEO Veritas

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 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.

Lindsey Oliver International Commercial Director at Bloomberg Television

Lindsey Oliver

Lindsey is International Commercial Director at Bloomberg Television, an experienced media professional Lindsey 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.

Mohamed Wael Saeed El-Fakharany Regional Manager of Google Egypt & North Africa

Wael Fakharany

Wael’s experience extends for more than 23 years in the technology field, as he is considered one of the leading figures that push the IT and digital media industries in the region forward; with both sectors influencing the lives of millions of Arab Internet users. Wael Fakharany presides over the creation, and execution of the business strategies and operations management in Google throughout Egypt and the Middle East. His occupational duties include aiding in the creation of a suitable Internet ecosystem, as well as collaborating with the biggest organizations and entities in order to further develop the Internet ecosystem in the region; this is in addition to his work on developing advertisement content and spread in the region. In addition to the above, Wael also has the ability to discuss a myriad of topics and issues in depth in relation to the initiatives of the private sector in start up markets, the development of start-ups, and developing the capabilities of young entrepreneurs in the Arab region via the use of advanced technology and through encouraging innovation. Wael joined Google in January 2008 following a successful career in many leading management roles at IBM, 3Com Middle East & North Africa and Sun Microsystems, to name a few. Wael also successfully founded Wireless Dynamics, before exiting the company in November 2008. Wael holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Communication Engineering from Ain Sham University, Cairo. He is married with two children.

Chris Cramer Editor at Large Reuters

Chris Cramer

Chris Cramer is founder and CEO of CramerMedia, a global media solutions company based in the USA. He has spent more than 40 years in journalism during which he was Head of Newsgathering at the BBC, President and Managing Director of CNN International and Global Head of Multimedia at Reuters. He currently serves as an Editor at Large for Reuters

Ashraf Ezzeldine SobhiCountry Manager Jordan & Holy Land Qatar Airways

Ashraf Ezzeldine Sobhi

Holding a bachelor degree in Tourism Studies from Alexandria university as well as Certificate in management studies from Oxford Brookes University – UK. Ashraf joined Qatar Airways in Jun 2010 as commercial manager Alexandria Egypt, then moved as Country Manager Jordan and Holy Land in Jan 2012. Prior to his appointment with QR, Ashraf had extensive background and over 20 years of experience in the aviation and travel industry having worked with major travel organizations in Dubai, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, out of which, 11 years of dedicated service with British Airways in various sales and marketing roles. In addition to his travel and airline experience, Ashraf has valuable experience in travel management training as well as soft skills adding value to his diverse background. He is married and having 2 daughters and a son.

Jumana Twal CEO & Founder of Bidaya Corporate Communications

Jumana Twal

The founding CEO of Bidaya Corporate Communications, one of Jordan’s leading public relations agencies, Jumana Twal draws on over 20 years of experience to offer local and regional markets quality PR, corporate communications, event management, social media and media monitoring services. Since establishing Bidaya in 2004, Twal has been diligently working towards elevating the PR industry’s standards in the Kingdom. In 2006, Twal positioned Bidaya as the first full Jordanian member of the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA), and in 2008 joined the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) as part of her efforts to ensure that global best practices are introduced in Jordan. In 2011, Twal established Bidaya Corporate Communications-Iraq in Erbil to offer the Iraqi market quality public relations services. Prior to starting her own agency, Twal held senior positions at several major companies in the Kingdom. Most notably, Twal served as Director of Corporate Communications of Fastlink (now Zain) for almost ten years, joining the company in 1994 as PR Manager and steadily growing to take responsibility over running the Advertising, Corporate Identity and PR Departments. During her tenure at Fastlink, she recreated and unified the brand image of 6,500 points of sale, and increased Fastlink’s visibility throughout the Kingdom. Twal also managed Fastlink’s PR activities during its transition into Zain, ensuring its smooth acquisition. Twal is a member of Young Arab Leaders (YAL) and the Business and Professional Women-Amman, a mentor at Oasis500 and a volunteer at INJAZ. She is also a regular speaker at bellwether industry conferences in the Middle East, such as the Palestine PR & Communications Conference, the mediaME Forum:2010, and the Women Business Leaders Summit (WBLS) where she was invited by the US Department of State as one of four businesswomen leaders from Jordan to exchange experiences with American businesswomen. As a well-recognized specialist in her field, Twal has written numerous articles on industry-related issues and developments in prominent local newspapers and publications.

Margery Kraus, Founder & CEO APCO Worldwide

Margery Kraus, Founder & CEO APCO Worldwide

Kraus founded APCO in 1984 and transformed it from a company with one small Washington office to a multinational consulting firm in major cities throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In September 2004 Kraus led a management buy-out of her firm, making APCO one of the largest privately owned communication and public affairs firms in the world. She has also helped to make APCO a thought leader in the areas of international public relations, public affairs and business diplomacy. APCO’s International Advisory Council and Global Political Strategies groups bring together more than 80 of the world’s most experienced global leaders, including former politicians, diplomats, business and industry executives, journalists, and academics. Prior to founding APCO, Kraus helped to create and develop the Close Up Foundation, a multi-million dollar educational foundation, where she still serves on the board of directors. APCO Worldwide is a global consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., specializes in public affairs, communication and business consulting for major multinationals.

Rawan Da’as, AMENDS Fellow

Rawan Da'as

Rawan is a graduate from the University of Jordan, Amman and developed the photography skills as a hobby turning into productive outcomes with national and international achievements. Selected achievements include, participation as a delegate at American and Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford conference in USA, Arab Participant Prize – Palestine Photography Award, 2nd Prize – 8th International Photography Festival of Jordan Motherhood theme, featured in various media. As a pro-active in volunteering and community development, Rawan delivered many workshops and seeking new avenues to support the sustainability through socio-economic and community development. Rawan also strongly believes in Leadership and Communication skills as a key element required irrespective of times we live in. As an active volunteer in delivering Community Development initiatives with various NGOs and volunteering organizations, Rawan has designed her own project Photography Skills for Little Wonders (PSLW). This Project is designed to meet the needs of the Youth Development process in the context of the overall community of parents, teachers and surroundings. Its main design, practical and delivery focus lie in nurturing inquiry and the development of creative and critical thinking by teaching the youth how to use photography. The ultimate outputs of this project is to uplift the community by enhancing youth skills, photography culture, raising awareness amongst the wider society and creating a network with photography as an engagement platform

Fida Taher, Founder and CEO Zaytouneh.com

Fida Taher

Fida Taher is the founder & CEO of Zaytouneh.com, the region’s leading video recipe website. Prior to Zaytouneh, Fida worked in different areas in the media domain for 9 years, during which she produced hundreds of hours of video content. Coming from aproduction background, Fida strongly believes in the power and potential of the audio-visional content. Taher is a member of INTAJ- Jordan. She is a on the Acting Board of Directors of Nakhweh NGO, as well as actively engaged with a number of local and international NGOs that aim to empower women. Taher holds a BA in Communication Arts, with emphasis on Radio, TV, & Film from the Lebanese American University.

HamsMadanat-Intellectual Property Consultant – Cedar White Bradley

Hams A. Madanat

Ms. Madanat is the legal consultant for the prestigious Intellectual Property firm “Cedar White Bradley CWB”- Amman Office, where she is interested to handling all the legal and litigation related matters for the company’s clients. Ms. Madanat’s experience in intellectual property extends over 8 years, where she had started her career in Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property Company as their training manager, then the Director of Quality assurance before joining CWB. Ms. Madanat enjoys a diversified line of expertise including intellectual assets management, technology transfer training and capacity building as she was responsible for the internal training for Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization. Ms. Madanat holds a Masters degree in Intellectual Property law, and is an elected expert for the Jordanian course for infringement cases. She is also a certified trainer and a speaker on many topics related to intellectual property, licensing, intellectual assets management and unfair competition.

Abeer Qumsieh, Entrepreneur


Mrs. Abeer Qumsieh Jouaneh is Director and Founder of Better Business. After many years of an enriching career, Mrs. Qumsieh started Better Business end of 2002, a B2B business model specialized in Building Service Cultures. Mrs. Qumsieh’s main fields of expertise include Organizational Development, Educational Development, Service Culture Development, Organizational Mindset, and others. She has consulted hundreds of Organizations and trained thousands of people around the Middle East & GCC. A business woman who believes in social responsibility, Mrs. Qumsieh is actively involved in multitudes of voluntary work. She is highly articulate, confident and a persuasive team-builder, able to motivate and communicate to achieve exceptional business performance. She is an experienced and innovative general manager with sophisticated leadership, emotional intelligence and business administration skills. She serves on multitudes on Boards nationally and internationally. She is also a sought out speaker on international level.

Rana Sweis, Journalist

Rana Sweis

Rana F. Sweis is a journalist and media researcher. She is currently a freelance journalist for the New York Times (Global Edition) and writes mainly about political reform, refugees and social issues. She is on the executive committee of Leaders of Tomorrow, a youth led organization in Jordan that works on building community leaders, fostering creativity and encouraging debate. She is also the lead researcher in Jordan for the Open Society Institute-sponsored Mapping Digital Media Study. Rana holds an MA from the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University and a BA in Print Journalism from Hofstra University in New York.


Noor El-Fadl, Entrepreneur

Noor El-Fadl

Noor El-Fadl graduated from the Lebanese American University in Beirut, with a BSc in Graphic Design, and a minor in Fine Arts. She worked in London after graduating and attended courses at the Central Saint Martins College for Art & Design. Returning to Amman she joined a local design house, and later moved into the corporate world and became the senior creative at Umniah Mobile Company. Noor later decided to start her own freelance studio (nur) working with various clients and companies, which led to the idea of establishing and developing tasmeemME .

Shahira Amin,Journalist

Shahira Amin

Shahira Amin is a freelance Egyptian journalist who contributes mainly to CNN’s Inside Africa and CNN.com. She also writes for Index on Censorship, a portal for free expression. Amin was formerly Deputy Head of Egyptian state television’s English Language Channel Nile TV but she quit in the height of the uprising in protest at state TV coverage of the developments in her country. Shahira was also a former Senior Anchor and Correspondent for the channel.

Shahira has traveled the world covering major events and conflicts and has interviewed numerous statesmen and high profile figures. She has been recognized by UNICEF for her efforts to improve the status of women and children in her country. Earlier this year she received the American University in Cairo’s Catalyst for Change Award and is also the recipient of this year’s Holmes of the year award from the University of Gotheborg.

Stephen Cole, News Anchor/Correspondent

Stephen Cole

Stephen Cole is an Al Jazeera English main presenter and correspondent based in Doha. He is a veteran of international television news having launched Sky News,then six years later joined CNN in Atlanta before moving back to the BBC. In 2005 he joined the launch team at Al Jazeera in London. Stephen has more than 30 years of experience in the field of journalism, working his way up from trainee newspaper reporter to senior television anchor and correspondent. He is also a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a judge at the Royal Television Society.

Humaira Wakili, TYO Nablus Center Director

Humaira Wakili

Humaira joined Tomorrow’s Youth Organization (TYO) in August 2010. With programs in Nablus and Lebanon, TYO seeks to provide innovative early childhood programming, enriching non-formal education, youth service learning, women’s social and economic empowerment, and intercultural exchanges and dialogue for the most disadvantaged populations in the region. Previously, Humaira worked for a non-profit organization in Washington, DC supporting democracy development throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. In 2008, Humaira worked at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as special assistant to the Coordinator for Basic Education and the President’s Initiative to Expand Education. In this capacity, she assisted in developing and implementing the President’s strategy for all foreign assistance in basic education for the United States Government and designed programs that focused on creative, after school education for disadvantaged youth. Humaira was also the special assistant to the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency that oversees all U.S. funded, non-military, international broadcasting. A native of Afghanistan, Humaira has traveled and lived extensively throughout the Middle East and Africa. As a passionate advocate for women and children’s rights, she looks forward to TYO’s expansion throughout the broader Middle East and North Africa.

Ayman Itani, CEO Think Media Lab

Ayman Itani

Ayman Itani is a forward-thinking Digital Strategy Strategist who uses his powerful combination of creative vision and rigorous analysis in the media to help build, restructure and transform companies. Through New Media Marketing Agency Think Media Labs. He helps bridge the gap from established Media to new types of Digital Media in the Middle East. He lectures and gives workshops on communication, media, user interaction design, history of technology, internet architecture, the social web and fully takes advantage of the industry shifts incubated by the Internet, specifically on content generation, consumption distribution and commercialization.

Lara Kawash, Entrepreneur

Lara Kawash

Lara is the Founder of Lara’s Crafts and Market Manager at TE Data Jordan. Starting out by displaying expressive art pieces in various home exhibitions, Lara Kawash is today along with her two partners are steadily carving out a growing reputation as one of Jordan’s most eclectic and imaginative artisans. Their designs includes creative methods of combining calligraphy and paint to breathe life into common household objects. Designs are hand-painted on carefully selected tableware, including clear glass, ceramics and wood.

“At Lara’s we believe that through art we can change lives; our commitment to developing communities around us led us to employing women who are so determined to change their lives through their artistic skills. Since our debut back in the nineties we have worked with many women and currently we are in the process of opening a work shop in Al Hashimi Al Shamali one of the unprivileged areas in Amman in a step to formalize our developmental work and commitment”, comments Lara on the team’s remarkable work.

Omar Hamarneh, Executive Chairman of El Hassan Business Park

Omar Hamarneh

Omar is the Executive Chairman of El Hassan Business Park, one of the three constituent organizations of the El Hassan Science City. Established under the slogan ―For Continuity, Innovation and Change, this venture is entrusted with supporting the development of Jordan’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Mr. Hamarneh is directly involved with establishing and growing entrepreneurship development programs, incubation centers for technology-based startups, technology transfer and commercialization services, and support for the establishment of venture capital and angel investor networks. Omar Hamarneh brings knowledge of entrepreneurship development and support from having established and managed iPARK, Jordan’s first technology focused incubator, while also serving at the Higher Council for Science and Technology as director of international cooperation and development. Omar Hamarneh also serves on the Board of Trustees of Princess Sumaya University for Technology and the Advisory Board of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Graduate School of Business.

Alfinaz Murad, General Manager at GroFin Jordan

Alfinaz Murad

Alfinaz brings more than 15 years of experience in investment banking and finance, throughout her work at eminent organizations such as United Nations (UNFPA), Jordinvest where she spent 12 years as VP, COO and Treasury, managing finance and investment banking operations regionally and internationally, as well as being advisor to United Advisors. Alfinaz holds a BA in Economics from Jordan University and is a CMA qualified.

Dr Odeh R. Al-Jayyousi, VP Science and Research at the Royal Scientific Society

Dr. Odeh R. Al-Jayyousi

Odeh R. Al-Jayyousi is the vice president for science and research at the Royal Scientific Society since Sept. 2011. He worked as the regional director for IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature – West Asia / Middle East regional office during (2004-20011). He was a university professor in water resources and environment during (1993-2004). He was an academic director for MBA Programme in transformational management in UK. He has diverse skills in knowledge management, strategic planning, public policy analysis, and sustainable development. He has over twenty years of experience in various planning activities in Chicago at the Department of Planning- City of Chicago, and University of Illinois at Chicago, Center of Urban Economic Development- Chicago. He facilitated workshops, focus groups, and meetings. He developed and carried out training courses in leadership skills, knowledge management, economic development, urban planning, and water planning. He worked as a consultant with EU, ESCWA, World Bank, GTZ and USAID. He worked as a water expert with GTZ for the development of water policy and the updating of the National Water Master Plan for Jordan. He was nominated and selected for the Next Generation of Water Leaders Program (Stockholm, 1999) to participate in the formulation of the World Water Vision 21st. Participated in the formulation of the Strategy of Biodiversity and Water. He published over 30 articles in international peer-reviewed journals. He was the Dean of Scientific Research at Applied Science University, Jordan. He published several articles on the domain of water policy and planning, sustainable development, and knowledge management. He is founding board member in Jordan Green Building Council, Fair Trade Jordan, and Green Fund for Environment.

Dr. Wejdan Abu-Elhaija, Dean of King Abdullah II School for Engineering

Dr. Wejdan Abu-Elhaija

Dr. Abu-Elhaija received her B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), Irbid, Jordan and PhD degree in electrical machines from Queen University of Belfast (QUB), Belfast, UK. In 2000, she joined the Department of Electronics Engineering, Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), as an Assistant Professor. She has been promoted to Associate Professor in 2006. She held the position of President’s Assistant for quality Assurance during 2007-2010. In September 2009, she has been the Head of the electronics Engineering Department. Since September 2011, she has been the Dean of King Abdullah II School for Engineering. Her research interests are primarily in the field of electrical machines and drives.

Dr Odeh R. Al-Jayyousieren Shahin, Director of the DoCI

Seren Shahin

Seren Shahin graduated from McGill University, in Montreal, Canada, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. After graduating from the Bachelor’s program, Mrs. Shahin attended Ottawa University, in Ottawa, Canada, for a Master’s Degree in Economic Development. Mrs. Shahin’s professional career started with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as an economic Researcher, at Jordan’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) at the World Trade Organization Unit. Following two years at MIT, and with an interest in environmental issues, Mrs. Shahin pursued a Masters Degree at Reading University, in the United Kingdom, in Environment and Development. Afterwards, in 2001, Mrs. Shahin joined the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, as an International Trade Officer, in the Technical Support Unit that oversaw Jordan’s cooperation with the European Union. At the Dubai Development and Investment Authority (Later Dubai Holding) from 2002-2004, Mrs. Shahin was a Senior Associate in the Policy Development Unit. By 2006, Mrs. Shahin joined “To Excel” consulting Associates as Project Manager working on different projects in the areas of economic development, monitoring and evaluation and economic analysis. Also, Mrs. Shahin was a trainer at BDC a program that focuses on training university graduates on various soft skills to enhance their employability. Joining the Royal Scientific Society in 2010 and heading the Drivers of Change Campaign (later Drivers of Change Institute, DoCI), Mrs. Shahin worked extensively in Jordan’s local communities to build a knowledge database on Jordanian’s perceptive of the future of Jordan. As Director of the DoCI , Mrs. Shahin is currently focusing on projects that highlight the strong link between science and sustainable development.

Sara Abu Alia, Founder and Project Director of ArtMedium

Sarah Abu Alia

Sarah Abu Alia is the Founder and Project Director of ArtMedium, an arts and entertainment management company founded in Amman that manages various projects including concerts, art exhibitions, and plays. Aside from working in a startup, Sarah has a developing interest in economics and sustainability, particularly in the Middle East. Sarah has a passion for starting projects and she currently spends most of her time exploring the arts and learning about business, economics and sustainable practice

Dr. Suhail Jouaneh, Co-Founder Better Business

Dr. Suhail Jouaneh

Dr. Suhail Jouaneh is a motivated, personable business facilitator and executive coach with a successful 16-year track record of profitable business ownership, consulting, organizational development and training. Diplomatic and tactful with professionals at all levels. Accustomed to handling difficult senior management cases through coaching and counseling. Highly articulate and demonstrated talent in organizing and facilitating leadership management retreats, conferences and seminars. Organized thousands of workshops and trained more than 20,000 people from over forty countries around the world mainly in Singapore and Hawaii in English, as well as the Middle East and GCC in Arabic (KSA, UAE, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, Istanbul) and in French for the French speaking West Africa Senegal. Persistent yet flexible, versatile and open to innovative ideas. Poised and competent with demonstrated ability to easily transcend cultural differences. Attending to details with Quantitative and Qualitative achievements. Excellent team-buildingskills and personality profiling.

Samar Shawareb, Founder & Managing Director – Arabia Weddings, Jordan

Samar Shawareb

Samar Shawareb is the Founder and Managing Director of Arabia Weddings (www.ArabiaWeddings.com); an online bilingual wedding planning platform established in Jordan in 2011 for the Middle East market. Arabia Weddings is supported by Oasis 500, a regional early- stage investment fund, training and mentorship program. Samar has over 25 years of work experience. She founded Events UnLimited in 2011 as a professional event management company producing top quality exhibitions and conferences among them the International Hospitality Forum, the Wedding Show and Think Green conferences on Green Buildings. Earlier, Samar worked as a Senior Commercial Officer at the British Embassy in Amman promoting British trade and investment between the UK and Jordan. During that period Samar was awarded the “D Group Award for Outstanding Export Achievement” by the British Government. Samar holds an MBA from the University of Jordan and a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut (AUB). Samar is also a Certified Event Management Professional from George Washington University. Samar is an active member of various organizations. She is a Board Member of the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA), a Founding and Board Member of the Jordan Green Building Council and a member of the Business and Professional Women Association of Amman. She is married and has two daughters.

Eva Hukshorn, Partner EFactor.com

Eva Hukshorn

Eva has 7 years of experience as a financial & strategic advisor in Invest- ment Banking in London, Amsterdam and New York for Accenture and ABN AMRO / RBS. During these years, she worked on a variety of projects mainly with an international focus. In 2010, she became an entrepreneur & investor herself. Currently, Eva is Management and Partner of EFactor.com, the larg- est network for Entrepreneurs in the world. Eva coaches several startups and is Board of Advisory of TreFoil Energy, CleanDrinks and Global Thinkers. Eva was nominated La Femme Formidable 2012 by Marie Claire Magazine. Her key experience is in process management of Mergers & Acquisitions and strategic & financial guidance of companies. Eva has a master degree in Financial Economics (MSCi), studied International Asian Politics in Taiwan and is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). She is expected to gradu- ate in December 2012 for her diploma in International Financial Reporting Standards (DipIFRS) by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). In 2011, she passed her Colloquium in General & Modern Art in Amsterdam.

Shada El Sharif

Shada El Sharif

Shada is Head of Sustainability at Arabtech Jardaneh (AJ), a regional consultancy firm based in Amman – Jordan. Shada represents AJ on the Board of Directors of the Jordan Green Building Council (JGBC), and is also a member of the Jordan Clean Tech Innovation Cluster, the Jordan Energy Chapter and the regional sustainable development initiative: Carboun. Shada provides both technical leadership and project management to a number of projects in the areas of water efficiency, energy solutions, climate change mitigation, low-energy/biological wastewater treatment and sustainable design. As a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP BD+C), Shada has a strong background in sustainable design and is actively involved in green building and sustainability initiatives in Jordan and abroad.

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