William Jefferson Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice – first in 1992 and then in 1996. Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs.
After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote healthier childhoods, and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and private citizens to turn good intentions into measurable results. Today the Foundation has staff and volunteers around the world working to improve lives through several initiatives, including the Clinton Health Access Initiative (formerly the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative) which is helping more than 4 million people living with HIV/AIDS access lifesaving drugs. Other initiatives – including the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Clinton Development Initiative, and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative – are applying a business-oriented approach worldwide to fight climate change and develop sustainable economic growth in Africa and Latin America. Established in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative brings together global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. In the U.S., the Foundation is working to combat the alarming rise in childhood obesity through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and is helping individuals and families succeed and small businesses grow.
In addition to his Foundation work, President Clinton has joined with former President George H.W. Bush three times – after the 2004 tsunami in South Asia, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Hurricane Ike in 2008 – to help raise money for recovery efforts and served as the U.N. Envoy for Tsunami Recovery.
Building on his longstanding commitment to Haiti as President and through his Foundation, President Clinton was named U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti in 2009 to assist the government and the people of Haiti as they “build back better” after a series of hurricanes battered the country in 2008. Following the 2010 devastating earthquake in Haiti, President Clinton dedicated Clinton Foundation resources to help with immediate and long-term relief and assistance, and at the request of President Obama, joined with President George W. Bush to establish the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which supports highly effective organizations on the ground in long-term rebuilding efforts. Today, the Clinton Foundation is supporting economic growth, job creation, and sustainability in Haiti.
President Clinton was born on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. He and his wife Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton have one daughter, Chelsea, and live in Chappaqua, New York.
William Jefferson Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice – first in 1992 and then in 1996. Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs.
Premier Paula Ann Cox, JP, MP is the Progressive Labour Party – or PLP
– Member of Parliament for Constituency 14 or Devonshire North West in
Bermuda. She is the Premier and Minister of Finance. Ms. Cox was first
elected to the Bermuda Parliament in October 1996.
Premier Cox has had varied experience in Government, having held a number of Cabinet portfolios. In November 1998, she was appointed as the first PLP Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Public Safety.
Premier Cox was appointed Minister of Education and Development on November 1, 2001. In 2003, while Premier Cox was serving as the Attorney-General and Minister of Education and Development, Wheelock College (USA) invited Premier Paula Cox to accept an honorary doctorate in Education. In 2009, Dalhousie University invited her to become an Honorary alumnus of Dalhousie University.
While the Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Public Safety, she was judged as the most effective politician in the Best of Bermuda Gold Awards for 2001 by The Bermudian magazine. This accolade was repeated in 2003 when she was the Minister of Education and Development following which she was appointed Attorney-General and Minister of Education and Development, and again in 2006 in her capacity as Minister of Finance. Premier Cox assumed the Finance portfolio in January 2004, succeeding her late father, the Hon. C. Eugene Cox, CBE, JP, MP.
Premier Cox earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from McGill University in Canada, and a post-graduate Diploma in International Law from the University of Manchester. She trained in the United Kingdom as a Solicitor and is a member of the Bermuda Bar. She is the President of the Bermuda Branch of the International Women’s Forum, which she established in Bermuda in the latter part of 2011.
Ambassador James ("Jim") Glassman is the Founding Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute. He previously served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from June 2008 to January 2009, leading the government wide international strategic communications effort. Among his accomplishments at the State Department was bringing new internet technology to bear on outreach to foreign publics, an approach he christened “Public Diplomacy 2.0.”
Prior to his State Department post, from June 2007 to June 2008, he was chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), directing all non–military, taxpayer–funded U.S. international broadcasting, including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Alhurra TV. He continued to serve as a governor of the BBG, representing the Secretary of State, during his post as Under Secretary.
From 1996 to 2008, Ambassador Glassman was a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. He is moderator and host of “Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman,” a weekly series on public policy issues aired on more than 100 public television stations around the country. He was previously moderator of two weekly TV programs in the late 1990s: “Capital Gang Sunday” on CNN and “TechnoPolitics” on PBS.
Ambassador Glassman has had a long career as a journalist and publisher. He served as president of the Atlantic Monthly magazine, publisher of the New Republic magazine, executive vice president of U.S. News & World Report, and editor and co–owner of Roll Call, the Congressional newspaper. Between 1993 and 2004, he was a columnist for the Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune. Shortly after graduating from college, he started Figaro, a weekly newspaper in New Orleans. His articles on finance, economics, and foreign policy have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street, Los Angeles Times, and various other publications. Additionally, he has written three books on investing, and in April 2012, was appointed to the Investor Advisory Committee of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was formerly a member of the Policy Advisory Board of Intel Corporation and was Senior Advisor to AT&T Corporation and SAP America, Inc.
Mr. Potter has been a guest speaker at financial events in the Middle East and the United States. His contacts throughout the Middle East and the United States are with the top global financial institutions; high net worth families; and, government representatives, including several Sovereign Wealth Funds. He is currently licensed with a Series 7, Series 66 and Series 3.
The founder and Managing Director of COPARA, he continues to build a rewarding career spanning three decades, and multiple industries, including many noteworthy achievements. His abilities to lead, strategize, develop business and maintain relationships have all contributed to his success.
Most recently, Mr. Potter founded C3 Summit LLC. The mission of C3 Summit, as noted on its website http://www.c3-summit.com is to ensure that both US and Arab businesses grow and prosper by providing unique and valuable commerce opportunities. By creating a global forum for both the US and the Arab world to explore private sector growth and employment generation, C3 Summit will encourage each region to open new opportunities on the commercial front to enhance the welfare of freer trade.
Prior to founding C3 Summit, Mr. Potter has been marketing financial instruments in the Middle East under the umbrella of Copara. He personally negotiated with Value Line the international distribution rights regarding both terms and conditions. In less than 11 months, Mr. Potter established several funds. One funded and managed by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (the 50th strongest bank in the world). He also was successful in marketing a high yield fund for Thomson Reuters with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The other, The National Investor, a top boutique investment banking house located in Dubai. He was also responsible for engaging with the Abu Dhabi Investment Company (Invest AD) an assignment to incorporate a quantitative ranking system, with a $30 million GCC/MENA fund, managed by Invest AD.
Morgan Stanley recognized the value of Mr. Potter’s experience and relationships and, in 2007, they invited him to join the firm. Until December of 2010, Mr. Potter served as a Senior Partner on their Private Wealth Management team responsible for identifying viable business opportunities among high net worth clients, families, hedge funds and foundations. His introductions had been a cornerstone of the team’s success producing more than $250 million of net new assets in 36 months. In 1992, Mr. Potter founded Kinloch Marketing and occupied the role of CEO until 2007. Kinloch designed and brought to market sales lead generation and management systems for the Insurance, Banking and Energy industries. Kinloch’s success was a direct result of his leadership and a network he established with senior executives of Fortune 1000 companies.
In 1990, his previous achievements were recognized by Flair Communications and he was asked to run their NY office. He merged R.N. Potter Associates with Flair’s New York office and built that regional office in to the largest of their five domestic offices, leaving in 1992 to establish Kinloch Marketing. He formed R.N. Potter Associates in 1984, a marketing and sales organization, which he headed until 1989. During that time, Mr. Potter personally initiated, negotiated and developed one of the largest independent contracts for advertising billboards with the Penn Central Corporation.
In 1980, Mr. Potter, together with a partner, started On Line Media, an innovative supermarket ad company. Within three years, they took On Line Media public, raising capital and watching the stock soar. Upon selling his shares of On Line Media in 1984, he formed R.N. Potter Associates. Mr. Potter, a graduate of Syracuse University, has six children and, with his wife, lives in East Hampton, NY.
Minister Abdullah Alireza was appointed Minister of Commerce and Industry in March 2008. Previously, he served as a Minister of State without portfolio when he was appointed by King Fahd in 2003. He has been a Member of the Supreme Economic Council since 2005 and serves on the Board of Trustees of King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for the Gifted.
During the last twenty years, Minister Alireza has been Chairman of multiple businesses and organizations, including the Saudi Services & Operating Company, Saudi Energy Services Company Limited, Saudi Trade & Export Development Company, and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he is a former Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Minister Alireza has been Co-Chairman of the National U.S. Arab Chamber of Commerce since 1999, and is a member of the Commission for Industrial Cities & Technology Parks, and the Human Resource Development Fund.
Minister Alireza works closely with academic institutions and non-profit organizations around the world promoting education and cross-cultural understanding. Minister Alireza obtained his B.A. in Political Science from Whittier College in California, and performed graduate work at Washington, D.C.’s American University and Georgetown University.
Nolan Bushnell is a technology pioneer, entrepreneur and scientist. Often cited as the "father of the video game industry", he is best known as the founder of Atari Corporation and Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater. Mr. Bushnell is passionate about enhancing and improving the educational process by integrating the latest in brain science, and truly enjoys motivating and inspiring others with his views on entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and education.
Over the past four decades, Mr. Bushnell has been a prolific entrepreneur, founding numerous companies, including: Catalyst Technologies, the first technology incubator; Etak, the first car navigation system whose mapping is still the basis for car navigation systems today; Androbot, a personal robotics company; and ByVideo, the first online ordering system, which allowed customers to order and pay for a product from kiosks. Additionally, he has consulted for numerous corporations, including IBM, Cisco Systems and US Digital Communications.
Currently, Mr. Bushnell is devoting his talents to fixing education with his new company, Brainrush. His beta software is teaching academic subjects at over 10 times the speed in classrooms with over 90% retention. He uses video game metrics to addict learners to academic subjects. His Anti Aging games project helps seniors to avoid many of the problems of mental aging through game exercises that maintain mental flexibility and problem solving. He was most recently featured in the New Yorker magazine for this effort.
Over the years, Mr. Bushnell has garnered many accolades and distinctions. He was named ASI 1997 Man of the Year; inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame, inducted into the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame and named one of Newsweek’s “50 Men That Changed America.” He is also highlighted as one of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial icons in “The Revolutionaries” display at the renowned Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California.
In March of 2009, Mr. Bushnell was honored with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Fellowship Award (BAFTA), the highest accolade the Academy bestows, for his outstanding creative contribution to the Video Games Industry. He was similarly honored with a LARA award from the German Academy of Entertainment. Currently a biopic about Bushnell, tentatively titled Atari, is in pre-production. The story was acquired by Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company and is set to star DiCaprio as Mr. Bushnell.
Mr. Bushnell has created many business cultural innovations that have become the norm, including unique business planning sessions, flat egalitarian management organizations, casual work attire, play/work environments, creativity as a competitive weapon, and the innovator’s bonus. All can be traced to their first use at Atari and Chuck E. Cheese and later instilled at Apple and other Silicon Valley corporations.
Mr. Bushnell received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah, where he is a Distinguished Fellow and also attended Stanford University Graduate School.
Since its inception over 40 years ago, NUSACC has been the preeminent organization for fostering trade and investment between the United States and the 22 countries of the Arab world. Mr. Hamod accepted his current position in 2004.
Mr. Hamod has been a prominent and active member of the U.S. business community for more than two decades. In 1988, Mr. Hamod founded Intercom International Consultants, a Washington-based consulting firm that has served as an advisor to numerous business groups, including more than 30 U.S. companies. As President of Intercom, Mr. Hamod served on the International Policy Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for more than a decade.
Prior to founding Intercom, Mr. Hamod worked for the Brookings Institution, International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and The New York Times, among others.
As U.S. Representative of the American Business Council of the Gulf Countries (ABCGC) for more than 15 years, Mr. Hamod served as the Washington-based voice of the American business community in the Arabian Gulf. He played an instrumental role in the success of the U.S.-GCC Business Dialogue, as well as the U.S.-GCC Standards Cooperation Program.
Mr. Hamod has worked with the U.S. Congress on business issues since 1985, and he is familiar with every facet of the legislative process. He has testified before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on numerous occasions and has played a role in just about every major piece of trade-related legislation to work its way through Congress in the past decade. In 1997, in a ceremony on Capitol Hill, Mr. Hamod was honored with a “Patriot of the Expatriates Award” for his outstanding commitment to U.S. international business competitiveness. As a result of his active role in the U.S. private sector, Mr. Hamod has developed expertise in transparency and best commercial practices.
As a consultant to the Development Center of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is playing a lead role in promoting good business ethics internationally, Mr. Hamod served as a liaison to such groups as Transparency International, World Bank Group, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Named one of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report, Linda Rottenberg is considered one of the world’s most dynamic and respected experts on entrepreneurship, business opportunities in emerging markets, and innovative leadership for the new economy. For years, she has motivated audiences of Fortune 500 managers to think like entrepreneurs and develop their global know-how.
As CEO and co-founder of Endeavor, Ms. Rottenberg pioneered the field of “High-Impact Entrepreneurship,” the global phenomenon of using high-growth business to transform economies. Headquartered in New York and Silicon Valley with 15 affiliate offices throughout Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia, Endeavor identifies, mentors, and co-invests in the most promising emerging-market entrepreneurs. The 700 Endeavor Entrepreneurs selected to date, screened from more than 30,000 candidates, have created more than 200,000 high-wage jobs and generate annual revenues of $5 billion.
Ms. Rottenberg has been the subject of three case studies published by the Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She was named one of 100 "Innovators for the 21st century" by TIME magazine. Dell, Inc. featured her as a Hero in its "Take Your Own Path" global advertising campaign, Veuve Cliquot named her Business Woman of the Year in 2008, and Tom Friedman named her the world's "Mentor Capitalist" in his bestseller,The World Is Flat 2.0.
In 2011 she was named to the Forbes "Impact 30." Dubbed "Ms. Davos" by Business Insider, Ms. Rottenberg served as co-chair of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and currently serves on the Forum’s global steering committee on entrepreneurship. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Rottenberg is also a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), the Council on Foreign Relations and an expert judge for the McKinsey-Harvard Business Review awards.
Having assembled an unparalleled network of the world's foremost business leaders and investors, Ms. Rottenberg is often sought out for her ability to understand new trends in global business: "After 20 years of traveling from Rio to Riyadh, Johannesburg to New Delhi to Istanbul, I have come to understand the power of thinking BIG and thinking globally. You cannot understand the world today without understanding what is happening in the world's growth markets. And I believe even the largest corporations can integrate an entrepreneurial mindset into their culture."
Cathy Sharick is the managing editor of TIME.com. Her role in TIME.com's expansion and evolution cannot be overstated. She has been directly involved in nearly every facet of the website, including edit, design, multimedia, product development, business development, strategy, personnel, budgeting, technology and infrastructure. She has overseen editorial and production and transformed the video department into the site leader it is today.
Ms. Sharnick has managed breaking news coverage—from the 2002 capture of Saddam Hussein to the recent collapse of Muammar Gaddafi's regime. Over the years, she's played a crucial role in unifying print and digital, making it possible for reporters to write for all platforms. She worked on four redesigns—including the current one—as well as the launch of the site's Healthland, Moneyland, Swampland, Lightbox, entertainment and tech sites. She has enabled TIME.com to catapult to close to 2 billion page views last year.
Not only has TIME.com emerged as a fully realized, parallel and complimentary product to the print magazine, but its growth has extended well beyond the website. TIME.com now boasts over 3.7 million Twitter followers (the third biggest news brand on Twitter), the centerpiece of a successful social media strategy that includes a hugely popular Facebook page and Tumblr. Rounding out the TIME digital portfolio are three stand-alone iPad apps, multiple versions of the TIME iPhone app, as well as the Samsung TV app, all of which Sharick helped launch. It is a four-screen digital platform that’s earning rave reviews: In 2011, New York University's School of Business think tank L2 named TIME a "digital genius", citing its strong presence across multiple platforms in the social media and mobile space. Sharick will now use that project expertise to perfect the long-term vision and the daily operations of the site—as well as to further expand TIME's digital presence on desktops, mobile devices and tablets.
Ms. Sharick graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and earned her master's degree in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Alan Patricof is the founder and managing director of Greycroft LLC. Greycroft Partners is a venture capital partnership formed to invest in promising digital media companies.
A longtime innovator and advocate for venture capital, Mr. Patricof entered the industry in its formative days with the creation of Patricof & Co. Ventures Inc. Over the course of his 40 year career in private equity, Mr. Patricof has been instrumental in growing the venture capital field from a base of high net-worth individuals to its position today with broad institutional backing, as well as playing a key role in the essential legislative initiatives that have guided its evolution. He has helped build and foster the growth of numerous major global companies, including, among others, America Online, Office Depot, Cadence Systems, Cellular Communications, Inc., Apple Computer, FORE Systems, NTL, and Audible. He was also a founder and chairman of the board of New York magazine, which later acquired the Village Voice and New West magazine.
Mr. Patricof is a board member of TechnoServe, Trickle Up Program, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), the Global Advisory Board of Endeavor, and the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) Leadership Council; he is also an advisor to International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank. In June 2007, he was appointed to the board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation by the President of the United States. From 1993 to 1995, he served as Chairman of the White House Conference on Small Business Commission.
Miroslav Dusek has a MA in International Studies from the University of Reading. In the UK he received an Arabic Language Certificate from Kuwait University. From 2003-07 he became an Assistant, then Director, American Center, US Embassy, Prague, responsible for managing public information programs ranging from expert conferences to academic competitions and publications. From 2007-11, Mr. Dusek was a Public Diplomacy Specialist, US Embassy in Baghdad, responsible for relations with Iraqi media and for a number of education and cultural projects. As Head of Middle East and North Africa, World Economic Forum, he is responsible for the design of MENA summits and for the coordination of the Forum's Arab Business Council. Mr. Dusek was also the author of articles on Middle East politics and economics for Czechoslovakia print media. Mr. Dusek's expertise focuses on: public diplomacy in the Muslim world; international relations of the Mediterranean; the role of "think tanks" in transitional societies.
Prior to co-founding Blue Gate Capital Partners, Ziad Makkawi was the Founding Shareholder, Chairman and CEO of Algebra Capital, an asset management and advisory firm based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). As CEO, Mr. Makkawi was responsible for building Algebra Capital to be one of the leading MENA focused asset management companies, and for successfully selling the business to Franklin Templeton Investments, a global leader in asset management with over USD 700 billion in assets under management.
Mr. Makkawi is also co-founder and Board member of Tigris Enterprises, a holding company with investments in Iraq since 2004. Tigris Enterprises has activities through subsidiaries in several sectors including Construction, Food & Beverages, and Healthcare.
Mr. Makkawi has held top positions at international and regional investment banks and financial institutions, starting with JP Morgan in New York (1986) and Elf Aquitaine in Geneva (1990). He then moved to the Middle East to co-found Lebanon Invest (1994) subsequently bought by Lebanese banking group Bank Audi, and the Middle-East Capital Group, the region's first merchant bank with a MENA focus in 1996.
Mr. Makkawi is a pioneer and leader in the development and turn-around of the regional financial services firms including commercial banks, investment banks and asset management. Under his leadership the teams he has managed have executed over USD 10 billion worth of investment banking and capital markets mandates. He has launched, managed, and acted as Chief Investment Officer on some of the region's most innovative and successful investment funds.
Prior to Algebra Capital, he was CEO of Dubai Bank, one of the UAE's youngest and most dynamic banks. Under his leadership the Bank achieved break-even in its second full year of operation and returned 21% return to shareholders in its third year of operation.
Mr. Makkawi also launched the bank's investment banking, asset management and brokerage operations. He then executed transactions in the GCC, India, Pakistan and Turkey. He has served on the boards of innumerable companies and funds in the region including Middle East Capital Group (Lebanon), National Bonds (UAE) a Shari’a compliant savings institution, Capital Management House (Bahrain); The Alpha Mena Fund; The Special Situations fund, The Arab Gateway Fund; The Arab Income Fund and others.
Prior to heading Dubai Bank, Mr. Makkawi was Executive Management Director of SHUAA Capital, a UAE based Investment Banking institution where he built from scratch and ran the financial services business encompassing Capital Markets, Asset Management, Brokerage and Research. The foundation laid down by him allowed SHUAA Capital to occupy a leading position in the regional investment banking and asset management arena.
Mr. Makkawi holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, an MBA in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Management and a B.A. from Rice University. He is a member of the YPO-WPO since 2004.
Professor Ekhleif Y. Tarawneh became the twelfth President of The University of Jordan in March 2012. His vision is to transform the University into one with international stature that adopts and maintains the highest research, educational, administrative and service standards and procedures, and that will transforms its students, faculty and staff into global citizens capable of meeting domestic, regional, and global challenges.
Prof. Tarawneh earned a B.A. degree in Public Administration from The University of Jordan, a Diploma in Business from Milan, Italy, an M.A. in School Administration and an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree from Emporia State University, and a Ph.D. degree in Educational Administration from the University of Kansas. He held many Key administrative positions including Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mu'tah University, President of the Higher Education Accreditation Commission, and President of Al-Balq'a Applied University. He received several national and international awards and honors.
Prof. Tarawneh is a member of several national and international associations and boards and served on numerous committees including the Higher Education Council and the Fulbright Commission. He also chaired the Board of the Arab Council for Training Students of Arab Universities, the Board of Directors of Al-Balq'a Electronic Academy, and the Board of Directors of the Palestinian Universities Support Fund. He has extensive expertise in higher education policy and administration, strategic planning, institutional development, international education and exchanges, learning and technology, total quality management and benchmarking in education.
Ken Lipper is a prominent figure in the arts, in the world of finance, and in government. He served as New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development under Ed Koch (1983-1985), and has worked variously as a lawyer, investment banker, professor, novelist, screenwriter, Academy Award winning movie producer, hedge fund manager, book publisher, entrepreneur, and commercial real estate executive. Lipper earned his B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) at Columbia, his J.D. at Harvard Law School, his LL.M. at NYU and did postgraduate work in law and economics at the University of Paris.
Thereafter he was an associate with a Wall Street law firm for a year before serving as Director of Industry Policy for the Office of Foreign Direct Investment in Washington, D.C.. He has been an associate and partner of Lehman Brothers (1969–75) and managing director and partner at Salomon Brothers (1976–82) before being recruited by Mayor Ed Koch for his position as Deputy Mayor in charge of the budget, taxation, and economic development for New York City.
In the late 1980s, Mr. Lipper founded the investment firm Lipper & Company, which managed more than $5 billion on behalf of institutions and high-net-worth individuals. The firm’s investment banking division advised on billions of dollars of mergers and acquisitions, and was ranked the 13th largest M&A firm in 1992. Financial World Magazine ranked Mr. Lipper as the 40th highest earner on Wall Street for 1993 and 1994.
Ambassador Wisner’s diplomatic career spans four decades and eight American presidents. He served as ambassador to Zambia, Egypt, the Philippines, and India during his extensive career in the State Department. In addition to his role as ambassador to four countries, he has served as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and as Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs.
Ambassador Wisner worked as a senior diplomat in Tunisia and Bangladesh before returning to Washington as Director of Plans and Management in the Bureau of Public Affairs. He joined the President’s Interagency Task Force on Indochina, the entity responsible for evacuating and settling nearly one million refugees and served as its Deputy Director. Later, as Director of the Office of Southern African Affairs, Ambassador Wisner worked closely with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to launch negotiations with Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Before joining Patton Boggs, where he currently provides clients with strategic global advice concerning business, politics, and international law from the firm’s Washington and New York offices, as the firm's Foreign Affairs Advisor, Ambassador Wisner served as Vice Chairman of External Affairs for American International Group.
Ambassador Untermeyer has been an international business consultant since returning in 2007 from Qatar, where he served three years as United States Ambassador on appointment of President George W. Bush. He has held both elected and appointed office at all four levels of government – local, state, national, and international -- for more than 35 years, with work in journalism, academia, and business as well. Prior to his post as Ambassador to Qatar, he was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Facilities, in charge of the bases and other land and buildings of the Navy and Marine Corps. Next, President Reagan appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, with responsibility for recruiting, training, health, housing, discipline, and other personnel aspects of 600,000 Navy and 200,000 Marine Corps men and women, plus one-third million civilian employees.
Ambassador Untermeyer was appointed by the first President Bush to a three-year term on the Board of Visitors of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, serving the final year as chairman. He is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Directs the Investments and Operations for the $37 Billion pension fund of the United Nations system. Over 90% of the assets are managed internally, covering assets and liabilities in 192 Member States. As the global fund manager of the UN's international pension fund with assets in Emerging & Developed market Equities, Multicurrency Fixed Income, International Real Estate and Private Equity, she has implemented Risk Management, Credit Policy, Compliance and Trade Order Management reforms.
Seth W. Pinsky was appointed President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Mr. Pinsky has re-evaluated the agency’s strategy for expanding the City’s economy and redoubling existing efforts to position the City as the international center for innovation in the 21st century. NYCEDC’s agenda includes an aggressive slate of programs aimed at diversifying the City’s economy, helping legacy industries transition to 21st Century business models, and expanding entrepreneurship to ensure that the City is well-represented in the fields of tomorrow. The more than 60 programs launched during Mr. Pinsky's tenure focus on industries such as the arts, bioscience, fashion, finance, green services, manufacturing, media, and technology and include: incubator spaces providing hundreds of low-cost work stations and business development services to startup companies; the first City-sponsored investment fund outside the Silicon Valley; and international competitions aimed at spurring the creation of new business plans and smart-phone applications using long-neglected government data.
Beyond working to overhaul the City’s economy, Mr. Pinsky's efforts have also included modernizing NYCEDC’s property management portfolio; overseeing $2.5 billion in capital investments ranging from basic infrastructure improvements to new parks and streetscapes across the City; and helping to negotiate and structure the City’s involvement in some of the most complex development projects in recent years, including the World Trade Center, Yankee Stadium, Citifield and Cornell University, the winner of the City's $100 million competition to build a new state-of-the art engineering and applied science graduate school on free City land, hailing the deal as a "game changer" for New York.
At the age of 25, Jared Kushner became the owner and publisher of The New York Observer, a weekly newspaper that boasts a readership comprised of New York City's social, political and media elite. While attending Harvard, Mr. Kushner made a small fortune selling renovated condos, and closed his first multimillion dollar deal before his 20th birthday. At the age of 25, he played a major role in the $1.8 billion purchase of a Fifth Avenue skyscraper. He bought The New York Observer that same year, at a time when print media was facing an uncertain future brought on by the digital age. Since Mr. Kushner came on board, the changes he has instated have helped increase its revenue by 40%.
In his current role, Mr. Siddiqui's mandate is to address the pre-trade, trade and post trade work flow information for variety of Islamic asset classes to make Islamic finance conventionally efficient. His Islamic finance team successfully launched the Islamic Finance Gateway (IFG), the world’s first platform that addresses the work flow in Islamic Finance across multiple asset classes. In 2010, the IFG won the International Islamic Finance Forum Award for 'Contribution to Innovation in Islamic Finance'.
Mr. Siddiqui has a fortnightly column in Gulfnews (Dubai, UAE) and New Strait Times (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) on Islamic finance. He has recently been appointed as a member of the Islamic Advisory Committee member of the Securities Commission of Malaysia and a Visiting Fellow of the International Islamic University Malaysia. He was previously member of Dubai’s DIFC IFAC (Islamic Finance Advisory Council). Mr Siddiqui joined Thomson Reuters from Dow Jones Indexes, where he was global director for their Islamic Market Indices, and received more than a dozen awards in the Islamic finance. He led teams to launch world’s first Islamic equity index, Islamic sustainability Index, Sukuk Index, and Halal Food index (with Ideal Ratings).
Andrea Fiano has been involved with Global Finance since it was launched in 1987.
Mr. Fiano, an Italian national, has lived in New York for over 25 years. He has been the US correspondent of the Italian financial daily paper MF/Milano Finanza and of the Italian TV channel Class-CNBC. He has done advanced studies at the New School for Social Research and at Wharton. In the past he has written on international finance for Barron’s and has appeared in the McNeil-Lehrer Show on PBS. As editor for Global Finance, he oversees all content for its 50,000 readers in 163 countries whose audience includes chairmen, presidents, CEOs, CFOs, treasurers and other senior financial officers responsible for making investment and strategic decisions at multinational companies and financial institutions.
Additionally, Mr. Fiano is responsible for all content targeting the 8,000 international portfolio investors responsible for more than 80% of all global assets under professional management, including Its website –– GFmag.com –– which offers analysis and articles that are the heritage of 24 years of experience in international financial markets, and provides a valuable source of data on 192 countries.
Sorbonne–educated and New York University (NYU) research scholar, Mustapha Tlili is the founder and director of the NYU Center for Dialogues and a senior fellow at NYU’s Remarque Institute. Professor Tlili is also currently serving as Special Adviser to the President of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Previously, Prof. Tlili taught at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and was a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute of New School University. He is a former senior UN secretariat official, having served as director for communications policy in the United Nations Department of Public Information, director of the UN information center for France, located in Paris, and chief of the Namibia, Anti–Apartheid, Palestine and decolonization programs in the same department.
Mustapha Tlili wrote on Machiavelli's theory of government and, with Jacques Derrida, co–edited a book of essays in honor of Nelson Mandela. An established novelist, Mustapha Tlili is a knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters. He is also a member of Human Rights Watch’s Advisory Committee for the Middle East and North Africa.
Over fifteen years, the studio veteran rose from a creative associate at Hollywood Pictures to his most recent position as Executive Vice President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production. In that position, Mr. Reed was essentially given greenlight authority on a slate of pictures he was to develop with local teams in foreign territories. Mr. Reed was responsible for working closely with each country’s management to develop a comprehensive market strategy for the individual territories. He lead a group working with the local teams on all creative and business-related aspects of creating new films including film and talent selection, deal-making and budget considerations.
Mr. Reed has since founded Seedstock which is a company dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is focused on finding solutions to the challenges facing agriculture and food security and ways to meet global food demand that is forecasted to increase over 70% in the next 40 years, as world population is predicted to reach nine billion by 2050.
In his practice, Mr. Levy serves the business and legal needs of participants in most aspects of, and product types in, the real estate industry throughout the United States and in Europe.
He has considerable experience representing privately held and capital markets industry clients in acquisitions and dispositions, public and private equity and debt transactions, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, joint ventures, REITs and real estate bankruptcies, foreclosures, restructurings, refinancing and leasing. Mr. Levy is actively involved in inbound and outbound cross-border transactions and represents a number of diverse institutional and boutique real estate opportunity funds. His clients include lenders and borrowers, in balance sheet, securitized and highly structured financings. Mr. Levy's practice also focuses on the hospitality sector, representing public and private clients acquiring single-asset and multi-asset companies, financing hotels and restructuring existing debt.
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business has ranked Mr. Levy among the top real estate lawyers in New York in every year since 2009, when it noted his "broad practice" and commenting that he "possesses vast expertise in the hospitality sector." In 2010, Chambers continued to praise Mr. Levy for his wide-ranging real estate practice, calling him "an extremely smart and tough negotiator who is tenacious in representing his clients." In 2011, calling him a Senior Statesman, Chambers said he is regarded as "'one of the smartest real estate lawyers in New York.' He is praised by clients and peers alike for his depth of knowledge and understanding of the practice area."
Mr. Levy has been named in The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers 2006, designated a New York Super Lawyer every year since 2006 and cited in The International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers every year since 2002. He was also recognized in Euromoney's Expert Guide to the World's Leading Real Estate Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, The 2008 New York Area's Best Lawyers and The US Legal 500.
Marc Ginsberg, former presidential adviser on Middle East policy and United States ambassador has
more than 30 years of diplomatic, commercial, legal and intelligence affairs experience working in and
on behalf of the U.S. government. Since 1971, he has held many prominent public and private sector
positions, focusing on foreign policy, national security, trade and investment, with a principal focus on
Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
Currently, he serves as Senior Managing Director for APCO Worldwide as a strategic business consultant for multilateral clients, and as founding President of Layalina Productions – America’s most successful and prolific producer of original Arabic-language prime time television and educational media throughout the Arab world.
Ambassador Ginsberg served as a foreign and defense legislative assistant to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, White House Liaison for Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Deputy Senior Advisor for Middle East Policy to President Carter, U.S. Ambassador to Morocco and Special U.S. Coordinator for Mediterranean Trade, Investment and Security Affairs for Secretary Albright.
He serves as a part-time special adviser on strategic communications to the Department of Defense Special Operations Command and to the U.S. State Department on outreach initiatives in the Muslim world. He serves on the Middle East-focused Advisory Boards of the Aspen Institute, the Rand Corporation, and the Brookings Institution’s U.S. – Islamic World Forum.
Amb. Ginsberg is a regular foreign policy senior contributor to the Huffington Post, and is a nationally- recognized foreign policy media commentator on BBC TV and Radio, MSNBC, NBC, CBS TV and Radio Network, Al Arabiya, Al Hurrah and Al Jazeera television stations in the Middle East. His analysis of Middle East events are frequently found in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy.com, and CNN.com.
In addition to being President and a member of the Board of Directors of the Arab Bankers Association of North America ("ABANA"), Mr. Wohabe is also a partner of Wohabe Law Offices LLP, in New York. The firm was established in 1971 to serve private-sector and public-sector clients from the Arab Gulf with respect to diverse domestic and international transactions and activities, and clients from other jurisdictions with respect to their business interests in the Gulf.
Mr. Wohabe represents such clients principally in connection with investments in private equity, venture capital, real estate and other commercial transactions. A portion of these transactions are made in conformity with Islamic law. He also routinely advised clients on matters relating to fund formation and capital market transactions, and serves as outside general counsel to clients, generally in connection with investment transactions and commercial assignments, but also with respect to litigation, regulatory and compliance matters in the United States and Arab Gulf jurisdictions.
As President & Founder of Vogel & Associates an international marketing and business development firm founded in 1987, Mr Vogel has over two decades of experience in licensing and merchandising video games, film and other types of cross-platform entertainment. He currently sits on the Boards of Trans Technologies, LLC which is a holding company of AMJ Projects. He is also on the Board of Red Stallion Interactive which will develop interactive video games designed for the Arabian Gulf and the Middle East.
Currently, Mr Vogel is advising the US State Department and Ministries of Commerce & Industry in the Arabian Gulf on doing business with the US.
As an internationally recognized expert in Middle East and North Africa affairs, Randa Fahmy Hudome utilizes her 25 years of professional experience, including service in the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. Government, to provide superior advice and counsel to her clients. With a particular focus on Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, Ms. Fahmy Hudome builds upon her legal and public policy skills to assist global companies interested in accessing Middle East and North Africa markets.
In 2003, Ms. Fahmy Hudome launched Fahmy Hudome International (FHI), a strategic consulting firm which provides critical advice and counsel to Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, media organizations, and private sector entities with business interests in the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to founding FHI, Ms. Fahmy Hudome was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the United States Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy. Working with the White House and the Departments of State and Commerce, she developed and implemented the Bush Administration’s international energy policy. She was also the point person at the Department of Energy for increased advocacy on behalf of American energy companies seeking business around the globe. From 1995-2001, Ms. Fahmy Hudome served as Counselor to United States Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI). During the six years she spent in the legislative branch, she was credited with shaping many pieces of legislation that affected U.S. interests abroad, including financial assistance to U.S. allies in the Middle East.
Prior to her government service, Ms. Fahmy Hudome was a practicing attorney with the law firm of Willkie, Farr and Gallagher, where she specialized in the areas of international trade and corporate litigation. She received her juris doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she held the post of Administrative Editor of The Georgetown Journal of International Law.
Ms. Fahmy Hudome's expertise in international economic policy and energy has been sought by the U.S. Secretary of State, who appointed her to serve on the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, and by the Secretary of Energy who appointed her to serve on the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. Ms. Fahmy Hudome’s opinions on international diplomacy have been published in the Wall Street Journal, and she appears frequently as an expert analyst on NBC’s Today Show, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and Al-Jazeera.
Solange Warner is founder of the World Chamber of Commerce. The World Chamber of Commerce is a public charity and nonprofit organization fostering international business, cultural and social exchange worldwide. The World Chamber of Commerce organizes and supports initiatives and events promoting global trade, cultural/educational, and humanitarian goals. The WCC also assists Embassies, Consulates, multilateral organizations, bi-national Chambers of Commerce, and businesses promoting global commerce, economic, cultural and social exchange. Ms. Warner is also the CEO, president and founder of Ashton International. A prominent consulting firm, Ashton International provides in-depth international trade consulting, including market and feasibility studies, international lead generation, product implementation, and international representation. The U.S. Department of Commerce recently awarded Ashton International for export achievement, associated with accomplishments in the Global Market Place.
Ms. Warner has over 20 years experience in international markets, working previously as a senior manager for Multinational Accounts at American Express for 7 years. She managed Fortune 500 Multinational corporations. She obtained her International Business Degree at American Intercontinental University with Summa cum laude accolades and is a member of the National Scholars Honor Society. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese and English fluently and has knowledge of French, German and Italian. Ms. Warner is originally from Chile, has lived in Europe and has traveled extensibly throughout 52 countries.
Albert K. Karnig is the third president of California State University, San Bernardino which is part of the public CSU system. Composed of 23 campuses, with over 400,000 students supported by 47,000 faculty members and staff, the CSU system is the largest senior system of higher education in the world. Since 1961 nearly 2.5 million alumni have received a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree from the university system. CSU offers more than 1,800 degree programs in some 240 subject areas. Since Dr. Karnig assumed the presidency in 1997, CSUSB has witnessed records in enrollment, diversity, grant and contract funding, fundraising and international program development, as well as increased retention and graduation rates. Dr. Karnig has sought to foster a strong commitment to community service and create an emphasis on academic excellence, and his leadership has been used to build and strengthen partnerships within the community.
Dr. Karnig’s academic work has been funded by grants from national and state agencies and includes consulting for the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Department of Labor, International City Managers’ Association, and other organizations. He has published two books, more than 60 refereed articles, and numerous monographs. Dr. Karnig’s current activities include service on the Boards of Inland Action, San Bernardino County International Trade Advisory Council, the San Bernardino County Alliance for Education, the Federation for a Competitive Economy, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, and the Community Hospital of San Bernardino Board of Directors.
As the founder of Bastress & Associates, LLC, Ms. Bastress offers extensive legal experience in real estate, financing,
commercial transactions and dispute resolution. For over 25 years she has represented foreign governments, private and public companies, government agencies, developers and contractors, municipalities and non-profit organizations, with a geographical focus on the United States and the Middle East.
Her clients have included the embassies of foreign governments, an international media company, a national retail chain, the institutional investment arm of a foreign government, international hotel owners, and the housing finance authority of a U.S. territory. This work has included expertise in real estate law, including acquisition, sale, financing, property management, retail and commercial leasing, and public and private (commercial and residential) development projects.
In 2003, Ms. Bastress established the Doha office of Patton Boggs and was admitted as the first non-Qatari attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Qatar. During her residency in the Middle East, she handled matters involving international relations and compliance with US and local laws. Her representation of US and Middle Eastern companies includes matters involving commercial transactions, investment opportunities, and local legal business advice.
Mr. Babay founded Intrinsic Value Investment Partners (IVIP) in 2009 as a hedge fund platform. IVIP is a global investment management firm with a value oriented approach. Prior to IVIP, Mr. Babay was a Partner at Foxhill Capital Partners LLC, a distressed/event driven hedge fund founded in 2005. Mr. Babay served on Foxhill’s investment committee. Prior to Foxhill, Mr. Babay spent 6 years at Lehman Brothers in various capacities including investment banking and proprietary trading. Mr. Babay was a member of Lehman’s global mergers and acquisitions group from 2001 to 2003 where he completed several transactions. In 2003, Mr. Babay joined Lehman’s proprietary trading desk as a senior investment analyst responsible for generating and executing trading ideas in both the debt and equity markets. Prior to Lehman Brothers, Mr. Babay worked in various managerial positions in the textile and sanitary ware industries. Mr. Babay holds a MBA from Columbia Business School and a bachelor of science from IHEC Institute. Mr. Babay also is on the board of directors of the Arab Bankers Association of North America. Mr. Babay is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Dr. Mussaad Al-Razouki is the Chief Executive Office at Kleos Healthcare Corporation. He has over 10 years
experience in healthcare, shifting from a focus on excellence in clinical practice and research to the management and
financing of healthcare systems. Dr. Razouki has completed clinical rotations at New York Presbyterian Hospital of
Columbia University Medical Center, Harlem Hospital, Cleveland University Hospital of Case Western Reserve
University and Mass General Hospital of Harvard University.
In 2007, Dr. Razouki joined the world's largest and oldest management and strategic consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton, which at the time was operating in over 100 countries across six continents with four billion dollars in revenue. Dr Razouki was recruited from New York to the Dubai office, where he built the Middle East Healthcare Practice. In addition to his work at Kleos, Dr. Razouki is an advisor to the central Kuwaiti government where he advises senior government leaders on both Healthcare and Education reform as part of Kuwait's 100 billion dollar Development Plan.
Ken Dorph is a leading global expert in financial institution and
financial system strengthening. Mr. Dorph began his career in Citibank
and Smith Barney, and has worked with the IFC / World Bank Group. For
the past twenty years, Mr. Dorph has been consulting in financial
institutions worldwide, first with Booz Allen & Hamilton and more
recently with his own firm, Sag Harbor Consulting. He has worked with
a broad range of financial institutions developing strategy and
designing and implementing risk management systems.
Mr. Dorph has a deep experience reviewing and strengthening banks and financial systems worldwide. He led the assessment of the Mexican banks’ net worth after the peso collapse, and was also led a similar review in Indonesia during the Asian financial crisis. Mr. Dorph has worked as an advisor on strategy and risk management to the World Bank, the IMF, and a wide range of central banks and supervisors in Latin America (Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil), Africa (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa), Asia (Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan), and the Middle East (Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the UAE, and Yemen).
Mr. Dorph has particular expertise in the Middle East and is a popular speaker on Middle Eastern topics. He has been invited to lecture at the University of California at Berkeley, the Wharton School, the University of Michigan, the New School, and Georgetown University. He has delivered training at banks and central banks around the world. Since September 11th 2001, Mr. Dorph has been teaching an acclaimed course “Seven Keys to Understanding the Arab Middle East” that he developed, at high schools, colleges, and to the public in New York State.
Mr. Dorph has special experience in Islamic finance and has published articles on Islamic law and banking. Since 1985, when he launched the GCC’s first shari’ah compliant equity portfolio, he has advised many of the region’s banks and central banks and has developed strategy, written feasibility studies, and drafted governance and risk policies for several leading Islamic banks and Islamic investment companies. He advises the World Bank on Islamic finance has been invited to draft the World Bank’s corporate governance guidelines for Islamic financial institutions.
Mr. Dorph has a Masters of Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan, including a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Damascus, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School. In addition to studying in Damascus, Mr. Dorph studied at Mohammed V University in Rabat and spent three years in the Peace Corps in Tunisia. He is fluent in Arabic (standard and several dialects), Spanish, and French.
Shaykh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo is a scholar of Islamic Transactional Law whose 30 year career was featured in an August 2007 front page story in The Wall Street Journal. Based in the Washington, DC area, he has served as a Shari’ah advisor to dozens of international financial entities, including index providers, institutional investors, home finance providers, international investment banks and a variety of asset managers.
Shaykh Yusuf is the author of the three volumeCompendium of Legal Opinions on the Operations of Islamic Banks, the first English/Arabic reference on the fatwas issued by Shari’ah boards. In addition, Shaykh Yusuf wrote the introduction to Islamic Bonds, the 2003 book that introduced Sukuk and transformed the world's Islamic capital markets. His work has appeared in academic and industry journals and as chapters in books, including Euromoney's Islamic Asset Management (2004), Islamic Retail Finance (2005), and Islamic Finance: Innovation & Growth (2002). His entries on the terminology of Islamic finance appear in The Oxford Dictionary of Islam.
Shaykh Yusuf is often featured as a key note speaker at conferences and seminars worldwide. He was a special consultant to the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank on their joint project for the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). Shaykh Yusuf is a member of the Council of Scholars, ISRA, Central Bank of Malaysia and a member of the Governing Council of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) in Malaysia. Shaykh Yusuf recently was appointed a member of the Shariah Board of the Accounting and Auditing Organization of Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).
Shaykh Yusuf served as Advisor on Islamic Education to the President of Pakistan from 1981-1984. His career has also been noted in The Financial Times, The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, The US News and World Report, Newsweek, CNBC, Conde Nast Portfolio, The Middle East Banker, and others.
Mr. Ayed was appointed Minister of Finance of Tunisia in January 2011
and served in the two interim governments that were formed following the Tunisian
Currently, he is Delegate General Manager, Director, Vice Chairman of Senior Credit Committee, Vice Chairman of BMCE Bank International U.K, Chief Executive Officer of BMCE International London, Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur SA
In 1998 Mr. Ayed joined the Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur as Head of the Investment Banking Division. He became the founder of BMCE Capital, the investment banking arm of BMCE, a leading investment bank in Morocco and in the region. He also initiated the activities of BMCE Capital in Central and West Africa through the creation of a subsidiary of BMCE Capital in Senegal and Cameroon. In 2006, BMCE Capital launched its subsidiary AXIS Capital in Tunis. Mr. Ayed also supervised the creation by BMCE Bank of MediCapital Bank, an FSA authorized wholesale bank in London.
Mr. Ayed chaired the Management Committee of the BMCE Group during the last 10 years, as well as the boards of several fully owned subsidiaries of BMCE Bank Group and FinanceCom. He also founded Argan Invest, the largest private equity platform in Morocco.
Mr. Jaloul Ayed held several other senior positions in the FinanceCom Group including, but not limited to Vice-Chairman of the supervisory Board of RMA Watanya, the largest insurance company in Morocco, Director of Bank of Africa and Chairman of the Board of Axis Capital, Tunis. He was also a Director at Proparco, the French development agency, and Vice Chairman and co-founder of Euromed Capital Forum.
Prior to BMCE, Mr. Ayed joined Citibank in 1980 where he spent 18 years. During his career with Citibank, he held various country management positions in the emerging countries of North Africa and the Middle East, and as Senior Banker with the Capital Markets Group at Citicorp International plc in London (1996-1998).
During his various assignments at Citibank, Mr. Ayed formulated and implemented business strategies in the countries under his supervision, and made significant contributions to developing Citibank franchises in the MENA region.
Mr. Ayed obtained a Masters’ degree in Economics at the University of Maryland in 1979 where he was elected member of the Phi kappa Phi Honor Society. He is a renowned composer of classical music.
Debora Guthrie is the Founder and CEO of Capitol Health Global and its related Capitol Health entities. Capitol Health is a market leader in investing in, building and advising innovative health care services companies.
Founded in 1995 by Ms. Guthrie, Capitol Health has made successful investments in, and built companies across, the full range of investment stages- from start-ups to late stage companies. Complementary to its core investment business, Capitol Health also provides strategic advisory services to health care services companies at the Board of Directors level. These strategic advisory services are focused on the globalization of selective innovative health care delivery models working in partnership with the public sector as global health care enters a new era.
Capitol Health's focus has always been on value creation and investing in innovative health care delivery models. The firm's investments have been in the areas of outpatient surgery, women's health, orthopedic services, revenue management, contract research, staffing, transcription, e-health, wellness and prevention, elderly care, mental health telecare/telehealth and biomedical engineering services.
Ms. Guthrie has had a highly focused 30-year career in private and public investing and financing of health care companies. Ms. Guthrie served as a Director of AmSurg [NASDAQ: AMSG] from 1996 until 2009 when she stepped down to advise the Company on its international expansion efforts. AmSurg is the leading publicly traded outpatient surgery center company. She also served on AmSurg's Audit and Compensation Committees. In 2009, she was appointed to the board of directors of TBS Group S.p.A. [MILAN: TBS] where she sits on the governance and control committee. She also serves on the Boards of Directors of WIN Healthcare and OrthoNet, both private health care services companies in Capitol Health's portfolio.
Prior to the formation of Capitol Health’s first fund in 1995, Ms. Guthrie was the President of Capitol Health Consultants, Inc., a venture advisory company which she founded. Ms. Guthrie was a Special Limited Partner and Director of Health Care Investments at Nazem and Company, a New York City venture capital company, where she was responsible for sourcing a number of successful investments including Genesis Health Ventures, Inc. and Oxford Health Plans, Inc. Ms. Guthrie also held senior positions in health care investment banking at E.F. Hutton & Company; L.F. Rothschild, Unterberg & Towbin; and J.C. Bradford & Co.
Ms. Guthrie served as a Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Center for International Private Enterprise. She also served as a Director and Vice Chairman of the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies ("NASBIC"). Ms. Guthrie currently serves on the Board of Visitors of the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University and participated as a World Thinker and panelist in the 2007 United Arab Emirates Festival of Thinkers.
Judith Kipper is an internationally recognized Middle East expert. She
is the adviser for Middle East Programs and director of the Energy
Security Group at the Council on Foreign Relations and a longtime
consultant on international affairs for ABC News. Her extensive
expertise includes U.S.-Middle East policy, Arab-Israeli conflict,
Gulf security and regional issues, Arab development, reform,
democratization, and culture. Kipper has extraordinary access in all
the countries of the Middle East, the Arab states, and Iran. She
visits the area frequently to meet with monarchs, presidents, and
ministers as well as other officials, academics, business leaders,
clerics, opposition, and the press.
Ms. Kipper has testified before U.S. Senate and House committees on Middle East issues. She speaks frequently in the United States and abroad. She is often quoted in major news outlets, including BBC World Service and BBC World. Kipper was an assistant to Walter Cronkite at CBS News and was an adviser on Sadat's Ancient Egypt, a CBS documentary with Mr. Cronkite. She worked for several years in France on international issues, the transatlantic relationship, and the Soviet Union. Subsequently, Ms. Kipper was a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She was also a consultant to the RAND Corporation. Ms. Kipper co-edited The Middle East in Global Perspective and commissioned several strategic studies on Middle East issues. She has a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dave Pursell serves as Managing Director and Head of Securities at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Mr. Pursell is responsible for TPH’s analysis of global oil & gas markets, including inventory and price forecasts, supply/demand modeling and rigcount/production relationships. He was past Chairman of the IPAA Supply committee and sits on the Investment Committee of TPH Partners LP, TPH’s private equity division. Mr. Pursell is a board member of private energy companies Oxane Materials and Unconventional Gas Resources. He was a Founding Partner of Pickering Energy Partners, the predecessor to TPH. Prior to that, he was Director of Upstream Research at Simmons & Company, International and spent eight years as manager of petrophysics at S.A. Holditch & Associates, now a division of Schlumberger. Mr. Pursell gained operational experience with ARCO Alaska, Inc., conducting field engineering and operations. He holds a BS and MS in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Ms. Fulbright is the former Executive Director of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities under President Bill Clinton. Ms. Fulbright serves as an "unofficial ambassador" for the Fulbright Program and is often invited to speak at events that range from university commencements to milestone anniversaries for Fulbright Commissions around the world who are celebrating the presence of her late husband's educational exchange program in their respective countries. As a result of her status as an international figure of peace and education, she has received many awards and honorary degrees. She currently sits on the advisory board of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. In 2006, she created the J. William & Harriet Fulbright Center, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting peace through international education and furthering her late husband's legacy.
Nicola Pangher, Chairman of Tesan S.p.A. Tesan is a company dedicated to providing Telehealth and Telecare services through its e-health centre, which is fully integrated in the social and health care environment of the patient on the global market.
The Tesan Telecare service, which includes a preventative check carried out once or twice weekly, is provided to over 38,000 users. The activity is closely coordinated with the social and health care directors at the regional level. The e-health centre is becoming the single point of access for a larger number of patients: more than 1,600 access primary care support service on a daily basis, which includes telephone consultations with GPs and paediatricians, set up of actual face-to-face visits and teleconsultation with specialists. The e-health centre manages the primary care out-of-hours services for almost 187,000 patients. All these activities are managed in collaboration with local health authorities (similar to PCTs), who supply the GPs and consultants participating in the system. The e-health centre also supports "choose and book" activities for a population of 800,000.
The aim of the e-health centre is to offer the general population access to health and social care services, activating a more concentrated response for frail and chronically ill people. In particular it provides Telehealth services to a total of more than 5000 patients. The company is a fully owned subsidiary of the Italian AIM listed TBS Group, operating in 12 countries, offering clinical engineering and e-health services to public and private health providers and local authorities. In 2010, it had consolidated revenues of €190.7 million and a staff of more than 2,000. Mr. Pangher is also a member of the TBS Group Board, where he holds the position of General Manager and is in charge of all operations for the existing UK, India and China companies and for the development of the activities in the Middle East.
For 32 years, Mr. Nelson served as vice president of ExxonMobil’s
Washington office and a vice president and officer of the corporation
since 2004. Mr. Nelson joined Mobil Corporation as a Supply Analyst in
New York in 1976, following service as an infantry officer in the
United States Marine Corps. He is now a principal in the advisory
group International Strategic Insights LLC, which serves global
clients, with a primary focus on Washington and the Middle East.
During his career, Mr. Nelson held a variety of senior positions with both Mobil and the ExxonMobil corporation, in the United States and internationally. While at Mobil, his positions included a number of strategic analysis roles focused on Mobil’s Middle East operations; coordination manager for Mobil’s business operations with the Arabian-American Oil Company (Aramco); manager, Middle East region, Mobil Corporation; planning and analysis manager for the supply and trading organization in Mobil’s global headquarters in Fairfax, VA, and venture manager for the company’s liquefied natural gas projects. Following the ExxonMobil merger he was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ExxonMobil Saudi Arabia Inc. in June 2004.
Mr. Nelson served as a director of several key ventures over the course of his career, including the American Petroleum Institute, Saudi-Yanbu Petrochemical Company (Yanpet), Al Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya), Saudi Aramco-Mobil Refinery Company (Samref) and Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refinery Company (Luberef). In addition, he has served as a director of several non-profit organizations, including the American Near East Refugee Aid, Meridian International Center, Arena Stage, the Toys for Tots Foundation, Ford's Theatre and N Street Village. He also chaired the Smart Grid and Electric Vehicle Working Group for the Chesapeake Crescent Innovation Alliance, which encompassed the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland and involved a broad reach of universities and corporations from that region. He is currently a director of the Energy Policy Research Foundation, Co-Chair of the Director’s Council for the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, and a Trustee of the Naval Academy Foundation’s Athletics and Scholarship Programs organization.
A native of Lincoln, NE, Mr. Nelson is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and earned a master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University.
Rob Marano has more than 20 years of technology, sales, marketing and general management experience in the software and telecommunications fields and has held management positions with both start-ups and large international companies. Recognizing the clear developer shortage in and importance & subsequent confluence of cloud-based Big Data/Analytics, social computing, and mobile-centric user experience, Mr. Marano founded The Hackerati. Most recently he served as the President, CEO & CTO for InDorse Technologies, which he established in 2006. Prior to founding InDorse, he established Falkin Systems LLC, a next-generation strong authentication solutions vendor out of The Cooper Union. Mr. Marano devised its unique technology vision and platform. He continues to provide Falkin both market and technology guidance as a Board Member. Leading up to Falkin, he had served as the director of emerging software technologies at PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) Global Technology Centres (London, Frankfurt, and Menlo Park). During his tenure at PwC, Mr. Marano provided technical and operational improvement tactics with strategic product advice to software clients such as Computer Associates, Brother International, Verizon, BellSouth and Sygate (now part of Symantec), in the infrastructure and information security industries. Mr. Marano had served leadership roles in technology and strategy for several successful startups, including Micromuse (IBM), RiverSoft (IBM), and Voyence (now EMC). Also, he helped establish the US divisions for RiverSoft as well as the technology development center for Micromuse. Additional experience includes lead software engineer at Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Labs, as well as a satellite electronics engineer at GE AstroSpace. Mr. Marano has been lecturing on computer science, international business, and innovation/entrepreneurship at The Cooper Union and NYU Polytechnic Institute.
Mikael Hagström is head of an expanding global team of 4,500 professionals in 48 countries, Mr. Hagström is passionate about providing a culture where innovation can flourish, resulting in market leadership for the organization and its customers. He leads SAS’ Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific regions, which account for 54 percent of SAS’ 2011 revenue, or $1.47 billion.
With a more than 20-year track record of leading high-performance organizations, Mr. Hagström is responsible for delivering consecutive revenue growth and profit, harnessing the current market potential and preparing the organization for the future.
Mr. Hagström holds the elected position of Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AmCham EU) Executive Council and is a member of the board of directors of the Atlantic Council and the Executive Committee that functions as the United States Council for International Business (USCIB)’s board of directors. He is also a board member, head officer or chairman of more than 30 SAS subsidiaries and currently works from SAS world headquarters in Cary, North Carolina.
A noted authority on the multinational business climate, Mr. Hagström has participated as an expert on numerous panels and lectures on the subject, including World Economic Forum events, Horasis global business meetings, Atlantic Council’s annual members’ conference, AmCham EU’s innovation and business summits, the Tällberg Forum, UN Climate Change Conference, and OECD health ministerial meeting, to name just a few.
Mr. Hagström began his SAS career in Sweden in 1989. As Country Manager of SAS Norway from 1998 to 2000, he restructured the office and led SAS Norway to record growth, doubling new sales each year for three consecutive years. Over the course of a few years, additional geographies and P&Ls were consistently added to his growing level of direction. In 1993, Mr. Hagström moved to the company’s European headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, where he was promoted to Vice President of Sales for EMEA before assuming his current position in 2007.
Lorraine Hariton was sworn in as the State Department’s Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) on September 14, 2009. Her experience in innovation and entrepreneurship provides a unique perspective in addressing our global economic growth challenges. She is responsible for State Department outreach to the business community and commercial advocacy efforts. She works with the business community worldwide to ensure that commercial diplomacy efforts support U.S. foreign policy objectives.
During her tenure, CBA has expanded cooperation and coordination with other trade promotion agencies and U.S. diplomatic posts overseas to support U.S. exporters and business interests in support of the President's National Export Initiative.
In her first year with CBA, Ms. Hariton oversaw the launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP), a State Department-led effort to promote and spur entrepreneurship around the world. She has been instrumental in successful undertakings as the Palestinian Information Technology Initiative (PITI) and she chairs the U.S. delegation to the U.S.-Russia Innovation Council on High Technologies (ICHT).
Ms. Hariton brings to the State Department more than 25 years of experience in the information technology sector in Silicon Valley. Throughout her business career Ms. Hariton worked with various technologies and products including mainframes, thin-client technology, e-commerce financial infrastructure, internet audio solutions and speech applications. Most recently Ms. Hariton worked on Smart Grid initiatives including advanced metering and intelligent street lighting.
Ms. Hariton served as President and CEO of Apptera from 2003 to 2005 where she brought their first product to market and raised $8 million in venture capital. She served as the CEO of Beatnik from 1999 to 2002 where she repositioned the company as a leader in the wireless industry and raised more than $40 million in venture capital. Ms. Hariton also spent 15 years at IBM serving in a number of executive capacities.
Ms. Hariton is Chairman Emeritus of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives, served as Treasurer of the State of California Board of Accountancy, served on the board of the Demand Response Smart Gird Coalition, served on the National Advisory Board of the Stanford Clayman Institute for Gender Research and the Executive Committee of the National Center for Women and Information Technology.
Ms. Hariton has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Stanford University.
Mr. McMillen is a partner in the Finance group. He focuses his practice in the finance sector, particularly on Islamic finance, project and infrastructure development and finance, investment funds and real estate.
Mr. McMillen has more than 30 years of broad-based finance and corporate experience and is recognized as a global leader in Islamic finance and investment. Mr. McMillen has vast experience in the development and implementation of innovative Shari`ah-compliant financial products and structures, many the first of their kind. His transactional work in the Middle East, North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia has included extensive investment funds work and transactions involving most major asset classes.
His project, infrastructure, equipment and structured finance work includes responsibility as the lead counsel on a wide range of financings in industries such as petrochemicals, mining, infrastructure, real estate, pulp and paper and electricity generation, including nuclear, hydro, coal, gas and renewable sources, in countries such as Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen and the United States. Many of his transactions were the first of their kind in these jurisdictions.
Mr. McMillen is an adjunct professor teaching Islamic finance at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and The Wharton School. He was the founding Chairman of the Islamic Finance Section of the American Bar Association and thereafter served as Chairman and Senior Advisor for that Section. He has been responsible for capital markets initiatives of the Islamic Financial Services Board.
Mr. McMillen has twice been the recipient of Euromoney’s award as the “Best Legal Adviser in Islamic Finance.” Euromoney has also recognized him as one of the 18 pioneers in the Islamic finance and investment field. He has additionally been honored with the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al-Makhtoum Award For Special Contributions to Islamic Finance and the Best Legal Advisor in Islamic Finance in North America.
Hazami Barmada is a social entrepreneur and international affairs professional. Ms. Barmada consults with public and private institutions providing technical assistance on business development, strategy, programming, management and institutional affairs. Recent clients included ARAMCO Services, Royal Opera House Muscat Oman, DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, DC, and Object Design and Communication.
Ms. Barmada is also the co-Founder, president and CEO of Al-Mubadarah: Arab Empowerment Initiative, an international NGO headquartered in Washington DC, harnessing expertise of global Arab expatriates for economic and social development in the Arab World. Al-Mubadarah works with institutions and professional diaspora networks to develop strategies for professional technical assistance and knowledge transfer programs. Programs include a Global Arab Talent Bank™, youth and business mentorship programs and professional travel fellowships.
She serves as an advisor and board member of several non-profit organizations including the steering committee for the Refugees International Young Humanitarian Circle and Peace x Peace. Her initiatives and events have received recognition in major media outlets nationally and internationally. She is a frequent public speaker and commentator on current affairs appearing on CNN international, BBC, Saudi TV, Alhurra, AlJazeera and VOA.
Ms. Barmada has a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology from Rhodes College and has done graduate work in Public and Social Policy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She was the recipient of the 2010 Breaking Barriers through Travel Fellowship working with woman and youth centers in Thailand, India and Nepal.
Dame Julie Moore is a graduate nurse who worked in clinical practice before moving into management. She was appointed Executive Director of Operations at University Hospital Birmingham in 2002. In 2006 she was appointed Chief Executive of the country’s 10th biggest trust, one of only two women in charge of a large teaching hospital, nationwide. Dame Julie received the title for her services to healthcare.
Born in Liverpool, Dame Julie had originally planned to study astro-physics but switched to a nursing degree following a six-week stay in a hospital in her teens. Her first job was as a nurse at a hospital in Leeds in the early 80s where she spent 10 years in clinical practice before entering nurse management.
During her time as nurse manager and later nursing director, Dame Julie undertook an MA in Health Services Studies at Leeds University and was seconded to work at the Department of Health on developing nursing roles. After a year in general management, in 1998, she became a director in the newly merged Leeds Teaching Hospitals’ Trust. She then moved to Birmingham in 2002 to become the Executive Director of Operations at University Hospitals Birmingham, where she was responsible for the day-to-day running of Selly Oak and Queen Elizabeth hospitals.
Dame Julie was a member of the National Organ Donation Taskforces in 2007 and 2008. In 2009 she was a member of the Nuffield Trust Steering Group on New Frontiers in Efficiency. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the University of Birmingham Business School, an Independent board member of the Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR) and a member of the MoD/DH Partnership Board overseeing health care of military personnel.
Dame Julie is also a member of the Commission on Living Standards undertaken by the Resolution Foundation and a board member of Marketing Birmingham, a strategic partnership to drive the inward investment strategy for the city. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Mr. Smith is a partner in the Infrastructure Development Group. He is a UK Qualified lawyer with over 20 years of practice and is a specialist in infrastructure, construction and PPP projects and has advised on many major projects in transport, health, education, defence, accommodation and energy in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Africa.
He is a member of the UNECE Business Advisory Board, Head of the UN's PPP Readiness Task Force (set up to give practical aid and advice to countries in their PPP implementation programmes), is an associate expert in PPP Capacity Building with the United Nations Development Programme. He has assisted the United Nations Economic and Social Commission in drafting its Transport PPP Guidance documentation and Co-authored the UNECE Guide to Promoting Good Governance in Public Private Partnerships. He has recently carried out feasibility studies for PPP implementation in Mongolia and Uzbekistan at the request of the Mongolian and Uzbek Governments and worked with USAID and the Mongolian State Property Committee to develop PPP Capacity and documentation as part of USAID's Economic Policy Reform and Competitiveness Project. He has also worked on a World Bank Project for PPP training of Government Officials in PPP in India.
Mr. Smith has lectured extensively on PPP related topics and has worked with UNDP, United Nations Economic and Social Commission Asia Pacific, U.N.E.C.E , the Moscow School of Economics, the World Bank, USAID, and Asia Development Bank in the Asia Pacific region and Eastern Europe developing PPP Capacity Building and drafting standard guidance and contract documentation.
Lionel C. Johnson is vice president of Middle East and North Africa
Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. His career spans more than
28 years during which he has become a leader in international business,
public policy, and economic development. As senior vice president of Public
Affairs at Fleishman-Hillard from 2009 to 2010, Mr. Johnson advised Fortune
500 corporate clients, trade associations, and foreign governments. He also
represented them before senior executive and legislative branch officials,
regulatory agencies, and multilateral institutions in the United States and in
dynamic, growth-oriented markets abroad.
Previously, Mr. Johnson was vice president and director of International Government Affairs at Citigroup from 1996 to 2007. He also served as deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury Department for International Development, Debt and Environment Policy in the Clinton administration. In that role, he advised Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin and Under Secretary for International Affairs Lawrence Summers on economic, financial, and environmental issues and directed U.S. participation in the World Bank, the Paris Club, and other international financial institutions. As senior advisor for resources, plans, and policy, he advised Secretary of State Warren Christopher and department principals on the allocation of budget resources in response to urgent global, political, social, and economic developments. Mr. Johnson also served as a member of the Department of State Policy Planning Staff, focusing on African affairs. Mr. Johnson is a trustee of Guilford College and a member of the board of the United States Committee for the United Nations Development Programme. He was a member of the Clinton/Gore transition, and during the 1992 presidential campaign, he was assistant to senior foreign policy advisors Anthony Lake and Samuel R. Berger.
Mr. Johnson was a senior program officer at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) from 1990 to 1993. He directed the Institute’s democratic development programs in Haiti, including collaborating with former President Jimmy Carter in support of the country’s 1990 elections. Mr. Johnson also managed NDI programs in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa. As a member of the U.S. Foreign Service from 1982 to 1990, Mr. Johnson served as a political officer in Kenya; executive secretariat staff officer; assistant to the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines; vice consul in Haiti; and special assistant to Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Secretary of State James A. Baker III. Mr. Johnson was a graduate instructor of U.S. foreign policy and American politics at the City University of Manila, Philippines, from 1985 to1987. He received his B.A. in political science from Rutgers University in 1982. Mr. Johnson speaks French and has two children.
Hussain Qaragholi is President and Executive Director of the United States Business Council in Iraq as well as Chairman and Managing Director of Phoenix Capital Finance Limited and Phoenix Capital LLC. After graduating from Georgetown University in International Political Economy and Business Administration, Mr. Qaragholi subsequently began his career on Wall Street with Merrill Lynch, followed by Citigroup, Essdar Capital and Abu Dhabi International Bank (ADIB) before he founded Phoenix Capital in 2011.
In 2003, he initiated the Citigroup Iraq Desk and led Iraq government coverage as part of the core team that successfully restructured the USD 22 billion Saddam-era commercial claims into the debut USD 2.7 billion Iraq sovereign bond. At Essdar Capital he was advisor to the UAE and Oman sovereign governments and private royal wealth funds. As Iraq Business Head at ADIB, Mr. Qaragholi set-up Iraq’s first foreign-owned standalone bank and acted as financial advisor to Iraq’s first Independent Power Producer in the Kurdistan Region.
Mr. Qaragholi is President of the United States Business Council in Iraq. He is a recipient of the International Finance Review “Global Restructuring Deal of the Year” in 2006 for his work on the Saddam-era debt restructuring. He has appeared in media including the Financial Times, Platts Energy Week, and the internationally broadcast CNBC Capital Connection.
He received his Bachelors of Arts (Honors) from The College of William and Mary, a Masters of Arts (Honors) from the School of Foreign Service and an MBA – both from Georgetown University. He is a native speaker in Arabic and English.
David M. Van Buren was appointed Corporate Senior Vice President for Business
Strategy in April 2012. Prior to joining L-3 Communications Corporation, Mr. Van
Buren was the Air Force Service Acquisition Executive (SAE). He was responsible for
all Air Force research, development and acquisition activities. He provided direction,
guidance and supervision of all matters pertaining to the formulation, review,
approval and execution of acquisition plans, policies and programs. Mr. Van Buren
directed approximately $70 billion of annual investments that included major
programs like the KC-46A Tanker, F-35 JSF, Advanced Extremely High Frequency
Satellite, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, Global Positioning System Satellite
and weapons, as well as capability areas such as information technology, cyber,
command and control and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. He
executed the roughly $300 billion five-year Air Force investment strategy to acquire
systems and support services.
Mr. Van Buren has more than 30 years of acquisition experience in the Air Force, large defense corporations, and private equity owned small and medium aerospace and commercial high-technology firms. These technology areas included hyperspectral imaging; laser communications; alternative power sources; avionics; high-speed processing; compound semi-conductors; and satellite power systems.
Mr. Van Buren was President of Raytheon’s compound semi-conductor activity, and earlier as CEO, successfully transitioned TECSTAR, a small business, to being named one of the top 50 space manufacturers in the world by Space News. He was Vice President and Deputy Program Manager for the B-2 bomber at Northrop Corporation, and at Lockheed, he was a project manager on several classified airborne platforms, including the F-117A, and satellite platforms. Prior to his tenure at Lockheed, he served on active duty in the Air Force for nine years, including two tours in Southeast Asia.
Peter Gish has served on the Board of Directors of First Wind (formerly UPC Wind Partners) since 2006. Mr. Gish is currently a Partner, Co-founder and Board Member of UPC Renewables, a company dedicated to developing wind and solar projects in Europe and Asia and is Managing Director of UPC North Africa Wind Partners. In December 2010 Mr. Gish was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Apparent, Inc, a California based solar energy company with several patents for an innovative power extraction technology. Mr. Gish previously served as Corporate and Project Counsel and eventually Managing Director for UPC International Partnership CV II in Europe from 1997, completing several of the largest wind project financings globally prior to co-founding First Wind in 2001. Mr. Gish has extensive experience in the acquisition, development, financing and operation of wind parks in North America, North Africa and Europe and has published several articles on wind power financing. He has given testimony before the House Judicial Committee, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, and has assisted in the development of state legislation in support of renewable energy. He is a member of the Massachusetts and Connecticut Bars and serves on the Steering Committee of the National Wind Coordinating Committee. Mr. Gish has been a lecturer in finance and public policy at the University of Massachusetts, Graduate School of Management. He has a Bachelors Degree in Religion (Magna Cum Laude/Phi Beta Kappa) from Dartmouth College, Juris Doctor Degree (Cum Laude) from Boston College Law School, and a Masters Degree in Jurisprudence (Honors) from Oxford University.
Dr. Salmi currently holds the rank of Professor Emeritus of Political Science, California State University,
San Bernardino. He left the classroom in 2007 as a tenured faculty member in the Department of
Political Science/National Security Studies and currently serves as the Special Advisor to the University
President for International Affairs. In 1995 he established and continues to serve as Director, Center
for Islamic and Middle East Studies, the first Center of its kind in the California State University (CSU),
the world's single largest system of public higher education. In addition to his specialty areas in Middle
East and Islamic Studies he has also taught a wide range of courses ranging from American Government/
Foreign policy to International Law and Southeast Asian affairs. He has received numerous academic,
public service and teaching awards including the United Nations Association "Award for Public Service
for His Contributions to Higher Education in the California State University," the University "Outstanding
Faculty Advisor" award and the California State University Board of Trustees and Chancellor’s
Proclamation for "Outstanding Teaching."
In his pursuit of expanding American higher education as it relates to the Islamic world, Professor Salmi initiated talks that resulted in sixteen faculty/student exchange agreements with universities across the Muslim world. He has spearheaded and participated in establishing the first degree-granting program in the Arabic language, a program that stands alone in the CSU. In similar light he has worked closely with Turkish scholars and high profile Hollywood and British film makers in the production of the twenty- episode documentary series titled "The River Flowing Westward" a project that was launched last April in Istanbul by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.
Dr. Salmi conceptualized and later directed the first American-led Needs Assessment study of the Al- Aqsa Museum and Library facilities located in the Haram al-Sharif in Al-Quds (Jerusalem). He served for four years as the Executive Director, California Committee on US-Arab Relations, National Council on US-Arab Relations (1997-2000) and he continues with his rigorous international travel schedule and participation in international conferences.
Prior to his life in academia and in addition to his service in the United States Navy, Naval Security Group aboard the Flagship of the U.S. 7th Fleet, and several years at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California, Dr. Salmi also served in US embassies, consulates and missions throughout the world. He received many honors for his service which, together with fifteen years of residence in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe, also included service in Iran and Vietnam. Drawing on his years of service in both the public and private sectors, Dr. Salmi recently established Scimitar Global Management, a California-based management firm dedicated to drawing on the talent and wisdom of highly acclaimed active and retired scholars and practitioners whose expertise ranges from higher educational management and film production to international law and national security affairs.
The Honorable Mark T. Kimmitt specializes in advising firms on international defense matters.
Until December, 2011, Mr. Kimmitt served as Executive Vice President of Advanced Technology Systems
Company, a defense firm with a core focus overseas, primarily in the Middle East. His responsibilities
included supplying and maintaining the militaries of US allies with system installation/integration, logistics
support, technical assistance and specialized construction.
Mr. Kimmitt was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. In that capacity, he was responsible for worldwide State Department political- military issues, security assistance programs, the regulation of international arms sales, managing the Gulf-Security Dialogue process, developing US counter-piracy policy along the coast of Somalia and serving as the principal liaison between the Departments of State and Defense.
From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Kimmitt served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Near East and South Asia. In this position, he was responsible for defense policy development, planning, and guidance throughout the region. He was instrumental in key defense decisions during that period, to include operations in Afghanistan, the change in US strategy for Iraq in 2006, representing the Department of Defense in the 2008 Status of Forces negotiations with Iraq, and efforts to enhance security in the Middle East through the Gulf Security Dialogue. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Kimmitt served as Deputy Director for Plans and Strategy at Central Command. In that position he held key responsibilities, theater-wide strategic planning, military planning efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and promulgation of the “Long War” strategic concept worldwide.
While in Iraq from 2003-2004, Mr. Kimmitt served as Deputy Director for Operations and Chief Military Spokesman for US forces, handling daily press conference and the most sensitive issues confronting the coalition militaries during the early days of the war. Mr. Kimmitt served for over 30 years as an officer in the United States Army in a wide variety of command, operational, and policy positions with experience abroad in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Korea, Germany, and Belgium. He commanded soldiers, rangers and paratroopers at every echelon in the United States Army Field Artillery.
Kimmitt is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He earned an MBA (with Distinction) from the Harvard Business School and was elected the Class Marshal. He earned Masters Degrees from the School of Advanced Military Studies and the National Defense University, and earned a certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He additionally served as Assistant Professor of Finance and Economics in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, and is a frequent speaker, writer and commentator on US and Arabic media channels. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.
Jarl Frijs-Madsen assumed his post as Denmark’s Consul General in New York in September of 2010. On top of heading the Royal Danish Consulate General, Ambassador Frijs-Madsen, in collaboration with the Danish Ambassador in Washington, is responsible for Denmark’s collective export and investment promotion activities in the US as head of the Trade Council of Denmark in the US.
Ambassador Frijs-Madsen came from a position as Under Secretary for Foreign Trade and Investment and Head of the Trade Council of Denmark, where he was responsible for Denmark’s trade promotion, investment promotion (Invest in Denmark) and trade policy (WTO) . In this capacity, Mr. Frijs-Madsen was also a part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Corporate Management Committee.
Previously, Ambassador Frijs-Madsen has worked with the Middle East peace process and Central and Eastern Europe. He has also been posted as 1st embassy secretary in Bonn, Germany and as Commercial and Economic Counselor in Warsaw. Finally, he has worked in the private sector twice (consulting and finance). Mr. Frijs-Madsen holds a Master of Economics from the University of Copenhagen and has an Executive Certificate in Management (MBA-level) from Henley. He is married and he and his wife have three children and live in Scarsdale, New York.
Robert W. Jordan is the partner in charge of Baker Botts' Middle East Practice, with offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Riyadh. He brings over 35 years of legal experience, and a decade of experience in the Middle East, to the firm's practice in the region.
He was selected by President George W. Bush to serve as the United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia at the most critical point in the history of the relationship between the two countries. After Senate confirmation, he served as ambassador from 2001 to 2003. Robert took charge of his Mission in the wake of the September 11 attacks that radically affected U.S. - Saudi relations. He led American efforts to secure Saudi cooperation in the Middle East following 9/11. As ambassador, he worked closely with President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell in matters such as the historic presidential summit meetings in Crawford, Texas and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Robert vigorously led U.S. efforts to encourage Saudi accession to the World Trade Organization and to promote stronger U.S. - Saudi ties in both the public and private sectors.
Resuming his law career at Baker Botts in 2004, Ambassador Jordan currently engages in international business, government relations, international arbitration and dispute resolution practices. He has served as personal attorney to President George W. Bush and also has advised major corporations in shareholder litigation and in antitrust, corporate governance and dispute resolution matters. He has participated in engagements involving international transactions in the transportation, security, health care, hospitality, technology, educational, mining, financial and energy sectors.
Mr. Jordan is a member of the International Bar Association, the American Arbitration Association Commercial and International Centre for Dispute Resolution rosters of neutrals, the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution and The London Court of International Arbitration. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he has served as chairman of the board of the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations and as vice chairman of the board of directors of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies. He also serves on the board of directors of the Center for American and International Law, the advisory board of the Center's Institute for Transnational Arbitration and on the board of governors of the Middle East Institute. He is also on the Board of Advisors for the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Jordan serves as Diplomat in Residence at Southern Methodist University, and as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at SMU's Dedman School of Law. In 2007 he received the Fellows Award presented by the Dallas Bar Foundation.
Ambassador Jordan frequently shares his in-depth experience in international relations in interviews with the major international news media. He has given speeches before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and Committees on Foreign Relations in Washington, Dallas, Phoenix, Houston and Chicago, as well as before audiences in London, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran, Amman, Beirut, Dubai, Hong Kong and Rome.
Dr. John Duke Anthony is the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and currently serves on the United States Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and its subcommittees on Sanctions and Trade and Investment. For the past 38 years, he has been a consultant and regular lecturer on the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf for the Departments of Defense and State. He is former Chair, Near East and North Africa Program, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State as well as former Chair of the Department’s Advanced Arabian Peninsula Studies Seminar. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1986, Dr. Anthony has been a frequent participant in its study groups on issues relating to the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf regions and the broader Arab and Islamic world. Most recently, Dr. Anthony has been elected to the Board of Advisors of the Yemen College for Middle Eastern Studies.
In addition to heading the National Council, consulting, lecturing, and serving as an Adjunct Faculty Member of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Institute for Security Assistance Management (DISAM) since 1974, Dr. Anthony has been an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies since 2006. There, he developed a course for graduate students on “Politics of the Arabian Peninsula,” the first such semester-long academic course to be offered at any American university. In 2007, he was Visiting Lecturer at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. In 2008 he was the Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo’s HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin ‘Abdalaziz Al-Sa’ud Center for American Studies.
In 1983, Dr. Anthony received DISAM’s Distinguished Achievement Award, one of three granted to American Middle East specialists in the Institute’s history. In March 1989, the Kappa Alpha Order’s National Executive bestowed upon him its Distinguished Public Service Award for Excellence “through a strenuous and useful Life of Service to others.” In 1993, he received the U.S. Department of State’s Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Award, one of three awarded over a span of 25 years in recognition of his preparation of American diplomatic and defense personnel assigned to the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf states. In 1994, he received the Stevens Award for Outstanding Contributions to American-Arab Understanding. On June 21, 2000, H.M. King Muhammad VI of Morocco knighted Dr. Anthony, bestowing upon him the Medal of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite, the nation of Morocco’s highest award for excellence. In May 2008, he was presented the first-ever Local Giants Leadership Award by the Rotary Club of the Nation’s Capital.
Dr. Anthony is the only American to have been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (1969-1970). In 1971, he was cosponsored by the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State as the sole American scholar to observe at firsthand the process by which the British ceased administering the defense and foreign relations for nine Arab states lining the coastal regions of eastern Arabia and the Gulf. His long experience in Yemen led to Dr. Anthony being asked to serve as an international observer in all four of Yemen’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
Dr. Anthony is the only American to have been invited to each of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Ministerial and Heads of State Summits since the GCC’s inception in 1981. (The GCC is comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). Since 1986 and continuing until the present, Dr. Anthony has accompanied more than 200 Members of Congress, their chiefs of staff, defense and foreign affairs advisers, and legislative and communications directors on fact-finding missions to the Arab world. From 1996 until the present, he has also served as the principal scholar-escort for delegations to various GCC countries, Egypt, and Yemen comprised of 132 officers assigned to the staff of the Commander, U.S. Central Command, including Generals J.H. B. Peay III, Anthony C. Zinni, Tommy Franks, John P. Abizaid, Admiral William Fallon, and General David Petraeus.
Dr. Anthony is the author of three books, the editor of a fourth, and has published more than 175 articles, essays, and monographs dealing with America’s interests and involvement in the Arab countries, the Middle East, and the Islamic world. His best-known works are Arab States of the Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum; The Middle East: Oil, Politics, and Development (editor and co-author) and, together with J.E. Peterson, Historical and Cultural Dictionary of the Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates of Eastern Arabia. His most recent book, The United Arab Emirates: Dynamics of State Formation, was published in 2002.
In addition to being the founder of the Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, now in its 20th year, Dr. Anthony has been a founder, board member, and Secretary of the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee; founding President of the Middle East Educational Trust; co-founder of the Commission on Israeli-Palestinian Peace; founding President of the Society for Gulf Arab Studies; co-founder and board member of the National Commission to Commemorate the 14th Centennial of Islam; and founder and former chairman of the U.S.-Morocco Affairs Council. In 2006 he was elected Vice-President and member of the Board of Directors of the International Foreign Policy Association in Washington, D.C.
After the completion of his U.S. Army active duty military service, the Commonwealth of Virginia granted Dr. Anthony a four year State Cadetship Award which allowed him to enroll at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in History. At VMI, he was elected president of his class all four years in addition to serving as president of the Corps of Cadets’ General and Executive Committees during his First Class Year. He later earned a Master of Science Degree in Foreign Service (With Distinction) from the Edmund A. Walsh Graduate School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where, in addition to holding one of three University Scholar Awards, he was inducted into the National Political Science Honor Society. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and Middle East Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., where he held a National Defense in Foreign Language Scholarship for Arabic, was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, and was appointed to the full time faculty in 1973 while still a student. For nearly a decade, Dr. Anthony taught courses on the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf States at SAIS. He has been a Visiting and Adjunct Professor at the Defense Intelligence College, the Woodrow Wilson School of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia, the Universities of Pennsylvania and Texas, the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, and a regular lecturer at the National War College.
Dr. Anthony is married to Cynthia Burns McDonald, Director of the Washington, D.C. Office of the American University in Cairo, and has sons.
Robert E. Michael is the Managing Member of Robert E. Michael & Associates PLLC, a law firm that represents clients in a variety of areas dealing with problem situations, with a primary focus on cross-border workouts and bankruptcies, representing offshore corporate clients either with claims against, or an interest in investing in, U.S. entities in financial difficulty.
Mr. Michael is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Pace University Law School, teaching "Law and Finance" to international L.L.M. candidates, primarily from Saudi Arabia, and provides annual guest lectures on Islamic Finance to the cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point. A regular contributor to the Saudi Arabian business press, he is also the co-author of Iflas and Chapter 11 - Classical Islamic Law and Modern Bankruptcy, in The International Lawyer. In 2010, Mr. Michael had the unique opportunity to be the first non-diplomat invited to address the Ambassadors of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (formerly the Organization of the Islamic Conference) at the United Nations. His speech was entitled Islamic Finance in Relation to Capitalism and Socialism.
Mr. Michael, a graduate of Brown University and New York University School of Law; is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation; and, has headed a Workout/Restructure Department in a commercial bank (Manufacturers Hanover); an investment bank (Paribas Corporation); and a law firm (Windels, Marx, Davies & Ives). He was also a partner of Morrison & Foerster, based in New York City. He serves as the Chair Emeritus of the Committee on Foreign and Comparative Law of the New York City Bar Association and is the current Chair of the Subcommittee on Islamic Law and a Member of its Council on International Affairs. He created and is leading the City Bar's initiatives in studying and expanding the understanding of Islamic Law, and heads the City Bar's delegation to the Working Group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) focused on secured transactions.
Mr. Michael recently was appointed to Chairmanship of the Islamic Law Committee for American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA). The ABILA is the oldest international law body in the world, dating to 1873 & is based in London.
Mr. Gilburne is currently Chairman and CEO of ePals, Inc., an education technology company and the leading provider of safe social learning networks (SLN). Focused on the K-12 market, ePals offers elementary and secondary school administrators, teachers, students and parents worldwide a safe and secure platform for building educational communities, providing quality digital content and facilitating collaboration for effective 21st century learning. ePals' award-winning products include: ePals Global Community; SchoolMail®365; LearningSpace®; In2Books®, a common core eMentoring program that builds reading, writing and critical thinking skills; and popular children's educational publishing brands including Cricket® and Cobblestone®. ePals serves approximately 800,000 educators and reaches millions of teachers, students and parents in approximately 200 countries and territories. The global scale of ePals' network offers teachers, students and parents unprecedented ability to facilitate teaching and student learning by sharing projects and best practices, connecting with other classrooms and learners around the corner and around the globe, and accessing content and lesson plans designed for an increasingly digital and networked world.
Mr. Gilburne has been active for more than 25 years as a venture capitalist, corporate strategist and technology lawyer in the media, communications and technology industries. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of BrainScope, Inc., a medical device company focused on diagnosing concussion in sports and the military, and sits on the boards of various other companies focused on technology and media markets.
Mr. Gilburne served for five years as senior vice president of Corporate Development for America Online, stepping down from those duties in December 1999. At AOL, Mr. Gilburne was responsible for strategic planning and for major corporate acquisitions, joint ventures and alliances. He was elected to the Board of Directors of AOL in 1999 and continued to serve on the Board of Directors of Time Warner until stepping down in May 2006.
He received an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Dr. Yahia was born in Cairo, Egypt and immigrated to the US in 1968. He studied Chemical Engineering (M.S. & Ph.D.) and International Finance (MA.) He authored two books, numerous papers and many patents. The most recent book was published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in January 2010: The Art of Islamic Banking and Finance. He was a member of the team that started the Industrial Bank of Kuwait (1974-1975.) In 1984-1986 he returned to help restructure it. His group started banks in Houston, Texas (1982) and LARIBA Bank of Kazakhstan (1998.)
Dr. Abdul-Rahman worked 18 years (1986 – 2003) in the investment banking industry with CitiGroup / Smith Barney where he started (1988) and managed the first ever Shari’ah compliant stock portfolio ($250 million) that achieved superior performance. LARIBA, under Dr. Yahia’s leadership, was the first to issue RF (Islamic finance) asset-based mortgage bonds (sukuk) in the US with Fannie Mae and in Singapore.
Dr. Yahia is known as the "Father of Islamic banking" in North America. He started LARIBA in 1987. Now, the shareholders also own the first full service Riba-Free National Bank in America: LARIBA Bank of Whittier, NA (1998.) The LARIBA effort - capital and assets – are from the American community. LARIBA and LARIBA Bank of Whittier have proven that Riba-Free banking delivers superior results as it was tested in the 2008 meltdown. He served as a member of a prestigious jury in 2010 and 2012 to elect the best Islamic Banker in the world to receive the Global Royal Award in Islamic Finance.
He is a prolific speaker, lecturer and author of papers on Riba-Free finance throughout the world. He was invited to present on RF (Riba Free) banking and finance in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Turkey and Egypt. Dr. Yahia is a distinguished Imam and Community leader in North America. He participated in the start-up and operation of many Islamic Centers and Schools in the US and Canada. He was an invited Jum’aa Imam in Canada, India, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and the UK.
Dr. Yahia also spent 15 years in the Oil Industry in Production, Engineering, Corporate Strategic Planning and Finance in a major American Oil Company and refineries.
Dr. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is the founder of AslanMedia.com, an online journal for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world. Dr. Aslan has degrees in Religions from Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves on the board of directors of the Ploughshares Fund, which gives grants for peace and security issues; Abraham's Vision, an educational, conflict transformation organization for Israeli and Palestinian youths; PEN USA, which champions the rights of writers under siege around the world; and the Levantine Cultural Center, which builds bridges between Americans and the Arab/Muslim world through the arts.
Dr. Aslan's first book is the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into thirteen languages, and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized Age), as well as editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalties, Contentions, and Complexities.
Dr. Aslan is Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of BoomGen Studios, the premier entertainment brand for creative content from and about the Greater Middle East and President of AppOvation Labs, a mobile applications company. Born in Iran, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife (author and entrepreneur Jessica Jackley) where he is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside.
As president, Mr. Minton has overseen the growth of DDM from a single-agent business representing a handful of clients into an international company firmly established as the leading agency in the video game industry. He has expanded DDM into Europe and Japan, with additional initiatives in China and the Middle East. Under his direction, DDM has expanded from a console-focused agency into one working actively on every modern gaming platform and business model. He further established DDM’s Game Industry Services division to provide consulting services in additional to agency representation, and DDM’s Game Production Services division to provide all aspects necessary for launching successful games.
Mr. Minton has negotiated development deals with nearly every major game publisher over his 20 years in the business and he provides clients with management guidance and strategic support. Prior to DDM, Mr. Minton was president of Cyberlore Studios, a game developer in business for over 13 years. Mr. Minton was honored as one of Variety’s Dealmakers of 2011 and has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times among other publications. He graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.
Dr. Norman Ricklefs has served in Iraq since 2005, in various different roles as an analyst and advisor to the Australian and US militaries, and from 2007 embedded within the Iraqi Government as an advisor. From 2009-2010 he was the senior advisor to the Iraqi Minister of Interior. Dr. Ricklefs, an Arabic speaker, was an integral part of the minister's staff during a time of considerable change as the US military withdrew from the cities and handed control over to the Iraqi security forces. He became a trusted friend and confidant of the Interior Minister and was involved in both his duties as a public official and his political activities as the leader of a major centrist political group.
After leaving government service in 2011, Dr. Ricklefs founded a consultancy and lobbying group in Dubai and has been advising and lobbying on behalf of the oil and gas sector, banking sector, defense and security industry and also the US Government. He continues to act as an advisor to the US embassy in Iraq, particularly on security-related matters.
Dr. Norman Ricklefs has a PhD in history and lectured in the university system before joining government service. For his service in Iraq, Dr Ricklefs was awarded the US Department of Defense's Outstanding Civilian Service medal and also the Commander's Public Service medal.
Paul Homsy is one of the leading authorities on the Arabian Gulf, Islamic finance, and the laws and business conditions of this region. Having over 30 years of experience (including 27 years as an attorney) in the Middle East, Mr. Homsy also practiced law in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as the founder and managing partner of Sidley & Austin’s former office there. He has significant experience in the development, structuring and financing of several billion dollars of transactions in a wide range of conventional and Islamic financial products, including private equity funds, trade finance funds, real estate funds, and Islamic bonds (sukuk).
Mr. Homsy has a B.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania as well as a J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law. He speaks both Spanish and conversational Arabic. Mr. Homsy has served on the Board of Advisors of the Harvard University Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East, John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he participated in the Arab Israeli Peace Negotiations, and as Chairman of the Middle East Law Committee of the American Bar Association, International Section. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Arab Bankers Association of North America and also served on its Executive Committee.
Mr. Homsy has appeared frequently as a Middle East commentator on CNBC Television, Reuters News Service, National Public Radio’s Marketplace program, and Bloomberg Television and has been quoted in a number of leading publications including “Economist”, “The Financial Times”, “The Banker” magazine and “The Journal of Commerce.” His publications on Middle East law and Islamic finance have appeared in “Business Islamica”, Euromoney, “The International Lawyer”, “The Northwestern Journal of International Law”, and “The International Legal Encyclopedia” of The University of Virginia Law School. He has lectured widely on Middle East topics at such forums as Harvard University, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, King Saud University, and a number of international banking conferences.
Jon Patricof is President, Chief Operating Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Tribeca Enterprises, the parent company of the Tribeca Film Festival and related entities. He is responsible for all business operations of the company including business development, legal, finance and sales as well as overseeing the expansion of the company into new business areas.
Prior to joining Tribeca, Mr. Patricof was a member of the investment team at the Quadrangle Group, a New York City-based investment firm, where he was focused on private equity investments in media and communications. Previously, he was an executive in the Strategic Planning Department at The Walt Disney Company. Mr. Patricof received an MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College. Over the past eight years, he has served on the Board of the not-for-profit East Harlem School at Exodus House, an independent, year-round middle school serving low-income families. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and lives in New York City with his wife and three children.
Following graduation from The Pennsylvania State University, Ambassador Theodore Kattouf served almost 4 years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of captain. In 1972, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service, embarking on a 30-year career that included postings to Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia as well as service as U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (1998-2001) and Syria (2001-03).
He also pursued mid-career graduate studies at Princeton University and received numerous distinctions, including the Cobb Award for outstanding advocacy on behalf of U.S. companies, four Senior Performance Awards, and one Presidential Honor Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and was named a Distinguished Alumni of Penn State. As President and CEO of the Washington, DC-based AMIDEAST since 2003, he has overseen a tripling of the size of this leading provider of training, educational exchange, and development services in the Middle East and North Africa, and a quadrupling of its endowment. Ambassador Kattouf is the recipient of the 2012 Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service.
Anne Habiby co-founded AllWorld Network in 2007 with Deirdre Coyle and Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter.
For three years Ms. Habiby was a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Center for Business and Government. Her 2010 article with co-author Deirdre Coyle "The High-Intensity Entrepreneur" was published by the Harvard Business Review. She is also the co-author of two Harvard Business School cases and is a founder of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) launched in 1995 by Professor Michael Porter. While at ICIC, she helped create the Inner City 100 with Inc. Magazine – a program now 15 years old. She is also the economic advisor to the Riyadh Development Authority and a judge for the 2012 MIT Enterprise Forum TR35 (Technology Review).
Previously Ms. Habiby was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley & Co.
Pradeep Ramamurthy joined Abraaj Capital in March 2012 after a career in public service. Most recently, he was Deputy Counselor for Innovation at the U.S. Agency for International Development where he helped oversee the agency’s public-private partnerships, development innovation fund, and local capacity development efforts.
From 2009-2011, Mr. Ramamurthy was the Senior Director for Global Engagement in the National Security Staff of the White House. His responsibilities in this role included helping coordinate key aspects of President Obama’s Cairo agenda such as advancing entrepreneurship in the Arab world. Previously, he served in a number of policy and analysis positions with the Department of Justice. Mr. Ramamurthy is a past editor of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. He also served as a senior fellow at George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute, and was a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Mr. Ramamurthy has a B.Sc. in International Politics from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Social Science from the University of Chicago.
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!, Dr. 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. The company today specializes in Behavioral Targeting and advertising networks. His professional experience also includes five years spent leading the data mining and exploration group at Microsoft Research and building the data mining products for Microsoft’s server division. From 1989 to 1996, Dr. Fayyad held a leadership role at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where his work in the analysis and exploration of scientific databases gathered from observatories, remote-sensing platforms and spacecraft garnered him the top research excellence award that Caltech awards to JPL scientists, as well as a U.S. Government medal from NASA.
Dr. Fayyad earned his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1991). He also holds BSE’s in both electrical and computer engineering (1984); MSE in computer science and engineering (1986); and M.Sc. in mathematics (1989). He has published over 100 technical articles in the fields of data mining and Artificial Intelligence, is a Fellow of the AAAI (association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) and a Fellow of the ACM (association of Computing Machinery). Additionally, he has edited two influential books on the data mining. He launched and served as editor-in-chief of both the primary scientific journal in the data mining field entitled Data Mining, and Knowledge Discovery, and the primary newsletter in the technical community published by the ACM: SIGKDD Explorations. He also holds over 25 patents in Information Technology.
Ahmed El Alfi, a veteran investor with over 25 years of experience in top executive and management positions, is the founder of Sawari Ventures a Cairo based Venture Capital firm. Mr. El Alfi founded Sawari Ventures in 2010, aiming to help transform the Egyptian and MENA region economies through the creation of sustainable, high impact businesses. Over the past 2 years, Sawari Ventures invested in a number of promising entrepreneurs, including SilMinds, which offers innovative solutions for Decimal Floating Point Arithmetic (DFPA) hardware acceleration based on their patent-pending technologies; Kngine, a next generation search engine and personal assistant; and vimov, with its flagship product, Weather HD, the top-paid weather application for the iPad. Sawari Ventures I (SVI) is the company’s USD50 million early and growth-stage fund investing in technology, media and telecommunication (TMT) in Egypt and the MENA region.
In 2011, Sawari Ventures created and funded Flat6Labs, its own startup accelerator. Flat6Labs is an innovative investment approach that is based upon immersing startup entrepreneurs into the real-world challenges of creating and managing sustainable enterprises, while being supported by a dedicated staff, mentorship team and educational courses provided by The American University in Cairo (AUC). Since its launch, Flat6Labs has hosted and funded a total of 18 companies over 3 cycles, 12 of which already graduated.
Mr. El Alfi has extensive experience in creating and nurturing early stage companies, as well as structuring international M&A transactions. His investment track record includes the execution of numerous successful transactions in technology, Internet, healthcare and financial services at various stages of development. He has executed many rewarding exits including several IPO’s on the NASDAQ. His current international portfolio includes Triporati, an innovative online travel recommendation company, Pacific Toxicology, a leading Toxicology laboratory in the US as well as Politear a listening platform for campaigns, elected officials and corporations.
Prior to Sawari Ventures, and upon his relocation to Cairo during 2006, Mr. El Alfi served as the CEO of EFG-Hermes Private Equity. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Waqf Endowment. He has also served on the Board of Trustees of the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, the Advisory Board of Claremont Graduate School of Religion, as well as several for profit corporate boards. He is also an avid collector of Islamic coins.
Barr Potter, the founder and CEO of Tripod Entertainment, has been in the filmed entertainment industry for over 33 years. Tripod is involved in developing, financing and producing feature films and television series (both live action and animation). The company currently has 16 projects on its development slate, and Barr has written or co-written scripts for 9 of them. His latest project, "War of the Dead", which he co-wrote and produced, will be released in the U.S. in January 2013.
Prior to Tripod, Barr was Chairman and CEO of Largo Entertainment, Inc., which was involved in the financing, acquisition and worldwide sales of 20 feature films. He had sole green-lighting authority and committed over $150 million to those projects. One of his films, for which he served as executive producer, won an Oscar.
Barr was invited to be a member of the jury for the Vilnius International Film Festival in March 2009, the first year that the VIFF held a competition as part of the festival. In 2010 and 2011, Barr served on the jury for the Grand Off World Independent Film Awards, a competition for short films held in Warsaw, Poland. He will again serve as a juror for the 2012 competition.
Barr has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for over 25 years, and has served for many years on the committee that screens and selects the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film.
He received a BA degree from Yale University, and a JD degree from Columbia University School of Law. He is a member of the New York State Bar and the California State Bar.
Wayne L. Furbert became interested in public service at the age of 14 while hearing stories about his
great-great-uncle, Earnest Furbert and his great, great, grandfather, W.B. Furbert, who both served
as Members of Common Wealth Parliament. Following their example, he has persevered through
all tribulations to accomplish his mission to transform Bermuda into a place of peace, progress and
prosperity for all.
He was educated at Francis Patton School, Bermuda Technical Institute, and the Sixth Form Center, before going off to The University of Toledo. Wayne excelled in Mathematics and Physics and was invited to join the Mathematical Honor Society. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Education degree. Later he received a Master's Degree in E - Business. He currently is pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Business Administration.
He has had significant experience in Business. He joined PriceWaterHouse (Accountancy Firm) as an Auditor. He worked as a Supervisor in the Accounts department of an Insurance company and then managed a Law firm as General Manager and Financial Controller. In 1991 he qualified as a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Accountant. In 1998 he demonstrated his entrepreneurial talent by creating, owning and managing three successful private companies.
He has served as Chairman of the Finance Committee of the King Edward Memorial Hospital and Chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council.
Mr. Furbert was first elected in 1993 to represent Hamilton West as a Member of the United Bermuda Party (UBP). He served in several Ministries from 1993 - 1998 as Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs, Minister of Transport and as Minister of Housing, Health and Social Services.
He was Chairman and Leader of the official opposition UBP. After becoming frustrated with the UBP and the direction in which it was going he joined the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) and crossed the floor to sit in Parliament as a Member of the PLP.
Since joining The Progressive Labour Party, Wayne has served on many committees within the party and is currently serving as Minister of Business Development and Tourism.
He is married to Ulene (Robinson) Furbert and has two children.
Jeremy Cox is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA). Mr. Cox has responsibility for all supervisory activities conducted by the BMA, including the supervision of banks, trust companies, investment businesses and insurance companies. In his role as CEO, Mr. Cox also directs the on going strategic development and direction of the BMA, in consultation with the BMA Board of Directors.
Mr. Cox earned his Certified Public Accountant designation in 1995 and is an alumnus of Northeastern University, where he graduated Cum Laude in 1989 with a BSc degree in Finance and Insurance. He began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co. Bermuda as a Senior and Staff Auditor. He subsequently joined the Registrar of Companies Department within the Bermuda Government, where he served as a Technical Officer in the Insurance Division from 1993–1995, and was promoted to the position of Inspector of Companies, a post he held until 1999. He was then appointed Registrar of Companies, where his responsibilities included providing technical support to the Minister of Finance on all insurance related matters.
In 2002 Mr. Cox was appointed as Executive Director and Supervisor of Insurance at the BMA, where he had responsibility for the overall supervision of Bermuda’s insurance market, and he was promoted to the position of Deputy Chief Executive Officer in 2008. Mr. Cox was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the BMA as of January 1st 2010; he also serves as an executive member of the BMA Board.
Victor Webb established Marston Webb International, an international communications group, specializing in trade, investment and economic development, investment communications in the United States. The company consults with foreign government agencies and numerous international and U.S. companies on domestic and international corporate, investor and financial communications.
A journalist by inclination and training, he has worked for and has been a contributor to several international newspapers. He was a founding Director of Nikkei International Ltd., Tokyo and an alternate Director of The Far Eastern Economic Review, The South China Morning Post and The Straits Times of Singapore.
Prior to establishing Marston Webb, he was Vice President of the Dow Jones International Group and was responsible for worldwide advertising and marketing activities for Dow Jones Publications. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Asian and European Editions of the Wall Street Journal.
Marston Webb has affiliates in Europe, Southeast Asia, The Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Belaid Jheengoor has several years of professional experience in accounting public practice. His professional experience includes the provision of services to hedge funds, private equity funds, investment advisors, insurance companies and banks.
Mr. Jheengoor has a leading role in the development of Islamic finance initiatives within PwC Bermuda and he works closely with the PwC Global Islamic finance team. He writes and speaks frequently on Islamic finance particularly on Shariah-compliant funds, private equity, retakaful and sukuk. He has worked on a number of significant Islamic finance and Gulf Cooperation Council ('GCC') business development projects for the Bermuda Government and Bermuda Monetary Authority, including:
- Islamic finance feasibility study.
- GCC strategic plan.
- Islamic finance marketing brochure.
- Regulatory guidance notes on Shariah-compliant fund and retakaful.
- Bermuda Stock Exchange sukuk listing rules.
Mr. Jheengoor is a member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bermuda and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He is a CFA Charterholder and holds a first class BSc Business Studies from Cass Business School, London.
Scott Anderson recently joined Ernst & Young's Global Cleantech Center as its director of marketing. He was founder and principal of VerdeStrategy, a consulting and advisory firm focused on the cleantech, energy, and environment sectors. He is also cofounder of the Cleantech Alliance Mid-Atlantic (CAMA), a regional business network for entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers working in the sector.
Mr. Anderson has over 20 years experience in management, marketing, capital raising and business development. He has held management positions for large institutions, such as The Nature Conservancy, the world's most successful global conservation organization, and Ashoka, a social venture capital organization with operations in 72 countries worldwide, and has consulted with dozens of green and cleantech businesses and social entrepreneurs around the globe.
He writes the popular blog, The Green Skeptic, and is a frequent commentator on Fox Business Network's Varney & Co., WSJ.com, and StockTwits.tv, among other media outlets. In addition, Scott has served as an Advisory Board member for The Energy Collective, an energy policy, climate change and alternative energy community; GoodCompany Ventures, a social enterprise incubator; One Degree Solar, a supplier of solar energy and lighting products created specifically for individuals and small businesses in developing countries, and GreenMicrofinance, LLC, which develops alternative energy projects in the developing world.
While at The Nature Conservancy, he was part of the Global Climate Change and Global Marine Strategy Teams, which developed high-level global strategies for the organization, and was a John C. Sawhill Conservation Leadership Fellow. He has also been a Salzburg Global Fellow and a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program.
Nicholas Fortugno is an American game designer and educator. He is CCO of Playmatics LLC, a New York City-based game development studio focusing on casual games and cofounded with Margaret Wallace.
Mr. Fortugno is perhaps best known for designing Diner Dash, a top-selling casual game developed by Gamelab, and the award-winning Ayiti: The Cost of Life. In addition to his large body of digital work, he has been involved in the design of numerous non-digital projects, including board games, collectable trading card games, large-scale social games, and live-action role-playing games (LARP).
Since 2002, Mr. Fortugno has taught the Game Design and Interactive Narrative program at Parsons The New School for Design. He has also contributed to the development of the school's game design curriculum. Mr. Fortugno also hosts and writes for the game journal and review site Critical Smack!
Mark Fulton, in his role as global head of climate change investment research based in New York, co-ordinates a team of analysts who publish white papers on key industry, policy and strategic topics. The research team uses this to advise investment managers on climate change based strategies across the asset management platform.
Mr. Fulton joined the Company in 2006 after 29 years of investment experience in senior roles in research and management at Citigroup in the US, Salomon Smith Barney and NatWest in Sydney and James Capel in London. He serves as Co-Chair of UNEP FI Climate Change Working Group, Member of Steering Committee, Capital Markets Climate Initiative, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change and also Member, Advisory Committee, IEA International Low-Carbon Energy Technology Platform.
Mr. Fulton has a BA in Philosophy & Economics from Oxford University.
Joseph Brand’s involvement in more than 90 countries has been foreign affairs law, or international law and U.S. law, as it applies abroad. On behalf of such clients as foreign sovereigns, multinational enterprises, international financial institutions, educational institutions and even nongovernmental organizations, Mr. Brand has done legal work in all corners of the globe. In his domestic practice, he helps his foreign and American clients on their mergers and acquisitions, financings, regulatory compliance, corporate governance matters and dealings with the federal government. Mr. Brand also advocates for clients in the area of international human rights.
Governments, and their official instrumentalities, are among Mr. Brand’s clients, and his service for them can be described in the example of a South American country that, at the request of the World Bank, retained him to negotiate a settlement with creditors who threatened to seize the government’s major asset at the very time the government was seeking to alleviate a budget crisis by privatizing the asset. Drawing on his experience in comparative law, Mr. Brand borrowed a concept from a different legal culture, lobbied its passage by the legislature, defended it when it became the subject of international arbitration and ultimately used it to force a settlement favorable to the client.
His practice is by no means limited to one part of the world. Other examples of recent international activities include a technology transfer to an Asian country, investments in Russia, restructuring the investment portfolio of a Middle East institution and the representation of an African-based oil company.
Mr. Brand served for many years as outside counsel to a U.S.-based multinational with operations in more than 70 countries and has counseled the company’s managers on almost every significant domestic and foreign legal activity involving the company; engagements that run the gamut from market access and direct foreign investment to trade disputes and international litigation. U.S. legal work for his foreign clients includes environmental issues for a Japanese chemical concern, regulatory compliance for an Arab bank, defense procurement for a Brazilian manufacturer and human rights advice for a European company.
Outside the practice, Mr. Brand maintains an active interest in international legal matters. He taught the core curriculum course in comparative law at George Washington University Law School for more than 10 years and chaired a nongovernmental organization that litigates in U.S. courts on behalf of foreign victims of torture. His interest in university affairs is seen in his service as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of the George Washington University. During his tenure as a trustee, he chaired the fundraising program that brought more than half a billion dollars to the university’s endowment. He now serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Brand also chaired an international health care charity, was a director of Human Rights First, formerly called the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, and presently serves as a governor of the Middle East Institute. His professional affiliations include:
- Board of Governors, The Middle East Institute
- Board of Trustees, Emeritus, George Washington University
- Board of Trustees, American University of Sharjah
- American Society of International Law
Harri Eric Koponen is currently the COO of Rovio, the creator of the global video game sensation Angry Birds. He started at Rovio as its Director of Sales. Mr. Koponen was the Swedish Tele2's CEO in 2008-2010; and, from 2004-2008, he served as the Managing Director of Kuwait Wataniya Telecom. He served as Sonera's CEO from August 2001 to April 2003, and after the merger of TeliaSonera, he was its Executive Vice President until June 2004.
Before Sonera, from 1994 he worked for Ericsson and prior to his departure was its North and Central American Mobile Division Director. He has also held positions for such international companies as: Hewlett-Packard and Shell. Additionally, Mr. Koponen served as the Chairman of The Board of Tecnotree and is a Member of the Board of Stonesoft Corporation and AinaCom Corporation.
Mr. Koponen has a degree in business administration and completed the Executive MBA program, and has an honorary degree in economics from the University of Jyväskylä.
Michael Bennett is the Head of Derivatives and Structured Finance in the treasury department of the World Bank. He has spent over ten years with the World Bank, splitting his time between the World Bank’s Paris office and its Washington, DC headquarters.
Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked in the structured finance field in Tokyo, Hong Kong and New York. He has published articles in various legal and financial journals on topics including the opportunities and challenges facing the Islamic fixed income market, the role of Sukuk in development, structured products, and the regulation of financial derivatives in Asia. He also worked on the World Bank’s only Sukuk issue to date, a Malaysian ringgit 760 million Sukuk issued in 2005.
He graduated from Columbia University Law School in New York.
Mahmoud Mamdani is a Vice Chairman and Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley. Mr. Mamdani started his career in the Middle East Investment Banking Group at Morgan Stanley, one of the first such groups on Wall Street, and has over 25 years of mergers and acquisitions and banking experience at Morgan Stanley. He has worked in New York and London, across a variety of sectors including: Emerging Markets, Real Estate and Financial Services.
Mr. Mamdani was the Founder and President of Morgan Stanley’s first Emerging Markets Private Equity Fund and also served as Deputy Head of Worldwide Investment Banking. He has been on the Investment Committees of several Morgan Stanley Private Equity funds. He was involved with expanding Morgan Stanley’s overall business across the MENA region, with offices in Dubai, Cairo and Doha and in particular in developing Morgan Stanley Saudi Arabia, with offices in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar.
Mr. Mamdani is a David Rockefeller Fellow, and has been active in the New York City Investment Fund, a partnership between the city's financial and business leaders to help foster economic development in New York City. He is also a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He currently serves on the Board of Grameen America, the US affiliate of the Grameen Bank, founded by Professor Muhammad Yunus, the microfinance pioneer and on the Board of the Arab Bankers Association of North America (ABANA), where he is a member of the Executive Committee.
Mr. Mamdani graduated with a magna cum laude degree in economics from Harvard College, and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Aiyah Saihati, an international entrepreneur and intellectual, is the founder and president of Saihati International. She is an outspoken proponent of women's rights and economic empowerment in her native Saudi Arabia and works extensively in the areas of cross-cultural understanding and pluralism throughout the world. Her work bridges the business, legal and non-profit sectors and she is a well-known speaker at conferences and conventions on the subjects of entrepreneurship, current and historical events in Saudi Arabia, and the status of women in the Middle East.
An open letter that she published after the harsh sentencing of a Saudi rape victim was translated into eleven different languages as it was spread throughout the international press. She also speaks at international conferences and prestigious forums such as the Congress of the United States, prominent educational institutions that include the Dubai School of Government, Wharton Business School and Georgetown University as well as leading think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute.
Eli Pariser is the author of the New York Times Bestseller The Filter Bubble: What The Internet is Hiding from You, and the co-founder and CEO of Upworthy, a new site aiming to make content that matters go viral. He is the former President and Executive Director of MoveOn.org, and a co-founder of Avaaz.org, a global campaign organization with over 15 million members world-wide.