Regional & International Industry Experts
Taking The Stage at STEP2017

More to be announced soon

2017 Speakers

Planetary Scientist

Charles Elachi

Dr. Charles Elachi is Professor (Emeritus) of Electrical Engineering and Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology. From 2001 to 2016 he was the Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Vice President of California Institute of Technology.

He is the Chair of the St. Exupery Innovation Council in Toulouse France, Member of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency International Advisory Council, a member of the Commission on DOE National Laboratories, a member of the Visiting Committee for the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, the past chair and current member of the UCLA Sciences Board of Visitors, a past member of the Huntington Hospital Board of Trustees in Pasadena, the past chair and member of the Lebanese American University Board of Trustees New York and Beirut, a member of the International Advisory Board of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia, a past member of the International Advisory Council of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and a member of the International Advisory Board of the University Oman. He was a member of the University of Arizona Engineering School Advisory Committee and the Boston University Center of Remote Sensing Advisory Council.

He is a fellow of IEEE and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

During his 16-year tenure as JPL Director; JPL launched 24 mission.

In his 40 year career at JPL, Dr. Elachi played the lead role in developing the field of spaceborne imaging radar which led to Seasat, SIR-A, SIR-B, SIR-C, Magellan, SRTM and the Cassini Radar. He received numerous national and international awards for his leadership in this field.

During the late 80's and 90's as the Director of Space and Earth Science programs, Dr. Elachi was responsible for the definition and development of numerous JPL flight instruments and missions for Solar System Exploration, the Origins program, Earth Observation and Astrophysics.

In the mid to late 90’s, Dr. Elachi chaired a number of national and international committees which developed NASA roadmaps for the exploration of neighboring Solar Systems (1995), our Solar System (1997) and Mars (1998).

Dr. Elachi participated in a number of archeological expeditions in the Egyptian Desert, the Arabian Peninsula and the Western Chinese Desert in search of old trading routes and buried cities using satellite data, some of which were featured in National Geographic magazine.

He has lectured and given keynote speeches at numerous international conferences and universities inside and outside the U.S., including Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, China, Japan, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Monaco, Morocco and Switzerland. He was also a speaker at the Caltech Alumni Day and the Watson Lectures.

Dr. Elachi has received numerous awards, including the most recent as the Aviation Week Lifetime Achievement Award (2016), 2016 RNASA National Space Trophy, 2016 IAF Allen D. Emil Memorial Award, American University of Beirut Honorary Doctorate (2013).

HuffPost

Chaker Khazaal

Chaker Khazaal is a reporter, speaker, Huffington Post contributor, and author of the Confessions of a War Child trilogy.

Born in 1987 as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon, Chaker grew up in Bourj El Barajneh camp in Beirut. At a young age, he participated in several local plays and starred in the Palestinian film Sugar of Jaffa. He later immigrated to Canada. Being one of four recipients of the Global Leader of Tomorrow Award, Chaker studied at York University in Toronto and graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in International Development Studies.

He then worked as a public speaker and web-shows host before publishing his first novel, Confessions of a War Child (Part One) in March 2013, later followed by part two (subtitled Lia) published in 2014 and part three (subtitled Sahara) released in 2015. He traveled to refugee camps and conflict zones conducting interviews to inspire the events of his three novels and articles.

Chaker is an advocate for refugees and aspiring young writers. A savvy communicator, he has spoken at a number of platforms including United Nations Headquarters (New York), HuffPost Live, Google (San Francisco), msnbc’s Road Map show, International Youth Conference (Bahrain), Thomson Reuters Foundation (London), and the launch of the 8th Arab Youth Survey (Dubai).

Chaker manages a for-profit program that offers refugees and migrants contractual remote employment in e-marketing, graphics, social media management and web development. Inc. (magazine) listed him 49th in their list of "50 Powerful Arab Businessmen You Should Know”. He has also cooperated with the Social Enterprise Project in Jordan to design the Chaker Scarf, embroidered by Palestinian refugees in Jordan. In addition, Chaker was the chairperson of the judging panel for the United Arab Emirate’s first Young Arab Awards held in Dubai.

In 2015, Esquire Middle East named him Man of the Year; and in 2016, Chaker was ranked first by Arabian Business Magazine in the 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40. In the same year, he was presented with the Mentor Arabia Award by Queen Silvia of Sweden and Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. In December 2016, Chaker was awarded the Global Trailblazer together with Arianna Huffington by New York based NGO Bridges of Understanding.

He is currently writing his fourth book, Tale of Tala.

AJ+

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin is an Emmy-nominated journalist and a Correspondent/Producer for VICE on HBO. In 2015, he was featured on the Arabian Business power list of the planet’s 100 most influential young Arabs. In 2012 he was featured on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list of ‘young disruptors, innovators and media entrepreneurs impatient to change the world’.

Ahmed joined VICE from HuffPost Live, an award-winning online network he helped launch in 2012. There, he produced and hosted World Brief, a 30 minute interactive global news show, averaging one million views a day.

In 2010, Ahmed created, produced and co-hosted Al Jazeera English’s “The Stream,” an award-winning interactive talk show that earned him an Emmy nomination for Most Innovative Program in 2012.

Before joining Al Jazeera English, Ahmed helped launch the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Qatar where he worked as a Correspondent and ran the site’s editorial content. Before Qatar, Ahmed worked in New York as a Digital Producer at PBS’s award-winning series Wide Angle, a videographer for FRONTLINE/World and for The New York Times foreign desk.

In 2009 Ahmed began teaching digital media courses as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School Of Journalism, his alma mater. He graduated from the program in 2007 with honors. In 2013, Ahmed published his first book, ‘Demanding Dignity’ with a co-editor.

Ahmed has interviewed Presidents and A-list celebrities, but his passion is in giving voice to the voiceless and reporting under-covered stories across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. Ahmed often appears as a commentator for CNN, NBC, BBC, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, Yahoo and other online platforms. He also speaks at leading media, technology, and economic conferences around the world, including the UN, World Economic Forum, SXSW, Aspen Ideas Festival and Google Zeitgeist. In 2013, the Network of Arab-American Professionals honored him with the 2013 Professional Excellence Award.

Comedian

Tima Shomali

Tima Shomali is an Arab Producer/ Writer and Comedy actress from Jordan, as well as the founder of Filmizion Productions. She stood out in Jordan’s comedy world through her boldness on screen and her ability to present societal issues in a new light. She was the first female comedian in Jordan to have her own YouTube show and has since created a large regional following and fanbase.

Tima has a BA in Business Administration and Finance and was granted an MFA scholarship from The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts - where she majored in screenwriting and producing.

She went on to write with local comedy show “Bath Bayakha” – in which she also made her debut as the lead comedy actress. The show was broadcasted on YouTube, OSN TV Network and Ro’ya TV.

Finding a voice in comedy, she then created her own YouTube show, "FemaleShow" in 2012 through her company Filmizion Productions in partnership with Kharabeesh. FemaleShow was an instant regional success as it tackled the comedic nature of relationships with a focus on a couple’s dating journey into marriage and starting a family. It has released three seasons so far, which were shown on Ro’ya TV as well as its online YouTube channel.

FemaleShow is the most viewed show in Jordan and has been rated as one of the top five web series in The Arab World. The FemaleShow YouTube channel has received more than 50 million views to date.

Following the FemaleShow success, Tima did not limit herself to comedy, but branched out into drama as she produced the TV series "Zain," which was aired on MBC1, Abu Dhabi TV and MBC+. She also found a place in talk shows, both as one of the hosts of Emirates TV, "DardaChat" and worked behind the scenes as the supervising producer in the groundbreaking, Nida’a Show (an Arabic version of The Oprah Winfrey Show) - presented by Zainab Salbi alongside The Oprah Winfrey Show producers - Katy Davis and Lisa Morin.

Tima was nominated for "Best Jordanian Actress" in Tyche awards in 2012 based on the audience’s voting. In 2015, Tima was invited as a Key Speaker by Tina Brown at the annual “Women in the world” Summit (hosted by Tina Brown) in New York. In both 2015 and 2016, Tima was named one of the most influential young Arabs in the world by Arabian Business Magazine.

Telfaz11

Fahad Albutairi

Fahad Albutairi is the first Saudi stand-up comedian to appear on stage professionally, he is also an actor, a creative producer and a writer. Fahad is a co-founder of Telfaz11, a leading Saudi online entertainment network, and the first entertainment network in the Middle East to receive three Gold Play Button awards from YouTube.

Since his debut in the Middle East on October 2, 2008, he has shared stage with the likes of Gabriel Iglesias, Sebastian Maniscalco, Bobby Lee, Dean Edwards and Eddie Griffin. In March 2013, both The Washington Post and The National named Fahad Albutairi the "Seinfeld of Saudi Arabia.” On January 15, 2016, Fahad Albutairi performed at the Hollywood Laugh Factory with Maz Jobrani, Tony Rock, Steve Hofstetter and many others.

BBC

Kim Ghattas

Kim Ghattas covers international affairs for the BBC from her base in Washington D.C. She also covered the 2016 American presidential campaign. She writes a regular column for Foreign Policy magazine. She was the BBC's State Department correspondent from 2008 until 2013, travelling around the world with three secretaries of state. She wrote a NYT best seller The Secretary- a Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power. Before moving to DC, she covered the Middle East for a decade, for the BBC and the Financial Times among others, from her base in Beirut, where she was born and raised. In 2006, she was part of an Emmy-Award-winning BBC team covering the Lebanon-Israel conflict. She has covered Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran extensively. Her work has also been published by the Daily Beast, TIME magazine, and the Washington Post. She appears regularly on NPR and American television shows to discuss foreign policy.

Cartoonist

Khalid Al-Baih

Khalid Albaih is a Sudanese cartoonist living in Doha, Qatar. His stark, politically- charged images rose to prominence during the early stages of the Arab Spring protests. Posting his work in the public domain through social media, Albaih quickly became an artist from the revolution, his work being shared online across Arabia and around the world. His cartoons were made into stencils to be reproduced on walls in Beirut and Cairo.

Albaih has been profiled by both the BBC and the New York Times. He has also published his work in the Atlanticand Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Alongside worldwide attention and major publications, Albaih has staged major exhibitions of his work, most recently at the Edge of Arabia Crossway Foundation in London .Khalid constantly publishing new works on his Facebook page Khartoon! (a play on Khartoom, the Sudanese capital) for all to consider, use, and share.

Gulf Capital

Karim El Solh

Dr. Karim El Solh is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active alternative asset management firms in the Middle East. Under his leadership, Gulf Capital has been associated with some of the region’s most prominent private equity transactions and has won numerous awards including ‘Best Private Equity Firm in the Middle East’ for five years in a row (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) 2015 and the “Best Private Equity Firm” in the Middle East and North Africa by Private Equity International, as well as “Best SMEs Credit Fund in the Middle East’ in 2015. Gulf Capital currently manages over AED 12.4 billion (US$4 billion) of assets across 10 funds and investment vehicles: private equity, credit and mezzanine and real estate.

Prior to founding Gulf Capital, Dr El Solh was the CEO of the Abu Dhabi investment bank, The National Investor. Under his leadership, the Firm was involved in a number of groundbreaking private equity transactions and was ranked the number one IPO underwriter in the Gulf.

Dr. El Solh holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from Cornell University, an MBA from Georgetown University and a Doctorate in Economics from the Institute D’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Science Po).

OpenMarket

Oisin Lunny

Oisin Lunny is part of the Market Development team at OpenMarket, providing mobile engagement solutions for global Fortune 2000 companies.

Oisin’s background of over 21 years in technology and media includes roles as UK Managing Director for the world’s largest social space for teens, and Global Product Manager for Media Services at Europe’s largest network operator.

Oisin speaks and moderates at conferences globally, maintaining a parallel profile as film composer, producer, and DJ. Oisin has spoken at over 130 conferences, contributes to The Guardian and Digital Doughnut, sits on advisory boards for SXSW and The Economist Big Think, and was named the #5 most engaged marketer in the UK by LinkedIn.

Satirist

Karl Sharro

Karl Sharro is an architect, satirist and commentator on the Middle East. He is a Director at PLP Architecture in London and co-author of Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture which was included in 100 Artists’ Manifestos: from the Futurists to the Stuckists, a survey of 100 influential art manifestos from the last 100 years.

Karl has practised architecture in London and Beirut, and taught for five years at the American University of Beirut. He wrote a chapter on Density vs Sprawl in the The Future of Community: Reports of a Death Greatly Exaggerated and a chapter entitled 'The Visionary City' in The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs. He is also the author of Style: In defence of Islamic Architecture. He has been involved in the design of various buildings and master plans in the UK, Europe and the Middle East, as well as theoretical projects that look at how cities could look in the future.

Karl has written for a number of international publications and organisations, such as The Independent, The Sunday Times, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Open Democracy, The Globe and Mail, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Creative Time Reports, New Humanist, Vice, The National, Al-Akhbar English, Now, Jadaliyya, Syria Deeply, Daily News Egypt, World Architecture News, Index on Censorship, Die Presse, Springerin, The Architectural Review, Mark Magazine, Novo, Urban Design, Glass, Blueprint, An-nahar Cultural Supplement, and Culture Wars. He blogs at Karl reMarks, where his satirical writing is published.

He has spoken on a range of issues such as art, architecture, urbanism and politics, at MoMA, the Barbican, Internazionale Ferrara and many others. He appears regularly on the BBC and other media outlets. He presented his argument for open borders in a TedX talk in London in 2011 and an argument for removing planning constraints and allowing people to build whatever they want in BBC Radio 4 'Four Thought' broadcast. He has also taken part in BBC Radio 3 programmes reviewing the Islamic Art gallery at the Louvre Museumin Paris and The Shard in London. His idea for a ‘1000 Mile-City’ along the East Mediterranean coast was broadcast on the BBC’s This Week’s World as part of the ‘Think Again’ strand, exploring radical ideas for the future.

Proximie

Nadine Haram

Dr. Nadine H Haram is a Surgeon, Lecturer and Clinical Entrepreneur. She gained a BSc with distinction from University College London, receiving the Jack Drummond and Jackson Lewis prizes, for top marks in the Faculty and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and subsequently enrolled in the accelerated graduate entry program at Barts and the London, where she graduated in 2009, with distinction and earned the Harvey Minasian Prize for academic excellence. Since then she has been appointed as an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur, Council member of BAPRAS Innovation UK, a UCL Honorary Clinical Lecturer, SAC Plastic Surgery Simulation task force, President of BFIRST trainee members committee, and council member of the Royal Society of Medicine Plastic surgery section.

Nadine drew on her passion for innovation, education and global surgery and co-founded Proximie in 2014, an augmented reality platform that allows doctors to virtually transport themselves in to any operating room to guide, teach, train and support other surgeons and medical experts independent of any specific hardware.

When she isn’t working Nadine spends her time with her husband and 3 children in London.

Tamatem

Hussam Hammo

Hussam Hammo is a serial entrepreneur, CEO and founder of Tamatem Inc. the leading mobile games publisher in the MENA region. He founded the world's first Arabic social network in 2006 which was acquired by Maktoob.com which was later acquired by Yahoo. Hussam also co-founded a regional gaming studio called Wizards Productions in 2008 and in 2013 he founded Tamatem which is part of the 500Startups portfolio, Tamatem currently has an office in Amman, Jordan & Cairo, Egypt.

Bookwitty

Nasri Atallah

Nasri Atallah is British-Lebanese author and media entrepreneur. He is Head of Media Partnerships at cultural discovery platform Bookwitty and works on the Creative Cluster & Artist-in-Residence programs at Keeward.

His writing on travel, multiculturalism, pop culture and the media industry has appeared in The Guardian, Brownbook and GQ, amongst other places. In 2011, Atallah published a collection of essays entitled Our Man in Beirut. He is currently working on his first novel, due to be released in 2017.

Atallah regularly comments on issues related to media, culture and the Middle East in places such as the BBC, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post & The New York Times.

Atallah holds a BA in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut and an MSc in International Politics of the Middle East from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Future London Academy

Ekaterina Solomeina

Ekaterina Solomeina is a creative director, entrepreneur and TEDx speaker. She is a founder of Future London Academy and Design Director at Mind Gym.

For the past 14 years, Ekaterina has worked with top design and innovation companies around the world, including Mind Gym, LOWE, NB Studio, St. Lukes and Michael Wolff, helping grow brands, developing design teams and creating new products. Her client list includes Versace, Coca-Cola, IBM, Russian Standard, Sony, Microsoft, Samsung and Walmart.

Her passion for education has led her to start Future London Academy – introducing a completely different way to learn and improve in your field, offering a 1-week program for professionals which are taught directly by top companies in the industry, including Google, Facebook, Ustwo, Pentagram, Wolff Olins and BBC.

For the past 3 years, Ekaterina has been exploring the link between behavioural psychology and design, using the latest research in the field to understand how designers can create better user experiences.

Ekaterina is a regular speaker for creative organizations and educational institutions across the globe, including TEDx, Brunel University, Rambler&Co, Yandex, London School of Economics and others.

EyeEm

Ramzi Rizk

Ramzi Rizk is a Lebanese-born entrepreneur, and a founder and CTO of EyeEm; the Berlin-based photography community and marketplace. EyeEm's distinct blend of talented photographers sharing beautiful and authentic photos, and unique, deep learning powered photo classification, ranking and search technologies have made it one of the fastest growing photography platforms in the world. Before founding EyeEm, Ramzi spent years as a doctoral candidate researching privacy in Social Media, and as an engineering manager leading development teams focused on mobile and web. Ramzi is a passionate software architect, photographer and pianist. Together with his team at EyeEm, he organizes @PhotoHackDay, a global hackathon focusing on Photography. Ramzi loves product, scalable architecture, and the magical space where product, engineering and business meet.

Fifa World Champion

Abdulaziz AlShehri

Fifa World Champion 4 Times Saudi Arabia Champion 3 Times Middle East and Asia Champion First ever Saudi Arabian Player to become A Pro FIFA Player. First ever player in Asia and Middle East to win the FIFA interactive World Cup. For the first time ever as FIWC champion , Abdulaziz's pictures were featured on every copy of Fifa16 on both consoles Xbox, Playstation and PC.

Saily

Jihad Kawas

Jihad Kawas is the founder & CEO of Saily Inc, a company that develops one of the top ranking shopping apps on the US App Store with over 1,000,000 members. A recipient of the $100K Thiel Fellowship grant and a college dropout, the 19 year old currently resides in Silicon Valley where he focuses on growing his company. Jihad is also keen on education reformation and has delivered two TED talks on this subject. Jihad's work has attracted press attention from around the world and has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, Yahoo! Finance, Bloomberg Businessweek, Mashable, and VICE. Jihad has been selected as the "Young Entrepreneur Of The Year" in 2016 by Entrepreneur Magazine, has been on the cover of Arabian Business Magazine and is currently ranked one of the most influential young Arabs in the world by the same publication.

Brand Strategist

Phil Pallen

Phil Pallen builds brands for TV personalities, experts and businesses. You've seen his clients making deals on Shark Tank, advising country leaders, winning a Nobel Peace Prize, and changing lives with an incredible business idea. Based in LA, Phil is often featured by media outlets like Entertainment Tonight Arabic, Access Hollywood, and The Daily Mail, and speaks at conferences around the globe.

STARZ Play

Maaz Sheikh

Maaz Sheikh brings more than 20 years’ experience in media and telecom sectors, spanning technical, operational, sales & marketing functions at Fortune 100, as well as early stage technology companies operating in the US, Europe, and the Middle East.

Maaz started his professional career with Sprint Corporation, where he developed a passion for cutting edge technologies to improve consumer experience. After Sprint Corp, Maaz held consulting positions with Ernst & Young’s San Francisco office where he provided technology and marketing consulting services to media and telecom companies. Maaz also held various positions in US-based technology and communications corporations including Product Manager at Concentric Network (now XO Communications), Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Virtela Communications (an NTT Communications Company) and Vice President of Worldwide Sales & Marketing at StorePerform Technologies (now JDA Software).

Maaz spent a part of his childhood growing up in Dubai and returned to the region in 2006 to join Showtime Arabia (now OSN). As Chief Sales & Operations Officer at OSN, he was responsible for regional growth, customer service and spearheading overall customer operations across the Middle East.

As CEO of STARZ Play, Maaz is inspiring his team to deliver a new and highly anticipated digital media platform. With its internet–savvy population, the region is a leader in adopting innovative technologies and under Maaz’s leadership, STARZ Play is ushering in a bold new world of entertainment options.

Maaz holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Oklahoma State University and an M.B.A from The University of Kansas. He currently lives in Dubai with his wife and two sons.

Previous

Speakers

AJ+

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin is an Emmy-nominated journalist and a Correspondent/Producer for VICE on HBO. In 2015, he was featured on the Arabian Business power list of the planet’s 100 most influential young Arabs. In 2012 he was featured on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list of ‘young disruptors, innovators and media entrepreneurs impatient to change the world’.

Ahmed joined VICE from HuffPost Live, an award-winning online network he helped launch in 2012. There, he produced and hosted World Brief, a 30 minute interactive global news show, averaging one million views a day.

In 2010, Ahmed created, produced and co-hosted Al Jazeera English’s “The Stream,” an award-winning interactive talk show that earned him an Emmy nomination for Most Innovative Program in 2012.

Before joining Al Jazeera English, Ahmed helped launch the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Qatar where he worked as a Correspondent and ran the site’s editorial content. Before Qatar, Ahmed worked in New York as a Digital Producer at PBS’s award-winning series Wide Angle, a videographer for FRONTLINE/World and for The New York Times foreign desk.

In 2009 Ahmed began teaching digital media courses as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School Of Journalism, his alma mater. He graduated from the program in 2007 with honors. In 2013, Ahmed published his first book, ‘Demanding Dignity’ with a co-editor.

Ahmed has interviewed Presidents and A-list celebrities, but his passion is in giving voice to the voiceless and reporting under-covered stories across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. Ahmed often appears as a commentator for CNN, NBC, BBC, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, Yahoo and other online platforms. He also speaks at leading media, technology, and economic conferences around the world, including the UN, World Economic Forum, SXSW, Aspen Ideas Festival and Google Zeitgeist. In 2013, the Network of Arab-American Professionals honored him with the 2013 Professional Excellence Award.

Abraaj Capital

Arif Naqvi

Arif Naqvi is Founder and Group Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group

Arif Naqvi established The Abraaj Group in 2002 and has served as its Group Chief Executive since inception, building it into one of the leading private equity firms in the world. Abraaj is widely recognized as a pioneer of global growth markets private equity with over 20 country offices including 5 regional hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Nairobi and Singapore. Mr. Naqvi has over three decades of experience of investing in public and private companies and has led the Group’s investment strategy, resulting in some of the most notable private equity transactions across global growth markets over the last decade.

Mr. Naqvi is a Trustee of the Interpol Foundation and is on the Board of the United Nations Global Compact. He is also a Columbia Global Leadership Council member and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in London.

Mr. Naqvi has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Oslo Business for Peace Award, the highest form of recognition given to individual private sector leaders for fostering peace and stability through business, and the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, a prominent civilian honor awarded by the Government of Pakistan. In 2011, Private Equity International named him as one of the 50 most influential people in the global private equity industry.

In 2008, Mr. Naqvi and his family established the Aman Foundation, the largest private social sector enterprise in Pakistan, which supports sustainable development in healthcare, nutrition and education.

Mr. Naqvi is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Satirist

Bassem Youssef

Bassem Youssef, dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, was the host of popular TV show AlBernameg – which was the first of its kind political satire show in the Middle East. Originally a 5-minute show on YouTube, AlBernameg became the first online to TV conversion in the Middle East and the most watched show across the region with 30 million viewers every week.

AlBernameg received wide acclaim around the world with coverage in some of the biggest media outlets, topping it off with Youssef’s appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart twice in June 2012 and April 2013. In June 2013, Youssef hosted Jon Stewart on AlBernameg in Cairo marking the second season’s peak.

Throughout its three seasons AlBernameg remained controversial through its humorous yet bold criticism of the ruling powers, which led to tens of lawsuits being filed against the show and its host. Youssef was even issued an arrest warrant in March 2013 and turned himself in the next day where he was questioned for five hours and released on bail. In recognition of his success, Youssef was named among the Time Magazine most influential list for 2013 – under the “Pioneers” category, was awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the CPJ, and was chosen by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the global thinkers during the same year.

During its third season, the show achieved unprecedented weekly viewership ratings for 11 consecutive weeks. In June 2014, and after a six-week break, AlBernameg team held a press conference where Youssef announced the termination of the show due to overwhelming pressures on both the show and the airing channel.

In the spring of 2015 Youssef served as a resident fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F Kennedy School of Government for one semester. During his stay in the US he appeared twice as a Senior Middle East Correspondent on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, commenting on the recent political situation in the region. He has recently hosted the International Emmy Awards gala of 2015, as well as the 49th Carthage Film Festival in Tunis. Youssef is also currently hosting a zasgital series titled “The Democracy Handbook” for Fusion Network, namely on its new digital platform F-Comedy. In March 2016, “Tickling Giants,” a documentary featuring Youssef’s story with AlBernameg, has been announced as one of the competing entries at the Tribeca Film Festival for 2016.

Youssef majored in cardiothoracic surgery, passed the United States Medical License Exam (USMLE) and is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS).

Golden State Warriors

Daniel Brusilovsky

Daniel Brusilovsky is the Digital Initiatives Lead for the Golden State Warriors, focused on digital & technology innovation and emerging technology. He is also a co-founder of imoji, the largest sticker library in the world.

Prior to joining the Golden State Warriors, Daniel was the Head of Business Development & Growth at Ribbon, a San Francisco-based payments startup. He has also spent time at Highland Capital Partners, JESS3, Qik and TechCrunch. He also founded and was CEO of Teens in Tech Labs from 2008-2014.

AJ+

Dena Takruri

Dena Takruri is a host and producer with AJ+, Al Jazeera’s all digital video news network based in San Francisco.

The videos Takruri hosts range in format from in-studio explainers that provide essential context to the biggest news stories, to interviews with experts and stakeholders, and even ground reports from where news is breaking. Her videos have gone viral, netting millions of views on Facebook and hundreds of thousands of shares on YouTube and Twitter.

Dena has reported domestically from Charleston, South Carolina in the aftermath of the shooting at an African American church. She also covered the armed occupation of the federal wildlife reserve in Oregon and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Internationally, Dena notably covered Europe’s refugee crisis, embedding with refugees and crossing borders with them while also broadcasting live on Facebook. She also reported from the West Bank during intensified tensions in the fall of 2015.

Prior to AJ+, Dena was a producer and host at Huffpost Live. Before that, she produced Al Jazeera Arabic’s flagship news program out of the U.S. called “Min (from) Washington. You can follow her on Twitter @Dena.

Wamda Capital

Fadi Ghandour

Fadi Ghandour is Chairman and Managing Partner at Wamda Capital. Founder and Vice Chairman of Aramex, Fadi is also Co-Founder of Mena Venture Investments, the leading seed stage tech investment company, and is a founding investor in Maktoob.com, and sits on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut, and the Advisory Council of the MIT Media Lab, and the Board of Abraaj Group. Fadi is passionate about social entrepreneurship where he founded and chairs, Ruwwad for Development, and entrepreneurs-led youth empowerment organization.

MITEF

Hala Fadel

Hala has co-founded Leap Ventures in 2014, a venture capital firm focusing on series B investment in startups in the MENA region.

Hala has 20 years of experience in finance and entrepreneurship. She has been a portfolio manager for 12 years in European Equities at Comgest, a €20bn growth equity fund. Prior to that, she started Booleo, a telecom software business, later acquired as an internal solution by a client. Hala started her career in 1996 at Merril Lynch in London in mergers and acquisition. She is the founder and chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the pan-Arab region, an organization that promotes entrepreneurship and organises, among other things, the MIT Arab start-up competition since 2006. Hala also sits on the global board of the MIT Enterprise Forum and chairs the Arab Edition of the MIT technology review magazine. She is also an angel investor in start-up companies in the Middle East and Europe, and has launched a co-working space in Beirut called Coworking+961. Hala graduated from HEC in France in 1997 with a Masters in Financial Economics and attended the Berkeley Haas School of Business, she holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

TNW

Patrick de Laive

Patrick de Laive (36) is co-founder of TNW, the most influential tech media entity with a global audience which is not based in the US (The Netherlands actually). He is one of the young leaders under 40 of the European tech scene. Patrick is a frequently asked speaker at international tech events (Slush -Helsinki-, Launch.co -SF-, ARABSmiss -Dubai-, 4YFN – Barcelona, IDCEE -Kiev-, The South Summit -Madrid- and many more), but as he just entered the ‘fatherhood’ he is limiting the number of speaking engagements.

In the past year he has been secretly working on a big data project, recently launched as Index.co. Index provides insights in private tech companies by turning unstructured content into structured intelligence on over 100k private tech companies.

JWT

Ramsey Naja

Ramsey Naja is a Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson Middle East Africa.

Former pirate radio DJ, theatre director, and TV news anchorman, Ramsey Naja moved to the UK in 1985, collected an MA in Drama from Hull University, and joined J. Walter Thompson in 1994.

Under Naja’s stewardship, J. Walter Thompson MENA became one of the region’s most awarded networks, with first-time and regular international recognition in Dubai Lynx, D&AD, One Show, IPG, London International Awards, New York Festivals and Cannes Lions amongst others. The MENA network was voted network of the year twice and most effective network in 2014. It also won the first Gold Cannes Lion for Egypt in 2013 and the first Titanium Lion for Egypt in 2015.

Naja was appointed Chief Creative Officer for Middle East and Africa in 2012.

Ramsey is a member of J. Walter Thompson’s Worldwide Creative Council and a columnist in Campaign Middle East magazine. He is obsessive about comic books and skiing, but mostly about his wife Marianne and their children Emily, Sophie and Mark.

Sharjah Art Foundation

Sultan AlQassemi

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is a United Arab Emirates-based columnist whose articles have appeared in The Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The New York Times Room for Debate, Foreign Policy, Open Democracy, and The Globe and Mail, as well as other notable publications.

Al Qassemi is also a prominent commentator on Arab affairs on Twitter. Rising in prominence during the Arab Spring, his tweets became a major news source, rivalling the major news networks at the time, until TIME magazine listed him in the “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.”

Al Qassemi is an MIT Media Labs Director’s Fellow, and in 2014, Arabian Business placed Al Qassemi in its list of World’s 100 Most Powerful Arabs under the Thinkers category. He continues both to write and tweet about the Arab world both from his home in Sharjah, as well as while giving lectures internationally.

Al Qassemi is also the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent initiative established to contribute to the intellectual development of the art scene in the Arab region by building a prominent and publicly accessible art collection in the United Arab Emirates. Barjeel Art Foundation currently has exhibitions at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

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