Ahmed Bahrozyan is the Chief Executive Officer of The Licensing Agency, which is responsible for managing all operations related to vehicles registration and licensing, educating and training of drivers, besides setting policies, legislation and technical standards that properly guarantee roadworthiness of vehicles and competency of drivers. It also issues commercial licensing for transport companies among other tasks.
Mohammad Saeed Al-Shehhi is the Chief Operating Officer of Dubai Design District, also known as d3, the region’s first community dedicated to the design industry.
Prior to d3, Mohammad held a number of prominent roles within the broadcast sector. For example, in 2008 he was appointed was Deputy CEO at DMI where he was responsible for developing the organisation’s corporate strategy and analysing operational and performance efficiencies. He also launched the first DMI native HD channels, developed DMI’s state of the art technical infrastructure and led DMI’s digital offering. Prior to this, Mohammad was Senior Director of Broadcast Services at du, where he managed the telecommunications company’s strategy and growth plans for the broadcast divisions achieving year on year growth of 24% and expanding the growth of du’s media and broadcast services regionally.
Mohammad holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the American University of Sharjah, and a Master’s degree in Digital Wireless Communications from the University of Leeds. Mohammad is a graduate of EDAAD as well as the Young Arab Leaders programmes. He was also voted amongst the most influential people in the Middle East in Digital Media.
Michael Lake is the President and CEO of Leading Cities, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and with operations in 10 countries around the world. As President and CEO, Michael establishes and develops relationships with municipal governments, businesses and universities around the world, creating a global network of partner cities dedicated to implementing Smart City solutions that effectively address the shared challenges facing 21st century cities. Michael’s career in public service spans from serving three United States Presidents as Special Assistant for White House Operations and Presidential Advance to serving the former Prime Minister of Ireland as a policy research analyst.
A native of Melrose, Massachusetts, Michael was the first and only graduate in history from Northeastern University or the state of Massachusetts to have completed five undergraduate majors simultaneously. He graduated summa cum laude studying Finance, Political Science, Communications, Entrepreneurship and Management Information Systems.
Michael serves in a variety of capacities for a wide range of non-profit organizations including:
Yousef Ahmed Baselaib is Executive Director of Masdar’s Sustainable Real Estate division and its flagship project Masdar City, a ‘greenprint’ for the sustainable development of our future cities.
He is responsible for driving the overall growth and direction of Masdar City’s initiatives, strategic partnerships, the development of research and innovation clusters within the City, and developing future opportunities in sustainable urban development in the MENA region and beyond.
Previously, Mr. Baselaib served as Senior Advisor to the CEO of Masdar, with responsibility for ensuring the company’s strategic alignment with Masdar’s mandate to support the diversification of the economy of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
Prior to that role, he was seconded from Masdar to the UAE-Egypt Task Force (ETF), where he worked directly with the UAE Minister of State H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber to execute numerous developments and infrastructure projects designed to support Egypt’s social and economic stability.
With around two decades of operational experience, Mr. Baselaib has also specialised in supply chain management for both the construction and oil & gas sectors. Prior to joining Masdar in 2008, Yousef served as a senior manager for Dubai Properties, and as Head of Registration at Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd, or GASCO. Mr. Baselaib graduated from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
Paul Copping is Chief Innovation Officer at Digital Greenwich, serving the Royal Borough of Greenwich, population 270,000. His role is to engage with industrial partners to deploy integrated technology solutions that will result in more innovative, agile and cheaper services for Greenwich citizens. Paul is currently working on connected and autonomous vehicles; 5G wireless; and a collaborative smart city procurement framework. Paul has an MBA in Marketing from Cass Business School and an MA in Spanish and French from the University of Cambridge. His earlier career background is in telecoms (Nortel, BT) and mobility (Transport Research Laboratory) with a focus on corporate development and innovation management. He is a Director of the City Protocol Society.
James Bernard joined the DMCC in 2006 as the Associate Director of Commodities.
In 2009 he became Director of Business Development and now leads the development of DMCC Free Zone in Dubai which has attracted over 13,500 companies to the central Dubai location.
James started his career in the London financial markets back in the early 1990s working for several leading financial institutions and trading houses before incorporating several of his own companies trading in physical commodities and derivatives.
As a Business Development and Sales & Marketing professional he has a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of developing and growing companies and the business streams across a wide range of different industry sectors.
For the past seven years he has been responsible for driving growth at DMCC enabling them to achieve recognition as the Global Free Zone of the year in 2015/16.
His particular areas of interest include advanced sales strategy, opportunity relationship management, big data, advanced and predictive analytics, and process flow digitalisation.
James leads the DMCC Blockchain Innovation Group and was one of the founding members of the Dubai ‘Global Blockchain Council’.
Chris Free graduated from the Uni. of Manchester in 2007 and went on to spend the first 4 years of his career within the Strategy Practice at Accenture in London.
Following that, Chris joined WPSChallenger, an early stage VC firm based in London and Los Angeles as a Senior Associate. The firm focused on investments within the digital media and technology space.
Chris Free joined Uber in July 2014 as a Launcher, where he helped launch the product in Poland and across the Nordics including Olso, Copenhagen and Helsinki.
Chris is currently a General Manager at UAE, overseeing operations across the UAE and Qatar.
With over 10 years’ experience at Peterborough City Council, Charlotte is currently the Environment, Transport and Future City Manager. This role includes leading the city’s aspiration to create the UK’s Environment Capital, an aim that will see the city living within the resources of one planet by 2050.
Charlotte played a key role in developing the city’s Future Peterborough programme that received a £3m grant from Innovate UK in 2013 and went on to win the World Smart City award at the 2015 Barcelona Smart City Expo. Charlotte’s role in this programme, delivered in partnership with Opportunity Peterborough, is to act as the programme manager and to integrate sustainability into the Future Cities agenda.
Charlotte has a first class honours degree in Environmental Studies (BSc) awarded by the Open University.
Mr. Ismail Mohammed is a Senior Vice President Customer Operations at du telecom with responsibility for heading end to end Customer Operations mainly including Contact Center (Front & Back Office Operations), Email & Social Media Operations, Retention & Outbound Sales, Collections and Transformation verticals. Mr. Ismail Mohammed has more than 23 years of Professional experience with around 15 years specifically serving in the telecom sector. He has lead multiple verticals in Network & IT Operations as well.
Prior to joining du telecom, Mr. Ismail Mohammed headed different Operational verticals at Etisalat UAE worked and have also worked in different companies on Heading multiple verticals.
He holds a Master’s Degree from Institute of Business Management and Research and a Leadership Degree from Institute of Leadership & Management.
Ismail Mohammed is a renowned thought leader, motivational speaker, Customer experience guru, workplace mentor and award winning professional whose stimulating, upbeat and inspirational leadership has helped many people to develop across corporate sector. He has helped them solve personal problems, infuse their lives with hope, energy and success, and remarkably improve people's relationships at work and at home.
Dr. Saeed is an academician and ICT expert. He has played an advisor and consultant role to several UAE government organizations in areas including IT systems development, e-government/smart government, digital innovation, smart city and national ID systems. He was appointed in 2004 as the Director General of the newly formed Emirates Identity Authority. He established and led the authority for two years.
He is now a member of the international advisory committee of the UAE space agency.
He has led and participated in assessment teams of several programs and awards locally and internationally, including Dubai government excellence program (DGEP), the GCC e-government award, and the UAE Drones and AI & Robotics for Good Awards.
He holds a Ph.D degree in biomedical engineering from Drexel University. He taught several courses at the Faculty of Engineering at the UAE University in areas of digital design, living systems, and IT.
Dr. Marie Thompson is the Clinical Director of Vivamus, a clinic offering psychological services to the expat and local population of Dubai.
Dr. Marie is a UK trained, experienced Clinical Psychologist. She has been living and working in Dubai for a number of years and appreciates the nuances the unique population of this international city.
Prior to moving to Dubai, Dr Marie was the Head of Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences at Webster University, Leiden, The Netherlands. In the UK, she worked at the Traumatic Stress Service at St George’s Hospital, London and a Community Mental Health Team. She is a founding partner of Vivamus, which she established in London, and which has since expanded to other parts of the UK, The Netherlands and now Dubai.
Her research has been published in books and academic journals and she has presented at numerous international conferences. She has worked and lived in the UK, Australia, The Netherlands and Dubai.
Dan is co-founder and Managing Director of Place Dynamix in the Middle East. Since its establishment in the Middle East in seven years it has completed over 70 projects in 12 countries and works with clients including Emaar Properties, Meraas Holding, Dubai Properties, Nshama and Dubai Holding. Their notable projects include City Walk, Dubai Hills Estate, the Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, the park at Dubailand (for Dubai Holding), Town Square and three projects at Expo 2020 - including the UAE’s own Pavillion with Santiago Calatrava. Outside of UAE, Place Dynamix have worked extensively in Qatar, including the co-authoring of the Urban Design Compendium which will encourage better urban design in all its new development. In Mauritius they have master planned a new smart city to take pressure off the capital city and designed numerous other resorts and new residential communities.
Ghazi is a seasoned IT executive with over 20 years of experience in the IT and Telecommunications industry and a reputation for driving the smart digital transformation in various lighthouse projects such as Smart Dubai, Smart Riyadh, and others.
Ghazi is the founder & CEO of NXN, the region’s leading advisory and managed services organization in the field of smart cities and next-generation technology innovation. NXN (Formerly neXgen) commonly known as ‘The Smart City Company’ provides expert services for cities, districts, government institutions, real estate developers and enterprises. Ghazi is responsible for managing the company, formulating and implementing long-term strategies. He is a proven leader with profound expertise in developing strong client relationships, and a passion to consult governments in building the strategies and master plans for realizing their smart city ambitions. Ghazi received the Telecom leadership award at the 8th Arab Internet and Telecom conference in May 2006. He was also named among most influential ME IT leaders in Al Idari magazine’s special issue of TOP 100 ME business leaders in February 2006.
Before NXN, Ghazi was the Managing Director/Vice President for Cisco’s Service Provider business in the Emerging Markets theatre. He was responsible for defining the strategy and Go-To-Market plans for Service Providers business in a region that includes Cisco’s fastest growing markets worldwide. Ghazi also sat on Cisco’s Corporate Service Provider Business Council that is tasked with shaping Cisco’s Service Provider technology strategy worldwide. Ghazi has led Cisco’s MENA operations for 3 years as General Manager. He built and lead one of the most effective go to market organizations in the region, Cisco’s highest growth region worldwide. Prior to that, he served as the General Manager of Cisco Saudi Arabia for 2 years.
Prior to Cisco, Ghazi was the head of multimedia ATM access technology at General Datacom’s R&D labs in Montreal, Canada. Earlier in his career, Ghazi was a Chief Network Architect in the network planning group for Teleglobe Canada, Canada’s international carrier.
Ghazi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Business Administration from the University of Quebec, Canada and an executive MBA program for enterprise from Stanford & London Business Schools.
Ramez T. Shehadi is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Booz Allen Hamilton driving the international expansion of the firm's general management consulting services for public and private sector clients across all major industry verticals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Turkey. An internationally seasoned strategy consultant, over the years Ramez has both started and led regional and global lines of business for a number of top-tier global consulting firms primarily in the Digital Business and Technology domains. He has written extensively and advised leading institutions on topics ranging from digital strategy to technology-driven socio-economic development, sectoral digitization, and next generation smart services and infrastructure.
Ramez has also built and led corporate social responsibility programs with the aim to deliver positive change across the MENA region through diversified support on essential themes such as empowerment of women, entrepreneurship and environmental preservation, among various other socio-economic issues.
Ramez’s previous roles include Lead Partner and Global Digital Practice Leader at Booz & Company, a spin off from Booz Allen Hamilton; Co-Founder and Senior Director of Product Development at eBreviate, a billion-dollar e-sourcing solution provider in San Francisco; Research Associate at the Centre for Management of Technology & Entrepreneurship think tank in Toronto; and Co-Founder of R&R Ventures focused on digital innovation venture capital between the US and MENA.
Ramez is a member of the Board of Directors at Aramex, a publicly traded global logistics provider; a former Board Member of the Young Arab Leaders and remains an active Endeavor Mentor as well as Young Presidents Organization Member. Ramez is a Fellow and Moderator of the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
He is an avid sailor and an 8m class amateur medalist in the 1997 and 1998 North American Championships and the 1999 World Championships. He holds a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University and an M.A.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Osama Elhassan is the Vice-Chair of Emirates Health Informatics Society and the Head of eHealth section at Dubai Health Authority where he leads the implementation of the Health Information Exchange project of the emirate of Dubai (NABIDH). He obtained a PhD in software Engineering from University of Leicester and an MSc from Imperial College in UK. Prior to and during his doctoral work he spent 10 years serving multiple teaching and research positions in Middle East and UK universities. He developed interest in Healthcare Information Systems during his PhD work, which allowed him to play key roles in several healthcare authorities within Dubai after completing his research work. Dr. Osama joined Dubai Health Authority in Oct. 2012 to take the responsibility of devising and executing DHA’s e-Health vision and to establish Dubai’s Health Data Standardization initiatives.
Furqan is currently working as Head of IT Security and Operations in Emirates Investment Authority (EIA). Currently, he is involved in information security consulting and management, information security strategy and architecture development, information systems risk management, infrastructure and operations management, and project and people management. Prior to EIA, Furqan worked in various consulting firms where he provided information security and technology advisory and consulting services to government organizations, telecom operators, financial institutions, brokerage firms and insurance companies. Furqan holds a Master's in IT and Telecommunications, and Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Systems. In addition, he is a CISSP, CCIE, TOGAF and PMP certified.
Ken Goodrich, a senior research engineer at NASA, is developing technologies to make self-piloting aircraft a reality and will describe the opportunities and challenges of self-piloting, passenger-carrying aircraft with an emphasis on enabling Urban Air Mobility. He has more than 30 years of experience researching advanced aircraft automation, human-machine interaction, and aircraft operations. He is currently leading the development of a NASA, FAA and industry technology roadmap enabling development, certification and utilization of highly automated, personal aircraft enabling unprecedented safety, ease-of-use and on-demand mobility. Previously, Mr. Goodrich served as the lead for flight controls and primary flight displays in NASA’s Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiments program and was the lead for the single-pilot operations and lower landing minimums elements of NASA’s Small Aircraft Transportation Systems program. He holds bachelors and masters degrees in aerospace engineering, from the University of Michigan and George Washington University respectively.
I am an Indian expatriate, working with Khaleej Times, the oldest English newspaper of the UAE, for five years now. I was appointed the Happiness and Positivity Editor of the newspaper just last year after the UAE government appointed the Minister of Happiness in February 2016.
I am not only the first-ever Happiness Editor in the UAE but also the first ever woman in the world to get this title. We are probably the one and only newspaper in the world to have a full time Happiness Editor. My role, as my very designation suggests, entails providing full complement of news related to success, nobility, achievement, progress, good governance, social uplift News has many dimensions; sometimes its positive aspects are not explored enough and my job as the Happiness Editor of our newspaper is to bring to the fore such positive and constructive stories and give our readers a reason to be hopeful, optimistic and a reason to smile everyday. The stories I do not only aim at enhancing the mood of the readers but also act as a medium of giving them hope, inspiration, motivation, empowerment and happiness.
Michel Francis is the Chief Architect since 1995 at DEC Consultants, a building design and project management firm based in Abu Dhabi, providing services to the UAE and worldwide including architecture, structure, MEP, and specialized engineering services, in addition to LEED and ESTIDAMA consultancy. In addition to Architectural design and leading design operations, Michel has worked on Estidama and LEED certified buildings as a LEED Accredited Professional and a Pearl Qualified Professional. Michel has 24 years of experience in the Gulf in building design with green buildings specialty. He has 2 Master degrees, one in Architecture and one in Environmental Design of Buildings from Cardiff University, UK. He also conducts LEED, Estidama, FIDIC and Revit trainings. Michel has great interest in advocating the cause for green buildings.
Phil is a graduate of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He has been working in the UAE since 2005 and currently is the SEENEXUS Design and Planning manager for Diamond Developer’s Sustainable City Project.
He is an advocate for environmental awareness and has a keen interest in Permaculture and Biodynamic farming. Phil is a LEED accredited Professional and believes a landscape “should not only be beautiful but also be productive.”
Dr. Zakir is the General Manager – Group HR with Al Shirawi Group of companies and leads strategic HR function for UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. He is responsible for developing and implementing HR programs and policies for the entire Group and leads a team of over 30 HR professionals.
He holds a Ph.D in Philosophy along with two Master’s degree. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Recently Graduated from the First Batch of “Happiness & Positivity Program” for the private sector conducted by the UAE’s Ministry of Happiness and certified by the Wharton University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Zakir has over 18 years of experience including 9 years in the Gulf region. He is a key proficient towards “Employee Engagement”. His interests includes Public speaking, Networking & socializing.
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