Dawoud has a Bachelor in Urban City Plan and Technology from Eastern Washington, USA. In 2008, he received the Diploma in Foundations of Human Resources from the Australian Human Resource Institute. On the same year, he completed the UAE Government Leaders programme from the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government. In 2015 he completed the Urban Innovation Certificate Program in Boston College, USA.
Dawoud also received the Creative leadership award from the Dubai Government Excellence Program in 2015.
He is currently the President of Society of Engineers, United Arab Emirates. He is also the Head of Dubai Building Permit Development Committee.
Samira Al Rais is senior director of policy and strategy for sustainable development department at The Executive Council of Dubai. She oversees and develop polices and strategies in order to achieve the goals of the Dubai Plan 2021 in the sectors of energy, water, the environment, health, safety and sustainable urban development.
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.
Fida Mohammed Alhammadi is Head of Research and Building Systems section, Building Department at Dubai Municipality. A Civil Engineer with a Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, United Arab Emirates University, 2013. She later obtained her Master of Engineering Management – University of Sharjah. She is a certified LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE, CFT,CFME, CCPFme, BREEM ASSOCIATE and an approved trainer by local and International entities.
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.
Natalya was born in 1966 in Moscow. Born in Moscow in 1966, Natalya Kaspersky graduated from the Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics with Diploma in Applied Mathematics. In 2007, Natalya headed InfoWatch, which now dominates the Russian IT market, still actively develops in Russia and the CIS, and successfully enters the global arena. InfoWatch offers innovative and effective corporate data and enterprise protection against information leakage and the most pressing internal and external threats.
In 2017 Natalya has been elected as the head of the Information Security Committee established by the Software Developer Association 'Domestic Software' as part of the 'Digital Economy of the Russian Federation' initiative that sets goals, objectives, approaches, and timeframes of the national policy for digital economy development in Russia.
Natalya holds multiple awards in Russian and International Business and IT:
Sajid Afridi is working as Director Sales & Strategy in the field of ITS. Since the affiliation with SSK technologies, he has taken a different role started from the Sales & Business Development. He has established the Software Development vertical in the company by understanding the Pulse of ITS market in the region. He is currently leading the company's Sales & Strategy department.
Evgeni Borisov has 15+ years of corporate executive experience. He was the former marketing director of Toshiba, Phillips. He has experience in international marketing and SEM. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, and a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.c) for the Economy of fuel and power sector. He also has a Bachelor’s degree from The Hague University of Applied Sciences.
Franco joined DMCC in August, 2008, and has played an important role in building and promoting DMCC’s innovation capabilities in order to position DMCC at the cutting edge of international commodities trade.
He is vastly experienced in his field, having worked as a Strategy Consultant for Monitor Group in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia prior to joining DMCC.
At DMCC, Franco works on a day-to-day basis with organisations in India, Africa and the Far East, and is keenly aware of emerging needs of organisations in different geographies.
Franco holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, awarded by Babson College.
His leadership role within his field was recognised when he was appointed to the Board of the Dubai Diamond Exchange in 2011, upon which he served until 2016. He was also appointed to the Board of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group in 2014, a position he still holds.
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.
Basem Mohamed Abdullah Al-Namer is the Director of Engineering Services Department in Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme (SZHP).
He is responsible of driving the overall growth and leading the planning and designing of housing complexes projects, strategic partnerships, the development of innovation culture within SZHP, and developing future opportunities in sustainable urban development in the UAE.
Basem holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from the United Arab Emirates University, and a Master’s degree in Engineering Project Management from the University of Wollongong in Dubai. Mohammad is a graduate of Zayed Leaders programme from Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government and a diploma in government innovation executives from the University of Cambridge.
Eng. Hamad Mohamed Aldhanhani holds the following positions:
He is responsible of the services provided to the customers and its development, supervising the intelligent transformation of the services and monitoring the happiness centers KPI's.
He holds a Bachelor's degree in Architectural Engineering from the United Arab Emirates University. He graduated from Zayed leaders program from Mohamed Bin Rashid school of government and he also graduated from the National program for Happiness and Positivity.
Alexandar is presently the Director of Future Economy, Department of Economic Development (DED), Government of Dubai. His current responsibilities include conceptualizing new strategic initiatives for Dubai’s future economy, engaging the business community and fostering international strategic partnerships with global think tanks and influencers. Since his new appointment in Jan 2015, he has produced comprehensive integrated industry reports covering 14 sectors of Dubai’s economy, developed advisories on UAE/Dubai industry regulations, formulated a detailed Business Community Engagement Plan and embarked on strategic initiatives in collaboration with partners on future trends and technologies.
His interests include technology innovation, sharing economy, technopreneurship, university R & D – industry linkages, Technology Investment Development & IP and Dealing with the Millennial Generation. He has logged 27 years’ experience and built expertise in strategy & management, entrepreneurship & SME development, life cycle dynamics of firm growth, competitiveness & productivity, economic, investment and industrial policies, skills development and multinational corporate strategies. Alexandar received his tertiary education (Bachelor of Arts with Honors- Second Upper) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1990. He received his Masters in Public Policy and Administration at the London School of Economics in 1996 and attended the INSEAD International Business Management Programme in 2003.
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.
Steven grew up in Australia and pursued a career in Urban Planning & Heritage Conservation before embarking on a career in Landscape Architecture. Influenced by his multi-disciplinary background Steven’s work has attempted to promote a more instrumental role for the Landscape as an organizing medium in Urban Planning. His recent work & research seeks to promote the idea of Landscape Urbanism as the future for sustainable urban development in the Middle East and Asia. Steven has experience in all spectrums of the design process including Masterplanning, Conceptual Design to Construction Documentation, Site Supervision. He also has experience in Project Management, Team Management, Business Development, Financial Management and Human Resources.
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.
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.
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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