H.E. Mr. Jamal Jarrah was born on 1956 in Al Marj, West Bekaa region. He received a BA degree in Business from the Lebanese American University. He also received his MBA from the Americation University of Science and Technology. He spent five years as a Financial and Administrative manager in an electric company in Jordan. He then moved to BankMed and became BankMed manager for Jeb Jennine branch. Later, Mr. Jamal Jarrah was assigned as the regional manager of BankMed for all Bekaa region. He was elected as a member of Parliament for West Bekaa in 2005 and 2009. Lately, H.E. Mr. Jamal Jarrah has been assigned as the Minister of Telecommunications in late 2016.
H.E. Mr. Khoury was born in 1975 and is from Choueifat. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and holds a BA in Economics and a Master’s degree in Banking and Finance from the American University of Beirut (AUB). Founder of Cedrus Invest Bank and Cedrus Bank SAL, Mr. Khoury has an extensive and varied banking experience with a focus on Wealth Management, Investment and Commercial Banking Services. Former director at BARCLAYS WEALTH, Mr. Khoury was in charge of team bankers who covered MENA and the Gulf region. He also spent more than seven years with Audi Group where he held Senior Management positions in Private Banking in Lebanon, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Khoury is married to Carole Abi Habib, with 2 children Ray and Karen.
Aaron Oliver is the Head of Digital Commerce for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) at MasterCard. In this role, he is responsible for the development and execution of MasterCard’s regional Digital Commerce commercial strategy in order to create a new web-based economy and business model. He manages the strategic and commercial relationships driving Digital Commerce in the MEA region along with other regional and global stakeholders to ensure effective execution and development of the commercial strategy. Aaron is responsible for driving the diversification of MasterCard’s business through digital channels in existing markets, which includes the identification of new stakeholders and clients, identifying and selling new solutions, supporting entry to new markets, and leading Mergers & Acquisitions activities. Prior to this role, Aaron was the Head of Emerging Payments for MEA, where he was responsible for overseeing and managing the strategies and implementation plans for Emerging Payment products to meet the evolving needs of consumers. With over 10 years of experience in the payment solutions and services industry across the Asia Pacific and the MEA region, Aaron joined MasterCard from Visa where he held the position of Senior Business Leader, Mobile Money – Asia Pacific. Prior to that, he held a number of key leadership positions that included Managing Director, Fundamo Asia; Principal Consultant at HSL Consulting and Vice President, mCommerce Services at Utiba. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Methods and Computer Science from the University of Saint Thomas, Minnesota.Twitter:@aaronhsl
Ahmed Al-Bader is Founder & CEO of SihaTech.com. He has also founded Shughly.com and Db8.com. He holds an MBA from Oxford University and an Illumina Fellowship. He is a former advisor for Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and an advisor for King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND) and other private public and private institutions. He was also formerly Chief Strategy Officer of Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON).Twitter:@ahmed_albader
Ahmed Refaat is a Regional Trainer in internet marketing, sales, management, while “soft skills” is the core of his experience. As part of the first Saudi e-Marketing payment service “ Faturah”, handling many portals and campaigns in Egypt, Kuwait , Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Sudan, UAE, Oman , Lebanon, and Qatar since 2008. Ahmed Refaat is passionate about creating interactive and enjoyable workshops and courses in the region. Most recently, Ahmed Refaat was e-Marketing Officer, setting the plan for the online marketing department in ITC – Saudi Arabia.Twitter:@ahmed_trainer
With a major in Mechanical Engineering, Ahmed Saad worked for several engineering multinationals before pursuing his entrepreneurial drive with his first IT services agency in 2008, in 2013 he co-founded Crowd Analyzer as the region’s leading Arabic Focused Social Media Monitoring platform.Twitter:@AHSAADO
8 years ago Alex came to the Middle East via Mobile Payment technology, managed the most successful Online games company, built up operations, the first FMP and social marketing SAAS in MENA, and is currently consulting enterprises on Digital transformation, Blockchain payments, Virtual Reality and publishes mobile freemium games for fun.
Ali Rıza Babaoğlan is a Senior Manager and Business Development Leader in the era of new technology and internet-based offerings. Seasoned business leader and management executive, he has 9 years of diverse global experience in Digital and Commercial areas of the IT industry, in both Public and Private sectors. Ali is also an active Business Angel and invests in early stage start-ups. He is a shareholder and board member of digital companies like: Ekranİşleri, Temizlikyolda.com, Noluyo.tv, ARPandora.com and Segmentify.com where he has one exit so far.Twitter:@alibabaoglan
Arda was born in 1984. He got his bachelor degree on International Relations and a masters in Business Administration. He is a mobile and online payments enthusiast. Currently, he is the Head of Online, Mobile Payments and E-commerce in Garanti Bank. He believes that Payments is the main P of Marketing; how and what we will encounter as Payments will be a dynamic changer. He is passionate of mountain biking, drones and fresh water aquariums.Twitter:ArdaCag
Ayman Haydar is the chief executive officer of MenaMarketPlace, the leading programmatic advertising companies in MENA region. Started as a software engineer, then moved to developing mobile VAS strategies. In 2003, he started his career in Media and advertising. He has vast experience in publishing, content, digital marketing. Ayman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Master’s in Business Administration.
Dr. Bijan Azad, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Olayan School of Business (OSB), American University of Beirut and Director of Samih Darwazah Center for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship. In 2015 he designed AUB’s Scale-Up Readiness Program that focuses on scale up challenges of $1-$5 million revenue companies. Bijan, in 1988 co-founded the map technology startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts, GIS/Trans (acquired by Etak Navigator in 1992, then by Keyhole, and Google Maps) and in 2001 he co-founded the map technology startup ILIS bv (acquired by ARCADIS bv 2003).Twitter:@AzadBijan
Clinton Firth is a global thought leader in Cybersecurity, EY Partner and leader of Cybersecurity Middle East North Africa. Clinton brings clients a unique business perspective as an experienced Cybersecurity executive with successful senior roles including consulting, managed security operations, threat intelligence and solution design. This is complemented with diversified experience and background that has spanned commercial, government and Defence clients. Clinton’s unique experience has helped many customers with Cybersecurity issues ranging from board level, strategy, managed services to consultative threat intelligence. All conducted in a pragmatic, solution orientated approach and delivery relevant to the client’s business.
Cyrille Najjar is the founder of the multi-award winning company White sur White, an interdisciplinary architecture and design agency at the intersection of innovation, technology and materials, consultant for numerous fortune 500 companies. CEO of White Lab, a healthcare analytics and biotechnology company that specialises in particle and allergen identification, he has won multiple prizes for his technologies and patents. Professor at UCL, he has been teaching prototyping, design thinking, innovation and architecture for over 10 years and is designated expert of the French Think Tank “The Internet of things”.Twitter:@cyrillenajjar
Doumit Raidy is the Managing Director of RAIDY Group who were the first to introduce desktop 3D Printing to Lebanon and the Middle East; They are today the official distributors of the world’s best 3D Printing technologies that are being distributed in Lebanon, UAE, Qatar, KSA, Egypt and Jordan to name a few. Doumit is a strong believer that sooner than expected 3D printing will conquer our professional and domestic life, and will revamp our whole business perception!
Ayman Kayssi is professor and associate dean in the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He obtained degrees in electrical engineering from AUB and from the University of Michigan. He is leading the Innovat@FEA initiative to emphasize entrepreneurship and innovation in the AUB engineering curricula. He is also acting CTO of a startup incubated at AUB and doing R&D work in software development for telecom, networking, and security.Twitter:@akayssi
Dr. Ghaziri is the founding director of the Beirut Research and innovation Center (BRIC), an Innovative Research Hub developing new technologies for issues such as Humanitarian Demining, low cost prosthesis, and cardiologic diagnosis. He was visiting professor of Machine Learning at the Swiss Federal Institute of technology-Lausanne. He spent 12 years at AUB teaching Information and Knowledge management systems. He co-authored a book published by Prentice-Hall on Knowledge Management.
Dr. Josiane Fahed-Sreih is an Associate Professor of Management in the School of Business at the Lebanese American University (LAU). She is the Founder and currently Director of the Institute of Family and Entrepreneurial Business at LAU. She is also Chairperson of the department of Hospitality Management and Marketing at LAU and has served as an Associate Chair to the department of Management. She holds a PhD from the Sorbonne University and is a fellow member of the Family Firm Institute, USA.
Dr. Nicolas Rouhana is the General Manager of IM Capital, a $15M program funded by USAID MENA Investment Initiative, providing Matching Capital, Equity Guarantee and Technical Assistance to early-stage businesses and investors in Lebanon. Between 2002 & 2015, Dr. Rouhana was the Executive Director of Berytech Technology Pole, a Business Innovation & Incubation Center in Lebanon, and was Associate Professor for 25 years at the Engineering Faculty (ESIB) of Saint-Joseph University (USJ) of Beirut.Twitter:@nrouhana
Sari Hanafi is currently a Professor of Sociology and chair of the department of sociology, anthropology and media studies at the American University of Beirut. He is the Vice President of both the International Sociological Association and the Arab Council of Social Science. His last book is Knowledge Production in the Arab World: The Impossible Promise. (with R. Arvanitis) (in Arabic, Beirut: CAUS and in English with Routledge -2016).Twitter:@hanafi1962
Dr. Walid is a Computing-Telecom Professor and researcher at the University of Balamand and former ICT Advisor to the Minister of Telecommunications, where he learnt to dance with wolves. Founding member of LINC (Lebanese Internet Center) and LERN (Lebanese Education & Research Network), Dr. Walid is a ISOC board member (Lebanon Chapter) and IEEE senior member where chairs the IEEE Computer Society (Lebanon chapter). Dr. Walid is a graduate of Georgia Tech (Bachelor Electrical Engineering) and Telecom-ParisTech (PhD in Telecommunications), and is in an ongoing search for himself.Twitter:@WalidKaram
Eddy Touma is the co-founder and CEO of Klangoo. He holds an MS in Software Engineering and has been a researcher in the A.I. domain for more than 10 years. Eddy worked previously in both technical positions and marketing/corporate communications roles in Lebanon, Qatar, and USA. He won several awards including the Microsoft Imagine Cup EMEA in 2006. Eddy also advises startups on funding, product roadmap, and monetization strategies.Twitter:@eddy2ma
Elias is a Computer Scientist with a severe case of Business mutation. He has been riding the technology S-Curve for the last 20 years in areas as diverse as AR, IoT, BPM, Digital Media / Advertising & Programmatic, always looking for the latest domain at the forefront of technological disruption. He is currently quenching his thirst for change in FinTech, as the CDO of Payment Components Ltd, and holds a M.Sc. in Computer Science from Columbia University and an executive MBA from TRIUM (LSE, NYU, HEC).Twitter:@eliasgagas
Elie joined the UK Lebanon Tech Hub after 8 years of supporting and funding innovative startups with Kafalat s.a.l. His role as programmes manager helped in kick starting several programmes and activities such as the accelerator and the capacity building activities. Elie now focuses on developing the International Research Center, a unique initiative that funds and manages applied research projects between Lebanese universities and international partners through collaboration agreements.
Mr. Elie Nasr is currently the Chairperson of the ICT Department, and a Lecturer in the CS department at AUST. His research interests include Smart City Systems Security, Computer Security, Computer/Mobile forensics, and Network Penetration Testing & Ethical Hacking. He is a security consultant for several companies in the business and banking sectors in Lebanon and in the Gulf. Mr. Nasr is a member of the IEEE Computer Society in Region 8 (MEA and Europe) and a member of LAIS (Lebanese Association of Information System).
Liz Lumley is Managing Director, Thought Leadership at Rainmaking. She has spent over 20 years working in the financial technology space, most recently as Managing Director at Startupbootcamp FinTech London and as an editor at financial services and technology newswire, Finextra. In addition to being an internationally recognised conference speaker and moderator, she is also a regular contributor to Brett King’s Breaking Banks radio show on the VoiceAmerica Business channel.Twitter:@LizLum
Eyad joined P&G in 1994 after completing an Electrical Engineering degree from KFUPM University in Saudi Arabia. He held several positions in Operation and Purchasing until 2002, when he started managing P&G Media - Middle East. He then held several P&G Media and Marketing Purchasing positions across Central Europe, Middle East and Africa until moving to Mars in 2012 to lead Media across the META region. Eyad holds a diploma in Digital Marketing from the Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing (IDM) in the UK.
Fadi is a Partner at B&Y Venture Partners, a $46M venture capital fund based in Beirut, focused on investing in high-potential technology startups, with a global mandate. BYVP focuses on seed-stage startups in MENA, and on growth-stage startups internationally. Fadi is an entrepreneurship and innovation expert with over 10 years direct startup experience. Fadi co-founded and is currently a board director at Speed, Lebanon’s only early-stage tech startup accelerator, which invests in highly-scalable Lebanese companies with global ambitions. Previously, he had co-founded Seeqnce, the first accelerator in Lebanon. Featured in The Economist and The Wall Street Journal among others, Seeqnce resulted in the creation of several successful local startups that target international markets. He also co-founded SE Factory, a coding bootcamp for low-income youth. SE Factory helps talented students train on the necessary practical programming skills as well as soft skills that are required by the job market, subsequently providing access to top software development jobs. Previously, he led Bader Young Entrepreneurs Program, a leading Lebanese entrepreneurship support organization, and one of the first points of entry for most early-stage Lebanese tech startups seeking investment, mentorship and training. Fadi is a mentor and board member at a number of startups and advises organizations such as the World Bank, academic institutions and Lebanese government ministries on entrepreneurship policy and initiatives. Fadi holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut.Twitter:@fbizri
Fadi is a serial entrepreneur and interactive communication specialist with over 20 years experience in the Internet industry and digital media. He established Born Interactive in 1996, driving it to become one of the leading regional New Media agencies, operating out of Beirut, Riyadh and Dubai and handling one of the largest banking industry web portfolios.Twitter:@fadisabbagha
Farshad is VP of eStrategy at Saman Bank, helping the Bank become one of the most innovative technological Banks in the Middle East and one of the most used Online Payment Gateways in the world. Initial investor in Google and Amazon, Farshad has invested in a number of FinTech startups and is currently part of Level 39-London. For 25 years, Farshad has consulted global Banks (such as Deutsche Bank and Barclays), stockbrokers and Microsoft HQ and written several internationally-selling books on technology in the financial world.Twitter:@farshadn
Fawzi Rahal has over 15 years of digital creative, marketing and strategic expertise, gathered by working with multinational brands and local startups across a variety of verticals. Heading the regional digital business at Grey in the Middle East & North Africa, Fawzi worked with brands to create innovative digital products and services. Before joining Flat6Labs, Fawzi lead Gamutt, a consultancy working with brands, startups and content owners to set transformation strategies and that adapt with the digital age. Fawzi has a passion for typography and a love for tinkering with gadgets.Twitter:@fawzirahal
Fida founded the award-winning Zaytouneh.com in 2011, and currently the founder and CEO of Atbaki; creating the largest digital recipe platform in Arabic. Prior to that, she worked in different areas in the media domain, during which she created and managed teams and produced hundreds of hours of video content. Fida was selected as Ernst & Young’s emerging entrepreneur for the year 2013 in Jordan and has been appointed as Jordan’s Ambassador for women entrepreneurs WED for the years 2015-2017 (United Nations international initiative to support, celebrate and empower women in 144 countries) Taher is a on the Acting Board of Directors of Nakhweh NGO, Goldman Sacks 10k women Alumni, as well as actively engaged with a number of NGOs and initiatives that aim to empower women. Fida holds a BA in Communication Arts, with emphasis on Radio, TV, & Film from the Lebanese American University, as well as an Executive Business Leadership certificate from Harvard Kennedy School.Twitter:@FidaTaher
Ghaith Yafi is the managing GP at B&Y Venture Partners. He has more than 13 years of experience in entrepreneurship, corporate finance and direct investments, with early-stage companies in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. He is a former entrepreneur with a successful track record in Canada and the UK. Ghaith previously served on the BOD of Big Bus Tours, and spent more than 6 years in Investment Banking in France. Ghaith holds a Master’s degree in Finance and Management from ESCP-Europe (France) and a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor degree from McGill University (Canada).
Guillaume Crédoz is an architect and former teacher/researcher at UQAM, Université de Montréal and SAT, with a focus on creativity and spatial geometry. He is currently directing the Creation+Research platform theBAKERY in Beirut, Lebanon, which hosts Ghouyoum Architecture & Design’s office, and RapidManufactory’s 3Dprinting workshop. Guillaume is recognized as a leading figure in the maker movement, with ample diversified works. His practice encompasses amongst buildings, the creation of robots such as the Obsessive Drafter, BigVoxel, QalamSila and Hyperstat.
Hadi Raad heads emerging products and innovation for Visa in CEMEA, driving Visa digital payments in e/m-commerce, contactless, digital wallets, mobile payments, push payments, Risk products, and the Visa developer platform. Before joining Visa, Hadi was head of consumer products marketing at Google in MENA, a Principal of Booz & Company digital media, telecom, and technology practice, and co-founder of internet access and e-commerce startups. Hadi holds an MBA with high honors distinction from University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and a Masters in Engineering Management.Twitter:@hadi_raad
Halim Choueiry is a design thinker, educator and process strategist. He is the co-founder and manager of hbr creative platform, a space where design lovers and creative minds meet to share innovative ideas, design and prototype. After leading and enhancing academia surrounding design programs in various major universities for nearly three decades now he has shifted his focus towards an independent intellectual pursuit of redefining design in Lebanon. Halim puts all his effort and experience into molding fresh minds and shaping of contemporary concepts.
Dr Hassan Nasser an assistant professor at the Lebanese International University and the founder of xplor.tech. He introduced the first tutorial-based IoT workshops in the Lebanon and founded xplor as a concept to valorize Lebanese expertise and to bridge the gap between higher education and emergent technologies. He holds a PhD in computer science and BE in biomedical engineering. Prior to 2016, Dr Nasser spent 7 years working in research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the biggest European techno-park Sophia-Antipolis and worked with the United Nations on innovation related issues.
Hicham Akkaoui is the Managing Partner of Akkaoui Jisr Attorneys at Law, a general practice with offices in Beirut and Tripoli. Hicham was admitted to the Beirut Bar Association in 1999, after studying economics in Concordia University in Montreal and law in Paris II Panthéon-Assas University in Paris. An instinctive negotiator, with a particular attention to details Hicham finds resourceful solutions to best achieve clients’ objectives. Hicham’s expertise includes Corporate Law, Contracts, Onshore and Offshore Structures, and Mergers and Acquisitions in the sectors of Private Equity, Venture Capital, Wealth Structuring, Investments, Trusts and Estates, Real Estate, Hospitality and Construction.
With academic and professional background in IT and Business Management, Hicham has run multiple organizations before Joining in 2006 NCR as senior consultant managing the Payments business MEA Region. He moved to NCR Qatar in 2011 as Country Manager and managed to lead exhilarated growth introducing NCR innovative technologies and services to make every customer interaction exceptional. In 2017 he moved to Manage NCR’s Business in Lebanon as General Manager.Twitter:@HichamYamout
Jad is co-Founder and Managing Partner at Phoenician Funds, a venture capital fund based in Lebanon. The fund focuses on seed and early stage startups mainly in Fintech, Digital Health and other sectors opportunistically. Jad has more than 10 years of international experience in investing and capability building with bulge bracket institutions e.g., McKinsey and Company, J.P. Morgan
As Digital Manger for Discovery MENA, Jad leads digital/social growth, strategy and content; leveraging the Networks flagship brands across many platforms. He spearheaded the development of Fatafeat’s digital footprint following the move of the TV channel into Pay, influencing the pivot to VOD content creation, driving audience growth and assisting in the launch FatafeatICCA online culinary academy. With 7 years’ experience in leadership roles within digital departments in broadcast media, Jad is an agent-of-change with a proven track record.Twitter:@meyamminsta
Jennifer Kanaan is the program director at Eastline Academy, the training arm of Eastline Digital (previously Eastline Marketing). Eastline academy develops customized trainings in Digital Marketing based on Eastline Digital’s expertise. Jennifer is addicted to social media & has an OCD side. She believes that if you are not online, you don’t exist. She blogs about holistic health, nutrition & wellness on her blog: New Trends in Nutrition.Twitter:@trendsnutrition
After a career in consultancy, Jihad created his first start-up in 2004 in the media analysis field. The company was sold in 2010. In 2014, Jihad co-founded Ideo Parfumeurs a perfume brand with a digital twist. The brand is now present in 8 countries.
Julnar is currently a senior event content producer at the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab and the Arabic editor of the MIT Technology Review Arab Edition. Before joining the review, she co-founded AltCity, a social-impact media collaboration space in Beirut. She also assisted in establishing Hibr Lubnani, a youth-run alternative media outlet and Arablog, a pan Arab blogging platform. She has worked at several media outlets in Lebanon, as well as a trainer and researcher on digital media literacy.
As head of the content arm of Publicis media, Karine has more than 15 years experiences in different spaces. Her extensive résumé, which boasts names such as P&G, Mars, J&J, Unilever Mondelez among others, demonstrates a prescient vision of what the multifaceted media industry entails. She is currently responsible for content creation, distribution, community and social media. In her previous role, Karine headed Starcom Mediavest Group second biggest operation in MENA “Egypt”.
Lama has been with Mindshare since 2014. She first joined the company in a regional capacity managing the social media hub that catered to clients across MENA. She then relocated to the Beirut office to lead the digital department. With 11 years of work experience ranging between non-profit organizations, research companies and media agencies, her Digital Media proficiency joins both agency and supplier sides. Industries she has worked on include telecom, retail, FMCG, Technology, Fashion and Beauty, Banking, Real Estate and Video on Demand.
Lana is the Managing Director of Hikma Ventures which she helped establish in 2015. Lana started her career at Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC in 2012 as the Assistant to the CEO and Director of Corporate Strategy & Development where she worked on strategic projects across the company’s various functions including strategy, M&A, operations and finance. Prior to joining Hikma, Lana worked as a Financial Analyst in the Mergers and Acquisitions department at Dresdner Kleinwort Investment Bank in London where she worked on transactions for clients across multiple industries.Twitter:@lanaghanem
After several years as a radio producer in news, current affairs and consumer affairs at the BBC in London, Lucy decided the Middle East was her next port of call. She’s loves a good investment deal, digital healthcare and anything to do with public transport in the MENA region. While with Wamda she still dabbles in radio for BBC World Service and Monocle 24.Twitter:@LucytheKnight
Madonna Khafaja, has over than 8 years of experience working in publishing and media sector as managing editor for IJNet Arabic documentary maker in BBC Arabic and lead editor at Raseef22.Twitter:@madonnakhafaja
Maha is the Deputy GM of Diwanee Media Company, a leading digital publisher in the Middle East. She holds a MS degree in Computer Engineering and more than 10 years experience in digital media. In her role, Maha ensures smooth operation between the company's multiple departments and offices. Previously Maha worked as a Business Development Manager at Yahoo MENA, handling partnership deals between Yahoo and telecom and media companies. Maha also has 6 years of consulting experience as part of the media practice at Booz & Company.
Marwan started his career as a licensed broker in New York in 1990. He joined Bank Audi in 1994, eventually appointed as Deputy Head of Group Retail, overseeing core banking Group Retail projects, global market research, Group performance, and leading marketing and sales strategies. In 2016, Marwan was appointed COO of Ubanquity Systems Ltd., an Irish FinTech specialized in Digital Open Banking Platform solutions. Marwan holds a Bachelor’s from AU in Washington D.C., and recently completed the General Management Program at Harvard.Twitter:@marwannabe
Meghan joined @TwitterMENA in July of 2016 after 3 years @TwitterNYC. Since joining Twitter, Meghan has been focused on key global accounts in the FMCG and Financial Services space including Unilever, P&G, American Express, Mastercard, and Citibank. Prior to joining Twitter, she oversaw Marketing Partnerships for US based companies UrbanDaddy and Zipcar. Meghan is a graduate of Boston University and originally from New York City.
Melissa has worked at the intersection of tech, media, and social impact for over a decade. A former field producer for CNN and AP, she is currently the CEO of Humanise and co-founder of The Toolbox, a humanitarian tech initiative, chaired by Peter Gabriel. Melissa drives global awareness and use of frontier technology for activism and financial inclusion and mentors teens using science, tech, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Her writing has been published by BBC News, Fast Company, CBS News, Mashable, MTV, TechCrunch and The Guardian.
Currently leading PepsiCo’s Digital Transformation agenda and managing digital initiatives and campaigns for 17 PepsiCo brands across the MENA region. Mohamed has over 7 years of digital marketing experience and was recently named as one of 2016 most influential digital marketing leaders by World Marketing Congress.
Moustafa led some of the largest global digital accounts such as Samsung, GM and Adidas in agencies across the region to set KPIs and investment strategies for video, display, mobile, social and performance before moving to San Francisco to a technology company and helped it increase its adoption in MENA and Turkey. Today Moustafa heads the regional market growth and development for DMS with a focus on digital strategy, internal communication processes between the markets, people development and solutions.
Before setting up the Hub, Nadim advised UK policy in Lebanon for three tumultuous ‘Arab Spring’ years where maintaining some obscure form of stability was a celebrated victory. He was looking for a game-changer and the hub was a no-brainer considering that he had been an in-the-closet entrepreneur since 2008 (1 spectacular fail and 2 varyingly promising ventures so far). He is fascinated with the growth experiences of Singapore, Ireland, and Latvia. All entrepreneurial comebacks which achieved what he was trying to do through policy in Lebanon.Twitter:@NadimZaazaa
Dr. Nadine H. Haram is a Surgeon, Lecturer and Clinical Entrepreneur, appointed NHS Clinical Entrepreneur, Council member of BAPRAS Innovation UK, UCL Honorary Clinical Lecturer, and council member of the Royal Society of Medicine Plastic surgery section, amongst others. 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 into any operating room to guide, teach, train and support other surgeons and medical experts independent of any specific hardware.Twitter:@DrNadz
Nayef Kassatly completed the Kassatly Chtaura line with juices, after returning from France. Soon after in 2000, he embarked on a new adventure of RTD Vodka based carbonated drinks BUZZ and eventually exported to Syria, Iraq, and many African countries. Later, he started a non-alcoholic version of BUZZ, FREEZ, growing exponentially to 25 flavors in over 25 countries. In 2004, he managed the installation and commissioning of Chateau Ka winery, then in 2013 he commissioned the best German brewery equipment company and brewed a Premium Pilsner beer BEIRUT BEER.
Omar Madi heads the performance media practice at Performics MENA, the performance marketing arm of Publicis Media. His mission is to lead the digital transformation of clients across different industries, while building strategic partnerships with key tech players. Omar’s passion for performance marketing was ignited when he joined Bayt.com in 2007. Prior to his current role, Omar was the search and performance lead at Starcom MediaVest Group.
Omar is the Managing Director of PayFort, one of the leading online payment service providers in the Arab World. Prior to PayFort, Omar successfully launched Souq.com in Egypt to become one of the top 30 most visited sites and number one e-commerce site in Egypt, and co-founded Accelarabia.com, the first online loan origination website in the Middle East, selling the majority of the company to ORASCOM Development in 2006. Omar started his career in the US in banking, including consumer, business, international and commercial banking.Twitter:@OmarSoudodi
Omar Yassine is a Senior Vice President at the National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia heading Retail Digital Channels. His responsibility encompasses of delivering the Bank’s digital agenda by developing, orchestrating, and implementing the digital foundation to excel in automating and digitizing clients’ touch points on the outside and business processes on the inside, through Innovation and advanced analytics with distinctive customer experience. Prior to his current role, Omar was heading Corporate Digital Channels, focusing on innovating, marketing, structuring, and executing Corporate Banking Products.
Omer is a Co-Founder & the VP of Sales of SAASPASS, a San Francisco based cyber security startup. He also converses in Mandarin (although he had a massive migraine while learning it) and finished his masters in Asian Studies and International Relations. His undergrad was in History. He's been in the business of security for many years and is passionate about startups together with the power of disruptive innovation.
Rami Saad is one of the Middle East’s most respected digital marketers with 11 years of experience across the media agency, client and more recently, publisher fronts. As Deputy Chief Operating Officer at DMS – the digital media arm of Choueiri Group – Rami sees out bold investments in talent and ad-tech which differentiate and uplift the proposition of content publishers. Previous to his current role, Rami was a member of the Management Board at MENA’s #1 ranked media agency (Starcom MediaVest Group), where he served as Managing Director Digital. During his tenure, he helped multinational and regional brands such as P&G, Samsung, Emirates Airlines, Kraft Mondelez, Richemont Group, Mars and Adidas grow their digital knowhow, interests and investments, while expanding SMG’s digital team three-folds and doubling revenues. His efforts played a prominent role in making digital a core integrated agency proposition and enabled the launch of the region’s first trade desk as well as SMG’s data & analytics practice.Twitter:@RamiSaad
With more than 17 years of international experiences in management in different disciplines, Ramy amassed a diversified knowledge in the fields of change and quality management, operations, and entrepreneurship support programs. With a strong business mindset and a firm commitment to achieve excellent, Ramy is an Angel Investor and actively advises early-stage startups in Lebanon. Ramy holds a BS in Agriculture Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and a MS in Business Management and Economics.Twitter:@RBoujawdeh
A results oriented problem solver, Ramzi’s experience in the regional market provides for an essential backbone to the development of The Online Project. Genuine partnerships, combined with his astute business instinct, have generated millions of dollars in sales for his clients and companies. Ramzi invested the past seven years with TOP in developing relations with regional organizations and companies interested in getting closer to their customers through digital and social transformation such as Nestle, Sony Mobile, Audi, Ikea, Bank Al Etihad, Riyadh Bank and more.Twitter:@ramzihalaby
Rana is a Beirut-based EY Partner and leads the EY MENA FinTech practice. She brings 20 years of professional experience in transactions, advisory, investment and economic development. Rana advises international and regional financial services institutions, FinTechs, TMT as well as middle market businesses on their growth agenda and value drivers. Outside of EY, she is the Co-founder of FinTech and digital start-ups. She believes that startups complement and challenge the existing corporate ecosystem creating a healthier dynamic that balances disruptions of the new and the experience of the established, thereby building a better working world.
Raphael is a Senior Adviser & Investor (Undagrid / Beasts of Balance) with a background in Sales, Marketing & Strategic Business Development (Telecom, Apple). He’s now the Funder & CEO of the Startupbootcamp IoT | Connected Devices Program based in London. He’s also a Founding Board Member & Chair for the SMEs in the AIOTI (Alliance for IoT Innovation) at the European Commission, an adviser to MakerWharf, a Founding Board Member of the French IoT Think Tank & a Founding & Advisory Board member of the UK French Tech Hub.Twitter:@raphcrouan
Rawia Abdel Samad is the Director of the Ideation Center. She was previously a manager with Strategy& and a member of the communications, media, and technology practice in the Middle East. She has more than nine years of experience in consulting specializing in digitization, ICT sector policies, and impact assessment. Rawia holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s in computer and communications engineering from the American University of Beirut.
Rayan Zahab is the Founder of BambooGeeks. As a software engineer with eight years of experience in programming, system architecture and product management in local and international companies, she is now combining her two passions "programming" and "youth empowerment" in her startup BambooGeeks making programmers market ready by reinventing coding bootcamps. Rayan is a TechWomen Alumna, a Google Women TechMaker and the Founder of the first Google Developers Group in Lebanon.Twitter:@RayanZahab
Saeed is a digital banking leader with “a can do” attitude. He lead and participated in many successful digital transformation journeys, including the best rated Mobile Banking application in the GCC market since 2013. Saeed holds a Master’s degree in eBusiness from the University of Southern Queensland and a Bachelors in MIS from the University of Sharjah.Twitter:@Saeed_AlNahdi
Tarek Shalaby is the Co-Founder & CEO of Mintrics, the social video analytics dashboard. He is also a Partner at ThePlanet, a digital creative agency where he co-managed as the Creative Director for 6 years, overlooking digital and social strategy and content, web and mobile design and development, and video production and distribution. Now he is into data and business intelligence. Shalaby is a proud part of #Jan25, and a true Cairene.Twitter:@tarekshalaby
Turki is a well-respected professional experienced in the transformation of digital banking services. He has in excess of 9 years of digital technology experience in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, and is renowned for introducing revolutionary and innovative solutions, that are not only creative in design but retain the customer experience at its core; thus ensuring continuous business growth and diversified revenue generation.Twitter:@tdhfayan
Walid has more than 15 years of experience in Venture Capital, strategy, corporate finance and engineering within the digital, telecom, software and media industries. Prior to joining MEVP in 2010, Walid held previous roles as a strategy consultant for Booz & Company, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and the UAE’s Prime Ministry Executive Office focusing on telecom, media and public policies. During his stay in Dubai’s PMO (2006-2008), he worked on setting-up entrepreneurship related programs and developing incubation in the Arab World through several Dubai based initiatives such as the Mohammed Bin Rashid Foundation. In 2009, he completed Morgan Stanley’s summer associate program within their investment banking M&A division in London. Walid holds an industrial and urban planning engineering degree from France’s Grande Ecole Institut National des Science Appliquées de Lyon (INSA de Lyon) and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Zak currently manages Product Partnerships for Facebook in the MENA region. Prior to that, he founded multiple startups, and worked at Google as a Web developer. In his spare, he enjoys cooking, photography, and travel.Twitter:@zakelfassi
Zina brings 17 years of knowledge in structuring, financing and managing services companies, in addition to her experience in design, development and financing of projects across the region. Previously founding member of Benchmark, she launched the development of an award winning high profile residential tower, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, Beirut Terraces. Zina holds a MSRED from MIT and a Bachelor of Architecture from the American University of Beirut (AUB).Twitter:@zina_dajani