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Ron Thomas is CEO, Great Place to Work-Gulf based in Dubai. He formerly was HR Officer for RGTS Group based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Before coming to the Middle East he was Director Talent & HR Solutions at Xerox HR Services. He is certified by the Human Capital Institute as a Master Human Capital Strategist (MHCS) and Strategic Workforce Planner (SWP). His background includes senior HR roles with Martha Stewart Living and IBM. Ron serves on the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, McKinsey Quarterly Executive Online Panel, and HCI's Expert Advisory Council on Talent Management Strategy. He also serves as a senior faculty at the Human Capital Institute. He was recently recognized as one of the 50 Most Talented Global HR Leaders in Asia by the World Human Resource Development Congress in Mumbai.


Ibrahim Aloraini is currently the President of the Saudi Human Capital Club (SHCC) in Riyadh Prior to that, Ibrahim was Head of HR Shared Services at BAE Systems, the 2nd largest Defense & Aerospace company. He joined BAE Systems in 2009 to develop the organization's complete spectrum of HR infrastructure ranging from recruitment and training to policy development. Ibrahim also honed his skills as a HR professional while working as HR Investment Manager for the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities. Bolstering his expansive experience in the field, Ibrahim has a Master's Degree in Computational Linguistics from the University of Essex. Currently, London Business School is supervising his leadership growth as one of the Saudi Executives.


Dr Thurogood gained extensive academic experience from Vocational Education and Training through to undergraduate programs in Higher and Further Education in the UK before moving to the UAE over 15 years ago. Since arriving in the UAE he has been actively involved in the development of UAE nationals, whether through curriculum development, experiential training activities or contributing to their workplace experiences. Dr Thurogood has completed certification in psychometrics, coaching and Emergenetics as a way of understanding how best to interact with the diverse cultures encountered in the UAE workplace. Apart from his academic experience he has also worked in the Oil & Gas industry, software and hardware development and is currently employed in an organization with interests in Aerospace, healthcare and multiple industry sectors. He has maintained his interest in vocational education and training and is a UK certified workplace Assessor and Verifier and has contributed to the ongoing review of the UAE National Qualifications Framework and associated Assessor development.


For almost 20 years, Sandrine took on positions with increasing responsibilities in Compensation & Benefits in Microsoft, Airbus, Apple, Fiat and more, leading to global positions of Head of Performance and Reward at Majid Al Futtaim (Dubai) then Mubadala (Abu Dhabi). She is now offering specialised C&B training, consulting and keynote speakingservices throughout the GCC and Asia. She shares hands-on, pragmatic approaches with her clients, ensuring that the projects will have immediate impact and business value and don't remain "an idea on the shelf". Beyond traditional consulting, her extensive experience in designing - AND implementing - Total Rewards and Performance Management strategies led her to develop 2 unique propositions in the region : "Future Map", a proprietary assessment of pay practices, and a flexible and hands-on Total Rewards coaching package. Through her exposure to multiple industries, countries and challenges, Sandrine learned how "good" Compensation & Benefits approaches support your company, improve employee engagement and retention, and increase control over human capital costs. As part of her outreach to educate the HR community on these topics, she authors a blog, Compensation, with over 250 articles published to date. She is also a regular speaker at HR conferences


Loay Ragheb is the Chief Distribution Officer of TAKAUD, he is responsible for developing the Company's market access and distribution strategies with a key focus on driving sales and revenue growth for both its corporate and retail saving solutions. Prior to TAKAUD, Loay was Head of Wealth Management & Group Benefits at National Bonds Corporation Dubai and played a key role in the Government of Dubai's IDIKHARI Initiative. Over the last 20 years, he held a number of senior management roles within large corporate investment firms with the responsibility for building & mobilising investment advisory teams. A graduate of Concordia University in Montreal, Loay is a Certified Professional Financial Planner, a Certified Islamic Finance Executive.


As Vice-President and Head of the Group Human Resource, I lead the HR strategy (formulation and implementation) of Olayan Financing Company that spans across six sectors (15,000 employees - leading business conglomerate), covering the MENA region. My mission is to realize our Business Vision by cementing our Group as the Preferred Employer to Global Talent and an Employer of Choice to the colleagues working in Olayan. As a leader of the HR team, the responsibilities span across all facets of HR - Strategy, Talent Acquisition, Talent Engagement, Learning & Development and Talent Optimization. I am a great believer in the saying: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is therefore not an act, but a habit." Prior to joining Olayan, life took me through the following experiential journeys which till date spans more than a decade and a half in the Human Resource function covering Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Design & Manufacture of Jewelry and Banking sectors. Milestones in this journey have been : Head of Support Division, L'Azurde Group (the largest Gold & Jewelry manufacturers in the MENA region); Human Resources and Administration Director for GCC, PEPSICO International; " Human Resources Regional Manager, Olayan Group; Human Resources Officer, Saudi Hollandi Bank.


A distinguished HR practitioner in the Middle East, Sharoq Al-Malki, specializes in Change Management, Performance Management, Employee Engagement Management, and Talent Management. Sharoq is a member of the Executive Management team leading and managing the Human Capital Business Unit at Commercial Bank of Qatar. In her capacity as the EGM and Chief Human Capital Officer, she has promoted policies conductive to the best interests of employees and the organization. In 2013, Sharoq won the "Young HR Professional Award" at the HR Summit and Expo 2013 in Dubai. She was also the winner of the Qatar Business Women Award for her outstanding efforts in the area of Future Goals and Financial Performance. Currently she is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society - the world's largest honor society recognizing and encouraging scholastic achievement and excellence from all academic disciplines. Sharoq Al-Malki holds a Master's degree from the University of Nottingham, UK. Currently she is pursuing her PhD in Business Administration from the Northcentral University, USA. She is an international speaker and a certified coach. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publication. She is the Author of "A PIECE OF PEACE" book which has been recently published by Amazon.


Raed Almubarak is Chief of Training at Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) in Bahrain. He is a member of American Talent Associate and certified for creating new managers training programs in 2015 from US. Raed worked in Canada as business consultant and business plan developer for different businesses. He graduated from King Saud University as Computer Engineer then he got his MSc in Data Communications from University of Bahrain. He honored the Master of Business & Entrepreneurship from University of Waterloo (Canada). Raed is in the process to complete his Doctoral of Business Administration from US.


Veronica is an Executive and Leadership Coach with over 17 years experience and responsibility for coaching specifically CEOs, senior executives and their teams in over 30 countries within Africa, Asia, Middle East, Pakistan, Europe and North Americas. Her strengths include her exceptional ability to work with closely with leaders, leveraging their talents and facilitating sustainable behavioural change that support them to achieve greater levels of business performance as well as personal success and alignment. To summarise her skills one of the CEOs she worked with described her style and impact as follows: "The best way to sum up our working relationship is "life changing!. Veronica's incredible insight, her unique attentiveness and communications style, and superb interpersonal skills have all helped me tremendously not only as a leader but also as a person". More recently, Veronica has been working as Head of Leadership Effectiveness (West) in Standard Chartered Bank. She has coached leaders across their global footprint and over the last 3+ years has been based in Dubai supporting Global, Regional and Country leaders in growing their businesses and supporting delivery of their revenue targets aligned to the companies strong brand and values-led culture.


Essa Al Mulla is the Executive Director at the Emirates National Development Programme. The mandate of this programme is to develop and train UAE nationals to join the private sector. He is responsible for corporate relationship building where he initiates, builds and effectively manages strong partnerships with private sector companies. Previously, Essa was the Marketing Manager and Category Manager at Eppco and Enoc. Essa also worked as an Account Manager at Microsoft looking after the entire Federal Government Accounts and the education sector including universities, colleges and schools for both the private and government sectors. Essa holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Information Systems at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside, UK.


David is a Senior HR Generalist with experience in the Middle East, UK and France, whose HR career has been built in the Construction and Industrial Services sectors. He is currently Regional Human Resources Director, MENA Region, for Cape plc, an international leader in the provision of critical industrial services principally to the energy and natural resources sectors. His current position covers the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait, with a regional headcount of over 11,500 employees and ambitious growth plans in the Region. Key elements of his current role include good workforce planning, and ensuring the right channels and partners are in place to source both competent blue-collar workers, and key talent for senior positions, as well ensuring the right initiatives and programmes are in place to foster employee engagement. He is passionate about working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and a firm believer that Human Resources done well positively contributes to a company's bottom line.


Mohamed Swidan joined LinkedIn Middle East early 2015 as Key Accounts Director. Based in Dubai, Mohamed is responsible for consulting LinkedIn's Key Accounts in the region by providing them best practices on how to best utilize LinkedIn to find, engage and hire the best Talent in the Middle East. Swidan comes with 10+ years' experience in Solution Sales, Channel, Leadership, and Information Technology. He previously worked for Cisco and Tandberg, consulting large customers across multiple industries (Enterprise, Public Sector, Banking, Oil & Gas, & Service Providers) helping them elevate their business according to their goals & objectives


Bill Robinson is a Senior Trainer and Subject Matter Expert for SHRM. He is former Head of Learning at Averda and was the Senior HR Manager at Cornell University. He is in a holder of SPHR and GPHR certifications and has a valuable experience in training for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Bill utilizes the SHRM learning system to train HR professionals globally towards certification exams in SPHR, GPHR, HRBP and HRMP. In his background as an HR professional, with over 20 years of experience, Bill has helped establish and was a partner with Resource Bank in the UK and developed assessment and development centers for Budweiser, L'Oreal and Allied Domecq working closely with them for 10 years. Bill is an independent reviewer for the USA HR Certification Institute HRCI for instruction materials for the Global Professional Body of Knowledge in HR. Bill holds a Bachelor of Science in Law and Economics and has a Masters Postgraduate certificate from Cornell for its HR Director Program.


Wael Albassam joined Al Rushaid Group in 2015 as the Group Executive Director. He is the head of HR as well as other shared services. Before that, he was the Group HR Director at Zamil Industrial for more than 5 years, after establishing his career at British Aerospace where he worked for 8 years in the Training function. Wael has an MBA and he is a visiting professor at Dammam University, teaching Communication Skills.

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