Here are some of our extraordinary C3 Summit past speakers:

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    Elizabeth Richard

    Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
    U.S. Department of State

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    Talal Braidy

    Director of Global Business Development
    Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services EMEA
    Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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    Chemi Peres

    Managing General Partner and Co-Founder
    Pitango Venture Capital

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    Edward Burton

    Chief Executive Officer and President
    U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council

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    His Excellency Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa

    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Bahrain Foreign Minister

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    General David H. Petraeus

    US Army, Retired;
    Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency;
    KKR Global Institute

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    Ambassador Joseph Westphal

    US Ambassador to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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    General Wesley K. Clark, (ret.)

    Wesley K. Clark & Associates, LLC

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    Ambassador Leslie Rowe

    Office of Global Health Diplomacy
    U.S. Department of State

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    Wael Fakharany

    Regional Director
    Egypt & North Africa

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    Danny E. Sebright

    U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council

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    Rabbi Arthur Schneier

    Founder & President
    Appeal of Conscience Foundation

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    Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor

    Al Habtoor Group

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    Dr. Henry Kissinger

    Kissinger Associates, Inc.
    Former Secretary of State
    United States of America

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    Ellen Lord

    President & Chief Executive Officer
    Textron Systems

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    Ambassador William Roebuck

    US Ambassador to Bahrain

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    HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Tala bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

    Member International Advisory Committee
    National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations

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    Jared Kushner

Speaker Bios 2017 (Subject to Change)

Steven J. Thompson, MBA (Senior Vice President, Chief Business Development Officer, Brigham and Women's Healthcare)

Mr. Steven Thompson has over 30 years experience in various positions within academic healthcare. As the Chief Business Development officer at Brigham and Women's Health Care (BWHC), Mr. Thompson is responsible for BWHC's regional, national and international external clinical business relationships.

He has extensive experience in global healthcare and global healthcare business development. Additionally, he has worked extensively in academic medicine and academic health centers. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine International as well as the Senior Vice President of Johns Hopkins Medicine to oversee its international activities.

Mr. Thompson was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine International. This organization was established as the arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine providing a focus and leadership at the institutional level for all international activities. It is the mission of this organization to establish international programs and businesses that are consistent with, and support, the Johns Hopkins mission of excellence in clinical care, research and teaching.

Mr. Thompson has a particular interest in identifying innovative ways for academic health systems to collaborate with a wide range of partners to work towards the common objective of improving health and healthcare delivery locally, regionally and around the world. He has written and spoken extensively on a wide range of topics related to academic health system leadership, the globalization of healthcare including health system design and healthcare workforce development.

Mr. Thompson has served on the boards of several healthcare organizations including an Advisory Board of the US Department of Commerce. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Minnesota. He also earned a Master's degree in Business Administration from Loyola University in Maryland.

Samer Khoury (President of Engineering & Construction, Consolidated Contractors Company)

Mr. Samer Said Khoury is President of Engineering & Construction of the Consolidated Contractors Company (, a multi-billion engineering group and the largest construction company in the Middle East.

Mr. Khoury is of Palestinian descent from the area of Safad in the Galilee. He holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from California State University in Chico and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Mr. Khoury is at the helm of CCC which today is a large conglomerate with a broad range of activities ranging from its conventional engineering & construction role to the more complex role of an oil & gas and power developer. CCC employs more than 100,000 individuals worldwide. According to the annual Engineering News Record (ENR) surveys, CCC ranks continuously among the top 20 largest International Contractors and first in the Middle East region.

Mr. Khoury is highly involved in business, social and educational activities in the US, the Middle East and Europe focusing on: Engineering Innovation; Sustainability; Economic Collaborative Development; Peace & Conflict Resolution Dialogues; Youth Empowerment; Knowledge Societies; and Social Enterprise Philanthropies.

H.E. Dr. Adnan Al-Ansari (Former Ambassador of Permanent Mission of GCC to the United Nations, Oman)

H.E. Dr. Adnan Al-Ansari presented his letter of appointment as Permanent Observer of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf to the United Nations to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in July of 2011.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Al-Ansari, a national of Oman, was Head of Political Analysis at the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Before that, he held the position of Head of Information and Follow-up Centre in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, from 2003 to 2007.

From 2000 until 2003, the Dr. Al-Ansari was Director of the Translation Office, also in the Foreign Affairs Ministry. He was Head of News Editing of Oman TV and Radio in the Ministry of Information from 1981 to 2000

His Excellency holds a bachelor’s degree in political science (January 1988) from Alexandria University, Egypt, and from the Arabic Institute for Research and Studies — Egypt, a diploma in political science (May 2000), a master’s degree in political science (June 2003) and a Doctorate of Philosophy in political science (December 2003).

Affan Khalfan Al Akhzami (Managing Director & CEO, ICEM)

Mr. Affan Khalfan Al Akhzami is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICEM. As the CEO of ICEM, he is the operational head of the College and is also responsible for its performance and profitability. He has also been mandated to initiate and formulate macro and micro level policy issues to drive ICEM on a growth path. He is responsible to all the stakeholders of ICEM.

He joined ICEM as MD & CEO in May 2015. He is a Member of the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees at ICEM and a Member of the Advisory Board at Oman University. He is Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Civil Aviation Club and is a board member of prestigious organizations like Oman Shipping Company, Sohar Port, Muscat International Airport and Salalah Airport.

Prior to joining ICEM, Mr. Al Akhzami has held senior positions with various ministries and premier organizations in Oman. From 2012 to 2015, he was the Director General of Planning and Investment Development at the Ministry of Transport and Communications. His responsibilities included general supervision of the sector plan for the Ministry, formulation of goals and policies in liaison with the Supreme Council for Planning, creation of a statistical database, feasibility study for new transport modelling, determining the future vision of economic and general guidance, developing the infrastructure transport, preparing the economic and financial study for all modes of transport.

As Director of the Commercial unit in Oman Air from to 2010 to 2012, he was involved in the financial analysis, detailed concept design and strategic plan of Oman Air commercial, feasibility study and proposed policies for the development of Oman Air’s relationships. With his skills in the marketing area he also contributed to the global expansion of Oman Air.

As Assistant General Manager for General Authority in Civil Aviation from 2006 to 2010, his responsibilities included supervising the civil aviation operations and commercial planning, aviation planning, review of annual reports from departments. He also contributed to resolving traveler’s complaints and quality assurance.

As Director of Investments and Human Resources at the Ministry of Justice, from 2004 to 2006, he was involved in strategic planning for the Ministry. He was also involved in developing and managing short and long term investment plans for various funds.

Prior to the above positions, he has also worked with Sultan Qaboos University and the Ministry of Transport and Communications as an economic researcher, The Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries as the Head of the Economic Section. He has been involved in feasibility and strategy studies and preparing economic plans for these Organizations.

Mr Affan holds a MBA in Business and Political Science from the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom. He is an engineer in health and environment; also received a Msc in business development from Glasgow University; holds a Bsc in economics & political science; and, a board member in a number of companies and different sectors in Oman.

H.E. Dr. Hilal Ali Al Sabti (Executive President, Oman Medical Specialty Board; Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital)

H.E. Dr. Hilal Ali Al-Sabti has been the Executive President since May 2015 at Oman Medical Specialty Board (OMSB) while also handling the post of Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital. A goal-driven and result-oriented individual, Dr. Al Sabti approaches professional challenges with his fundamental instincts for innovation, ingenious problem-solving, measured risk‑taking to infuse consistent progressive advances in both his medical and administrative profession.

Dr. Al Sabti earned his MD from Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman and did his General Surgery Residency in the same university. Motivated by his passion for the profession, he committed himself for full residency training in Cardiac Surgery at McGill University, Canada while also obtaining a Master of Science degree in Experimental Surgery. He continued his professional development by a fellowship in Minimal Invasive Cardiac Surgery at Hamburg Eppendorf University Hospital, Germany. After earning his degrees from highly regarded universities, his career took a ten-fold leap in responsibility, clinical and administrative alike. He was the pioneer and the linchpin for the establishment of Cardiothoracic Surgery Division in Sultan Qaboos University Hospital – a division he spearheaded from 2006 to 2015.

He also held the post of Deputy Director General for Clinical Affairs of Sultan Qaboos University from 2010 to 2013, paving his involvements in many collaboration visits to strengthen the University’s liaison with other universities worldwide for training, education and research. The highly-skilled surgeon that he is, Hilal Al Sabti has, as part of his career milestones, several “bucket list” surgical procedures including a Thora-CAB (Multiple Vessels Grafting through Thoracotomy) procedure – the first time to be performed in the Middle East. In 2015, he again led a Team that successfully implanted a valve inside a valve in the aortic and mitral valves of a pregnant woman through a catheter – another first of this kind of surgery worldwide.

Dr. Al Sabti, is also a Member of numerous international and local associations such as Cardiothoracic Surgery Network (CTSNET), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a founding member of the World Society of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, to list a few. His passion roots from the desire to serve the Sultanate and this is displayed by his various community service involvements through charity projects, educational talks, health awareness campaigns and participation in Ministry of Health, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital and OMSB Committees. Through it all, Dr. Al Sabti repeatedly proved his ability to lead through diverse and challenging situations and received the Distinguished Physician in Sultan Qaboos University award for year 2008-2009.

Scholastically, Dr. Al Sabti is very determined, having presented in numerous local and international scientific and meetings and workshops. He also has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and is currently working in four research groups with the intent of continuous publications. As the Executive President of Oman Medical Specialty, he is an innovative and visionary leader, an agent of change and opportunities, who has a documented track record of accomplishments and the aspirations to improve the quality of healthcare in the Sultanate.

Ambassador Frances D. Cook (Former Ambassador, Sultanate of Oman )

Ambassador Frances Cook heads her own international business consulting firm, The Ballard Group LLC, which facilitates market access in the Middle East and Africa, as well as providing assistance, in the US, to foreign corporations desiring perspectives into US actions and plans in their sectors. TBG clients have ranged from defense and energy, to construction and security, and high tech services. She currently serves on the board of four technology companies, and is Managing Director of Quincy Associates, which facilitates business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Ambassador Cook served as Chairman (Non-Executive) of the conglomerate LONRHO Plc (listed on London’s LSE; Johannesburg’s JSE) until July 2013, when she successfully oversaw the sale of the company to private investors. While at LONRHO, she chaired the board committees on Remuneration (as Senior Lead Director) and on Corporate Social Responsibility. She earlier rotated off the corporate board of Alliant Techsystems (ATK, listed on the NYSE), a defense, security and space corporation, following ten years of service. She previously served on privately-held mining and energy company boards in Africa and the Arab Gulf, including service as Non-Executive Chairman. In Washington, she has served on the boards of the Middle East Policy Council, the US-Angola Chamber of Commerce, Corporate Council on Africa, and is a member of the US-UAE Business Council. She is Co-Chair Emeritus, for Washington, D.C., of Women Corporate Directors, as well as Co-ChairEmeritus of that organization’s Middle East and Africa chapters. Ambassador Cook is an elected member of the council on Foreign Relations, and the Atlantic Council, as well as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses.

Ambassador Cook transitioned to the private sector in May 1999, from a 34 year career in the U.S. diplomatic service. Her distinguished career in the U.S. Foreign Service included service as U.S. Ambassador to Burundi, to Cameroon, and to the Sultanate of Oman, as well as Consul General in Alexandria, Egypt. (In the latter two posts, she was the first female chief of mission in the Persian Gulf, and the first female head of post in the Middle East for the United States.) She also held numerous senior positions in the Department of State in Washington, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs (where she was Chair of the Executive Branch’s Persian Gulf Security Working Group, and oversaw US global security assistance and peacekeeping/humanitarian deployments); Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Refugees; and Director for West Africa . In the course of her career, Ambassador Cook was a member of the US delegation to the Paris Meetings on Viet-Nam, led the US multiagency teams in military access negotiations abroad; and deployed to most US military humanitarian and peacekeeping operations from Somalia, to Haiti and Cuba, Rwanda, the early years in the Balkans. Today, she sits on the boards of three humanitarian and policy non-governmental organizations which work primarily in the Middle East and in Africa, as well as two boards focused on American diplomacy.

Dr. José Iglesias (Medical Director of International Services and Pediatric Surgery; Secretary, Cook Children’s Physician Network Board of Directors, Cook Children's Healthcare System)

Dr. Jose Iglesias is a surgeon in Fort Worth, Texas and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth and Cook Children's Medical Center. He received his medical degree from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He is one of 45 doctors at Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth and one of 11 at Cook Children's Medical Center who specialize in Surgery.

Current Position:

Cook Children’s Hospital, Fort Worth:

  • Medical Director of Pediatric Surgery: 10/2014-current
  • Medical Director of Cook Children’s International Program: 01/2017-current
  • Attending Pediatric Surgeon: Distinguished Consultant
  • Chief of Surgery 01/01/2012 – 12/31/2013
  • Associate Medical Director of Pediatric Surgery 10/2009-09/2014
  • Harris-Methodist Medical Center, Fort Worth
  • Baylor All-Saints Medical Center, Fort Worth
  • Cook Children’s Northeast Hospital, Fort Worth

Cynthia Gonzalez (Executive Director, International Patient Services, Cook Children’s Health Care System)

Ms. Cynthia Gonzalez is the Executive Director of the International Patient Services organization at Cook Children’s Health Care System. Cook Children’s is an integrated pediatric health care system that has over 430 beds and nationally renowned specialties that care for the health and well-being of children.

US News and World Report named Cook Children’s to its 2015-2016 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” list for excellence in six specialties, including: Neurology; Hematology and Oncology; Endocrinology; Gastroenterology; Neonatology; and, Orthopedics. To add to this impressive list, Cook Children’s has also been awarded Leap Frog’s highest award in quality and safety. This is the 5th time Cook Children’s has won 'The Top Hospital' award.

Ms. Gonzalez has spent over 35 years working for Fortune 100 companies such as IBM, Microsoft & Symantec. In those years, she has developed skills in leadership, international, marketing and sales strategies. Ms. Gonzalez took those skills developed in the high technology world and put them to good use at Cook Children’s developing and executing on an International strategy that is helping promote the 'Promise' of Cook Children’s: To improve the health of children through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury.

Ms. Gonzalez is a dynamic professional with progressive experience in directing complex business objectives, developing strategies and leading high performance teams to enhance key initiatives. She is adept at cultivating partnerships and building lasting relationships across all global business sectors, including C-level executives at industry-leading organizations. She is also a subject matter expert at identifying market changes, capturing opportunities, developing new markets, and expanding operations to consistently surpass business goals.

Dr. Walid A. Fitaihi (Founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, CEO, International Medical Center, KSA)

Dr. Walid Fitaihi is the Founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer of the International Medical Center (IMC) based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

He has been pioneering the development of the IMC project since its inception in 1997, beginning from the conduction of the initial market research and feasibility studies, to finding the right private investors who share the same vision, raising independently the SR 350 million for the financial guarantee of the project’s success.

Dr. Fitaihi’s integral role in the foundation of the IMC included the creation of the mission and vision, overseeing the design and construction of the facility, guiding it through a successful accreditation, setting up guidelines for recruitment, quality and policy-making while instilling the IMC culture and values to all involved. The grand opening of the International Medical Center was held in October 2006 under the patronage of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz bringing to life the dream of

Dr. Fitaihi. His mission in life is to bring a breath of a new vision that would enhance the quality of healthcare and to ensure that the IMC truly represents a major paradigm shift in health care delivery in the region.

Dr. Fitaihi completed his B.S. in Systems Engineering and received his medical degree (M.D.) from The George Washington University, U.S.A. Dr. Fitaihi also has a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health, U.S.A. He is an American Board Certified physician, specialized in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology. He completed his internship and residency requirements and joined a Fellowship in Endocrinology at Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals in the Boston area. Dr. Fitaihi, who was also an instructor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School, is a strong advocate of patient education and considers continuous education a key element in improving the quality of healthcare in today’s world of medicine.

Dr. Fitaihi has had many assignments during his life; he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Saudi Council of Health Specialties, the highest healthcare council in Saudi Arabia, until 2011, and member of the Joint Commission International’s (JCI) standards committee, responsible for reviewing international accreditation quality standards for hospitals. In addition to his medical practice, he is committed to community service and voluntary activities. Over the years he has delivered a number of lectures on topics related to medical, social, and cultural issues and has published hundreds of articles in various magazines and newspapers focusing on both health-related and non-health related topics. In March 2010, Dr. Fitaihi was chosen as the CEO of the year in healthcare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the year 2009 by the ITP group.

Isaac Blech (Founder & Director, Cerecor Inc; Renowned Biotechnology Entrepreneur)

Mr. Blech, is a renowned biotechnology entrepreneur who, over the past 35 years, has founded and served on the board of companies which have produced major advances in a broad array of diseases, including the diagnosis of chlamydia, herpes, syphilis and HIV, and the treatment of cystic fibrosis, sexual dysfunction, multiple myeloma and many forms of cancer and hematological disease. The companies he established include Celgene Corporation, the world’s leading company in cancer and hematology and has a current market value in excess of $112 billion, ICOS Corporation which developed the drug Cialis and was purchased by Eli Lilly, Nova Pharmaceutical Corporation which developed a new treatment for brain cancer, Gliadel, and was purchased by Johnson and Johnson, Pathogenesis Corporation which developed the leading drug for cystic fibrosis, added 30 years of life to children with that debilitating disease, and was purchased by Chiron, and Genetics Systems Corporation which developed the first rapid accurate diagnostic for chlamydia which enabled millions of babies to be born around the world who could not have been born without wide spread chlamydia testing which Genetics Systems introduced. The company also developed the first accurate test to safe guard the world’s blood supply from the AIDS virus and was purchased by Bristol Myers.

Mr. Blech’s current roles include Founder and Director of Cerecor, Inc., a CNS company, Director of ContraFect Corporation, an infectious disease company, and Vice Chairman of Edge Therapeutics, Inc., a company that treats life-threatening neurological conditions. He is Vice Chairman of Centrexion Corporation, a company with the world’s largest portfolio of non-opioid pain killers, Vice Chairman of X4 Pharmaceuticals, a cancer immunology company, Vice Chairman of Sapience Therapeutics, an oncology company and Vice Chairman of Aridis Pharmaceuticals, a company with a product to treat pneumonia. He also serves as Vice Chairman of WaveGuide Corporation, a company developing the world’s smallest NMR machine, Vice Chairman of Nacuity, an ophthalmology company with a new treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, Vice Chairman of X-VAX Technology, Inc., a company whose mission it is to eliminate Herpes 1 and Herpes 2 through a childhood vaccine and Vice Chairman of Elucida Oncology, Inc., a nanoparticle company whose technology allows surgeons for the first time to see cancers as they remove them.

The trademark of Mr. Blech’s companies is the quality of the people. These companies have been run by the former Chairman of UBS; the former Chairman of Monsanto; the former Chairman of Merck; the former Chairman and CEO of Pfizer; the former President of Shire; the former Present of Baxter International; the Founder and CEO of Acadia; and the founding Chairman of Amgen. On the scientific side there have been seven Nobel laureates and twenty members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences associated with these companies. Their Boards of Directors have included Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft; Don Kendall who built Pepsi Co.; Walter Wriston, who built the modern Citigroup; Frank Cary who led IBM when it was the leading company in the world; twenty past and present Chairmen and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies; two former U.S. Senators; four former U.S. Cabinet Officers; one former Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; one former Supreme Commander of NATO; and, one former President of the United States. Collectively, these companies have helped change the face of medicine.

Dr. Nizar N. Zein (Director, Hepatology Center; Chairman Global Patient Services, The Cleveland Clinic)

Dr. Zein is the Director of Hepatology Centre and the inaugural endowed holder of the Mikati Foundation Chair in Liver Diseases at the Cleveland Clinic. He received several awards, including the American Liver Foundation Scholar Award, the Cleveland Clinic Innovator Award and the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research Mentorship. He has been recognized for academic excellence by the Syrian American Medical Society and honored for his leadership and community service by the Ana G. Mendez University of Puerto Rico as the recipient of Presidential Medal in 2011. He was elected to the Board of Governors of the Cleveland Clinic in 2015. He is appointed to the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Clinic in 2017.

Dr. Zein’s research focuses on improving disease and treatment outcome in patients with the Hepatitis C virus before and after liver transplantation. He has authored over 200 publications, and has been the Principal Investigator of several large clinical trials. He holds several patents and established a research group at Cleveland Clinic focused on 3D printing of solid organs.

Dr. Zein is actively involved in the education of fellows and residents being trained at the Cleveland Clinic. He has been recognized by the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Teacher of the Year, a distinction that reflects his commitment to the education and mentorship of young physicians.

Dr. Zein has served as the Editor of “The Year in Gastroenterology and Hepatology” associate editor of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Special Section Editor of “Liver Transplantation” and an editorial board member of Hepatology and Gastroenterology & Hepatology. His education included: University of Tishreen, Syria (MD); Medical College of Ohio (residency 1988-1992); Mayo Clinic (fellowship 1992-1996); Mayo Clinic (Mayo Scholar 1996-1997); Harvard Business School (eMBA/PLD 2016-2017).

Dr. Maan Fares (Vice Chairman, Global Patient Services, The Cleveland Clinic)

Dr. Maan Fares, MD, is a practicing cardiologist in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Vice Chairman of Global Patient Services, at the Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey.

As a global health care organization with an international reputation for excellence in specialty care particularly in cardiovascular diseases. The department of Global Patients Services helps in organizing the care and management of more than 5,000 patients annually. Patients arrive from all corners of the globe with immensely diverse backgrounds seeking various health care needs. Their care demands excellence in management of complex medical illnesses and special cultural awareness to ensure a better experience and superb outcomes.

Dr. Fares is board-certified in cardiovascular disease, nuclear cardiology/cardiovascular imaging (Level II, including SPECT and PET) and echocardiographic imaging (Level II) and has completed Level II training in cardiac CT angiography. He performs nearly 2,000 nuclear stress tests, 2,000 adult echocardiograms, and more than 2,500 stress tests and EKGs each year.

Dr. Fares earned his medical degree from the University of Damascus, School of Medicine, Syria. He completed a residency at Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, and a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at New England Medical Center, in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Fares spent time on staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, as a clinical associate in echocardiography. Prior to his appointment to the Cleveland Clinic medical staff in 2013, Dr. Fares was a member of the Ohio Permanent Medical Group/Kaiser Permanente medical staff and Chief of Cardiology. Additional positions he held with Kaiser Permanente Ohio include Associate Medical Director for Medical Specialties and member of the Board of Directors.

He is a member of the American College of Cardiology, American Society of Echocardiography and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and is a founding member of the Syrian American Medical Society.

Dr. Ghassan Abou-Alfa (Attending Physician, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Chair Heatobiliary Task Force, National Cancer Institute)

Professor Ghassan Abou-Alfa joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2001. He has specialized in treating patients who have primary liver cancer. Professor Abou-Alfa is the Chair of the National Cancer Institute Hepatobiliary Task Force. His work focus on investigating and testing novel targeted therapies in clinical studies and advocates for greater awareness of the disease’s global impact. He majored in biology at the American University in Beirut (AUB) and earned his medical degree there as well. In 1992, he joined the Yale School of Medicine for postdoctoral training.

Professor Abou-Alfa completed his fellowship and joined the Yale faculty in 2000. At Memorial Sloan-Kettering he started focusing on primary liver cancer — cancer originating in the liver. Liver cancer affects a diverse population from many cultures and economic backgrounds and is truly a global disease. It is one of the top five cancers worldwide, and mainly affects people in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, where hepatitis B, a major risk factor, is endemic. The disease has its impact on Egypt and parts of the Gulf as well. While it is not common in the United States, its incidence is increasing due to the silent epidemic of hepatitis C virus witnessed in the last few decades, the rise in the number of people with morbid obesity and diabetes, and the persistence of alcoholic cirrhosis — all risk factors.

Professor Abou-Alfa has taken on an advocacy role because research funding has lagged despite the worldwide impact of this disease. Liver cancer does not have a public-figure spokesperson raising awareness, and there is not much knowledge about it among patients and the public. One step he took to address this was co-authoring, with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center hepatobiliary surgeon Ronald DeMatteo, a book in lay language called 100 Questions and Answers About Liver Cancer, now in its third edition. Dr Abou-Alfa also co-authored a similar book in Arabic with Dr Ashraf Omar from University of Cairo, that is awaiting to be published.

Professor Abou-Alfa is a major contributor to the field’s research. His research focus is on incorporating small biological molecules into standard cancer therapies. In recent years, his group at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center led the initial efforts evaluating sorafenib (Nexavar®) in primary liver cancer. Sorefenib was ultimately approved by the FDA for that indication in 2007. In a trial also led by his group at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, they are now investigating whether combining sorafenib with the standard chemotherapy drug doxorubicin produces an improved outcome. As an institution, they are proud to be the leaders of this first national effort of a large clinical trial in primary liver cancer, which is supported by the National Cancer Institute. Professor Abou-Alfa continues to lead several international efforts and is involved in conducting clinical trials with colleagues around the world, especially in Southeast Asia, which helps to understand the challenges of managing a disease with varying risk factors, in different regions of the world.

Professor Abou-Alfa has also spearheaded many projects in the Arab World since 2006 under the auspices of the Elmer and Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst International Center, now headed by former Chair of Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Department of Surgery Sir Murray Brennan. Under the direction of Professor Abou-Alfa, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has established a strong relationship with American University of Beirut, with an ongoing faculty exchange and a monthly video-link conferencing with the AUB physicians, with several of its proceedings are already published in peer–reviewed journals. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center faculty teaches about the state of the art of cancer care in the US and the AUB faculty teaches about the risk factors and treatment practices in their country. This joint collaboration, one of the most sustained between an US institution and one in the Middle East, has led to the development of the first joint tissue bank with a shared database in the region. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and AUB have also joined efforts on a first in its class training course for oncologists in the Arab World, that is offered on competitive basis and has already featured in Beirut, Doha, and is anticipate to take place in Kuwait City in October 2015. The joint program also offers supported fellowship opportunities for excelling medical graduates.

Dr. John Duke Anthony (Founding President & CEO, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations)

Dr. John Duke Anthony is the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, and currently serves on the United States Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and its Subcommittee on Sanctions. In 2012, he chaired and was the core lecturer in the Council’s 26th Annual 10-Week University Student Summer Internship Program’s Academic Seminar on Arabia and the Gulf. For the past 38 years, he has been a consultant and regular lecturer on the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf for the Departments of Defense and State. He is former Chair, Near East and North Africa Program, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State as well as former Chair of the Department’s Advanced Arabian Peninsula Studies Seminar. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1986, Dr. Anthony has been a frequent participant in its study groups on issues relating to the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf regions and the broader Arab and Islamic world. More recently, Dr. Anthony was elected to the Board of Advisors of the Yemen College for Middle Eastern Studies. For the Fall 2012 semester, in addition to fulfilling his duties as Council President and CEO and Adviser to the Department of State, he was appointed Dean’s Chair in International Studies and Political Science at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, where he taught the Institute’s first-ever course on “Politics of the Arabian Peninsula” to First (Senior) and Second (Junior) classmen.

On June 21, 2000, on the occasion of his first official visit to the United States, H.M King Muhammad VI of Morocco knighted Dr. Anthony, bestowing upon him the Medal of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite, the nation of Morocco’s highest award for excellence. In addition to heading the National Council, consulting, lecturing, and serving as an Adjunct Faculty Member of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Institute for Security Assistance Management (DISAM) since 1974, Dr. Anthony has been an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies since 2006. There, he developed a course for graduate students on “Politics of the Arabian Peninsula,” the first such semester-long academic course to be offered at any American university. In 2007, he was Visiting Lecturer at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. In 2008 he was the Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo’s HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin ‘Abdalaziz Al-Sa’ud Center for American Studies.

In 1983, Dr. Anthony received DISAM’s Distinguished Achievement Award, one of three granted to American Middle East specialists in the Institute’s history. In March 1989, the Kappa Alpha Order’s National Executive bestowed upon him its Distinguished Public Service Award for Excellence “through a strenuous and useful Life of Service to others.” In 1993, he received the U.S. Department of State’s Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Award, one of three awarded over a span of 25 years in recognition of his preparation of American diplomatic and defense personnel assigned to the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf states. In 1994, he received the Stevens Award for Outstanding Contributions to American-Arab Understanding. In May 2008, the Rotary Club of the Nation’s Capital bestowed upon him its first-ever Local Giants Leadership Award.

Dr. Anthony is the only American to have been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (1969-1970). In 1971, he was cosponsored by the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State as the sole American scholar to observe at firsthand the process by which the British ceased administering the defense and foreign relations for nine Arab states lining the coastal regions of eastern Arabia and the Gulf. His long experience in Yemen led to Dr. Anthony being asked to serve as an international observer in all four of Yemen’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

Dr. Anthony is the only American to have been invited to each of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Ministerial and Heads of State Summits since the GCC’s inception in 1981. (The GCC is comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). Since 1986 and continuing until the present, Dr. Anthony has accompanied more than 200 Members of Congress, their chiefs of staff, defense and foreign affairs advisers, and legislative and communications directors on fact-finding missions to the Arab world. From 1996 until the present, he has also served as the principal scholar-escort for delegations to various GCC countries, Egypt, and Yemen comprised of 132 officers assigned to the staff of the Commander, U.S. Central Command, including Generals J.H. Binford Peay III, Anthony C. Zinni, Tommy Franks, John P. Abizaid, David Petraeus, James Mattis, and Admiral William Fallon.

Dr. Anthony is the author of three books, the editor of a fourth, and has published more than 175 articles and essays, and five monographs dealing with America’s interests and involvement in the Arab countries, the Middle East, and the Islamic world. His best-known works are Arab States of the Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum; The Middle East: Oil, Politics, and Development (editor and co-author) and, together with J. E. Peterson, Historical and Cultural Dictionary of the Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates of Eastern Arabia. Among his more recent publications are The United Arab Emirates: Dynamics of State Formation, Abu Dhabi, UAE: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), 2002; “The Future Significance of the Gulf Cooperation Council,” in Global Strategic Developments: A Futuristic Vision, Abu Dhabi, UAE: ECSSR, 2012; “The Intervention in Bahrain through the Lenses of its Supporters” and “Challenges Facing NATO in Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq,” all four published by ECSSR in the Summer and Fall of 2011; “War with Iran: Regional Reactions and Requirements,” published by Middle East Policy and the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, 2008; “Strategic Dynamics of Iran-GCC Relations,” in Jean-François Seznec and Mimi Kirk, eds., Industrialization in the Gulf: A Socioeconomic Revolution, New York: Routledge, 2011; and “Measuring the Iraq War ‘Accomplishments’ Through the Lens of Its Authors: A Preliminary Assessment”: a revised and edited version of an address presented to the Axis for Peace conference held in Brussels by Voltaire Network, 2005, published by the National Council.

In addition to being the founder and chief facilitator and moderator of the Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, now in its 21st year, Dr. Anthony has been a founder, board member, and Secretary of the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee; founding President of the Middle East Educational Trust; co-founder of the Commission on Israeli-Palestinian Peace; founding President of the Society for Gulf Arab Studies; co-founder and board member of the National Commission to Commemorate the 14th Centennial of Islam; and founder and former chairman of the U.S.-Morocco Affairs Council. In 2006 he was elected Vice-President and member of the Board of Directors of the International Foreign Policy Association in Washington, D.C.

After completion of his U.S. Army active duty military service, the Commonwealth of Virginia granted Dr. Anthony a four-year State Cadetship Award which allowed him to enroll at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in History. At VMI, he was elected president of his class all four years in addition to serving as president of the Corps of Cadets’ Government General and Executive Committees during his First Class Year. He later earned a Master of Science Degree in Foreign Service (With Distinction) from the Edmund A. Walsh Graduate School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where, in addition to holding one of three University Scholar Awards, he was inducted into the National Political Science Honor Society. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and Middle East Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., where he held a National Defense in Foreign Language Scholarship for Arabic, was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, and was appointed in 1973 to SAIS’ full-time faculty while still a student. For nearly a decade, Dr. Anthony taught courses on the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf States at SAIS. He has been a Visiting and Adjunct Professor at the Defense Intelligence College, the Woodrow Wilson School of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia, the Universities of Pennsylvania and Texas, the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, and a regular lecturer at the National War College.

Dr. Anthony passed his proficiency exam in French at the Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1966. He passed his proficiency exam in Arabic at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 1969 following study there as well as at Princeton University and the American University in Cairo’s Center for Arabic Study Abroad.

Dr. Anthony is married to Cynthia Burns McDonald, Director of the Washington, D.C. Office of the American University in Cairo, and has twin sons.

Honorable David A. Paterson (Former Governor of New York State; Director/Investments, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company)

The Honorable David A Paterson became New York’s 55th Governor on March 17, 2008. He immediately raised eyebrows when he warned off an impending fiscal crisis in his inaugural address. Governor Paterson was ahead of the national curve in predicting and acting on the State’s fiscal downturn. Despite the greatest economic crisis that New York State has ever faced, Governor Paterson enacted sweeping reforms on a wide range of issues facing New Yorkers.

During the next three years, he would reduce New York’s deficit by nearly 40 billion dollars (twice the amount of budget – cutting in any comparable period). He became the first Governor to sign legislation attaching criminal penalties to predatory-lending during the worst foreclosure crisis in American history. He overhauled the Rockefeller Drug Laws which excessively punished low-level drug offenders, while depriving judges of discretion-in-sentencing, for over 35 years. Governor Paterson would introduce landmark civil rights legislation that eventually ended legal discrimination against same-sex couples in New York. He would also increase the welfare allowance for the neediest New Yorkers for the first time in 20 years.

In 2009, Governor Paterson settled 200 years of legal debate, when the NY State Court of Appeals upheld his appointment of a Lieutenant Governor, Richard Ravitch.

Since stepping down as Governor, he has hosted a popular drive time talk- radio show on WOR-am in New York City. Governor Paterson served as an adjunct professor of Government in 2011 and 2012 at New York University, and has since moved to Touro college school of Osteopathic medicine. Governor Paterson is a highly sought-after speaker by diverse entities and organizations, and often appears as a guest commentator on political news programs.

Governor Paterson was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo from 2014 - 2016 as New York State Democratic Party Chairman.

Governor Paterson is currently Director/Investments at Stifel, Nicolaus & Company.

H.H. Dr. Sayyida Basma Al Said (Founder, Whispers of Serenity's; Mental Health Counselor and Psychotherapist)

Her Highness Sayyida Basma Al Said, founder of the Whispers of Serenity Clinic for Mental Health, is Considered an icon in the health sector and recognized for her active efforts in raising awareness about mental health in the Arab region. The multi-award winning psychotherapist and hypnotherapist’s achievements are a source of inspiration for the rest of the country and for reflecting the true meaning of Omani pride.

H.H. Al Said was awarded the “Golden Recognition Award” by the Arab Women Council for her efforts of social responsibility and for the ‘Not Alone’ initiative to raise awareness about mental health in the Arab region.

She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate for youth volunteer projects, as well as the Middle East award for contributions to society from the GR8! Women Achievers Awards, held in the United Arab Emirates.

Annette Maresh (Vice President, Trade Finance and Insurance, U.S. Export/Import Bank)

Ms. Annette Maresh, Vice President For Trade Finance and Insurance, joined the Asset Management Division of the Export-Import Bank in 2003 and was instrumental in restructuring loans throughout the Western Hemisphere and in Africa. In 2006, she was selected to lead the Americas team in the Trade Finance Division. Since 2010, she directed the division's Specialty Risk team, which concerns initiatives for exporting medical equipment, transportation security products, and agricultural aircraft.

Ms. Maresh is a former president of the Association of Chicago Bank Women. Before joining Ex-Im Bank, she was a Structured Trade Finance executive in the Chicago offices of two investment banks that focused on export credit and supranational agency financial structures. Her career began at The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., where she held various international staff positions in the New York head office.

Ex-Im's division for Trade Finance provides lenders with export financing loan guarantees and insurance services that enable U.S. companies to conduct business in emerging or developing markets. The division's scope covers sovereign risk, trade credit insurance, bank and corporate lending programs for short, medium and long-term financing. Exporters can apply for various trade financing products after consulting Bank-affiliated export finance managers. Ex-Im coordinates with numerous other federal and local trade agencies to provide accurate information and services.

Hiba Zalatimo (Education For Employment (EFE) Graduate and Manager, Hospitality Academy, Caesar Hotel)

Ms. Hiba Zalatimo manages the Caesar Hospitality Academy in Palestine. She helps prepare young Palestinians for jobs in hotels and restaurants. Caesar is one of Palestine’s top hotels.

When Palestine EFE opened a branch in her hometown of Jerusalem, she was one of the first to sign up. The training involved various activities, including presentation skills, teamwork, time management...all the skills that are used today as a manager.

After graduation from EFE, Palestine EFE sent her CV around to employers and she began receiving calls for interviews. With the presentation skills she learned in training, she entered an entry-level job at Caeser Hotel, one of the nicest hotels in Ramallah.

She started at the bottom as an HR coordinator and was quickly promoted to lead marketing. Within two years, she was managing a team of 60 people and relies on the time management skills she learned at Palestine EFE to keep focused as she took on more responsibility.

Dr. Rabi Hanna (Director of Pediatric of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Cleveland Clinic)

Dr. Rabi Hanna, MD, is the director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. He is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology. He earned his medical degree from Aleppo University Faculty of Medicine in Aleppo, Syria. His post-graduate training in USA includes a pediatric residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and a pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Hanna's specialty interests include treatment of children with leukemia / Lymphoma and solid tumors that require Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation to consolidate the treatment for their malignant disease. He is also very interested in treatment of inherited non-malignant disorders like primary immunodeficiency like SCID or other inherited metabolic diseases which Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation could offer the potential to restore normal hematological and immunologic function. He is especially interested in identifying successful conditioning treatments with less side effects especially for non-malignant diseases like hematological diseases (sickle cell disease, thalassemia major, severe aplastic anemia, Fanconi anemia, etc) or primary immune deficiency disorders, such as Severe Combined Immune deficiency, Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, and IPEX.

Dr. Hanna's clinical research is aimed at identifying genetic factors that affect outcomes post bone marrow transplantation from unrelated donor. He is also exploring the role of hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells in auto-immune disorders and degenerative disorders.

Reeta Roy (President & CEO, Mastercard Foundation)

Ms. Reeta Roy, both a thoughtful leader and an advocate for the world’s most vulnerable, has worked tirelessly to build a foundation that is collaborative and known for its lasting impact.

During Ms. Roy's tenure, The MasterCard Foundation has committed almost US$2.1 billion to education, skills training and financial inclusion programs. Those programs have reached more than 20 million people living in poverty, so they can improve their lives and the circumstances of their families and communities. A strong believer in listening, Ms. Roy can often be found in the field, working directly with the people the Foundation’s programs serve.

Ms. Roy's dedication to the work of the Foundation has its roots in her childhood. Growing up in Malaysia, she won a scholarship to complete her education in the United States, an experience that she said helped her develop the compassion with which she approaches the Foundation’s work. She is regularly called upon by the United Nations, the World Bank, USAID and international agencies to represent the philanthropic sector and contribute to global development strategies.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Roy was the Divisional Vice President of Global Citizenship and Policy at the global health care company Abbott and was Vice President of the Abbott Fund, its corporate foundation. She led Abbott’s public-private initiatives related to HIV/AIDS in Africa, its global product donations program, and a variety of community activities. From 1991 to 2002, she held a number of leadership positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, working on global health issues and private-public partnerships. Prior to joining the private sector, she worked at the United Nations.

Ms. Roy received a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

In 2017, Ms. Roy received a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from the University of McGill and University of Toronto. She accepted the 2011 Women’s Opportunity Network International Women’s Leadership Award, the 2014 World Affairs Council Global Education Award, and the 2016 Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, Friend of Education Award on behalf of The MasterCard Foundation. In 2015, she also received YWCA Toronto’s Women of Distinction Award and a Doctor of Social Studies, honoris causa, from Earth University.

Dr. Lawrence ("Larry") Friedman (Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs; CEO, UCSD International Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, UC San Diego Health System)

Dr. Lawrence Friedman, MD, is Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs; in this role he is responsible for the management oversight of ambulatory quality, safety and primary care (QSPC), managed care, occupational medicine and telemedicine; he also serves as the CEO of International Clinical Programs. Dr. Friedman is a critical member of the leadership team and plays an integral role in the growth of the Health System as it expands its footprint regionally, nationally and internationally. He is working on strategies to develop the primary and specialty care clinical workforces, as well as supporting the clinical integration between Health System and community practices.

Since he began with the Health System in 1994, Dr. Friedman founded the UC San Diego Telemedicine Learning Center and Telemedicine Clinical programs which provide specialty consultation globally. He also co-chaired the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) Ambulatory Care Steering Committee; served as a member of the Pay for Performance Implementation Advisory Task Force at the National Quality Forum; and is currently a member of the Agency for Health Care Research Study Section on Health Care Technology and Decision Science. Before assuming full-time administrative responsibilities at UC San Diego Health System, Dr. Friedman was the division chief for General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Prior to UC San Diego Health System, he was the acting division chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Deaconess Hospital in Boston and an assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Friedman completed his residency and internship training at the Deaconess Hospital in Boston, followed by a general medicine fellowship at Harvard Medical School. He earned his medical degree at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Dr. Friedman has authored more than fifty publications including original research, book chapters and review articles, and is currently a reviewer for several peer-reviewed medical journals.

Dr. Raymond F. Schinazi (Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology at Emory University; and Co-Director of the HIV Cure Scientific Working Group, NIH-sponsored Emory University CFAR)

Dr. Raymond F. Schinazi is the Frances Winship Walters Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology at Emory University and co-Director of the HIV Cure Scientific Working Group for the NIH-sponsored Emory University CFAR. He has authored over 550 papers and 7 books and holds over 100 issued US patents, which have resulted in 16 New Drug Applications (NDA).

Dr. Schinazi is a world leader in nucleoside chemistry and best known for his pioneering work on HIV, HBV and HCV US FDA approved drugs d4T (stavudine), 3TC (lamivudine), FTC (emtricitabine), LdT (telbivudine), and sofosbuvir (Sovaldi). Dr. Schinazi is internationally recognized as one of the most influential persons in the life science sector.

Mohammed Barakat (Managing Director, US-Qatar Business Council)

Mr. Mohammed Barakat joined the US-Qatar Business Council in 2013. He was Director until December 2015, when he was appointed by the Board of Directors as Managing Director of the US-Qatar Business Council. In this position, he works with the public and private sectors to promote new and expanded business relations between US and Qatari companies. In addition, he is involved with and manages wide range of activities in programs, advisory services, market research and member services. He also provides business and cultural advisory services to both US and Qatari companies.

Prior to joining The US-Qatar Business Council, Mr. Barakat was a Business Strategy Advisor at the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council (2011-2013) where he provided business and strategy advisory services to both US and Saudi companies across different industries to facilitate trade and investment between both countries. Earlier in his career, he worked in business development for a major Qatari holding group expanding their international partnership and business portfolio (2008-2011). He also worked in the United Arab Emirates as a marketing manager for a major construction and engineering group (2006- 2008).

Previously, and under different capacities, Mr. Barakat developed strategic business plans and provided political and economic analysis, social analysis, and security analysis for several companies and organizations in Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and the United States (2004-2006). Mr. Barakat was also a defense contractor for the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Mr. Barakat holds a BA in Political Science and Public Administration, as well as an Advanced Degree in Business Strategy from Cornell University. He currently resides in Washington, DC where he is actively involved with the Middle Eastern business and cultural community.

The Honorable Deborah L. Wince-Smith (President & CEO, Council on Competitiveness)

Ms. Deborah L. Wince-Smith is the President & CEO of the Council on Competitiveness (Council). Founded in 1986, this unique coalition of leading CEO's, university presidents and labor union leaders puts forth actionable public policy solutions to make America more competitive in the global marketplace.

An internationally renowned, leading voice on competitiveness, innovation strategy, science and technology, and international economic policy, Ms. Wince-Smith has been credited with recharging the national debate on competitiveness, innovation and resilience. Ms. Wince-Smith is frequently called upon to testify in front of the U.S. Congress and appears regularly on global television news networks including Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC, CNN and Fox News.

Ms. Wince-Smith spearheaded the groundbreaking 2004 National Innovation Initiative (NII) that played a pivotal role in creating a reinvigorated U.S. competitiveness movement and shaped the bipartisan America Competes Act. The NII launched state and regional innovation initiatives and catalyzed a global focus on innovation driven growth. Building a coalition of CEO’s university presidents, labor union leaders, and national laboratory directors, Ms. Wince-Smith leads the Council’s flagship Energy and Manufacturing Initiatives to accelerate energy innovation and advanced manufacturing as twin pillars of U.S. productivity growth, skilled job creation, and global exports.

Ms. Wince-Smith initiated a widely acknowledged bilateral competitiveness partnership between the United States and Brazil, co-creating a model for collaboration, “The Innovation Learning Laboratory,” and convening the 2007, 2010, and 2013 U.S.-Brazil CEO Innovation Summits.

Since 2009, Ms. Wince-Smith has served as president of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC), whose creation she led with leaders and stakeholders from over 30 Competitiveness Councils from around the world. The GFCC is the first global network devoted exclusively to the exchange of knowledge and practice related to competitiveness policies and strategies; and, it is the first international, public-private mechanism to promote global economic growth through collaboration in innovation.

Ms. Wince-Smith serves as a Corporate Director and Board Member of National and International organizations, U.S. Government policy Advisory Committees, Charitable Organizations, and as a University Trustee. Currently, she is a member of The Smithsonian National Board, the Secretary of States’ Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation Board, also serving as Vice-Chairman of Women Corporate Directors. She is a member of the Advisory Board of The Journal of Science Policy & Governance and she is also a member of the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, co-chaired by former Governor Jon Huntsman and former U.S. Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, and serves on the Board of Directors of The American Associates of Japan’s prestigious Science and Technology in Society Forum, the Qatar Foundation’s R&D Advisory Board, and Ms. Wince-Smith currently serves as Vice Chair and former Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness. She also serves on the Purdue Strategic Research Advisory Council (SRAC).

An expert in technology commercialization, Ms. Wince-Smith is a Director of NanoMech, Inc., a leading innovator in industrial nanomaterials, and Aerolase, a company at the forefront of portable laser medical devices. Ms. Wince-Smith also serves on the Advisory Board of Delos Living, LLC.

As a long-standing leader in the national laboratory system, Ms. Wince-Smith currently serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

She previously served on the University of California President’s Council overseeing Los Alamos Lawrence Berkeley and Livermore National Laboratories. She recently concluded two terms of service on the University of Chicago’s Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory, and as a Trustee of Lehigh University. On behalf of Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez, she chaired the Secretary’s National Advisory Committee on Strengthening America’s Communities producing the first comprehensive assessment of U.S. Government Economic Development Strategy and Program.

Ms. Wince-Smith served from 2005-2012 as a public Director of NASDAQ-OMX and as a Senate-confirmed member of the Oversight Board of the Internal Revenue Service for six years.

During her 17-year tenure in the federal government, Ms. Wince-Smith held leading positions in the areas of science and technology policy and international economic affairs. She began her career as a Program Director for the National Science Foundation, where she managed U.S. research programs with Eastern European countries and U.S. universities. Most notably, she served as the nation’s first Senate confirmed Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, overseeing federal technology transfer policy, implementation of the Bayh-Dole Act, and the White House National Technology Initiative.

During the Reagan Administration, Ms. Wince-Smith was appointed as the first Assistant Director of International Affairs and Competitiveness in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Ms. Wince-Smith was the architect of the landmark 1988 Head of Government Science and Technology Agreement with Japan, and developed ministerial bilateral collaborations with China, India and Latin America. Ms. Wince-Smith developed President Reagan’s 1988 Competitiveness Initiative, and led the implementation of executive orders and new laws that transformed federal technology transfer policy for U.S. industries, national laboratories and universities. Following her government tenure, Ms. Wince-Smith became active in the governance of various national scientific laboratories and provided strategic counsel to several FORTUNE 100 companies.

Ms. Wince-Smith, a valedictorian from Old Trail School in Akron, Ohio, graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was one of the first female students to enter King’s College at the University of Cambridge, where she read for a Master’s degree in classical archaeology. She received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Michigan State University, an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Toledo and an Honorary Doctorate of Law honoris causa from The Queens University of Belfast, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters honoris causa from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Ms. Wince-Smith is married to former Deputy United States Trade Representative Ambassador Michael B. Smith and resides in McLean, Virginia. Her two sons are graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy and are currently serving as officers in the U.S. Navy and Marines Corp.

Dr. Nihal Afifi (Global Health Policy and Management, EPOS Health Management, Harvard, T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

Dr. Nihal ("Nina") Fifi, MD, MBA, MPH, has more than twenty-five years of experience in the fields of public health, health policy and management, global health and international technical assistance.

Areas of expertise include health sector reform, primary health care, institutional analysis and development, health service organization and delivery, health human resource development and capacity building, decentralization of health service delivery, maternal child health and health care financing in developing countries

As an independent consultant, Dr. Afifi has worked with organizations including the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development, EPOS Health Management, the European Union, Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard School of Public Health, and the American University in Cairo. She has an expertise developing in depth country experience with a special focus on the Middle East and North Africa regions.

Nawaf Althari (Counter-Terrorism & Counter-Piracy Focal Point, OIC Focal Point Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations)

Mr. Althari is a United Nations (UN) counter-terrorism specialist representing The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In that capacity he leads the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre’s Expert Advisory Board. He oversees UNCCT projects related to capacity building, countering violent extremism, preventing online radicalization, and dealing directly with international terrorists. He headed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the UN in 2014-2015. He is currently OIC Coordinator for all counter-terrorism matters at the United Nations. Mr. Althari also served as an Economic Adviser to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In that capacity he assessed and negotiated Saudi interest in the Sustainable Development Goals and provided briefs and analysis on economic growth and development, financing for development, poverty eradication, and globalization to the Government of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Althari was selected as a Distinguished International Affairs Fellow by the National Council on US Arab Relations.

Ambassador Isobel Coleman (U.S. Representative to the United Nations, UN Management and Reform)

Ambassador Isobel Coleman is a foreign policy expert with extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy and national security issues with a regional focus on the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

From 2014-2017 she served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Management, Reform and Special Political Affairs. In that capacity, Ambassador Coleman led U.S. efforts to reform the $40 billion UN system by imposing fiscal discipline, increasing transparency and accountability, She also led U.S. efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. She was the Obama Administration's chief spokesperson on these issues, testifying several times before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. During 2016 and early 2017, Ambassador Coleman represented the United States in the UN Security Council, with responsibility for Africa, Asia and peacekeeping issues. She negotiated Security Council resolutions on South Sudan, Darfur, The Gambia, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and North Korea.

From 2002-2014, Dr. Coleman was a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York where she wrote extensively about the economic development of the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, and also about women's rights, civil society, and democratization for publications such as the The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times and the Washington Post. Dr. Coleman is the author and coauthor of, and contributor to, numerous books including Women and Girls Rising: Progress and Resistance Around the World (Routledge, 2015), Pathways to Freedom: Political and Economic Lessons from Democratic Transitions (Council on Foreign Relations, 2013) and Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East (Random House, 2010), She is a frequent speaker at academic, business, and policy conferences, including delivering a well-received TED Talk in 2013. In 2011, Newsweek named her as one of "150 Women Who Shake the World."

Prior to CFR, Dr. Coleman was a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. where she worked with major financial institutions. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a BA in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School and in East Asian Studies. She attended Oxford University on a Marshall Scholarship where she earned MPhil and DPhil degrees in International Relations.

Ron Bruder (Founder & Chairman of the Board, Education for Employment)

Mr. Ron Bruder is an American entrepreneur and advocate for increased youth employment opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa. He is the founder of Education for Employment (EFE), a network of affiliated locally-run nonprofits which create public-private partnerships with employers to train youth in technical and soft skills and place them in jobs. The network has local affiliates in Jordan, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia and capacity-building support organizations in the United States and Spain. In 2011, Mr. Bruder was named on the TIME 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Mr. Bruder began his career as a serial entrepreneur with businesses in real estate, travel, pharmaceuticals and energy. In 1977, he founded The Brookhill Group, which owns and manages properties throughout the US with a focus on creating investment partnerships to develop or redevelop shopping centers, office buildings and multi-family homes.

Mr. Bruder was an attendee at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. At the World Economic Forum in Tianjin in 2012, he was named a Schwab Foundation Global Social Entrepreneur for his work in founding EFE. He has served as a delegate of the Council on Foreign Relations to the Jeddah Economic Forum, and a contributor to the US-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar. He is frequently invited to share EFE's best practices at major international conferences and has addressed audiences at the Clinton Global Initiative, World Economic Forum and the United Nations, among others.

Tamara Cofman Wittes (Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution)

Ms. Tamara Cofman Wittes is a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution. Ms. Wittes served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs from November of 2009 to January 2012, coordinating U.S. policy on democracy and human rights in the Middle East during the Arab uprisings. Ms. Wittes also oversaw the Middle East Partnership Initiative and served as deputy special coordinator for Middle East transitions.

Ms. Wittes is a co-host of Rational Security, a weekly podcast on foreign policy and national security issues. She writes on U.S. Middle East policy, regional conflict and conflict resolution, the challenges of global democracy, and the future of Arab governance. Her current research is for a forthcoming book, "Our SOBs," on the tangled history of America’s ties to autocratic allies. Wittes joined Brookings in December of 2003. Previously, she served as a Middle East specialist at the U.S. Institute of Peace and director of programs at the Middle East Institute in Washington. She has also taught courses in international relations and security studies at Georgetown University. Ms. Wittes was one of the first recipients of the Rabin-Peres Peace Award, established by President Bill Clinton in 1997.

Ms. Wittes is the author of "Freedom’s Unsteady March: America’s Role in Building Arab Democracy" (Brookings Institution Press, 2008) and the editor of "How Israelis and Palestinians Negotiate: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Oslo Peace Process" (USIP, 2005). She holds a bachelor's in Judaic and Near Eastern studies from Oberlin College, and a master's and doctorate in government from Georgetown University. She serves on the board of the National Democratic Institute, as well as the advisory board of the Israel Institute, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Women in International Security.

Dr. George Cheriyan (CEO/Chief Medical Officer, American Mission Hospital, Bahrain)

Dr. Cheriyan, MD, FRCP (Lon), FRCPI, MBA is the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of the American Mission Hospital (AMH) in Bahrain, the oldest hospital in the GCC. He worked as a Neonatologist for over 25 years after obtaining his post graduate training in Pediatrics in London at The Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, and sub-specialization in Neonatology at the Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Cheriyan has also worked as a Consultant Neonatologist in the National Health Service In London before moving up to take up a position as Head of Neonatology at the Saudi Aramco Hospital where he worked for 18 years in various capacities of leadership. He is a trained ‘Improvement Advisor’ in Healthcare quality from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Boston, MA where he was adjunct teaching member of the faculty and has been an invited speaker at various healthcare Forums both in and outside of the US.

He further obtained training in Healthcare management at the Harvard Business School and is both an alumni of the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. His area of interest is the economics in developing a model of non-profit healthcare which is both affordable and of high quality.

Ken Close (CEO & Founding Partner, The Quincy Group)

Mr. Close is the CEO and Founding Partner of The Quincy Group and a specialist in U.S.-Saudi business and foreign relations. He brings over three decades of investment banking, private equity, international business development and government relations experience in the MENA region to the firm.

Mr. Close comes from a long line of educators, missionaries, diplomats, soldiers, and businessmen who have served in the Arab region since the mid-nineteenth century. He is the fourth generation of his family born in Lebanon and the fifth generation to have lived, studied and worked in the Arab world. He enjoys broad and deep relationships there in part as a result of his family's unique history in the region.

His great-uncle, Colonel William Eddy, was the director of the OSS for the Arab region during World War II before being sent to Saudi Arabia as the first US Ambassador. In that capacity, he served as the interpreter between President Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz when they met on the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal in February of 1945 – it is this meeting that is widely commemorated as the beginning of the "special relationship" between the two countries.

Mr. Close began his career in finance with Merrill Lynch where he focused on transactions in the Arab world. In the early 1990s, he began working as a strategic advisor to companies doing business in Saudi Arabia and as a private investment advisor to several high net worth Saudi families. In 2005, he took on the added responsibility of Senior Policy Advisor to HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal when he became the Saudi Ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Close is a graduate of Duke University, with an AB in Political Science, magna cum laude. He serves on the Board of Advisors of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center and American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA).

Dr. Mark A. Davis (Executive Director, Business Development and Strategic Initiatives, Brigham and Women’s Healthcare, Harvard Medical School)

Dr. Mark A. Davis, MD, MS, FACEP, CPE, serves as the Executive Director, Business Development and Strategic Initiatives at Brigham and Women’s Healthcare, Harvard Medical School. In this role Dr. Davis focuses on strategic planning, execution, and collaboration for BWHC and National and International Partners with the Chief of Business Development and leadership throughout BWHC. He previously served as Medical Director Network Development for the health system. Business Development works with internal and external constituencies to grow high level relationships, promote seamless integration of care, and establish new service line structures. Dr. Davis evaluates and creates new partnerships and procedures to streamline access to tertiary/quaternary care when required by implementing a “right care, right place” philosophy. Partnership models are tailored to specific needs and circumstances for each organization whether national, or international. Dr. Davis created a new telemedicine referral network tool targeting access for the most complex patients in support of the objectives of the organization and its collaborating partners. Previously, Dr. Davis served as the Director, Physician Performance and Professional Development for the Department of Emergency Medicine, where he had Operational Responsibility in mentoring and managing physicians within the credentialing program that he developed in order to maintain compliance with new national standards and metrics. Dr. Davis also led Strategic Planning and was the Operational Leader as the Physician Executive Consultant of Brigham and Women’s Healthcare for a community hospital in Rhode Island.

Dr. Davis was the founding director for the Institute for International Emergency Medicine and Health (IEMH) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. In his capacity as Director, Dr. Davis focused on International Medical Training, curriculum development, mass casualty preparedness, research, and medical capacities improvement in diverse environments. He was the Principle Investigator for multiple emergency medical development training initiatives and centers throughout the world. He was also the series editor for a symptom and literature based series of medical textbooks. International Training Projects have included emergency medical development in the Middle East funded by the United States Department of State (USDOS), front-line health human capacity development in Africa in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), and trauma training in Romania, which has been supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr. Davis was also the PI on a tele-education/telemedicine initiative funded by the Department of Agriculture that promotes partnership between IEMH and Native Americans in underserved areas.

Dr. Davis graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1990 as a Penn Medical Scholar. He was concurrently enrolled in the Masters in Science degree program from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. In 1990, he received the National Research Council Fellowship Award from the National Academy of Sciences at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) and was appointed Visiting Scientist at the Medical Sciences Division at JSC in 1991. He completed an internship at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco, and his residency at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles. Dr. Davis is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has been an Attending Physician at the Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine since 2000.

Ambassador Adam Ereli (Former US Ambassador, Kingdom of Bahrain)

Ambassador Adam Ereli is a proven leader and innovator in the fields of foreign government relations, policy advocacy, commercial diplomacy, media relations and crisis communications. Ambassador Ereli spent 24 years as a U.S. diplomat, specializing in the Middle East and public affairs.

Ambassador Ereli also served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain from 2007-2011. During his tenure, U.S. foreign direct investment Bahrain tripled, including significant joint-venture partnerships with such industry leaders as Occidental Petroleum and Thomson-Reuters, as well as the $3 billion sale of Boeing aircraft to the national carrier. He also negotiated important base access and security cooperation agreements on behalf of the United States.

As Deputy Spokesman for the Department of State from 2003-2006, Ambassador Ereli managed strategic communications, media relations and crisis communications for Secretaries Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. He has appeared in hundreds of hours of on-the-record briefings, interviews and talk shows on U.S. and foreign news networks in English, Arabic and French.

Ambassador Ereli also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs, where he oversaw U.S. government cultural and educational exchange programs with foreign governments and managed a budget of $650 million.

During a career spanning the tenures of Secretaries Baker, Christopher, Albright, Powell, Rice, Clinton and Kerry, Ambassador Ereli negotiated a Status of Forces Agreement with the State of Qatar, helped secure passage of a Strategic Framework Agreement with Iraq and oversaw the implementation of a Free Trade Agreement with Bahrain.

Prior to joining the diplomatic corps, Ambassador Ereli was an investigative reporter in Paris, France, where he wrote on politics and international affairs. Ambassador Ereli has a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He speaks French and Arabic.

Mariam Farag (Head of MBC Al Amal (CSR arm of MBC), Middle East Broadcasting Center)

Ms. Mariam Farag is leading the CSR program at MBC Group, which is responsible for driving its corporate responsibility vision and strategy in the region & globally. Founded & launched in 2013, MBC Group’s CSR arm, MBC Al Amal, is an ongoing interactive initiative that is the collective umbrella for the multitude of campaigns, initiatives, and contributions whether created, launched, supported or adopted by MBC Group. MBC Al Amal’s core focus is on the empowerment and development of Arab youth, for our future and theirs. Their strategy is also about developing and implementing initiatives to show their ongoing commitment to education, capacity building and work readiness, supporting entrepreneurship, and humanitarian causes.

Ms. Farag brings to MBC Group over 18 years of experience working in the fields of social development, humanitarian relief, communication, corporate & social change in the MENA region & globally with UNDP, UNHCR, education and governmental sectors.

Ms. Farag's advisory roles include:

  • Regional Board Member of “INJAZ Al-Arab”, part of the “Junior Achievement” Worldwide Network (since June 2012).
  • Member of the “UAE Advisory Board of Education for Employment (EFE)”
  • Active member of the Media & Communication Global Steering Committee of Education for Employment (EFE)
  • Member of the SOS Villages Global Strategic Advisory Network
  • Active advocate in the entrepreneurial, youth development & women empowerment field focusing on building strategic partnerships between the private & public sector to mainstream initiatives, spreading CSR awareness and maximizing impact in the region & globally.
Ms. Farag received her B.A in Political Science specialized in International Relations from The American University in Cairo (AUC) and completed her M.A in International Relations and Political Theory from University of Westminster in London, UK.

Ambassador Marc Ginsberg (Former US Ambassador, Morocco)

Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, former presidential adviser on Middle East policy and United States ambassador has more than 30 years of diplomatic, commercial, legal and intelligence affairs experience working in and on behalf of the U.S. government. Since 1971, he has held many prominent public and private sector positions, focusing on foreign policy, national security, trade and investment, with a principal focus on Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

Ambassador Ginsberg served as a foreign and defense legislative assistant to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, White House Liaison for Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Deputy Senior Advisor for Middle East Policy to President Carter, U.S. Ambassador to Morocco and Special U.S. Coordinator for Mediterranean Trade, Investment and Security Affairs for Secretary Albright.

He serves as a part-time special adviser on strategic communications to the Department of Defense Special Operations Command and to the U.S. State Department on outreach initiatives in the Muslim world. He serves on the Middle East-focused Advisory Boards of the Aspen Institute, the Rand Corporation, and the Brookings Institution’s U.S. – Islamic World Forum.

Ambssador Ginsberg is a regular foreign policy senior contributor to the Huffington Post, and is a nationally- recognized foreign policy media commentator on BBC TV and Radio, MSNBC, NBC, CBS TV and Radio Network, Al Arabiya, Al Hurrah and Al Jazeera television stations in the Middle East. His analysis of Middle East events are frequently found in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign, and

Dr. Adnan Hammad (President & CEO, Global Health Research, Management & Solutions)

Dr. Adnan Hammad is currently the President & CEO of Global Health Research, Management & Solutions. In this capacity he oversees global health collaborations and research initiatives and establishes links between researchers and scientists and other academic and health Centers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region as well as their counterparts in countries with Arab immigrants, such as North America. Dr. Hammad is the immediate past Senior Director and founder of ACCESS Community Health and Research Center, and Chairman of the National and International Health research Initiatives.

Dr. Hammad established and directs a one-of-a-kind, community-based health and research center at the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS). He develops holistic programs to promote, improve, and manage the health care of the Arab American community, integrating public health and environment, mental health and primary and specialty care. These programs are financed by a variety of local, state, and federal sources. In addition to his work at the Community Health and Research Center, Dr. Hammad is very active in academia. He currently serves as adjunct professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine and consults at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health, and Community-based Public Health Division.

In the research field, Dr. Hammads projects include collaboration with NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences as a principal investigator on the environmental impact on Arab Americans in Metro Detroit. Also, he is co-investigator for both the epidemiology of diabetes and its risk factors among Arab Americans, in cooperation with Wayne State School of Pharmacy and the American Diabetes Association, and tobacco use among Arab American youth, in cooperation with NIH and Wayne State School of Nursing. He has authored and co-authored over 50 publications in the fields of behavioral and epidemiological research.

Dr. Hammad has extensive education and experience in health services policy, management and training at both the macro and micro levels. He holds several degrees, including a Masters Degree in Science, a High Diploma in Health Economics, and a Doctorate in Health Services Policy and Management. Additionally, he has distinguished international consulting experience in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, USA and Canada. He has held numerous leadership roles in professional, non-profit and nongovernmental organizations: Managing Director of Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem from 1989-1992; Senior Health Planner for Planning and Research of Health Services in Jerusalem from 1992-1995; Assistant Professor in Health Services Administration at Al-Quds University College for Medical Professions from 1992-1994; and lecturer at the Department of Education and Psychology at Birzeit University in the West Bank from 1984-1985.

Dr. Hammads broad experience covers service in various capacities for a number of regional, national and international organizations. He serves as a member of the World Health Organization (WHO), Eastern Mediterranean Office, on the Advisory Committee on Health Research. He was president of the Michigan Chapter of the National Arab American Medical Association (NAAMA) in 2003. He is also affiliated with The American Cancer Society National Board of Directors and the Great Lakes Davison, the American Near East for Refugee Aid (ANERA), Wayne State University School of Nursing Board of Visitors, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute Board of Directors, Michigan Cancer Consortium Board of Directors, Voices of Detroit Health Initiative Board of Directors, Detroit Wayne County Health Authority, American Lung Association Board of Directors, Arab American Coalition of the American Diabetes Association, Greater Detroit Area Health Council Board of Directors, Prevention Coalition of Southeast Michigan, and was chairman of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and is currently planning the 6th International Conference on Health Issues in the Arab American Community in collaboration with national and international health and academic institutions. His international recognitions include: Health Consultant for the Harvard Institute of International Development in the Middle East and Senior Health Planner for macro and micro health programs in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

He authored and co-authored over 170 publications in the fields of behavior and epidemiological research, including the ethnicity and disease special supplements on Arab American health. Introduction: proceedings of the 4th Biennial National Conference on Health Iissues in the Arab-American community. Ethnicity Disease, Vol. 1501, Supplement 3, February 2005, S1-VII.

Dr. Hammad has received numerous awards for his leadership in community health, including the American Cancer Society's National Humanitarian Award I 2009. He received the Wayne State School of Medicine Pathfinders in Medicine Award in 2004, the first Arab American to be so honored for leadership initiative in promoting and improving the health status of the Arab American community.

Dr. Gabi Hanna (Associate Director, Duke Cancer Institute; President, Chairman of North Carolina Society of Physician Entrepreneurs)

Dr. Gabi Hanna is an Associate Director at the Duke Cancer Institute, surgical and imaging facility which leads translation medicine and drug development to clinical work, foster innovations design and conduct preclinical researches translational to clinic and patient care. Collaborate and work with Biotech and pharmaceutical industry to conduct preclinical and translation research at Duke, including: Clinical trial; GLP good laboratory practice; IND new drugs development; IDE and medical device development; novel imaging methods.

Dr. Hanna worked with GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical on antiangiogenic therapy project. He led the multidisciplinary team at Duke to develop new treatment protocol based the tumor oxygenation after evaluation the different antiangiogenic therapies on cancer prognosis; microenvironment; vascular; drug delivery; EMT; VGF; PDGF.

Dr. Hanna is also the President, Chairman of North Carolina Society of Physician Entrepreneurs. As serial entrepreneurs, Dr. Hanna took the role to be the president and chairman for the professional society dedicated to advancing healthcare innovation. By linking clinicians, entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, VC/ PE, universities, industries and policymakers with creative business strategy to create next generation of technology to get to the new area of medical practice.

Dr. Hanna newest technology start-up is AMERICAN REMOTE HEALTH and TeleCancer. It is the first and only Telemedicine service and app that focuses on cancer and chronic diseases to improves the outcome care. By utilizing telecommunication technology, it helps extend the medical advanced knowledge and research of academia centers and top universities like Duke, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, NIH, Harvard, etc. beyond the wall of universities.Patients have the option to upload their complete medical records (via HIPPA compliant apps or EMR web system) and communicate to the top 2% of doctors in US. American Remote Health doctors will provide a written treatment plan including genetic personalized treatment and clinical trials; collaborate on the treatment with the local doctors; or arrange the treatment and logistic for patients to come to the best hospital to receive the treatment/ surgery upon the next day of their arrival. American Remote Health is not just saving lives and improving outcome but eliminating unnecessary surgeries, and possibly "wrong" treatments.

Dr. Hanna graduated medical school from Aleppo, surgical internship acting at University of Texas Medical Branch and his Radiation Oncology postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University.

Olivier Jarry (CEO, Lifnano)

Mr. Olivier Jarry is CEO of Lifnano. Previously, he was the founder of 3xBL and a strategic partner of Endeva. In his 28 year tenure in the Healthcare, Nutrition and Consulting industries, he has generated profitable, organic and inorganic growth for a number of organizations.

At Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mr Jarry has coordinated the transformation of the Emerging Markets division, accelerating the adaptation to fast changing environments, and enhancing the Market Access function.

At Bayer, he has led the Bayer Diabetes Care business unit to increased market shares in most countries, launching 5 innovative products in 2009 and 2010, which have been acclaimed in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, among other media.

At Novartis, he has re-launched the strategic plan process for Novartis Consumer Health, managed M&A and BD&L across several business units, developed Infant Nutrition in Latin America and in Asia, launched a for-profit access to medicines business in India. He has also grown the European business of Novartis Vaccines and helped governments address the 2009 “swine flu” pandemic.

At Danone, Mr. Jarry has led Strategy and M&A for the beverages division after having managed Finance and Operations in North America, jointly for several business units.

At Accenture, he has designed and conducted major enterprise transformation programs with more than 60 companies in durable and consumer goods, leading a dozen pre-acquisition and post-merger integration projects.

Mr. Jarry has assembled talented, successful and very diverse teams in a variety of settings and countries: commercial operations for consumer goods in Latin America, partnerships in Japan, due diligence in China, government sales in the ex-Communist bloc, etc. He has led value-added negotiations of acquisitions (up to USD 1 billion), divestitures and alliances, as well as more than 16 post-merger integration projects in Canada, the USA, Brazil, Argentina, France, Poland, Hungary, etc.

He has served on an AFNOR/ISO standardization committee on Project Management and on the Board of AdvaMed Dx, the industry association for Advanced Medical Devices / Diagnostics.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from École Centrale de Paris, a diploma of the French Department of Defense and a TRIUM EMBA delivered jointly by New York University Stern School of Business (NYU), London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Hautes Études Commerciales Paris (HEC).

Dr. Allen Kachalia (Chief Quality Officer, Vice President for Quality and Safety, Brigham Health; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School)

DR, Allen Kachalia, MD, JD, is the Chief Quality Officer for Brigham Health in Boston, Massachusetts. In this role, he oversees the institution’s inpatient and ambulatory quality and safety initiatives. Dr. Kachalia is a general internist and practices as an academic hospitalist on the hospital wards with medical students and residents. Dr. Kachalia is also Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health where he teaches a course on legal issues in clinical medicine. His research focuses on how the law affects medical care, particularly how liability system reform and the disclosure of medical error relate to the quality and safety of healthcare.

Florian Kemmerich (Managing Partner, Bamboo Capital Partners; Founder, Ryan-Kay)

Mr. Florian Kemmerich is Managing Partner of Bamboo Capital Partners, Founder of Ryan-Kay and Board Member of numerous organizations. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Master of Science in Marketing and different diploma on business and personal development.

Mr. Kemmerch leverages his extensive background on start-ups, fundraising and transactions in healthcare and life science to invest in, build and (re-)position organisations in the competitive global marketplace.

In particular his passion is around impact investment and effective personal development methodologies to create high-performance teams, whereby many members have become successful executives and entrepreneurs themselves. In addition, Florian founded a medical education foundation in Mexico while supporting many NGOs, patient advocacy groups and extramural surgery programs in Central-America’s most remote locations. As an active Member of the Young Presidents’ Organization he is on the Executive Committee of the Social Entrepreneur Network.

Mr. Rizwan Khan (Author, Former Senior Anchor, CNN International)

Mr. Rizwan ("Riz") Khan became a senior anchor at CNN International for the network's global news shows. Events he covered included the 1996 and 1999 coverage of elections in Hajj. He later launched his interactive interview show CNN: Q&A with Riz Khan, conducting interviews with guests including former UN Secretary General Dalai Lama; Nelson Mandela; and, the genomic scientist J. Craig Venter.

Mr. Khan also secured the world exclusive with Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf following his coup in October 1999. He then hosted Q&A-Asia with Riz Khan. These interactive shows put world newsmakers and celebrities up for viewer questions live by phone, e-mail, video-mail and fax, along with questions and comments taken from the real-time chatroom that opens half-an-hour before each show.

Mr. Khan next moved to Al Jazeera English where he had his own eponymous in which he interviewed analysts and policy-makers, and invited viewers to interact with them via phone, email, SMS messages or fax.

Mr. Kahn has also authored the book, Al-Waleed: Businessman Billionaire Prince, published by Harper Collins.

Honorable Suresh Kumar (Independent Board Director, Former US Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Member of Sanofi’s Executive Committee)

Mr. Suresh Kumar served as an Executive Vice President of External Affairs at Sanofi since June 1, 2015 until June 6, 2016. Mr. Kumar was responsible for defining Sanofi`s vision for meeting global health challenges. He was a Partner of Oliver Wyman Actuarial Consulting, Inc. since March 4, 2013. Mr. Kumar was responsible to contribute Oliver Wyman's Public Sector consulting practice and draw upon his experience as a leader of Johnson & Johnson's Worldwide Consumer Pharmaceuticals business to support Oliver Wyman's Health and Life Sciences business.

A U.S. citizen, born and educated in India, Mr. Kumar has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry beginning in 1978 in India with Johnson and Johnson. He has been the Founding Member/Managing Partner, President and Chief Executive Officer of KaiZen Innovation LLC since January 2004. Mr. Kumar is a proven Leader in international business with decades of international consumer product experience. Mr. Kumar again joined Johnson & Johnson in 1999. From March 1999 to 2003, Mr. Kumar served as International Vice President of Worldwide Consumer Pharmaceuticals/Head of Worldwide Consumer Pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson Ltd. where he was responsible for all aspects of a $580 million (revenue) consumer medicines business in Asia, Latin America and Europe.

From 1989 to 1999, Mr. Kumar served as the Marketing Director, Consumer Healthcare, then Vice President, Consumer Products, Latin America & Asia for Warner Lambert, USA. He has also been in leading positions internationally for Levi-Strauss & Co., Unilever and the Colgate-Palmolive Company. He served as a Director of Aerogrow International, Inc. from July 2, 2008 to July 8, 2009. He served as a Director of Sirit Inc. from April 20, 2006 to April 2007. He also serves as Advisor and Consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

From 2006 to 2007, he served as Special Advisor and Consultant to the Clinton Foundation working closely with the principals and governments to establish private-public partnerships that stimulate international economic development. He served as an Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the US and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) in the Obama Administration. At the Department of Commerce, he led the US National Export Initiative since its inception in 2010. He serves as Distinguished Professor of International Business at George Washington University. He is an alumnus of the Thunderbird International Consortium Program. He holds an Economics degree from Delhi University, a Masters in Management from Bombay University.

Dr. Adam Landman (Vice President and Chief Information, Officer, Brigham Health, Attending Emergency Physician at BWH; Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School)

Dr. Adam Landman, MD, MS, MIS, MHS is Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Brigham Health (BH), Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and an attending emergency physician at BWH. He is an expert in information systems development and implementation. He led a three-year, $7 million custom software development project to move BWH Emergency Department clinicians from paper-based to electronic documentation. Over the past three years, he helped oversee the implementation of Epic and several critical laboratory information systems.

Dr. Landman has also designed and developed mobile apps to securely capture and store clinical images and to improve electronic medication administration and reconciliation. He also created the BWH Digital Health Innovation Group to spur hospital use of digital technology as well as facilitate appropriate use of digital tools by clinicians, innovators, and researchers. As CIO, he is currently responsible for the stabilization and optimization of the EHR, all other hospital information systems, and digital health innovation.

Dr. Karl Laskowski (Associate Medical Director, Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization; Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School)

Dr. Karl Laskowski, MD, MBA is Associate Medical Director at the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization (BWPO) and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In his leadership role at the Physicians Organization, Dr. Laskowski focuses on engaging clinicians in innovation, care redesign, and value improvement. Among other efforts, he created and continues to lead a grassroots incubator to support and evaluate local care redesign efforts (BCRISP), co-directs the BWPO process improvement training course, and leads efforts engaging in novel bundled contracting arrangements.

Dr. Laskowski is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine and Harvard Business School, and trained in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he continues to have an active clinical practice.

Stephen P. Nash (Partner, Co-Leader, International Healthcare Practice Group, Squire Patton Boggs)

Mr. Stephen Nash is the co-leader of the Squire Patton Boggs Healthcare Practice Group. He has represented health care organizations for more than 30 years. His clients include academic medical centers,hospitals and health systems, health information exchanges, medical groups and other physician organizations, health plans and other managed care organizations, long term care organizations, ancillary health service providers, health care investors, state agencies and sovereign powers.

Mr. Nash counsels these organizations regarding governance, corporate,reimbursement, tax, privacy and security, fraud and abuse, and other regulatory compliance issues. These issues typically arise within the context of mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate reorganizations, complex contractual arrangements and other affiliations and collaborative efforts, as well as in connection with tax-exempt revenue and refunding bond issues.

Recently, Mr. Nash has had the privilege of counseling various domestic and foreign government agencies on such diverse matters as supplemental payment protocols, the design of primary healthcare systems, privacy and security issues, and regulatory requirements for health insurance.

In addition to his transactional and regulatory work, Mr. Nash has over 20 years of experience representing hospitals in single provider and group appeals for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, and serves as a strategic advisor on Medicare, Medicaid and private payer matters such as coverage issues and payment methods.

Mr. Nash also has substantial experience representing health information exchanges, including CORHIO, Colorado's statewide health information exchange, which he has advised, since its inception, regarding planning,organization, governance, tax-exemption, financing, contracting, and privacy and security matters. Mr. Nash also represents CIVHC, the administrator of Colorado's state-wide all-payer claims database, or APCD.

Mr. Nash speaks and publishes regularly on topics related to health care law, health information exchanges, corporate governance, clinical integration, collaborative health care ventures and the legal trends influencing the U.S. and foreign health care systems. Mr. Nash earned his B.S, M.B.A. and J.D. from the University of Pittsburg.

Tracey Webb (Vice President, Structured Finance and Insurance, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC))

Ms. Tracey Webb was named Vice President for Structured Finance and Insurance (SFI) at Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in March 2016. Ms. Webb oversees the SFI department, which is focused on providing both financing and insurance solutions for long-term investments that strengthen OPIC contributions to international development, in sectors such as power, infrastructure, and inclusive financial services.

Ms. Webb brings nearly three decades of private and public sector finance experience to the position, including over 20 years of experience at OPIC, most recently as a Managing Director of Structured Finance. Prior to OPIC, she worked to support domestic and global transactions at Peat, Marwick & Mitchell, Union Bank of California, and Bank of Austria. During her tenure at OPIC, Ms. Webb has been responsible for over $4 billion in new financing within the agency’s portfolio.

Ms. Webb earned her M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. from Indiana University

Hala El-Mohandes (Vice President, Structured and Project Finance , U.S. Export/Import Bank)

Ms. Hala El-Mohandes is Vice-President of the Structured and Project Finance Division at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. She joined Ex-Im Bank in 1992 in the Operations Division. In 1993, she was promoted to a Loan Officer with responsibility for North and Sub-Saharan Africa

In 1995, she joined the Structured and Project Finance Division and was promoted to Senior Loan Officer, to Director in 2000, to Deputy Vice President in 2011 and Vice President in May 2017.

Ms. El-Mohandes has successfully closed 28 project finance transactions totaling over $16 billion in Ex-Im Bank exposure and covering $90 billion in total project costs. This includes several precedent setting transaction such as the Sadara Chemical Company project in Saudi Arabia; a joint venture between Dow Chemicals and Saudi Aramco, which represented the highest financing amount in the history of Ex-Im Bank totaling $5 billion; the $2.8 billion Australia-Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project, sponsored by Conoco Phillips; the $3 billion Papua New Guinea LNG Project sponsored by ExxonMobil; the Emirates Aluminum Project, sponsored by Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund; the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan oil Pipeline Project transitioning the three jurisdictions of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, Oman LNG; the three Enka BO power projects in Turkey; the EBIC Ammonia Project in Egypt and several telecommunications projects.

She is currently working on a Petrochemical Project in Egypt and an LNG Project in Mozambique in addition to her responsibilities as VP of the Division.

Before joining Ex-Im Bank, Ms. El-Mohandes was Vice President of Credit Policy Administration at the National Bank of Washington, Washington, D.C., from 1988 to 1990, and was in charge of International Operations from 1982 to 1988.

Before moving to the United States in 1982, Ms. El-Mohandes worked as an Economist with the Chase-National Bank of Egypt. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Cairo University and a Master of Arts in Economics from the American University of Cairo.

Having lived in Egypt, France, and the United States, she is proficient in Arabic, English, and French.

John Payne (Chairman & CEO, PURELIFE Health Sciences Group, LLC)

Mr. John Payne is Chairman & CEO of PURELIFE Health Sciences Group and heads a team of scientific researchers focusing on genetics and its relation to diabetes. The Arizona and Florida based research group has spent 23 years researching and identifying causes and solutions to metabolic syndrome health issues based on genetics, DNA based nutritional adaptation, and the interactions between genes that are critical to live long & healthy lives. Significant research has been done in Africa and Australia to identify genetically compatible ingestible sources to support broad spectrum human health, taking into consideration xenohormesis, and how it can affect mitochondrial and telomere health, geography, ethnicity and culture. PURELIFE Health Sciences has bio-engineered scientific formulas and clinical protocols that meet the WHO criteria for being genetically compatible, while reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system resulting in prevention of, and long-term reversal of diabetes. They bridge mankind’s ancient, genetically determined DNA with the biological human needs of today. What we eat and drink must match our inherited DNA to be effective in supporting our overall health and wellness. PURELIFE Health Sciences provides the innovative matched resources for health and healthy weight management.


Researcher • Author • Formulator Product / Ingredient Platform Development More than 35 years of experience in developing ingredient platforms for medical and nutraceutical products domestically and internationally. Devoted to developing natural health products that are genetic based and genetically compatible. Concentrating on ingredient profiles that are based on traditional food resources that address the large and growing need for genetic based nutrition.


  • Research/Development/Technology
  • Nutraceuticals for the prevention and long term reversal of type 2 Diabetes.
    • Platform for fruit & vegetable extracts for health and Diabetes.
      • Plant based high viscosity polysaccharides for menopause symptoms.
        • Nutraceuticals for immune system enhancement.
          • Pure Minerals for bone, teeth, osteoporosis and dental health.
            • Plant based weight loss formulas and body composition improvements that work thru the digestive system.
              • Anti-inflammatory formulas to dampen systemic inflammation.
                • Plant based insulin resistance formulas for Metabolic Support and Enhancement.
                  • Specific strains of enzymes and critical intestinal bacteria necessary for optimum health.

                  • RESEARCH

                    Identify & develop DNA technologies for genetic based health solutions. Developed genetically compatible nutritional platforms that effectively prevent and reverse;
                    • Diabetes
                    • Metabolic Syndrome X diseases c. Insulin Resistance Diseases
                    • Obesity
                    AREAS OF EXPERTISE

                    • Technology development – DNA / Genetic based.
                    • Nutritionally changing gene expression formulations.
                    • Health/Marketing need identification.
                    • Infectious disease rapid diagnosis thru DNA testing.

Ransel N. Potter (Founder, Managing Partner, C3 Summit, LLC)

Mr. Ransel Potter has been a guest speaker at financial events in the Arab region and the United States. His contacts throughout the Arab world and the United States are with the top global financial institutions; high net worth families; and, government representatives, including several Sovereign Wealth Funds. He is currently licensed with a Series 7, Series 66 and Series 3.

The founder and Managing Director of COPARA, he continues to build a rewarding career spanning three decades, and multiple industries, including many noteworthy achievements. His abilities to lead, strategize, develop business and maintain relationships have all contributed to his success.

Most recently, Mr. Potter founded C3 Summit LLC. The mission of C3 Summit, as noted on its website is to ensure that both US and Arab businesses grow and prosper by providing unique and valuable commerce opportunities. By creating a global forum for both the US and the Arab world to explore private sector growth and employment generation, C3 Summit will encourage each region to open new opportunities on the commercial front to enhance the welfare of freer trade.

Prior to founding C3 Summit, Mr. Potter has been marketing financial instruments in the Arab region under the umbrella of Copara. He personally negotiated with Value Line the international distribution rights regarding both terms and conditions. In less than 11 months, Mr. Potter established several funds. One funded and managed by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (the 50th strongest bank in the world). He also was successful in marketing a high yield fund for Thomson Reuters with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The other, The National Investor, a top boutique investment banking house located in Dubai. He was also responsible for engaging with the Abu Dhabi Investment Company (Invest AD) an assignment to incorporate a quantitative ranking system, with a $30 million GCC/MENA fund, managed by Invest AD.

Morgan Stanley recognized the value of Mr. Potter's experience and relationships and, in 2007, they invited him to join the firm. Until December of 2010, Mr. Potter served as a Senior Partner on their Private Wealth Management team responsible for identifying viable business opportunities among high net worth clients, families, hedge funds and foundations. His introductions had been a cornerstone of the team's success producing more than $250 million of net new assets in 36 months. In 1992, Mr. Potter founded Kinloch Marketing and occupied the role of CEO until 2007. Kinloch designed and brought to market sales lead generation and management systems for the Insurance, Banking and Energy industries. Kinloch's success was a direct result of his leadership and a network he established with senior executives of Fortune 1000 companies.

In 1990, his previous achievements were recognized by Flair Communications and he was asked to run their NY office. He merged R.N. Potter Associates with Flair's New York office and built that regional office in to the largest of their five domestic offices, leaving in 1992 to establish Kinloch Marketing. He formed R.N. Potter Associates in 1984, a marketing and sales organization, which he headed until 1989. During that time, Mr. Potter personally initiated, negotiated and developed one of the largest independent contracts for advertising billboards with the Penn Central Corporation.

In 1980, Mr. Potter, together with a partner, started On Line Media, an innovative supermarket ad company. Within three years, they took On Line Media public, raising capital and watching the stock soar. Upon selling his shares of On Line Media in 1984, he formed R.N. Potter Associates. Mr. Potter, a graduate of Syracuse University, has six children and, with his wife, lives in East Hampton, NY.

Mr. Ali Abdul Hussain Shaban (Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, W J Towell Group LLC.)

Ms. Maimuna Said Al-Sulaimani (General Counsel; Effective Board Member, PricewaterhouseCoopers-UK)

Ms. Maimuna Said Al-Sulaimani is a lawyer and a general counsel for 17 years in Oman. She is the First Omani female to be licensed as an Effective Board Member (EBM) by PriceWaterCooperhouse (PwC) in the UK.

She is talso he first Omani to be listed in the LEGAL500 Best Legal Counsels for 2015. Maimuna also won Best Corporate Women Leadership Awards in Oman in 2014.

Ms. Al-Sulaimani started academic lecturing in 2004 as the First Omani lecturer in business law at Sultan Qaboos University, and later as a part-time lecturer as well in law school at the same university, since 2012 until now. Teaching both legal modules in English and Arabic, with a focus on Commercial Contracts, Obligations, and Bankruptcy. Students were ranging from second year to senior undergraduates.

Her experience encompasses various corporate sectors, including: telecom; conventional and Islamic banking; and industrial sectors.

Kathleen Regan (Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, The Commonwealth Fund; Board of Trustees, Boston Children’s Hospital)

Ms. Kathleen Regan is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Commonwealth Fund. Ms. Regan has been advising and investing in health care companies for the past 25 years.

Ms. Regan became a venture partner at Radius Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on the life sciences and health care industry, in 2010. She served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Department of State Global Health Initiative and led the development of a $200 million public‒private partnership, Saving Mothers, Giving Life, to address maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa in 2012.

Prior to joining Radius, Ms. Regan was executive vice president of Keystone Dental, Inc., a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus LLC, where she headed up strategy and business development. From 2003 to 2008, she served as a senior consultant to Warburg Pincus LLC, where she was involved in investing with the health care team and served as a board member to several portfolio companies. Previously, Ms. Regan spent 15 years in health care investment banking and was a senior managing director and director of health care investment banking at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and, previously, a managing director and director of health care banking at Freedom Securities Tucker Anthony.

Ms. Regan has served on numerous private and public boards of health care companies and currently serves on the board of the International Women’s Health Coalition, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Power of Two. She received a B.A., cum laude, from Princeton University and an M.P.H. from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

H. Delano Roosevelt (Director, New Business Development, Reza Investment Company)

Mr. H. Delano Roosevelt was born in Los Angeles, California, and is the grandson of President Franklin Delano and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. He is also the direct descendant of President Theodore Roosevelt. He attended the International School in Geneva Switzerland; Brentwood Military Academy, California; Pacific Palisades High School; and Woodbury University, Los Angeles, California. Del’s father was James Roosevelt, FDR’s first-born son. Del lived on the East Coast when James served as a Congressman for 6 terms from California’s 26th District, then in Europe when his father was the United Nations Ambassador to Geneva.

Prior to Mr. Roosevelt’s election to the Long Beach City Council, Delano was Chairman and Member of the Long Beach Community Development Advisory Committee, which allocates the $10 million plus of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants for city economic improvement projects. He also chaired the Solid Waste Management Commission, where he helped to start the City’s curbside city wide recycling program. Elected as the City’s Fourth District Councilmember, Councilman Roosevelt’s interest in environmental issues prompted him to recommend that the City Council establish a Sustainable Development Board – a recommendation that has been implemented by the Environmental Task Force. As a member of the City Council, Delano authored the City’s redistricting plan in 1996. He was appointed as Chair of the Federal Legislation and Environmental Affairs Committee which made him responsible to develop the City’s legislative agenda and required him to spend a great deal of time advocating in Washington D.C. and Sacramento, California. He also served as Vice-Chair of the Public Safety Committee and on the Joint Powers Authority with the City of Signal Hill, and participated in the City’s Collaborative Conversations Program with the Long Beach Unified School District. Based on experience gained in his work at Southern California Edison, working in Energy Conservation and Load Management as a Major Account Executive for ten years, Del took a leading position for the City Council when the City considered becoming its own electrical municipality and severing ties with Southern California Edison as a result of an opportunity for the city to renegotiate its franchise fees contract.

Mr. Roosevelt worked for the Boeing Sea Launch Program as Director of Governmental Relations, which took him on extensive trips to the South Pacific. He now heads Roosevelt Consulting Inc., an international consulting company focusing on assisting organizations and private investors in structuring cross-border transactions, technology transfers, and direct investments globally with focus on the Middle East.

Mr. Roosevelt is currently the Director of New Business Development for the Reza Investment Group based in Saudi Arabia. The Reza Investment Company is wholly owned by the Alireza family, one of the oldest and respected trading families in Saudi Arabia. Reza Investment has successfully developed market-leading positions in trading, manufacturing and service industries throughout Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC).

He also is a joint founder of Friends of Saudi Arabia, a cultural awareness program with King Abdullah’s son, HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah. Mr. Roosevelt and his wife, a retired electric utility executive and Long Beach native, lived in the Los Altos area of the City of Long Beach from 1988 to 2011. They have two sons and currently reside in in the country of Bahrain, which allows Mr. Roosevelt easy commuting access to his position in Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Roosevelt’s other involvement currently includes:

  • Board Member, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations
  • Chairman, Middle East Council of American Chambers of Commerce
  • Executive Board Member, American Mission Hospital, Bahrain
  • First Vice President, Bahrain American Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Member, FDR Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation
  • Board Member, American Business Association, Easter Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

John L. Brooks III (Managing Director, Healthcare Capital LLC)

Mr. John L. Brooks III is Chairman and Managing Director of Healthcare Capital, LLC. Healthcare Capital provides consulting and advisory services to companies looking to advance disruptive solutions, especially in diabetes.

Mr. Brooks is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Joslin Diabetes Center, a Boston based diabetes research, clinical care, and education organization. Mr. Brooks is a well-known life sciences executive.

He has co-founded seven life sciences companies, including Insulet (PODD), a disruptive insulin delivery company. He was a co-founder of Prism Venture Partners, a $1.25B venture capital firm. Previously, Mr. Brooks was the Emerging Business Group General Manager at Pfizer/Valleylab, where he was responsible for Pfizer’s Hospital Products Group’s minimally invasive surgery and new medical technologies businesses. As President/General Manager at Pfizer/Strato, he led the growth of a rapidly evolving vascular access medical device business.

Dr. Brian Jacobs (Vice President, Chief Medical Information Officer, Chief Information Officer, Children's National Health System)


Dr. Brian Jacobs, MD, is Vice President, Chief Medical Information Officer and Chief Information Officer at Children’s National Health System. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Pediatric Informatics. In this capacity, he directs the Children’s IQ Network® a pediatric health information exchange in the DC metropolitan region. Dr. Jacobs leads the Bear Institute – A Pediatric Health Information Technology Institute focused on operational excellence and Innovation.

Dr. Jacobs is a Professor of Pediatrics at The George Washington University and an attending physician in the Pediatric Critical Care Department. Prior to joining Children’s National, Dr. Jacobs was a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati, as well as the Director of Technology and Patient Safety at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. While at Cincinnati Children’s, he oversaw the implementation of their electronic medical record and was the principal author and winner of the HIMSS Davies Award.

Dr. Jacobs has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters, abstracts, and scientific presentations. He frequently shares his knowledge in the pediatric space as a guest lecturer at conferences, leadership forums, and hospitals. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Critical Care Medicine and HIMSS. He also is a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, the Association of Medical Directors of Information Services and has served as a member of the HIMSS Board of Directors.

Dr. Evan P. Nadler (Co-Director, Children's National Obesity Institute; Director, Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery Program, Children's National Health System)

Dr. Evan P. Nadler serves as Co-Director of the Children’s National Obesity Institute, and is the Director of the Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery Program at Children’s National Health System. He is also a tenured Associate Professor of Surgery, and Pediatrics, at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

Before moving to Washington D.C., he was the Director of Minimally Invasive Pediatric Surgery at the New York University School of Medicine where he participated in U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved studies using laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding in adolescents with obesity. He currently is part of a National Institutes of Health funded study that investigates the effect of surgical weight loss on executive functioning and cognition. His other current research pursuits include obesity device development, bariatric surgery for monogenic forms of obesity, and adipocyte signaling via exosomes.

Dr. Nadler graduated from Stanford University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. He earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995 and completed his surgical residency at Cornell University Medical Center in 2002. During his surgical residency, Dr. Nadler spent two years studying mucosal immunology of the intestine as a research fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He returned to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh after completing his surgical residency to serve as the clinical fellow in pediatric surgery, finishing in 2004. He was then recruited to join the faculty at the New York University School of Medicine. In 2009, he joined Children’s National.

Dr. Nadler is a national leader in the field of adolescent obesity and has multiple publications on the topic and was one of the founding members of the Childhood Obesity Committee of the American Pediatric Surgery Association.

Jasmine Nahhas di Florio (Senior Vice President, Strategy & Partnerships, Education For Employment)

Ms. Jasmine Nahhas di Florio is a social impact leader dedicated to economic opportunity for youth in the Middle East and North Africa. She has more than15 years of experience spanning the non-profit/philanthropy, government and private sectors. Joining EFE in 2006, she worked closely with the Founder and Chairman on EFE’s start-up. She developed and ran programs for private donors in Afghanistan for Afghan Women Leaders Connect at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and Arzu, a social enterprise.

Previously a corporate attorney at the international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, Ms. Nahhas di Florio also was an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Treasury. She consulted the United Nations (UNFIP) on private-public sector partnerships. A Rhodes Scholar, Frank Knox Scholar and Fulbright Scholar, she is a graduate of the University of Alberta, Oxford University and Harvard Law School. She also completed the Columbia Business School's Social Enterprise Program Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals. She has been interviewed by The Financial Times, Finance Middle East, Khaleej Time, and Huff Post Live, among others.

Dr. Yousef Al Weshahi (Department Chair, Examination, Certification, Continuing Professional Development, Oman Medical Specialty Board)

Dr. Al Weshahi is currently chairing departments of Examination, Certification, and Continuing Professional Development at Oman Medical Specialty Board. He is also an emergency physician and a medical educationalist who did his training in Oman, UK, and Canada. He holds a PhD in Medical Education from University of Alberta, Canada. He chaired medical education at College of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University. He is the chairperson and member of numerous committees and task-forces in medical education and medical regulation. He is looking at the establishment of areas of medical regulation in Oman. He is recognized as an educational innovator,and social entrepreneur.

Muneer A. Baig (Founder & CEO, SYSUSA, Inc.)

Mr. Muneer Baig, Founder & CEO of SYSUSA Inc., has over two decades of experience in IT Operations, Governance, Risk Management and Compliance. As a security champion, with in-depth knowledge of technology and business, he serves as a trusted and strategic advisor to information security leadership across diverse group of industries. His strong background in network engineering combined with IT operations and security processes has enabled organizations ensure security, enable innovation and increase collaboration. Mr. Baig has held several positions of responsibility. As an advisor he has enabled transformation of organizations into high performing and secure enterprise.

Prior to venturing into SYSUSA, Mr. Baig enjoyed his tenure at Microsoft where he was part of a three people team responsible for the development and execution of an enterprise wide information security risk assessment program. In a very short time, he became the program owner and was responsible for expanding the program globally. He was also responsible for the development and implementation of an assessor training program to train and certify Microsoft’s information security professionals globally to perform security assessments.

Mr. Baig graduated from Kashmir, India in 1991 and became a very successful business man at a very young age. He travelled to the United States in 1992 to further his dream of entrepreneurship and expand his business. Mr. Baig faced many challenges which resulted in him pursuing a career in IT and contributed to building his knowledge and expertise.

As part of SYSUSA’s leadership team, Mr. Baig is focused on helping organizations create and implement comprehensive Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) where People, Processes and Technologies are aligned to ensure Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of information assets. SYSUSA’s goal is to ensure that organizations have adequate and effective security controls in place to prevent and deter cyber-attacks.

Mr. Baigis also a graduate of the University of Virginia Sorensen Institute’s Political Leadership Program (PLP) and the University of Virginia Sorensen Institute’s Candidates Training Program (CTP). Mr. Baig's passion for serving his community and his country has led him to serve on several committees and boards, which include:

  • Appointment to the Executive Board of Hylton Performing Arts Center
  • Appointment to the Board of the Prince William County Department of Social Services
  • Appointment to the Board of the Prince William County Zoning and Ordinance Review Committee
  • Appointment to the Board of the Prince William County Strategic Transportation Planning Task Force
  • Appointment to the Prince William County Human Rights Commission as a Commissioner
  • Prince William County Chamber of Commerce Technology Council.
  • National Small Business Association Leadership Council
Mr. Baig’s current industry certifications include CRISC, C|CICO, G2700, CPEng, CISM, COM, CISSP, ITIL, ISO 27001 Lead Auditor, ISO 27001 Trainer.