april 14, 2018

emerging markets summit

as global markets shift, so should the way you do business

"THE economic growth frontiers in mena"

While revenue from the sale of natural resources has historically driven the economic engines in MENA, sustained low oil prices over the past few years have put a strain on countries' budgets and enhanced the potential for economic, social and political risk. Regional leaders have announced aggressive plans to diversify their economies across numerous industries, create jobs for the growing young population, and decouple their fates from fluctuating oil prices. Join us as we evaluate progress to date and consider the future through the lenses of a long-time adviser, successful entrepreneur and seasoned executive operating in MENA.


CEO, Al Dhow Holdings

  • Bader is the CEO of Al Dhow Holding, an investment arm of Al Sayer Group, Kuwait; managing the investment portfolio of assets over USD 300 M, mainly focused into healthcare, education, financial services and technology. Al Sayer Group is one of the largest family owned business conglomerate in the GCC region, being a market leader in passenger car, commercial vehicle and heavy equipment segments in Kuwait; with also having business interest in real estate, and food and beverage sectors. Bader started his career as in-charge of tender & fleet operations at Al Sayer and gradually navigated to Deputy Business Director of Lexus division, handling complete Lexus operations in Kuwait. He then led the non-auto business segments which also included carving niche for the Group by exploiting new business opportunities. With over 2 decades of experience, he has been instrumental in bringing a paradigm shift in the profile of Al Sayer Group by making marquee investments. He is the Secretary to the Al Sayer Board and represents the Group in the Union of Automobile agents. He also represents Al Sayer family as Chairman of Jiblah holding, Vice-chairman Al Razzi holding, and Board member of National Takaful insurance company and Toyota Egypt. He was born and brought up in Kuwait; pursued his under-graduation from Kuwait University and his MBA from University of Chicago Booth school of Business. He is extremely passionate about investments, Football and Cars.


Co-Founder, Rumi Spice

  • After serving in the US army in Afghanistan from 2011-2014, Keith started Rumi Spice with fellow veterans, a business that seeks to bring peace and promote Afghan agricultural products. Rumi Spice sources saffron from Afghan farms and employs more than 1900 women in Herat, Afghanistan to hand-harvest the delicate crimson stigmas of the flowers. Committed to empowering Afghan women and bolstering the country’s economy, Rumi Spice reinvests back into agricultural and manufacturing infrastructure.


Senior Research Associate, Social Sciences Division

  • Dr Alessandra Gonzalez is an economic sociologist with specializations in gender, organizations, and development. Her research centers on the role of culture on gender inequality, particularly measured by economic outcomes (such as labor force participation, occupational segregation, executive leadership) in organizations. She is specialized in gender inequality in the Middle East, with case studies of women in executive positions in international firms, parliament, and the judiciary.
  • She received her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Sociology from Baylor University and received a B.A. in Sociology and Policy Studies from Rice University.


Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

  • At Chicago Booth, Marvin Zonis taught courses on the international political economy, political risk, and business leadership. He was the first professor at the Business School to teach a course on the effects of digital technologies on global business. He is the recipient of both the Quantrell Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching and the Norman Maclean Award for outstanding contributions to teaching and to the student experience at the University of Chicago.
  • He consults to corporations and professional asset management firms throughout the world, helping them to identify, assess, and manage their political risks in the changing global environment. He is a member of the board of advisers for the comptroller general of the United States at the GAO, the board of directors of CNA Financial, a fellow of PWC Advisory Services, and also a member of the board of directors of the Fondation Etats Unis.
  • Zonis has written extensively on globalization, digital technologies, emerging markets, Middle Eastern politics, the oil industry, Russia, and US foreign policy. His writings have been published in numerous newspapers and journals, including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Japanese Nikkei, among others. He is a leading authority on the Middle East and has spent the last 50 years studying the region and Islam. He is the former director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago and former president of the American Institute of Iranian Studies. He has lived in Iran, hitchhiked in Afghanistan and Pakistan, studied Islam in Iraq beginning, and has traveled extensively throughout other parts of the region.
  • He was educated at Yale University, the Harvard Business School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago.