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HH Sheikh Sultan Bin

Tahnoon Al Nahyan

HH Sheikh Sultan is member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi Emirate and is Undersecretary at the Court of the Ruler’s Representative for Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Province. He is the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company and Managing Director of the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development. He has been awarded the American Federation of Arts’ “Cultural Leadership Award” for his role in spearheading the development of Saadiyat’s Cultural District, including the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum and the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum. He is qualified as an architectural engineer from the UAE University and holds an MA in Economic Studies, with a major in International Relations from Tufts University, USA

Ibrahim Assem

Board Member

Representing Ashmore
Mr. Assem is the Head of Private Equity, MENA, for the Ashmore Group. He joined Ashmore in 2008 from Weather Investments/Orascom Telecom in Paris where he was a Senior Manager in Corporate Finance. Prior to this, he had M&A roles at Deutsche Bank in London, Orascom Telecom in Cairo and with Merrill Lynch in London. Mr. Assem holds an MBA degree from New York University and, a BSc in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo.

Mohammad Al Fares

Board Member

Representing GIC
Mr. Mohammad Al Fares is Head of Diversified Projects Division at Gulf Investment Corporation. He is a seasoned investment professional with 20+ years’ experience in investment banking and private investment. He has served as Chairman and Board Members of the companies in the multiple sectors that includes healthcare, education, building materials, manufacturing, construction and F&B. He holds BSC in Mechanical Engineering from Gannon University, MBA from Tennessee State University and Executive Leadership Diploma from London Business School.

Badar Al Shanfari

Board Member

Representing Jabreen Capital
Mr. Badar Al Shanfari, currently serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at OMINVEST. He has over 17 years of experience in the field of Investments and Financial Services. Throughout his career Badar has held various leadership positions including the CEO of Uzbek-Oman Investment Company, which is the leading private equity firm based in Tashkent. He then took on a role as EVP of International Strategic Business at OMINVEST and Deputy CEO of EastBridge Partners based out of Singapore to lead OMINVEST’s Southeast Asian initiatives. Badar has served and is currently on multiple Boards of various companies, in different sectors and geographies. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Duquesne University and his MBA from Strathclyde University. In addition, Badar is a Certified Public Accountant from the United States of America – state of Delaware.

Kartik Patel

Board Member

Representing Ashmore
Mr. Kartik Patel is Head of Alternatives at Ashmore Investments in Saudi Arabia. He joined Ashmore in April 2016 having eight years of experience in the MENA market. The Alternatives theme encompasses asset classes related to private equity, infrastructure, real estate and special situations. Prior to joining Ashmore, he worked with HSBC for 10 years in the Investment Banking Advisory team, working predominantly on corporate finance transactions with an aggregate value exceeding USD 10 billion.

Anis Saif

Board Member

Representing GIC
Mr. Anis Saif is a Senior Director in the Principal Investment Group at Gulf Investment Corporation with a focus on private equity investments in the Education, Healthcare, Food and Agriculture sectors.   He has 25+ years of experience in North America and the Middle East region in Corporate
and Business Development, Investment Banking and Private Equity investments.  He has engineering degrees from IIT Bombay and Purdue University and an MBA from the Wharton School (University of

Saeed Mubarak Al Hajeri

Saeed is Chairman of AlephYa Operating Company. He is Assistant Minister at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serves as the Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, Executive Director & Member of Strategy Committee at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and is a Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of MSCI Barra. In 2007, he was elected by the World Economic Forum as one of the top 250 Young Global Leaders for his contribution to the public and financial sectors in the UAE. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Lewis & Clark College in the United States, is a qualified Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and attended the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.

Shailesh Doshi

Shailesh is an Executive Director and Board Member of AlephYa Operating Company and is responsible for the overall management and operations of the company. He co-founded AlephYa in 2016 and has worked on building the platform since its inception till today. Shailesh is passionate about education and ensuring that all children have access to quality education. He is also Managing Partner, founding shareholder and a Board member of Aramis Partners Ltd, a DFSA regulated firm. Previously, he was a Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking for Deutsche Bank in the Middle East region. He was a member of the Deutsche Bank MENA Executive Committee, the UAE Executive Committee and a member of the CEEMEA Management team. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Shailesh worked at Citigroup’s Telecom, Media and Technology Investment Banking team in London and prior to this with Ernst & Young. He holds an MBA degree from INSEAD Business School in France, a B.S. in Finance from Indiana University and is a qualified Certified Public Accountant from the USA.

Nadeem Masud

Nadeem is an Executive Director and Board Member of AlephYa Operating Company. He was one of the founders of AlephYa and has focused on social impact investing since 2015, specifically in the education sector. He is also a founding shareholder and a Board member of Aramis Partners Ltd, a DFSA regulated firm. Previously, he was the Chief Country Officer for Deutsche Bank in UAE and Head of Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) coverage for Middle East region. He was a member of Deutsche Bank MENA Executive Committee, the UAE Executive Committee and CEEMEA Management team. He also headed the Global Fund Derivatives structuring team based in Deutsche Bank, London. He holds an MBA degree from Wharton Graduate Business School (University of Pennsylvania) and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from University of Houston in USA.

Chandra Tiwari

Chandra is an Executive Director of AlephYa Operating Company and a co-founder of AlephYa. He oversees the acquisition, strategy and operations of the schools and is currently focused on building and delivering the long-term strategy for the platform. He is also part of the Board of Governors of the various schools. Chandra has focused on education sector investments since 2010. Prior to co-founding AlephYa, Chandra was Senior Vice President at Lagoon Capital, a secondary focused private equity firm backed by Qatar Insurance Company and HarbourVest. While at Lagoon Capital, he was responsible for originating and execution of secondary private equity transaction in the Middle East and South Asia. Prior to joining Lagoon Capital, he worked at QInvest, Qatar’s leading investment group and JP Morgan. He has held board, investment and management committee membership at various companies including ABEC, Intercat, Al Nakheel & AG, Ambit Corporate Finance and Lagoon Capital. He holds an MBA degree from IIM Bangalore and a B. Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in India.

Judith Vojta

Judith is an advisor to the Board of AlephYa. Judith was Principal of School of Modern Skills until her retirement in 2022.

Amal Shahine

Founding Principal

Horizon Private School – American Curriculum Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, UAE

What does it take to build a school from the ground up? Mrs. Amal Shahine, Founding Principal of Horizon Private School – Branch (HPS – Br.) since 2008 knows exactly what it takes. From just 100 students in its first year to 1900 students by the eleventh year, Mrs. Amal’s dedication and vision to offering the highest standards of education delivered through a team of highly trained and experienced educators is what makes HPS-Br., one of the most sought after community schools in Abu Dhabi. She believes that every child is a gift from God, every student can add immeasurable value to the world; and it is the duty of every educator to unlock that potential in their students, so they can fulfill their destiny. After 30 years of her career in education which began as a Biology teacher in an international school, Mrs. Amal is still known and respected as someone who ‘leads by example’, a role model to her students and staff and is highly regarded within the community

Aida Nemer


Horizon Private School –Ministry of Education Curriculum –Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Aida joined Horizon Private School – Ministry of Education Curriculum in 2013. Aida’s vision is to equip future generations with tools that help them excel through innovation, creativity and high- quality education. She is the happiest when her students excel and achieve success in their university and career. Aida has a Masters in Educational Administration and has worked in the education sector since 1996.

Antoniette Brown


Ajyal International School – American Curriculum Al Falah, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Antoinette Brown is a passionate KHDA and current ADEK licensed Principal and School Manager of Ajyal International School Al Falah. She has been working in the education sector in the Middle East since 2008 and is passionate about leadership, new strategies in teaching and learning, and empowering of teachers to contribute to students’ progress. She believes in a child-centered education philosophy and lifelong learning. She is dedicated to contributing to the education sector and bilingual literacy in The United Arab Emirates and has published a children’s book series of sixteen books through Penguin publishers titled “The Adventures of Matt and Mia.” Her early educational journey started as a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree in Education with a further specialization in Special Education Needs and Clinical Remedial teaching. She also obtained a master’s degree in Education Leadership and Management through the University of Middlesex. During her employment as Chief Education Consultant, she supported school principals with inspections, and policies, compiled schools’ improvement and development programs, and supported schools with their NEASC accreditations. In addition, she developed British, American, and IB curricula, interviewed and recruited new staff, trained teachers, and was employed as a school improvement specialist and principal in various emirates throughout the UAE. She has been involved in education research during her time in the UAE and her studies. Antoinette Brown was instrumental in developing collaborative relations with many business and education experts in related fields to support school development and high school students with future careers and scholarships. She has had the opportunity to be a keynote speaker at the UAE GCES 6th Annual Symposium and a presenter at the British University in Dubai (BUID Symposium) on the current education trends in the United Arab Emirates. She is in the process of obtaining a Doctorate in Education through the University of Stirling in Scotland, which she hopes to receive in April 2023.

Manal Azouqa


Ajyal International School – British Curriculum– Mohamed bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Mrs. Manal Azouqa joined Ajyal International School in 2017 as a Head of Secondary & school Vice Principal after 27 years of being a regional Head of Business studies and Economics in a well reputable school in Abu Dhabi. Mrs. Azouqa holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Economics from Bir Zeit University and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Essex (UK). She most recently served as Ajyal International School Principal. Prior to this time Mrs. Manal Azouqa served for five years as Head of Secondary and School Vice Principal at Ajyal International School. Mrs. Azouqa is an experienced, dynamic, inspirational leader who is committed to raising standards and ensuring that students acquire and consolidate, knowledge, skills and understanding. Skilled in driving academic improvements, with a proven record of leading Key Stages in Secondary Schools and delivering whole school ENC curriculum. Mrs. Azouqa has organized many professional development opportunities for staff and has served on several curriculum development and strategic planning committees. She enjoys working collaboratively with colleagues to maximize learning opportunities for the pupils and parents that she serves. She is absolutely delighted and excited this year about returning as the principal of such a positive, student centered, and academically orientated school. As Principal of Ajyal International School Mrs. Azouqa is committed to discovering and nurturing the abilities of every child. Setting the highest expectations in terms of learning and behavior, we are justifiably proud of the academic achievements of our students. Her primary responsibilities are hiring, coaching, evaluating, and retaining a highly qualified staff; developing and implementing the assessment program; compiling and presenting student achievement data; maintaining effective school discipline; and overseeing the school budget.

Stephanie Chattman


School of Modern Skills – American Curriculum, Muhaisnah, Dubai, UAE

For over 25 years Dr. Stephanie L. Chattman has dedicated her entire professional career to serving kids, families, and communities. She has made it her personal mission to be a professional educator and to promote personal empowerment, social development, and perpetual progress through the power of education. She believes that education is a continuous journey, that every experience, endeavor, and obstacle that one encounters is an opportunity to enrich one’s understanding of self and to gain additional knowledge. Education isn’t just her profession, it’s her passion, her mission, and her mechanism to help make the world a better place. Her career started in her native state of Alabama where she served as a social worker assisting families in ways that improved their lives through training, housing, and financial assistance. The driving force behind every decision was the question, “what is best for the children.” After securing a teaching position in the state of Georgia, she relocated there with her family. While she taught in an elementary school, in the Dekalb County School District, she continued to pursue her own professional development. She leveraged every opportunity to acquire additional certifications, professional development, and valuable experience all while obtaining her masters degree and doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Chattman was a part of the leadership team at the Universal American School of Dubai from August 2018 until July 2022. While there she rose from Elementary Principal to High School Principal and Deputy Director. Dr. Chattman joined the School of Modern Skills in 2022 with the mission to build on the foundation that has been laid. Her objective is to maximize the potential of each student with a holistic approach, working collaboratively with the staff, board, and parents to ensure students’ needs are met. Dr. Chattman understands that to achieve all of this requires everyone to work together to make excellence the standard by which everyone operates.

Dr. Asmaa Al-Qadi


Al Tarbiyah Al Islamiyah School – American and National Curriculum Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

As a student, Asma studied at TIS from KG-Grade 12 before going on to complete her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English from King Saud University. Today, she holds a Doctoral in Organizational & Educational Leadership (Ed.D) from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) from Lehigh University. Her journey and experience within the educational sector has been remarkable and inspiring; especially since she relates to the experience of her students at TIS and is committed to offering the highest standards and opportunities for her students to grow and thrive. For the past 5 years she has successfully handled multiple roles at TIS, as Quality & Development Director, Transformation Project Manager, Program Manager and most recently, as Consultant to the Director General for TIS. Prior to working with TIS, she was the High School International Principal for 5 years for Riyadh Schools for Boys and Girls, where she led a team of 50 staff and 400 students through transformational change, quality recruitment, improving student outcomes, coordinated Advanced programs and managed key development projects.

Bandar bin Abdulrahman Al-Sulaiman


Al-Majd National Schools – American Curriculum, Riyadh, KSA

Bandar Al-Sulaiman has a wealth of experience in the field of education and has made significant contributions to the Saudi educational system over the years. His extensive experience, leadership, and dedication to education have made him a prominent figure in the Saudi educational landscape, with a lasting impact on students and educators alike.
Beginning his career as a high school teacher, Mr. Bandar then assumed the position of high school supervisor for six years, ensuring the quality of education. His leadership skills were duly recognized, leading to an eight-year tenure as a Principal. He also served four years as an educational administration supervisor under the Riyadh Education Administration. Further, he served as an educational trainer, contributing to Riyadh’s educational development. He then progressed to his role as the General Manager of Dar Al-Shawamikh Educational Company and Majd Private Schools, a position he currently holds. Under his leadership, the institution has seen significant growth, now accommodating over 4,500 students across three educational complexes.
Throughout his career, Bandar Al-Sulaiman has been dedicated to continuous learning and professional development. He has completed numerous training courses both in Saudi Arabia and abroad. Additionally, he has received several certificates of appreciation from various relevant authorities for his contributions to education