Event Details

Following the great success of our inaugural Women in Leadership event in September last year, we are planning the second of what we hope will be a series of female-focused EICN conferences.

On 5 March, in the same week as International Women's Day, we will convene again at the Dubai Edition Hotel, under the chairmanship of Brandy Scott, presenter of DubaiEye's Business Breakfast radio show, to explore how female business leaders set strategic priorities for their organisations and equip their teams to achieve corporate goals.

This event, sponsored by Bain & Company, is for all EICN members, male and female, to attend, though only women with take to the stage (even I will recuse myself). It would be ideal if each organisation could be represented by one male and one female senior executive.

We are particularly honoured that Her Excellency Huda Al Hashimi, the UAE government's Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs - someone who is used to setting ambitious strategies, and developing the government's capabilities to deliver on its ambitions - will be joining us to share her wisdom on the subject.


12 noon: Arrival, registration, networking and lunch

12.30pm: Welcome, Brandy Scott (presenter DubaiEye Business Breakfast)

12.35pm: Panel discussion: Strategic Priorities

1.15pm: Keynote Fireside Conversation with HE Huda Al Hashimi

1.55pm: Thanks and closing remarks, Brandy Scott

2pm: End, coffee and networking

Please note that this event is limited to senior-level executives and per invitation only. If you are not an existing member of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, but would like to learn how you can attend our events, please contact us.


  • Her Excellency Huda AlHashimi (Deputy Minister at Ministry of Cabinet Affairs And Prime Minister's Office)

    Her Excellency Huda AlHashimi

    Deputy Minister at Ministry of Cabinet Affairs And Prime Minister's Office

    As part of the responsibilities of her current position, Her Excellency Huda AlHashimi leads the process of articulating the UAE Leadership’s Vision, setting an ambitious long-term strategy, and developing the government’s agenda grounded in the needs of today. This will help the UAE maintain its leading position and stay at the forefront globally. HE’s main role involves steering the development of the National Agenda and ensuring the government’s readiness and ability to deliver on, meet and align the UAE Vision and National Agenda.

    HE further coordinates country level strategies and provides consultations to the UAE government on issues related to government strategy and innovation, and the challenges and opportunities that can be addressed through these two important enablers. She represents the UAE locally and internationally in areas related to government strategy, innovation, and enhancing focus on strategic thinking in the national and local government entities.

    AlHashimi leads the setup and operation of Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRCGI), which was established to stimulate and enrich innovation within the government sector through developing an integrated innovation framework and supporting the activation of next generation government innovations. Also she leads the Ministry of Possibilities, And the Government Accelerators

    Before assuming her current position, HE Huda was the Assistant Director General for Strategy and Innovation at the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs.

    Previously, she was part of the founding team at the Executive Office, where she was involved in developing and launching key strategic projects such as Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) among others. She also assumed the position of Director of Government Sector Development Department at Dubai Executive Council, where she supervised the government sector development programs.

    HE has been chosen as a board member of the “Digital School” as well as a member of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Dubai Women Establishment, she is also member of the Supreme Committee of the Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Education Program. Huda Chairs the Global Innovation Council, and is a member of the 4IR Council. She is also an active member of the Agile Governance Future Council at the World Economic Forum.

    Huda AlHashimi holds a BSC in Business Administration from the Higher Colleges of Technology, where she graduated with honors and received Sheikh Rashid Award for Scientific Excellence. She is also an alumni of London Business School, and was enrolled in the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Leadership Development (MBRCLD) program.

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  • Dr Dima Jamali (VP of Academic Affairs at Canadian University Dubai)

    Dr Dima Jamali

    VP of Academic Affairs at Canadian University Dubai

    As recognized by Forbes NY, Dima Jamali is an influential thought leader who is leaving a mark on the higher education landscape in the UAE and globally. In January 2024, she assumed the role of VP of Academic Affairs at Canadian University Dubai. She also served as Dean of the School of Management at Canadian University in Dubai from September 2023 to December 2023. She had served as Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Sharjah, UAE, from August 2020 to August 2023. She has been highlighted by Insights Success Magazine as one of the most admired women in the educational sector in 2023.

    She has an amazing academic career, having been in academia for over 20 years, primarily at the American University of Beirut (AUB), where she served as Tenured Professor and Associate Dean for the Olayan School of Business (OSB) and Director for Strategic Partnerships for the University. She made her way fast track through the ranks to Full Professor in 2010 and Endowed Chair in Responsible Leadership in 2014. She has won a number of prestigious awards and honors and was ranked among the top 2% most influential global scholars by Stanford University in the field of sustainability for two years in a row (2020 and 2021) and ranked 30 among the top 100 scientists in the UAE in 2022 and 2nd in the Business and Management field.

    Starting in 2015, she has founded and served as President and National Representative for the UN Global Compact Network Lebanon (GCNL), a network of businesses committed to advancing Sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Lebanon. She has a PhD in Social Policy and Administration, from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, a Masters in Sociology from San Jose State University, CA and a BA in Public Administration from AUB, Lebanon. Her research and teaching revolve primarily around Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Social Entrepreneurship (SE). She is the author/editor of seven books (CSR in the Middle East – Palgrave, 2012; Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East – Palgrave, 2015; Development Oriented CSR – Greenleaf, 2015; Comparative Perspectives on Global Corporate Social Responsibility – IGI- 2016; Handbook of Responsible Management – Edward Elgar 2019; CSR in Developing and Emerging Economies: Institutions and Sustainable Development – Cambridge University Press 2019 and Corporate Governance in Arab Countries: Specifics and Outlooks, NTER Press 2019) and over 100 high level international publications, which are highly circulated and cited on an international scale, focusing on different aspects of sustainability in developing countries in general and the Middle East specifically.

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  • Sara Minelli (Partner at Bain & Company)

    Sara Minelli

    Partner at Bain & Company

    Sara Minelli joined Bain & Company in 2015 in its Italy office and is now a partner in Bain’s Public Sector practice in the Middle East, serving clients across the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Over the course of her career, she has accumulated a wide range of cross-sectorial expertise, with a specific focus on advising clients in Education, Human Capital and Innovation across a range of capabilities including strategy design & implementation, organization and digital innovation.

    Beyond her client efforts, Sara also leads Bain Middle East’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practice for the office.

    Sara graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Maths and Economics from the University of Bristol, UK and a master's degree in Economics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University, Italy.

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  • Behnaz Ansari Labaf (Senior Vice President / Strategy & Value Creation at Dubai Holding)

    Behnaz Ansari Labaf

    Senior Vice President / Strategy & Value Creation at Dubai Holding

    Behnaz joined Dubai Holding in 2017 and currently holds the position of Senior Vice President, Strategy and Value Creation. Dubai Holding has operations in 13 countries, across a diverse range of sectors including Real Estate, Hospitality, Media, Retail, Leisure and Entertainment. On a
    consolidated level, the company reports approximately USD 30 billion in assets, approximately 20 million ft2 in net leasable commercial space, about 9 million people in footfall across the leisure and entertainment portfolio, 10,000+ hotel keys, 16,000+ employees and over USD 8 billion in projects under development.

    In Dubai Holding Behnaz is responsible for establishing and leading Dubai Holding’s Strategy and Value Creation Office with the key mandate to manage the end-to-end strategic management process by developing and executing strategies to meet the Group’s ambitious growth targets. Key to the role is to ensure robust and future proof business strategies, ambitious growth and financial targets and executable roadmaps to effectively deliver on the strategic intent. During her tenure in Dubai Holding, she has defined the Dubai Holding 2030 Strategy with the objective of achieving enhanced profitability and exponential growth and led several successful transformational initiatives. Key strategic initiatives including: (i) Establishment of a Group-wide shared
    services organisation, (ii) Group-wide operating model restructuring with focus on core business capability, performance transparency and economies of scale, (iii) operational excellence program with focus on G&A cost optimization delivering 20% bottom line savings, and (iii) Strategic Engagement Program, with the aim of embracing disruption to future proof the business whilst unlocking commercial value through intra-collaboration across the Group.

    Behnaz’s prior experience includes 10 years of Management Consulting in Scandinavia, where she worked at Accenture within the Financial Services practice with focus on organisational effectiveness and change management. In Accenture, Behnaz was involved in and led the successful delivery of several transformation programs such as (i) the structural reform of the public sector of Denmark (ii) SAP implementation for a national bank; (iii) commercial product and pricing restructuring for a global insurance company, and (iv) operational excellence program for a global toy manufacturer. Prior to joining Accenture, Behnaz worked as a financial analyst at the Swedish National Pension Fund.

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  • Brandy Scott (Presenter at Dubai Eye Radio)

    Brandy Scott

    Presenter at Dubai Eye Radio

    New Zealander Brandy Scott has worked as a journalist for over two decades. Her career has seen her run the features desk of a national newspaper, help put together Radio New Zealand’s flagship breakfast show, appear as a regular television pundit and interview numerous politicians and newsmakers. Brandy has presented the Business Breakfast since 2006. In 2013, she left us for two years to return to higher education – and learnt how to write a book.

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  • Grace Najjar (CEO of Align Management Solutions)

    Grace Najjar

    CEO of Align Management Solutions

    Grace Najjar is the CEO of Align Management Solutions, established in 2010, with a focus on driving and aligning innovative solutions through AI, technology, data, knowledge, and Management frameworks towards value creation.

    With nearly 29 years of global experience in national and international advisory managerial roles, Grace has positioned herself as a distinguished leader in driving strategy execution, regional growth, government engagement, and strategic partnerships, as well as transformative solutions on a global scale. Her expertise spans modernization & value creation, digital transformation, people empowerment, and aligning strategies with ESG and UN SDG goals.

    In her role as the Regional Manager Director for the MENA region at the Project Management Institute (PMI) over the past four years, she led PMI's mission of growth, fostering influential partnerships, unlocking potential, and empowering people, communities, and organizations in the MENA region towards better and improve project value delivery.
    An active participant in global events, Grace serves as a moderator, conference chair, and speaker, contributing insights to influential gatherings such as Cityscape -KSA, Forbes Sustainable Innovation Summit, and the World Government Summit. Holding a Master's in Systems Engineering and Network & Telecommunications, Grace is certified in PMP, PgMP, DASM, Safe Agile, and is a 2013 PMI Leadership Institute Master Class graduate.

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