EmiratesGBC Congress 2017 – Speakers

The below confirmed speakers look forward to joining us at the 6th Annual EmiratesGBC Congress.

offical photo 2016Eng. Aisha Al Abdooli is currently the Director of Green Development & Air Quality at the Ministry in addition to her role as Chief Innovation Officer. Aisha is responsible for Supervising and driving the implementation of actions toward achieving National Air Quality Indicators & UAE Green Agenda 2015 – 2030 & environmental innovation across the country.

With over 15 years of experience in different fields including: Green Development, Sustainable Development & Green Economy. In addition to her expertise in developing policies, strategies and regulatory framework in Air Quality, Climate Change Adaptation, Waste & Chemicals Management.

Ali Al Jassim_3Ali Al Jassim, Acting CEO of Etihad Energy Services

Ali Al Jassim, holder of bachelors of science in Civil Engineering, Masters of business administration with honours and a PhD in Business Management, has 21 years of experience in leading roles delivering programs and projects. Ali held top positions in both public and private sector entities such as Head of follow-up and development office at the Dubai Municipality, Acting CEO & Director of Drivers Licensing at RTA and General Manager of Qeyadah Driving Solutions.

Charles BlaschkeCharles Blaschke, Managing Director, Taka Solutions

Charles is the founder and CEO of Dubai based smart energy efficiency provider, Taka Solutions.  He started the company in 2012 after working in the automotive, mining, industrial, and technology consulting industries with four years of building engineering experience since moving from Dubai in 2008.

Charles and the company specialize in fully-financed, paid-from-savings Energy Performance Contracting efficiency projects. The goal is to help reduce 20% of the world’s energy consumption using technology, finance and engineering, applying IoT, energy modeling, energy monitoring, asset management and BIM.

IMG_4079Faisal Ali Rashid, U.A.E national, a degree holder of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Dayton, Ohio university, U.S.A 1991. Also, a certified PMP (Project Management Professional). Has a wide and solid experience in energy management including supply, strategy and demand. Has strong background in process industrial plant including oil & gas, power & water generation process, material handling process, glass manufacturing process,  etc.

Faisal is the Energy Demand Side Director of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy looking after the whole energy demand management spectrum of emirate of Dubai.  Served previously in oil and gas industry for many years as project division manager / Project Manager, handled mega feed and EPC projects and worked as general manager in glass manufacturing company as well.

Holley Chant, Executive Director of Corporate Sustainability, KEO International Consultants

Holley Chant is the Executive Director of Corporate Sustainability at KEO International Consultants, a 2,500-person organization ranked in ENR’s Top 20 International Project Management Firms and BD World’s Top 100 Architecture firms. She has built the sustainability business from the ground up, driving projects that meet LEED, Estidama, and GSAS sustainability standards for both public and private sector clients across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Leading more than 50 active sustainability projects spanning industrial and commercial zones; world-class sporting facilities; retail and luxury properties; schools, hospitals, and housing developments; renewable energy facilities; green roads and tunnels; corporate and municipal buildings; and museums, zoos, and outdoor public amenities, Holley has experience across all project stages ranging from masterplanning to refurbishments to ensuring contractor compliance.

Hrvoje CindrićAssociate, Middle East Urbanism Leader, Arup

Hrvoje is an urban planner and designer, leading Arup’s urbanism work in the Middle East. In his career he has been involved in projects ranging from small place-making interventions, to large green- and brownfield masterplans  to city-wide strategies, in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa.

He is a passionate believer in creating places for people first and a keen proponent of compactness and people centred use of technology. He is committed to helping create better urban environments in the Middle East, through challenging accepted norms and nurturing innovation in his work. He combines his professional awareness in urban planning and design with his interest in anthropology, human geography, psychology and history in order to better understand and make the most of these interdependencies.

John Alker, Director of Policy and Places, UKGBC

John is Director of Policy & Places at UK-GBC, where he leads the organisation’s advocacy strategy, working with both government and the private sector through its campaigns and major projects.

This includes leading UK-GBC’s growing programme of work on cities, bringing city policy-makers together with industry to catalyse sustainable place-making. He authored WorldGBC’s high profile 2014 report on health and wellbeing in offices, and sits on the global steering committee of the Better Places for People campaign as well as leading UK-GBC’s own work on this fast-evolving topic.

Prior to joining UK-GBC shortly after its launch in 2007, John led political communications on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and sustainable homes campaign for the environmental charity WWF-UK. He has also previously worked as an MP’s researcher in the House of Commons and in commercial public affairs.

Maria Malo, Business Development Manager Middle East & Africa, Powder Coatings, AkzoNobel

Maria Malo is a Chemical Engineer, with MSc in Organic Chemistry and MBA in Marketing. In 2008 she joined AkzoNobel Powder Coatings and since then she is holding several regional roles in Sales and Marketing such as Architectural Marketing and Specification Manager EMEIA (East Europe, Middle East, India and Africa). For the last 3 years she is Regional Business Development Manager Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai. Prior to joining AkzoNobel she has been working for Shell for about 4 years, as Marketing Manager, Training Manager and Territory Manager. She has 12 years of experience in the field of powder coatings.

Karim Elgendy PortraitKarim Elgendy, Founder and Coordinator; Senior Sustainability Architect, Carboun Initiative; Dar
Karim Elgendy is an architect and sustainability consultant based in London, with design and sustainability experience practicing in the United Kingdom and the United States, and a focus on the Middle East region. Over the past sixteen years he has helped create sustainable buildings and urban environments over four continents, and has advised urban planners, designers, consultancies, policy makers, and think tanks.

Karim’s research interests include developing sustainable, resilient, and smart cities and
assessing the role of policy, urban planning, design, and urban mobility in reducing the
impact of the built environment on resources and the environment. His research work
focuses on Middle East cities, addressing the regional challenges facing sustainable
development and their potential solutions.

Karim is also a public advocate for sustainability. He is the founder and coordinator of
Carboun, an advocacy initiative promoting sustainability in Middle East cities, and edits its online publication, the Carboun Journal. Karim is the recipient of the 2013 Global Green Building Entrepreneurship Award by the World Green Building Council.

Meshayel Omran AlaliMeshayel Omran Lehssoni, Director for Future energy and Security of Supply, Chief Happiness and Positivity Officer, Future energy and Security of Supply department, Ministry of Energy, UAE

Eng. Meshayel is responsible for the department of Future energy and Security of Supply activates, including the preparation of the GreenhouseGas Inventory of the United Arab Emirates Country and the fourth national communication.

Previously she held the position of head of climate change and Director of Clean energy and Climate change in the ministry. She was responsible for clean energy and climate change activates. She is a member of the international Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) ambassador and focal point of Clean energy ministerial and mission innovation from UAE.

Michel Abi Saab pro photoMichel Abi Saab, LEED AP, CEM, CMVP, Manager, Sustainability, Masdar

In his position as a Manager of Sustainability at Masdar, Michel is responsible for the implementation of key performance indicators for energy efficiency and demand-side management at Masdar City. Michel developed the Masdar Energy Design Guidelines, which serves as a mandatory framework for designing energy efficient buildings in Masdar City. Michel, specialized in mechanical engineering, has 10 years of experience in energy efficiency, high performance/zero energy buildings, energy modeling and cost/efficiency optimization.

Michel was previously part of the Atkins (UAE) and ERGA group (Lebanon) teams.  Michel holds a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Lebanese University and is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Certified Measurement and Verification professional (CMVP), a LEED Accredited Professional, and an ISO 50001 Energy Management System Lead Auditor.

Rajiv Rajgopal, Regional Director, Performance Coatings, Middle East & Africa, AkzoNobel

Rajiv Rajgopal took on the role of Regional Director, Performance Coatings, Middle East & Africa in early 2017.

Rajiv Rajgopal joined AkzoNobel in 2013 as Director Sales and Marketing, Decorative Paints, AkzoNobel India and was later was appointed Director Decorative Business in 2014. Rajiv’s leadership enabled the team to identify customer needs which has further helped in designing innovative products to take brand Dulux to the next level.

Prior to joining AkzoNobel India, Rajiv worked as the CEO Broadband & Data at Airtel India. He had the primary responsibility of crafting the growth strategy and plans for India and South Asia on the Broadband and data portfolio including launch of 4G LTE. He has also been associated with several multinational organizations such as Hindustan Unilever and Castrol primarily in sales, marketing and business leadership roles. He brings with him over 24 years of rich experience.

photo_RichardFenneRichard Fenne, Principal, Woods Bagot

Richard is the Studio Chair and Principal of the Dubai Studio at Woods Bagot and is an experienced RIBA and ARB registered Architect and Principal with over 15 years of wide-ranging international experience.

His experience ranges from inception to completion covering a multitude of sectors including cultural, residential, workplace, hospitality and education. Since joining the Dubai studio in early 2011 Richard has led some significant and notable projects including the IRENA HQ building and a ground-breaking large scale residential development at Masdar City. In addition to providing studio and project leadership he is the Middle East Client Leader and is also a committee member of the Middle East Council for Offices (MECO), an external group dedicated to improving the quality of office developments in the region.

152605 Saeed AlAbbarSaeed Al Abbar, Chairperson, Emirates Green Building Council.
Saeed is currently the Chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council and is the Vice Chairman of the World Green Building Council MENA Network. In this role, Saeed actively works in promoting the advancement of sustainable building in the UAE and MENA region by working with industry, academia and government departments to develop collaborative solutions to some of the regions greatest challenges.

Saeed is a Director at AESG, a firm specialising in the provision of energy and sustainability consultancy in the Middle East. He holds a First Class Masters degree with honours in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath and is a LEED Accredited Professional and Estidama Pearl Qualified Professional.

Samira Al Rais is the senior director of policy and strategy for the sustainable development department at The Executive Council of Dubai. She oversees and develop policies and strategies in order to achieve the goals of the Dubai Plan 2021 in the sectors of energy, water, the environment, health, safety and sustainable urban development.


Sreya VempattiEnvironmental Coordinator, AESG

Sreya is an Environmental Coordinator at AESG, a consultancy firm that provides services in the energy, sustainability, and environmental disciplines. With an educational background in environmental science, geology, and urban planning, she has gained a good understanding of all three disciplines and their interplay in sustainability and environmental projects through her experience working with city government, non-profits, and private sector entities. Sreya has three years of work experience, one of which was gained in New York working with the city government on environmental planning projects, and two of which were gained in Dubai working on green building and environmental consultancy services.