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Abdulhakim Qahtan

Mr. Qahtan is currently a PhD student in the computer science program at KAUST. He started his PhD in August 2010. Mr. Qahtan got his BSc and MSc from Cairo University, Egypt (2000) and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Saudi Arabia (2008). He worked as a teaching assistant at Taiz university (2001 – 2003) and as a lecturer in KFUPM (2008 – 2010).

Albraa Alsaati

Albraa Alsaati pursues a science-to-technology paradigm to tackle one of the most crucial resource challenges of the 21st century, Energy. He is currently earning his Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University where he aims to optimize energy management solutions for heterogenous 3D System-in-Package electronic architectures. He received his B.S in Mechanical Engineering and Commerce from University of British Columbia and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. Albraa also worked at Intel R&D and Shell Chemicals J.V. where he got involved in various energy related projects. Albraa specializes in modeling and measurement of nano-to-macro scale heat transfer and energy conversion. He has worked on systems including water desalinations, solid-state energy conversion, energy storage, two-phase flow, solar energy, electronics packaging, petrochemical processes, material fabrication & characterization.

Alejandro Agag

Alejandro Agag is a businessman, entrepreneur and visionary; Founder & Chairman of Formula E, Founder & CEO of Extreme E and Founder & Chairman of the new E1 series. As the Founder and Chairman of Formula E Alejandro has steered the ABB FIA Formula E Championship from an initial idea, and a note on a napkin, to becoming the fastest-growing category in racing, touted by many as the future of motorsport. Extreme E is Alejandro’s current venture, a brand new electric off-road racing series which was launched in 2019 and is currently in its opening season. The series takes electric racing on a journey to the most remote corners of the planet to highlight the devastating effects climate change is having on our environments. Extreme E is proud to use its ground-breaking sporting platform to showcase the performance of electric vehicles and accelerate their adoption in the quest for a low carbon future for the planet. E1 is Alejandro’s newest venture, an Electric powerboat series with a boat that will revolutionise marine mobility. Launched in 2020 the E1 series aims to build the most exciting sport event in order to increase the awareness around the conservation of the most important ecosystem for the survival of our planet: Water.

Ameerah Bokhari

KAUST alumnus Dr. Ameerah Bokhari (MS '11, Ph.D.' 18) earned her Ph.D. in the Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering division in June 2018. In her master's degree, her research project was funded by SABIC to study Red Sea microalgae for industrial applications. Her Ph.D. project was on bacterial endophytes. She isolated about 400 bacterial isolates from different desert plants and studied the genome and transcriptome of short-listed candidates for their potential applications as biofertilizers. She is published in high-impact factor journals such as Scientific Reports and Nucleic Acid Research. Dr. Bokhari joined Saudi Aramco in March 2019 and received the prestigious 2019 EXPEC ARC's Exceptional Newcomer Award for her outstanding contributions. She led a team of young researchers and engineers that won first place for the energy innovation project and was a finalist in several highly competitive technical innovation competitions. She is currently leading a number of sustainability initiatives for upstream applications at the new Saudi Aramco Upstream Center at KAUST. She enjoys art and design in addition to reading in self-development and psychology during her free time. Her great passion for helping others motivated her to share her True GRIT idea in the 2021 TEDx KAUST event. She volunteered as an organizing committee member in different social societies such as the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the recently established Society of Women Engineers-Dhahran Global Affiliate.

Andrew Vasily

Andy Vasily is a teacher, workshop leader, coach, and podcaster who has spent the last 25 years of his career working internationally in a variety of settings. As a former competitive athlete, Andy developed an early passion for sport and physical activity which culminated with a 5-year stint as a quarterback, punter, and team captain of his university football team in Ontario, Canada. Through sport, he learned many life lessons that transcended the football field that he was able to apply throughout his career to better understand the conditions necessary for people to thrive both personally and professionally. Through his work, he collaborates closely with individuals to identify their strengths and to capitalize on these strengths in order to remove the barriers that might get in the way of them being more impactful in their work. He has taken his learning from education and used it to deeply unpack the fundamental principles necessary for peak performance and enhanced well-being in the workplace. He is the host of the successful Run Your Life podcast series which has been downloaded in more than 80 countries around the world over the past 5 years. His podcast focuses on interviewing professional athletes, Olympians, best-selling authors, high performance psychologists, elite researchers, and influential business leaders to unpack the guiding principles that have helped them to strive for both personal and professional excellence in their life. He currently resides at KAUST with his wife, Neila Steele, and their two teenage boys Eli and Tai. His family is very grateful for the life that KAUST has provided them and they have thoroughly enjoyed their 6 years being a part of this wonderful community.

Angel Leon

Ángel León clearly is one of the most influential chefs of our era, sharing an innate gift that marks those who makes gastronomy persevere and take it to the most unexplored place, the Sea. Ángel maintains his speech based in respect and fantasy and combines both tradition and evolution. Vocational fisherman, passionate about fishing and the Sea, due to the culinary culture closer to him, fish, sea weeds and salt, make him show his most personal vision. Easily recognizable by his gaze and his bustling soul, he is always thinking the way to create new technics as well as bringing new elements from the sea and new ingredients to the world. Ángel shows some romantic ideas from his culinary project which can be translated into a 21st-century reinterpretation of the cuisine of the sea. Stocks, fumets, slow cook broths, an old-fashioned alchemist cuisine, old and avant-garde technics meeting fair risk. Beyond his commitment for the socialization and exposure of his culinary concept as well as his research and development projects happening in Aponiente since 2007, Ángel has given a lecture within the best national and international congresses as in many Academic institutions as Harvard University or The Culinary Institute of America.

Arpad Horvath

Dr. Arpad Horvath is the Peirano Chaired Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, Head of the Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate Graduate Program, the Engineering and Business for Sustainability Certificate Program, and the Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center. He has conducted studies on the environmental implications of various products, systems, and services, in particular, transportation, water and wastewater, buildings, concrete, food, biofuels, and pavements. He is Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability, and serves on the Executive Board of Environmental Research Letters and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Industrial Ecology. Among other engagements, he is a past member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board, Environmental Engineering Committee.

Bernardina Notenboom

Bernice is an investigative climate journalist. She is the presenter/producer of Tipping Points a 6 x 1 hour adventure science series about global tipping points in our climate system. The series aired in 45 countries. She has made films about the polluting effects of shipping and aviation. Notenboom is part of the official delegation to the IPCC climate conferences in Copenhagen, Paris, Bonn and Glasgow. She lectures to audiences worldwide about climate change and the consequences. Her award winning books on Arctic issues are published in four languages. She has taken CEO's of big corporations to the Arctic to assist them to incorporate sustainability measures in their businesses. Bernice has skied multiple times to the North and South Poles and climbed Mount Everest. She lives in Canada and The Netherlands.

Bulent Erbilgin

Dr. Erbilgin has extensive academic experience teaching entrepreneurship courses at Northeastern University and University of California, Berkeley and leadership positions at different corporates and startups successfully releasing products in the market. Most recently Dr. Erbilgin lead the Security Software Development effort at Workday. These security products are used by the Workday ERP suite and span from encryption, Key Management System, Certificate Authority, Authentication, to IAM (Identity and Access Management). Dr. Bulent Erbilgin has over two decades of industry experience in technology and executive roles. Dr. Erbilgin holds a M.S. in Computer Engineering and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Carin Lawrence

Dr. Lawrence Carin, the former Vice President for Research at Duke University, has been named KAUST Provost. At Duke, Carin held the James L. Meriam and William H. Younger Distinguished Professorship in Engineering and was the Chair of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department and Vice Provost for Research.

As KAUST Provost, Carin will provide strategic and administrative leadership in all matters pertaining to faculty, students and education programs, including recruitment, retention, promotion, and talent development, as well as curriculum, dual/joint degrees, online and continuing education, and new academic programs.

Carin is a world-class researcher in the areas of AI & Machine Learning. Across all fields of computer science he is ranked #435 worldwide and #279 in the U.S. His background in AI is highly complimentary to the new digital thematic priority at KAUST, and will help attract top-caliber talent to the Kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) since 2001, and has co-authored over 450 academic papers with a Google Scholar H-Index of 86. 

As the Lead of the Duke Science & Technology Initiative (where several U.S. National Academic Members were hired) and through his other administrative positions at Duke, Carin has a strong track record of recruiting pre-eminent faculty. As part of his role as Vice President for Research, he oversaw the Duke Office of Licensing and Ventures. He also co-founded the Signal Innovations group (acquired by BAE Systems in 2014) and established Infinia ML to commercialize his research in AI/ML.

Prior to his tenure at Duke, Carin held assistant and associate professor positions at the Polytechnic University in Brooklyn (now New York University Tandon School of Engineering), New York. He received his doctoral, master's and bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park.


Carlos Duarte

Professor Carlos M. Duarte holds the Tarek Ahmed JuffaliChair in Marine Biology with the Red Sea Research Center (RSRC) at KAUST. Duarte received his Ph.D. from McGill University, Canada, in 1987. His research focuses on understanding the effects of global change, including climate change as well as other global-scale impacts of human activity, in marine ecosystems, which he has studied across the world. Duarte has conducted over 15 polar expeditions in Antarctica and the Arctic.

Caterina Carna


Cees Buisman

Prof.dr.ir. Cees J.N. Buisman holds a MSc and PhD (1989) degree from Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands. Until 2003 he was director Technology and Business Development at Paques B.V. Since 2003, he is full Professor at the sub department of Environmental Technology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, in the field of biological reuse and recovery technology. His current focal point is on bio-recovery of organics and minerals from waste streams for reuse in industry and agriculture. He combines his position of full Professor with his position as Executive Board Member at Wetsus, European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology (Leeuwarden, The Netherlands). The objective of Wetsus is to create a business driven international multidisciplinary research program for all aspects of water technology. Prof. Buisman is member of the Netherlands Academy of Engineering (AcTI) and board member of many companies and organisations like Paques B.V., Aquatech/RAI, Topsector Watertechnology (TKI), KWR - The Netherlands

Chris Zevenbergen

Chris Zevenbergen is professor at the Water Engineering Department of IHE Delft and at the Faculty of Architecture and Building technology of TuDelft, The Netherlands. He is also a visiting professor at the Southeast University (SEU).He worked as a researcher on various environmental issues related to the building industry, such as environmental impact assessments, product development, emission modeling, testing procedures, building codes and guidelines in the 1980s followed by 20 years international research and consultancy in environmental engineering and water management of urban systems. In the past 20 years he has accumulated extensive national and international experience with integrated approaches to manage floods in urban environments and climate adaptation. His research interest is specifically on innovative concepts to enhance urban resilience and technologies and on decision support tool development in urban planning with practical application in urban (flood) resilience. He has a strong affinity with the ecological, socio-economic, institutional aspects of urban planning and water management. Therefore, he considers himself more a generalist than a specialist. He has published/edited five books and more than 120 scientific publications in the field of environmental engineering and urban flood management. He was co-founder and chairman of the European Network COST C22 on Urban Flood Management. He chairs the Flood Resilience Group (FRG) of IHE Delft. He participates in various national and international advisory boards of governmental and scientific institutions (e.g. IPCC EM Infra, Rotterdam Climate Proof, Environmental Science Group Wageningen, iBuild, DLR Future Mega Cities, EPSRC, Delta Alliance).

Cris Romento

Cris Romento is a filmmaker illuminating the human experience of love, celebrating BIPOC stories and Hawaiian culture. Credits include: someone I used to know (2021) and documentaries NOT YOUR VEGAN (2022) and the aloha film (2022).

Prior to features, she worked in the Middle East profiling entrepreneurship and innovative science. She's also spent 15 years editing and producing commercials and entertainment TV in America.

Dana Alsulaiman

Dr. Dana Alsulaiman is a newly appointed Assistant Professor in the Physical Science and Engineering Division at KAUST, where her group focuses on developing advanced optical and electrical biosensing materials and devices to detect an emerging class of disease-specific biomarkers including microRNA and cell-free DNA. Her research aims to tackle urgent clinical needs for cancer patients including the development of earlier and less invasive diagnosis and monitoring techniques as well as the development of more effective and personalized therapies. Dr. Alsulaiman completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College London in 2015. She finished top of her class and was awarded the ‘Centenary Prize’ and ‘Governor’s MEng Prize’ for demonstrating all-around excellence. She then completed her Ph.D. in Bioengineering in the Ladame Lab, supported by the Imperial College London President’s Ph.D. Scholarship. In 2019, Dr. Alsulaiman moved to the USA to pursue her postdoctoral training in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT, under the supervision of Prof. Patrick Doyle. Dr. Alsulaiman is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards including the 2016 Bronze medal at the STEM for Britain national competition and the 2019 Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Healthcare technologies award (William James Category).

David Warsinger

David Warsinger an Assistant Professor at Purdue University in Mechanical Engineering. David's research focuses on the water-energy nexus, with approaches from thermofluids and nanoengineering, including desalination, water-energy systems integration, membrane nanomaterials, and nanoscale membrane physics. David completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at MIT (2012-2015), and his B.S. and M.Eng at Cornell (2006-2010), and did Postdoctoral research at MIT and Yale. David is also actively involved in advising, fundraising, and consulting for several startup companies. David is a coauthor of over 60 scientific contributions, comprising journal papers, conference papers, patents, and book chapters. Notable awards David has earned include MIT technology review's 35 Innovators under 35, a national dissertation award from UCOWR, and several teaching or mentoring accolades.

David Ochmann

David's passion evolves around doing well by doing good. For the planet, for the animals, for innovation. This passion directs his focus on generating business opportunities whilst reducing human destruction of our planet, starting with the highest impact opportunity - our food system. We live in a time of historic opportunity to remove animals from food production thus reducing CO2 emissions, water and land use as well as enabling a kinder world.

Derya Baran

Prof. Derya Baran, originally from Turkey, received her BS and MS degrees from Chemistry Department at Middle East Technical University in 2008 and 2010, respectively and doctorate degree from Friedrich-Alexander Erlangen-Nürnberg University in Materials Science and Engineering in 2014. She then received the Helmholtz Association postdoc grant and pursued joint post-doctoral studies at Jülich Research Center (Germany) and Imperial Collage London (UK). Since January 2017, she is a faculty at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). As of 2021 she is an Associate professor in Material Science and Engineering Program. Her research group (OMEGALAB) focus on the engineering smart materials for printed energy harvesting applications and integrated electronics. She is selected for MIT Technology Review’s 2018 list of ‘35 Innovators under 35’ and selected as ‘Talented 12’ in Chemistry given by ACS C&EN. She is co-founder of two start-up companies on ‘advanced sustainable desert greenhouses’ and ‘antimicrobial additives’. She strives to be a role model with her research and research ethics to younger generations. She is a member of Global Young Academy since 2020.

Eric Feron

Eric Feron is professor of Electrical Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. His interests include system safety and robotics, the two topics covered in this talk, inspired by the example set by the world of autonomous aerospace systems. Eric Feron's career spans about 30 years in academia and includes appointments at Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile, France, Georgia Institute of Technology, US, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, and Office National d'Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiales, France. Eric Feron is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Eugene Willemsen

Eugene Willemsen is Chief Executive Officer, Africa, Middle East, South Asia. PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, PepsiCola, Quaker, Tropicana and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. Over the past two decades, Eugene has earned a reputation as a transformative leader who can harness the power of diverse teams to create high-performing businesses and some of the world's most resonate brands. Most recently, Eugene served as Chief Executive Officer, Sub-Saharan Africa in 2019 and as Executive Vice President of Global Categories & Franchise Management from 2015 to 2019, where he was responsible for the strategic direction of PepsiCo's global categories and brands as well as PepsiCo's global commercial functions, during which he oversaw a period of strong growth. Prior to that, Eugene led the company's global tea joint venture with Unilever, which operates in roughly 120 countries worldwide, following more than a decade leading PepsiCo businesses in Europe. He has served as Senior Vice President, General Manager for PepsiCo's South East Europe business, overseeing our operations in 17 countries, including Turkey; Senior Vice President and General Manager, Commercial for PepsiCo Europe, heading up the Marketing & Sales functions across Europe for all lines of business; Senior Vice President, General Manager for PepsiCo's Northern Europe business; and General Manager of PepsiCo's snack business in the Benelux and Belgium. Eugene joined PepsiCo from Friesland-Campina in 1995. Eugene holds a BBA from Nijenrode University in the Netherlands, a MSc in Economics from the "VU University" in Amsterdam and an Executive MBA from INSEAD. He previously served as a board member of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the AdCouncil and the Dutch Grocery Manufacturers Association, where he served as its Chairman. In 2017, he was named one of the "25 Most Influential People in the Netherlands at 50.

Harry Shirley

Dr Harry Shirley is Editorial Development Advisor at Nature Research and conducts the Nature Research Academies. He has strong scientific qualifications, with a decade of academic research experience and multiple publications. He gained his doctorate from the University of London and then worked in world-leading research groups in Auckland, New Zealand, and Oxford, United Kingdom. Since leaving academia in 2018, he has gained extensive experience in academic training workshops worldwide.

Hattan Ahmed

Hattan currently leads the Entrepreneurship Center at KAUST, delivering the university’s entrepreneurship vision. He believes in young people as change agents of the future and that universities play a key role in creating national economic impact. In his role as an advocate for innovation, Hattan works across the entire entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Kingdom, delivering entrepreneurship training, creating corporate innovation programs, and accelerating startups that will contribute to the national transformation agenda. Hattan has a diverse background in industry, startups and academia. As a startup co-founder, he brings a successful entrepreneurial background to his role, having navigated early stage growth to acquisition. He has received multiple entrepreneurial awards on both a national and international scale. He also brings a rich background in Information Technology to his role, with experience in system design development and implementation within industries ranging from oil and gas, travel and retail.

Husein Alireza

Husein first picked up rowing during his Masters studies at Cambridge University in 2016 as a hobby. It quickly turned into an obsessive physical and psychological journey to qualify to the Tokyo Olympics just 4 years later where he became the first Saudi Olympic Rower despite suffering season-ending injuries weeks before.

Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he directed the Earth Institute from 2002 until 2016. He is also President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development. He has been advisor to three United Nations Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary General António Guterres. He spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. He has authored numerous bestseller books. His most recent book is The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020). Sachs was twice named as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential world leaders and was ranked by The Economist among the top three most influential living economists.

Jessica Bouwmeester

Jessica Bouwmeester is a post-doctoral fellow in the Reef Ecology Lab, Red Sea Research Center

John Pagano

John Pagano is the Chief Executive Officer of The Red Sea Development Company and AMAALA, sister projects set along the north western coast of Saudi Arabia that will play key roles in the realisation of the Vision 2030 - KSA's economic roadmap for the future. At The Red Sea Development Company and AMAALA, John is leveraging his 38 years of international experience in delivering large scale multi-billion-dollar developments. Since 2018, he has led The Red Sea Development Company's growth from the ground up and is creating a unique eco-luxury, sustainable, regenerative tourist destination that will contribute to transforming the global tourism industry and to the diversification of the Saudi Arabian economy. In 2021, he was appointed as CEO of AMAALA, and tasked with driving the next stage of development for the ultra-luxury destination. John's experience covers every facet of the real estate value chain including site acquisition, master planning, planning, project structuring, financing, construction, and asset management. John is the former Managing Director, Development of the Canary Wharf Group in London. The now iconic 16.5 million sq. ft. mixed-use development serves as a landmark and the UK headquarters for multiple global financial, professional, and business services institutions. During the 23 years spent at Canary Wharf, John held numerous senior leadership positions, and was responsible for the creation of the Group's delivery organisation, a major contributor to the Group's success and a key highlight of his career. Additionally, he also established Canary Wharf's residential business and secured planning permission for over 3.5 million sq. ft. of residential developments, representing over 4000 new apartments. The residential business along with the planning of the Group's 10 million sf development pipeline represents a significant part of the Group's value creation going forward. As President of Baha Mar Development Company Ltd (BMDC), a luxury hospitality and residential development company in The Bahamas, John spent four and a half years in the Caribbean overseeing the master planning and financing of a transformative $3.5 billion luxury tourism destination resort. It now welcomes thousands of guests a week to its four new hotels, convention centre and the Jack Nicklaus Signature championship golf course. Prior to joining The Red Sea and AMAALA, John established his own international strategic advisory company, Old Fort Capital Investments Ltd, drawing on his extensive experience to provide strategic advice on large scale real estate developments internationally. John holds a BASc degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto. He also studied Corporate Finance at the London Business School. John Pagano Chief Executive Officer, The Red Sea Development Company and AMAALA Leading Real Estate developer specialized in large-scale, innovative, transformational projects with significant socio-economic impact.

Jonathan Foley

Dr. Jonathan Foley is a leading climate scientist, sustainability expert, educator, and public speaker. He is also executive director of Project Drawdown - the world's leading resource for climate solutions. His work focuses on finding solutions to sustain the climate, ecosystems, and natural resources we all depend on. Foley's work has led him to become a trusted advisor to governments, foundations, non-profits, and business leaders around the world. He and his colleagues have made contributions to our understanding of climate change, the global food system, and the sustainability of the world's resources. He has published over 140 scientific articles, including many highly cited works in Nature and Science. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, and is among the top 1 percent most-cited scientists in the world. A noted science communicator, his presentations have been featured at hundreds of venues, including the Aspen Institute, the World Bank, the National Geographic Society, the Chautauqua Institution, the Commonwealth Club, the National Science March, and TED. He has also written many popular pieces in National Geographic, the New York Times, the Guardian, and Scientific American. He has appeared on National Public Radio, the PBS NewsHour, the BBC, CNN, and in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, WIRED, the HBO documentary "Too Hot Not to Handle", and the film series"Let Science Speak". Foley has won numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, awarded by President Clinton; the J.S. McDonnell Foundation's 21st Century Science Award; an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship; the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America; and the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Award. He was also named as the winner of the prestigious Heinz Award for the Environment. Before joining Project Drawdown, Foley led a number of environmental science and sustainability organizations. At the University of Wisconsin, he launched the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) and served as the first Gaylord Nelson Professor of Environmental Studies. He was also the founding director of the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota, where he was the McKnight Presidential Chair of Sustainability. More recently, he served as the Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences, the greenest science museum on the planet.

Jürgen Schmidhuber

Schmidhuber earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He is a co-founder and the chief scientist of the company NNAISENSE, and was most recently scientific director at the Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA, and professor of AI at the University of Lugano. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, author of more than 350 peer-reviewed papers, a frequent keynote speaker, and an adviser to various governments on AI strategies.

His lab's deep learning neural networks have revolutionized machine learning and AI. By the mid-2010s, they were implemented on more than three billion devices, and used billions of times per day by customers of the world's most valuable public companies' products, e.g., for greatly improved speech recognition on all Android phones, greatly improved machine translation through Google Translate and Facebook (more than four billion translations per day), Apple's Siri and Quicktype on all iPhones, the answers of Amazon's Alexa, and numerous other applications.

In 2011, his team was the first to win official computer vision contests through deep neural nets with superhuman performance. In 2012, they had the first deep neural network to win a medical imaging contest (on cancer detection), attracting enormous interest from industry. His research group also established the fields of artificial curiosity through generative adversarial neural networks, linear transformers and networks that learn to program other networks (since 1991), and mathematically rigorous universal AI and recursive self-improvement in meta-learning machines that learn to learn (since 1987).

Kafui Dzirasa

Kafui Dzirasa completed a PhD in Neurobiology at Duke University. His research interests focus on understanding how changes in the brain produce neurological and mental illness, and his graduate work has led to several distinctions including: the Somjen Award for Most Outstanding Dissertation Thesis, the Ruth K. Broad Biomedical Research Fellowship, the UNCF·Merck Graduate Science Research Fellowship, and the Wakeman Fellowship. Kafui obtained an MD from the Duke University School of Medicine in 2009, and he completed residency training in General Psychiatry in 2016.

Kafui received the Charles Johnson Leadership Award in 2007, and he was recognized as one of Ebony magazine’s 30 Young Leaders of the Future in February 2008. He has also been awarded the International Mental Health Research Organization Rising Star Award, the Sydney Baer Prize for Schizophrenia Research, and his laboratory was featured on CBS 60 Minutes in 2011. In 2016, he was awarded the inaugural Duke Medical Alumni Emerging Leader Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers: The Nation’s highest award for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. In 2017, he was recognized as 40 under 40 in Health by the National Minority Quality Forum, and the Engineering Alumni of the Year from UMBC. He was induced into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2019.

Kafui has served as an Associate Scientific Advisor for the journal Science Translational Medicine, a member of the Congressional-mandated Next Generation Research Initiative, the Editorial Advisory Board for TEDMED, and on the NIH Director’s guiding committee for the BRAIN Initiative. He currently serves on the NIH Director’s NExTRAC Advisory committee and Brain Initiative Multi-council working group.

Kafui is an Associate Professor at Duke University with appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Neurosurgery. His ultimate goal is to combine his research, medical training, and community experience to improve outcomes for diverse communities suffering from Neurological and Psychiatric illness.

Kenneth Leung

Professor Kenneth Leung is the Director of State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution and Chair Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry in the City University of Hong Kong. He accomplished his Higher Diploma in Applied Sciences (Environmental Science & Technology) with distinction at the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong in 1992, a BSc degree in Applied Environmental Sciences with first-class honors at the University of Portsmouth in 1993, and a MPhil degree in Environmental Science at the City University of Hong Kong in 1996. As a recipient of the Swire’s James Henry Scott Ph.D. Scholarship, he received doctoral training at the University of Glasgow and obtained his Ph.D. in Marine Ecotoxicology in 2000. He was subsequently awarded The Croucher Foundation Fellowship, enabling his postdoctoral study in ecological risk assessment of industrial chemicals at Royal Holloway, University of London (2000-2001).

He first joined the University of Hong Kong (HKU) as Research Assistant Professor in January 2002 and was promoted to Assistant Professor, Associate Professor (Tenured), and Professor in 2003, 2009, and 2013, respectively. During his tenure at HKU (January 2002 - July 2020), he also served as a Research Scientist at the Swire Institute of Marine Science, the Warden of Morrison Hall (2011-2017), the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) at Faculty of Science (2014-2016) and Acting/Interim Director of School of Biological Sciences (2018-2019). He is a founding Editor-in-Chief of Regional Studies in Marine Science and serves on the Editorial Boards of the Canadian Journal of Zoology, Journal of Hazardous Materials Letters, Marine Pollution Bulletin, and Ocean Science Journal. In recognition of his contributions to aquatic ecology and environmental toxicology in the Asia-Pacific region, he was awarded the 19th Biwako Prize for Ecology by the Ecological Society of Japan and conferred as a Fellow of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) in 2017. In 2018, he was selected as one of the top 100 Asian Scientists by Asian Scientist Magazine.

He is currently serving as an expert member in various advisory committees (e.g. Advisory Council on the Environment, Country and Marine Parks Board) for the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Owing to his professional achievements and dedicated community services, he was selected as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons” for Hong Kong by Junior Chamber International in 2010. In 2018, he was appointed as a Justice of the Peace by the HKSAR Government.

Liam Mencel

Liam was a Master to PhD student in Computer Science at KAUST from the years 2012 to 2017, under the supervision of Professor Antoine Vigneron. He specialised in the areas of Theoretical Computer Science and Computational Geometry. His Master thesis was titled "A Faster Algorithm for Computing Straight Skeletons". Prior to his postgraduate studies at KAUST, Liam had studied Pure Mathematics at University of Cambridge, as part of the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos, under the tuition of Sir William Gowers. After leaving KAUST, Liam worked as a Software Engineer at Amazon, London. He was in a small team that covered research and experiments for the Prime Video website. This role utilised more Data Science and Algorithms than one would normally use in a Software Engineering role, and he found it a good fit for his academic background. During the pandemic of 2020, Liam became stranded whilst visiting Thailand. He was granted a special visa allowing him to stay indefinitely, due to the inability to return safely to his home country. Unable to return to a regular office job, Liam took on remote programming contracts for smaller companies in a variety of fields such as biomedical research and video game development. He enjoyed the flexibility that remote work entails, has remained in this line of work till today.

Louisa Tholstrup
Maha Al Juffali

Maha Al-Juffali is the founder, Director and Supervising Trustee of the Help Center, a family-owned NGO for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Saudi Arabia established in 1985. As an avid advocate for the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities, she has committed the last 37 years of her career in promoting their rights in leading a fulfilled life and is particularly committed to promoting their fine arts, performing arts and sports, as well as securing their future by making sure they get equal rights in employment. She has established multiple support groups for parents, educators, siblings, and adults with intellectual disability.

Majid Al Fayyadh

Dr. Majid Al Fayyadh is Chief Executive Officer of King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC) in Saudi Arabia, a leading tertiary healthcare institution in the region. He is a Pediatric Cardiologist/Electrophysiologist who obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Medicine and Surgery from King Saud University, Riyadh, completed residency in Pediatrics at Tufts University, and fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at Columbia University, New York. Following certification from the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Sub-Board of Pediatric Cardiology, Dr. Al Fayyadh completed sub-specialty fellowship in Pediatric Cardiac Electrophysiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In 2015, he successfully achieved his Master's Degree in Medical Management from the University of Southern California, USA. An advocate for continuing education, Dr. Al Fayyadh pursued courses from Harvard Business School, IMD, INSEAD, and certification for board directorship from the GCC Board Directors Institute. Early in his career and in parallel with his clinical practice and academic contributions, Dr. Al Fayyadh developed a passion for research, whereby he was awarded multiple grants including the Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research Grant and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology for his work. An ardent researcher and speaker, Dr. Al Fayyadh published articles and abstracts in multiple national and international peer-reviewed journals and participated at numerous symposia and conferences. Prior to his appointment as CEO of KFSH&RC in 2017, Dr. Al Fayyadh has worked as an advisor to the Director of the Vision Realization Office at the Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia. At KFSH&RC, he has held increasingly senior positions where his clinical and administrative experience have contributed to improving healthcare delivery. At present, Dr. Al Fayyadh leads KFSH&RC through its transformational journey focused on medical and clinical excellence, quality, and financial sustainability. This is part of the commitment to Saudi Arabia's National Transformation Program and the government's Vision 2030. Dr. Al Fayyadh serves as Secretary-General of KFSH&RC's Board of Directors and member of the board of directors/trustees of the following: Royal Clinics, King Salman Center for Disability Research, Alfaisal University, and Taibah University. He is Chairman of the Boards of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital International Holding Company (KFSHI), King Faisal Specialist Hospital Foundation (Wareef Charity), and the Healthcare Leadership Academy-Riyadh.

Malak Al-Nory

Dr. Malak Al-Nory is an expert in clean energy and clean water integration, innovative solutions, and strategic planning. She works as an advisor of Sustainability and Climate Change in the Saudi Ministry of Energy representing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in international policy negotiations pertaining to energy and climate change including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other platforms. She is also a research affiliate at MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering. She published research on innovative and sustainable integrated energy and water solutions, including grid optimization to improve water desalination projects. Previous to her work at the Ministry of Energy, she worked as Provost and as Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Effat University. Dr Al-Nory won several awards on her contribution to the clean energy research the latest is Mission Innovation Champion 2020. She is also an advocate for women in clean energy. She was appointed as Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) International Ambassador representing Saudi Arabia in this initiative under the Clean Energy Ministerial. She is an editorial board member at the Nature NPJ Clean Water Journal and an advisory board member with the MIT Technology Review Arabia.

Manuel Aranda

Prof. Aranda is an evolutionary biologist working on mechanisms of acclimation and adaptation in reef-building corals. In 2006 he completed his PhD on the evolution of gene regulatory networks in insects, followed by a postdoc in the same field before moving to work on corals. In his current research, he uses genomics and epigenomics approaches to study the molecular underpinnings of the coral-algal symbiosis and the potential of human interventions to increase their resilience.

Mardson Mcquay

Mardson McQuay is Associate General Counsel and Senior IP Attorney at KAUST. He is a former tenured professor of Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University and Senior VP and Chief IP Counsel at CGG, France. He also spent four years as an Associate in a law firm and five years as a Senior IP attorney at GE. He has been an invited lecturer on the topic of IP all over the world.

Marilyn Brown

Dr. Marilyn A. Brown is a Regents' Professor in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Joint Faculty member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. At Georgia Tech, she created and co-leads the Climate and Energy Policy Lab and the Master of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management. Her research focuses on the design and modeling of energy and carbon reduction policies and programs, covering both carbon emissions and sinks, and highlighting opportunities on the customer side of the electric meter. Prior to Georgia Tech, she worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she deployed her expertise in scenarios focused on a clean energy future, bringing a fact-based and authoritative perspective to energy sustainability discussions, influencing policy initiatives in the US and around the globe. Focusing on the electric utility industry, Dr. Brown has joined fundamental behavioral and social science principles with economic-engineering models. She has demonstrated why energy efficiency and affordability are as essential to energy security as the more traditional dimensions of fuel diversity and import independence. In 2007, Dr. Brown contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. From 2010-2017, she served two terms as a Presidential appointee to the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public power provider. From 2014-2018 she served two terms on the U.S. Department of Energy's Electricity Advisory Committee where she chaired the Smart Grid Subcommittee. She has written 9 books on the clean energy transition, which have been used by researchers and students around the world.

Mashael Alshalan


Matthew McCabe

Matthew McCabe is a Professor of Remote Sensing and Water Security and Director of the Climate and Livability Initiative at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. He received his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Newcastle in Australia and held post-doctoral positions at Princeton University and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Before coming to KAUST, Matthew was an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia. Prof. McCabe’s research explores a range of multi-disciplinary issues around water and food security, climate change impacts, precision agriculture, and water resources monitoring and modeling. He has a particular interest in the use of novel technologies for enhanced Earth observation and data-model integration for improved system understanding. Prof McCabe has published more than 200 research papers and has been recognized as a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher (2019 and 2020). Matthew has been involved in a number of international climate research and coordination activities (G20, WCRP, GCOS, GEWEX), and is an inaugural Specialty Chief Editor for Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence.

Mitchell Morton

PhD in Desert Agriculture and more than seven years of working experience in entrepreneurship and product development for desert agriculture. Mitchell is Edama Chief Technology Officer and leads product development and process and quality control at Edama.

Mohamed Noor

Mohamed Noor is a professor of Biology and Dean of Natural Sciences at Duke University. His research focuses on evolutionary genetics using Drosophila fruit flies, and he teaches courses in genetics and evolution both at Duke and online. He is a former department chair and also chaired the university's promotion and tenure committee. He has also held a number of scientific society roles including president of the Society for the Study of Evolution as well as the American Genetic Association, and he served as editor-in-chief of the journal "Evolution". 

Mohamed Abdel-Aal

Mohamed Abdel-Aal is a founding member of King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), where he joined the institution during its construction phase in 2008. He is responsible for managing the Digital Experience and Innovation & the "KAUST Smart" program with a primary focus on leveraging technologies, processes, and people to create a "smart" digital experience across the university and city of KAUST. Mohamed had previously managed the University's I.T. infrastructure and research computing, including systems, servers, storage, data center facilities, HPC clusters, and an extensive network that spans the sprawling community and housing facilities. Mohamed oversees strategic digital transformation plans and initiatives, including partnerships and collaborations with leading industry players to utilize KAUST's unique setting as a launchpad and a living lab for pilots and creative concepts. Mohamed holds an MBA and an M.S. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and a B.S. degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM).

Mohammed Namazi


Muhammed Sameed

Sameed is a quantum physicist and science communicator working at CERN where he studies antimatter particles as part of the ALPHA experiment. As an advocate for STEM education, Sameed strives to make science accessible and enjoyable for students as well as the general public. With the help of local experts and sponsors, he is currently involved in a number of initiatives that are tailor-made to improve STEM education for students from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds. Sameed is also an up-and-coming entrepreneur. In 2020, he co-founded the startup Daphne Augmentation Technologies which helps businesses interact with their customers online in a rapid, personalized, and human way without using annoying chatbots or privacy-compromising AI. With Daphne, Sameed aims to humanize the internet again, one social platform at a time.

Mustakeem Mustakeem


Nadhmi Al-Nasr

Nadhmi Al-Nasr is the chief executive officer of NEOM. He began his long career at Saudi Aramco in 1978, shortly after graduating from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. He held positions of increasing responsibility within the company and was lead manager on many of Aramco’s signature engineering projects, including project manager for crude expansion in the Ghawar oil field and manager of the Shaybah Development Program. He also served as manager of facilities and planning, manager of long range planning, and managing director of Saudi petroleum overseas. In 2006, Al-Nasr was named vice president of engineering services at Aramco, and in the same year he became vice president of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Development Program. In 2008, he was appointed as KAUST’s executive vice president of administration and finance. In 2013, Al-Nasr stepped down from Saudi Aramco to devote all his energy to his position at KAUST. A year later, he was appointed by a Royal Decree to serve on the advisory board of the Supreme Economic Council. In March 2017, Al-Nasr was appointed interim president of King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center. Shortly after that, he was also appointed interim president of KAUST and named a member of the school’s board of trustees. In July 2018, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Chairman of NEOM’s Founding Board, appointed Al-Nasr NEOM’s chief executive officer.

Naeemullah Khan

Dr. Naeemullah Khan received his masters and Ph.D. degrees from Kaust in 2014 and 2018 respectively, in Electrical Engineering. Since 2018 he has been part of the Torr vision group (TVG) at the department of engineering, the University of Oxford. The primary focus of his research is the theoretical evaluation of deep networks. He has also been involved in several courses and summer schools on machine learning at artificial intelligence at the University of Oxford.

Nimisha Rajawat

Nimisha Rajawat

Paulo Esteves-Veríssimo

Paulo Esteves-Veríssimo is since November 2020 a professor at KAUST, and Director of the Resilient Computing and Cybersecurity Center (RC3). Previously, he has been a professor and FNR PEARL Chair at the University of Luxembourg FSTM, and Head of the CritiX Research Lab at SnT center at the same University. CritiX has achieved world-class results and enduring capacity of research in resilient computing, cybersecurity and dependability. Previously, he had also been a Professor of the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and Member of the Board of the same university. There, he created the Navigators research group and was later founding Director of LaSIGE in 1998, a computer science and engineering lab, whose research in cutting-edge areas has consistently been backed by key indicators of excellence until today.

He was the representative of UNILU-SnT in ECSO, the European Cyber Security Organization, and member of its Scientific & Technical Committee (STC), as well as Chair of the IFIP WG 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault-Tolerance and vice-Chair of the Steering Committee of the IEEE/IFIP DSN conference. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of the ACM, and an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing (TETC).

Qifa Zhang

Qifa Zhang is a Professor in the College of Life Science and Technology at Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China. Dr. Zhang is a plant geneticist recognized for his work on rice functional genomics, the biological basis for the utilization of heterosis in rice including the genes and regulation of photoperiod sensitive male sterility and intersubspecific hybrid sterility, and the genetic basis of heterosis of hybrid rice. He also proposed the notion of Green Super Rice and led the team in developing rice varieties requiring less fertilizers, pesticides and water with high yield and quality by using genomic technologies. Dr. Zhang was born in Gongan County, Hubei Province. He graduated from Huazhong Agricultural College in agronomy and from University of California Davis in 1985 with a PhD in genetics, where he also worked as a postdoctoral fellow. He joined the faculty in Huazhong Agricultural University in 1986. He served as the Dean of the College of Life Science and Technology and the Director of the National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement. He has been the Director of Hubei Hongshan Laboratory. He is an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.  

Raquel Peixoto

Microbial Ecologist, former Associate and visiting professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and UCDavis, Prof. Peixoto is a pioneer on the development of tools to increase coral resilience. Her research has outlined the protocols and proved the concept that the use of coral probiotics can increase the host’s resilience and resistance against environmental threats. This pioneering work has contributed to pave the way for new approaches to reveal and explore mechanisms of marine microbiology and symbiotic interactions. Her research addresses the diversity, ecological role and biotechnological potential of microorganisms associated with marine organisms. She also seeks to investigate and understand key symbiotic mechanisms promoting the host's resistance and resilience against different impacts, as part of her projects on coral reef protection, restoration and rehabilitation. In addition, as founder and chair of the Beneficial Microbes for Marine Organisms network (BMMO) and chair of the Coral Conservation Committee for the International Coral Reef Society (ICRS), she promotes collaborative work and powerful international platforms to promote science-driven solutions to protect coral reefs.

Sandra Katakalea

Sandra Katakalea is an HR & Organizational Development Professional with 20 years of experience and expertise in all facets of HR, leadership and talent development. Her experience involves occupying management roles in the banking and telecommunications sectors while at KAUST, she is Head of Talent Management, supporting the development of staff by designing and resourcing learning and development solutions along with the provision of consulting and coaching.

Tariq Alturkestani

Under the supervision of his advisor, Professor David Keyes, Tariq got his Ph.D degree in computer science at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal. Tariq’s dissertation research focuses on overlapping IO and compute in large-scale scientific computation. He has been representing KAUST via collaborative research, most notably in early 2018 at Saudi Aramco, in 2015 at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, and a year earlier at IBM Research in Austin, Texas. Tariq’s journey with KAUST began immediately upon graduating from high school in Jeddah in June 2008. He is part of the first KAUST Gifted Students Program (KGSP) group, a group of 24 Saudi students hand-picked by KAUST to pursue their bachelor's degrees in top universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. Tariq joined the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) in 2009. In 2013, he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. He then joined KAUST and received a Master's and a Ph.D degree in Computer Science in December 2014 and July 2020. In summer 2016, along with his partner Eihab Nassier, Tariq co-founded Kasper Cab, a platform company that thrived to provide secure, reliable and affordable transportation for working females in Jeddah. Later in 2017, the founders decided to replace Kasper Cab with Saee and pivot to e-commerce last-mile delivery.

Tony Sheridan

Tony Sheridan has been involved in social media marketing and communications for almost a decade, primarily within the Higher Education sector. He also has worked extensively as a consultant across the non-profit, community and charity sectors helping organisations set ambitious goals, develop effective strategies and deliver strategic results.Tony has been Social Media and Digital Content Officer for the University of Limerick (UL), Ireland since 2016. He has been awarded best Snapchat in Ireland and best Instagram in Ireland in addition receiving numerous other social media campaign accolades for his work.

Victor Paul Strike

Paul Strike Co Founder and CEO of Fourth Element; Scuba Diving and Watersport Brand a British Company Registered in May 2001. Special responsibility for overall finance, business growth and product development. Fourth Element is now distributed in 52 Countries and has a reputation for producing innovative high performance thermal protection and clothing for divers and water sport enthusiasts. Supplying product to a wide range of end users from recreational snorkelers to public safety and military divers. Fourth Element introduced the Ocean Positive range of swimwear in 2014, utilising the recycled nylon yarn econyl regenerated from lost or abandoned fishing gear or 'Ghost nets' and other waste nylon sources. The promotion of this range has helped increase awareness of the issue of Ghost Gear and the GGGI in many countries. Since the launch of the Ocean Positive swimwear range, fourth element has integrated the use of recycled nylon and plastics in a wide range of products, including a non neoprene wetsuit range and performance undersuits for drysuit diving. At the 2017 Our Oceans Conference, Fourth Element pledged a commitment to eliminate single use plastic from the packaging of all its products by 2020 and to actively seek out recycled alternatives for all new and existing products in its range. In early 2018 fourth element created Mission 2020 to engage with and encourage the entire dive community to reduce their impact on the ocean, by reducing plastic waste and changing behavior at all levels. https://www.mission2020.org Fourth Element has received two industry awards for our recycled swimwear range and for raising awareness of Ghost gear and marine plastics within Scuba Diving. Six awards for innovation and product design; awarded Outstanding Contribution to scuba diving by the technical diving community in 2015 and voted best brand (worldwide) by Sport Diver readership in 2017. As an individual and as a company director, Paul is passionate about the well being of the Ocean and the life that depends upon it. He is a current member of the GGGI Expert Advisory Council, having Chaired the Catalyse and Replicate Solutions working group for two years. Paul spoke at the UN Oceans Conference in June 2017, on behalf of the GGGI and World Animal Protection, to provide a business perspective on the removal, value and recycling of Ghost Gear. In 2018 Paul spoke at the EU Maritime Conference; Turning marine litter into a sustainable business and given talks on similar themes at numerous business events. Paul is a Fellow of The RSA : Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and lives in Cornwall, UK, next to the coast.

William Sanders

Dr. William H. Sanders became Dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering in 2020. Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he spent twenty-five years at the University of Illinois in various faculty and leadership roles. In 2018, he was appointed as the interim director of the Discovery Partners Institute, a purpose-driven, collaborative research institute focused on building prosperity for all through technology-based economic growth. During his time at the University of Illinois, he spent six years as the head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and director of both the Information Trust Institute and the Coordinated Science Lab. He received his B.S. in Computer Engineering (’83), M.S.E. in Computer, Information and Control Engineering (’85), and Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering (’88), all from the University of Michigan. Over the course of his research career, Sanders has published more than 270 technical papers in the areas of secure and dependable computing, and resiliency metrics and evaluation for critical infrastructures. He created some of the earliest secure power grid architectures, as well as the assessment tools and metrics to quantify smart grid resilience. In 2005, he was the Principal Investigator of the NSF-supported center-scale power grid program, which brought together prominent universities with major utilities and power grid equipment vendors in the first ever university-industry-government partnership for power system cybersecurity. The center was the first to propose a comprehensive architecture for a secure smart grid through further development of the resiliency mechanisms pioneered earlier by Sanders. In addition to these prestigious accomplishments, Sanders has received numerous academic and industry awards, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Technical Field Award, Innovation in Societal Infrastructure. He is an elected fellow of IEEE, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the co-founder of Network Perception Inc.

Yara Alrajeh

Head of Technology Policy at World Economic Forum