Abdulhakim Qahtan is an assistant professor at the Data Intensive Systems (DIS) Group, Information and Computing Sciences Department. Before joining Utrecht University, he worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), Qatar (2016-2019).
Dr. Qahtan earned his PhD degree from the Machine Intelligence & kNowledge Engineering (MINE) Lab at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (2016). He completed his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science at Cairo University, Egypt and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Saudi Arabia, respectively. He worked as a teaching assistant at Taiz University, Yemen and a lecturer at KFUPM, Saudi Arabia.
His current research focuses on data cleaning, data stream mining, time series analysis, algorithmic fairness and explainable machine learning.
Aida Rivera, PE is a licensed professional engineer, educator, design consultant and co-founder of d.heritage2tech. Beginning her career at NASA she has worked in risk analysis modeling, project management, structural, civil, earthquake and mechanical engineering. Aida earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology and M.S. in Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering from Stanford University followed by postgraduate research in Mechanical Engineering at Monash University in Australia as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Fellow.
Andreas has been a professional drummer for over 25 years. He performed in many different groups and musical settings. He is known for his versatility, professionalism and open mind. He performed and recorded in many genres such as Jazz, African and Afro-Caribbean music styles, Latin music, electronica, singer/songwriters, Art Music and percussion ensembles. Andreas performed, toured with artist such as Lorrain Claasen, Balla Tounkara, Rubblebucket Orchestra, Tiga Jean Baptiste, Bakithi Kumalo, Alegba and Friends, Zamir Chorale, Mavis Pan, Mystic Bowie, The Jazz Composer Alliance, Clarence Thompson and the New Spirits and many more.
Andreas has been working also for over 20 years in the field of modern dance as accompanist, performer and composer with prestigious companies/schools such as Martha Graham School, Mark Morris Dance Center, Paul Taylor, Boston Ballet and Cornfield Dance. He performed in venues and festival such as the Montreal Jazz Fest, the Kennedy Center, Boston Symphnoy Hall, the Blue Note/NYC, Apollo Cafe, NJPAC, Museum of Fine Arts, the British Museum at Yale and many International Festivals.
Next to being a graduate from Berklee College of Music, Andreas holds a Masters of Music in Modern American Music/Performance from Long School of Music of Bard College.
Basel Al-Naffouri, who hails from Saudi Arabia, graduated from MIT with B.S. and M.S degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. He is currently a Senior Staff Software Engineer at Google.
Basel is a Company member at BATS Improv with over 17 years of experience studying, performing and teaching improvised acting. He currently performs with BATS Improv and Secret Improv Society. He has lead workouts with KAUST, BATS Improv School, Google, Aswat, Dubai Improv Festival, and Laban in Beirut, Lebanon.
Cabby Tennis is a founding member of The KAUST School, having served KAUST from 2009 – 2017 as Senior advisor, Humanities teacher, Assistant Secondary School principal and Director of Operations. Cabby is a career international educator at schools in Kyoto, Seattle, Dar Es Salaam, Taipei, Cairo, Johannesburg and Jeddah.
At present Cabby lives in Athens, Greece and serves as Educational Consultant for AW2 Architects of Paris, on their design proposal for MISK Schools in Riyadh. His passion is for experiential learning and ‘challenge by choice’ curricula. He organized the first Project Adventure ropes course in Taiwan and has founded international Scout troops in Johannesburg and KAUST.
Cabby believes the most significant learning we do, at any age, we do at the outer edge of our experience and abilities.
Colleen Flanigan is a socio-ecological artist. Through visual, performing, and biological arts, she investigates contemporary issues of species endangerment and ecosystem regeneration, specifically coral reefs. Her work encompasses Living Sea Sculptures, conversation-catalyzing alter egos, participatory multimedia exhibitions, and more.
Professor Keyes is the director of the Extreme Computing Research Center at KAUST. He earned a BSE in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University in 1978 and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University in 1984. Prof Keyes works at the interface between parallel computing and the numerical analysis of partial differential equations. Before joining KAUST as a founding dean in 2009, he led DOE scalable solver software projects and taught at Columbia University and Yale.
As one of the most successful football players of all time, Didier Drogba has earned worldwide acclaim both as a professional sportsman and champion for peace in his native Côte d’Ivoire.
Drogba moved to France from Côte D’Ivoire at an early age, becoming years later a well-known and very successful football player. From France to the UK, to Turkey to Canada, he has received many honors through his career. Time magazine included him in the list of the 100 most influential people in the world, thanks to his leading role in the reconciliation process in Côte d'Ivoire.
In 2018, in the continuity of his commitment to peace, he was appointed Vice-President of the International Organization Peace and Sport. As President of the Didier Drogba Foundation, Goodwill ambassador for several causes, board members of organizations, Didier Drogba has been using his globally known name to have a positive impact on his environment.
Enas Khwaileh is a PhD student at the Data Intensive Systems (DIS) group, Information and Computing Sciences Department, Utrecht University. She got her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the Computer Science Department at Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), Jordan in August 2020 and June 2010, respectively. She received the DAAD, NRW scholarship during the summer of 2019 to do her research in Aging and at RUB, Bochum. She worked at Hello World Kids, which is based in Amman, Jordan, in 2018. During 2017, she worked as a team leader and a project manager at the UXwaves.
Eva joined KAUST/SCS in October 2015. She is a psychologist and has additional education in clinical & health psychology. Before joining KAUST Eva worked with adolescents in a rehabilitation setting, providing individual sessions as well as group sessions. At KAUST, Eva took on different roles, as a psychologist, student support specialist as well as a professional development coach.
Over the past 4-5 years, she has helped students and spouses through individual and married couple counseling, providing individual skills trainings as well as presenting workshops and seminars on diverse topics. This past March she left KAUST to go back to Austria and restarted as a consultant at SCS in July.
Eva received her BSc and MSc Degrees in Psychology from the University of Salzburg / Austria in 2012, got her license as a Clinical & Health psychologist in 2014, and received the European Certificate of Psychology 2018.
In her free time, she likes kiting, riding (horses, bikes & motorbikes), yoga, reading as well as spending time with friends.
Evan’s natural ability to build rapport ensures that all participants are engaged and invested from the moment the briefing begins to the final debrief. His 8 years’ experience across the Middle East and high energy facilitation style help draw out key learnings and insights from the day and apply them back to real life business challenges.
Fenna Woudstra is a Master student in Artificial Intelligence at Utrecht University. Fenna obtained her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, from the same University.
Her research interests include the ethical aspects and impact of Artificial Intelligence.
Currently, she is working on her master thesis about algorithmic fairness under the supervision of Dr. Hakim Qahtan.
Feryal Ozel is the Chair and Professor in the School of Physics at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her BS summa cum laude in physics and applied mathematics from Columbia University, her MS from the Niels Bohr Institute, and her PhD from Harvard University in astrophysics in 2002 on the effects of the intense gravitational and magnetic fields of neutron stars. She was a NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow and Member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton before joining the faculty at the University of Arizona, where she was a professor of astronomy and physics 2005-2022, Dr. Ozel is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and was elected to the Science Academy of Turkey.
In recognition of her work, Dr. Ozel was awarded the Maria Goeppert Mayer award from the American Physical Society, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University, a Miller Institute Visiting Professorship from the University of California in Berkeley, and, with the EHT collaboration, the Breakthrough Prize in Physics, the Rossi Prize of the American Astronomical Society, a Diamond Achievement award from the National Science Foundation, and recognized with the distinction of Breakthrough of the Year by Science. She also received a Rossi Prize with the NICER collaboration.
Dr. Ozel has taken on numerous leadership roles at the national and international level. She is co-chair of NASA’s Next Generation Mission Concept Study for the Lynx X-ray Observatory and has served for three years as chair of NASA’s Astrophysics Advisory Committee. As a founding member of the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, she has served on the EHT Science Council since 2016 and was lead of the Modeling Working Group for three years.
In May 2022, she announced the first black hole image in the Milky Way Galaxy and its science results to the world.
George M. Church, PhD ’84, is professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, a founding member of the Wyss Institute, and director of PersonalGenomes.org, the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data.
Church is known for pioneering the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He developed the first methods for the first genome sequence & dramatic cost reductions since then (down from $3 billion to $600), contributing to nearly all “next generation sequencing” methods and companies. His team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications – including new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme Disease and Malaria. Church is director of IARPA & NIH BRAIN Projects and National Institutes of Health Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. He has co-authored more than 625 papers and 156 patent publications, and one book, “Regenesis”.
His honors include Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science, the Time 100, and election to the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering.
Diagnosed with autism at the age of three, Haley Moss’ parents were told that she might not ever finish high school or earn a driver’s license. Today she is a lawyer, neurodiversity expert, keynote speaker, educator, and the author of four books that guide neurodivergent individuals through professional and personal challenges. Haley is a consultant to top corporations and nonprofits that seek her guidance in creating a diverse workplace, and a sought-after commentator on disability rights and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The first openly autistic lawyer in Florida, Haley’s books include “Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals” (ABA Book Publishing; June 2021), “The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook” (Jessica Kingsley Publishers; November 2021), “A Freshman Survival Guide for College Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders” (Jessica Kingsley Publishers; October 2014), and “Middle School — The Stuff Nobody Tells You About: A Teenage Girl With High-Functioning Autism Shares Her Experiences” (AAPC Publishing; March 2010) Her articles have appeared in outlets including the Washington Post, Teen Vogue, GQ, Bustle, Fast Company, Law 360 Pulse, and the ABA Journal.
Haley earned her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law with numerous honors. Admitted to the Florida Bar in 2019, she is the recipient of awards including the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division’s Breaking Barriers Award (2021), D-30 Disability Impact List (2021), Road Less Traveled Award from Ms. JD (2020), Outstanding Self-Advocate Award from University of Miami — Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (2018), and Publix Self-Advocate of the Year from the Palm Beach County Special Needs Advisory Coalition (2018).
Haley lives in Miami, Florida and is a fan of young adult fiction, Taylor Swift, drawing and painting, and video games.
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.
In May 2020 Hilde Fålun Strøm and Sunniva Sorby made history as the first women to overwinter solo in the Norwegian Arctic, Svalbard. Hilde and Sunniva met in 2016 and created Hearts in the ice in 2018, a global platform for positive dialogue, education and social engagement around the issues of climate change and the importance and the role each person can play. They served as Citizen Scientists and spoke to more than 100.000 youth globally via satellite from the remote isolated trapper's cabin. Knowledge change behavior and they believed in engaging and supporting the youth!
They spent 19 months in the remote 100 years old uninsulated 20 m2 trapper cabin with no running water or electricity called “Bamsebu”, in support of their social impact project Hearts in the Ice. This overwintering was a decade-long dream coming through for Hilde. Hearts in the Ice reached 100.000 schoolkids around the world together with invited experts on climate related themes. They also collected important data for 7 science institutions like NASA and the Norwegian Polar Institute. During the Covid-19-pandemic they were the only ones in field collecting important data for the ongoing science.
Hilde is an international member of the Explorers Club, a Flag Carrier of Wings World Quest, a member of Society of Women Geographers and received the Honorary Old Girl award from Trafalgar School for Girls in Montreal. Hilde and Sunniva are Godmothers for Hurtigruten´s hybrid Expedition ship MS Fridtjof Nansen. Hilde is nominated along with her Expedition partner as “Explorers of the year” in Norway, 2022. Hilde is an international member of Explorers Club, Godmother for Hurtigrutens flagship MS Fridtjof Nansen and a flag carrier of Wings World Quest, a member of Society of Women Geographers. For more than 24 years Hilde has held leading positioons in the travel industry in Svalbard.
Hilde has a unique Arctic knowledge, deep love for the region, the urge and the strength to make a difference!
Hugh Herr is creating bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs. Time Magazine coined Dr. Herr the ‘Leader of the Bionic Age’ because of his revolutionary work in the emerging field of Biomechatronics - technology that marries human physiology with electromechanics. A double amputee himself, he is responsible for breakthrough advances in bionic limbs that provide greater mobility and new hope to those with physical disabilities. He is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and Associate Investigator at the McGovern Institute at MIT. Professor Herr directs the MIT Biomechatronics Group and co-directs the K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics.
Herr is the author and co-author of over 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts and patents, chronicling the science and technology behind his many innovations. These innovations include active Leg Exoskeletons, Powered Ankle-Foot Prostheses, and neural interfacing technologies. A powered ankle-foot prosthesis called EmPower, which emulates the action of a biological leg and, for the first time, provides amputees with a natural gait, was named to the list of Top Ten Inventions in the health category by TIME magazine in 2007. Today the EmPower Ankle-Foot Prosthesis has been clinically shown to be the first leg prosthesis in history to reach human normalization, allowing amputees to walk with normal levels of speed and metabolism as if their legs were biological once again. In 2015, Herr’s MIT research group invented the Agonist-Antagonist Myoneural Interface, a novel surgical procedure for limb amputation and neural interfacing that allows persons with limb loss to control their synthetic limbs through thought, as well as to experience natural proprioceptive sensations. Herr has received many accolades for his groundbreaking innovations, including the 13th Annual Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment; the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in Technology, the 14th Innovator of the Year Award, and the 41st Inventor of the Year Award, the Princess of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research, and the Liberty Museum Genius Award. Hugh's story has been told in a National Geographic film, Ascent: The Story of Hugh Herr; and episodes and articles featured in CNN, The Economist, Discover and Nature.
Hussein Hoteit is Associate Professor in Reservoir Engineering and Program Chair of Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering program at KAUST. Before joining KAUST, Prof. Hoteit worked for ConocoPhillips and Chevron Companies for about 12 years, where he conducted projects related to chemical-EOR, CO2-EOR, steam flood, EM-heating, and others.
Prof. Hoteit’s current research includes chemical EOR, geological CO2 storage, IOR optimization, data-driven modeling, and reservoir simulation development. Prof. Hoteit earned several SPE awards, including SPE distinguished lecturer in 2009, and served as Associate Editor for SPE Journal for more than ten years
Dr. Devdutt joined the Student Counselling Services at KAUST in July 2021.
She is a Clinical Psychologist, licensed by the Rehabilitation Council of India, with 7 years of experience working in Mental Health. Dr. Devdutt holds a Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, India. She completed her BA (Hons.) and MA in Psychology, and M.Phil. (Clinical Psychology) from the University of Delhi, India, before joining NIMHANS for her doctoral research. Dr. Devdutt is trained to carry out psychological assessments and psychotherapeutic interventions for various psychological disorders. She uses Cognitive Behavioral and Positive Psychological approaches in her therapy to help alleviate client distress. She also incorporates a Strengths-based approach in her work with clients to help them achieve their professional goals, foster personal growth and enhance psychological wellbeing. Dr. Devdutt has a keen interest in mental health promotion. She has conducted numerous workshops with college students and working adults to promote youth mental health and workplace wellbeing, respectively.
In the past, Dr. Devdutt has worked both in clinical as well as academic/research roles. She has been a Consultant with Tata Health, a primary healthcare service provider based in India, in addition to her own independent clinical practice. She was an Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Psychology, SRM University, Andhra Pradesh, India, before she came to KAUST. She has also worked as a Research Officer at NIMHANS before joining SRM University as a faculty.
In her free time, Dr. Devdutt enjoys yoga, reading, watching movies, and traveling.
John is a Designing Your Life Instructor who spent the past 6 years teaching in the Stanford University Life Design Lab. He facilitates workshops on leadership, wellbeing, and design thinking’s human-centered approach to innovation, and has taught Designing Your Life to global audiences. He is also a meditation guide on the Calm app and leads workshops for Calm’s business clients.
During life’s early stages cells display high levels of plasticity, regeneration and resilience against stress, disfunction and injury, which are key features of human health.
Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, previously the Roger Guillemin Chair and Professor at the Salk Institute, has contributed towards understanding the molecular basis underlying embryogenesis and early postnatal life, as well as gained insights into how to program and rejuvenate adult and diseased cells. He is developing technologies to program cells to states similar to those observed in the early, healthy stages of life, with the objective of developing universal health therapeutics to overcome human disease and aging.
Ken Singer is a serial entrepreneur, technology executive, university lecturer and investor/advisor to numerous startups. He has been the Managing Director of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley since 2012 and Chief Learning Officer of the Center since 2019.
Ken is the co-creator of the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship pedagogy and is the inventor of the game-based Challenge Lab course now taught in several universities around the world. Challenge Lab courses engage local industry leaders and corporations in spinning out student-led startups such as Eko (a medical device for underserved markets). Ken is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has been a guest lecturer at universities in Latin America, Asia and EMEA. He works with governments and universities to foster entrepreneurship education and consults with corporations on product and innovation management.
Ken is the Academic Chair of the European Innovation Academy and also the co-founder of the Applied Innovation Institute, a nonprofit that sponsors student competitions and innovation projects around the world.
Dr. Lama Hakem is the Education Programs Lead at the Entrepreneurship Center at KASUT. She has a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She was an assistant professor at different universities in Saudi Arabia. She has taught several classes for undergraduate and graduate students in the field of leadership, ethics, teaming, negotiation and entrepreneurship. Currently, Dr. Lama is Co-teaching the elective entrepreneurship courses, and Entrepreneurship for All. Also, she runs workshops on different topics including design thinking, leadership, entrepreneurship, and conflict resolution
Letizia joined KAUST in 2018. She worked in previous roles before joining the Student Counseling Services Team in April 2020.
Her role is enhancing student academic success and personal well-being. As an Education Specialist, Letizia supports student's needs and development with multiple services and tools. One of these is implementing diverse educational and outreach programs, targeted to support students in their professional and personal growth. She also serves as a primary member of the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) and of the Clinical Crisis Team (CCT). In addition, Letizia serves as primary member of the Community Mental Health Health Meeting (CMHM) which brings together mental health professionals from across University departments.
Before joining KAUST, Letizia worked as an HR Consultant in a Management Company, focusing on the field of Learning and Development. She used to implement educational training based on soft skills development, indoor and outdoor tutoring activities to empower and increase performance.
Letizia received her BA and MA Degrees in Psychology of Communication and Development from the Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in 2015. She pursued her studies to reach the professional qualification as Licensed Psychologist, in 2017.
In her free time, she likes reading, writing, traveling, and spending time with friends.
Liam began his academic career with an MA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, Trinity College. Here, he developed a foundation in pure and proof-based mathematics, whilst learning Python programming on the side. He then went on to perform a Masters in Computer Science at KAUST, with special focus in Algorithms and Theoretical Computer Science. His Master thesis is titled "A Faster Algorithm for Computing Straight Skeletons".
Liam transitioned from the MSc into a PhD at KAUST in the field of Computational Geometry, under the supervision of Professor Antoine Vigneron. He continued to research results concerning the Straight Skeleton, as part of the Visual Computing department.
In 2017, Liam took up a position as a Software Engineer, for Amazon in London, UK. Here, he used much of his past knowledge to specialise in the Data Science side of engineering. One of his flagship projects involved using customers' film preferences to generate automatic movie and TV recommendations, which was regarded as a successful addition to the Prime Video website.
In recent years, Liam has worked as a freelance programmer, which proved to be a more convenient role given the current global circumstances.
Dr Al-Mozaini gained experience in both immunology and Infectious Disease in Clinical research during her PhD training at Imperial College, UK, and during her research fellowship at the Infectious Disease Division of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She established and is the director of “Immunocompromised Host Research”. Her research focuses on different immunosuppressed populations of patients, namely HIV, Mers CoV, MTB and organ recipient patients. Dr Al Mozaini founded the first HIV/AIDS laboratory within the Kingdom. Her research is not limited to basic sciences in infectious disease, but also on better management and designing strategies for preventing such infections. The vision of her research is improving the investigations in transplantation and reducing the chance of post-transplant complications and infections.
In addition to investigating research issues related to patient care and to fulfill the mission of the KFSHRC vision towards personalized Medicine in Infectious Disease, Dr Al-Mozaini, is an Adviser to the National AIDS Program, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office of Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO). She is also an Adjunct Professor faculty at the school of Applied Medical Laboratory Sciences, King Saud University, where she teaches Medical Virology course.
Dr Al-Mozaini was awarded with the L’OREAL UNESCO for Women in Science Award in the MENA Region for 2015, the Golden award for Achievements in Science from the Arab Women Council, 2016, and Pioneer in Science from the Arab Health Global award, 2019. In 2022 she was awarded Women in Science award from Princes Norah University and the UK Alumni Award. In addition her laboratory was chosen as one of the satellite laboratories for King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, as a national initiative to combat emergent and re-emerging pathogens.
A Scientific member in committees both at a regional and global level, the latest being selected to participate in the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) Scientific Advisory Committee, Norway. This is a global funding institute to combat infectious disease. And appointed as a jury member for the L’Oréal UNESCO women in Science for the Middle East. She is an activist for HIV/AIDS Awareness and Research. Dr Al Mozaini is also an advocate for female empowerment in STEM research and innovation.
Marcio Barradas, CEO and founder of 3D Essence Food and Moodbytes, a company dedicated to bringing cutting edge food technologies to the market. As founder of FoodInk, the company behind the worldʼs first 3D printed food events and restaurants, he has demonstrated a novel approach to food design, where innovative technologies enable cheap provision of top quality nutrition.
He believes that thanks to advances in recycling and dehydration technology, dealing with food loss can be a big step towards a sustainable food economy right now. As crypto-enthusiast and blockchain advocate, Marcio envisions a transparent self-organising supply chain economy enabled by decentralised base infrastructure.
Wade’s critical successes have led to him being named one of the top bassists of the year for five of the last six years in the Downbeat Magazine Reader’s Poll. He gained international recognition for his trio with the 2015 recording Event Horizon on Edition 46 Records and the 2018 follow up Moving Day on AMP Music & Records. In 2020 he launched a unique solo project - a visual album. Debuted online from the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music in Durban, South Africa, Songs from Isolation was released worldwide on AMP Music & Records. It features acoustic and electric bass and the plethora of sounds those instruments can create. The tunes are accompanied by music videos created by the bassist. That sonic and technological exploration was a fascinating prelude to his next project. True Stories is a modern jazz compendium inspired by a lifetime of listening – a leap forward fueled by looking back.
Born in Michigan, Wade moved to New Jersey as a child. He began his musical journey by teaching himself to play electric bass at age 14. At New York University, renowned bassist Mike Richmond encouraged him to take up acoustic bass for jazz and to hone bow technique and sight-reading abilities. (That also opened the door to playing European classical music.) In 1997 he earned a B.A. in music with a concentration in jazz.
In NYC, Wade has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, The Iridium and Birdland. He is a former artist in residence at Flushing Town Hall and tours in North America and Europe. He has played with jazz notables James Spaulding, Eddie Palmieri, Conrad Herwig, Harry Whitaker, Stacey Kent, Peter Eldridge, Don Byron and Jimmy Heath, and is a member of the Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra. On the classical side, he has appeared with the Key West Symphony featuring Grammy Award winners Sharon Isbin and Robert McDuffie, Orchestra of the S.E.M./Janacek Philharmonic (Czech Republic) at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as Orchestra of the Bronx, Bronx Opera, DiCapo Opera and Light Opera of New York.
Mark Wade is founder and director of New Music Horizons, which promotes the work of emerging jazz and classical composers. Concert sites include the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Flushing Town Hall, The Clemente cultural center on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Sunnyside Community Services in Queens, and Art House Astoria.
He serves as artistic director for Art in the Park and the Annapolis Jazz & Roots Festival in Maryland. Formerly a teaching artist with the New York Pops, he has been on the jazz faculty at Lehigh University since 2017.
Mavis Pan was born in Taiwan where she started taking piano lessons at the age of four, attending the Stella Matutina Girls School, where she was enrolled in the prestigious Specialized Music program. Ms. Pan received rigorous training in piano, voice, music theory, and ear training until the family immigrated to the United States, New Jersey. There she studied privately with Sherry Fan, performed with the high school big band and choir groups, and won “Best Accompanist” at the High School Choral Festival competition in 1996. Upon her high school graduation she gave a debut solo piano recital at Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University.
As an undergraduate, majoring in jazz piano performance at New York University, Ms. Pan studied jazz piano with Don Freeman, Frank Kimbrough, and Peter Malinverni, classical piano with Fabio Gardenal, and jazz vocal with Ann Phillips. She sang with the five times Grammy Award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, and continued her studies at Columbia University, where she studied conducting and voice with Dino Anagnost while earning a Master’s Degree in Music & Music Education.
Ms. Pan was a finalist in the YPMP/CACA piano competition and has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center’s David H Koch, and the Alice Tully Hall and Symphony Space. She has also performed at the Opening Night Gala of the Asian Nights celebration at Shea Stadium.
A composer, pianist, conductor, and vocalist Ms. Pan has performed her own original works, including but not limited to orchestral, choral, jazz, chamber music, and solo instrumental and vocal works across the United States, Europe, Middle East and Asia. She was the composer-in-residence and choir director at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in New York for five years. There she premiered numerous new works with the choir and chamber orchestras. Her choral work, "A Christmas Carol" was recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic Symphony, under the ERM label, available on Amazon.com.
After Ms. Pan made her debut Jazz album “On My Way Home” in 2010, she spent a year in Shanghai performing and teaching. Students from all over China participated in the Jazz Intensive Music Camp in Shanghai, where she served as a Jazz piano instructor and translator for Master Classes. Her second Piano Solo album “Not Alone” was released December of 2016 and was distributed both in U.S.A and China.
Graduating summa cum laude Ms. Pan earned a Master’s degree in Musical Composition from Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music studying under renown contemporary classical composers Tania Leon and Dalit Warshaw. She was given two composition awards, Morton Feldman and Miriam Gideon, by the conservatory and was selected to be on the Dean’s list upon graduation. She has performed and arranged for The Asian Cultural Symphony of the USA under the baton of Mr. Fei Fang. In October 2021, she found the non-profit organization "Pitches Brew" with the mission to encourage and raise up the next generation of female identifying composers, who have historically been excluded and underrepresented in the classical and jazz canon.
Her latest album “INSIDE”, in collaboration with lyricist David Keyes and produced by Michael Patterson, is featuring 13 original Jazz love songs and was released on International Women's Day 2022 on iTunes and other major distribution.
In addition to Ms. Pan's musical life, she has also obtained a M.A. degree in Urban Ministry at Westminster Theological Seminary and is currently the choir director/composer in residence at the Church of Grace to Fujianese, Lower Eastside Manhattan.
Melissa joined KAUST in June 2021 as Manager of Student Counseling Services (SCS). She has 14 years of experience as a psychologist and holds a PhD centered in Sport Psychology, specifically focused on need-supportive leadership, motivation and psychological wellbeing.
Her fields of interest and specialization lie within the enhancement of individuals, by fostering their wellbeing, competencies and resilience through a solution focused approach. She also specialises in assisting groups in building successful relationships and driving positive change, in order to achieve excellence within their environments.
Additionally, Melissa chairs the Community Mental Health Committee (CMHC), which brings together mental health professionals from across University departments, and serves as a primary member of the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) and the Clinical Crisis Team (CCT).
Prior to joining KAUST, she was the director of a student counseling and development centre at a South African university where, in addition to counselling students, she trained and supervised intern and junior psychologists and counsellors.
Melissa received her MA and PhD Degrees in Psychology from the University of the Free State, South Africa. She obtained her licence as a psychologist in 2007.
In her free time, she loves travelling, exploring, music and arts.
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).
Mohamed Elhoseiny is an assistant professor of Computer Science at KAUST. Since Fall 2021, he has become a senior member of IEEE and a member of the international Summit community. Previously, he was a visiting Faculty at Stanford Computer Science department (2019-2020), Visiting Faculty at Baidu Research (2019), Postdoc researcher at Facebook AI Research (2016-2019).
Dr. Elhoseiny did his Ph.D. in 2016 at Rutgers University where he was part of the art & AI lab and spent time at SRI International in 2014 and at Adobe Research (2015-2016). His primary research interest is in computer vision and especially in efficient multimodal learning with limited data in zero/few-shot learning and Vision & Language. He is also interested in Affective AI and especially to understand and generate novel visual content (e.g., art and fashion).
He received an NSF Fellowship in 2014, the Doctoral Consortium award at CVPR’16, best paper award at ECCVW’18 on Fashion and Design. His zero-shot learning work was featured at the United Nations and his creative AI work was featured in MIT Tech Review, New Scientist Magazine, Forbes Science, and HBO Silicon Valley. He has served as an Area Chair at major AI conferences including CVPR21, ICCV21, IJCAI22, ECCV22, and organized CLVL workshops at ICCV’15, ICCV’17, ICCV’19, and ICCV’21.
Myraida Rivera, AIA is a licensed architect, civil engineer, project manager, and design consultant. Prior to co-founding d.heritage2tech she worked in pharmaceutical, commercial, residential, and product design projects. At KAUST, she co-founded its Makerspace (currently ProtoLab) and recently instructed KAUST’s first FabAcademy. Myraida received an undergraduate degree in Environmental Design and graduate degrees in Architecture from the University of Puerto Rico and Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering and Management from Stanford University.
Nasser Alshemimry is an audio visual artist who goes by the alias DesertF!sh. Through the alias he represents his Najdi roots and life on the Red Sea coast. Nasser engages in the world of sound as a composer and studio operator serving media, corporates, art galleries, and artists. From the visual side, he is delving deep into the world of interactive art through self-taught graphics processing. It is a topic of great interest by which he connects two mediums together sound and visual.
Nasser operates Desert.Dream Audio Visual Agency, through which he has been instructing students nationwide around the kingdom since 2018 as part of the Creative Knowledge department. This part of the agency aims to give back to the creative community by sharing the passion and love for the arts through workshops and courses in the topics of Music and Audio Visuals.
Nimisha is a registered and certified yoga and mindfulness teacher for the past 15 years. She has taught yoga in India, Canada, and USA. She is the founder of Garage yoga in KAUST, Saudi Arabia for the past 8 years, and was a TEDx speaker in 2021.
Nimisha runs programs for KAUST university departments to teach yoga and mindfulness. She has expertise in mindfulness techniques and yoga practice for all bodies. She emphasises how to build resilience through practical mindfulness and yoga movement techniques, which can be used as a tool in day-to-day life to create a balance between work and personal lives. She has also acquiresd deep knowledge of breath techniques, which is another branch of yoga to enhance productivity at work and personal space.
Nimisha is a passionate weight lifter and Thai boxer. She believes movement is the way to live life to its fullest—helping us to thrive in both physical health and mental well-being.
Larger-than-life Omar Nour is a serial entrepreneur, motivational speaker and retired professional athlete.
Starting out his career in 2007, Omar co-founded Tot Solutions LLC - a telecommunications provider for businesses and governments across Africa – with his younger brother Diaa. During this time, Omar spent much of his time working, which had a serious effect on his health. By age 29, he weighed in at 105KG – after ripping his suit pants (twice!), he turned his life around by signing up for this first ever triathlon.
Just 2 short years later, Nour earned his pro-card and started his professional triathlon career. The first Egyptian professional triathlete in history, he represented his country on the Olympic triathlon circuit from 2010 – 2017. Although Nour’s results as an athlete elevated his profile, his approachable, lighthearted personality is what made him a crowd favorite.
His unique fat-to-fit story has been recognized by brands and governments across the Middle East, and he has since delivered motivation talks, events, clinics and experiences to over 3 million children in the region.
Since safely returning to dry land, Omar has turned his attention back to business as CEO of VENTUM Middle East - a premium bike company which leverages technology from fighter jets and Formula One cars. He is also CEO of Enduro Supply - one of the leading distributors of sports and lifestyle goods in the Middle East.
Nour has a triple major and pre-med degree from
The John Hopkins University, and speaks Arabic, French, English and German.
As a public figure, Samra is best known for his passion and perseverance. Diagnosed as severely asthmatic at age 11, Samra did not let this hinder his ambitions. Since his early days of backpacking around the world in 370 days, he’s succeeded in inspiring millions to dream big and reach their full potential.
Samra holds a degree in Economics from the American University in Cairo and an MBA from London Business School in Entrepreneurship. He worked as an investment banker and private equity professional in London, Hong Kong, Dubai and Cairo, before starting up his own company, Wild Guanabana, in 2009. Samra also founded and sits on the board of a children’s charity, Marwa Fayed’s Toy Run, which has touched the lives of more than 100,000 children in over 10 countries.
Paul M. Sutter is a theoretical cosmologist, award-winning science communicator, author, speaker, host, and a globally recognized leader in the intersection of art and science. Paul holds a research professorship at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University and a guest researcher position at the Flatiron Institute in New York City.
Paul has authored two books, Your Place in the Universe and How to Die in Space, with his latest book, A Sickness in Science, coming in 2023. In addition to his books, he writes for Space.com, Ars Technica, Nautilus, Undark, Live Science, and more, with his articles syndicating to news outlets worldwide.
Paul hosts a variety of science shows across all platforms, including How the Universe Works on Science Channel, Space Out on Discovery, and Edge of Knowledge on Ars Technica. He also writes and hosts his own shows, including his hit Ask a Spaceman podcast, which is one of the top podcasts in the world.
Peter Rawlinson serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Lucid Motors.
As CEO, Peter is responsible for all strategic and business aspects of the company. As CTO, he is responsible for the creation and delivery of all Lucid products. He brings over 30 years of automotive industry experience to bear in these roles.
Prior to Lucid, Peter was Vice President of Vehicle Engineering at Tesla and Chief Engineer of the Model S, where he led the engineering of the Model S from a clean sheet to production readiness while building the engineering team.
A graduate of Imperial College, University of London, Peter was formerly Head of Vehicle Engineering at Corus Automotive, Chief Engineer at Lotus Cars, and Principal Engineer at Jaguar Cars.
Rafic oversees the technology strategy and roadmap for Mubadala Ventures’ global investment portfolio. He is a long-time veteran of the semiconductor industry, most recently serving as Executive Fellow of GlobalFoundries. He has previously served in academe including tenured Professor at The University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Dean of IT at UAE University and founding VP for Research at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
In government, Rafic served as Head of Strategic Planning for the Abu Dhabi Education Council and senior advisor to the Director General. He invented the iDDT pulse method for testing integrated circuits, published over 60 refereed papers and received numerous awards including the First Citizens Scholars Medal award for research. He is especially interested in innovation along the intersection of technology and biology.
Rafic advocates for individuals with special needs and was a member of the Community and Legacy Committee of the Special Olympics 2019 Summer Games.
Always a curious child, for as long as she can remember, Raha dreamt of challenging adventures, seeing the world and perhaps even changing it.
From a young age her eccentricity was obvious, blessed with parents who never asked her to change, teaching her to dream big and live even bigger, and raised her with the belief that life is what she makes of it and her dreams are a reflection of the endlessness of her capabilities.
Raha graduated with a Bachelors in Visional Communications from the American University of Sharjah then started her career at a leading advertising agency, but her life changed the day she summited Kilimanjaro and challenged herself, her society, and culture.
It was there, between the clouds, standing on Africa’s roof where her spirit could no longer be silenced and nothing could hold her back from her love of adventure, Kilimanjaro opened the doors to 8 more summits, yet still her love affair with altitude was insatiable, and her curiosity as to where her limits were grew fierce. Just when she thought she found them, she set eyes on Everest, and the dream that turned her into an accidental role model was born,
On May 18th 2013, a year after seeing the legendary mountain Raha made history by being the first Saudi woman to conquer Everest, and the Seven Summits, the highest mountain in each continent, forever proving we could attempt the impossible and maybe even achieve it no matter where we are from. Raha is living proof that if children are raised confident and curious, unapologetically who they are, then we're capable of anything, even for a Saudi woman, to stand on top of the world.
Regina Saisi is a San Francisco-based actor and improviser. She has taught at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, UC Santa Cruz and KAUST in Saudi Arabia and has performed internationally in Belgium, Holland, Italy, Finland, France, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. She is guest artist at TAM HS, teaching and directing for over 20 years.
Regina is a pioneer in the development of long-form improv and is a founding member of the improvisational theatre companies True Fiction Magazine, Pulp Playhouse, Improv Playhouse of San Francisco. As current Company member of BATS Improv she has served as Dean of the BATS School and Artistic Director.
Simon is an assistant professor in Computer Science at the University of Washington. Simon works to improve data center efficiency and reliability by designing, building, and evaluating new alternatives for their hardware and software components. He currently co-designs networking and storage stacks with new hardware technologies to reduce service latencies by orders of magnitude beyond today's capabilities.
Simon is a co-director of the UW Center for the Future of Cloud Infrastructure, where he collaborates closely with industry to shape the future of cloud computing. Simon received a SIGOPS Hall of Fame award, three OSDI and SOSP Best Paper awards, an IEEE Micro Top Pick Honorable Mention, an NVMW Memorable Paper award, an NSF CAREER award, and he is a Sloan research fellow. Simon held the JouleSort world record in energy efficient sorting in 2019-2021. Before joining UW in 2022, Simon was an assistant professor at UT Austin from 2016-2021. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from ETH Zurich in 2012.
I am a freediver from Colombia, born up in the mountains but who fell in love with the water and the ocean at a young age. I started my swimming journey when I was 9 years old with sincronized swimming and not long after, finswimming. My passion for odd underwater sports has always been there, and at the end of 2010 came in contact with freediving, first in the pool and short after, in the ocean, exploring the depths.
In 2016 I graduated from Civil Engineering and decided to give sports 100% of my energy and time, and I've been a full time freediver since then. this journey has taken me to the depths, not only of the ocean but also of my own mind and life. it teaches me that the limits are within me and that my body is capable of unimagined things. and this is what I want to share with you all.
Polar Ambassador, Author and Explorer, Sunniva Sorby made history in 1993 as part of the first team of women to ski to the South Pole, and in 2021 as part of the first female duo to overwinter solo in the Arctic. With over 25 years in the Polar Regions as an historian and naturalist guide she is an advocate for protecting the Polar Regions through storytelling, citizen science, youth engagement and visual inspiration.
An accomplished keynote speaker she presented at the UN COP26 on the “Importance of polar education to understand climate change".
Sunniva’ s goal is to continue to inspire better service to the earth, and to each other, through a project co-founded with Hilde Falun Strom called “Hearts in the Ice” (HITI).Through HITI they have reached over 100,000 youth globally on subjects all related to climate change with the goal of turning climate despair into hope and action.
Tim has improvised since 1988 with many San Francisco and international groups, including BATS Improv, True Fiction Magazine, Awkward Dinner Party, and with the acclaimed troupe 3 For All.
In 2009, he founded Improv Playhouse of San Francisco. Tim has also appeared in numerous plays in the San Francisco Bay Area, and received critical acclaim for his leading roles in the improvised feature films, Suckerfish and Security. With Stephen Kearin, Tim co-wrote, and originated the role of Dirk Manly in, An Evening with Dirk & Blaine.
Nationally, Tim has performed and taught improvisation at the American Conservatory Theatre, BATS Improv, Stanford University, and many other venues (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Austin, Louisville, Atlanta, etc.). Internationally, he has performed and taught at numerous festivals and/or as an invited guest artist in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Beijing, Beirut, Belgium, Berlin, Bucharest, Dubai, Hamburg, Helsinki, Lisbon, London, Lyon, Mallorca, Oslo, Paris, Saudi Arabia, Shanghai, Stockholm, and more.
Tim has consulted with numerous groups both nationally and internationally in their formation of improvisation groups and also the development of new improvisation formats.
Tony Sheridan has been working in the field of marketing and communications for over a decade, primarily within the Higher Education sector, specializing in social media communications and digital marketing campaigns.
A former Director of Marketing and Communications for Limerick Mental Health Association, he also has worked extensively as a consultant across the non-profit, community, and charity sectors helping organizations set ambitious marketing and communications goals, develop effective strategies and deliver strategic results.
Tony joined KAUST in April 2021 and since then his work has been recognized with multiple international Marketing and Communications awards.
Wesley Sine is a professor of entrepreneurship, innovation, and management at Cornell University. Professor Sine has been ranked as one of the five most published entrepreneurship scholars in the world. His research focuses on global innovation and the emergence of new economic sectors and entrepreneurship in the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. Specifically, he explores issues related to how institutional change leads to industry and technology evolution. Professor Sine has also studied how new venture structures and strategies can lead to more successful firms.
Professor Sine has examined a diverse set of topics including the electric power industry, the emergence of the internet, automotive manufacturing, as well as science/technology start-ups in emerging markets. His teaching interests include entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, new venture growth, and the management of technology and innovation.
Professor Sine has presented over 100 times at conferences throughout the world, including key-note talks at conferences in Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Colombia. In addition, Professor Sine has consulted and taught executives in the U.S., Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Professor Sine has published papers in leading management journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Management Science, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, and Research Policy. He is currently a senior editor at Organization Science and the book review editor at Administrative Science Quarterly
Zach Jansen is the son of Theo Jansen, a Dutch artist and creator of 'Strandbeest' - large PVC tube kinetic mechanisms that can move on their own. His animated works are a fusion of art and engineering. His creations have their own AI to avoid obstacles.
Zach's workshops aim to provide insight into Theo's work process as an artist. Zach is delighted and honored to share this process and to create a beach animal from scratch with the workshop participants.