Career Day 2022
Career Fields, Industries and Professionals
Ashraf Foda is the creative director and partner of Vision Advertising, a boutique advertising agency based in Cairo. He has almost 20 years of experience in the creative industry. Foda has a master’s degree in design and art direction from Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Arts in integrated marketing communication from The American University in Cairo.
Before joining Vision Advertising, Foda worked as an associate creative director at Advantage Marketing and Advertising; art director in TBWA Worldwide advertising company in Manchester; consultant art director in Cultural Innovations London, and as an art director in Egypt’s Insight Magazine. He is also an internationally recognized artist with exhibitions in Cairo, London, Manchester, and Frankfurt.
Across his career, Foda worked on major accounts such as PepsiCo, Amazon, IKEA, Warner Bros., Etisalat, Telecom Egypt, Dettol, Clorox, Panda, OLX and Mountain View. Foda's awards include the Dubai Lynx, Lürzer's Archive Top 200 Illustrators, YCN London and OpenAd London.
Marwan Mansour is a data scientist in the 5G team at Dell Technologies. He graduated from Maastricht University, the Netherlands, with a BSc in data science and artificial intelligence. During his studies, he was working part-time at an artificial intelligence company, called Mediaan, for two years as part of an honors program with the university. In addition, he participated as a student researcher in the Honors+ program in which he worked on researching Green Energy Transition within the EU with an interdisciplinary team from other faculties.
In 2019, Mansour was selected by The Next Web (TNW) conference among the top 500 digital minds under the age of 26 in the Netherlands. Before joining Dell, he was part of the graduate program at Atos for three months in the data and analytics track.
Mohamed Zahran is a mechatronics engineering graduate who then developed a focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and optimization. After graduation, Zahran started out in software testing, developed his skills and knowledge with machine learning, then became a machine learning engineer. He has worked with different frameworks and programming languages and has created AI solutions in multiple domains, primarily finance.
Mohammed Alaa has extensive management experience of over five years across the governmental and private sectors. During his studies at The American University in Cairo (AUC), he had the chance to be exposed to a wide diverse community. Alaa had several leadership positions among the student union and several other student organizations along with being the youngest advisor to the dean of students and the president of the University. He was also in charge of restructuring AUC student life which gave him experience in organization restructures and change management.
Alaa joined Shezlong as the strategy and growth director to oversee the strategies and the business development activities of the company. He was then appointed as the CEO of the company responsible for developing and executing the company’s business strategies along with leading the company's growth. During his term, he managed to fully restructure the company, define clear business goals, and hit a high growth rate. He also was recognized as a national and regional sports champion in swimming and archery.
Alaa holds a Bachelor of Arts from AUC with a major in computer engineering. He also holds a project management diploma from Riti Institute along with being trained in business leadership and growing business from international organizations.
The founder and managing director of PROCIJ, where she leads personal and professional individual and group coaching sessions. Moussa's business analysis experience, educational background, and career shift journey have empowered her to be a strategic thinker with a diverse set of skills and experiences that come in handy when leading and growing her own organization.
To date, she has coached more than 1,000 transformational coaching hours within corporates and to the public, capitalizing on self-leadership and intentionally leading others using the Co-Active model for coaching and leadership. She has designed and led extensive group coaching sessions and retreats for corporates and public groups. Moussa's experience in coaching extends from Europe to the Middle East. As a coach and leader, Moussa is known for her strength, courage, passion, and gentle determination.
Alia Khafaga is a communications professional with more than 12 years of experience in digital marketing, media relations and strategic communication with demonstrated experience in the nonprofit sector.
Customer Relationship Management Solutions
Mina Michel is the founder and CEO of Cloudastick Systems, a salesforce Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) partner in Egypt. Michel graduated from The American University in Cairo with a degree in computer science having a great passion for high trending cloud-based technologies. Michel joined the leading CRM software community, salesforce, in 2014 as a customer success manager. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers and partners, streamline processes, and improve profitability. It has a simple goal which is to improve business relationships. He got to know about salesforce, its power, and capabilities in helping businesses to digitize their processes and connect all their data, even from other systems, in a single cloud-based solution.
Michel was able to see how easy it became to build sophisticated solutions to major problems with high efficiency when it came to time, maintainability and extensibility. Salesforce can help all departments with their processes so that better insights can be reported to help the business make better and faster decisions.
Lina Magdy is an architect who is passionate about creative interior design solutions and providing the best user experience. She strives to design unique interiors that will have a positive impact on her clients’ lives. With more than nine years of extensive and considerable experience, she possesses an innate desire to create and design interiors that exceed clients’ expectations. Magdy worked with leading companies in the past years which gave her various experiences in the field. Her passion for interior design has no limits with an aim to produce spaces with a strong environmental impact. She is an experienced interior designer providing high-quality residential and commercial interiors such as PepsiCo headquarters and various offices in Dubai and Sudan. Magdy started her own company LHouse in 2020, where she embraced her entrepreneurial spirit. Her mission is to assist both residential and commercial clients in creating timeless spaces. Working in collaboration with architects and builders to execute her vision, she takes each project very personally.
Sandra Farid is a connoisseur of economics and an advisor to the government with a vast experience in a plethora of fields such as energy, manufacturing, financial inclusion and micro and macro economics.
Growing up as a professional athlete has taught her a lot about discipline, which has translated greatly in her professional life and teachings. Her multifaceted personality led her to become a fierce entrepreneurship mentor and public speaker that guided over 600 startups in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa region.
Farid's extensive experience in the fields of business consultancy, human resource restructuring, design thinking, marketing, and public-private partnerships accompanied by her educational background in Middle Eastern economies, uniquely equipped her with the ability to build strategic frameworks that have transformed public and private organizations.
Wessam El-Baz is the co-founder and CEO of the deep tech startup Nexus Analytica, which utilizes state-of-the-art technologies for the acceleration of the energy transition in Egypt and Africa. El-Baz has extensive experience as an energy economist and planning expert in renewable energies and the integration of emerging technologies.
As an expert, El-Baz is currently leading multiple projects including, but not limited to, electromobility, energy systems planning, emerging technologies, and wind turbine systems digitalization. These projects are in cooperation with multiple development banks and international institutions such as the World Bank, European Union and the French Development Agency (AFD).
In 2019, he was the strategic and engineering advisor at the Egyptian Electricity Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (EgyptERA) and an energy consultant at the World Bank. His work focused on developing sustainable regulatory frameworks that improve the integration of renewable energies, energy efficiency and emerging technologies into the Egyptian electricity grid, such as electric vehicles. During his strategic role at EgyptERA, El-Baz laid the foundation of the regulations concerned with the electric vehicle charging regulations.
El-Baz received his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the American University in Cairo in 2011, and his Master of Science and PhD from the Technical University of Munich. He was also a research associate at the Institute of Energy Economy and Application Technology and a visiting researcher at the University of Oxford. His research focused on the optimization of distributed energy generation in buildings, and the integration of prosumers into peer-to-peer energy and flexibility trading platforms. Within his work career, El-Baz has worked on several projects funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) that aimed towards the digitalization of the energy transition, integration of PtX technologies, and co-generation systems within smart- and micro-grids.
Ahmed Tohamy is an engineering manager since 2020. Also, the founder of the Get Tech Done developer community. Tohamy connects tech talents to hire, upscaling, and development opportunities from all over the world. Supported over 1,700 tech-enabled businesses to make better tech decisions over 15 years working in the technology services business.
Tohamy is an expert in building and managing on-site, remote, and distributed tech teams for companies since 2016. He is interested in fighting talent brain-drain, decentralizing opportunities, tech talent development, and education.
Zeinab Kamel studied computer engineering at AUC and worked for renowned startups such as SpeechAce and Affectiva. She is currently working for Halan.
Kamel has been managing Halan’s data engineering team for over a year now. She excels at bringing the best out of her team as a manager and contributes to Halan’s success with her knowledge and experience as a brilliant engineer.
Mahmoud Gabr is a research and development manager in the food industry sector with 14 years of experience between quality and research and development. Gabr is a pharmacist who holds a Total Quality Management diploma from The American University in Cairo and a professional master's degree from the Regional Information Technology Institute.
He contributed during his career in more than 78 launches and has been awarded seven times for his innovation and renovation achievements. Gabr is currently working as the R&I portfolio manager at Danone, Egypt.
Ahmed Lasheen is a graduate of the faculty of engineering, Cairo University in 2008. Lasheen joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2009 and served in multiple desks including the cabinet of the Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs, Asia department as well as Sudan affairs.
He has completed two overseas tours in Jakarta and Abu Dhabi over the course of the past ten years. He is currently serving as a member of the human resource department within the ministry.
Moamen Elshahawy is a graduate of the faculty of pharmacy of Cairo University in 2007. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2010, serving overseas in both Hanoi; 2011-2015, and Athens; 2017-2021, while at the headquarters of the ministry. Elshahawy served in different departments including the Asian department, and the Multilateral and International Organizations department. He is currently a member of the human resources department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Samir Georgy graduated from The American University in Cairo in June 2011. He started his career as an embedded software engineer at Valeo. In 2013, Georgy moved to a consultant position at Cerner Corporation and in 2018 jumped into a project manager position at the same company. In January 2022, he will be leaving Cerner and joining Vezeeta as a project manager. Georgy started making video games in 2018 as well and has published two games and worked on multiple freelancing projects.
Heba Hesham is a gender and development advocate and professional who specializes in women’s economic empowerment. She founded a UN women-endorsed youth initiative called “Heya” (She) at the American University in Cairo in 2012 and has worked on women’s economic justice since. Hesham has worked on gender equality, non-discrimination, enterprise development for refugees and private sector development for women with Oxfam GB, the ILO DWT for North Africa and country office for Egypt and Eritrea, the ILO DWT for Eastern and Southern Africa, most recently the UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States. She holds an MSc in gender, development and globalization from the London School of Economics and Political Science, with a focus on feminist economics and gender, population and policy.
A marketer turned designer, Farah Ayad is a multidisciplinary graphic designer who is currently managing The Bakery Shop (TBS) Holding's in-house design unit for its brands such as TBS, The Four Fat Ladies, Coffee Berry, and Delicious Bakery among others.
Following her passion for design, Ayad has mixed her marketing education with her artistic background to create a unique design experience for all her projects. She has worked for an array of clients throughout her career, ranging from food and beverage, retail, health and wellness to real estate industries. Her design specializations include art direction, branding, packaging, web design, digital, and editorial.
Deena Refai currently works in social inclusion and local development at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Prior to this role, she was the local development and gender programme associate until 2019 and the gender equality seal initiative assistant until 2016.
Refai graduated from AUC with a bachelor’s degree in political science, with a double specialization in public international law and international relations, and a triple minor in economics, history and creative writing. She acquired a master's in global affairs in 2019.
Refai has indulged in freelance writing and reporting for Ahram Online, Egypt Today magazine, and the Cairo Review of Global Affairs. Refai was also the Editor in Chief for AUC Times magazine.
Investment and Investor Relations
Aser Mokhtar brings four years of experience in finance and investment across various industries, especially non-bank financial institutions. He is currently a member of Fawry’s investor relations team, where he supports in developing and promoting the company’s investment story. Prior to Fawry, Mokhtar served in a similar role at CI Capital, one of Egypt’s leading investment banks. He also spent two years as an investment and investor relations associate at Raya Holding, where he participated in various deals involving industrial, logistics, and financial services subsidiaries. Prior to Raya, he worked as an investor relations analyst at Inktank Communications after having started his career as a financial analyst at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) partners, providing business and financial advisory services to SMEs enterprises across various industries.
Mokhtar holds a master's degree in finance from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. He also completed his undergraduate studies at the Pennsylvania State University in the United States, where he majored in economics and international politics. He is also a certified expert in corporate governance by the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).
Nadeen Shaker is a producer and editor at Kerning Cultures, a Middle East podcast network with over 12 English and Arabic shows. She is also a journal editor at the AUC's Cairo Review of Global Affairs. She has a master's degree from New York University.
Hassan Khairat is an AUC alumni. He is a manager at Arthur D. Little Limited (ADL), Middle East, focusing on transformational projects in the travel and transportation sector for both public and private entities across the MENA region. He has had the opportunity to work on several notable projects including developing a national logistics strategy, a space strategy, and a business model for the introduction of autonomous aerial taxi services.
Nick Strange is a principal at ADL, part of the energy practice leadership team, delivering projects in both the conventional energy and clean energy space, helping public and private entities to navigate the energy transition.
Management Consultant based out of Arthur D. Little Dubai, with more than three years of experience in Strategy Consulting in the MENA region. Part of the Energy and Utilities practice, advising clients on strategy and implementation assignments
Carlos Repapis has been working as a technical mechanical designer for seven years in an Italian company called Motridal. Motridal opened a branch in Cairo in 2014. Repapis worked as a designer, as well as a mechanical inspector and a mechanical supervisor during the construction of the machines and equipment.
Modern Trade and Key Accounts Management
Omar Salama graduated from the American University in Cairo with a degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in economics. He kick-started his career in July 2017 by joining PepsiCo as a modern trade account manager after winning second place in PepsiCo’s first edition of the Change the Game competition. Just a few months after turning 24, in March 2019, Salama was promoted to be one of the youngest unit sales managers in the company’s history, handling west Cairo key accounts including Modern Trade, Horeca, and Top Retail. In 2020, Salama joined Red Bull taking on the role of national key accounts manager. He has proven experience in sales, planning, strategy, and business development.
Karim Samir is an established sound engineer who has been working in the music and entertainment field for over a decade. With a degree in music technology from the AUC, Samir has produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered various albums and also specialized in-studio installation and operation. He is most known for working on live concerts for a-list celebrities such as Omar Khairat, Mohamed Mounir, Nancy Ajram, Ragheb Alama to name a few. During his free time, Samir enjoys playing the bass guitar and attending live concerts.
Oil and Gas
Sherif Mohsen is the aviation operations manager at TotalEnergies Marketing Egypt. He is responsible for managing aircraft refueling activities for both operated and non-operated sites in Cairo and Marsa Alam airports. Mohsen has 15 years of experience in terminal operation, transportation and logistics, and supply chain management through diverse assignments. Additionally, he was responsible for merging the operation business after the acquisition of Shell and Chevron retail business. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in engineering and management diploma.
Rabab Mansour is a human resource professional with an engineering background having more than 13 years of experience in the oil and gas field.
Nouran Ghannam; also known as Nono, is the co-founder and CEO of Stllr, the marketing platform providing instant access to vetted marketing experts and teams.
Stllr matches e-commerce stores, high potential startups, and corporates with generated teams who share complementary skills, like social media and design or SEO and content writers. Stllr’s beta network now provides more than 1,000 hours every month to various entities in Egypt, KSA and UAE.
Ghannam also founded Startups Galaxy, a platform listing and connecting startups to exposure and deals. The team also launched its flagship event Techila Con in 2020.
Her mission is to grow underdogs and mentors startups on marketing with the region’s top accelerators: Flat6Labs, AUC VLab, Falak SA, and Techstars Riyadh. When out of office, she’s probably camping in Sinai.
Mahmoud Khalifa joined Misr Capital in February 2019, as the investment director of the newly established private equity department. Since joining Misr Capital, he overlooked the existing direct investments of the company as well as some of the potential acquisitions of the company. In 2020, he started leading Misr Capital into establishing two private equity structures, investing in education and healthcare. By the second half of 2021, both structures have been incorporated, having secured commitments from investors, and have made an investment in healthcare services. Currently, the assets under the management of Misr Capital are Egp1 billion, expected to reach Egp 7 billion by the end of 2022.
Prior to Misr Capital, Khalifa worked for six years in a regional family office, First Equity Partners, based in Bahrain. Operating from the office in Cairo, he was the vice president, overlooking a group of investments in UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, UK, France, and Egypt. Investments at FEP were mainly in building material, real estate, agribusiness, Foof and beverage, and media and entertainment. During these years, he worked on fundraising, deal origination, execution, post-acquisition management and exits.
For a brief time at FEP, less than a year, Khalifa headed the Nilex listing department, during which two companies were listed. Khalifa worked for five years at Cairo Financial Holding, a fully-fledged investment bank operating in Cairo. The first two years he worked in the research department, followed by three years in the newly established private equity department in the company. During these five years, he was involved in the execution of three direct investments as well as a series of mergers and acquisitions transactions.
After graduating from the American University in Cairo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, Khalifa worked briefly for almost a year at the operations department at Citibank Cairo as the fixed income and corporate actions associate.
Dina Elsayed is the senior producer of the Berlin-based current affairs podcast Common Ground. She started her journalism career in 2012 as a producer for National Public Radio’s Cairo bureau covering the Arab spring and later produced print, radio and TV pieces for multiple international outlets including Financial Times and CTV News.
In 2014, she was awarded a fellowship position with the National Council on US-Arab Relations in Washington DC, where she got a taste of the think tank experience. Later, she was awarded the prestigious Chevening scholarship and took off to the United Kingdom to earn a master’s degree in digital film and TV production.
Elsayed moved to Berlin in 2017 as a broadcast journalist, before joining the German capital's English language station, KCRW Berlin, in 2020 to help launch the station’s flagship talk show.
Elsayed is an obsessive jazz record collector and an avid hiker. She doesn’t have pets right now but her speakers and her bicycle come close.
With extensive experience in the field of policymaking and sustainable development, Yomna Gaafar is currently an MPA STEM dual-degree candidate, at Columbia University and the London School of Economics, with a concentration in international finance and economic policy and specialization in data analytics and quantitative analysis, who is expected to graduate in May 2022.
She is currently working for the World Bank Group for the SIPA Capstone Workshop Consultancy. Gaafar's work, prior to her graduate studies, focused on advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Middle East-North Africa region including encouraging gender equality, decent work, and economic growth. She also volunteered to support Syrian refugees in a Greek refugee camp, teach left-behind children in China, support African children, and organize women empowerment initiatives in the Middle East. Gaafar has recently been awarded the ‘McKinsey Women Achievement award’ and the ‘SIPA Columbia Blocker Endowment scholarship’ as recognition of extraordinary leadership potential. She has also been recognized with the International Experience Award, Competition Excellence award, and Merit Achievement scholarship as part of her undergraduate studies at the American University in Cairo.
During her time as a graduate student, Gaafar worked full-time with the UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal team in New York and supported their efforts in building reporting tools and mechanisms to measure expenditures and outputs for gender markers of 15,032 country offices. This was also coupled with formulating assessment benchmarks for five areas: capacities, environment, programmes, partnerships, results, and impact. Besides tracking progress on the implementation of the Gender Seal programme, she was responsible to evaluate results from the UNDP Gender Equality Seal online assessment tool, disseminating the results, and systematizing best practices and innovations. In parallel, Gaafar has also interned as an economic researcher with Egypt's Ministry of International Cooperation, where she built on the World Bank's Egypt Economic Monitor 2020 to study the causes of Egypt's high unemployment rate and low productivity. In her policy proposal, which was presented to the council of ministers, she focused on advancing Egypt's agriculture value chain in the short-term while moving unskilled labor to high productivity levels, such as low-cost manufacturing as a long-run scheme to unlock Egypt’s job creation potential. As well as designing proposals to combat the informal economy and exploit the potential of digitalization for job creation. This is in addition to conducting research into the USA-China trade war and looking for ways to advance Egypt's international trade capabilities. Moreover, using sources such as the ‘United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, she also studied the Effects of Carbon Border Adjustment on Egypt's Economy along with the economies of other regional countries such as KSA, Turkey, and UAE.
Ultimately, Gaafar's ambition is to contribute to the transformation of the narrative of women in her region and to potentially reach her dream of playing a role of significance in the public sector in Egypt and the Middle East, through shaping agendas, designing policies, and implementing sustainable systems. Her hope is that one day, she would be proud of empowering young aspiring female talents as she has been empowered. She wishes someday she would make her younger self proud of changing narratives, making a difference, paying it forward as she has always aspired and given back to her country and region as she has promised herself.
Sarah Mazhar is a chief risk officer at AXA Egypt and a board member with over 12 years of experience in the same company; previously Commercial International Life (CIL). Mazhar held various roles within the actuarial team before moving to build the first insurance risk management team in the Egyptian market. Her experience includes part-time teaching at the American University in Cairo as well as short-term assignments in Legal and General in London and AXA International and New Markets office in Madrid.
Academically, Mazhar holds a master’s degree in actuarial management from Bayes Business School (previously CASS) as well as being a certified corporate director, a chartered enterprise risk actuary, and a qualified fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), becoming the first Egyptian female to acquire this qualification.
Mazhar is a member of the Sustainability Committee at the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), she has also been nominated as chairman of the sustainability committee at the Insurance Federation of Egypt. In her spare time, Mazhar spends time out hiking, practicing yoga, camping, cycling, painting, and exploring new places.
An electronics and telecoms engineer by education and a manager by profession, Mohamed Ateia has accumulated more than two decades of experience and achievements playing various managerial roles in the engineering department at Orange Egypt. He is a professionally certified practitioner in the fields of program, projects, product and service management, as well as various agile frameworks. Ateia is also an MBA holder, a certified academic peer-reviewer who has co-authored a published academic research paper in the organizational performance field.