Browse the full list of speakers at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2012.

Abed Agha
Founder, Vinelab

 Abed founded Vinelab, a digital entertainment company based in the UAE and serving the MENA region. Vinelab represents several global digital products in the region such as US-based Mobile Roadie and offers entertainment brands digital consultancy and executions. Vinelab clients include MBC Group, Rotana Media Group, LBC International, EMI, Nokia, Ragheb Alame and others.

Prior to Vinelab, Abed experienced 12 years spanning investments, media and telecoms across the US, South East Asia and the GCC.

Alec Ross
Senior Advisor for Innovation, US Department of State

Alec Ross serves as Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton where he is tasked with maximizing the potential of technology and innovation in service of America’s diplomatic goals and stewarding Secretary of State Clinton’s 21st Century Statecraft agenda. In this role, Alec helps ensure America’s leadership and advances the State Department’s interests on a range of issues from Internet Freedom to disaster response to responding to regional conflicts.

Previously, Alec served as the Convener for Obama for America’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Policy Committee and served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.

In 2000, he and three colleagues co-founded the nonprofit organization One Economy and grew it from modest origins in a basement into a global organization serving millions of low-income people, with programs on four continents.

Among recent recognitions, Alec was named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine, one of Huffington Posts’ 10 Game Changers in Politics, one of Newsweek’s 10 Navigators on its 100 Digital Power Index, a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award honoree, a “game changer” as one of Politicos 50 To Watch and the 2010 Middle East/North Africa Technology Person of the Year by the Union of Arab ICT organizations.

Alec has served as a guest lecturer at numerous institutions including the United Nations, Harvard Law School, Stanford Business School, the London School of Economics, and a number of parliamentary bodies. His writing has appeared in publications including the SAIS Review of International Affairs and the NATO Review.

Alec started his career as a sixth grade teacher through Teach for America in inner-city Baltimore where he lives with his wife and their three young children.

Alexander Asseily
Chairman, State

Alexander Asseily is founder and Chairman of London-based startup STATE, an opinion network. Alexander was the founding CEO of Jawbone and continues to serve as its Chairman. Jawbone (aka Aliph) is the world leader in mobile lifestyle products including Jawbone Icon & Era headsets, the Jambox wireless speaker line and UP personal health solutions. Alexander grew up in Beirut and London before receiving his BSc & MSc in Engineering Design at Stanford University.

Antonio Campo Dall’Orto
EVP, Viacom International Media Networks

Antonio Campo Dall’Orto is Executive Vice President of Music Brands for Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN). Campo Dall’Orto oversees all creative and content decisions for VIMN’s music brands internationally and is the key architect of the organisation’s efforts to drive brand excellence through fully aligned and integrated strategies on a local, regional and international level.

Since assuming this role in September 2008, Campo Dall’Orto has worked to maintain VIMN’s youth and music brands’ position at the forefront of popular culture and to reinforce the company’s unique position as the leading global provider of quality content that is locally relevant.

Campo Dall’Orto is also the Managing Director of VIMN’s South Europe cluster, a position he has held since 1999, overseeing Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Africa, the Middle East, Malta and Turkey. His remit covers VIMN’s brands in the region, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Paramount Channel, VH1 and Game One.

Campo Dall’Orto originally joined MTV Networks International in 1997 to lead the launch of MTV Italy as the first Managing Director of the channel. Campo Dall’Orto had previously worked at Telecom Italia Media as General Director and then CEO, overseeing the television business, headed up programming and content for Italian TV channel La7, and as Deputy Director of Mediaset’s Canale 5 in Milan.

Campo Dall’Orto holds a degree in economics from Venice University and a Masters in Marketing and Communication from Milan University.

Ari Emanuel

Ariel Emanuel serves as co-CEO of WME.  He was a founding partner of the Endeavor Agency and was instrumental in shaping its June 2009 merger with the William Morris Agency.

Emanuel is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Film Institute and is active in P.S. Arts, an industry supported non-profit agency working to bring arts education to public school students in Southern California.  An environmental and political activist, he also served as the co-chair of the Earth to L.A. biennial fund-raising event for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Prior to founding Endeavor, Emanuel was a partner at InterTalent and a senior agent at International Creative Management.  He began his entertainment industry career as an agent trainee at Creative Artists Agency.

Raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Emanuel graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.  He lives with his wife Sarah and their three children in Los Angeles.

Ayham Gorani
Founder, AlphaApps

Ayham Gorani was born in Germany of Syrian origins. He earned his Masters Degree in Business Informatics from the University of Cologne to co-found Widgetlabs in 2007. Passionate about emerging mobile and social technologies he set the vision for Widgetlabs to become Germany’s first agency to focus on the production of  micro and viral social applications.

Having worked successfully for international brands, Ayham gathered valuable experience and knowledge in managing scalable App projects.
Fueled by the firm believe that the Arab World has great potential and great content, he decided to produce his own projects and founded AlphaApps in 2011 in Abu Dhabi.Ayham wants to bring forward the Arabic apps industry and content to an international and competitive level.

Bill Gates

Co-Chair & Trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he shapes and approves grantmaking strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization.

Bill and Melinda Gates work together to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people by collaborating with grantees and partners. They also participate in national and international events and travel extensively to focus attention on the issues the foundation champions.

Gates began his major philanthropic efforts in 1994, when he created the William H. Gates Foundation, which focused on global health. Three years later, he and Melinda created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public access computers with Internet connections to libraries in the United States. Its name changed to the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999 to reflect its focus on ensuring that low-income minority students are prepared for college and have the means to attend. In 2000, to increase efficiency and communication, the two groups merged into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In 1975, Gates left Harvard University in his junior year to focus on Microsoft, the company he founded with his childhood friend Paul Allen. As chief software architect and chairman, Gates led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software, services, and solutions. In July 2008, Gates transitioned into a new role as chairman of Microsoft and advisor on some key development projects. (See Microsoft’s web site for more information on his work with the company.)

Gates also founded Corbis, which is developing a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe. He is a member of the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Gates grew up in Seattle with his two sisters. His father, William H. Gates Sr., is a co-chair of the foundation and a retired attorney. His late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International. The Gateses have three children.

Bob Bakish

CEO, Viacom International Media Networks


Robert M. Bakish is President and CEO, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).  In this role, which he assumed in January 2011, Mr. Bakish is responsible for all Viacom media networks and operations internationally, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Channel, VH1, VIVA, COLORS, Game One, and Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más. Viacom brands are seen globally in more than 600 million households in more than 160 territories and 37 languages via more than 200 locally programmed TV channels and more than 550 digital media properties.

In addition, Mr. Bakish is Chairman of the Board of Viacom18 (the company’s joint venture in India) and is on the boards of the company’s joint ventures with BSkyB and Telecom Italia Media.  He also serves on the board of Avid Technology, Inc.

Previously, Mr. Bakish was President of MTV Networks International overseeing international operations. Prior to that, he was Executive Vice President, Operations and Viacom Enterprises. Before that, he served as EVP and Chief Operating Officer, MTV Networks (MTVN) Advertising Sales and was Chairman of the Cable Television Advertising Bureau from 2003 to 2005.  Prior to joining MTVN, Mr. Bakish was SVP, Planning, Development and Technology at Viacom. 

Before joining Viacom in February 1997, Mr. Bakish was a partner with Booz Allen & Hamilton in its Media and Entertainment practice. He  received an M.B.A. from the Columbia University School of Business in 1989 and a B.S. in Operations Research from Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1985. 

Brian Sigafoos

Partner & CTO, DUPLAYS


Brian is Partner and CTO of DUPLAYS, a startup that connects you to others who share your sport passion and to great sport activities where you live, from leagues to tournaments, events and classes.
Prior to joining DUPLAYS in 2008, Brian was a Jerusalem-based Program Director of PeacePlayers International, a non-profit dedicated to uniting, educating and inspiring young people in divided communities through basketball.  Brian studied Arabic at Birzeit University in Ramallah and trained 25 coaches in Tulkarm in basketball and life skills. The program brought together 300 boys and girls from Tulkarm’s refugee camps with non-refugee Palestinians.
Brian graduated from Harvard University in 2003 with honors, receiving a BA in Psychology and French. From 2003-2005 Brian played professional basketball in Portugal, Denmark, the USBL, and Taiwan.

Burt Herman

Co-Founder, Storify


Burt Herman is the co-founder of Storify, which builds tools for journalists, bloggers and anyone to make stories by curating the social Web. Herman is also co-founder of Hacks/Hackers, international non-profit organization that brings together journalists and technologists to collaborate on projects.

As a bureau chief and correspondent for The Associated Press, Herman covered politics, conflict, culture and business across the United States, Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Asia.

Herman was an embedded reporter with the U.S. Marines and Air Force during the 2003 Iraq war and covered fighting in northern Afghanistan and the U.S. military buildup in Central Asia after the Sept. 11 attacks. Among other major stories that Burt has covered were the 2001 Macedonia war, the 2003 “rose revolution” in Georgia, 2004 tsunami from worst-hit Indonesia, 2004 Beslan school siege in southern Russia and 2005 unrest in Uzbekistan. 

While at Stanford on a Knight journalism fellowship, Herman worked at the design school to explore the future of journalism. He co-founded a project on “redesigning journalism,” looking at how audiences get their news and applying those insights to find ways to engage audiences. He has also studied strategic management and entrepreneurship at the Stanford business school, and worked on mobile application development and human-computer interaction design in the computer science department.

David Kenny

Chairman & CEO, The Weather Channel Companies


David Kenny is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC). An experienced executive with a strong record in the media and digital industries, Kenny works closely with the management team and the Board of Directors to leverage the company’s unique collection of media assets and spearhead the further development of a comprehensive, integrated strategy to accelerate its growth in the United States and internationally.

David brings strong leadership experience from the media industry, a deep understanding of the TV and digital businesses, and vision to drive global initiatives across all platforms. Kenny comes to TWCC after serving as president of Akamai, the leading cloud platform designed to help enterprises provide secure, high-performing user experiences to mobile and fixed internet users.

Previously, he co-founded and served as managing partner of VivaKi, the combined worldwide media and digital arm of Publicis Groupe, and he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Digitas Inc., a top global integrated brand agency. Kenny currently serves as member of the Board of Directors of Yahoo Inc., The Ad Council, and a director of Teach for America, a nonprofit that enlists recent graduates to teach and to effect change in under-resourced and low-income communities.

Ed Bice

Founding CEO, Meedan


Ed is Meedan’s founding CEO. A co-chair of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership (UPP) and the Middle East Strategy Group, Ed has represented Meedan at enough global conferences to have tapped out his phones contact list capacity. He fervently believes that the diversity and openness of the internet is the key indicator of human progress. While he resists the label, having helped to guide Meedan’s successful transition to a technology design and development consultancy, Ed is sometimes tagged as a social entrepreneur.  Joi Ito included Ed in his 2008 book Freesouls, portraits of 296 people working to build the open web. Ed holds a US patent on hybrid human and machine translation and has been published in national and international press. 

Fadi Ghandour

Founder & CEO, Aramex


Fadi Ghandour is the Founder and CEO of Aramex, one of the leading logistics and transportation companies in the Middle East and South Asia, and the first Arab based company to go public on NASDAQ stock exchange. The company now trades on the Dubai Financial Market.

Fadi is the Founder and Director of MENA Venture Investments, a seed capital fund that provides capital, access to networks, mentorship and technical expertise to startups. He is a Founding Partner of; the world’s largest Arab On-Line community acquired by Yahoo!. He is a member of the Board of Abraaj Capital, and the chairman of WAMDA, a platform designed to empower entrepreneurs in the MENA region. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut. Between 2003 and 2005, he was the Middle East and North Africa Area Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).

Fadi is passionate about social entrepreneurship. He is the founder of Ruwwad for Development (, a regional private sector-led community empowerment initiative that helps disadvantaged communities overcome marginalization through youth activism, civic engagement, and education. He is a Regional Board Member of Injaz Al Arab (, an organization that aims to equip students with entrepreneurial, leadership and practical business-related skills. He serves as a Member of the Board of the “National Microfinance Bank” in Jordan (, and has served as a Member of the Board of Business for Social Responsibility (; and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jordan River Foundation ( for over 10 years.

Fahad Khan

Founder & CEO, One Public


Fahad Khan is an immigrant American serial entrepreneur, who has lived, worked, studied and founded companies in three continents.

Fahad is the Founder & CEO One Public, one of the largest Facebook Preferred Marketing Developers in the world and a global provider of integrated social and mobile marketing products and solutions to global brands, agencies and retailers in almost every category.

One Public was the first company in the world to become a Facebook Preferred Developer Consultant outside of North America and Europe, in the early days of Facebook’s PDC/PMD program.

In addition to its focus on enterprise social and mobile marketing space, One Public’s mission is to unlock the potential of next generation social and mobile marketing and commerce for the long tail – the small and local businesses. Today, One Public’s Page Centrex platform is used by 35,000+ small and local businesses all over the world.  Headquartered in New York City, One Public has over 50 employees and four offices worldwide.

Fahad is also the Chairman of Gotham Innovation, a global venture capital and innovation syndicate, which bootstraps and incubates international new ventures (Oviatt & McDougall, 1994) fostering the born global phenomenon (McKinsey & Company, 1993).

Before immigrating to United States in 2007, Fahad worked and headed up a product development division at Wateen, a telecom startup (now a public company) backed by H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and Abu Dhabi Group.  Earlier in his career, at the age of 21, Fahad grew a New York based telecom startup from 15 to 100+ employees in less than a year.

An academic expert in International Entrepreneurship, Fahad holds M.Sc. Engineering degree in Management and Economics of Innovation from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers Business School, New Jersey, United States.

Geoff Ramsey

Founder & CEO, eMarketer


Geoff Ramsey is one of the most exciting visionaries in digital marketing today. As the chairman of eMarketer, Geoff is not only on the cutting edge of research trends and best practices, but he offers a rich understanding and big-picture perspective of the digital landscape and its impact on marketing and media. 

A highly regarded speaker, Geoff keynotes at major industry events around the globe, as well as at Fortune 100 corporations including Google, Yahoo! and Visa. He is frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek and Advertising Age. 

In 2011, Geoff received the ad:tech Industry Achievement Award, which honors individuals in the digital marketing space who have demonstrated consistent outstanding service, generated breakthrough ideas and fostered industry growth. His book, Digital Impact: The Two Secrets to Online Marketing Success (Wiley, 2011), co-authored with Vipin Mayar, has earned critical praise from industry leaders.

Greg Beitchman

Global Head of Multimedia, Thomson Reuters


Greg Beitchman is Global Head of Multimedia for Thomson Reuters and is responsible for all video, pictures and text products serving media customers, as well as the development of the company’s multimedia strategy.

Mr. Beitchman joined Reuters in 1996 in Tokyo as TV producer, Japan.  In 1997 he moved to New Delhi to lead Reuter’s investment into Indian news agency ANI and was later based in Singapore, Brussels and London, leading coverage teams on the ground in East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2005 Mr. Beitchman returned to India to become Executive Producer of Times Now TV, now India’s leading news channel. In 2007 his role was expanded to include responsibility for Reuters consumer facing websites in Japan, China and India. He was appointed Global Editor, Reuters News Agency in 2009, and then took on commercial responsibilities for the business in 2011 as Global Head of Multimedia.

Before joining Reuters, Mr. Beitchman held positions with the Tokyo Broadcasting System, CBS News and WTN.

Mr. Beitchman holds a Bachelor of Arts from Colby College in Waterville Maine, and speaks fluent Japanese, French and Hindi.

H. Melvin Ming

President & CEO, Sesame Workshop


As President and CEO of Sesame Workshop, H. Melvin Ming leads the nonprofit educational organization in its mission to create innovative, engaging content that maximizes the educational power of media to help children reach their highest potential. He directs the Workshop’s efforts around Sesame Street’s global presence as well as initiatives that address a wide range of issues for children and families including literacy, health, and military deployment.

Previously, Ming served as Chief Operating Officer and oversaw the content, product licensing, distribution, research, communications and business strategies of all of the Workshop’s properties. He also managed Sesame Workshop’s human resources, facilities, information services, and technical operations.

Prior to joining the Workshop, Ming was the Chief Financial Officer of the Museum of Television and Radio in New York, Chief Operating Officer at WQED Pittsburgh, and Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer at Thirteen/WNET New York. Ming also served as Vice President, Finance and Administration at National Public Radio and worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers (formerly Coopers and Lybrand) early in his career.

He serves on the Board of Directors of First Children’s Finance and Dial Global. Ming, a certified public accountant, received a B.S. degree from Temple University.

H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak

Chairman, Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority. Chairman, Abu Dhabi Media Summit. Chairman, Executive Affairs Authority, Government of Abu Dhabi. CEO & Managing Director, Mubadala Development Company.


Through leadership positions with Mubadala Development Company and the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak fulfills key roles in both the public and private sectors of the United Arab Emirates.

A member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Khaldoon is Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of the Government of Abu Dhabi. This specialized government agency is mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the Chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Executive Council, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

In addition, Khaldoon is CEO and Managing Director of Mubadala Development Company, a public joint stock company owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi. With a domestic and international outlook, Mubadala develops projects, creates new businesses, and invests in existing enterprises to generate financial returns and sustainable benefits for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Through the sheer breadth of its operations, Mubadala both contributes to and is a reflection of the rapid diversification of the Abu Dhabi economy.

Education and healthcare are two policy areas in which Khaldoon also has significant involvement. He is a member of the Abu Dhabi Education Council which is mandated to monitor and deliver international standards of education in the Emirate. He is also overseeing the establishment of a 2,000 student New York University campus in Abu Dhabi, and is a member of the New York University Board of Trustees.

Similarly, he is involved in the Government’s strategy to evolve the standards of practice and the delivery of healthcare services and facilities in Abu Dhabi. Through Mubadala, Khaldoon is overseeing the establishment of a major new hospital in Abu Dhabi in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic.

Khaldoon is also Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, mandated to oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive urban planning framework for the Emirate. The Urban Planning Council is ultimately responsible for the approval of major development proposals and the evolution of Abu Dhabi as a global capital city.

He sits on the board of the Abu Dhabi Media Zone, which is overseeing the development of an integrated media industry in Abu Dhabi and the UAE (Chairman); Chairman of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, Chairman of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Chairman of Emirates Aluminum (EMAL) and a board member of First Gulf Bank.

In 2007 Khaldoon was made a Commander of the Star of the Order of the Italian Solidarity for his contribution to the international reputation of Italy and its economic relationship with the UAE. He is also Co-Chair of the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum, established to strengthen economic and political ties between the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Republic of Singapore.

Beginning his career at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Khaldoon held a number of positions at UAE Offsets Group before assuming his current portfolio of responsibilities. He holds a degree in Economics and Finance from Tufts University, Boston.

H.R.H. Princess Rym Ali of Jordan

Founder, Jordan Media Institute (JMI)


Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali founded in 2007 the Jordan Media Institute (JMI), a non-profit institution whose aim is to establish an Arab center of excellence for journalism education with a Master’s program at its core and training  modules (  She has also been member of the Board of Commissioners of the Royal Film Commission - Jordan since July 2005 ( 

Prior to marrying HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Princess Rym worked extensively for international broadcasters including CNN, where she began as a producer in 1998 and later worked as a Baghdad correspondent from 2001 until 2004. She had developed her portfolio working for the BBC, Dubai TV, Bloomberg TV, Radio Monte-Carlo Moyen-Orient and United Press International-UPI. 

A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Princess Rym Ali also holds a MPhil in Political Science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and a MA in English Literature from the Sorbonne. 

Princess Rym Ali received a prestigious Alumni Award from the Columbia University School of Journalism in April 2011. In July 2011, she has also been awarded the “Best International Journalist” prize at the 32nd Ischia International Journalism Awards Ceremony, one of the most renowned journalistic awards in Italy. In September 2011, Princess Rym Ali was decorated with French Knight of the Legion of Honor by French Ambassador to Jordan.

Habib Haddad

CEO, Wamda


Habib is an entrepreneur and early stage investor. He is the CEO of Wamda, a platform to accelerate entrepreneurship in the emerging markets through a media arm, early stage fund and products. He also founded of Yamli the leading Arabic transliteration and smart search engine which is used by millions of users and empowers many organizations including Yahoo!. In 2009, the World Economic Forum recognized Habib as a Young Global Leader and the ArabianBusiness named him one of the most influential Arabs. Habib was also named as a top innovator under 35 (TR35) by the MIT Technology review  He currently serves on the Global Agenda Council on fostering entrepreneurship, and advises several startups and non-profits. He holds a Bachelor of Computer and Communication Engineering from the American University in Beirut and a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. 

Ihsan Jawad

Founder, Zawya


Ihsan Jawad, founder of Zawya, began his career as an investment banker in London where he worked with Merrill Lynch and Schroders’ Middle East arm for corporate finance. 

After realizing the scarcity of business information in the Middle East region, Jawad founded Zawya in 2000 and embarked on a mission to establish it as the region’s premier source of business information. Jawad moved the company’s headquarters from London to Dubai in 2003 and accelerated the company’s growth since then. Under his tenure, Zawya has expanded the depth and scope of its offerings, which included establishing a joint venture with the Dow Jones Newswire to establish the Zawya Dow Jones newswire. 

Jawad serves on the board of directors of the Gulf Venture Capital Association and is on the advisory board of Capital Industries and Investments.

Jim Wuthrich

President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment


Jim Wuthrich is President, International, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, where he is responsible for implementing the Company’s current international growth strategies while working closely with international territories to identify strategic opportunities for the Home Entertainment Group’s home video, digital distribution and games businesses abroad.

Wuthrich has played a key leadership role in Warner Bros.’ digital effort since the Studio first began integrating its digital and packaged goods businesses with the successful launch of Digital Copy.  Prior to his current role, Wuthrich served as Senior Vice President, Digital Distribution and before that, Senior Vice President, Electronic Sell-Through and Interactive Marketing, where he was responsible for developing the market for digitally distributed entertainment product on a worldwide basis.  He joined Warner Home Video in 1998 as Director, Marketing and was promoted to Vice President, Marketing Theatrical New Release, Warner Home Video in 2003.

Before joining Warner Home Video in 1998, Wuthrich spent five years at Creative Multimedia, a company that published content to CD-ROM and the Internet.  He began his career in marketing at Hallmark Cards.

A graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, Wuthrich also holds a degree in business from University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

Karim Sabbagh

Senior Partner, Booz & Company Dubai. Vice President, the Global Practice Leader, Communications, Media & Technology. Chairman, Ideation Center


Dr. Karim Sabbagh is a Senior Partner with Booz & Company and a practice leader for communications, media, and technology. He is also the chairman of the Ideation Center, Booz & Company’s leading think tank in the Middle East.

Dr. Sabbagh has extensive experience in strategy and operations, acquired through various projects in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. He has managed a number of economic and business development assignments in telecommunications and media, primarily in the context of sector level development strategies, institutional and regulatory reforms, large-scale privatization programs, and strategy-based transformations focused on strategic planning, partnerships and alliances, international investments, marketing, and business process re-design.

Dr. Sabbagh is a member of the Board of Directors for SES S.A. He is a visiting professor in technology management and member of the Academic Council for the School of International Management at Écoles des Ponts ParisTech (Grandes Ecoles) in France.

Kaveh Gharib

Localization Project Manager, Twitter Inc.


Kaveh Gharib is a project manager at Twitter overseeing localization of Twitter’s growth products in 28 languages. Kaveh also leads localization efforts for the right-to-left languages on Twitter and serves as a market analyst for the MENA region.  

Kaveh’s focus and passion is to advocate for the importance of presence in emerging markets and MENA region in particular. His goal is to localize all Twitter products and features into RTL languages and deliver the best Twitter experience to users of those languages by producing hig quality localized content on the platform.

 Prior to joining Twitter, Kaveh held several positions at a number of NGOs and international institutions including York University, the San Francisco International Film Festival and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Li Ruigang

Chairman, China Media Capital


Mr. Li has amassed a wealth of industry and leadership experience over his career, with deep understanding in the areas of industry, academics, and government, both domestically and abroad. Mr. Li is the former Chairman of Shanghai Broadcasting and TV and President of the Shanghai Media Group. Under the leadership of Mr. Li, SMG has maintained the most complete portfolio of media-related businesses since 2001, including television, radio, print media, new media, home shopping, content distribution, performing arts, training and etc., and has become the largest content and service provider and distributor of Chinese language programs in mainland China. With 15 analog TV channels (2 satellite channels), 11 radio frequencies, 8 newspapers and magazines, 30 digital TV channels (16 nationwide and 14 in Shanghai local areas) and broadband Internet TV, mobile TV and IPTV, SMG saw its revenue grow almost ten-fold from 1.8 billion RMB in 2001 to 17 billion RMB in 2011. Mr. Li was appointed a non-executive director of WPP, making him the first board director from China. Mr. Li was a visiting scholar at Columbia University from 2001 to 2002. Mr. Li received his Master’s Degree in Journalism from Fudan University.

Magid Abraham

Co-Founder & CEO, comScore Inc.


Dr. Magid Abraham is President, CEO and Co-Founder of comScore Inc., and a widely recognized expert on consumer and market measurement, modeling and analytics solutions.  He has authored many award winning articles and has been recognized by a variety of institutions for contributions and outstanding leadership in the theory and practice of Marketing Science, by MIT’s Sloan School of Management, The American Marketing Association, and the Advertising Research Foundation.  

Dr. Abraham was named Ernst & Young® Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 and inducted into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.  He was also designated along with comScore as a “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum.  Dr. Abraham is a frequent speaker on Internet industry trends and marketing subjects at various industry conferences and forums.

Dr. Abraham received a Ph.D. in Operations Research and an M.B.A. from MIT.  He also holds an Engineering degree from the École Polytechnique, in France.

Mark Gerhard

CEO, Jagex


Mark joined Jagex in February 2008 as the Chief Technical Officer and was swiftly promoted to Chief Executive in January 2009.

Since his initial appointment, Mark has helped Jagex grow from an unknown Cambridge start-up, with declining revenues, to the Western hemisphere’s leader in Massively Multiplayer Online Browser Games - as well as being the UK’s largest independent games developer and publisher.

Mark is responsible for Jagex’s day-to-day-operations, as well as leading the company’s product development and technology strategy. Under his leadership, Jagex has seen continued growth with profit margins of 70%, a strong upcoming product line of titles to come to market in the next 12 months. Jagex maintains a culture of innovation and will shortly launch the first natively online SaaS Publishing Platform for Games.

Under Mark’s leadership Jagex has collected numerous accolades, such as the prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation and Excellence, and received multiple industry awards ranging from Jagex game-specific awards through to excellence in customer service. Since his appointment, Jagex has increased in headcount to 500 staff and Mark has built a management team that includes some of the most experienced professionals in the industry. 

Prior to joining Jagex, Mark had a long entrepreneurial career spanning leading edge technology and digital media sectors. Outside of work, when he’s not spending his time with his young family, Mark is either reading up on the latest technology innovations, trends and businesses or playing video games (which he claims to his wife is research!)”

Mark serves on a number of industry bodies and associations and is a regular keynote speaker at trade events both nationally and internationally.

May Habib

Founder and CEO, Qordoba


May is the CEO/Founder of Qordoba, a language technologies company dedicated to creating high-quality digital content in the Arabic language. She has a degree in Economics and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard College. May was previously a director in the Acquisitions and Strategy unit of ATIC, Mubadala’s high-tech investing arm. Habib helped establish ATIC in January 2009 as a member of ATIC’s founding team. Habib has been involved in every tech deal ATIC/Mubadala has done over the past two and a half years and was an architect of the group’s venture capital investing strategy. Previously, she was an investment banker with Lehman Brothers in New York.

Mina Nagy Michel Takla

Co-Founder, Taghreedat


Mina Nagy Takla is the Co-Founder of Taghreedat, a regional Arabic e-content community building brand with over 100,000 Twitter followers and one of the most influential Arab brands on Twitter.

Along with the Taghreedat Co-Founder Sami Mubarak, Mina founded Taghreedat back in July 2011 as an unprecedented online community initiative that takes a user-centered approach to develop more Arabic digital content on the web. Realizing the challenges and exciting nature of community-driven initiatives, Mina brought a thorough understanding of community management as an integral component of Taghreedat.

With over 100,000 followers on Twitter and a prestigious list of stakeholders including Twitter, the Wikimedia Foundation, Storify and TED, Taghreedat (@Taghreedat on Twitter) has been able to have a unique impact on enriching Arabic digital content through localization and community projects with a wide community of over 2,500 volunteer Arab translators from 31 countries worldwide including the Middle East, the UK, the US and Australia.

Taghreedat is one of the most intensively media-covered Arab initiatives, with over 32 international and media outlets that have already covered the initiative, including: CNN, BBC, The Next Web, The Wall Street Journal, SKY News, CNBC and more!

Mina holds a Master’s Degree (MSc.) in Strategic Marketing from the University of Wollongong in Dubai, one of the UAE’s oldest and most prestigious universities. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Misr International University in Cairo, Egypt.

Mohamad Mourad

Regional Manager Gulf, Google


Mohamad leads Google’s business in the Gulf Region. He has joined Google in 2011 with the mandate to drive Google’s investments, to streamline its business operations and strengthen partnerships with key ICT stakeholders. 
Prior to joining Google, Mohamad held the position of Principal at Booz & Company, a strategy consultancy, where he led the Middle East region’s Mergers and Acquisitions and New Business Development activities in the Telecommunications, Media and Technology sectors. Prior to joining Booz & Company, he held positions in industry in the capacities of business development and business planning. Mohamad holds an MBA degree from INSEAD in France.


Mohammad Gawdat

Vice President, Emerging SEEMEA, Google


As Vice President of Emerging SEEMEA at Google, Mohammad manages Google’s sales and business operations in over 110 countries.

Mohammad’s background is as an Engineer, paired with an MBA degree from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands.

He has an impressive combined career of 22 years, starting at IBM Egypt as a Systems Engineer before moving to a Sales role in the government sector. Venturing in to the UAE, Mohammad joined NCR Abu Dhabi to cover the non-finance sector. He also became acquainted with the consumer goods industry as Regional Manager of BAT. He then assumed various roles at Microsoft over a span of seven and a half years, and was most recently head of the Communications Sector across Emerging Markets worldwide.

Mohammad joined Google in 2007 and continues to focus on his biggest passion; Emerging Markets and the vast degree of cultural diversity and challenges they face. He is fascinated by the role that technology plays in empowering people in these communities and has dedicated his career towards that passion.

Outside of work, when he’s not reading up on business and the latest technology innovations and trends, Mohammad spends his time drawing charcoal portraits, doing mosaics, carpentry and indulging in his passion for music. He is also a serial entrepreneur and has started more than fifteen businesses in his career. Mo is deeply interested in the history and evolution of automobiles, through the years, and enjoys a passion for classic cars. Considering his vast background, Mohammad speaks Arabic, English, German and some Turkish and Russian.

Naif Al-Mutawa

Founder & CEO, Teshkeel Media Group


Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa is the Founder AND CEO of Teshkeel Media Group, for whom he created THE 99, the first group of comic superheroes born of an Islamic archetype. THE 99 has received positive attention from the world’s media. Recently, Forbes named THE 99 as one of the top 20 trends sweeping the globe and most recently, President Barack Obama praised Dr. Naif and THE 99 as perhaps the most innovative of the thousands of new entrepreneurs viewed by his Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship.

Al-Mutawa has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University where he also earned a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. He holds a Masters in Organizational Psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and an MBA, also from Columbia University. He earned his undergraduate degree from Tufts University, where he triple majored in clinical psychology, English literature and history.

Dr. Al-Mutawa has extensive clinical experience working with former prisoners of war in Kuwait and the Survivors of Political Torture unit of Bellevue Hospital in New York. He has seen first hand the cancer that intolerance can bring to any society. His direct contact with the horrors of people tortured because of their religious and political beliefs, led to his writing a timeless children’s tale that won a UNESCO prize for literature in the service of tolerance.

He received the Eliot-Pearson Award for Excellence in Children’s Media from Tufts University, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations “ Marketplace of Ideas” Award, The Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Award presented at the 2009 World Economic Forum and has been named as one of WEF’s Young Global Leaders for 2011. In May 2012, he was chosen to be a Curator of the Kuwait chapter of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community. He is also a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Media. As a part of the Council, he has been asked to identify breakthrough ideas and new pathways to help advance critical issues and ensure progress is made on the global agenda.

Dr. Al-Mutawa is also the Founder of The Soor Center for Psychological Counseling and Assessment, Kuwait’s leading professional source of a broad range of psychological services.

He is married to Rola Banaja and the father of five sons. He travels extensively and has homes in Kuwait City and New York.

Nart Bouran

Head of Sky News Arabia


Nart Bouran is Head of Sky News Arabia, a new Arabic-language 24-hour news channel set to broadcast across 50 million households in the MENA region. Among his wide scope of responsibilities Bouran is in charge of directing and managing the channel’s news operations, safeguarding the Sky News standard of impartial and independent world-class news reporting, and achieving the company’s business objectives.

Bouran possesses a wealth of experience from a career in journalism spanning over 20 years. He has worked extensively across the region covering major stories in countries such as Iraq, Algeria, Libya and Yemen, as well as the Arab-Israeli conflict. He joined Sky News Arabia from Thomson Reuters, where he was Director of Television for the Reuters News Agency.

Former roles have included Director General of the Jordan Radio and Television Corporation, and Director of News Centre for Abu Dhabi TV where he spearheaded their acclaimed coverage of the war in Iraq in 2003.  Bouran also worked as Regional Editor for Middle East and Africa at Reuters between the years 1995 and 1999.

Naveen Tewari

Founder and CEO, InMobi


Naveen Tewari founded InMobi in 2007. Since then, he has been responsible for envisioning the future of the company and strategizing to make it a global company. Naveen is responsible for the growth of InMobi till date and its recognition in the international industry. Today, InMobi’s name is synonymous with giants such as Google, Apple and Yahoo. 

While most product companies start in the silicon valley, grow in the developed markets and then reach the emerging markets, Naveen took the reverse market strategy for InMobi. He started InMobi in some of they key emerging markets such as India, Indonesia, South Africa etc. and maintained ground till InMobi was established as the largest ad network in the regions. Post that, with the experience and scale of these markets, he entered the developed markets with a sound background and made it the largest independent mobile ad network in a short span of just 3 years.

Naveen’s journey started with McKinsey & Company where he developed the go to market strategy for a large Indian conglomerate. Later he joined Charles River Ventures and worked on developing its India investment strategy.

Naveen is also the Founder and Chairman of a US based non-profit organization, India School Fund (ISF), which strives at setting up schools in rural India.

Naveen has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BE degree from IIT Kanpur.

Nuri Çolakoğlu

President, Dogan Media International


Nuri M. Colakoglu, born in Izmir in 1943, graduated from Robert College and took his BA in Diplomacy and International Relations from school of Political Sciences, Ankara. He has worked as a journalist & broadcaster and media executive since 1969. He has held positions in Turkey and abroad, including TRT Foreign News Department, German News Agency DPA, Sweden STV, German WDR Radio, Aydinlik Newspaper, BBC Turkish Section, Milliyet Newspaper London Bureau Chief and then News Editor and TRT General Manager Chief Advisor.

Since 1991 he has been involved in launching or restructuring a number of private TV channels - Show TV, Cine 5, Olay TV, NTV, CNBC-e, CNN Turk, Fenerbahce TV, Kanal D Romania, TEB KOBI TV, Grand Bazaar TV/Kapalıçarşı TV. Right now he is in the process of launching his 10th channel – HTV: Health Channel.

He returned to Dogan Media Group in 2002 as CEO & President of CNN Turk. Here, he served as the General Manager of CNN Turk, ANS International Production Company, CEO of Turkish Daily News, helped launch Kanal D Romania. He is currently the President of Dogan Media International and Advisor to the CEO of Dogan Media Group. He is also a Board Member of Kanal D Romania.

He owns two private companies: One publishes books (InterMedia International Communication Corporation) and the other gives corporate publicity services (NMC New Media Company Television and Advertisement Corporation).

He is serving as Executive Board Members of Istanbul Arts & Culture Foundation and Contemporary Istanbul, TV Broadcasters Association of Turkey after serving as her President for ten years.

He has three children and two grandchildren.

Osman Sultan

CEO, du


Osman Sultan was named as the Founder Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (du) in January 2006. His vision of creating a telecommunications company that would transform the UAE’s industry monopoly, while adhering to its values and delivering on its promise, has since manifested to form one of the region’s most vibrant success stories.

Under Sultan’s guidance, du’s starting team has expanded to a corporate family of more than 2000 colleagues, with a network of 45 du Shops and more than 3000 affiliated retailers across the UAE. The company’s rapid growth success includes an ever-increasing customer base of more than five million mobile customers and a market share of close to 50 per cent in less than five years; company profits within two years of operations, and a focus that is as people-centric as it is driven by providing the best value and adding life to life. du was also the first telecommunications company in the UAE to release a Sustainable Development Report, the first edition of which was launched in October 2011. Also du ranked first in the S&P/Hawkamah Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Index 2011. The ranking comes as a result of the telecommunications company’s sustained efforts to enhancing corporate governance standards within the company and community.

Having joined the telecommunications industry in 1983, Sultan’s experience in the field is varied and covers operations in Europe, North America and the MENA region. He has held management positions in sales, marketing and customer services, as well as leadership roles in three of the world’s largest telecommunications companies: Questel.Orbit Inc and the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil) which he founded in 1998 and continued head it for 7 years.

As a recognised industry leader, he has been invited to address several conferences on Telecommunications, Digital World, IPTV and Internet in the Middle East and beyond; he has also mentored a generation of key telecom sector players, who have gone on to occupy leadership roles across the world.

His drive and business acumen has earned him several industry accolades. To name a few:

•  Recognized as one of the ‘30 Most Influential People in the GCC’ according to Business Pioneer Magazine (2012)

•  Won Innovator of the Year award (2012) at Gulf Business Industry Awards 2012

•  Selected among the most powerful executives in the telecoms industry on GTBPower100 List for two consecutive years 2010 & 2011.

•  Named the CEO of the Year – Telecommunications, at the 4th CEO Middle East Awards (2011)

•  Master Class CEO of the Year, organized by the GCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2010)

•  MEComs Lifetime Achievement (2009)

•  MENA Cristal Media Man of the Year for his wealthy contribution to the world of digital media and content (2008)

•  Man of the Year award from the Professional Electronic Information Services Community in France (1996)

•  The Best Web Site - Legal Product from the American Information Association (1996)


Ovais Naqvi

SVP, Abraaj Capital


Responsible for Abraaj’s Center of Excellence in Sales & Marketing, leading portfolio company best practices and solutions in sales & channels, marketing, pricing and customer engagement. Leads “Arena”, the Firm’s Partner Company Synergy program and is on the Abraaj-Aureos knowledge management Steering Group.

Ovais’ career has been in numerous aspects of marketing, branding, content publishing and digital/web architecture creation - as a CEO and as a Founder/Entrepreneur. His passion is multichannel brand-building, physical-to-digital models and how digital technologies, data and brand tools help grow the equities and value of PE-invested businesses.

Was the project leader of the Abraaj-created platform, (and is currently on its Board). Sits on the Boards of Sport360, Mediaquest and Teshkeel Media Group. Was Founder/CEO of Gloria Books, a pioneer in the luxury publishing industry in Europe. Previously was in management roles in Omnicom and WPP group companies in the UK with EMEA remits.

Rabea Ataya



Rabea Ataya is the founder and CEO of, the Middle East’s leading job site, which now serves over 9,000,000 professionals and 40,000 employers from its 12 regional offices.  He is also a co-founder of, the region’s first group purchasing site.  Prior to, Rabea founded and managed InfoFort, the Middle East’s first and leading records management company with operations throughout the Middle East.

Rabea is a graduate of Stanford University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Engineering Economic Systems.

Rashid Al Ballaa



Rashid Al Ballaa is the founder and CEO of N2V, an internet holding company that is Disrupting Digital Arabia and stimulating the growth of a multi-billion $ internet industry in Arabia. N2V enables web ventures in Arabia by investing capital and offering essential infrastructure services, mentorship, and support to help accelerate their growth.  

Rashid is also a board member of National Technology Group (NTG), MENA’s largest ICT conglomerate and key provider of Financial Technology and Services. NTG annual revenue grew to over 700 million through 20+ subsidiaries and JVs in the MENA region. 

Before N2V, Rashid founded and managed Mubasher Financial Services (MFS), MENA’s first STP e-brokerage company and the only provider of DMA to MENA equity markets.  Rashid now serves on the board of MFS.

Rashid holds a B.Sc. in Computer science with honors degree from King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ravi Bhusari

Co-founder & Director of Business Development, DUPLAYS


Ravi is Co-founder and Director of Business Development of DUPLAYS,  a startup that connects you to others who share your sport passion and to great sport activities where you live, from leagues to tournaments, events and classes.
Prior to starting DUPLAYS, Ravi was employed as Development Advisory Manager at Colliers International’s Dubai office, as a consultant at Investment Boutique LLC, and as a Project Engineer at Halliburton in Canada.
Ravi’s passion has always been for sports. He was awarded the Greater Montreal Athletic Association’s medal for Sportsmanship and was twice selected to Montreal’s All-Star Football team representing Lower Canada College, one of Canada’s most prestigious preparatory schools for boys. Ravi holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Robert Kyncl

Global Head of Content Partnerships, Google


Robert Kyncl is Google’s Global Head of Content Partnerships. Robert’s focus is to build out Google’s presence in the entertainment world. He oversees content partnerships across the movie studios, record labels, sports leagues, broadcasters, cable networks, talent agencies and new media companies. Prior to joining Google, Robert was Vice President of Content Acquisitions at Netflix, where he spearheaded the company’s content acquisition for streaming TV shows and movies over the Internet.

Saad Mohseni

Chairman, MOBY Group.


Saad Mohseni is the Chairman and CEO of MOBY Group. Established in 2002 by Saad,Zaid, Jahid and Wajma Mohseni, MOBY Group is a diversified media entity in South and Central Asia and the Middle East.  The company has spearheaded significant changes in the media landscape and continues to drive and develop products that engage, educate, and entertain audiences.
MOBY Group employs over 900 staff across 13 integrated businesses including radio and TV stations, print media, digital, creative agencies, technology solutions, and strategic partnerships. Currently, it specializes in reaching millions of Dari, Farsi, Pashto and English speaking people across the region as well as other substantial populations and language groups across the Middle East and in South Asia.
MOBY is the world’s most prolific producer of Pashto and Dari (Farsi) content, including dramas, reality television, game shows, sitcoms, as well as political programming. Its hard-hitting current affairs news shows, locally produced dramas and documentaries have received accolades and recognition in the international arena, including two awards at the 2010 Sundance Festival for its moving documentary “Afghan Star”, and a Seoul Drama Award for ‘Eagle 4’.
In 2005, Reporters Without Borders recognized MOBY’s Afghan channel, Tolo TV, for its ongoing battle for the right to inform the public. The channel, along with Tolo News – launched in 2010 – has aided in rooting out corruption, empowering civil society, and serving the Afghan people as they seek transparency and accountability from their government.
In January of 2012, News Corporation became a minority investor in MOBY - contributing its shareholding in Broadcast Middle East (BME), a Farsi-language TV joint venture with MOBY, as well as growth capital for a stake in the parent company. Through BME, News Corporation and MOBY launched two successful Farsi-language channels, FARSI1 and Zemzemeh, reaching millions of Farsi speaking audiences across Central Asia and the Middle East.  
Saad served as a Senior Economic Advisor to the Afghan Government from 2002 to 2004, where he assisted in the establishment and development of the Afghan Investment Support Agency, Industrial Parks Commission as well as the High Commission for Investment.  He also helped establish the Afghanistan Centre for Policy and Research Studies, one of the nation’s top policy institutes.
In 2011, Time magazine recognized him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, citing his impact as a shaper of public opinion in Afghanistan through openly criticizing the government and challenging social conventions ingrained by years of Taliban rule.
Saad has an extensive background in investment banking, equities, and financial markets in Australia and Europe. Prior to establishing MOBY Group, Saad headed the Equities and Corporate Finance Division at one of Australia’s leading investment banks. He was born in the United Kingdom as one of four children of an Afghan diplomat. He spent his early years in London, Kabul, Islamabad and Tokyo before emigrating to Melbourne, Australia.

Sai Kumar

Group CEO, Network 18


B. Sai Kumar, 38 years, is the Group CEO of Network18, one of India’s largest media groups. He oversees the group’s diverse portfolio of assets spanning news & entertainment broadcasting, web portals, publishing, filmed entertainment, e-commerce, broadcast & new media distribution and other allied businesses. This includes one of India’s premier TV networks, reaching over a 100 million viewers on an average every week, comprising of over twenty-five national and regional channels straddling General & Business news, Mass entertainment, Youth, Kids, English entertainment, Factual entertainment and Home shopping genres. The group is also one of India’s largest digital content and e-commerce players attracting over 25 million unique visitors on an average every month. Apart from this, the group operates a stable of leading special interest magazines, business directories and search services and has a significant presence in areas such as sports and event management, broadcast services and financial data terminals. Network18 has emerged as an industry benchmark in forging market leading strategic partnerships with global media majors including CNBC, CNN, Forbes, Viacom, A+E Networks.

Kumar assumed this role in November 2011. Previously, Kumar served as the Group COO of Network18 where he played a key role in the group’s transcendence from a single channel broadcaster into one of India’s leading full play media entities. Since joining in 2000, Kumar has been instrumental in leading the group’s expansionary moves in news broadcasting and digital publishing and crafting its foray into mass and factual entertainment broadcasting, publishing and e-commerce.

Responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the group, Kumar leads management teams of all group businesses including the IBN general news network (CNN-IBN,IBN7,IBN-Lokmat), CNBC-TV18/Awaaz business news network (CNBC-TV18,CNBC Awaaz,CNBC-TV18 Prime HD), Web18 (,,, etc), Forbes India, Network18 Publishing(Overdrive,Chip,Entrepreneur etc) amongst others. Apart from this, Kumar oversees the group’s interests in A+E Networks|TV18 (HistoryTV18), Viacom18 (Colors, MTV, Nick, Vh1, Sonic, Comedy Central, Viacom18 Motion Pictures), Indiacast (Distribution JV between TV18 & Viacom18), Homeshop18 & Bigtree Entertainment (


Sami Mustafa Mubarak

Co-Founder, Taghreedat


Sami Mustafa Mubarak is the Co-Founder of TaghreedatSami Mustafa Mubarak is the Co-Founder of Taghreedat, a regional Arabic e-content community building brand with over 100,000 Twitter followers and a large & growing community of Arab volunteer translators in over 28 world countries, of which are 20 Arab countries, including the UAE. 

Along with Co-Founder Mina Takla, Sami founded Taghreedat back in July 2011 as an unprecedented online community initiative that takes a user-centered approach to enrich Arabic digital content on the web. Realizing the challenges and exciting nature of community-driven initiatives, Sami also brought a thorough understanding of community management as an integral component of Taghreedat, in addition to technical knowledge required for crowd-sourcing, on which Taghreedat is based. 

With over 100,000 followers on Twitter and a prestigious list of stakeholders including Twitter, the Wikimedia Foundation,  Storify and TED, Taghreedat (@Taghreedat on Twitter) has been able to have a unique impact on enriching Arabic digital content through localization and community projects with a wide community of over 2,500 volunteer Arab translators from 31 countries worldwide including the Middle East, the UK, the US and Australia.

Sami holds a Bachelor of Computer Application from the M.A.K.A. College of Information Technology under Sikkim Manipal University in Bangalore, India. He has also completed a number of international courses including: Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP).

Shane Smith

Co-Founder & CEO, Vice Media Group


Shane Smith is CEO and founder of the youth media company VICE. As an expert on global youth culture and a critically acclaimed journalist, Smith is one of the digital entertainment industry’s most respected executives. 

 Under Smith’s guidance, VICE, launched in 1994 as a punk magazine, has expanded and diversified to include the world’s premier original online video destination, VICE.COM, an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a record label, an in-house creative services agency and a book-publishing division. VICE.COM houses over 60 original online series dedicated to news, sports, fashion, music, technology, and the arts. 

Smith has been described by the New York Times as “a voice of a generation of too-cool DJs and artists who wear rolled selvedge jeans and chunky glasses…[and] a conduit for corporate America to reach that elusive audience.”

As one of VICE’s leading on-air correspondents and executive producers, Smith has reported from such far-flung locations as North Korea, Sudan, Libya, Afghanistan and Liberia. Smith is set to host VICE’s upcoming series on HBO which will be executive produced by Bill Maher. 

Smith enjoys cold white wine and long, bubbly baths—preferably in tandem.


Shaukat Shamim

Founder and CEO, de’zine


Shaukat is the Founder and CEO of de’zine, a crowdfunding marketplace that connects consumers to designers that are yet-to-be discovered in the areas of vintage couture, cutting-edge fashion, accessories, home furnishings, and home décor.

Prior to de’zine, Shaukat was the Founder and CEO of Buysight, Inc, which  enabled performance marketers to buy online display advertising likesearch. Shaukat also founded Rhythm NewMedia, a leader in mobile advertising, Venture Partner at NeoCarta Ventures, $300m early stage venture firm, and early member at Yahoo! where he pioneered the development of the instant messaging platform- Yahoo! Messenger.

Tarek Elmasry

Managing Director, Middle East, McKinsey & Company


Tarek Elmasry is Managing Director of the Middle East Office of McKinsey & Company, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Previously, Tarek was a Director in McKinsey’s Chicago Office and also held the position of Americas Telecom Practice Leader. He has co-led the North American High Tech, Media, and Telecom (TMT) Sector.  Tarek has served telecom service providers, equipment players, and private equity firms as well as natural resource players. He has deep expertise in strategy, sales and marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and organizational change.

Tarek holds a B.A. with honors in Economics from the University of Chicago and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Prior to joining McKinsey, he started and ran an advertising sales company.


Tom Freston

Principal, Firefly3


Tom Freston is a Principal of Firefly3, an investment and consultancy firm focusing on the media and entertainment industries. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Viacom Inc., where he also served as Chief Operating Officer.

For seventeen years, Mr. Freston was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MTV Networks, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Comedy Central, and other networks.

Prior to that Mr. Freston ran a textile business in Afghanistan and India. Currently, he is Board Chairman of the ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization for extreme poverty and serves on the boards of DreamWorks Animation, Moby Media in Afghanistan, Vice Media and he also serves as a trustee of The Asia Society.

He was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2010.


Wael Atili

Co-Founder, Kharabeesh


Wael is an architect by training, an avid blogger, a young entrepreneur, and a passionate storyteller.

Wael started working with in 1997 while still a student of Architecture at Jordan University. He later progressed his career in information design, user experience, branding and innovation until he finally started Kharabeesh, in 2008. Kharabeesh now is considered one of the fastest growing entertainment network based on social media that serves Arab internet users around the world. It started as a small storytelling house for the new Arab generation and it was aiming to place Arab entertainment on the WEB map. His hobby turned career has resulted in a large profile of productions recounting stories stemming out of his society to reflect its daily realties.

Ward Platt

President - Asia Pacific & the Middle East - FOX International Channels


Ward Platt is responsible for FOX International Channel’s (FIC) business operations throughout Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Since joining the company in 1999, Ward’s leadership has taken FIC’s businesses from strength to strength, as evidenced by strong growth in distribution, revenues and brand awareness of all its properties, including the National Geographic, STAR, and FOX suites of channels.  Today, across the region FIC operates or distributes 33 channel brands with over 100 feeds reaching more than 550 million cumulative subscribers, making it the leading pay-TV network in Asia.  In addition to managing strategic business initiatives, Ward oversees 18 offices across 14 markets with programming, on-air promotions, marketing, advertising sales, affiliates sales and distribution, legal, finance and administration functions.  Ward is based in Hong Kong.

Ward joined FOX International Channels in 1999 to spearhead the development of National Geographic Channel in Asia Pacific and the Middle East as Group Managing Director. Under his stewardship, the channel brand achieved tremendous growth in terms of reach, revenue and popularity.

Previously, Ward was the Senior Vice President of Distribution and Business Development for STAR Group, where he pursued channel and distribution development opportunities for the company throughout Asia. Before that, he worked for five years with Continental Cablevision and its affiliates in both Singapore and Boston.

Yousef Gamal El-Din

Anchor & Middle East Correspondent, CNBC


Yousef Gamal El-Din is the host of CNBC’s Access: Middle East. The show profiles the personalities shaping the region’s global ambitions and can be seen via CNBC’s global network, reaching 190 million homes in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the US. Yousef is also the channel’s regional correspondent and regularly contributes analysis for He has reported on major events across the Arab World, and was on the ground in Tahrir Square at the height of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, providing unprecedented coverage for the network in the toughest of circumstances. His coverage of the Arab Spring, energy markets and the region’s broader financial developments have been an important component of CNBC programing.

In more than five years of broadcast television, Yousef has interviewed a wide range of regional and international leaders in politics and business. For two years, he co-anchored Capital Connection, a daily show serving as the bridge between global markets. Prior to joining CNBC, Yousef was an anchor and reporter for Egyptian Television.

Yousef graduated Summa Cum Laude from the American University in Cairo, with both a B.A. and M.A. in journalism. He is fluent in four languages, and enjoys travelling when the opportunity arises.