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    Essential networking events for publishers across Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, Middle East and North America. 

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WAN-IFRA is calling on its supporters around the globe to nominate great speakers for our events.

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  • Cofondateur et président, CEDROM-SNi

    François aird

    Après des études en gestion à l’École des hautes études commerciales de Montréal, il s’associe à Philippe Gélinas en 1984 pour créer la firme de conseil informatique A&G Conseil. Renommée Proximi-T, elle sera intégrée au Groupe Cossette Communication en 2000. En 1988, le développement des interfaces graphiques et l’apparition d’un nouveau support de stockage – le cédérom – les incitent à fonder CEDROM Technologies. L’entreprise fusionnera quelques années plus tard avec la Société Nationale d’Information (SNI) pour devenir CEDROM-SNi. En janvier 2000, François et ses associés lancent IXIASOFT, une entreprise issue de l’expertise de CEDROM-SNi en indexation de documents. IXIASOFT met en marché des outils logiciels pour la gestion de documents XML et DITA. 

    Président du conseil d’administration du Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal (CRIM), François a aussi présidé le conseil d’administration d’IXIASOFT et de l’Association québécoise des technologies (AQT).

  • CEO of Press Sector at Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), United Arab Emirates

    I started my career in the banking sector, where l worked for the British Bank of the Middle East for two years. In 1997, I moved to Dubai Media Incorporated and worked at its Financial Support Services Department for nine years. Afterwards I moved to the publishing sector, where l worked as Director of the Subscription and Distribution Department and later as Deputy General Manager of Al Bayan Newspaper, before l worked as Executive General Manager of four newspapers, namely Al Bayan, Emarat Alyoum, Emirates Today and Emirates 24/7. I then moved to DMI as (CMO) Chief of Commercial Affairs and Marketing Officer for the TV channels, newspapers, radio channels, printing press and Tawseel Company. Now I'm the CEO of Press Sector in Dubai Media Inc.

    Meanwhile, I have always been responsible for the administrative side (Human Resources - Information Technology - Financial Management - Sales - Marketing) and the link between the media and administrative sides of DMI.

    Furthermore, I have contributed to a number of DMI's major projects, most notably Al Bayan's paperless hall, the re-launch of Al Bayan Newspaper, the conversion of Emarat Alyoum from a free newspaper to a paid one, the conversion of Emirates 24/7 from a printed newspaper to a digital one, the inception of Ara Magazine and the foundation of Tawseel Company.

    Summary:
    - Over 20 years of experience in Media industry in the UAE (Newspapers, Distribution, Sales, Radio, Magazine, TV and Online )

    - Managed 5 daily Newspapers in the UAE (Al Bayan, Al Emarat Al Youm, Emirats Today, Business 24/7, Emirates 24/7 online)

    - Graduated from the first batch of leadership program - Dubai Hollding 2009. (Leadon)

    - The most 500 powerful Arabs in the world, I was no. 96 (2012).

    - The Best Employee in the publishing sector at DMI (2012).

    - Board Member of Career Junction CO.

    - Board Member of WAN-IFRA Middle East from 2007 till now

    Specialties: Managing Media CO. ( Newspapers, Sales Marketing, Finance, HR, Support Services)

  • Cabinet Member and Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, UAE

    His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan
    Cabinet Member and Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development

    His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan is the Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development in the new Cabinet announced in February 2016.

    His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak joined the Federal Government in 1992 and held a number of government portfolios including Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and held the position of Minister of Education. Besides his ministerial responsibilities, he is Chairman of the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare.

    His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak was also Chancellor of United Arab Emirates University from 1983 to 2013; Chancellor of Higher Colleges of Technology from 1988 to 2013; and President of Zayed University from 1998 to 2013 .

    His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan received his education from the British Midfield School until the high secondary level before joining Magdalen College at Oxford University-UK .

  • Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence of the United Arab Emirates

    His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama has been appointed as Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence following the Cabinet reshuffle of October 2017. His responsibilities include enhancing the government performance by investing the latest technologies and tools of artificial intelligence and applying them in various sectors.

    Al Olama is currently the Managing Director of the World Government Summit in the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future. His Excellency has been working as the Deputy Director of the Future Department at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future. Al Olama contributed to the preparation of the UAE Centennial 2071 strategy and the UAE 4th Industrial Revolution Strategy.

    His Excellency holds a Diploma in Project Management and Excellence from the American University of Sharjah and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the American University of Dubai.

  • Managing Director, Dubai Media City (DMC), Dubai Studio City (DSC) and Dubai Production City (DPC), UAE

    Majed Al Suwaidi was appointed as the Managing Director for Dubai Media City (DMC), Dubai Studio City (DSC) and Dubai Production City (DPC) in March 2016.

    Prior to his current role, Majed was the Managing Director of Dubai Internet City (DIC), the MENA region’s largest ICT business community and Dubai Outsource City (DOC), a modern, hi-tech business hub dedicated to the growing outsourcing industry.

    Majed began his career at TECOM Group as the Director of Business Development for DIC and DOC where he developed the business parks’ strategy of business partner acquisition and retention. Under his leadership, both business communities witnessed success and the effective implementation of TECOM Group’s strategy, a world-class business community developer, by delivering maximum value to business partners, stakeholders, and community as well as improving the market share.

    He played a crucial role in supporting and fostering startups, entrepreneurs and technology SMEs within DIC, enhancing the technology ecosystem in Dubai. Under his leadership, Dubai Internet City launched in5 innovation centre to support start-ups in technology in 2012 and was named a Strategic Partner of Smart Dubai in 2015

  • Managing Director, Dubai Media City (DMC), Dubai Studio City (DSC) and Dubai Production City (DPC), UAE

    Majed Al Suwaidi was appointed as the Managing Director for Dubai Media City (DMC), Dubai Studio City (DSC) and Dubai Production City (DPC) in March 2016.

    Prior to his current role, Majed was the Managing Director of Dubai Internet City (DIC), the MENA region’s largest ICT business community and Dubai Outsource City (DOC), a modern, hi-tech business hub dedicated to the growing outsourcing industry.

    Majed began his career at TECOM Group as the Director of Business Development for DIC and DOC where he developed the business parks’ strategy of business partner acquisition and retention. Under his leadership, both business communities witnessed success and the effective implementation of TECOM Group’s strategy, a world-class business community developer, by delivering maximum value to business partners, stakeholders, and community as well as improving the market share.

    He played a crucial role in supporting and fostering startups, entrepreneurs and technology SMEs within DIC, enhancing the technology ecosystem in Dubai. Under his leadership, Dubai Internet City launched in5 innovation centre to support start-ups in technology in 2012 and was named a Strategic Partner of Smart Dubai in 2015

  • Digital Strategist, Apple, USA

    Maha Al-Emam

    Maha is a digital strategy consultant and former Vice President of Product and Technology at NBC Digital Entertainment. Previously she was Head of Global Product at Bloomberg, responsible for the entire product suite and strategic direction for Bloomberg.com and overseeing the product and project management teams for news, markets, digital multi-media, and publishing applications. She was instrumental in advancing Bloomberg.com's Live & Video verticals to an industry leader in streams viewed on a News and Finance site.

    Before joining Bloomberg, Maha was the Director of International Markets Technology for the Wall Street Journal Digital Network in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Asia Pacific where she played a crucial role as part of the executive team responsible for extending the Journal’s local language portfolio into larger European economies.

  • Chairman of the WAN-IFRA Middle East Committee, KSA

  • Chairman at UTURN, SA

    Kaswara Al-Khatib Chairman & CEO UTURN, a serial entrepreneur who is recognized as a pioneer of Media and film production in Saudi Arabia.

    From FullStop a small independent creative boutique agency established in 2002 to a fully-fledged communication group including Advertising, Digital & Social Media, Film Production, photography & 3D studios to UTURN the leading Online Entertainment network.

    His recent venture UTURN evolved from a content maker to an online entertainment network that provides edgy, Arabic, relevant, and quality online content targeting Arab Audience worldwide through innovation and creativity, with more than +1,650,000,000 views and a massive fan base not only in Saudi, but across continent boundaries, with +27,000,000 followers/subscribers across the different social media platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Yahoo), The Financial Times named UTURN the largest MCN in the region.

    Kaswara is an Endeavor Global Entrepreneur, he was named KSA’s first EY Entrepreneur of the year 2014, he was also nominated for EY WEOY (world Entrepreneur Of the Year) 2014 and Arabian Business Achievement Awards awarded him SME business of the year 2014.

    https://twitter.com/KaswarAlkhatib

  • vice-président, Investissements, XPND Capital

    Eric Albert, XPND Capital

    Éric Albert, vice-président, Investissements, est un dirigeant chevronné possédant une vaste expérience internationale dans les opérations, la finance, les ventes, le marketing, le développement commercial et les fusions et acquisitions dans les industries des technologies, médias et des télécommunications. Plus récemment, Éric était v.p. exécutif avec Stingray Digital Inc., où il était responsable des différents aspects reliés aux opérations et a également participé activement aux initiatives de fusions et acquisitions de la société. Avant de rejoindre Stingray, Éric a travaillé à Radio-Canada où il était directeur général de Galaxie, le service audio numérique payant de la Société. Auparavant, Éric a été chef des opérations en Amérique du Nord pour Gameloft, un développeur de contenu mobile affilié à Ubisoft. Avant Gameloft, Éric a occupé plusieurs postes de ventes, marketing et opérations dans le secteur des technologies de l’information et de l’électronique de consommation. Éric est membre de l’Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec et détient une Maîtrise en administration des affaires avec concentration en gestion des technologies de l’École des sciences de la gestion à l’UQAM.

  • Investigative Reporter and Video Journalist, ICIJ

    Scilla Alecci is an investigative reporter and video journalist for International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Scilla heads ICIJ's Asia Desk, coordinating the investigative work of ICIJ's partners and members in Asia. A native of Italy, before coming to the U.S., Scilla was based in Tokyo where she worked for Bloomberg News and other news organizations. In 2016 she was a member of the Japanese reporting team that took part in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers investigation. Her work has also been published by the New York Times, the Huffington Post, the Japanese magazine Shukan Asahi and others. Scilla holds master's degrees in East Asian studies and journalism. She recently published a book in Japanese about the Panama Papers and the new frontiers of investigative journalism. In addition to being a reporter with ICIJ, Scilla was invited to become an ICIJ member in 2017.

  • President, Global Partnerships, Google, USA

    Daniel Alegre

    Daniel oversees all of Google's partnerships worldwide, working with Google partners large or
    small to grow their businesses with Google products across all platforms, whether desktop,
    mobile or connected devices. His team’s activities range from inventory monetization, to mobile,
    commerce, travel and payments across the company.
    Prior to running Google's partnerships, Daniel was President of Google’s sales and operations
    for the Asia Pacific region based out of Tokyo, and prior to that, for Latin America sales.
    Daniel sits on the Board of Directors of Select Comfort (Nasdaq: SCSS), a Minnesota
    Corporation. He holds dual degrees from Harvard University: an MBA from Harvard Business
    School and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree
    from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is
    fluent in English, Spanish, French and German, and is proficient in Russian.

  • Assistant Chair (UG), Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University

    Hedwig Alfred is currently the Assistant Chair (Undergraduate Studies) at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University. A former award-winning news reporter with The Straits Times and The New Paper’s first news editor, she now teaches reporting and writing modules at the university, where she has received the NTU Teaching Excellence Award for her work.

  • Editor-in-Chief of Sayidaty, Al Jamila and Arrajol Magazine, Saudi Research & Publishing Company, Saudi Arabia

    وشهادة الماجستير في الصحافة الدولية من جامعة سيتي البريطانية، ويمتلك حصيلة خبرة تفوق العشرين عاماً في شؤون الإعلام التقليدي والجديد.

    بدأ مسيرته المهنية في جريدة الشرق الأوسط في لندن قبل أن ينضم كمراسل لجريدة عرب نيوز التي تصدر باللغة الانجليزية. وانضم الى صحيفة الفاينشال تايمز اللندنية كصحفي زائر

    أنتقل للعمل في جريدة الإقتصادية التي تصدر في المملكة العربية السعودية، ليصبح صحافياً منتظماً فيها، ثم مسؤولاً عن صفحتها الأولى ومدير تحريرها فيما بعد. عام 1997 تولى منصب رئاسة تحرير مجلة الرجل التي كانت تصدر في لندن، عن المجموعة السعودية للأبحاث والتسويق. ومن خلالها حصل على جائزة الخليج للتميز عام 2002  إثر النجاح الكبير الذي حققته المجلة في تلك الفترة.

    وفي عام 2004 أصبح رئيس تحرير مجلة سيدتي ومجلة الجميلة، الصادرتان عن المجموعة نفسها، لينتقل بهما بعد عام من لندن إلى المدينة الإعلامية في دبي. وقد لعب دورا رئيسيا في تحويل مجلة سيدتي الى مجموعة واسعة من المجلات المتخصصة والمواقع الالكترونية تحت مظلتها وهي "سيدتي ديكور" و "سيدتي وطفلك" و "سيدتي للازياء" كما اطلق مجلة سيدتي الشهرية باللغة الانجليزية

    تسلم رئاسة تحرير جريدة عرب نيوز الصادرة في السعودية عن المجموعة السعودية للأبحاث والتسويق من عام 2013 وحتى عام 2016. ودشن خلالها مشروع منتدى عرب نيوز الحواري الذي يستضيف ندوات بحضور مسؤولين ودبلوماسيين لمناقشة قضايا الساعة.

    وفي عام 2015 أطلق برنامج بدون شك على قناة mbc وهو يقدم ويترأس تحرير البرنامج الذي يناقش بجرأة قضايا اجتماعية حقق البرنامج جدلا ومشاهدة عالية في العالم العربي.

    فاز في انتخابات مجلس ادراة هيئة الصحفييين السعوديين في 3 نوفمبر ٢٠١٦ واصبح عضوا في المجلس الذي يمثل قطاع الاعلاميين في  السعودية.

    عضو مؤسس لمنتدى القيادات العربية الشابة في دافوس الشرق الاوسط. وعضو في مشروع الخليج 2000 في جامعة كولومبيا في نيويورك. وعضو سابق في نقابة الصحفيين البريطانية  NUJ

    حصل الحارثي على جائزة الابداع الاعلامي في بيروت لعام 2014 لنجاحاته في الاعلام المطبوع والمرئي والالكتروني.

    يترأس حاليا ,بالاضافة الى برنامجه التلفزيوني بدون شك, مجلة الرجل التي تركز على حوارات الزعماء والشخصيات النافذة في العالم العربي. ويترأس تحرير مجلة سيدتي ومطبوعاتها التابعة لها ومجلة الجميلة ومواقعها الالتكرونية بالاضافة الى موقع سيدي المتوجه الى فئة الشباب العربي.

    مشارك فاعل في العديد من الملتقيات والمؤتمرات العربية والدولية، وحاضر فيها عن الإعلام المطبوع والإعلام الجديد. ويشارك بمقالات سياسية في جريدة الشرق الأوسط وجريدة البيان. وله مقال اسبوعي في مجلة سيدتي. ومقال شهري في مجلة الرجل

  • Editor-in-Chief, Sayidaty, Al Jamila and Arrajol Magazine - SRPC, Saudi Arabia

    Mohammed Fahad Alharthi is a Saudi media person, who holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a Masters degree in International Journalism from City University, UK, and has a twenty years of experience in the traditional and new media fields.
    He started his career in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in London before joining as a correspondent for the Arab News newspaper, issued in English. He also joined the Financial Times of London as a visiting journalist.
    He moved on to work in Al Eqtisadiah newspaper published in Saudi Arabia, and was appointed as a regular journalist, then he became responsible for the front page and the managing editor later. In 1997 he became editor in chief of Arrajol magazine, which was published in London, for the Saudi Research and Marketing Group. During this period, he earned the Gulf Excellence Award in 2002 after the great success of which the magazine has witnessed.

    In 2004, he became the editor in chief of Sayidaty and Aljamila magazines, issued for the same group, he took them a year later from London to Media City in Dubai. He played a key role in transforming Sayidaty magazine to a wide range of specialized magazines and websites in the shade of Sayidaty, such as "Sayidaty decor”, "Sayidaty and your baby" and "Sayidaty Fashion ', in addition to issuing the monthly magazine Sayidaty in English.
    He became the editor in chief of the Arab News in Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Research and Marketing Group from 2013 until 2016. During this time he has launched the project of the Arab News talk show forum that hosts seminars attended by officials and diplomats to discuss topical issues.
    In 2015 he started the program “ bdoonshak” at the mbc channel, which he hosts and manages, the program discusses social issues boldly ,and has raised high controversy and earned a lot of followers in the Arab world.

    He won the election of the administration board of the Saudi journalists association in November 3, 2016 and became a member of the Council representing the media sector in Saudi Arabia.
    He is a Founding member of the Young Arab Leaders Forum in Davos Middle East. A member of the Gulf 2000 Project at Columbia University in New York, and a Former member of the British Union of Journalists NUJ
    Al Harthy earned the creative media award in Beirut in 2014 for his successes in the printed , visual and electronic media.
    He currently, in addition to his TV program, “ bdoonshak, heads Arrajol magazine that focuses on dialogues of leaders and powerful personalities in the Arab world. He is also the editor in chief of the magazine Sayidaty, and its publications, Aljamila magazine and its website, in addition to the site, Sayidy, which addresses the Arab youth category.

    Al Harthy is an active participant in many Arab and international conferences and forums, in which he has spoken about printed and new media. He shares political articles in the Journal of Asharq Al-Awsat, and Al-Bayan newspapers. He in addition to that has a weekly column in Sayidaty and an article in the monthly magazine Arrajol.

  • Managing Director, Jang Media Group

    Sarmad Ali is Managing Director at the Jang Media Group, Pakistan’s largest media conglomerate having presence in Print, Broadcast and the Digital space.  He is responsible for the group’s revenue function.

    Sarmad  has over thirty years of experience in marketing, advertising and media management.  He has been associated with the Jang Group since 1994 when he joined the group as Executive Director of the English daily “The News”.  Under his stewardship, The News became one of Pakistan’s two premier English dailies.  In 1997 he took over as the Group’s Executive Director, Marketing & Sales and in 2006 was promoted as Managing Director. 

    Prior to joining the Jang Group, Sarmad has been associated with some of the country’s leading advertising agencies including IAL/Saatchi, where he worked as Director Client Service from 1987 to 1993.

    He is presently President of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and has previously served as its Secretary General and Joint Secretary.  He is also President of the International Advertising Association’s Pakistan Chapter and serves on IAA’s Global Board of Directors.  Sarmad also serves on the council of the World Branding Forum.  He is Board member and Hony Secretary of the Management Association of Pakistan. He is also the Chairman of the Ad-Asia 2019 organizing committee.

    Described as of one of Pakistan’s marketing thought leaders, Sarmad has been thrice the President of the Marketing Association of Pakistan.  In 1999, he was awarded the coveted Marketing Excellence Award for his contribution in the field of marketing,  Ranked amongst Pakistan’s top 100 Business Leaders, Sarmad received the Asian Brand Leadership Award from the Asian Brand Congress in 2007 and the 50 Most Talented CMOs Award at the World Marketing Summit in 2013.

    In 2013, the President of Pakistan conferred upon Sarmad the Sitara-I-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s third highest Civil Award.

    He serves on the Governing Board of the Intellectual Property Organization, Cabinet Division, Government of Pakistan and on the Board of Directors of the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP). He has served in the past, as member of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Privatisation and Investment in 2003 and as member of the Sindh I. T. Board from 2000–2003.

    Sarmad has also been on the Jury of the Global AME Awards (Advertising & Marketing Effectiveness) as well as the M&M Global Media Marketing & Advertising Awards and INMA (International News Media Association) awards.

    Sarmad is also on the Board of Directors of the Pakistan Parkinson’s Society and Board of Governors of the Friends of the Burns Centre.

    He holds a Master degree from Villanova University, Pa, USA.

  • Managing Director, Jang Media Group, Pakistan

    Sarmad Ali is Managing Director at the Jang Media Group, Pakistan’s largest media conglomerate having presence in Print, Broadcast and the Digital space.

    Sarmad Ali has over twenty-five years of experience in marketing, advertising and media management.  He has been associated with the Jang Group since 1994 when he joined the group as Executive Director of the English daily “The News”.  Under his stewardship, The News became one of Pakistan’s two premier English dailies.  In 1997 he took over as the Group’s Executive Director, Marketing & Sales and in 2006 was promoted as Managing Director.

    Prior to joining the Jang Group, Sarmad has been associated with some of the country’s leading advertising agencies including IAL/Saatchi, where he worked as Director Client Services from 1987 to 1993.

    He is presently President of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and has previously served as its Secretary General and Joint Secretary.  He is also President of the International Advertising Association’s Pakistan Chapter and serves on IAA’s Global Board of Directors.  Sarmad also serves on the council of the World Branding Forum.  He is Board member and Treasurer of the Management Association of Pakistan. Sarmad is the Chairman of the Ad-Asia 2019 Organizing Committee.

    Described as one of Pakistan’s marketing thought leaders, Sarmad has been thrice the President of the Marketing Association of Pakistan.  In 1999, he was awarded the coveted Marketing Excellence Award for his contribution in the field of marketing,  Ranked amongst Pakistan’s top 100 Business Leaders, Sarmad received the Asian Brand Leadership Award from the Asian Brand Congress in 2007 and the 50 Most Talented CMOs Award at the World Marketing Summit in 2013.

    In 2013, the President of Pakistan conferred upon Sarmad the Sitara-I-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s third highest Civil Award.

    He serves on the Governing Board of the Intellectual Property Organization, Cabinet Division, Government of Pakistan and on the Board of Directors of the Associated Press of Pakistan. He has  served in the past, as member of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Privatisation and Investment in 2003 and as member of the Sindh I. T. Board from 2000–2003.

    Sarmad has also been on the Jury of the Global AME Awards (Advertising & Marketing Effectiveness) as well as the M&M Global Media Marketing & Advertising Awards and INMA (International News Media Association) awards.

    Sarmad is on the Board of Directors of the Pakistan Parkinson’s Society and Board of Governors of the Friends of the Burns Centre.

    He holds a Master degree from Villanova University, Pa, USA.

  • Managing Director, Jang Media Group

    Sarmad Ali is Managing Director at the Jang Media Group, Pakistan’s largest media conglomerate having presence in Print, Broadcast and the Digital space.  He is responsible for the group’s revenue function.

    Sarmad  has over thirty years of experience in marketing, advertising and media management.  He has been associated with the Jang Group since 1994 when he joined the group as Executive Director of the English daily “The News”.  Under his stewardship, The News became one of Pakistan’s two premier English dailies.  In 1997 he took over as the Group’s Executive Director, Marketing & Sales and in 2006 was promoted as Managing Director. 

    Prior to joining the Jang Group, Sarmad has been associated with some of the country’s leading advertising agencies including IAL/Saatchi, where he worked as Director Client Service from 1987 to 1993.

    He is presently President of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and has previously served as its Secretary General and Joint Secretary.  He is also President of the International Advertising Association’s Pakistan Chapter and serves on IAA’s Global Board of Directors.  Sarmad also serves on the council of the World Branding Forum.  He is Board member and Hony Secretary of the Management Association of Pakistan. He is also the Chairman of the Ad-Asia 2019 organizing committee.

    Described as of one of Pakistan’s marketing thought leaders, Sarmad has been thrice the President of the Marketing Association of Pakistan.  In 1999, he was awarded the coveted Marketing Excellence Award for his contribution in the field of marketing,  Ranked amongst Pakistan’s top 100 Business Leaders, Sarmad received the Asian Brand Leadership Award from the Asian Brand Congress in 2007 and the 50 Most Talented CMOs Award at the World Marketing Summit in 2013.

    In 2013, the President of Pakistan conferred upon Sarmad the Sitara-I-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s third highest Civil Award.

    He serves on the Governing Board of the Intellectual Property Organization, Cabinet Division, Government of Pakistan and on the Board of Directors of the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP). He has served in the past, as member of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Privatisation and Investment in 2003 and as member of the Sindh I. T. Board from 2000–2003.

    Sarmad has also been on the Jury of the Global AME Awards (Advertising & Marketing Effectiveness) as well as the M&M Global Media Marketing & Advertising Awards and INMA (International News Media Association) awards.

    Sarmad is also on the Board of Directors of the Pakistan Parkinson’s Society and Board of Governors of the Friends of the Burns Centre.

    He holds a Master degree from Villanova University, Pa, USA.

  • Bureau Chief Quito, El Universo, Ecuador

    Mónica Almeida is Quito's bureau chief of El Universo newspaper. For the last 20 years she has managed the main regional office creating a talented team of journalists that is responsible for all the content generated from the capital of Ecuador. She has also worked as a reporter and editor for Agence France Presse in Paris. A fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University in 2009, she specialized in investigative journalism and regularly takes part in the Latin American Conference of Investigative Journalism organized by IPYS. She was part of the global team of reporters working on the Panama Papers with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that won the Pulitzer Price 2017 for Explanatory Reporting. She has become a defender of investigative journalism and high journalism standards in a time press freedom has been under attack in Ecuador.

  • SEA Correspondent, El País, Spain

    Paloma Almoguera is a Spanish reporter with over 10 years of international experience. She has been correspondent of EFE (Spanish News Agency) in East Africa (Kenya), Europe (Switzerland) and China, where she lived over the past five years. She has recently moved to Singapore and currently freelances for Spanish newspaper "El País", reporting on Southeast Asia current affairs.

  • Co Founder & CEO, Ghinwa Media,UAE

    Mohammad Al-Munaikh is the co-founder and CEO of Ghinwa, the first Kuwaiti startup to win the MITEF startup competition in 2016.

    Ghinwa is a karaoke mobile app for amateur singers to showcase their talents and build a fan base.

    Ghinwa (Arabic for song), earned $50,000 participating in the Arab Startup Competition, the first and only competition it has taken part in.

    The app allows everyone who likes Karaoke to further explore their talents and share their performances on social media. Arabic music lovers can vocalize their favorite songs that will be licensed from copyright owners. "Every song can be followed, shared, saved, and promoted across different social media platforms.”

  • WAN-IFRA Associate Consultant, Digital Transformation & Revenue, Venezuela

    Néstor Altuve

    Néstor has been a leader and co-leader in projects for modernization and transformation of digital media organization Cadena Capriles - Venezuela investing more than 60 million dollars in eight years and impacted more than 1,700 employees and direct collaborators. He was also responsible and project leader for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Foreign Intra-Entrepreneurship. He has over 28 years of professional experience in business and finance, over 14 years of professional experience in media in the areas of planning, business, finance, strategy, process of publishing and multimedia processing area and has more than eight years dedicated to the comprehensive strategic analysis of the media industry.

  • Editor Digital Content Hub BBC World Service, United Kingdom

    Hernando Alvarez is a journalist with over twenty years of experience. Currently Editor of the Global Content Hub of the BBC, he is at the frontline of digital innovation in the World Service. He started his career in 1992 as a reporter in his native Colombia and after working on national newspapers and press agencies, he joined the BBC World Service in 2000. He worked as a radio producer and correspondent and covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2006, he was appointed editor of BBC Mundo and in 2012 became the regional editor of the Americas. This region is seen by senior management as the digital hot house of the BBC World Service, and an example of editorial innovation.

  • CEO, RPA Media Place, Argentina

    Alejandro Alvarez is 40 years old. He is a lawyer and holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA). 

    He is currently the CEO of RPA Media Place, a company engaged in commercializing the digital media of Argentina's 5 most important publishers (Grupo Clarín, La Nación, Infobae, Perfil, and Telefé) under the programmatic purchase model.

    RPA Media Place was founded in 2015 and is the first Premium Programmatic company in the region, concentrating more than 90% of the reach of unique browsers in Argentina according to ComScore, throught the 57 news and entertainment websites of its members. Mr. Alvarez has been responsible for this company from the start.

    Previously, he spent more than 20 years working in the advertising industry, having worked for companies such as Canal 13, CIE Rock & Pop, Pramer and LA NACION. For the past 5 years, he was Google’s Commercial Director.

    During 2013 and 2014, he held the position of Vice-president of the Argentine Chamber of E-Commerce (CACE - www.cace.org.ar). 

    Among his most important accomplishments, Mr. Alvarez did an excellent job with the development of the retail business ─ while working in Google, he made it grow tenfold during his last three years there.   

  • Founder & Director of the Knight Center for Journalism, University of Texas, USA

    Rosental Calmon Alves is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Knight Chair in Journalism and the UNESCO Chair in Communication and is also the founder and director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. Created in 2002, the center has benefited thousands of journalists around the world with training programs. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the center has helped journalists to create a new generation of organizations dedicated to elevating the professional and ethical standards of journalism in their countries. In 2016 was awarded with the Maria Moors Cabot Prize.

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