Judges for the Social impact Award category

Eilidh Kennedy McLean is the British Council Country Director for Saudi Arabia and also oversees British Council operations in the Gulf. The British Council was established in Saudi Arabia in 1975 and has offices in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. Eilidh joined the British Council in December 2019 on a secondment from the FCDO. Eilidh’s prior roles include as Deputy Head of Mission in Tbilisi and Pyongyang, Political Counsellor for Somalia and Economic Counsellor in Riyadh. In her previous FCDO role, Eilidh helped establish the UK-KSA Strategic Partnership and which is central to our x-HMG delivery supporting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and delivering mutually beneficial opportunities for both countries. Eilidh has also worked in the private sector as a Director of Business Development in the Middle East for a UK FTSE100 and as an Advisor to government on behalf of the United Nations.

Dr. Abdulaziz Ali Almaqushi is former Saudi Arabia Cultural Attaché to the UK, combines academic qualification where he received his Ph.D. in 1994 from Britain in the field of media and professional practice that spanned more than thirty years as he worked as a cultural attaché for Saudi Arabia in Britain for several years and before that he worked as assistant secretary general of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Riyadh and general supervisor on the founding stages of the Riyadh International Exhibition Center and chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Products Center and editor-in-chief of the Riyadh Business Magazine and as a professor of media at Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University in Riyadh. He has published nine academic and cultural publications.

Dr. Mawya Khafaji is the general director for Public relations in faculty of Medicine and university hospital King Abdulaziz University KAU and Social Impact Award winner of 2020. She holds a PhD in medical physics from the university of Exeter. Mawya founded the Volunteering Office at University Hospital in 2011. The VO host more than 600 volunteers working 16 initiatives to help patients, staff, and students. In 2017 she was nominated by Sayidaty magazine as one of the 100 females with most social impact in Saudi. In Oct 2020 she won the British council awards for social impact for alumni in Saudi Arabia, and in Nov the VO won the Jeddah award for social creativity.   

Judges for the Professional Achievement Award category

Clare Grundy is senior education professional with over 15 years’ experience across the Middle East and East Africa developing, implementing, and leading education programmes in both the private and public sectors. A proven and consistent track record of successful large-scale bid pursuit and negotiation with both UK and overseas government clients as well as private sector clients. Strong and sustained performance in exceeding business development targets and contract delivery, including skilled stakeholder, finance, and risk management. Extensive experience in remote and matrix management, including cross border management of programmes and teams. Inspirational team leadership, entrepreneurial drive and dynamic pursuit for success with a high degree of cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Richard Oppenheim is the UK’s Deputy Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – promoting relations between the UK and Saudi Arabia and supporting British interests in the Kingdom. Richard joined the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in 2002. He has had a varied career, focussing on three anchors; Arabic, Japanese, and multilateral work. He has done postings in Oman and Iraq, as well as Tokyo. Immediately prior to joining the Embassy in Riyadh, he was the UK’s Commonwealth Envoy.

Dr Samar Khan is Dean of Business college at Effat University and Professional Achievement Award winner of 2020 an aspiring Saudi woman who lives by the creed that one should strive to serve a higher purpose by going above and beyond the call of duty. Experienced Educator & Researcher in Energy Security & Renewable Energy with progressive experience working on topics of Entrepreneurship, Business, Management, and Leadership to help students streamline their efforts with industry’s needs in ways that would help bridge the gap between industry & academia. Born in 1983, Dr. Samar received all of her schooling in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from King Abdul-Aziz University. After graduating, she decided to pursue her Master’s degree in Economics and Administration from Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University. As she continued living in the UK, she discovered her passion for economics and administration, so she decided to pursue her PhD degree in Energy Security and Renewable Energy from business perspective at the same university. 

Judges for the Entrepreneurial Award category

Amanda Ingram is Deputy Director, British Council Saudi Arabia has over 25 years’ international experience in industry, pharmaceuticals, education and cultural relationships. She has held a range of positions in sales, trading, teaching and educational leadership including as Director of a private language organisation in Spain and as Director of several British Council Teaching Centres. She has a particular interest in programmes that encourage female participation at all levels in society, government, education and business and programmes that contribute to equipping young Saudi’s with the 21st century skills needed to deliver a sustainable future beyond oil. Amanda is currently supporting the British Council’s cultural relations work in Saudi Arabia as Deputy Director building on over 40 years’ of trusted work in English, Education and Arts programmes. The British Council is committed to positively impacting the relationship between young Saudis and the UK and building partnerships between the two kingdoms that support the delivery of ambitious Vision 2030 goals.

Chad Woodward is Director of Trade & Investment for Saudi Arabia and Deputy Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, British Embassy Riyadh. Chad started his career at Unilever in sales and marketing. He then joined Her Majesty's Government and worked in regulatory reform policy, corporate finance and then trade & investment. Immediately prior to joining the Embassy, Chad worked for UK Government Investments on a range of corporate assets, including leading the programme to raise £15bn (75bn SAR) from the sale of student loans.

Abdulaziz Alsaeed is Co-Founder of Noon Academy & Entrepreneurial Award winner of 2020, Abdulaziz decided to change the way teaching is taught in order to help those students. He went from teaching 20 students a day in a college classroom, to reach millions of students every term. He did this by launching Noon Academy in 2013 - a high growth online education platform that started from the Middle East and is serving 8 countries worldwide. The Academy started with just two tutors and less than 30 students, and today has served more than 8 million students, has a database of 1,500 certified tutors and recently been able to successfully raise the highest series A venture financing in MENA. By 2023, Noon Academy has a target of reaching 50 million students and helping them improve their lives.

Dr Reem Ahmed Al Torki is Education Segment Director at Ministry of Investment, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as saudi female who had the luxury of growing up, living and working across the world; the bulk of it was in the UK.  I like to think of myself as the new image of females in Saudi. The image that reflects Saudi 2030 vision: open to the world, an international mandate to welcome and share business, culture and people experiences. I have a PhD and an MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; I am a tri lingual communicator. After spending 20 years abroad in the UK, Scotland and Africa studying and working, I returned to Saudi to live and experience the astonishing transformation. I am passionate about transforming my knowledge and experiences to build capacity building and support developing Saudi. I am currently the Director of Education in the Ministry of Investment, bringing new initiatives in Education from around the world to Saudi Arabia; my passion is to build and improve our human capability to fulfil our vision.