Our People

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Ali Erfan, Founder

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Ali’s career includes venture capital and private equity (senior partner at 3i Group), oil and gas (founding member of Leor Energy and board member of Neos Geosolutions Inc.), precious metals mining (global leadership team and director of the Electrum Group) as well as sitting on various boards and investment committees.

He is also a board member of Panthera in the UK, one of the world’s largest wildcat conservation groups. Ali was educated at Eton College and holds a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University where he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics, as well as an MBA from the London Business School. He is a Fellow of the Kauffman Foundation for Venture Capital.

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Daniel Kawczynski

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As a Member of Parliament in the UK since 2005, much of Daniel’s work has focused on building greater educational, cultural and political ties between the UK and MENA. Daniel currently serves as the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Saudi Arabia and Libya. Most recently, he founded the British Middle East North Africa Council as a forum to help foster greater understanding of the region among British Parliamentarians. Daniel is the author of the book Seeking Gaddafi, published in 2010.

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Baron Lorne Thyssen

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Baron Lorne Thyssen runs a family trust that has international investments and businesses, including in agriculture and oil exploration.

Lorne studied drama at the British American Drama Academy, and has produced and directed feature films, including A tale of Two Generals, set in war-torn Beirut.

He supports the study of Classics at Oxford University and The Open University, having endowed many courses and academic research. He funds a post-graduate scholarship at Wolfson College for the study of Ancient Art, as well as two Oxford archaeological digs in Turkey and Tunisia, and a new dig in Southern Iraq with the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.

Lorne is a Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society and an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford.

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Ali Al Turki

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Ali Al Turki is currently the Group Vice Chairman of Rawabi Holding Company and a member of Rawabi’s Executive Committee. He is also a Founding Partner and CEO of Energy Capital Group, and President and CEO of Abdulaziz AlTurki Investments. Ali is a Founding Member of the first term of the Young Businessmen Council of the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and is a Founder of Tamkeen Foundation for the care and support of orphans.

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Adel A Dajani

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Adel A Dajani runs Cogito’s Maghreb programme. An investment banker with more than 25 years’ experience, he was the founder of the first licensed investment bank in the Maghreb. Adel was IMBank’s first Managing Director, and was a member of the bank’s Executive Board from its inception to 2003. Maghreb Venture Partners was established in 2004 by Adel to act as a corporate finance advisory vehicle on behalf of a select multinational client base with a Maghreb focus. In addition, he was an independent board member at Aman Bank ,one of Libya’s leading private banks, from 2010-2014. Adel was educated at Eton College and the University of London, and is a qualified barrister and a member of the UK, Hong Kong and Libyan Bar Associations. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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Malik Al-Suqair

Mr Malik AlSuqair2

Malik has a wealth of experience working at leading global and regional financial firms such as Bear Stearns, National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia and Merrill Lynch. During this period, Malik gained extensive experience in banking, financial investments, and asset valuation. Malik is also a co-founder of Energy Capital Group, a board member of Al Dawliah Universal Electronics Appliances and the President of Amlak Projects. Malik received his bachelor degree in economics from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Tamam Barhoush

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Tamam owns and operates the Bright Minds Institute, a company that provides enrichment classes to young children in the United Arab Emirates. Tamam is also a corporate lawyer with more than 10 years of experience working at international law firms in Dubai and New York. Tamam studied for her undergraduate degree at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center for her J.D.

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Hana Barhoush Dalloul

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Hana Barhoush Dalloul’s experience includes working in marketing in the beauty industry. She holds degrees from Georgetown and Boston Universities.

Hana has always had a passion for education and has been involved in various education-based initiatives, including her current role as the Family Chair of the Young Professional Organisation in Dubai. She is also a member of various committees in the Georgetown Alumni Association.

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Charles Milne

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Charles Milne was educated in Australia where he took his B.A in French and English. He then completed a M.Phil. at Oxford where he was a Research Lecturer at Christ Church for three years. He has spent the last 30 years at Eton College as teacher, housemaster, and Tutor for Admissions.

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Aamer A. Sarfraz

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Aamer A. Sarfraz is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Draper Oakwood Royalty Capital, an investor in growth companies, and is founder of businesses that provide employment to several hundred people, managed through Indus Basin Holding. These include Better Grain, dedicated to sustainable farming globally, working with low-income farmers.

Aamer started his career working in The Electrum Group, a natural resource investor, in London for eight years. Aamer is on the President’s Circle at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, is a Trustee of the Cogito Scholarship Foundation, is a member of the Wolfson College Strategy Group in Oxford, and is also a Trustee of his family foundation in Pakistan, the Fazaldad Institute.

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Shaistah Akhtar

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Shaistah Akhtar is a partner at King & Wood Mallesons, an international law firm, specialising in commercial litigation and co-ordinating the firm’s Fraud and Investigations practice. Shaistah initiated and chaired the firm’s Middle East and Pakistan initiatives, and was a founder member of the Pakistan Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. A history and law graduate, Shaistah completed a Masters in Islamic Studies with distinction at London University.