December 15, 2020, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – On the 14th December 2020 there was a Board meeting of the Arab International Women’s Forum (‘AIWF’). The meeting was held to discuss the decision of Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani, the original Founder of the AIWF, to step down as Chair and to approve the appointment of the new Chair, Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby as of 1st of January 2021. Mrs Al Kaylani will remain as a Director of the AIWF and hold the title of President & Founder. Mrs Al Kaylani founded the Arab International Women’s Forum 20 years’ ago and she felt now was an appropriate time to hand over the role to a successor.

AIWF was set up as a development organisation based in London with the clear aim of supporting women’s leadership and social and economic growth in the MENA region and always within an international context. AIWF is a leader in convening stakeholders from government, business, civil society, academia and media to develop key initiatives addressing the capacity, skills and leadership of Arab women. It is a key belief of the AIWF that empowering women is crucial to the prosperity and sustainability of the MENA region.

Through Mrs Al Kaylani’s leadership, the Forum has led on numerous initiatives and landmark reports and recommendations which have been widely disseminated. While this year has been a challenging year for many organisations throughout the world, despite the restrictions of COVID, AIWF has remained active through a series of substantive webinars.

AIWF is delighted to announce that Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby has agreed to take on the role of Chair. Dr Al Shuaiby has been a member of the AIWF Board since 2009 and is well known within the MENA region as a strong and impactful leader.

Accepting the appointment, Dr Shuaiby said “I am delighted to be taking on the role of the Chair of AIWF, following in the footsteps of its founder who has built the organisation into such a well-known forum within the MENA region and internationally. I am also pleased that Haifa will remain as an active Director in the organisation and look forward to continuing our partnership for the benefit of AIWF”.

Commenting on the handover, Mrs Al Kaylani said “I am proud to have founded the AIWF and honoured to have served as Chair for close to 20 years. I am excited about the prospect of Dr Afnan’s leadership and am confident that she will be an outstanding Chair. I look forward to supporting her in taking the AIWF to its next phase of development.”

Biography of Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby

Dr Afnan Alshuaiby is the founder and CEO of FNN International, and a senior manager executive with over 20 years of comprehensive large-scale management and successful track record providing fiscal, strategic, and operational leadership in uniquely challenging situations in Saudi Arabia, the wider Arab world, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Dr Alshuaiby has held the position of Director General of International Relations in the Ministry of Culture. Prior to that she held the position of Secretary General & CEO Of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, London, United Kingdom. She was Advisor to the President of the US Saudi Business Council in Washington DC, USA. She also served as Advisor for Government Affairs and Business Development at Qorvis Communications, and Assistant Advisor at Abu Dhabi investment Agency.

Dr Alshuaiby has a PhD In Leadership Administration from the George Washington University, a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the American University Washington DC, a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from King Saud University Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a Certificate in Executive Education from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution from the American University Washington DC. 

Dr Alshuaiby is Member of the Advisory Commission at Khalid University, Executive Committee Member of B20 Saudi Arabia, and serves as a Board Member of the Arab International Women’s Forum.

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