auc-speakup

Speakers

Gielan Elmessiri ’97, ’16

Deputy Country Representative, UN Women Egypt

Gielan Elmessiri is the deputy country representative at UN Women Egypt. She joined UN Women in April 2014 and has 24 years of professional experience in the areas of gender equality and women’s empowerment and development, with a focus on advocacy and partnerships, policy analysis and coordination, and programme design and implementation. At UN Women, she has worked on technical assistance as well as normative and policy work. This is in addition to the management and supervision of staff working to consolidate the programme portfolio and raise results-focused delivery rates to achieve the set objectives. Elmessiri has managed various UN Women flagship programmes in the areas of women’s economic empowerment, eliminating violence against women and access to justice, and has designed and implemented transformative initiatives such as the establishment of the first MA in gender and development at an Egyptian public university.  

Prior to joining UN Women, Elmessiri was the senior policy officer for gender and development at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Egypt, responsible for identifying and appraising opportunities for the Netherlands’ development cooperation funding in the areas of gender equality and sustainable development. She has also worked at Egypt’s National Council for Women on the establishment of the Ombudsman Office — now known as the Women’s Complaints Office — and before that at Environmental Quality International, a development consulting firm. Elmessiri earned her BA in journalism and mass communication and her MA in political science from AUC.

 

Ashraf Bakry

Managing Director, Unilever Mashreq, Co-Chair, AmCham Trade and Industry Committee

Ashraf Bakry is the managing director of Unilever Mashreq. With over 20 years of experience working in multinationals, Bakry’s main areas of expertise are supply chain and general management. Bakry led various manufacturing as well as regional category international assignments at P&G before returning to Egypt to join Unilever. In 2009, he became the supply chain vice president of Unilever in the Middle East and North Africa region. Bakry is deeply involved in community development activities and instructs courses in leadership, management and communication. He is a former semi-pro basketball player and is fluent in Arabic, French and English.

 

Dina Abdel Fattah

Editor-in-Chief, Amwal Al Ghad, TV and Radio Host, Founder and Chair, Top 50 Women Forum

Dina Abdel Fattah is a distinguished national TV and Radio with over 30 years of media experience. She has played a major role in the development of Egypt’s media platforms, especially in the areas of business and economics. Abdel Fattah is the founder and editor-in-chief of Amwal Al Ghad, the sole local Arabic magazine specialized in business and economics in Egypt. She is also the economic editor-in-chief of Al Watan newspaper. She is the founder and chair of the Top 50 Women Forum, the first NGO of its kind in Egypt that works toward the socio-economic empowerment of women, and the co-founder of Business Women Forum, developed to define the role of women in the business arena. Abdel Fattah began her media career in Egypt's state-owned newspaper, Al Akhbar, reaching the position of deputy editor-in-chief and head of the Economy and Business Department. One of her greatest achievements during that time was launching the first state-owned economic news supplement, Banks and Financial Institutions. She is the former economic editor-in-chief of Al Masry Al Youm newspaper and the former host of 60 Minutes with Dina Abdel Fattah on Radio Misr. She also hosted a variety of TV shows, including Sayadat Al Mowaten, Al Sha'ab Youreed and Misr Bokra. Abdel Fattah holds the Corporate Directors Certification offered by the World International Finance Corporation (IFC) along with the Egyptian Institute of Directors (EIoD).

 

Marie Louis Bishara

Vice Chair, Bishara Group

Famous Egyptian fashion designer Marie Louis Bishara is the vice chair of Bishara Group and the eldest daughter of Louis Bishara, the group’s founder and chair. She is the face behind Marie Louis, a well-known brand by Bishara Group, and has presented her collections at Paris Fashion Week. Bishara studied fashion design in France, interned at French fashion houses Cacharel and Dana Cote D’azur, and later worked at Balmain and Mugler. In 1989, Bishara launched her first women’s clothing line in Cairo. Since then, she has presented over 30 fashion shows — many of which received international media coverage — at some of Egypt’s most beautiful historical sites. Bishara was a guest of honor at South African Fashion Week in 2008 and Tunis Fashion Week in 2010.

 

Moderator

Passant Fouad ’03, ’10

Director of External Communication, Juhayna Food Industries, Co-Chair, AmCham Women in Business Committee

Passant Fouad is the director of external communication at Juhayna Food Industries, which she joined in 2015 as the communication head. With nearly 20 years of experience, Fouad’s key areas of expertise are media sponsorships and activations, public relations, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, call center, and factory visits. Over the course of Fouad’s career, she has worked for various multinational organizations, including Motorola, where she was a member of the sales and marketing team. Later she joined Nokia as the head of marketing, overseeing the North East Africa region. Her role involved planning and implementing marketing campaigns in Egypt, Sudan and Libya. Prior to that, Fouad worked at JWT, handling media relations for the Egyptian Tourism Authority in 32 Arab and foreign states. As director in charge, Fouad played a key role during the Egypt Economic Development Conference in 2015, a critical milestone in Egypt’s economic development plan. Fouad obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration and MBA from AUC.