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About the speakers

Robert Sutton

Robert Sutton photo

Head of Logistics Cluster, AD Ports Group

Robert Sutton, who heads up AD Ports Group's Logistics Cluster, is a results-driven and customer-focused business leader. At AD Ports Group, his primary area of responsibility is to develop and implement AD Ports Group’s logistics strategy and work with customers and partners to meet their business requirements and develop value-driven relationships.

Robert brings more than 20 years of experience across traditional, multi-modal, and digital supply chains spanning the MENA region, Asia, and Europe. His experience includes serving as Vice President & Global Sector Head at DHL. 

Robert has a proven track record of achieving profitable and sustainable business growth. He also delivers consistent value and significant improvements to business performance at an operational, strategic and financial level. 

His primary area of focus is end-to-end supply chain strategies, change management and marketing/business development.

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Jamil Shinawi

Jamil Shinawi

Co-Founder and Director, AHOY

Jamil is cofounder and part of a team that is building the next decacorn (not just a unicorn) startup known as AHOY. He is a serial entrepreneur with an educational background in urban and regional planning engineer, with a focus on GIS, sustainability, security, energy and economic development and minor in Disaster mitigation. He graduated from the University of Dammam with honors where he lectured for a few years after completing his studies. 

A successful businessman with true entrepreneurial spirit, Jamil has over a decade’s experience in the private sector.

He is a radically out-of-the-box innovator with a clear focus on long-term strategic development linked to service demand and supply and technology development and commercialization while leading effective small and large teams. He has a set of strong interpersonal and professional skills needed to start-up any project and scale it. He enjoys a large professional network and is widely respected for his organisational skills.

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Balkiz Sarihan

Balkiz Sarihan

Head of UAM Strategy Execution & Partnerships, Airbus

Balkiz joined the leadership team of Urban Air Mobility at Airbus to focus on building the industry, business and service ecosystem through developing strategic partnerships.

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Amer. A. Amer

Amer. A. Amer

Transport Chief Technologist, Aramco

Amer is recognised as a global leader in engine and fuel research and is integral to Aramco’s work in establishing itself as a worldwide leader in sustainable transport.

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Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Co-founder & Partner, Assembly Ventures

Chris, co-founded the Detroit Mobility Lab and the Michigan Mobility Institute and has acted as a senior advisor to mobility start-ups around the globe. Prior to this he co-founded Fontinalis Partners and for over a decade worked to build it into one of the premier investment firms in next-generation mobility.

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Eleni Giokos

Eleni Giokos

Anchor & Correspondent, CNN

Eleni is a CNN anchor and one of their most versatile correspondents. Based in Dubai, she has reported from key global events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos and the United Nations General Assembly.

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Abdulla Al Shamsi

Abdulla Al Shamsi

Senior Director of Future of Things, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects

Abdullah leads highly skilled and innovative Airport Engineers shaping the future of aviation. Currently, he is responsible for DAEP’s unmanned aircraft airports and associated infrastructure developments across Dubai.

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Mansoor Al Malik

Mansoor Al Malik

Executive Director Policy & Legislation Division, Dubai Customs

Mansoor AlMalik is the Executive Director of the Policies and Legislation sector in Dubai Customs. The sector encompasses many key departments and critical customs functions such as tariffs, origin of goods; customs valuation, post customs audit, customs cases, legal affairs, litigation and intellectual property rights protection.

With a multi-disciplinary background, working for renowned global firms based in the United Arab Emirates and in London. Mansoor later moved to holding various senior positions across the UAE government, overseeing critical projects, laws, legislation and joint ventures. 

Mansoor carried out his training and studies in law, both in the United Kingdom, and in the United Arab Emirates. He is a graduate of law LLB at the University of London; the Institute of Judicial Studies and Training, with postgraduate degrees from the College of Law London LPC and University of Paris LLM

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Dr. Bushra Al Blooshi

Dr. Bushra Al Blooshi

Head of Research & Innovation, Dubai Electronic Security Center

Bushra leads multiple cybersecurity related strategic initiatives designed to protect Dubai from external cyber threats. DESC was created to ensure the Emirate becomes a global leader in cyber security.

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Lisa Woo

Lisa Woo

Head of Placemaking - Meridian Water, Enfield Council (UK)

Lisa heads up masterplanning for one of the largest regeneration schemes in London that is creating 10,000 new homes and 6000 jobs over the next 20 years. Meridian Water, the flagship £7bn development led by Enfield Council in North London, intends to create an exemplar of public sector-led sustainable city development, combining health and wellbeing with sustainable living and carbon neutral by 2030.

She has a professional and academic background in architecture and urban design. Notably, Lisa has worked on international masterplanning projects including with the Vietnam government to transform Hanoi and the downtown of Doha.

Lisa describes herself as having a passion for good placemaking and inclusive environments and is particularly interested in masterplanning health and wellbeing in large scale development projects. She was nominated as one of the top 20 talented for Place in Local Government by the MJ in 2021. She is a member of Wellbeing panel for New London Architecture.

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Monika Derecque-Pois

Monika Derecque-Pois

Director General, European Healthcare Distribution Association

Monika represents the supply chain interests of Europe's major pharmaceutical wholesalers (which includes 750+ full-line wholesaling companies & 35 national associations).

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Mohsen Ahmed

Mohsen Ahmed

CEO-Logistics, Dubai South

Mohsen oversees Dubai South’s entire Logistics District and was instrumental in setting up the Free Zone and the establishment of the Dubai Logistics Corridor (which connects Jebel Ali Port with Al Maktoum International Airport in a single custom-bonded zone).

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Benoit Montreuil

Benoit Montreuil

Professor and Coca-Cola Chair in Material Handling and Distribution, Georgia Institute of Technology

Benoit leads the international Physical Internet Initiative, engaging academic, industry and government leaders worldwide into research and innovation projects on smart, hyperconnected and sustainable logistics, supply chains, transportation, businesses and regions.

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Mars Geuze

Mars Geuze

Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, Hardt Hyperloop

Mars Geuze is Chief Commercial Officer at Hardt Hyperloop, the hyperloop technology provider from the Netherlands. Within Hardt, Geuze is responsible for all market development activities, such as public adoption, standardization, business cases, and integration in the spatial environment as well as in the transport network. Hardt has realized Europe’s first full-scale hyperloop test facility and is spearheading a public-private partnership with over 20 global partners and the Dutch government in the Hyperloop Development Program. Together with its partners, Hardt works on the development and implementation of hyperloop to enable sustainable growth.

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Lars Greiner

Lars Greiner

Associate Partner – The Middle East and Africa, HPC Hamburg Port Consulting

Lars is an internationally recognized international shipping and logistics authority who is well-versedand provides hands-on experience in all aspects of shipping and port operations and in recent years,has broadened his scope to include new fuels as part of the move towards sustainability in shippingand ports.

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Irtaza Hussain

Irtaza Hussain

Regional Head - TradeLens, Senior Managing Consultant, IBM Denmark

Irtaza has been a part of the TradeLens journey from the beginning, starting, shaping and building up the solution from scratch. As of today he is the Regional Head of Network Development, meaning he is the overall responsible for all the work with government entities, ports/terminals, inland transportation, shipping lines and the key exporters/importers. 

Irtaza has been working extensively with transforming the supply chain industry for several years, and with his expertise in blockchain as well, his goal is to combine this to promote the digital transformation for government entities to go paperless and make trade easier globally. 

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Oliver Walker-Jones

Oliver Walker-Jones

Head of Marketing, Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation is a California-based company developing all-electric commercial passenger aircraft. Prior to joining Joby, Oliver was Head of Communications at Lilium, a German unicorn company developing similar technology, and Rolls-Royce.

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Omar Kandil

Omar Kandil

Public Affairs Lead, Middle East, Lime

Lime operates electric scooters, bikes and mopeds, but our mission is larger. We believe in transforming cities through green, affordable, and accessible transportation for everyone. Omar leads Public Policy and Government Affairs in the Middle East and works closely with cities, governments, community leaders, policy makers, and regulatory agencies in the region to make this mission a reality. One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential Companies in 2021, Lime has powered more than 200 million rides in more than 150 cities across five continents, spurring a new generation of clean alternatives to car ownership.

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Anthony Foxx

Anthony Foxx

Chief Policy Officer, Lyft

Anthony Foxx is the Chief Policy Officer at Lyft who formerly served as the 17th United States Secretary of Transportation and as mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. As Secretary of Transportation, he led an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a budget of $70 billion. Sec. Foxx was responsible for overseeing American air, maritime, and surface transportation and ensuring that America maintained the safest, most efficient transportation system in the world. Confirmed by a rare 100-0 Senate vote, Sec. Foxx’s career success is indicative of his demonstrated ability to push forward in an era of deep partisan divide. Crafting an ambitious agenda to modernize America, he pressed Congress to pass the nation’s first long-term surface transportation bill in more than a decade. Sec. Foxx energized DOT’s embrace of innovation to help solve these problems by launching the Smart City Challenge, a national competition to implement bold, data-driven ideas that make transportation safer, easier, and more reliable in that city. He also worked to accelerate the Department’s efforts to incorporate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology into new vehicles. As Chief Policy Officer at ride-sharing powerhouse Lyft, he works to develop government partnerships and serves as adviser to Lyft's president and CEO. Called “the Great Connector” as a result of his efforts to update, streamline, optimize, and digitize the nation’s transportation system, Sec. Foxx is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau and discusses the American transportation system, innovation, and coalition building.

In 2015, Sec. Foxx refocused the national dialogue on the future of transportation infrastructure by releasing Beyond Traffic, a report on the challenges facing American infrastructure over the next three decades. Beyond Traffic highlights the importance of giving local governments reliable, long-term funding to plan critical investments in transportation infrastructure and has already influenced decisions by elected officials, planners, and stakeholders nationwide. Sec. Foxx championed this goal during hundreds of Congressional meetings, two bus tours, and visits to 43 states before securing a 5-year, bipartisan surface reauthorization bill from Congress in December 2015. Sec. Foxx believes that transportation should not only bring people from one place to another but should also create opportunities for the places and people in between. He leveraged the resources of the Department to connect communities to economic opportunity while encouraging land use planners, engineers, and decision-makers to revitalize and reconnect underserved communities. He also served as Managing Partner with Related Infrastructure, the infrastructure-related investment arm of Related Companies, from 2017-2018.

As mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, Sec. Foxx successfully pushed the two largest investment packages in the city’s history, including transportation, housing, and neighborhood improvements, making efficient and innovative transportation investments the centerpiece of Charlotte’s job creation and economic recovery efforts. This included extending the LYNX light rail system, the largest capital project ever undertaken by the city; expanding Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, the sixth busiest in the world; working with Governor Beverly Perdue to accelerate the I-485 outer belt loop using a creative design-build-finance approach; and starting the Charlotte Streetcar project.

Sec. Foxx served two terms on the Charlotte City Council, where he chaired the Transportation Committee. He is a former law clerk for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and staff counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.

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Lucy Hedges

Lucy Hedges

Technology Editor/ Travel Show Presenter, Metro UK / BBC

Lucy Hedges is a journalist and TV presenter specialising in consumer technology. She is currently technology editor for Metro newspaper and a presenter for BBC Travel Show and has hosted a number of live events, including Fujitsu’s World Tour, AI Everything and Google’s Privacy summit. Lucy has a passion for all things tech, but perhaps most importantly, she loves disproving the gender assumption that girls are not as gadget-savvy as the boys.

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Hakim Ramadan

Hakim Ramadan

Senior Principal & Partner, Miebach

Hakim Ramadan is a Senior Principal and Partner at Miebach Consulting, a global supply chain consulting and engineering company that designs and implements state-of-the-art supply chains and is one of the world’s largest consulting and engineering enterprises in this field.

Hakim brings 25+ years of experience in the intra-logistics domain, with fundamental knowledge in business development, strategic planning, and operations on an international level.

Earlier roles in his career have been; working for international intra-logistics manufacturers and solution providers in Germany during which he was involved in planning, design, and implementation of sophisticated intralogistics solutions. His last assignment, prior to joining Miebach, was the Regional Director (MENA region) for Jungheinrich (an intralogistics solutions manufacturer) .

Hakim holds two masters’ degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design from the German Universities; KIT in Karlsruhe and Kaiserslautern.

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Suliman Almazroua

Suliman Almazroua

CEO, National Industrial Development Logistics Programme

NIDLP is a Vision 2030 initiative totransform the Kingdom into a leadingindustrial powerhouse and a globallogistics hub by integrating growth in fourkey sectors: Mining, Industry, Logisticsand Energy (with a focus on Industry 4.0).

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Florian Lennert

Florian Lennert

Head of Mobility, Neom

Florian leads on all future mobility related initiatives for NEOM, the $500bn mega-city integral to KSA’s push to reduce its depedence on oil, and make the country a technology hub.

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Milan Chromik

Milan Chromik

CEO, Nevomo

Nevomo is pioneering the developmentof propulsion, suspension, control & IoTsystems for the next generation of High-Speed Railways (HSR), with a goal toapply them in hyperloop.

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Robert O’Kirwan

Robert O’Kirwan

VP of Product Management, noon

Rob, VP of Product Management at noon, is responsible for the build and management of tools developed to support the growth and success of enterprises on noon.

Prior to joining noon, Rob joined Namshi in 2012 and held a variety of technology leadership roles in Middle East e-commerce. Throughout his tenure the sector has experienced rapid growth, global competition and, as a result, increasing relevance. 

Starting in 2017 with noon.com, the region’s homegrown e-commerce platform and leading online shopping destination, noon is now an ecosystem of services, all developed to help empower and inspire a generation of diverse digital-first consumers and businesses.

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Erwin Verstraelen

Erwin Verstraelen

Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, Port of Antwerp

Erwin was appointed Chief Digital & Innovation Officer at the Port of Antwerp in November 2017. Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe and recognised as a leader in embracing smart technologies.

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Andreas Flourou

Andreas Flourou

Executive Director of Operations, The Red Sea Development Company

Andreas Flourou has over 25 years of success across multiple business services sectors in the UK, Europe and Middle East. His focus has been working with companies experiencing high growth and rapid change in their market segments.

Joining TRSDC in 2017, Andreas was responsible for all corporate operations and services. His current role overseas Mobility and Logistics for TRSDC and associated projects.

Prior to joining TRSDC Andreas was a Partner in an international executive search firm responsible for the business and full life-cycle of advisory activities to his clients.

Previously within a private equity business, Andreas created the advisory business with a focus on renewable energy and advanced technology advising on over USD100M of mandates and transactions. During his time in the UK, Andreas successfully ran two telecommunications businesses, led commercial and technology projects and headed sales, operations & delivery teams managing P&Ls of GBP25M+.

His success is attributed to his consistent pursuit of service excellence whilst growing and developing the people around him. Andreas has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh Business School with a focus on strategy and international business. He has lived in the GCC for over 15 years.

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Duncan Walker

Duncan Walker

CEO and Co-founder, Skyports

Duncan is a leading pioneer for locating, building, owning and operating vertiports within urban environments and implementing end-to-end drone deliveries.

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Mike Hawes

Mike Hawes

CEO, Society of Motors Manufacturers & Traders

SMMT is the voice of the UK motor industry, supporting and promoting its members’ interests, in the UK and globally. Mike became Chief Executive in 2013, he had previously held senior positions with Toyota, Volkswagen AG & Bentley Motors.

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Jeppe Kobbero

Jeppe Kobbero

Global Product Manager – TradeLens, A.P. Moller – Maersk

Jeppe Kobberø is the Global Business Product Owner for TradeLens based in Maersk Headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jeppe have worked 4½ years with A.P. Moller-Maersk, and have 16 years of entrepreneurial experience working both with digital startups and enterprise innovation. He holds a Master Degree in IT Management and Strategy.

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Sebastien Gendron

Sebastien Gendron

Co-founder & CEO, Transpod

Sebastien founded TransPod in 2015 to build hyperloop as an alternative to the relatively expensive, slow, and environmentally harmful means of travel we have today. He brings over 15 years of experience working at companies including Bombardier, Safran S.A. & Airbus Group.

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Rahul Vijay

Rahul Vijay

Head of Global Connectivity Sourcing, Uber

Rahul manages tech deals at Uber, the world’s largest gig-economy company. His team helps make outside technologies Uber’s competitive advantage.

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Harj Dhaliwal

Harj Dhaliwal photo

Managing Director, Middle East & India, Virgin Hyperloop

Harj Dhaliwal oversees all activity and projects for Virgin Hyperloop in the Middle East and India. With over 35 years of civil engineering experience, he has a proven track record for managing mega rail and infrastructure projects in complex challenging environments around the world.

He began his career as a contractor, moved into consulting and has held senior management roles in global client and consulting organizations. Harj has spent the last 22 years in the development, delivery, and management of heavy rail, light rail, and metro projects including PPP, PFI and D&B projects across Europe and the Middle East. Notably, he was the Programme Director for the delivery and operation of the first national heavy-haul railway in the UAE - Etihad Rail.

Prior to Virgin Hyperloop, Harj was the Senior Vice President for International Rail and Transit Systems Business at President Corporation where he was responsible for managing his business sector across Europe and the Middle East with over 450 staff deployed across some of the largest and most complex rail and metro projects in the world. Prior to joining Parsons in 2012, Harj led the development of several multibillion-dollar rail and transit programs in the UK and Ireland.

Harj is a Chartered Civil Engineer, member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Member of the UK Engineering Council, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Nottingham Trent University, UK. Harj is based in Virgin Hyperloop's Dubai office.

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Peter Littau

Peter Littau

Commercial Lead VoloDrone, Volocopter

After successfully completing his degree in Business Administration and working as a management consultant for six years, Peter stepped into the urban air mobility (UAM) scene scouting and developing future mobility start-ups as a Venture Developer at Innogy Innovation Hub. He played a formative role in the UAM industry in its earliest form. By 2018, he had joined Volocopter and was facilitating the company’s expansion into Southeast Asia. Now, he is strategically positioning the rollout of the VoloDrone as Commercial Lead at Volocopter.

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Kenneth Cobb

Kenneth Cobb

Associate Director - Transport Planning & Mobility, WSP

Kenneth is a mass transit specialist, with more than 26 years of management experience in the sector, having worked in senior management positions for both a major UK bus and train company (10 years) and the largest non-metropolitan local transport authority (7 years).  In these roles, Kenneth has covered all of the key elements involved in planning, commissioning and operating mass transit, including overcoming the variable impacts of congestion and optimising efficiency to deliver cost-effective services to users. While those have been continual challenges in Kenneth’s work, the fundamental shifts in travel behaviour brought about by Covid-19 represent a radical new challenge for the traditional public transport sector but also open up new possibilities for urban mobility – particularly in the Middle East, where first-generation mass transit systems are still being implemented.

In his current role with WSP – one of the world’s leading professional services firms – Kenneth has been Project Manager/lead Technical Expert on a number of complex, extensive and high-profile transport projects for Government-sector organisations in the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Jordan as well as for nationally-significant clients in the United Kingdom such as the Department for Transport and Transport for London.  He is currently Project Manager for the Roads and Transport Authority’s transport management plans for the Expo 2020 Dubai Event.

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Juan Vicén

Juan Vicén

Co-Founder & Marketing Director, Zeleros Hyperloop

Juan Vicén is Zeleros’ Co-Founder and Marketing Director. Zeleros Hyperloop is the European company based in Spain leading the development of a scalable hyperloop, to connect cities at 1000 km/h with zero direct emissions and reduced infrastructure costs. Zeleros' unique approach operates at safe pressure levels, shortening path to market and offering a clear certification journey. Mr. Vicén is an Industrial Engineer, trained between the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Technical University of Munich, being awarded during this stage by Elon Musk's company, SpaceX, as the best hyperloop design. He currently participates in international forums on mobility, recently being included in the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 list for his innovative initiative. His ambition is to carry out a hyperloop to reality in the next decade with a Spain-brand project and a vision of international expansion.

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