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Women's Leadership in Times of Crises
The 3rd Global Conversation IWD 2021

London | Zagreb | Beirut | Amman | Irvine, CA | Oregon | Lagos | Nairobi | Karachi


HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan
Keynote Address - 'Women's Leadership in Times of Crises'
March 8, 2021

"Remember always that compassionate leadership is strong leadership. This is what truly benefits our world, and benefits the future that we all deserve."

Global Panel GC March 8 Athena40.jpg
Main London panel:

  • Tim Willcox - BBC World News

  • Doug Wills - Editor Emeritus, Evening Standard

  • Elizabeth H. Filippouli - Founder/CEO, Athena40 (Moderator)

  • HRH Basma Al Said - Founder, Whispers of Serenity (Oman)

  • Tsitsi Mutendi - Founder, Africa Family Offices (Zimbabwe)

  • Margery Kraus - CEO, APCO Worldwide (USA)

  • Amber Ghaddar - CEO, Alliance Block (UK)

  • May Chidiac - Broadcaster, President May Chidiac Foundation (Lebanon)

Panel in Zagreb, Croatia:

  • Andrew Dalgleish - Ambassador of the UK to Croatia

  • Leonor Stjepic - CEO, Montessori Group (Moderator)

  • Ivana Gažić - Management Board President, Zagreb Stock Exchange

  • Katarina Kecko - Partner, KPMG Croatia

  • Victoria Zinchuk - Director - Head of Croatia, EBRD

  • Marijana Šarolić Robić - President, PWMN Zagreb

  • Stephanie Trpkov - Executive Director, InTech Ventures Ltd

"It’s really important for men to have not just a place in this conversation and the actions that need to be taken, but they have a responsibility." 
- Leonor Stjepic, CEO Montessori Group - UK


Panel in Amman, Jordan:

  • Deema Bibi - CEO, INJAZ

  • Bayan Tal Senior - Adviser, Jordan Media Institute (Moderator)

  • Muna Sukhtian - MD, Microfund for Women

  • Salma Nims - Secretary-General, Jordanian National Commission for Women

  • H.E. Ms. Kholoud M. Saqqaf - CEO - Vice Chairman of the Board,
    Social Security Investment Fund, SSIF

  • Luma Al Adnani - CEO, Adam Wa Mishmish

"COVID-19 has created new, more complex environmental and societal challenges that no government can address alone. The private sector, the social sector, entrepreneurs and citizens all have important roles to play.”
- Deema Bibi, CEO INJAZ - Jordan


Panel in the USA:

  • Bill Maurer - Dean of the School of Social Sciences, UCI, Irvine

  • Dr Catherine Bolzendahl - Professor of Sociology, Oregon State University (Moderator)

  • Dr Sreyram Kuy - MD Surgeon, Health Policy Leader & Healthcare Executive

  • Mary Carlin Yates - Ambassador (ret.)

  • Bernadette Boden-Albala - Director & Founding Dean, Program in Public Health

  • Julie Hill - Corporate Director, Anthem Lord Abbett Mutual Funds

  • Karen Toliver - Executive Vice President of Creative, Sony Pictures Animation

"Be vocal, and create a system of networks that will hear your voice and where you can listen to the voices of others, we all need to do this together.
Change is not one person.”

- Bernadette Boden-Albala, Director, Program in Public Health - USA


Panel at Montessori International Centre:

  • Maccs Pescatore - CEO, Montessori Centre International (Moderator)

  • Chenaara Edghill-Peart - Founder & Head Directress, Peart's Montessori

  • Preeti Patel - Head of Education, St Nicholas Montessori Training

  • Tram Anh Nguyen - Co-Founder, CFTE

  • Rachel Boyle - Head of Interdisciplinary Studies, Leeds Beckett University

  • Ruth Hall - CEO, Plas y Brenin

"Until you see somebody that you identify with, it's sometimes difficult to make that choice to step into something.”

- Maccs Pescatore CEO, Montessori Centre International - UK



  • Yewande Sadiku - CEO, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (Moderator)

  • Hajara Kabeer Abdulfatah - Founder, Girl in STEM Initiative

  • Amanda Obidike - Strategy Lead, STEMI Makers Africa

"We have it in our heads that women are just there, that there's a particular barrier or boundary to where they can reach. There are a lot of women that have broken the glass ceiling, they have shattered it.”
- Hajara Kabeer, Founder, Girl in STEM Initiative - Nigeria


Panel in Beirut:

  • Myriam Sfeir - Director, Arab Institute for Women (Moderator)

  • Lina Abirafeh - Executive Director, Arab Institute for Women

  • Diana Moukalled - Editor, Daraj Media

  • Mia Malda Atoui - President, Embrace

  • Amani Beainy - Political & Human Rights Activist

  • Carol Mansour - Film Director

  • Youmna Makhlouf - Lawyer

“We young woman leaders can change the world for better. For this we need to promote dialogue between the different generations to bridge the intergenerational gap between the young and older feminists.”
- Amani Beainy, Political & Human Rights Activist - Lebanon


Panel in Karachi:

  • Attiya Mahmoud - Ambassador (ret.) (Moderator)

  • Maria Umar - Founder & President, Women's Digital League

  • Ayla Raza - All Pakistan Music Conference, Karachi

  • Farhat Asif - Founder & President, Institute of Peace & Diplomatic Studies

  • Abdiya Shaheen - Depilex SmileAgain Foundation

  • Dr Sania Nishtar - Special Assistant, Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety to the PM of Pakistan

“COVID-19 has given a lot of women an opportunity to show leadership in their communities. These political parties need to invest in and invite these women to the table, to discuss with them and connect with them.”
- Farhat Asif, Founder & President, Institute of Peace & Diplomatic Studies - Pakistan


Panel in Nairobi:

  • H.E. Mr Manoah Esipisu - Kenyan High Commissioner to the UK

  • Mary Khaemba - Director of Rehabilitation & Welfare, Kenya Prisons Service

  • Chilande Kuloba-Warria - Managing Director, Warande Advisory Centre (Moderator)

  • Teresa Njoroge - Founder & CEO, Clean Start Kenya

  • Cyprine Omollo - Program Manager, Clean Start Kenya

  • Jane Ouma - Transition Coordinator, Clean Start Kenya

  • Susan Kihara - COO, Clean Start Kenya

  • Sarah Odima - Life Coach, Clean Start Kenya

  • Beatrice Waihura - Founder, Sweet Lick Bakery

“I'm a formerly incarcerated woman. And my prison experience of walking into the prison gate five months pregnant helped me realise the strong will of a woman when facing turbulent moments, and being able to withstand all that.”
- Jane Ouma, Transition Coordinator, Clean Start - Kenya

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