Our Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees

It is a great honor for us to have these distinguished people as the members of
the Board of Trustees of the Al-Sumait Prize

H.E. Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohamad Al-Sabah

His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohamad Al-Sabah
Foreign Minister


Born in 1971, he obtained a BA in international relations and a BA in foreign languages. He acquired Metriz Certificate for human science from France’s University of Strasbourg and a master’s degree in international relations and translation from the same university in 1995. He acquired a doctorate in political science from France’s Sorbonne University in 2000. He held several high-level posts at the Foreign Ministry, including an extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador in 2005. He became Assistant Foreign Minister for the First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister’s Office Affairs in 2016 and Assistant Foreign Minister for the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister’s Office Affairs in 2017

Mr. Bill Gates

Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he shapes and approves grant making strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization.

Bill and Melinda Gates work together to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people by collaborating with grantees and partners. They also participate in national and international events and travel extensively to focus attention on the issues the foundation champions.

Gates began his major philanthropic efforts in 1994, when he created the William H. Gates Foundation, which focused on global health. Three years later, he and Melinda created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public access computers with Internet connections to libraries in the United States. Its name changed to the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999 to reflect its focus on ensuring that low-income minority students are prepared for college and have the means to attend. In 2000, to increase efficiency and communication, the two groups merged into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In 1975, Gates left Harvard University in his junior year to focus on Microsoft, the company he founded with his childhood friend Paul Allen. As chief software architect and chairman, Gates led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software, services, and solutions. In July 2008, Gates transitioned into a new role as chairman of Microsoft and adviser on some key development projects. (See Microsoft’s web site for more information on his work with the company.)

Gates also founded Corbis, which is developing a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe. He is a member of the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Gates grew up in Seattle with his two sisters. His father, William H. Gates Sr., is a co-chair of the foundation and a retired attorney. His late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International. The Gates have three children.

Mr. Abdulatif Al-Hamad

Born in 1937 in Kuwait, Abdlatif Yousef Al-Hamad attended Claremont Mckenna College in California, graduating International Affairs with honors in 1960, before attending the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Science International Affairs Programme. Returning home, he served as a member of the Kuwait delegation to the United Nations during Kuwait’s application for admission to the UN membership in the early 60s, before spending two years as Director, Kuwait Investment Company. For the next 18 years, he held the position of Director General at the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, as well being Director of the South & Arabian Gulf Society, an Educational & Philanthropic organization. During this time, he was Managing Director of the Kuwait Investment Company between 1965 and 1974, Chairman, Kuwait Prefabricated building Company 1965–1978 and Chairman of the United Bank of Kuwait
in London, 1966–1981. His other many roles include:

  • 1967 – To date Trustee, Arab Planning Institute.
  • 1991–To Date Member of the Board of Trustees South Center Geneva.
  • To date Member of the Board of Kuwait Investment Authority.
  • To date Member of the Advisory Council for Middle East and North Africa Region – The World Bank – Washington D.C.
  • To date Trustee, Green Cross International.
  • To date Trustee, The Earth Council – Costa Rica
  • 1996 Chairman, Development Committee Task Force on Multilateral Development Banks.
  • To date Member of the Higher Council of Education – Kuwait.
  • To date Trustee, International Institute for Strategic Studies – London.
  • To date Member of International Advisory Board on Foreign Relations – New York.
  • To date Trustee, The International Crisis Group.
  • To date Member of the Advisory Council of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies – the University of Chicago.
  • To date Member of the Advisory Council of the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, Princeton University.
  • To date Member of the Board, The International Investor – Kuwait
  • To date Member of the Board of the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU/IAS) – Tokyo.
  • He is married with two boys and two girls.

Mr. Abdoulie Janneh

Board Member/Executive Director at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation


Former United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) (2005-2012), Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, a Gambian National is currently a Board Member/Executive Director at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Dakar, Senegal. He had earlier served as UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Africa from June 2000 to October 2005.


Mr. Janneh is an active participant on the Boards/Advisory Panels of several organizations involved in Africa’s development, notably the Africa Forum of Former Heads of State, and is the President of the Governing Board of the African Governance Institute, Board Member of International Lawyers of Africa (ILFA), Global Integrity, AO Alliance, TrustAfrica and  Chair of Africa Risk Capacity Limited.


He has delivered over the years a number of keynote addresses, policy statements and written articles on issues germane to Africa’s development. Mr. Janneh is a strong Pan Africanist and the author of the book ‘Integrating Africa’.

He is fluent both in English and French.


Dr. Ismahane Elouafi

Dr Ismahane Elouafi is the first Chief Scientist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, a new position created within FAO’s core leadership structure.

She has nearly two decades of experience in agricultural research and development in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. She is internationally known for her work on promoting neglected and underutilized crops, use of non-fresh water in agriculture, and empowerment of women in science.

From 2012 until her appointment at FAO, Dr Elouafi led the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture based in the United Arab Emirates. Previously, she held senior scientific and leadership positions in the Ministry of Agriculture in Canada and at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. She had also worked as a scientist with several international research organizations, including the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

Dr Elouafi have been a board member of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the USA; the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), the UK; and the Professional Development Institute, Canada. She is also a member of the Scientific Group for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and of the CGIAR System Management Board.

Her contributions to science and policy have been recognized with a number of prestigious awards and accolades, including the National Reward Medal by His Majesty Mohamed VI, the King of Morocco, and the Excellence in Science Award from the Global Thinkers Forum.

Dr. Elouafi holds a B.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences and an M.Sc. in Genetics and Plant Breeding from the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, Morocco, and a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Cordoba, Spain.

Of dual nationality, Canada and Morocco, Dr Elouafi is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Dr Stefania Giannini

Dr Stefania Giannini was appointed Assistant Director-General for Education in May 2018, becoming the top United Nations official in the field of education. In this position, she provides strategic vision and leadership for UNESCO’s Education Sector in coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the Education 2030 Agenda, encapsulated in Sustainable Development Goal She has devoted her career to promoting education as a fundamental human right, through the importance of language, lifelong learning, culture, freedom of expression and identity, in an effort to ensure more inclusive and equal societies.

With an academic background in the Humanities (PhD in Linguistics), Ms Giannini became Professor of Linguistics in 1992 and served as Rector of the University for Foreigners of Perugia (2004 – 2012), being one of the first female Rectors and the youngest at that time in Italy.

During these years, Ms Giannini coordinated a number of relevant international projects in the field of higher education and research, contributing to the improvement of university cooperation between Europe and several other countries, from the United States to countries in Asia as well as the Middle East and North Africa region.

At the same time, she was member of the Selection Committee of the Erasmus Mundus programme in Brussels (2005 – 2009), the person responsible for international relations in the Committee of The Conference of Italian University Rectors (2006 – 2010) and a member of the National Commission for the Promotion of Italian Culture Abroad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006 – 2011).

Later on, in her role as Senator of the Republic of Italy (2013 – 2018) and Minister of Education, Universities and Research (2014 – 2016), she developed and implemented a structural reform of the Italian education system, centred on social inclusion and targeting cultural awareness. Ms Giannini also chaired the Education and Competitiveness Council of the European Union during the Italian Presidency (July – December 2014), working to promote the importance of creativity, cultural heritage and innovation as tools for dialogue between diverse populations, with a view to preventing radicalization and extremism.

In addition to her current position as UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education, Ms Giannini is Advisor to the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation as well as a member of the Atlantis Group of the Varkey Foundation and of RISE (Research, Innovation and Science Policy Experts).

Dr Jaouad Mahjour

Dr Jaouad Mahjour was appointed as Assistant Director-General of the Emergency Preparedness Division within the World Health Organization’s Emergency Programme, on 15th March 2019. Most recently, he served as the Director of WHO’s Country Health Emergency Preparedness & International Health Regulations Department. A national of Morocco, Dr Mahjour is a public health specialist with over 30 years of experience in designing, implementing and evaluating diseases control programmes at national and international levels.

He joined the World Health Organization as the Country Representative to Lebanon in 2005.  In 2007, he took up the position of Director, Communicable Diseases Control in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office.  From 2014 to 2018, he served as Director of Programme Management, and additionally was designated by the Director-General as Acting Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region from October 2017 to May 2018.  For more than ten years, Dr Mahjour led the implementation of the International Health Regulations 2005, and overall health security, preparedness and outbreak prevention and control programmes in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region Office and most recently in WHO Headquarters.

Dr Mahjour holds a Doctorate of Medicine from the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Rabat (Morocco), and a Master degree in Public Health.  Prior to joining WHO, Dr Mahjour was the Director of Epidemiology and Diseases Control in the Ministry of Health of Morocco.

Dr. Kwaku Aning

I have spent the last thirty-eight years working in United Nations system organizations that are focused on negotiations around issues of global security, Article VII of the UN Charter, and the application of science and technology for the socioeconomic development of developing countries.

I was the representative of the Director General (DG) of the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) to the UN in New York when the Iraq nuclear crisis was before the UN Security Council, and during the transition from UNSCOM to UNMOVIC. IAEA was part of the UN inspection team and had the nuclear file, and I represented the Agency at the Council. Following this, I was based in Vienna for ten years as the Secretary of the Board of Governors (BoG) and the General Conference (GC), which were also tasked with the Iraq file.

In 2003, Iran’s clandestine nuclear programme came to the attention of the international community. As the Secretary of the BoG, I managed the debates and discussions in the BoG and the GC, as well as the reports, decisions and resolutions they adopted, until the end of 2010.

From January2011 to June 2015, I held the post of IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation (DDG-TC). I managed the provision of very concrete support to developing countries in the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology. This work was delivered in the areas of agriculture and food security, health (cancer, nutrition, cardiovascular disease, etc.), environment and water management, and industrial applications. Projects were implemented in over 130 countries, with an annual budget of over €200 million and a staff of 250.

Prior to joining the IAEA, I worked with the UN and UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development) on the application of science and technology for the socioeconomic development of developing countries.

I am currently the Governor for Ghana on the thirty-five member IAEA Board of Governors, as well as the IAEA Director General’s Special Envoy on Cancer for Africa. I am also the Chairman of the Board of the Ghana Nuclear Power Institute, the body overseeing Ghana’s nuclear power development.

I have a BSc in Mechanical Engineering (summa cum laude) from Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology, Ghana; an MSc in Solid State Physics from Princeton University; and a PhD in Metallurgy from Columbia University, New York.

Dr. Khaled Ali Al-Fadhel

Dr. Khaled Ali Al-Fadhel is the Director-General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).

His past experience and positions include:

Minister of Oil and Minister of Electricity and Water (2018-2020).

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (2018- 2020).

Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (2018).

Assistant to the Vice President of Kuwait University for Scientific Affairs, and Director of the Center for Educational Measurement and Assessment (2015- 2018).

Director of the Guidance and Counseling Office at the College of Engineering and Petroleum at Kuwait University (2008-2011), and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at the College (2011-2015).

Member of the teaching staff of the Chemical Engineering Department at Kuwait University (2005-2018).

A PhD in Mathematical Modeling of Micro-Chemical Systems from Lehigh University, USA, with a specialization in Chemical Engineering, in 2005.

He won several international recognition awards, including the Leonard Winsel Award for the best performance in the admission test for the doctoral program in 2000, the Distinguished Teaching Award from Lehigh University in the United States of America in 2004, and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Engineering and Petroleum at Kuwait University in 2007.