Tarek El Baradi

Tarek El-Baradi is a Senior Advisor to EMIR on the issue of sustainability. Following a long and successful career as a senior executive in international business, he now runs a consulting company, East@West Consulting. Before that he worked as a senior scientific researcher at renowned institutions with a strong track record of publications.

EWC operates from a strong moral code and with a rich pallet of know-how in the areas of business, science, culture, and communication. Drawing synergistically from these sources it offers high-quality services in the areas of consultancy and management to a wide spectrum of institutions including Business, Academia, Government, and NGOs. Its central mission is to promote rational, ethical and agile decision-making for a better, sustainable, and truly diverse world. Specific areas of activities include but are not limited to:

  • Design of environmental quality solutions for solid- and water waste issues as well as water scarcity.
  • Optimization and reform of industrial regulations and economic policies.
  • Seminars promoting cultures of inclusion, diversity, and sustainability.

While international in scope the current EWC geographical focus areas are Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Since December 2016, Tarek has been associated with the Dutch Comenius group which provides leadership development programs for senior executives. Tarek acted so far as a visiting professor and moderator during three editions of the Comenius Middle East Leadership course.

From October 1, 2014, till April 1, 2019, Tarek took up the Dubai based position of PepsiCo Vice President Public Policy & Government Affairs (PPGA) for Asia, the Middle East, and Africa (AMENA). He led a group of roughly a dozen experienced PepsiCo Government Affairs experts. With his team, he managed and shaped a gamut of AMENA government policies to the best inseparable interests of PepsiCo and the AMENA societies and communities in which it operates. Tarek is a strong adherer and advocate of PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose business philosophy. Apart from building the AMENA PPGA organization in the PepsiCo offices in Dubai, Cairo, Gurgaon, Beijing, and Bangkok, his achievements include shaping throughout the region policies that govern taxes, trade, public health and water conservation.

Before joining PepsiCo Tarek spent 21 years with P&G, where, starting from scratch in 1993, he established the External Relations (ER) function throughout the Middle East and Africa. Specifically, Tarek founded ER departments at P&G offices in Cairo, Beirut, Jeddah, Dubai, Karachi, Casablanca, Algiers, Lagos, Nairobi, and Johannesburg. In 2009 he was appointed General Manager External Relations in Central Europe, The Middle East, and Africa (CEEMEA taking on additional responsibility for his function for P&G offices in Moscow, Kiev, Warsaw, Istanbul, Budapest, and Bucharest. Tarek’s ER role consisted of leading the P&G interface with Government, Media, Business, NGOs, local communities, and various professional organizations. As ER leader, Tarek was in charge of four distinct disciplines, namely Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability. Apart from building a 120 strong organization of P&G technical, regulatory, and communications experts across a wide range of countries, Tarek’s results-oriented approach has led to several important regulatory reforms, investment agreements, and local and international private-public partnerships in the areas of Sustainability, water purification, and child and maternal health education.

Tarek is Egyptian born and holds the Dutch nationality and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Free University of Amsterdam. He worked for 4 years as a senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin. During his research career, he published widely in leading international journals and also worked on various development projects in Africa. His approach is on the one hand no-nonsense, results-focused, and on the other hand highly people-oriented. He is averse of propaganda and impression management, is a keen original thinker and problem solver, has a wide range of interests and skills, and a diverse extended network. He lives and works by the motto “sharp mind, warm heart and busy hands”. He is a courageous manager with a good sense of humor. Tarek is married to Anja and they have a 25-year-old son Tijmen.

Sara Jackson

Sara Jackson, a dual national of the UK and South Africa, has a background in general, midwifery, and paedeatric nursing and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Industrial Psychology and Economics. Sara has worked in various roles for a global multinational for 29 years, 17 of which were based in the UAE. Her experience includes senior business and executive leadership roles in regions across Africa, Middle East and Asia. During this time she was instrumental in leading and supporting greenfield projects including establishing manufacturing facilities in new markets, business restructuring, new market entries, and the integration of an acquisition. In 2018 her roles included representation in various Industry Associations.

On leaving the corporate world in 2019, Sara established her own consultancy, Green Ethics FZ LLC, and is now managing the CIRCLE Coalition, a public-private partnership, focused on developing a closed-loop economic model for recycling post-consumer packaging waste. In this role, she coordinated and facilitated a proof of concept pilot study in Abu Dhabi. The study was conducted by Frost & Sullivan, in partnership with Tadweer, the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi and the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and funded by the CIRCLE Coalition.

The report, “Charting the road towards a Circular Economy in the UAE” was released in January 2020 and highlights the barriers and enablers of the circular economy in the UAE. The CIRCLE Coalition is now embarking on the establishment of a Sustainable Packaging Association for the UAE and the design of an Extended Producer Responsibility Framework.

Laila Abdullatif

With over 11 years of conservation experience, Laila works with UAE leadership, corporate executives and civil society to forge a future in which people and nature thrive.

As Director General of Emirates Nature-WWF since May 2017, she heads one of the region’s most respected conservation organizations and acts as a shareholder member for the WWF Asian Pacific growth strategy.

Her role involves leading the organisation locally and representing the WWF network regionally to drive achievements of the conservation organization’s critical mission. She plays an active role in leading the organisation to deliver high-impact, science-based, robust conservation solutions for a sustainable UAE on climate change and energy, biodiversity conservation, youth education and market transformation.

Laila spends a lot of her time on forging and nurturing strategic partnerships with a range of stakeholders including the UAE government, private sector and civil society— all of which are fundamental to Emirates Nature-WWF’s success. Working closely with the Board of Directors and fundraising for the organisation are also high on her agenda.

As a proud Emirati, Laila is deeply rooted in a country renowned for achieving the impossible. She is a big enthusiast of a youth education initiative launched under her leadership to ensure tomorrow’s leaders, and UAE youth, are well equipped with knowledge and skills to lead a more sustainable UAE. Laila believes in the importance of engaging with the public through a diverse range of opportunities to highlight the vital connection between nature and humanity.

Laila has a degree in Environmental Science from the American University of Sharjah and began her association with Emirates Nature-WWF in 2009.