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RIT Dubai Board of Directors

RIT Dubai’s board of directors boasts outstanding members from the Dubai government and leaders of some of the most prominent companies in the region. The members of RIT Dubai’s board of directors are:

Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Chairman of the RIT Dubai Board of Directors

Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is a pioneer extraordinaire; a graduate in Business Administration from Boston University; has completed his PHD course work in Finance from Michigan State University.

He is the Chairman and Founder of Bin Zayed Group- a leading conglomerate established in 1988 with diverse business interests in the local and international markets. The Bin Zayed Group’s key activities comprise four business fields: Construction & Energy, Trading & Industry, Real Estate, Technology and Financial Services.

Sheikh Khaled holds pivotal positions in several private and public organizations: He serves as Chairman of The Islamic Arab Insurance Company (SALAMA), the largest Islamic Takaful and Re-Takaful Company in the world. He is also a Board Member of Al Firdous Holdings.

In addition, Sheikh Khaled is on the board of numerous sovereign entities; serving as Chairman of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Board Member of Dubai School of Government.

He was formerly Chairman of Tamweel and Vice Chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank. He also served as Board Member of UAE Insurance Authority, Abraaj Capital, Dubai Real-Estate Corporation DREC (WASL) as well as Chairman of The Executive Committee of Dubai Economic Council (DEC).

Sheikh Khaled’s achievements are by no means restricted to the business arena. His personal contributions in various public serving entities, stands testimony to his commitment for the societal well being: He is a member of Board of Trustees of JA Worldwide, Chairman of Injaz Al Arab MENA Region, a subsidiary of Junior Achievement Worldwide, an organization entrusted in preparing the new generation to face current evolving economic challenges. Concurrently, he serves as the Chairman of Al Hikmah Educational Chain, which is engaged in furtherance of education in the region, Vice-Chairman of Human Appeal International, which fights poverty and injustices and the Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Foundation for Human Development, Member of Young Arab Leaders, which aims to boost economic growth in the Arab World by providing a platform for change.

He is also the President of UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation.

Sheikh Khaled is keen on participating in World Economic Forum (WEF) every year and Arab Business Council (ABC) as a member. He’s also a prominent public speaker and has given extensive presentations and TV & media interviews on E-Commerce, E-Government, importance of digital Technology, Economic Policy, and various progressive topics, impacting regional economy.

Mohammed Al Zarooni

Dr. Al Zarooni was appointed in 2000 as the Director General of the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA). He was appointed Vice Chairman and CEO of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) in 2002 and still leads both entities. Dr. Al Zarooni brings with him more than 20 years of executive management experience in building free zones.

In 2011 Dr. Al Zarooni was appointed as the Chairman of the Dubai Free Zone Council; which was established to unify the rules and regulations that govern free zone companies and serve as a one-stop point for global investors. In 1995 Dr. Al Zarooni joined the Department of Civil Aviation as the Director of Administration & Research where he was a key figure in establishing the Free Zone Division. Prior to joining the Department of Civil Aviation, Dr. Al Zarooni served at the Ministry of Education for 8 years. Dr. Al Zarooni was also appointed as the Director General of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) in 2006 and later on he was assigned as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of DAE in mid 2010. Additionally, Dr. Al Zarooni serves on the boards of several governmental entities; these include the Department of Economic Development (DED) and Dubai Economic Council along with the Economy and Trade Committee.

Dr. Al Zarooni holds a doctorate in Economic Geography from Durham University – UK (1994) as well as a B.A and a master’s degree from Emirates University in Economics. Passing his knowledge and experience to the new generation, Dr. Al Zarooni is a lecturer in the UAE University.

Abdulrahman Alsaleh

Mr. Abdulrahman Alsaleh is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Alsaleh has considerable exposure to the operations of the government departments and companies in the United Arab Emirates from his association as Management Accountant with the Dubai Ports Authority, as Chief Accountant of Emirates General Petroleum Corporation and as Executive Director for Business Support Services in Dubai Customs.

Mr. Alsaleh is actively involved in the development of the accounting and auditing profession in the United Arab Emirates. He was a member of the Ministerial Committee for the regulation of the audit profession in the United Arab Emirates.

In May 2009, Mr. Alsaleh was appointed as Director General of the Department of Finance in Emirate of Dubai.

Nabil Habayeb

Nabil Habayeb is President & CEO of GE’s Middle East, North Africa & Turkey region.

Based in Dubai, Nabil Habayeb is responsible for developing and expanding the growth of GE’s different businesses across the region.

Nabil Habayeb joined GE Power Systems' Field Engineering Programme in 1982 and held several field assignments internationally. In 1985 he moved to Dubai where he held several sales positions covering the region. He moved to Schenectady, N.Y. in 1989 to be the Commercial Operations Manager for the Middle East and in 1991 he was appointed the Power Systems Sales Manager for Egypt, Africa and East Mediterranean countries.

In 1993, Mr. Habayeb returned to the Middle East as the Manager of the Western Region for Saudi Arabia and in 1995 became the Customer Services Manager for the region. He became the Europe Pole sales leader in 1996 and was named General Manager for Africa, India and Middle East (AIM) Region in 1997. In 2001 he was appointed to his previous role of Regional Executive and General Manager, GE Energy, AIM Region.

Mr. Habayeb was born in 1958 in Beirut. He attended Syracuse University and graduated with a B.S. degree in 1980 and an M.S. degree in 1982, both in Mechanical Engineering.

Jeremy Haefner

Jeremy Haefner was appointed Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at RIT in 2008.

Before joining RIT, Dr. Haefner served in a number of administrative roles at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs including concurrent appointments as vice chancellor for research and innovation, dean of the Graduate School, Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, director of the Colorado Institute for Technology Transfer and Implementation. He also was chair of the mathematics department, director of the campus-wide Teaching and Learning Center, faculty associate for information technology and faculty associate for teaching and learning, and professor of mathematics at UCCS. He joined the faculty at the University of Colorado in 1989 after spending three years at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Dr. Haefner’s research expertise includes the mathematics of integral representation, module and matrix theory; he has published widely and has been externally supported by a number of funding agencies. Dr. Haefner has been recognized with a National Security Agency Young Investigator Award, a research fellowship from the Universidad de Murcia in Spain, and numerous research contracts with the National Security Agency, the University of Colorado and the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Haefner maintains a strong interest in active learning and technology-enhanced instruction as learner-centric pedagogies. He developed the program in Applications in Technology for Mathematics Education in 1995, which provides technology training to students interested in careers in mathematics education. He also has co-developed the MathOnline program and the system-wide CU Online Tutoring program, which provides university-level mathematics courses and tutoring over the internet to high school students across the State of Colorado. In 1998, Dr. Haefner won the inaugural Innovations in Teaching with Technology award from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the inaugural University of Colorado President's Faculty Excellence Award for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Technology. The CU System has recognized him for his collaborative contributions to using technology in education.

Darshan Hiranandani

Mr. Darshan Hiranandani is the Managing Director of the Hiranandani Group, India’s largest residential developer. He heads the company’s real estate operations in Dubai and the energy operations in India. Mr. Hiranandani also plays a key role in the Hirco group – Niranjan Hiranandani’s development arm for Indian projects. He has been instrumental in the implementation of high-tech facilities in Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, which won the Ramakrishna Bajaj award for the best hospital in India. He is also actively involved in the prestigious SEZ development project as a representative of the Hiranandani Group.

Mr. Hiranandani has a sound educational background and has completed his MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology, (RIT) New York, with specialization in Entrepreneurship and Finance after completing B.S. (Business) in Management Information Systems.

Essa Kazim

Mr. Essa Kazim is the Chairman of Borse Dubai and Managing Director & CEO of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

Mr. Kazim began his career as a Senior Analyst in the Research and Statistics Department of the UAE Central Bank in 1988 and then moved to the Dubai Department of Economic Development as Director of Planning and Development in 1993. He was then appointed as Director General of the DFM from 1999 to 2006. Mr. Kazim holds an honorary Doctorate from Coe College, a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Iowa, a Masters Degree in Total Quality Management from the University of Wollongong and A Bachelor degree from Coe College. He is currently a Member of the Higher Board of Directors of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and the Board of DIFC Authority, Member of Dubai Council for Economic Affairs, Board Director of NASDAQ Dubai, Member of the Board of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Board Director of NASDAQ OMX and Member of the Board of Governors of Hamdan Bin Mohammed E-University.

James Watters

James Watters joined the RIT team in 1994 as budget director. He is now the senior vice president of finance and administration and treasurer. At RIT, he oversees the activity of more than 740 full-time employees and 1,500 student workers. He is responsible for administering the university’s annual $661 million operating budget; capital budget totaling $156 million; $850 million endowment and working capital portfolios; and $275 million public debt portfolio. Dr. Watters is responsible for housing; dining services; bookstore operations; human resources; accounting/payroll; insurance; public safety; audit; legal; information technology and security; institutional research; and facilities operations, design and construction.

Dr. Watters is vice chair of RIT’s Global Delivery Corporation which oversees RIT’s international campuses located in central Europe and Dubai. He holds the position of treasurer of the RIT Croatia board of trustees and Secretary of the Board for RIT Dubai’s board of trustees. Dr. Watters serves on several nonprofit and for-profit boards, including the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, New York Wine and Culinary Center, Broadstone Net Lease and Broadtree Homes, Excell Partners, Vnomics and Fidelity Investments.

He came to RIT from the University of Pittsburgh, where he spent his entire academic and previous professional years and earned a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D.