With the strong economic growth which the Gulf region of the Middle East has witnessed this past decade, the region’s young businessmen and businesswomen will face new challenges in demonstrating that their management skills and business acumen can ensure sustainable growth in the next decade’s economic cycle, especially as the non-oil sector now contributes more than70% to the region's total GDP. A very important aspect of this lies in the education of our future business leaders, and links to the world’s top Universities and Business Schools will play a crucial role in ensuring our graduates are equippedwith the latest skills and lessons learned from across our increasingly globalizedbusiness community.
In a significant step towards realizing these strengthening ties, Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, a community of over 5000 members in more than 85 countries worldwide, has voted in Badr Jafar, Executive Director of the Crescent Petroleum Group of companies and CEO of Crescent Investments, as Chair of its Alumni Council. The results of the vote were announced at the School’s Annual General Meeting recently held in the UK.
Mr. Jafar’s was also appointed to the Judge Business School’s International Advisory Board, joiningsome of the world’s most influential business leaders, including Glenn Earle, Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs & Company;Robert E. Diamond, President of Barclays;Thomas Glocer, Chief Executive of Thomson Reuters; John Griffith-Jones, Chairman & Senior Partnerof KPMG Europe; Shelly Lazarus, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Ogilvy & Mather;Sir David Li, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Bank of East Asia; and Dr Michael van Swaaij, Chairman of Skype. This appointment is expected to further support Judge Business School’s expansion of its network, and recognizes the University’s desire for greater involvement with the Middle East.
The announcement also comes on the back of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) signing a£30 million(US$47 million) Memorandum of Understanding with Cambridge University for a ten-year partnership. That agreement, to deliver education and research responsive to the strategic needs of Abu Dhabi, was put into place last month between Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Chancellor of Cambridge University, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of UAEU, during Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the UAE, and illustrates the growing ties between the region’s alumni and the UK.
Mr. Jafar, upon his being voted in as Chair, said: “I am honored to be voted in as Chair of the Alumni Council, and to continue my active engagement with the Cambridge Judge Business School – one of the world’s fastest growing business schools. The school’s alumni hold positions of influence in companies and institutions the world over, and I look forward to using my role to ensure that best practices in business continue to be developed in the UAE, the Gulf, and the broader MENA region”.
He added, “Our youth are our future, and in a time of real global business challenges, never has it been more important to invest in their education, and in turn ensuring that these challenges are confronted with increased awareness and cooperation, and by reaching across borders in developing appropriate solutions”.
Mr. Jafar hopes that these solutions will be achieved with the correct standards of business accountability and transparency. As Co-Initiator of the Pearl Initiative, a UN-partnered movement to encourage best business practices in the Middle East, Mr. Jafar leverages partnerships between global organizations and the Gulf Private Sector to ensure the next generation of business leaders continue this positive trend.