Current Board and Leadership Council
Chairman, RISE Egypt
Founder & CEO, Capital Executive Solutions
Founder & CEO, IBT Global
Founder & President , RISE Egypt
Visiting Scientist, Harvard University
Co-founder & Managing Director, Qalaa Holdings
CEO, Giza Systems
Associate Research Professor, Social Research Center, AUC
Chairman Emeritus, Sarhank Group for Investment
Former CEO for Telecom, Raya Holding
Founding Board of Directors
Founder & President
Co-founder, RISE Egypt;
MENA Business Leader, Google X
Founder & CEO, Indie.Biz; Founding Co-Director, RISE Fellowship Program
Capital Executive Solutions
Chairwoman & Chief Designer
Azza Fahmy Jewelry
Executive Management Consultant
AUC Business School
PriceWaterhouse Coopers Egypt
Amr Helmy Designs
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship AUC Business School
Meet the Team
Co-founder & President
Mona Mowafi is trained in global health and development, and has come to the world of entrepreneurship as an evolution of sorts. Through 15 years of experience living and working in the Arab region, she became convinced about the important role innovative, people-driven development (i.e. social entrepreneurship) can play in transforming society, alleviating poverty, and creating sustainable opportunities for long term growth and impact. Mona has published numerous articles and book chapters in her area of research, including co-authoring one of the first texts on Social Entrepreneurship in the Arab World. In 2011, she was recognized as an emerging leader in global health research by the Global Health Council; in 2013, she was awarded the Judith O'Connor Award for emerging nonprofit leaders from Boardsource; and in 2014, Mona was honored to receive 1 of 20 National Service Leadership Awards by Americorps Alums in recognition of her leadership in global development and ongoing commitment to service-learning. Mona holds a doctorate in Social Epidemiology from Harvard University, a Masters in International Health from Johns Hopkins University, and Bachelors degrees in Biochemistry and Middle East Studies from the University of Virginia. Mona lives with her husband and two children in Brookline, MA.
M&E / Impact Manager
Sally Mansour comes from a corporate background working in various industries. She has primary experience in the telecom industry with particular knowledge and skills in marketing, product management and analysis. She joined the telecom operator Etisalat within its first year of operation in Egypt and has helped formulate a number of organizational processes within the geo-marketing function and launched a number of telecom products within the international service function.
Combining her love for writing and travel, she has also established herself as a travel blogger and freelance writer producing a number of articles and digital content covering local and international destinations, travel tips and trip planning advice.
Prior to joining RISE, she completed her Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from Lund University in Sweden. During her stay, she co-founded two Swedish based startups: one specialized in heritage travel and another operating within the second hand items business.
Sally completed her Bachelor’s degree in the American University in Cairo with a major in Business Administration and minor in International Relations and during her undergraduate studies she was actively involved in a number of student led conferences such as Model United Nations and Model Arab League.
Knowledge Networks Manager
Yomna Saleh is currently the Knowledge Networks Manager at RISE Egypt, responsible for managing, designing and creating venues for RISE Egypt’s global network, in order to engage and expand the impact of the organization’s work across programs. Previously, she worked as an Innovation & Business Consultant at Innovety LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in innovation management, focusing on strategy, people and technology. She was actively engaged with international donors, corporates, government, and entrepreneurs on using innovation for growth. Before shifting to consultancy, she led Egypt’s online hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, Egyptinnovate.com, a national project that seeks to inspire, educate and connect innovators and entrepreneurs. Yomna managed and oversaw platform operations, content strategy, digital efforts and team performance. She was responsible as well for driving the interest of local and global partners and contributors to the platform.
Yomna Saleh earned her BA in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Cairo University and an MSc in Nanotechnology from the American University in Cairo. She was awarded with academic honors for her research, she has filed for an international patent, and published in Scientific Reports journal, one of Nature's journals.
Research & Policy Manager
Eman El-Hadary is a statistician and researcher. She started her career working with a number of prestigious research institutes in Egypt and in the Middle East including the Social Research Center at AUC and the Economic Research Forum. Eman has also worked as consultant on various social research projects tackling issues of health equity, social determinants of health, education and women's empowerment. Eman also has market research experience through her work with Nielson, a prominent market research firm, where she worked on brand image and equity, consumer satisfaction, usage and attitudes surveys, mystery shopping, product ideation and development. Working with the corporate world, she had the chance to undertake studies on corporate social responsibility, entrepreneurship and sustainable business. Eman is trained in both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and randomized control trials (RCTs). She currently coaches and conducts trainings on the subject of research methods while completing her Masters degree in public policy at the American University in Cairo (AUC).
Senior Research Associate
Sarah El Nashar is a Senior Research Associate at RISE Egypt. Her focus is on reforming education systems towards more holistic learning with an emphasis on youth empowerment.
She has spent the past three years consulting for various Egyptian and international NGOs including Teach For Qatar and Education Above All on issues ranging from education strategy and curriculum development to teacher professional development. Before joining RISE, she worked with SPARK as an Education Manager facilitating higher education opportunities for Syrian refugees in their host countries. Prior to this experience, she worked for three years at the American University in Cairo (AUC). At AUC she was the Student Life Coordinator for a group of 55 Egyptian students who were awarded the Leadership for Education and Development (LEAD) scholarship. As an advisor, mentor and coach, Sarah worked with each of her students on their academic, personal and professional development. Prior to AUC, Sarah was part of the Cairo-based IIE (Institute of International Education) team where she was a Student Advising & Development Manager for the KAUST Discovery Scholarship program. Sarah’s previous experience also includes working at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) and heading up several student and youth development programs.
Sarah has an Ed.M. in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She also holds a M.Sc. in Family Studies and Human Services with a specialization in Youth Development from Kansas State University and a B.A. in Business Administration from Ain Shams University.
Noran Abdou is trained in architecture, integrated urbanism, and sustainability. She holds a dual degree MSc in Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design (IUSD) from University of Stuttgart in Germany and Ain Shams University in Egypt. In IUSD, Noran had the chance to work on the ground in both countries on a wide spectrum of projects including refugees’ integration in Stuttgart, local economic development of slum areas in Cairo, and ecological adaptation and mitigation of flood risks in Alexandria. Prior to IUSD, Noran graduated from the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt, in 2014, and graduated with the highest honors at the top of her class with a BSc. in Architectural Engineering and a minor in Business Administration. She has held scholarships from both USAID and DAAD to support her undergraduate and graduate studies, respectively. Noran has also been an exchange student at Drexel University, USA. She has worked as a teaching assistant for urban planning at AUC and also worked as a landscape architect at Sites International upon graduation. Noran is passionate about integrated urban planning and interdisciplinary research. She also has strong interest in arts and recycling and has worked on recycled art projects for street children in Ethiopia and in Egypt.
Jaylan El-Shazly is an experienced analyst, program manager, and commercial manager. With over 11 years of experience in the telecom sector, she spent the beginning of her career working with operational excellence mainly on improvement management, process improvement and strategy execution at Ericsson. As a Black Belt in Six Sigma, she also led its implementation and education. In the second part of her career also within Telecoms, she managed commercial pricing and cost benefit analyses for large tenders and developed commercial strategies for products on a global scale. After working in Egypt, Sweden, and the US, she has joined RISE Egypt to shift her focus towards social issues as a Research Associate. Jaylan is an avid choir singer, an amateur pianist, and a contributing writer at Women of Egypt – a feminist online magazine. In addition to that, she helps run ‘Heya Masr,’ an NGO that delivers fun educational programming to girls in underprivileged areas of Cairo.
Engi Gamal Eldin
Engi Gamal Eldin is a researcher working on the topics of economics of education, labor economics, human capital, innovation and development. She received her BA in Economics with Minor in Statistics from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University. She was awarded a full scholarship from KOICA in 2013 to obtain her Masters in Development Policy from KDI School of Public Policy and Management in South Korea.
She has 12 years of experience in research design, implementation and data analysis using different econometric methods, and statistical analysis techniques. She has experience working with think tanks and international organizations in conducting quantitative research and undertaking empirical research including writing research papers on the aforementioned related themes.
Engi was awarded a model mentorship training programme funded by Ford Foundation to the Social Science Research Council SSRC's Middle East and North Africa on Higher Education and Social Inequality: Models, Tools and Transfers in Comparative Perspective (The U.S. and Egypt). She published her research findings in a chapter titled "The Impact of Cost Sharing on Quality of Education in Egypt's Public Universities" in the Handbook of Research on Quality Assurance and Value Management in Higher Education in Advances in Educational Marketing, Administration, & Leadership (AEMAL) Book Series, IGI Gobal. Engi also received an award for the best ten policy briefs competition announced by the Economic Research Forum (ERF) in July 2015 for her policy brief entitled “School-based Management: An Approach to Improve Learning Outcomes in Egypt.” She also received a research award from the Arab Families Working Group (AFWG) to fund the research project "The Impact of Preschool Education on Reading Literacy in Egypt" (Oct 2016 – Present).”
Egypt Operations Manager
Wael Mahran earned his B.Sc. in electrical engineering from Cairo University, then received his MBA with a specialty in Marketing from the Arab Academy of Science & Technology, graduating with honors. Wael worked as Egypt's Media & Communications Coordinator with Egypt NEGMA, a nonprofit that runs an annual conference and social innovation competition focused on early stage social ventures from Egypt. He was a member of the organizing committee for the second NEGMA conference that took place in MIT on March 2012, and was later elected to become a NEGMA board member in 2013. Wael was an Egyptian Taekwondo National team player, then moved to become a certified international coach from the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). He has coached many Egyptian players to achieve world class trophies, crowning his coaching career by taking part in the London 2012 Olympic games. He will also coach the Egyptian national Taekwondo champion at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, Brazil.
Rowaida Abdelaziz is a freelance journalist based in New York City. Previously she worked for the Committee to Protect Journalists and Al Jazeera Arabic. Her written work has also appeared in various publications including the Islamic Monthly and Elan Magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Rutgers University with a double major in Journalism & Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.
Special Thanks To
A special thanks to the legal team at Akin Gump for providing superb legal services to RISE Egypt as a pro-bono client. The team at Akin has not only been meticulous, but working with them has also been a tremendous pleasure.
A special thanks to Kaamil El-Rayess and Basel Ismail, Executive MBAs from the Cornell Johnson School of Business, and RISE supporters, for helping to forge a fruitful and productive partnership with the Johnson School’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation (EII) Program. Through this partnership, Executive MBAs partner with RISE Entrepreneurs to implement pro-bono business consulting services in the areas of strategy, accounting, management, operations, and other areas that may help the entrepreneurs scale their enterprises.