Nermeen Abou Gazia
Chief Executive Officer of Al Alfi Foundation (AAF),
With over 25 years of experience in education management in Egypt and the Middle East, Ms Abou Gazia, Chief Executive Officer of Al Alfi Foundation (AAF), has established herself as one of the leading champions of STEM education in the region. She believes that all children and youth in Egypt should have equitable opportunities to learn and realize their full potential through access to transformative education programs, and she has dedicated her work with AAF to achieving this goal.
In her position as CEO, she has successfully positioned AAF as one of the leading regional NGOs in educational development. Her adaptability allows her to work with different organizational levels, design and deliver relevant learning experience, and effectively meet objectives. Her approach inspires people to challenge existing mindsets and behaviours in order to excite them about the potential and opportunities that can come with adopting new learning methods.
Ms. Abou Gazia’s current passion is in using entrepreneurship as a pathway to sustainable economic growth and job creation; to fulfil this aim she has expanded AAF’s strategy and vision to complement the needs identified in Egypt Vision 2030 and the goals of the Sustainable Development Strategy in terms of the establishment of a knowledge-based economy. She has established ‘The STEM Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at Al Alfi Foundation’ and implemented a holistic strategy that aims to build STEM capacity over the entire Egyptian educational spectrum starting from K-12, undergraduate, and graduate students to educators and administrators. She has overseen the award of over 6,000 scholarships through AAF’s 3 flagship programmes, the Innovation & Leadership Programme, the Gifted Youth Programme, and the Educator Empowerment Programme.
She has proven herself adept at creating synergistic partnerships particularly to ensure programme success and effectiveness. Her experience in trade and business development is also invaluable in ensuring linkages between educational initiatives and actual market needs. Thanks to Ms Abou Gazia’s efforts, AAF has become the partner of choice for government ministries, donors, universities and the private sector for STEM-related educational projects and activities. Key partners include the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, the Queen Rania Foundation, IBM, Microsoft, and UNDP, among others.
Ms Abou Gazia believes in knowledge as a core pillar and in the importance of transparency, teamwork, equity, and diversity in empowering future leaders and scientists. She has dedicated her career to advocating tirelessly for the importance of STEM education at local and international levels through conferences, workshops, and memberships in business associations. Prior to her work with AAF, she was managing director of the Future Generation Foundation/Professional Development Foundation’s Centre for Executive Excellence where she oversaw the creation of world class, practical, relevant and affordable management development programs to build leadership capacities and skills through state-of-the-art activities in cooperation with regional and international partners. She has also held a number of executive positions at leading trade development and business consultancy organizations.
Ms Abou Gazia holds an MA in International Management for Educational Institutes (2016) from Ludwigsburg University in Germany and has attended numerous courses in leadership, mentoring, and managing high-performance teams, strategic marketing, creativity, and lateral thinking. In 2007, she gained the distinction of being the first Egyptian women to be nominated in the Fortune/State Department’s Global Women’s Mentoring Leadership Programme organized by Vital Voices. Ms Abou Gazia was one of 20 women worldwide selected for in-depth mentoring and professional development and was mentored on leadership by one of Sweden’s top businesswomen, Ms Louise Julian, CEO of EF Education First.