In collaboration with the Strategic Philanthropy Initiative (SPI) at NYU Abu Dhabi, the Governance in Philanthropy programme is hosting an in-person, interactive panel discussion on ‘Effective Philanthropy: Strategies for Sustained Impact’ to take place on Tuesday, 29th November 2022, at NYU Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The panel will feature prominent philanthropic leaders and Giving Pledge signatories from the Gulf region and South Asia, including H.E. Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation; Badr Jafar, Founder, Pearl Initiative, & CEO, Crescent Enterprises; John McCaffrey, President, Galileo Foundation; Mariët Westermann, Vice Chancellor, NYU Abu Dhabi; Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder and Chairman, Infosys; Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies; H.H. Sheikha Intisar Al Sabah, Founder, Intisar Foundation; and Shoshana Stewart, President, Turquoise Mountain.
The panel discussion will explore the importance of strategic philanthropy and optimising philanthropic funds for social impact. With entrepreneurial backgrounds, the panellists will discuss the benefits of approaching philanthropic capital as risk capital and social investments and will also discuss strategies and approaches in philanthropy that can best pave the way to sustainable and scalable impact.
If you are an individual philanthropic donor in the Gulf region and are interested in joining the Governance in Philanthropy programme’s Circle network and/or events, kindly reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panel on Effective Philanthropy: Strategies for Sustained Impact
9:30am – 9:45am | Arrivals & Networking
9:45am – 10:00am | Welcome remarks by Mariët Westermann & Keynote address by H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo
10:00am – 11:30am| Panel Discussion & Live Audience Q&A – Effective Philanthropy: Strategies for Sustained Impact
11:45am – 12:30pm | Art Gallery Tour of Khaleej Modern: Pioneers and Collectives in the Arabian Peninsula exhibit with intro by Maya Allison, Executive Director, NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery and Chief Curator at NYU Abu Dhabi
12:30pm – 1:00pm | Networking
1:00 pm | Optional NYUAD campus tour beginsStart Date: 29/11/2022 Start Time: 09:30:00 End Time: 13:00:00
H.E. Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo
Designation: Founder, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Founder & Artistic Director, Abu Dhabi Festival
HE Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo is a philanthropist and patron of the arts who has dedicated her life to inspiring artists to create, generations to innovate and communities to unite and prosper. She worked tirelessly to found the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) in 1996 and is also the Artistic Director of the jewel in its crown, the Abu Dhabi Festival, which she established in 2004. Huda’s unquantifiable contribution to the UAE’s national cultural sector was recognised by the late President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2006. His highness appointed her to the Board of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage (now Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi), on which she served until 2012.
Huda has received numerous awards for her dedication to the arts, education, and women’s development, including The Abu Dhabi Award and Abu Dhabi Medal (conferred by President H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan), the UN-affiliated Women Together Award, the Aspen Institute Emerging Voice Award for Cultural Stewardship, the Puccini Festival Foundation Award, an honorary doctorate from the American University of Paris, and the Middle East Institute’s Visionary Award, and many others. Amongst the orders bestowed upon her are The Commander of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic (Orden de Isabel la Católica), bestowed upon her by HRH Juan Carlos, former King of Spain, under the order of HRH Philip IV, King of Spain; The Medal of Civil Merit of Spain; the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz); Commendatore dell’ Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà of Italy; Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur of France; Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France; the Belgian Officer of the Order of the Crown, bestowed upon her by HRH Philippe, King of Belgium; The Gloria Artis Medal of Poland; the Order of the British Empire (OBE), bestowed upon her by the late Queen Elizabeth the Second; and the Medal of Honour from the Reina Sofia School of Music bestowed upon her by Queen Sofía of Spain.
She serves on the Middle East Institute’s Board of Governors and its International Advisory Committee, the Cleveland Clinic International Leadership Board, the International Circle of the Reina Sofía College of Music’s board of directors, and the International Advisory Board of the Edinburgh International Festival. She is also a founding member of the American Ballet Theatre’s Global Council and sits on the National Advisory Board of Zayed University – College of Arts and Creative Enterprises. An Emirati National, the daughter of a pioneering Saudi businessman and a Syrian mother, Huda was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Raised at a crossroads of cultures, her education took her to the American College of Paris, where she studied French literature and art history. Huda returned to the region and settled in Abu Dhabi. She is married to businessman and artist Mohamed Abdul Latif Kanoo, a member of the prominent Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo business family of the Kingdom of Bahrain, with whom she has three children, Abdul Latif, Noor, and Abdul Rahman.
“Invest in the young. Create the future. Partner with the world.”
– Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo
Designation: CEO, Crescent Enterprises and Founder, Pearl Initiative
Badr Jafar is Managing Director of the Crescent Group, a 44 year old UAE-based family business group. The Group comprises of two main companies: Crescent Petroleum, the region’s first independent and privately-owned petroleum company in the Middle East; and Crescent Enterprises, the Group’s conglomerate operating across six core sectors. Through his passion for social entrepreneurship, Badr sits on the Global Board of Education for Employment (EFE), the Global Honorary Board of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, is a member of the Synergos Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI) Program Board of Governors and is a Founding Board Member of Endeavor UAE, an initiative encouraging high-impact entrepreneurship. Badr is active with higher education institutions, chairing the Alumni Advisory Council of the Cambridge University Judge Business School and serving as Board Member of their International Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Business Advisory Council of the American University of Sharjah. Badr is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organisation, serving as Ex-Officio Chair of the YPO Emirates Chapter. Badr was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is Vice-Chair of their Global Agenda Council on Energy Security.
H.H. Sheikha Intisar Al Sabah
Designation: Founder, Intisar Foundation
HH Sheikha Intisar AlSabah is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, film producer, columnist, and a princess of the AlSabah family, the ruling family of Kuwait. Her social enterprises (Intisars, Ebbarra, Prismologie) spearhead a new movement of women’s self-empowerment, while her non-profits (Alnowair, Bareec) supplement the formal education system and improve organisational cultures with programmes in socio-emotional skills based upon positive psychology.
HH Sheikha Intisar’s pioneering contribution to humanity’s greatest cause – peace – is embodied in the charity Intisar Foundation, launched in 2018, which has developed and introduced an innovative approach to the field of peacebuilding that is rooted in enabling the psychological recovery and self-empowerment of Arab women traumatised by war and violence through the use of drama therapy. The mission of Intisar Foundation is the heal #1millionArabWomen affected by war and violence. Her vision of fostering peace in the Arab world and beyond, regularly advocated during her many international and regional board engagements, advisory roles, media appearances, and UN General Assembly keynotes, has won her global acclaim.
Designation: Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, New York University Abu Dhabi
Mariët Westermann is the vice chancellor and chief executive of New York University Abu Dhabi. She previously served as executive vice president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where she oversaw the grant making and research programs. Mariët was also the first provost of NYU Abu Dhabi and director and professor at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, associate director of research at the Clark Art Institute, and a faculty member at Rutgers University. As a historian of Netherlandish art, she has authored numerous scholarly and museum publications, including the widely read A Worldly Art: The Dutch Republic 1585-1718, and curated the exhibition Art and Home: Dutch Interiors in the Age of Rembrandt (Denver Art Museum and Newark Museum).
Her current research investigates the garden of Eden in the Judaic, Christian, and Islamic traditions. She earned a BA at Williams College and a PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts. Mariët serves on the boards of ALIPH (The International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas), the Educational Testing Service, the Rijksmuseum, AmCham Abu Dhabi, and the US-UAE Business Council, and chairs the Scholar Rescue Fund of the Institute of International Education.
Designation: Co-Founder and Chairman of Infosys Technologies Limited
Nandan Nilekani is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Infosys Technologies Limited. He was the Founding Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the rank of a cabinet minister from 2009-2014. Most recently, Nandan has co-founded and is the Chairman of EkStep, a not-for-profit effort to create a learner centric, technology-based platform to improve basic literacy and numeracy for millions of children. Born in Bengaluru, Nandan received his bachelor’s degree from IIT, Bombay. Fortune Magazine conferred him with “Asia’s Businessman of the year 2003”. In 2005 he received the prestigious Joseph Schumpeter prize for innovative services in economy, economic sciences, and politics. In 2006, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan. He was also named Businessman of the year by Forbes Asia.
Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006 & 2009. Foreign Policy magazine listed him as one of the Top 100 Global thinkers in 2010. He won The Economist Social & Economic Innovation Award for his leadership of India’s Unique Identification initiative (Aadhaar). In 2017, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from E&Y. CNBC- TV 18 conferred India Business leader award for outstanding contributor to the Indian Economy-2017 and he also received the 22nd Nikkei Asia Prize for Economic & Business Innovation 2017. He has been inducted as International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019. Nandan is the author of “Imagining India”, co- authored his second book with Viral Shah, “Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations” and co-authored his third book with Tanuj Bhojwani, “The Art of Bitfulness: Keeping calm in the digital world” released in Jan 2022.
Designation: Chairperson, Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and Co-Founder and Director, Ekstep
Rohini Nilekani is the Chairperson of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and Co-founder and Director of EkStep a non-profit education platform. She is also the Founder and Former Chairperson of Arghyam, a foundation she set up in 2001 for sustainable water and sanitation, which funds initiatives across India. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson and chief funder of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher that reached millions of children during her tenure. She sits on the Board of Trustees of ATREE, an environmental think tank. In the past, she has served on the Audit Advisory Board of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Eminent Persons Advisory Group of the Competition Commission of India.
A former journalist, she has written for many leading publications such as Times of India, India Today, Mint, etc. Penguin Books India published her first book, a medical thriller called Stillborn, and her second non-fiction book, ‘Uncommon Ground’, based on her eponymous TV show. She has written several books for young children, published by Pratham Books, including the famous “Annual Haircut Day”. In 2022, she published an anthology of her writing titled ‘Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar’, outlining her philosophy of restoring the balance between the state and markets by positioning society as the foundational sector. In 2017, she was inducted as a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been a member of the Board of Science Gallery Bengaluru, the Advisory Board of the Well Being Project since 2019, and the Dakshin Foundation since 2021. Rohini is a committed philanthropist, and in 2017, she signed the Giving Pledge with her husband Nandan Nilekani, which commits half their wealth to philanthropic causes.
Designation: President, Galileo Foundation
John McCaffrey founded the Galileo Foundation in 2017 as a result of his work for Pope Francis and the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences. As an international fundraiser for over 25 years, he has worked for some of the world’s finest universities, museums, and cultural institutions, and with many of the world’s most notable benefactors and philanthropists.
John has been recognized for his work for the Catholic Church by two Popes: in 2006 Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the Order of Saint Gregory (Knight Commander) upon him, while in 2019 Pope Francis promoted John within the Order to the rank of Knight Grand Cross, the highest honor that a layperson can receive in the Church.
John was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and was educated at Saint MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower and at Cambridge University.
Designation: President, Turquoise Mountain
Shoshana Stewart, President, has run Turquoise Mountain for fifteen years. Shoshana has lived in Afghanistan for many years, where the project began in 2006 and still continues to work today with over 220 Afghan staff on the ground supporting thousands of artisans with vocational training and meaningful livelihoods in traditional crafts, along with primary education and healthcare services.
Turquoise Mountain has also been working with artisans from Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and across the Levant from their new centre in Jordan – where they have provided entry-level training and apprenticeships in traditional crafts for hundreds of young people, as well as heritage education for thousands of children whose families have become refugees. Across these projects, Turquoise Mountain connects artisans with international commercial opportunities – having supported the sale of over $12 million of the artisans’ crafts rooted in heritage traditions to leading interior designers, hotels, and retailers including Asprey, the Connaught, the Four Seasons, Jo Malone, and many others.
Shoshana has an MBA from the London Business School, a master’s degree in education, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Astrophysics. Prior to Turquoise Mountain, Shoshana worked as a teacher and administrator in low-income urban communities with Teach For America and Uncommon Schools in New York City, Boston and Honduras.
A6 Conference Centre, NYU Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE