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Putting Citizens First 2019 will feature speakers from the worlds of government, business and academia, in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and overseas

H.E. Eng. Abdullah A. AlSwaha

Minister of Communications & Information, Technology, KSA

His Excellency Engineer Abdullah Alswaha has over two decades of experience in leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. Throughout his multi-decade career, he has built multi-billion riyal, high-performing organizations in both the private and public sector.

His Excellency was appointed as Minister of Communications and Information Technology in April 2017. Prior to this, he was the Chief Digital Officer of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in charge of leading key digitization efforts within the Kingdom, including the creation of a national digital identity scheme, promoting open data and the encouragement of digital entrepreneurship.

Before His Excellency joined the Vision 2030 team, he served in the private sector as the CEO of Cisco Saudi Arabia. Under his leadership, the company remained the leading digitisation partner in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region. He also founded Ubieva, a social entrepreneurial incubator that went on to launch the first mobile health app in the Middle East.

In addition to his role as the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, he is the Chairman of the ICT Commission, Chairman of Saudi Post and Executive Chairman of the National Digitization Committee.

His Excellency holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from King Fahd University (KFUPM), as well as a degree in Computer Science from the University of Washington.

He also participated in the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.

Alasiri, Ali Nasser

CEO of e-Government Program, KSA

A distinctive professional journey led by Eng. Ali Al Asiri in different local and international organizations specialized in Communications and Information Technology in both public and private sectors. He has a wide range of leadership and professional experiences in communications and information technology in addition to business development and technological solutions. Such experiences are strongly based upon a solid knowledge base. He has the BSCs degree in computer in addition to obtaining many other certificates related to administration and professional specialized businesses such as interconnected networks and cybersecurity while he is a member in many organizations directly connected with data and systems integration.

Before his work at Yesser, he has worked in high executive positions at highly prestigious corporations such as; Juniper Networks, Services Sales and Solutions Delivery GM, and contracts and business operations at Huawei Technologies company, in addition to executive high positions at Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and CISCO systems.

He obtained the BSCs degree in Computer, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). He also obtained a wide range of professional certificates specialized in projects management, business development, interconnected networks, in addition other specialized certificates related to communications and information technology while he is a member in a lot of relevant organizations.

He has participated in various workshops and specialized courses relating to business administration such as entrepreneurship program in London and Communications through different cultures & change management which is one of Stephen Covey’s programs.

Jane Wiseman

CEO, Institute for Excellence in Government, USA

Jane Wiseman leads the Institute for Excellence in Government, a non-profit consulting firm dedicated to improving government performance. She is also an Innovations in American Government Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has served as an appointed official in government and as a financial advisor and consultant to government.

Her current consulting, research, and writing focus on government innovation, data-driven decision-making and operational efficiency in government. She has written on customer-centric government, data-driven decision-making in government, pretrial justice, and 311 for a variety of audiences.

Her prior consulting work has included organizational strategy, performance management and eGovernment strategy work for Accenture and Price Waterhouse.

Ms. Wiseman has served as Assistant Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and as Assistant to the Director for Strategic Planning, National Institute of Justice, United States Department of Justice. Ms. Wiseman represented the Justice Department on detail as a Staff Assistant for the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. Ms. Wiseman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Smith College and a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Renaud Seligmann

Practice Manager, Governance Global Practice, World Bank

Renaud Seligmann is currently Practice Manager in the Governance Global Practice of the World Bank, working on Middle East and North Africa. Renaud oversees the Digital Governance Community of Practice

A French national, Renaud started his career as member of the Court of Accounts, the French Supreme Audit Institution. His focus was on aggregate fiscal risk in the public sector, performance budgeting and the evaluation of public sector reforms. He then became Deputy director of external audit at the United Nations Board of Auditors, where he led the first UN-wide audit of the response to the South Asian tsunami and was in charge of the audit of the UN Secretariat, UNICEF and other funds and programs, before joining the World Bank in 2007. He was based Washington, DC and Pretoria, South Africa and worked mostly on public financial management. From 2011 to 2015, he was a Sector Manager for Financial Management then Practice Manager in the Governance Global Practice, working on the Africa region.

Renaud holds a BA (hons.) in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University, a Master’s Degree in political sociology from Sorbonne-Paris I University and a Master’s in public policy from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po). He is also a graduate from the French National School for Administration executive leadership program. Renaud was on the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s “Public Financial Management in a Changing World” executive education course led by Matt Andrews from 2012-16. He is an honorary fellow as well as a Council member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountancy (UK).

Jessica McEvoy

Deputy Director, Government Digital Service, United Kingdom

Jessica is the Programme Director for GOV.UK Verify, the digital identity assurance service for the UK Government. This is the creation of a new market of identity services for the UK making it simple and safe for citizens to interact with government online.

Jessica has a wealth of experience of leading digital transformation in the UK and for the New Zealand Parliament, heading up programmes designed to make it easier for citizens and the government to interact.

Talal AlBakr

Vice President, Digital Solutions, STC Solutions

Talal AlBakr has been working in the IT industry for the last 19 years to help customers realize their vision to deliver on business requirements, and has a unique focus on delivering solutions around big data and cloud computing.

He is leading STC’s Cloud, IOT and Big Data initiatives as the Vice President for Digital Solutions in STC Solutions. Prior to joining STC Solutions, he was the Director for Public Sector and Oil & Gas sector for DellEMC prior to which he was the Regional Sales Manager for Fujitsu Technology Solutions.

Talal comes from a hands-on technical background and he understands customer pain points and how to utilize cutting-edge technology to deliver business growth. He has held several technical roles in strategic technology projects throughout the region.

His unique perspective on analyzing business processes has helped transform customer operations and enhance their strategic outlooks by enabling IT to support core business growth.

Basem M. Aljedai

V.P of Innovation & Digital Capability, e-Government Program, KSA

Basem is leading several cross-government project & enablement files at the e-Government program Yesser, an entity mandated to accelerate the digital transformation of Saudi government entitles in line with the Saudi’s Vision 2030 goals. Mr. Aljedai has more than decade of experience inside and outside the kingdom.

Basem co-founded several companies in the ICT sector. He holds a Master of Science in Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University.

Mohammed Alkabti

Culture Head, STC Group

Dr. Mohammed Alkabti, STC group culture Head trained in business management from McMaster University-Canada.

Dr. Mohammed was designated as the pioneer to lead the culture change at STC group. A prime responsibility consigned based on 22 years of collective exposure in Sales, Marketing, Customer Relation Management and Call Centre Services.

He is a leader that is passionate about aligning people & culture to support business strategies. The cultural alignment enables individuals to go beyond limits and achieve personal as well as organizational goals.

Dr. Mohammed’s holistic experience enables to spearhead this vital program as a vision to enhance & support STC core values.

Naser M. Al-Khelaiwi

General Director, Deputyship of Finance and Admin Affairs, Ministry of Health, KSA

Leader, Financial Transformation Program within Corporatization and Model of Care, Vision 2030 Realization Office.

Naser has over two decades of experience in leadership, strategy, financial, transformation and governance.

In 2016, Naser was appointed as a Financial Advisor to Ministery of Health and Then as General Director in the Deputyship of Financ and Admin Affairs where he has been responsible for the financial performance measurement , development and transformation management.

In 2018, Naser also assumed the leadership of Financial Transformation Program under Corporatization and Model of Care Program of Vision 2030 Realization Office (“VRO”) for Health. Naser is responsible for Corporatizing the healthcare Clusters, standup support for the National Health Holding Company, financial capability assessments of health service providers, governance, financial reporting, budgeting, organizational structures development, cash to accrual conversion, professional and technical capability development, assets register development, valuation & management and Finance Enterprise Resource Planning systems.

Before Naser joined the Ministry of Health and VRO, he worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touché as external auditor, He also served in Saudi Aramco for 15 years where he successfully delivered a wide range of transformative, development and business process management and optimization projects.

Naser holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting & Management Information Systems from King Fahad University (KFUPM). In addition, he is also a certified SAP (Finance & Controlling FI&CO) application consultant and IT Certified Project Manager (ITCPM) from the USA.

Abdulaziz Alsoliman

Executive Director, Emdha Company, Part of BTC Networks

Abdulaziz Alsoliman is an Executive Director at Emdha, which offers digital trust services and is licensed to provide digital certificate services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Emdha is currently working to enable legal digital signatures in citizen-centric services to increase the quality, performance and security of transactions and user experience.

Abdulaziz has 17+ years of experience and has worked in many significant organizations like Saudi Information Technology Company, Capital Market Authority, Saudi General Authority among others. He has devoted 90% of his experience in digital transformations and has led IT teams in Private and Government organizations in the field of Cybersecurity.

He holds a Graduate degree from Claremont Graduate university, California in Information & Technology Systems and Bachelor degree from King Saud University, Riyadh in Computer Science.

Medhat Amer

Senior Executive Partner, Gartner

Medhat Amer is an accomplished Regional Information Technology and Customer experience Executive, he currently is the executive Partner for GARTNER, the global information technology advisory company.

Prior to GARTNER, Medhat held several Information Technology and customer centric Leadership roles in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt where he had a track record in developing and executing practical and creative Customer Experience, Digital and Technology Transformation strategies.

Medhat’s unique career also includes leading an Indian based system integrator and working for Microsoft corporation in the Enterprise and Technology solutions group in the Gulf region.

He is an eloquent speaker with appearances in Major Technology and Telecom conferences. Medhat is also active on social media where he is a thought leader in topics related to customer experience and technology advancement.

Sebastian Chua

Head of Procurement, Health Promotion Board, Singapore

Sebastian Chua has accumulated 20 over years of procurement experience within the Indirect Procurement & Project Sourcing domains and held several regional and country positions in Asia Pacific.

In Sep 2013, Sebastian Chua took on a new challenge to transform the public procurement at Health Promotion Board (HPB), a statutory board under the Ministry of Health. He reports to CEO, HPB in his current role as Head of Procurement.

In 2017 & 2018, Sebastian was conferred (a) The CIPS Asia CPO Award, (b) Supply Chain Professional of the Year by The Supply Chain Asia, (c) The Shared Services & Outsourcing Excellence Awards and (d) The Public Service Transformation Awards. Sebastian was also nominated for the World Procurement Award (UK), Procurement Leaders APAC Award, ProcureCon Award (USA), IACCM Award (Europe), CIPS Australasia & UK Awards, CPO Award by The Faculty Management Consultancy (Australia), Australia Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Award, Enterprise Innovation Award, etc.

His Procurement Paper “Transformative THINKING. Transformative DOING” was also published at The Journal of Public Procurement (USA), APAC CIO Outlook and Supply Chain Asia.
Sebastian sits in the Executive Committee for Supply Chain Asia. He is a MBA guest lecturer at the NUS Business School, The Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific, Nanyang Business School, Singapore Management University and Singapore University of Social Sciences.

Chris Ferguson

Director, Government Digital Service, United Kingdom

Chris Ferguson is one of the original senior management team that built the UK’s Government Digital Service. In 2011 he was brought into the Cabinet Office to take on the digital identity challenge and created the team that developed GOV.UK Verify.

In January 2015, Chris became the GDS Director responsible for the Digital Group comprising GOV.UK , GOV.UK Verify and the Government-as-a-Platform delivery team.

In February 2017, Chris established the National, International & Research Group within GDS. This will focus how GDS engages and collaborates with the UK’s wider public sector, devolved administrations and partner organisations worldwide.

Chris is the chair of the cross-government Digital Leaders network and head of the digital profession within HM Government.

Prior to his involvement with digital transformation of public services, Chris’s career mainly focused on diplomacy and security in the UK and overseas.

John Kedar

Director International Engagement, Ordnance Survey, United Kingdom

John Kedar is Director International Engagement, Ordnance Survey, Britain’s national geospatial agency. Ordnance Survey offers long-term support to governments and cities globally in embedding fit-for-purpose and cost-effective national mapping, addressing, land administration and information sharing solutions.

John is a Chartered Geographer with over 30 years’ experience in engineer, geospatial and operational roles. He has worked in Central America, Africa, the Balkans, Cyprus, Afghanistan and across the Middle East. He has developed government policy and strategic direction for geospatial information, including representing UK on the EU Satellite Centre Board, and furthered the role of geography on international military and stability operations, in disaster relief and London’s Olympics.

Amongst other responsibilities, John contributes to the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management work, including helping steer its Integrated Geospatial Information Framework that is designed to help all nations and their citizens gain benefit from geospatial data.

John is married with two children and lives near Pangbourne in Berkshire. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Institute of Royal Engineers.

Emmanuel Kgomo

Chief Director in the Department of Public Service and Administration, South Africa

Mr Emmanuel Kgomo is a Chief Director in the Department of Public Service and Administration. He heads the Batho Pele (People First) Unit, whose focus is on the professionalisation of the public service through the Batho Pele programme.

Mr Kgomo’s first office in a government department was at the Presidency in 2000-2003. He then moved to Gauteng where he launched the Community Development Workers’ programme in the Provincial Government between 2003-2004, and was located in the then Department of Development Planning and Local Government (currently the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs). He joined the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) in November 2004. In 2005 he launched the Community Development Workers Programme nationally. He transferred from the Ministry into the Department in 2006 where he joined the Service Delivery Branch, his present location.

He has coordinated the National Batho Pele Excellence Awards in the DPSA since their inception in 2013, and is passionate about professionalising the public service – especially the cultural aspects.

Prior to working in government Mr Kgomo had held several positions, first as a research assistant at the University of the Witwatersrand, then a journalist at a weekly newspaper (the New Nation). He proceeded to head the Workers Library between 1990-1992 before joining the SACP as the National Administrator from 1993-1999.

Mr Kgomo holds a BA (Hons) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and several short course certificates. He is skilled in organising, facilitating, project management, as well as in leadership. He is currently a leading member of the Mens Ministry Gauteng District’s International Assemblies of God (MIAG). He holds several other positions, Chairperson of the Mamelodi International Assemblies of God Choir, and Coordinator of the Counselling services.

He is married with four children. His hobbies include reading and watching soccer.

Jobbágy László

Managing Director, Digital Success Nonprofit Ltd, Hungary

Jobbágy László is Managing Director of Digital Success Nonprofit Ltd., the government organisation responsible for the Digital Success Programme, the main comprehensive digitisation programme of Hungary. As an IT engineer, he started his career as a software developer, but for the last 10 years, he has been working for the government, leading e-government development projects and writing strategies on Public Administration Development. He has been working for the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet Office, the Government Office, the Audit Authority and the National Healthcare Services Center. His main fields of expertise are e-Government, IT Governance, Cybersecurity and Strategic planning.

​Toshio Obi

Professor Emeritus and Chairman, Institute of e-Government, Waseda University; President, Bunri University of Hospitality; Director, APEC e-Government Research Center, Editor, Annual International e-Government Rankings

Pro. Dr. Toshio Obi received Ph.D. from Waseda University . He is a visiting professors at Columbia University (USA), Peking University (China), St. Petersburg State University (Russia), Thammasat University (Thailand) and Essex University (UK). He worked in the UNDP in NY, and was also Executive Adviser to the Minister of Labor and a Professor at Waseda University Graduate School of ICT. He is a member of various advisory committees of the Japanese Government including: Chair, National e-Government Promotion Council; member of the Prime Minister’s IT Strategy Council; Director ,Japan’s Ruling Party LDP’ Thank Tank: President, International Academy of CIO; Executive adviser, Communication Industries Ass. Of Japan; Special Envoy of the ITU Secretary General for Academia. He is the Director of the APEC project on ICT for the Ageing.

He was a speaker at the UN Social Development Commission for SDGs 2030 in New York in 2017 and 2018; T-20 Summit in Berlin in March 2019; Affiliate Expert at IT and Innovation Foundation (ITIF, Washington DC). He is also the Editor of the Annual World e-Government Ranking Survey by Waseda University. He has published more than 40 books, including  A Decade of World e-Government Rankings; and Smart Ageing Innovation.  He received the MIC Minister’s Distinguished Award twice in 2013 and in 2015 and an Emperor Dark-Blue Ribbon Medal in 2012.  He is recognised as one of the World’s most influential 100 people in Digital Government 2018 by Apolitical and has other global awards.

Mikhail Pryadilnikov

Deputy Director, Analytic Center for the Russian Government, Russia

The Analytic Center for the Russian Government provides on-demand information analytics and expert support for departments; and as Deputy Director, Mikhail Pryadilnikov is responsible for strategic management, regional development, SME support, public administration and investment climate reform. He is also serving as a project manager overseeing the reform of inspection agencies, and teaches public policy and public management graduate courses at the Russian Academy for Public Administration.

He previously served as the director of the Department for Strategic Planning, Government Programs and Investment Projects at the Ministry of Economic Development. Prior to joining the federal government, he worked for Moscow city government as the Head of Economic Policy and Development.

Mr Priyadilnikov studied economics and philosophy in the USA, then was awareded a PhD in government and political science by Harvard University. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and a Visiting Lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Prior to joining the civil service, he spent 10 years as a consultant at the World Bank in Washington DC, working in the Middle East and North Africa unit on anti-corruption and civil service reforms in Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, and the West Bank & Gaza.

Mohammad Jameel Sear

Associate Partner, Digital Government & Public Sector Advisory Services, MENA at EY

Mohammad is a thought leader, speaker and change agent in citizen centricy, customer experience and digital government services.

He after spending 12 years as a career civil servant in the UK Department of Trade and Industry moved into the advisory and consulting industry, and for the past 15+ years has been advising government and public sector organizations in the UK, Middle East, Australasia and South Asia on strategic and digital transformational agendas.

Mohammad has authored a number of thought-leadership papers, including, “Driving Citizen Centricity”, “How AI will Enhance Customer Experience in the Public Sector”, “How Can GCC Governments Sustainably Deliver Better Citizen Experiences”, “What is The Cure for a Better Patient Experience in the GCC”, “Application of the Global Star Rating System for Public Services”.

He is actively engaged in crafting and facilitating meaningful, impactful and socially conscious results for the Government and Public Sector.

He in particular has helped government organizations become more citizen-centric and achieve operational excellence by harnessing conventional and digital capabilities, and the power of design thinking, and in particular has helped governments improve customer experiences by digitizing services and channels.

He has obtained leadership training from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School, and holds a MBA.

Ott Vatter

Managing Director at e-Residency, Estonia

Ott Vatter is an entrepreneur, ex-startup founder and media producer, current Managing Director of the governmental startup e-Residency by the Republic of Estonia. The first transnational digital identity platform in the world for global citizens, built on inclusion, transparency and legitimacy to empower citizens globally and to achieve world-wide digital and financial inclusion. He has previously worked as a consultant to various government institutions.

Stefaan Gerard Verhulst

Co-founder and Chief Research and Development Officer, The Governance Lab, USA

Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief of Research and Development of the Governance Laboratory (GovLab) at New York University where he is building a foundation of practice and evidence on how to improve people’s lives by transforming how we govern using advances in science and technology.

Stefaan Gerard Verhulst
Co-founder and Chief Research and Development Officer, The Governance Lab, USA

Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief of Research and Development of the Governance Laboratory (GovLab) at New York University where he is building a foundation of practice and evidence on how to improve people’s lives by transforming how we govern using advances in science and technology.

His current focus is on the perils and promise of collaborative technologies and how to harness the unprecedented volume of data to advance the public good. Recently he was selected as one of the 100 most influential people in Digital Government by a global jury convened by apolitical. Before co-founding The GovLab, Verhulst spent more than a decade as Chief of Research for the Markle Foundation, where he continues to serve as Senior Advisor; and was co-founder and director of a Center at Oxford University working at the intersection of Human Rights, Law and Communications.

Paulius Vertelka

Director, INFOBALT, Lithuania

Paulius Vertelka is a Director at INFOBALT. Founded in 1994, INFOBALT is a locally and internationally recognized representative of Lithuanian ICT industry.

Previously Mr. Vertelka has worked as an expert on improving investment climate at “Invest Lithuania”. Mr. Vertelka has graduated high school in the U.S. and later acquired a double major degree (B.A.) in Economics and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For nearly four years, Paulius is in charge of Lithuanian ICT sector’s government relations and is the primary representative of the local ICT industry.

Rob van Wuijtswinkel

Citymanager and CEO, City of Arnhem, the Netherlands

Rob (54) was born in Tilburg. After a study Economy he worked 18 years for the National Department of Finance and Treasury and of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands.

In 2006 he changed his carreer to local government and lead different directorates within the city of Nijmegen, the oldest city of the Netherlands. Later he became citymanager of Nijmegen.

In 2016 he transfered to the neighbour-city of Arnhem. Arnhem, city on the Rhine river, is also known for the Allied Operation Market Garden in september 1944, this year 75 years ago.
As citymanager he is the CEO of the civil servants of the city of Arnhem and the first advisor of the bench of Mayor and Aldermen of this city.
Rob is married and father of two teenagers.

Adel Asiri

VP- Standards and Digital programs at  e-government program (Yesser).

Adel has 15-years of Digital transformation experience, he is technically sophisticated and business-savvy management professional with a pioneering career in government and international companies reflecting strong leadership qualifications coupled with long Business and IT expertise , directing overall strategy and direction for the business, with proven track records in digital government initiatives such as leading IT rationalization across government to save more than 1.2B SAR in 2018. Adel also lead the forming of  GOV.SA initiative that reshape citizen experience with government services.

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