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HR Individual, Team, & Thought Leadership Awards Judging Committee

Chair: Kifaya Abu-Thallam
Kifaya Abu-Thallam, HR Executive Advisor – HR Transformation & Organization Design 
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Kifaya Thallam is a trusted Executive HR Advisor to business leaders and board of directors in HR Transformation & Organization Design in the United Arab Emirates. With 20+ years of experience in government, semi-government and private sectors, she has served in some of the most significant industries including defense, telecommunications, banking, energy, and infrastructure development.

Kifaya is accredited by many recognized international Human Resources organizations such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, a certified member of the Australian Human Resources Institute, CPHR Canada, a Certified Organization Development Professional (USA), and CINS.

Kifaya has focused experience in designing HR models that drive organizational and employee performance through digital transformation, building effective HR strategies, workforce capabilities building programs, human-centric organizational cultures (employees’ happiness, D&I strategies), and Agile performance management systems. Kifaya is also a regular speaker and moderator at HR Summits locally and internationally.


Haitham Ahmed, Lecturer & Instructor
Freelance, New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
Haitham is an Egyptian-born instructor, teacher, and manager with a Bachelor of Bio-Chemistry and an M.I.B. from the University of Vaasa. Haitham, a renowned award judge, has won numerous awards, including runner-up in the "Learner of the Year" category in 2017 and highly commended in the UK's Centre of Excellence in 2018.


Maysa Alabdallat, Senior Project Strategy Specialist
Greater Amman Municipality, Amman, Jordan
Maysa has 17 years of experience in Business Excellence, Process Engineering, and Digital Transformation and has successfully helped organizations in the public and private sectors achieve growth, sustainability, and measurable results. Her expertise lies in driving organizational excellence, implementing effective strategies, and managing performance through KPIs. She brings a wealth of knowledge, a track record of success, and a customer-focused mindset to drive business excellence and growth.

Yousef Alharbi, Chief Human Capital Officer
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Yousef is a strategic and transformational professional with extensive experience rooted in people strategy, organization development, culture and change management, system thinking, and best practices, focused on achieving excellence and innovation.


Abedalrahman ALzghoul, Founder
Recycling for Education, Amman, Jordan
Abedalrahman Alzghoul is the founder of recycling for education.  As an innovator and entrepreneur from Jordan, he has accumulated 10 years of experience in business leadership within the field of Entrepreneurship, as well as youth activism in education, environment, and youth empowerment.  He served as a Youth Ambassador to the Arab Thought Foundation.

Hanane Benkhallouk, CEO
Sustain Leadership, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Having earned a DBA and a US MBA, Hanane Benkhallouk has enjoyed a diverse career that began in New York City before moving to Dubai in 2005. In addition to leading innovation and entrepreneurship programs across the Arab World for the Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum Foundation, she has extensive multi-industry experience.


Jhilam Biswas, Customer Engineering Manager
Google, San Francisco, California, United States
Jhilam, a tech industry expert with expertise in Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity, has helped clients achieve digital transformation using Google Cloud. The Customer Engineering Leader at Google led significant cloud and cultural transformations, shaping mid-market segment growth. Fostered relationships and collaborated across the product, Engineering, Support, and Sales teams, ensuring clarity in ambiguous environments.

Deepak Chandran, Chief Innovation Officer
Emergence Technologies LLC, Willowgrove, Pennsylvania, United States
Deepak is a forward-thinking professional respected for 20+ years of founding and driving top-tier technology companies globally.  As a motivational and driven leader, he developed one-of-a-kind products for various clients at Emergence Technologies.

Dominic Damoah, Chief Technology Officer
Vie Inc., San Francisco, California, United States
Hailing from the eastern region of Ghana, Dominic was the youngest student to ever get into Valley View University at age 13. At 17, he started entrepreneurship and developed Wyre, a full-scale payment processing engine similar to PayPal. Dominic  holds a Master's Degree in Cybersecurity and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

Ghada El-Kot, Deputy President for Strategic Affairs, Professor of HR
Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt
Ghada is a HR professor and Deputy President for Strategic Affairs at AAST-MT. With over 35 years of experience, she has taught, trained, and consulted in HR. She led consultancy projects in Egypt, Arab countries, and Europe, serving as a Judge Committee member for the Middle East and North Africa Stevie Awards.


Omesh Ashok Gulati, Director, Customer Success Management & Solution Delivery
Securonix Inc., Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Omesh, a seasoned Global Customer Success Management and Solution Delivery leader, boasts over a decade of experience. He is a passionate cybersecurity enthusiast and evangelist, specializing in value and solution engineering. Throughout his career, Omesh has adeptly managed numerous strategic cross-industry customers, successfully implementing high-impact cybersecurity strategies and programs.

Gunduz Guldamlasi
Learning, Culture and Employee Experience Designer
Augdemy, Istanbul, Maltepe, Turkey
Gunduz is an experienced executive manager specializing in corporate academy management, culture transformation, and learning design. Judge in prestigious learning and HR awards. Founder and Management Consultant at Augdemy, with a proven track record in implementing corporate academy processes and managing global employee experience and culture projects. Strong leadership skills with hands-on expertise in transformation projects.

Maren Hein, Psychologist / Counselor
Hein-Psy, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Maren Luise Hein is a Psychological Counselor (M.Sc. Clinical Psychology) in Munich, Germany. She established an online counseling service to support adults in life crises and with mental illnesses. In addition, she counsels social workers and executives in the City of Munich's social care, youth care, and child protection programs.

Dr. Abdelfattah Mahmoud, Management, Training & Industrial Sector Consultant
Freelance, Cairo, Egypt


Mahmoud Mansi, Founder
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine, Alexandria, Saba Pasha, Egypt
Dr. Mahmoud Mansi | CIPD Level 7, is a Human Capital Innovator with a 360 experience in consulting, auditing, training, research, and education. He is also a Philanthropist, Social Entrepreneur, Award-Winning Author of nine books, eight times Global TEDx Speaker, MBA Lecturer, an international business and sustainability awards.


Padmanabhan Narayanan, Vice President, Digital (Center of Excellence) & Commercial (Digital)
Mohawk Industries Inc., Calhoun, Georgia, United States
Padmanabhan, a 20-year digital leader, combines Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence, and Business Administration to provide a comprehensive understanding of entities. He excels in results-driven enterprise applications, focusing on automation and robotics. His expertise in problem identification, risk mitigation, and adaptability to evolving technologies and challenges showcases his adaptability.

Dr. Debra G. Phillips​, Head of Human Resources
Construction, Los Angeles, California, United States
Dr. Phillips is very passionate about HR and consider myself an advocate for the profession. She actively volunteers in a long list of HR organizations and associations, to keep current with -- and continually implementing -- and sharing knowledge of HR best practices.


Lakshmi Polavarapu, Executive Director of Technology
J.P. Morgan Chase, Frisco, Texas, United States
Lakshmi Polavarapu is a 17-year technology transformation leader with expertise in digital transformation, software engineering, architecture, strategic consulting, and program management. She focuses on emerging technologies, micro-services, AWS, data transformation, and machine learning. With a focus on banking and financial sectors, she empowers young talent with innovation, technology implementation, inclusion, and diverse thinking.

Talat Shirazi Goldie, Group HR Director
Taaleem PJSC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Talat’s vision for human capital has evolved from her 30 years of Human Resource experience, along with her playing a leadership role in a wide array of industries - from Oil and Gas at BP, Aviation at British Airways, Financial Institutions at ABN AMRO Bank to Pharmaceuticals with GlaxoSmithKline.

Adena White, Market Intelligence Manager
Hibob, Tel Aviv, Israel
Adena is passionate about technology, employee wellbeing, and research and is lucky to combine her passions in her role as a market researcher at HiBob. She holds an MBA and PhD in Organizational Behavior, and it's a fun fact that she submitted her dissertation on work-life balance just before her second daughter's birth.


Cleopetra Yousef, HR & Organization Development Senior Expert & Advisor
Freelance Consultant, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
A top performing & result focused Human Resources & Organization Development Professional with 25 years of experience in different industries & countries across the MENA Region including Telecommunication, Retail, FMCG, Manufacturing, Pharma, Banking, and Government & Semi- Government. A true business partner, as a full-time employee & as a consultant.