Academic leaders

14 November 2012

Ten individuals shaping executive education in the Middle East and further afield

Randa Bessiso

Position: Director, Middle East, Manchester Business School (MBS)

Biography: Randa Bessiso was instrumental in establishing MBS’s Middle East Centre, which opened in 2006 and is now the largest and fastest-growing centre in the school’s international network. Bessiso is responsible for the overall management, operations, strategic planning and business development of MBS in the region. She has overseen the launch of various products, services and initiatives, including corporate education programmes and the Manchester Innovation Award for Emiratis. Before joining MBS in 2005, she was international business manager for UK eUniversities Worldwide, a UK government-backed online education initiative.

Contact Website:; Tel: (+971) 4 446 8664

Hashem Dezhbakhsh

Position: Interim dean, School of Business and Management, American University of Sharjah (AUS)

Biography: Hashem Dezhbakhsh is a professor of economics. He received his doctorate from the US’ Ohio State University and has taught undergraduate, master’s of business administration (MBA), executive MBA (EMBA) and doctorate-level courses at Emory University, Purdue University, Ohio State University and the University of Akron in the US, and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He joined AUS in 2010, and has served in his current role since September 2012. Dezhbakhsh has many years of administrative experience as a department head and undergraduate and graduate programme director. His research interests include econometrics methodology, economics of crime, health economics, financial market bubbles and development in Africa.

Contact Website:; Tel: (+971) 6 558 5555

Rory Hendrikz

Position: Director, Ashridge Business School Middle East

Biography: With 25 years of international business and consulting experience, Rory Hendrikz’s particular interest is working with executives and organisations on leadership, strategy and change in both the private and public sectors. His work was recognised by a silver class award at the UK’s Management Consulting Awards. Hendrikz was previously business director at Ashridge Business School in the UK and has led global senior leadership development projects since 2000. His career has evolved from a corporate background, as a Middle East board member for Johnson & Johnson, and he has held several management positions in various industry sectors in the UK and South Africa.

Contact Website:; Tel: (+971) 4 311 6525

Dipak C Jain

Position: Dean, Insead

Biography: Dipak Jain’s career spans nearly three decades as an educator and business school administrator. Before joining French business school Insead, he was dean of US-based Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, a position he held from 2001-09. He had been a member of the faculty since 1986. He served as the Sandy Morton Goldman professor in entrepreneurial studies, a professor of marketing and associate dean of academic affairs. In 2003, he was appointed foreign affairs advisor to the prime minister of Thailand. He has served as a consultant to companies such as Microsoft, Novartis, American Express, Sony, and Motorola. He is a board member of the US’ Deere & Company and Northern Trust Corporation, and India’s Reliance Industries, and has been a director at United Airlines, Peoples Energy and Hartmarx Corporation, all in the US.

Contact Website:; Tel: (+33) 1 6072 4000

Ehsan Razavizadeh

Position: Regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, Cass Business School

Biography: Ehsan Razavizadeh is also head of the Dubai Centre at Sir John Cass Business School, City University London. He previously worked for various private and public institutions including Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, London Business School, the Advanced Institute of Management Research and Cancer Research UK. Razavizadeh has a first-class degree in business administration. He is a graduate of Cass Business School, having gained a master’s degree in auditing and management. In 2012, Razavizadeh completed the Entrepreneurial University Leadership course, an executive development programme for senior university leaders.

Contact Website:; Tel: (+971) 4 401 9316

William Boulding

Position: Dean, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Biography: William Boulding is dean and JB Fuqua professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, based in the US. In December 2011, Fuqua launched its Dubai Duke Leadership programme, tailored to the region. But in May this year, Duke put its plans to offer a local business degree programme on hold. The university still has programme residencies in the UAE for its cross-continent and global executive MBA programmes, and maintains a full-time staff in Dubai for marketing, admissions and programme delivery. Boulding’s previous positions at Fuqua include deputy dean, senior associate dean for programmes and associate dean for the daytime MBA programme. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Swarthmore College and a doctorate in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, both in the US.

Contact Website:; Tel: (+1) 919 660 7822

Christopher Abraham

Position: Senior vice president and head of Dubai campus, S P Jain School of Global Management

Biography: Christopher Abraham has three post-graduate qualifications: in business administration (marketing), human resources management, and labour and administrative law. He has 24 years of professional experience in management consulting, marketing, executive development and management education. Prior to his current role, Abraham was a consultant for Philadelphia Consulting Group, and spent time at Modi Xerox & TNT Worldwide working in marketing and business development. His other teaching posts include assistant professor in the department of management studies at the Regional Engineering College in Tiruchirapalli, India, and head of the executive master’s of business administration at Indian business school XLRI, Jamshedpur. He has also been a visiting professor at universities in the US, Australia and the UK, teaching courses in corporate strategy, marketing management and organisational behaviour.

Contact Website:; Tel: (+971) 4 429 1234

Ghassan Aouad

Position: President, University of Wollongong in Dubai

Biography: Ghassan Aouad was appointed president of the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) in January 2012. Prior to joining UOWD, Aouad was pro-vice-chancellor of research and innovation and dean of the College of Science and Technology at the University of Salford in the UK. He was previously dean of the faculty of business, law and the built environment. Aouad spent five years in the department of civil and building engineering at Loughborough University, where he completed his doctorate and master’s degree. During his time at Salford, Aouad supervised 22 doctorate students, authored three major research books and generated more than £10m in research funding as principal investigator. He has published 92 papers and presented his work in more than 40 countries. Aouad was appointed vice-president of the Chartered Institute of Building in March 2010 and will become president in 2014.

Contact Website:; Tel: (+971) 4 367 2400

Hernan Riquelme

Position: Dean, Kuwait Maastricht Business School

Biography: Hernan Riquelme is dean of Kuwait Maastricht Business School, where he has taught entrepreneurship for the past six years. He has taught for more than 15 years at university level in several countries, and has also delivered in-house marketing programmes. He has conducted research and consulting for a number of companies including Wilson Transformers, Marchem Australasia and Oxfam Australia, and also prepared marketing plans for an oil refinery in Bolivia and an incubator in Melbourne. Riquelme has previously worked as a fund manager at a UK venture capital firm, as regional manager for Latin America at a development bank headquartered in the Netherlands and as head of graduate schools in Chile and Bolivia. Riquelme has a doctorate from the University of Manchester’s Manchester Business School in the UK and a master’s in business administration from Texas Tech University in the US.

Contact Website:; Tel: (+965) 2 251 7091

Ronald Bradfield

Position: Director, University of Strathclyde Business School in the UAE

Biography: Ronald Bradfield is the associate dean within the University of Strathclyde Business School and director of the University of Strathclyde Business School campuses in the UAE, with overall responsibility for the management of the school’s postgraduate programmes in the Gulf. He is an active practitioner in the area of scenarios and foresight, and strategy and has led scenario and strategy projects with a wide range of public and private sector organisations in many countries in industry sectors ranging from airports and airlines to pharmaceuticals and railways. He is a founding member of the Centre for Scenario Planning & Future Studies at the University of Strathclyde Business School, and a member of the World Future Society and Futurists Network.

Contact Website:; Tel: (+971) 50 836 1254

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