GCC Business Education

01 December 2008

Six leading figures in the Gulf’s growing business education sector are: Mohammed Alkhozai, Ilker Baybars, Randa Bessiso, Zeger Degraeve, Robert Rice and Stefan Szymanski.

Mohammed Alkhozai

Position: Head of the Academic & Executive Learning Centre, Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance

Biography: Mohammed Alkhozai has worked at the Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance (BIBF) since 1994, having joined from Bahrain’s Information Ministry, where he was director of culture and arts, and director of publications. Since joining the BIBF, Alkhozai has been at the forefront of Bahrain’s efforts to train nationals to work in the finance industry. In 2007, he signed a co-operative teaching agreement with Bangor Business School in Wales, to teach undergraduate banking and finance students. Alkhozai graduated with a BA in English literature from Cairo University in Egypt. He received his Master’s degree from the School of English at Leeds University in the UK. He was awarded his doctorate from the School of Oriental & African Studies at London University, specialising in comparative literature and Arabic drama.

Contact Tel: (+973) 1781 552

Ilker Baybars

Position: Deputy dean, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University

Biography: Ilker Baybars graduated from the Middle East Technical Institute in Ankara, Turkey, in 1969. He was awarded his Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 1972, and received his doctorate from the same institution in 1979. Baybars has created two of Tepper’s MBA programmes - flex-time and flex-mode - and specialises in manufacturing and operations management. Baybars has been vice-president of the Alliance for Business Education & Scholarship for Tomorrow based in Tokyo, Japan, since 2005. He is a member of the advisory board to the Graduate School of International Management at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. He is also a member of the board of trustees at Bilkent University in Ankara. He has acted as an education consultant to the State of New Jersey, as well as the UN.

Contact Tel: (+1) 412 268 2266

Randa Bessiso

Position: Director, Middle East, Manchester Business School Worldwide

Biography: Randa Bessiso was the driving force behind setting up Manchester Business School Worldwide’s (MBSW) regional centre in Dubai in 2006. She joined MBSW, the distance learning arm of Manchester Business School, in 2004, from distance learning company UK eUniversities Worldwide, where she was the Dubai-based international business manager. Bessiso, a Lebanese national of Palestinian origin, is based in Dubai Knowledge Village. She helped to launch three distance-learning MBAs in Dubai in January 2006, for construction executives, engineering business managers and finance professionals. MSBW offers a blended MBA, based on self study and workshops delivered by visiting faculty members from the UK. Bessiso started her career in training at pan-Arab project management company Projacs in Kuwait.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4365 8313

Zeger Degraeve

Position: Faculty director, Dubai campus, London Business School

Biography: Zeger Degraeve is professor of decision sciences and faculty director at the Dubai campus of the London Business School (LBS). The school inaugurated its Dubai-London executive MBA (EMBA) programme at Dubai International Financial Centre in September 2007. Degraeve studied for his BSc at Ghent University in Belgium, before being awarded an MBA at the Graduate School of Business at Leuven Catholic University, also in Belgium. Degraeve gained his doctorate in business administration from the Graduate School of Business at the US’ University of Chicago. Before joining LBS, he was professor of management science at Leuven Catholic University. He has worked as a consultant for the European Commission and McKinsey & Company. His research focuses on the creation of organisational culture that will stimulate risk-taking, innovation and experimentation.

Contact Tel: (+44) 20 7000 8833

Robert Rice

Position: Managing director, Management Development Centre International

Biography: Robert Rice was awarded an executive MBA from the UK-based University of Bradford’s Management Centre in 1983, before joining the world’s second-largest hospital group, American Medical International, as a hospital director. Rice has been managing director at Management Development Centre International (MDCI) since 1993. The centre works with the UK’s Hull University Business School to deliver face-to-face part-time MBA programmes in Manama and Muscat. The centre has expanded to offer management education in the Middle East and southern Africa. Hull was the first international business school to introduce Gulf-based MBA courses. MDCI handles the logistics for the partnership. Honoured with a Queen’s Award for Export Excellence, MDCI also created the first in-house MBA at Saudi Aramco, a project in which Rice was closely involved.

Contact Tel: (+973) 1721 6002.

Stefan Szymanski

Position: MBA dean and professor of economics, Cass Business School

Biography: Stefan Szymanski is a graduate of Hertford College at the UK’s Oxford University, where he gained a first in politics, philosophy and economics. He began his teaching career at London Business School, before moving to Tanaka Business School at Imperial College, London, in 1993, where he was programme director of the full-time MBA programme. He gained his PhD at London’s Birkbeck College. Szymanski joined Cass Business School (CBS) this year, after five years as visiting professor of economics at Warsaw University of Technology Business School. He is professor of economics and associate dean at CBS. An adviser to Ofcom, the UK communications watchdog, Szymanski is also an expert on the politics of sport. CBS joined forces with Dubai International Finance Centre in 2007 to launch an executive MBA based in Dubai.

Contact Tel: (+44) 20 7040 5106

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