Saudis join World Economic Forum’s YGL class of 2021

Saudis join World Economic Forums YGL class of 2021
Saudis join World Economic Forums YGL class of 2021
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JEDDAH: At a time when the world is facing multiple challenges, three pioneering Saudis have joined the World Economic Forum’s (WEC) dynamic Young Global Leaders’ (YGL) 2021 class with a shared goal to drive positive change.

This year, the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leadership selected 112 of the world’s most promising leaders under the age of 40 with expertise ranging from academia and research to arts, banking, technology and more. Every year, the forum honors outstanding individuals who are committed to building not only their nation’s future but also to playing a role to push the world into an era of global prosperity. 

It was founded in 2005 by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEC, to create a world where leaders take responsibility for a sustainable future while meeting complex challenges. This year three Saudis have joined the class, bringing expertise in their respective fields and adding more to a dynamic table with one shared goal, achieve global governance through innovation and performance.

The 2021 Young Global Leaders class public figures field includes Saudi Arabia’s Fawaz Farooqui, a senior adviser to the Minister of Culture. Throughout his career, he has held key positions in public and private sector entities. He served as the first director general and then CEO of the National Transformation Program. He worked as an adviser to the minister at the Ministry of Economy and Planning. Farooqui also served as managing director of the AlUla Development Co. and a board member of the Quality of Life Program.

During the last year, I’ve specialized in deliverology, which is the science of delivery within a government. This is what I wish to utilize to help my peers in YGL to push the boundaries and receive the support from their respective governments.

Fawaz Farooqui, Senior adviser to the Minister of Culture

He told Arab News that the Vision 2030 plan and the rapid transformation that ensued motivated him to play a role in the development of the country.

“I was very fortunate to be part of the team working on Vision 2030 and led the establishment Quality of Life Program,” he said. 

Farooqui felt proud of being part of the drive to open up the entertainment sector in the Kingdom, which saw the return of cinemas and other entertainment activities. He thanked the support from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior officials for achieving these milestones.

With his background in technology and business and having been exposed to the entrepreneurial culture at Silicon Valley, Farooqui understands the Kingdom’s approach to diversifying its economy. Throughout his career, he has focused on achieving the goal of sustainable development with the help of entrepreneurs and the government.

With motivation and drive I was able to become the first female partner in EY Saudi Arabia, as well as the youngest. I want to inspire young women to have the confidence to achieve their career goals too.

Esraa Al-Buti, Ernst and Young KSA tax partner

For YGL class 2021, Farooqui hopes to observe concepts presented by his peers from across the spectrum that he could bring back to the Kingdom and also help YGLs achieve their objectives and add to their experience within the government.

“During the last year, I’ve specialized in deliverology, which is the science of delivery within a government. This is what I wish to utilize to help my peers in YGL to push the boundaries and receive the support from their respective governments,” he said.

From the field of professional services, Esraa Al-Buti, Ernst and Young KSA tax partner, told Arab News that with her expertise in taxation, a dynamic profession that is growing in the Kingdom, she wants to create a footprint for all Saudi nationals in the field. 

“Throughout my career I’ve been trying to give back to my country and to the next generation by raising awareness of tax and professional services and the many opportunities in these areas,” Al-Buti said.

Within EY and her personal capacity, she is passionate about encouraging women to pursue careers in professional services and the private sector. She feels fortunate to have started her career when the Kingdom is undergoing major socioeconomic transformation, which allowed her to join the private sector in taxation services.

I’m honored and humbled to be part of such a distinguished group of young leaders and I’m excited about being part of this growth journey together, and to develop solutions that would make a real impact.

Dana Juffali, Business development director at Khaled Juffali Co.

“With motivation and drive I was able to become the first female partner in EY Saudi Arabia, as well as the youngest. I want to inspire young women to have the confidence to achieve their career goals too,” she said.

“My personal motto is to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone to accelerate. I truly believe that I wouldn’t be part of the YGL if I hadn’t applied that motto to my life and career journey. It is extremely rewarding to be recognized for my hard work. Most importantly I hope to inspire other young Saudis to achieve the same.”

From the business field, business development director at Khaled Juffali Co. and board member at E.A. Juffali and Brothers, Dana Juffali, also joined peers from countries including the US, UK, Switzerland, Germany, the UAE and Russia.

“I’m honored and humbled to be part of such a distinguished group of young leaders and I’m excited about being part of this growth journey together, and to develop solutions that would make a real impact,” she told Arab News.

For 15 years, young leaders have served their communities and launched initiatives that served to contribute to the development of their countries. Throughout the five-year journey, the young leaders will be exposed to many opportunities. 

“The YGL Class of 2021 comprises thoughtful and courageous leaders who will shape a more sustainable and inclusive post-pandemic era,” said Mariah Levin, head of the Forum of Young Global Leaders.

“We are delighted to welcome the class of 2021 at a time when cultivating responsible leadership is needed more than ever to steer us through the multiple challenges the world is facing,” said Nicole Schwab, board member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders.

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