Salah Khalil (Founding Trustee)

Salah Khalil is Founder of the Alexandria Trust. He is also Founding Executive Chairman of Macat International, a company that develops academic content in the social sciences and humanities. The Alexandria Trust and Macat, which operate independently of each other, share a commitment to catalytic philanthropy. Salah has had long-standing business achievements in Egypt and the Middle East, and was Strategy Consultant at the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in London. He holds a master’s degree in political sociology from the London School of Economics and a bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina. Salah serves on the advisory board of the Business School at the American University in Cairo. He lives in London with his family.

Frances Guy (Chair)

Frances Guy is currently UNDP Regional Gender Advisor based in Amman. She was previously Head of Middle East region at Christian Aid based in London. She worked as representative of UN Women in Iraq between May 2012 and December 2014, spending two years in Baghdad and six months in Erbil in northern Iraq. Prior to 2012, Frances was a career diplomat in the British Foreign Service where she served as ambassador to Yemen and to Lebanon. Her career was mostly focused in the Arab world and East Africa, although she also worked in Thailand. Before joining the diplomatic service, Frances worked for the British Council in Damascus and at the European Parliament in Luxembourg. Frances is currently president of the British Society of Middle East Studies (BRISMES).

Haifa Jamal Allail

Haifa Jamal Allail is President of Effat University, a leading institution of higher education for women in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on public administration and public policy at Effat University, and has published a number of articles on a variety of topics including women empowerment and privatisation. Prior to joining Effat University, Jamal Allail was the first Dean of the Girls’ Campus in King Abdulaziz University and a visiting scholar at John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has been involved in education reform in Saudi Arabia since 1991. Her work was recognized in 2005 when she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize as part of the 1,000 PeaceWomen campaign, a global movement to recognise women's involvement in peace and social justice work. She received a PhD in public policy from the University of Southern California.

Lisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson is Special Lecturer and James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations Emerita at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. Anderson served as President of the American University in Cairo from 2011-2016. She is Dean Emerita of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia, where she led the school from 1997-2007. Prior to her appointment as Dean, she served as Chair of the Political Science Department and Director of Columbia's Middle East Institute. She has also taught at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and in the Government and Social Studies departments at Harvard University. Anderson is a trustee of the Aga Khan University, Tufts University and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. She is a member emerita of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch, served as elected President of the Middle East Studies Association, and as Chair of the Board of the Social Science Research Council.

Wail Benjelloun

Wail Benjelloun is President of the Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED). He is former President of Mohammed V University (MVU) in Rabat and President of the Conference of Moroccan University Presidents. He was Vice President of Al Akhawayn University and Dean of the MVU Faculty of Science. He holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from State University of New York (SUNY-Binghamton) and is a widely published researcher in the field. He has also served on several national and international committees concerned with higher education reform. He is President of the International Society of Pathophysiology and member of the Boards of Trustees of Ecole Centrale Casablanca. He is also member and past president of the Moroccan-American Fulbright Commission.

Heba Raouf Ezzat

Heba Raouf Ezzat is Assistant Professor of political science and Deputy Director of the Centre for Humanities and Interdisciplinary Studies at Cairo University, and Adjunct Professor at the American University in Cairo. She has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, University of Westminster, University of California at Berkeley, Georgetown University, and Oxford's Centre for Islamic Studies. She has researched and written on topics such as global civil society and building global democracy, women and politics in Islam, faith and citizenship, and political and social movements in Islam. She has served as a member of the C-100 initiative for Islamic-Western understanding set up by the World Economic Forum, by which she was named a Young Global Leader in 2005.

Hazem Galal

Hazem Galal is a PwC Partner and Global Leader for PwC’s Cities and Local Government Sector. With 25 years of consulting experience, he has expertise in strategy formulation and implementation for cities and local government entities. He is currently the co-chair for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development group that contributes to the ISO standard for cities and smart infrastructure. Since 2007, Hazem has been leading PwC’s global Thought Leadership for cities and local government. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and panels organised by various international bodies as well as local and national governments in developed and developing countries, and a frequent guest expert on leading media channels.

Maha Shair

Maha Shair is a Lebanese philanthropist. She supports causes in education, health, and women empowerment, among others. Her philanthropic giving to higher education has helped to enable academic institutions to fund research and scholarships, in addition to evolving physically. Maha is a Roads for Life sports ambassador and has been running for charity for over 20 years with the support of family and friends. She has also led efforts in campaigning for breast cancer awareness and women fighting cancer. Maha is joined in her commitment to philanthropy by her husband Talal Shair.


Shady Arafa

Shady Arafa is Chief Operating Officer of the Alexandria Trust. From 2002 to 2011, Shady was Special Aide to the Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), Dr Ismail Serageldin (former VP, World Bank), with whom he worked from the opening of the institution through its development as a major Egyptian and international facility. In 2008, he left the BA for one year to acquire some exposure to professional private sector PR work in the Gulf, but returned to the BA to work with its Director for another stretch of three years. He subsequently came to London as a Chevening scholar to earn a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Westminster, completed in September 2012. Shady is a UK resident and lives in London.

David L. Wheeler

David L. Wheeler is Editor of the Alexandria Trust and leads its journalism project, Al-Fanar Media, which serves those who work in Arab higher education or who have a stake in it. For more than 25 years, he has worked at the Chronicle of Higher Education, as a science writer, International Editor, and Managing Editor, and has written on topics ranging from quantum physics to poetry. He has led the Chronicle’s push to serve readers outside the US and organized and moderated events and panels at higher-education conferences around the world. He has written for a variety of other publications such as Boston Globe and Washington Post and won awards from the New England Press Association and the Education Writers’ Association. David has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and was awarded a Vannevar Bush Fellowship in science journalism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Jihane Abou Chabke

Jihane Abou Chabke is Communications Associate for the Alexandria Trust. Her responsibilities include translation, editing and management of the Trust's website and social media platforms. She has worked for a Middle East focused news website as Assigning Editor, and for the Northern Virginia Area Health Education Center (NV AHEC) as Communications and Special Projects Manager. Jihane holds a master’s degree in journalism from the American University in Washington, DC, and a bachelor’s degree in translation and living languages from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) in Lebanon. She lives with her family in Alexandria, Virginia.

Olivia Cuthbert

Olivia Cuthbert is a freelance journalist and has been covering the Middle East for 10 years with a focus on women’s rights, international development, culture and education in the Arab world. Her work has been published in outlets including The Guardian, The Sunday Times, New Statesman, Middle East Eye, The National, openDemocracy and Wired magazine. Previously based in Amman, she now lives in London and makes regular visits to the region. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford and speaks a little Arabic, but it’s a work in progress.

Heba ElKayal

Heba ElKayal is Al-Fanar Media’s Art writer. She has a master’s degree in modern art history and curation from Columbia University, and has served as a consultant and staff member for numerous art collectors, galleries, and an auction house. From 2008 to 2012, she was the lifestyle editor for Daily News Egypt. Heba lives between Cairo and New York City.

Rasha Faek

Rasha Faek is Managing Editor of Al-Fanar Media. Prior to joining Al-Fanar Media, Rasha was a business reporter at Syria Today magazine. Her professional experience includes freelancing as a journalist from 2006 to 2008 and serving as managing editor for a Syrian real estate news site from 2009 and 2011. Rasha holds three bachelor’s degrees in: English Literature from Damascus University, Dramatic Arts from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus, and Journalism from Damascus Open University. She participated in a number of trainings, some of which were run by Thomson Reuters Foundation, the BBC and the United Nations University-International Leadership Institute.

Charles Huckabee

Charles Huckabee is a freelance editor and writer based in Washington, DC, where he was a copy editor and news editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education for nearly 20 years. He has also served on the news and copy desks of several daily newspapers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Virginian-Pilot. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of South Carolina, where he also did graduate studies in journalism. He has contributed articles about classical music to several newspapers and is an active chamber-music player in the Washington area.

Tarek Abd Elgalil Ibrahim

Tarek Abd Elgalil Ibrahim is an Egyptian journalist with more than 10 years of experience in reporting on science, economy, environment, culture and immigration. He works as a correspondent at and other TV channels. Tarek has a BA in journalism from Minya University and was trained at a number of prestigious organizations such as the Thomson Reuters Foundation, AUC, GIZ, ARIJ and Al-Fanar Media.

Keith Lawson

Keith Lawson is the Trust’s interim Treasurer. He is a Director in PwC's Indirect Taxes team and has been with PwC for over 13 years. During this time, Keith has specialised in the social purpose sector which includes charities, educational bodies, housing association, membership organisations and mutual organisations. He also specialises in the real estate sector advising investors, developers and owner/occupiers. Keith leads PwC's National Charity VAT Group and also leads PwC's Social Purpose VAT team for London.

Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey has lived in the Middle East since 2002, reporting on culture, media, politics and education in the Arab world. She covered the Arab Spring from Cairo and currently lives in Rabat, Morocco. She has worked as a reporter and editor with local independent media in the region as well as contributed to international publications such as The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Nation and The Economist. From 2009 to 2015, she was the middle east correspondent of The Chronicle of Higher Education. She speaks Arabic and French and has a master’s degree in Near East Studies from New York University.

Golam Morshed

Golam Morshed is the Alexandria Trust’s finance consultant, as representative of Charity Accounting Services Ltd (CAS). He works closely with senior staff and trustees to ensure accounting compliance and support in financial management. Golam is Chief Executive of CAS, a specialised accounting and financial management organisation supporting charities and NPO’s. He has previously worked with Oxfam, Save the Children, Christian Aid, FARM Africa, and ACORD. Golam is a qualified accountant and holds an MBA.

Benjamin Plackett

Benjamin Plackett has reported on a wide variety of topics, from the rebuilding of Mosul University after the city’s liberation from the Islamic State to the growing threat of water scarcity in Tunisia. His work has been published by Scientific American, Associated Press, CNN, and Engadget amongst others. He has an M.A. in journalism from New York University and a B.Sci. in biology from Imperial College, London.

Nasser Zawk

Nasser Zawk is a communications professional with a background in graphic arts. He has over 10 years of experience working as an art director, online marketing manager, communications manager, and scholarships manager with several international organizations, including Solidarités International and LASeR (Lebanese Association For Scientific Research). He holds a bachelor’s degree in visual communication and graphic arts from the Lebanese University.