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The Third Sovereign Wealth Funds Conference Speakers

Mr. David Rubinstein

Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group

David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing over $175 billion from 36 offices around the world.

Mr. Rubenstein, a native of Baltimore, is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Following Duke, Mr. Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from The University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review.

From 1973-75, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. From 1975-76 he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. From 1977-1981, during the Carter Administration, Mr. Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. After his White House service and before co-founding Carlyle, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in Washington with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw Pittman).

Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and of Duke University, a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, Co-Chairman of the Brookings Institution, Vice-Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Trustee of the National Gallery of Art and President of the Economic Club of Washington.

Mr. Rubenstein is on the Board of Directors or Trustees of University of Chicago, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution.

Mr. Rubenstein is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Business Council (Vice-Chairman), Visiting Committee of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors, the Board of Trustees of the Young Global Leaders Foundation, Advisory Board of School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University (Chairman), the Madison Council of the Library of Congress (Chairman), and the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.

Mr. Rubenstein is married to Alice Rogoff Rubenstein, and they have three grown children.

Ambassador (Ret.) Gordon Gray

Executive Vice President of the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce

Gordon Gray is the Executive Vice President at the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce. He recently retired from the U.S. government after 35 years of public service. Prior to his retirement he was the Deputy Commandant at the National War College.

Ambassador Gray served as the U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia from 2009 until 2012, witnessing the start of the Arab Spring and directing the U.S. response in support of Tunisia’s transition. He was Senior Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from 2008 until 2009, focusing on governance and infrastructure in the southern provinces. Before that, Ambassador Gray was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2005 until 2008; his responsibilities included the promotion of U.S. interests in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, and oversight of the bureau’s Regional Affairs office.

His other foreign assignments included Egypt (where he served as Deputy Chief of Mission from 2002 until 2005), Canada, Jordan, Pakistan, and Morocco, where he began his career in government as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Ambassador Gray received his B.A. from Yale and his M.A. from Columbia, as well as an honorary M.S. from the National Defense University. He is a member of the American Foreign Service Association, the Middle East Institute, and the Board of Directors of the Tunisian-American Young Professionals Association. Ambassador Gray twice received the Presidential Meritorious Service award, as well as other awards for exceptional service.

He and his wife have three adult children. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys distance running and has run marathons and half-marathons in Europe, North Africa, and the United States.


Mr. Nazem Fawwaz Al Kudsi

Founding Partner and CEO at Frontier Partners DWC-LLC

Mr. Al Kudsi managed Funds in both Developed and Emerging markets across multiple Asset Classes and have served on a number of Boards in the region. From 1988 to 2006, he was a fund manager with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), later on he became Head of Asset Management ( CIO ) at National Bank Of Abu Dhabi , where he served till 2008, when he was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Invest Ad (another SWF) and served in that position till 2014. In 2015, he joined the National Holding Group, as a senior advisor.

Mr. Mohammed Saif Al Sowaidi

President of Qatar Investment Authority Advisory

Mohammad Saif Al Sowaidi is the President of Qatar Investment Authority Advisory (USA), a New York based subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority, the Sovereign Wealth Fund of the State of Qatar. In his current role, his main objective is establishing closer relationships with investment partners and generating new investment ideas.

Prior to his current role, Mohammad was the Portfolio Manager of the Industrials, Technology, Telecom, and Media Portfolio at Qatar Investment Authority. Mohammad graduated from University of Missouri - Columbia with dual Bachelor's degrees in Mathematical Statistics and Finance, and is CFA Charterholder.

Mr. Geoffrey Davis

Partner, Squire Patton Boggs

Geoffrey G. Davis is Partner at Squire Patton Boggs. At the firm, he concentrates his practice in domestic and international business transactions. He has extensive global experience in private equity transactions on behalf of one of the largest private equity investors in the world and has consummated more than 200 substantial private equity transactions in the United States, Europe and Asia in recent years. Mr. Davis holds a master’s degree in international law from Cambridge University.

Ambassador Adam Ereli

Vice Chairman, Mercury

Adam Ereli is Vice Chairman of Mercury’s Washington, D.C. office and co-leader of the Mercury International Affairs operation. During his distinguished tenure, the Ambassador developed close relationships with leaders in government, business and the media in the United States and the Middle East. Previously, Ambassador Ereli built a 24-year career as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State. Amb. Ereli served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs, Ambassador to Bahrain from 2007-2011, and as Deputy Spokesman for the Department of State from 2003-2006.

Dr. Bill Megginson

Professor and Price Chair in Finance at the University of Oklahoma’s Michael F. Price College of Business.

Bill Megginson is Professor and Price Chair in Finance at the University of Oklahoma’s Michael F. Price College of Business. He is also the Saudi Aramco Chair Professor in Finance at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Professor Megginson's research interest has focused in recent years on the privatization of state-owned enterprises, sovereign wealth fund investments, and investment banking principles and practices. His research has been frequently cited in academic and professional publications, and his articles have been downloaded over 53,000 times from the Social Sciences Research Network, while his books and articles have been cited over 15,600 times (according to Google Scholar). He has served as a privatization consultant for the New York Stock Exchange, the OECD, the IMF, the World Federation of Exchanges, and the World Bank.

Mr. Omar Namoos

Founder of Greystone Advisory Group

Omar Namoos is the Founder of Greystone Advisory Group, a provider of financial advisory and investment banking services to corporate and financial investors globally. During his career, Mr. Namoos has provided strategic advice to leading industrial and capital goods manufacturers and service providers. He has advised clients on mergers and acquisitions, public debt and equity offerings and alternative capital raising transactions, among others. Mr. Namoos was most recently a Managing Director at Mizuho Bank. Prior to that, he was a Managing Director at Evercore Partners where he led the North American Aerospace & Defense practice and an Executive Director in Corporate Finance at UBS Investment Bank, where he served as a senior coverage officer for their North American aerospace and defense industry. He also previously held positions at Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and Booz Allen & Hamilton. Mr. Namoos served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force where he earned several citations for exemplary performance and meritorious service. He received a BS in electrical engineering at University of California, Los Angeles, an MS in electrical engineering from the University of California, Irvine and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.

Dr. Michael Papaioannou

Deputy Division Chief, International Monetary Fund

Michael G. Papaioannou is a Deputy Division Chief at the Debt and Capital Markets Instruments, Monetary and Capital Markets Department of the International Monetary Fund. While at the IMF, he served as Special Adviser to the Governing Board of the Bank of Greece and has led IMF missions on establishing and managing SWFs, designing and implementing sovereign asset and liability management frameworks, and developing economic and financial policies for emerging and developed countries. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for International Financial Services and Director of the Foreign Exchange Service at the Wharton Econometrics Forecasting Associates Group and served as Chief Economist of the Council of Economic Advisors of Greece. He taught as Adjunct Associate Professor of Finance at Temple’s FOX School of Business and was a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Economics, LINK Central.

Ambassador Patrick Theros

President, US-Qatar Business Council

Patrick Theros is President and Executive Director of the US-Qatar Business Council. Amb. Theros also serves as Member of the Board of Advisors for the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University and Member of the Board of Directors, Qatar Foundation, USA. Amb. Theros served as US Ambassador to Qatar from 1995 until his retirement from the US Foreign Service in 1998. He previously held the position of Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, responsible for the coordination of all U.S. Government counterterrorism activities outside the United States.

Dr. George Tsetsekos

Francis Professor of Finance and Dean Emeritus at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business

Dr. George Tsetsekos is the Francis Professor of Finance and Dean Emeritus at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business. Tsetsekos served as Dean of LeBow College of Business (2002-12) and as Vice President at Drexel University (1997-2001). Dr. Tsetsekos research and publications cover the areas of corporate finance, R&D valuation, international finance and investments. In addition to his academic work, he has served in advisory and consulting roles in several organizations and public companies in the US and abroad including The World Bank, The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bear Stearns, FannieMae and Calamos Investments.

Dr. John Willoughby

Professor, Department of Economics, American University

John Willoughby is a Professor at American University. He has recently returned from a two-year stay in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, where he helped create an undergraduate economics program at the new American University of Sharjah. Dr. Willoughby has also taught at the American University in Cairo as a visiting professor. His teaching interests include European Economic History, American Economic History, Political Economy, and History of Economic Thought. Dr. Willoughby holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a MA in Economics from Cambridge University.

Dr. Jeffrey Harris

The Gary D. Cohn Goldman Sachs Chair In Finance And Chair of Finance And Real Estate Dept.

Jeffrey Harris is currently the Gary D. Cohn Goldman Sachs Chair in Finance at Kogod. Dr. Harris recently served as Chief Economist at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, with prior experience as Visiting Academic at the Nasdaq Stock Market and at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He has previously held faculty appointments as the Dean’s Chair in Finance at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, as the Collins Chair of Finance in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (visiting), at the University of Delaware, at the University of Notre Dame and at The Ohio State University.

Dr. Ghiyath Nakshbendi

Executive in Residence, Kogod School of Business International Business Department, American University

Ghiyath Nakshbendi is Executive in Residence at American University. He was one of the first group of sovereign wealth funds experts working for Kuwait Investment Authority headquarters in Kuwait, the oldest sovereign wealth fund in the world at the time. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in project finance, microfinance, export-import management, international business and the global marketplace. Ghiyath was a pioneer in introducing Islamic finance to American University. He has extensive international business experience. His early career in academia which was followed by more than 35 years working in developmental financing, Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) and commercial real estate. Dr. Nakshbendi has worked in business in 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the U.K., France and Switzerland. He is active in US and international organizations and has frequent international and domestic speaking engagements, including two speaking tours with the U.S. State Department. Ghiyath is a Fulbright scholar.