Category: Clean Energy

List of Powerful Arabs Under 40: Includes Amal Clooney, Majid Jafar

Arabian Business recently featured a review of “The 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40 – Business and Industry.” It is certainly a fascinating list and one worth reviewing. Here is a snapshot of just a few of the choices.

At number 9, they feature Amal Clooney which most people know, today, as George Clooney’s wife. Certainly, she is a powerhouse in her own right as a Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in the UK. She has been defending high-profile clients in international legal cases for years. She is a lawyer, activist and author with degrees from Oxford University and NYU’s School of Law. Born in Beirut, she emigrated to the UK in 1890 during the Lebanese Civil War.

At number 11 on the list is Ahmad Belhoul, the CEO of Masdar. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul is in charge of one of Abu Dhabi’s most important projects, Masdar City. This is currently under construction outside of the UAE capital and is being called the world’s first sustainable eco-city. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is already there, as is the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Belhoul has a BSc from Khalifa University in the UAE, an MSc from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from Sir John Monash University in Australia.

At number 17 is Majid Jafar who runs the region’s oldest privately held energy giant, Crescent Petroleum. In the post Saddam Hussein era, Crescent Petroleum focuses on oil and gas exploration in countries such as Iraq and Egypt. Jafar is the vice chairman of the Crescent Group, the holding company founded by his father, Hamid Jafar. They have interests in in transport, logistics, private equity and property. He is also the vice chairman of the Global Energy Initiative, an NGO based in New York. They focus on sustainable development by trying to tackle issues of climate change and energy poverty around the world. Majid Jafar holds degrees from Cambridge, London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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James Donovan: Clean Business Leader

James Donovan Goldman SachsI don’t normally write about particular business leaders, but in a world where depleting carbon resources is a reality, FirstCarbon Solutions CEO James Donovan strikes as interesting enough to write about. As Omani advisor to Goldman Sachs one thing that I noticed was the trend towards clean fuel (carbon free) investments. At Goldman Sachs though no one took it to the level that James Donovan has taken it.

When James Donovan left Lehman Brothers he wanted to use his experience and no how to change the world beyond just making lots of money.  His passion for the environment and the outdoors was one of the founding reasons for establishing FirstCarbon Solutions, which advises businesses and companies around the world how they can reduce their “carbon output.”

“We know that if we help even the most skeptical CEOs move one inch down a lower-carbon path today, those same CEOs may fly 1,000 miles farther in the future – especially when they can see and quantify their business results in terms of regulatory compliance, operational efficiencies and sometimes even increased market share.”

Its this passion and vision that James Donovan brings to the energy arena and its this energy that we in Oman need to move beyond just being rich petroleum exporters. We should strive to move into alternative energy resources not just for the environment, but because we need and can be successful leaders int hat field as well.

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