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Sheikha Amneh Al Qasimi

As Chair of the Investment and Development Office (IDO), the strategic investment arm of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikha Amneh Saud Al Qasimi is responsible for optimizing the investments of the most northerly of the seven emirates that make up the UAE.


With a mandate to implement Ras Al Khaimah’s economic policy and its special focus on sustainable development, Sheikha Amneh’s remit includes managing the Emirate's credit rating, sovereign debt issuance, and diversified investment portfolio that covers sectors such as quarrying, hospitality, healthcare, education, energy, and real estate.


Prior to her role as Chairman of the IDO, Sheikha Amneh was a member of Goldman Sachs’ Investment Strategy Group in New York, where she focused on identifying tactical asset allocation opportunities in emerging market currencies and equities.


Sheikha Amneh serves on the board of IDO’s portfolio companies RAK Ports and RAKBANK.


Sheikha Amneh holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the American University of Sharjah in the UAE. She is also a RAK Academy alumn.

Allison Grinnell

Alison is the newly appointed CEO of RAK Hospitality Holding LLC (and former CFO). Alison has over 25 years of experience working within the hospitality industry, having worked in over 30 countries covering Europe, the United States, and the Middle East/Africa. She has lived and worked in the Middle East since 2012.


Prior to her roles at RAK Hospitality, Alison helped establish and PwC’s Middle East Hospitality and Leisure practice into a leader in its field.


Alison also serves on the Boards of RAK Abela LLC and RAKIA Georgia.


Alison comes from a strong financial background, with a BSc in Economics and an ACA Chartered Accountancy Qualification. She started her career with Andersen in the UK and the US, moving to PwC in 2001.

Emma Mehrabanpour

Emma Mehrabanpour is Legal Counsel at the Investment & Development Office (IDO), where she provides legal advice to the IDO group of companies.


Prior to joining the IDO in February 2019, Emma worked in the Corporate, Projects and Finance team at the law firm Holman Fenwick Willan in Dubai. Emma has experience working on a wide range of commercial and corporate transactions, such as company set-ups and reorganisations, share sales, joint ventures and commercial contracts.


Before relocating to the UAE in 2013, Emma trained and practiced at London-based firm Devonshires.


Emma has a degree in Law and French from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

Franco Vigliotti, PhD

Franco obtained his MSc and PhD in condensed matter and laser physics in Lausanne in 2000. Simultaneously, he was an independent consultant for the Swiss cement industry, in the field of quality control, data analysis and management. Franco is also an alumnus of the postgraduate IMD program Managing Technology Enterprise. In 2001, he was a chemical-physics research associate and postdoctoral fellow of the Swiss National Research Foundation for three years at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, under the direction of Nobel Laureate Ahmed Zewail.


In 2004, he joined the presidency of EPFL (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne), where his activities have included strategic developments of EPFL, several large-scale academic reorganizations and partnerships, and new initiatives at the regional, national and international level.

Caitrin Mullan

Caitrin serves as the Director of Community Engagement and Outreach at the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, where she is responsible for organizational collaborations, competitive grants, and strategic communication efforts. She also helped develop the Foundation’s College Preparation and Sheikh Saqr Overseas Scholarship programs, which prepare and encourage promising Emirati students and young professionals to undertake university studies overseas.


Prior to joining the Al Qasimi Foundation, Caitrin worked at the University of Minnesota (USA) for over eight years in positions related to student affairs and undergraduate education. Her higher education experience includes strategic planning, admissions and advising, student leadership development, experiential learning, and diversity and inclusion capacity building.

Youssef Al Achkar

Youssef commenced his education in Lebanon in which he successfully graduated as a Civil Engineer from the University of Saint Joseph. He was then offered the opportunity of completing a Master’s Degree in topography, under the prestigious Lebanese Scholarship program, with Institut Géographique National, Paris in 1974 which he welcomed and gave him the taste of living abroad.


After several years of lecturing in a technical institute and serving with the Lebanese Army as an Engineer, he ventured to Ras Al Khaimah as a consultant for the RAK Government with the ‘Dar Al Handasa’ group in 1977.


In 1978, his hard work was recognized by the Royal Family of Ras Al Khaimah and he was offered a role as a Chief Engineer in the Land Department. His sheer commitment and determination led to his appointment as Manager of the Town Planning department with the RAK Municipality in 2004.

Mohamed Abdul Latif Al Shehhi, PhD

Mohamed Al Shehhi currently holds a number of government positions including General Director of the HR Department, General Director of Sheikh Saqr Program for Government Excellence, and General Secretary of the Executive Council.


Prior to joining RAK Government, he was an associate professor in the College of Business at United Arab Emirate University. In his career, he has served on various boards including RAK Ceramics, RAK Co. for White Cement, American University in RAK, and Emirates Association for Social Development.


Mohamed received his Master’s and PhD Degrees in management from the University of Southern California, USA.

RAK Academy Board of Governors
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