The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) has announced that it will be hosting the Crisis and Emergency Management Summit 2023 (CEMS), under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and National Security Adviser. The summit will be held on May 9th to 10th in Abu Dhabi and will discuss emergency, crisis and disaster management mechanisms that raises the readiness of the emergency and crisis system and unify global efforts in the sector, in addition to highlighting the future of the sector during the time of increasing threats and risks around the world, as well as current vital issues.
The upcoming summit is a global platform with a large international participation that recognizes the importance of continuously developing the emergency, crisis, and disaster management landscape. This gathering is significant because of the current technological innovations including the advancement of artificial intelligence systems, solutions, and digital platforms.
NCEMA was established on May 14, 2007, as part of the hieratical structure of The Supreme Council for National Security of the UAE, NCEMA is considered to be the national standing body responsible for establishing, regulating, and coordinating all standards related to emergency, crisis, and disaster management. NCEMA is also responsible for developing national unified plans for various emergency scenarios.
NCEMA oversees the development of response capabilities by proposing and coordinating programs among stakeholders at the local and national levels. NCEMA also coordinates the roles of the concerned governmental parties in the event of an emergency, crisis, or disaster. It engages in the preparation and coordination of essential emergency plans for vital facilities and infrastructure and follows up on their implementation in coordination with the concerned governmental authorities.
NCEMA conducts the necessary studies and research through a dedicated centre for information and resources related to emergency, crises and disasters, predicting their occurrence and how to manage them with the concerned authorities.
H.H. Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is an entrepreneur with many distinguished achievements. A founder of several business enterprises since 2008, including the Al-Asayel show jumping team, Royal House Publishing in 2012, and Sustainable Strategic Solutions, a research consulting company established in 2014, she also oversaw the launch of the Alliances for Global Sustainability Foundation in 2016, of which she is the CEO.
Based on Sheikha Shamma's commitment to supporting the community through her charitable foundation, "Circle of Hope", she actively contributes to many initiatives. These include spreading awareness of "healing through reading" in the "Wanna Read?" initiative and its efforts to empower women through the Executive Council for Women's Empowerment. The "Beacon of Hope" is another humanitarian initiative of Sheikha Shamma, which seeks to provide lighting through solar energy for children in areas that suffer from energy poverty. She also works effectively with non-governmental organizations and social pioneers, assisting them in leaving positive imprints in societies, collecting donations and determining their role in the community work system. In addition, Sheikha Shamma was appointed as an ambassador for the "ESFs SOH" program to promote awareness among young people on managing their financial affairs, launched by the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development.
His Excellency Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash was appointed as Diplomatic Adviser to His Highness the President of the United Arab Emirates in February 2021.
HE Dr Anwar Gargash has been a member of the cabinet for almost two decades; serving as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2021, and Minister of State for the Federal National Council from 2006 to 2016. In his capacity as Chairman of the National Elections Committee, His Excellency oversaw the first election process in the country within the Political Empowerment Programme launched in 2005, continuing this mission in the 2011 and 2016 elections.
HE Dr Anwar Gargash chairs the National Human Rights Committee, responsible for supervising the development of the national human rights strategy, overseeing and advising on implementation. His Excellency formerly held the position of Chairman of the National Committee for Combatting Human Trafficking.
In addition to his positions in the political and diplomatic arena, His Excellency is a leading figure in cultural activity in the country. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Al Owais Cultural Foundation, a prestigious organisation concerned with honouring and sponsoring Arab scholars, writers and thinkers. His Excellency is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA). From 1999 to 2007, Dr Gargash was a member of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Media Corporation and, from 1997 to 2006, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In 2021 HE Dr Anwar Gargash was awarded the Order of the Union, in appreciation of his efforts in the political, academic and economic efforts of the United Arab Emirates. His Excellency is also a recipient of the Mohammed bin Rashid Sash, bestowed on citizens who have made outstanding contributions in service to the UAE.
The highest civilian award in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Medal, has also been awarded to His Excellency. This is in recognition of individuals who have distinguished themselves for their giving and service to the Abu Dhabi community.
HE Dr Anwar received his bachelor's and master's degrees in political science from George Washington University in the United States, and a doctorate in political science from King's College, University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
His Excellency Obaid Al Shamsi is Deputy Head of the National Emergency, Crisis, and Disaster Management Authority. He began his tenure as Director-General in July 2019, overseeing all aspects and issues related to emergencies, crises and disasters at the national level.
Previously, he served as the Director of the Executive Administration for Strategic Analysis at the Ministry of Defense. He was responsible for planning, acquiring, formulating, distributing research, and analyzing current and emerging strategic threats that impact defense and security.
Before joining the Ministry of Defense, he was the Director of National Affairs in the Executive Administration for Policies and Cooperation. He has previously held leadership positions in the Presidential Guard, serving as Commander of the Special Presidential Guard before assuming the role of Commander of Special Operations.
His Excellency is a strategic thinker in emergency and crisis management, handling several important national files in this domain. He is a United States War College graduate and has completed numerous military leadership courses throughout his professional career.
Dr. Ali bin Sebaa Al-Marri has been serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government since March 2013. He has actively contributed to developing the school's educational, training, and research activities, fulfilling its mission to empower future leaders and enhance the capabilities of government institutions in the UAE and the Arab world by adopting effective public policies.
He is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Association for Management Consultants and Trainers”, a professional non-profit organization dedicated to organizing the profession of management consulting and administrative training, as well as qualifying and accrediting administrative consultants and trainers.
He is also the founder of the Emirates Center for Government Knowledge, which aims to document the UAE government experience, reproduce and exchange knowledge, and provide advisory services to government entities at local and regional levels.
Maqsoud Kruse has been president of the National Human Rights Commission since its establishment in 2021. Before that, he served as a Strategic Communication Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and as a member of the national media team accredited by the Council of Ministers.
He previously held the position of Executive Director of the Hedayah International Center for Excellence in Countering Violent Extremism since its establishment in 2012, an independent international research and applied institution dedicated to combating violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations through dialogue, capacity-building, and research activities.
In addition to his leadership and advisory roles, he also served as a board member representing think tanks, training, and policy centers at the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) in Geneva since its establishment in November 2014, which is a partnership between the public and private sectors to support local initiatives to counter violent extremism.
Before that, he was Head of Planning and then a Psychological Affairs Advisor at Global Aerospace Logistics (GAL), a subsidiary of the Advanced Investment Group of the Emirates.
Early in his career, he worked as a specialist in organizational psychology in various fields related to applied psychology, strategic planning, and leadership skills development while serving in the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates.
His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Kuwaiti was appointed by the Cabinet as the Head of Cybersecurity for the Government of the United Arab Emirates in 2020 where his responsibilities include serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UAE's Cyber Security Council and the Director-General of the National Data Center, which is affiliated with the Supreme Council for National Security. Dr. Al Kuwaiti has legal authority over securing the entire country's cyberspace.
Dr. Al Kuwaiti was responsible for preparing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy to enable the UAE to enter the digital age fully prepared to deal with the recent pandemic's new threat landscape.
Dr. Al Kuwaiti also works to ensure the UAE's global leadership in cybersecurity and establish the country's position as a trusted global digital hub.
He supports the digital transformation agenda in the country and enables a secure digital future for all citizens and residents who have made the UAE their home. To achieve this goal, Dr. Al Kuwaiti led the Council in developing an executive plan to protect the UAE's cyberspace, which relies on emerging technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence in a comprehensive government approach that coordinates and organizes efforts between the UAE and various government entities through a unified platform under the auspices of the Cyber Security Council.
His Excellency Hamad Saif Al Kaabi is the Director of Hazardous Materials Incident Management at the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.
He obtained a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Military Science and Specialized Management from Abu Dhabi University.
He is also a certified risk and crisis management expert and leader through the Hamdan bin Mohammed e-University.
He has extensive experience in CBRNE operations having led specialized teams and possesses high academic and field training expertise.
In addition to his experience in crisis and emergency management and handling information related to hazardous materials incidents and operations, he has managed numerous internal and field exercises at national and international levels.
Dr. Saif Al Dhaheri has over 27 years of experience in various fields, including national security, future foresight, engineering management, program and project management, information and communication technology, health, safety, and environmental management, business continuity management, risk management, and emergency, crisis, and disaster operations management.
He currently serves as the Director of the National Operations Center at the National Emergency, Crisis, and Disaster Management Authority, which oversees and supervises event management at the local and national levels.
He was Director of Safety and Prevention from 2012 to 2022 and has contributed to establishing the authority since 2007.
Dr. Al Dhaheri holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Studies and Program and Project Management from the French Republic. He is a graduate of the sixth batch of the National Defense College. He holds a Master's Degree in National Security from the National Defense College in the United Arab Emirates, a Master's Degree in Engineering Systems Management from the American University of Sharjah (AUS), and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the United States.
Dr. Saeed is a futurist, thought leader, author, and a public keynote speaker. He is a veteran of the UAE technology industry with over 30 years of experience in driving technology adoption in various public sector organizations.
He has held many positions, including the founder and former Director-General of the Emirates ID Authority, a former member of the scientific advisory committee of the UAE Space Agency, and a former Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on information technology.
He is the director of the Center for Futures Studies at the University of Dubai and President of the UAE's Robotics and Automation Society (RAS). He is also a visiting lecturer in Artificial Intelligence at Oxford University, a member of the Global Future Council on the Metaverse of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and a board member of the Emirates Safer Internet Society (eSafe).
He has worked for several years as a lead assessor of the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP).
He is on the industry advisory board of the College of Information Technology (CIT) of the UAE University.
Dr Goh Moh Heng is President of BCM Institute and the Managing Director of GMH Continuity Architects – a specialised BCM Consulting firm. His primary areas of expertise include Business Continuity Management (BCM), Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP), and ISO22301 BCM Audit and Crisis Management.
Since 2011, Moh Heng has assisted more than 50 organisations, particularly those operating in the Asia-Pacific and Middle-East Region, in their successful implementation of their Business Continuity Management System, having been a thought leader in the business continuity industry since 1987.
He started developing IT disaster recovery plans in 1987 and since then has held global business continuity and crisis management responsibilities with international financial institutions.
Jeffrey Saunders is an expert in strategic futures studies and foresight with 18 years experience.
He is CEO of Nordic Foresight.
He formerly served as Director of the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, leading their Strategy and Innovation. He also served as an onsite advisor at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Stability Operations. He further served and as a policy analyst and advisor at the Strategic Assessment Center at SAIC, where he advised the Office of Net Assessments at the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
He has conducted foresight exercises for Fortune 100 organizations and governments and authored over 30 articles, reports, book chapters, etc., on the future work and the future of the built environment.
James Morse was appointed as the President of Abu Dhabi’s Rabdan Academy in August 2016. Rabdan Academy provides a future class multi-disciplinary learning environment of choice for the continuing development and integration of safety, security, defense, emergency preparedness and crisis management professionals. It develops individual and organizations to standards that ensure a highly specialized, multi-disciplinary, coherent, robust and sustainable national capability for protection of the international community, its people and its assets.
His role comes after a most successful and rewarding 34 year career in the Royal Navy, which culminated in his promotion to the role of Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Capability), Controller of the Navy and Chief of Staff of Navy HQ.
He also commanded the United Kingdom Task Group deploying to the Arabian Gulf, and was based in Washington DC as the Chief of Defence Staff’s Liaison Officer to the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has sailed many of the world’s oceans during his career, taking part in operations and exercises across the globe, but with a strong bias to the Middle East and South Atlantic.
WPS Sidhu has over 30 years of experience in research, research management and policy innovation related to weapons of mass destruction, the United Nations, South Asia's traditional and non-traditional foreign policy issues in general, and India's evolving role as a global rule-shaper at some of the world’s leading academic, research and policy institutions.
Sidhu specializes in bridging the gap between the academic and policy discourse through research, publications, lectures and interactions with governments, think-tanks, civil society, foundations, donors and international organizations, especially the United Nations and its affiliates.
He has successfully managed several multi-year inter-disciplinary research projects with a combined budget of over several million US Dollars from their inception to completion, including recruiting staff, acting as an in-line manager, leading and coordinating projects between several research partners and affiliates in Africa, Asia, America and Europe, ensuring timely and quality publications and reporting to funders and donors.
Myriam Venegas holds Bachelor Degrees in Architecture from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the University of Chile, has a hospital specialization, and Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, as well as postgraduate qualifications in Urban Planning Research and Teaching at UNAM and Universidad de Chile, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Political and Social Sciences from Germany (DDR).
She has over 40 years of professional experience working in different areas, including 6 years in the architectural design of hospitals in Cuba and 14 years in the Environment and Urban Development institutions in Mexico covering the areas of Urban Development and Territorial, and project monitoring.
She has been a consultant for the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Environment Program, coordinating the Environmental Citizenship Project for almost 5 years, interacting with 6 regional citizen networks and in 7 countries in the region.
She has worked as Coordinator of the Training Program to improve Urban and Environmental Management in Latin America and the Caribbean from the offices of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), aimed at public officials, authorities, and professionals on topics such as Public Policies for Sustainable Development, Environmental Governance and Justice, International Negotiations and Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development Indicators and Sustainable Urban Environmental Management.
Richard Hannah is a Lead Adviser, Humanitarian, and Disaster Management in the Partnerships, Humanitarian, and Multilateral Division at New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington. Richard joined the Ministry in 2019 and since that time has played a leading role in New Zealand’s responses to natural disasters and health emergencies in the Pacific region with the aim of providing emergency support that is locally led, needs-based, and well-coordinated. Richard’s address at the Crisis and Emergency Management Summit will share some reflections from recent New Zealand responses in the Pacific region.
Richard provides thought leadership on New Zealand’s humanitarian policy and practice, coordinates New Zealand’s humanitarian contributions to significant global crises, and helps drive New Zealand’s humanitarian engagement in the multilateral system and with crucial UN and Red Cross organizations.
Before joining the Ministry, Richard had spent several years working for humanitarian NGOs in the Middle East and had a six-month stint with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
He holds a Master of Science Degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce Degrees from the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Dr. Ardhasena Sopaheluwakan is an applied mathematician with wide interest of modeling phenomena in nature, such as water waves, optical waves in photonic devices, and climate.
He is internationally active in the field of climate related activities (from climate policy related, climate services and standards developments) and presently also serves as the Co-Chair of the WMO Expert Team on Cataloging Hazardous Events, where he coordinates the development of a global framework for systematic cataloguing of extreme weather and climate events and their unique identification system, which will be valuable for the purpose of attribution of disaster losses and damages due to extreme hydro-meteorological events.
Loretta Hieber Girardet is the Chief of the Risk Knowledge, Monitoring and Capacity- Development Branch, covering risk information and analytics, climate change, disaster loss and monitoring data and capacity-building for UNDRR globally.
Previously, she served as Chief of the UNDRR Asia-Pacific regional office, covering 38 of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.
She served in various management positions at OCHA for over a decade before joining UNDRR, including overseeing the global Cluster Coordination Mechanism and having responsibility for IASC mechanisms on coordinated humanitarian needs assessments.
She also has a background in public health and worked for the World Health Organization in various capacities, including in emergency contexts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and sub-Saharan Africa.
Her experience in emergency contexts spans more than 25 years and she is the author of several publications including Lifeline Media: Reaching Populations in Crises which promotes greater accountability to people affected by disasters. Her academic background includes Fellowships and Degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health and Paris-Panthéon-Assas University (Paris 2).
Dr. Charilaos Mertzanis is currently Professor of Finance at Abu Dhabi University (ADU).
He holds a Ph.D. in Financial Economics from the New School for Social Research (U.S.A.) where he studied as a Fulbright and NATO fellow.
Prior to joining the ADU, he served as an Associate Professor of Finance at the American University in Cairo and Director of Research and Market Regulation in the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (Greece) from 2000-2014.
He was a member of the OECD Corporate Governance Committee during 1999-2014, a member of the ESMA Financial Stability Working Group, the coordinator of the Corporate Governance Committee in Greece, and Chairman of the EU Council for the Transparency Directive, among others.
He has provided professional advice to many foreign governments and financial regulators on capital market and financial policy development, and written many scholarly papers on capital markets, corporate governance, financial regulation and access to finance.
His main research interests include the role of institutions in financial decision-making.
A key recent research accomplishment is the development of an epidemiological risk index for 147 countries to measure country resilience to epidemiological risk. The index has proven a good predictor of tourist flows, firm productivity and global value chains around the world.
Dr. Otegui teaches Introduction to Crisis & Disaster Management, Emergency Response Planning, and Catastrophic Readiness.
His research interests include coordination of disaster response, group dynamics during response, and enhancing diversity in emergency management.
He serves on the International Humanitarian Studies Association Board and is the Chief Executive Officer for Imara International Humanitarian Group.
He has extensive practical experience with the Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware, following Hurricanes Maria and Irma and the 2017 earthquake in Mexico.
Dr. Otegui earned a PhD. from the University of Delaware in Disaster Science and Management, an MA in Strategic Studies from the Naval War School, Argentina, and a BS in Economics from the Torcuato Di Tella University, Argentina.
He is an experienced global humanitarian strategic planner with 25 years of experience and knowledge of global standards and trends shaping humanitarian action, as demonstrated by 6 peer-reviewed articles with nearly 90 citations and 2 books published.
C Raina MacIntyre (MBBS Hons 1, FRACP, FAFPHM, M App Epid, PhD) is a public health physician and internationally recognised researcher in infectious diseases and vaccinology.
From 2008-2018 she was Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Head of the second largest school in UNSW (University of New South Wales) Medicine, The School of Public Health and Community Medicine.
In 2017, she won a prestigious NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship, which she commenced on April 1st 2018 at Australia’s leading infectious diseases Institute, The Kirby Institute.
She currently holds the positions of NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Professor of Global Biosecurity and Head of the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute, UNSW.
She leads a Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in airborne threats to health, and an automated AI-powered epidemic observatory, EpiWatch, an open source rapid epidemic intelligence observatory, which detects early signals of serious epidemics globally.
She leads research in vaccinology, epidemic response, aerosol science and emerging infectious diseases- including MERS CoV and COVID-19. She has also conducted a seminal body of research on face masks, respirators and aerosol transmission of pathogens.
Her vaccine research spans 20 years, public health programs, vaccine clinical trials, mathematical modelling and epidemiology. She has been published on EPI vaccines, especially measles and pertussis, and COVID-19, influenza, pneumococcal, hepatitis A, HPV, herpes zoster, VZV, smallpox, and is recognised as an expert in adult vaccination, vaccines and ageing, immunosenescence, and vaccines in immunosuppressed populations.
Riham Bahi is Associate Professor of International Relations at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University. Prof. Bahi earned her PhD. in International and Public Affairs from Northeastern University in Boston, where she also received her MA in International Relations and Comparative Politics.
Prof. Bahi served as the Academic Coordinator of the Euro-Mediterranean Studies program at Cairo University 2017-2021.
She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Egypt’s National Dialogue.
Based on her expertise, Bahi was selected as a member of the Technical Secretariat of the Bilateral/International Youth Councils, Youth Diplomacy Program, Ministry of Youth (July 2022).
Since November 2021, Prof. Bahi has been Chair of the Political Science Program at the Institute of Arab Studies and Research (ALESCO, Arab League).
Prof. Bahi is a member of the Future Studies and Risk Management Council at the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology and she serves as Associate Editor for Review of Economics and Political Science (the quarterly journal of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science).
An environmental specialist with extensive experience over 40 years of dealing with international agencies, governments, civil society, grass root organizations, media, and NGOs with professional practice and extensive experience in fostering regional and international partnerships and fund-raising activities.
Dr. Imad has demonstrated his ability to manage programs and projects and lead teams of professionals to solve technical and regulatory issues with a specialty in issues related to sustainable development including environment, water and sanitation, climate change, DRR, energy, biodiversity, MDGs and participatory development and governance.
Over the years he has established solid partnerships with numerous agencies active in the Mediterranean e.g., EU bodies, UfM, LAS, CAMRE, UNEP-ROWA, ESCWA, AFDB and many more.
He also has experience in the Arab, Africa and Mediterranean region, being heavily involved in the environment sector of Arab countries.
He has been coordinating activities with Arab region public institutions, the private sector, NGOs, experts, local authorities, media, and several other stakeholders.
As General Coordinator of RAED, he fosters and brings together Arab views and opinions towards regional and global issues.
Dr. Imad has been active within the Horizon 2020 Initiative to de-pollute the Mediterranean Sea since its inception and is particularly involved in the capacity building component.
Dr. Adnan Ahmad Olwan is recognized as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in managing emergencies and crises.
He is a part-time lecturer in several strategic centers, including the Middle East Media and Policy Studies Institute (MEMPSI).
A former lecturer in the Jordan Command Staff College (Strategy and Leadership), he is an alumni from the US George C. Marshal center in Germany, the US Near East South Center for Strategic Study (NESA) and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP).
He has been involved in managing several national crisis in Jordan between 2017-2019.