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News & Press: 2020

GCC BDI Award Graduation Certificates to First Cohort of 40 Board Directors & Board Secretaries.

Monday, July 6, 2020  
Posted by: Mehwish Sarwar
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Dubai-UAE: 2 July, 2020 – The GCC Board Directors Institute (GCC BDI) in collaboration with The Financial Academy today awarded graduation certificates to the first cohort of 40 board directors and board secretaries that successfully completed the Institute’s two distinct programmes. In light of the social distancing norms enforced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the graduation ceremony was held virtually.

The board directors and board secretaries successfully completed the programmes hosted by GCC BDI over the past 18 months. The World of Directorship - Certificate in Board Directorship is designed to meet the development needs of existing, new and aspiring board directors and board committee members, while the Certified Board Secretary programme is a foundation course for board secretaries, aimed at enabling them to act as mediators to inform, communicate, advice, and arbitrate between the board and management teams, as well as between organisations and their shareholders and stakeholders. 

The two programmes provide tools and strategies to expand the participants’ knowledge of corporate governance and best board practices, as well as enhance their understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the board director and the board secretary in corporate governance. Specifically, the courses explore the roles of shareholders and other stakeholders, examine the authority and legal responsibilities of an effective director and board secretary, and also delve into aspects such as strategy and risk as well as financial stewardship and accountability. 

Speaking on the achievement, Jane Valls, Executive Director of GCC BDI, said: “Training and further professional development for board members and board secretaries have never been as critical as they are today. These are challenging times that require agility, and a continuous assessment and evaluation of best practices to upskill and navigate the uncertain road to recovery that lies ahead for most businesses in this region.

“The pivotal role board members play in the strategic planning and direction that organisations need to put in place to succeed in their business goals, has been evident for all to see this year. And this was reflected in our enrolment numbers as well. In response to the widespread interest from the region, GCC BDI became the first entity to collaborate with The Financial Academy in Saudi Arabia to certify board members.”

Mana Alkhasam, Director General of The Financial Academy, said: “Fostering the right corporate governance is becoming extremely important in the region; adapting transparency, accountability and financial stewardship is vital to ensure sustainability of businesses, and that’s what we are hoping to achieve with our partnership with GCC BDI. These certification programmes are a step forward in supporting the development and advancement of organisations to develop the skills, and the knowledge to ensure business continuity even during the toughest times.” 

Founded in 2007, GCC BDI’s mission is to promote the highest professional standards of corporate governance and directorship through capacity building, advocacy and the adoption of sound governance practices. As the only director institute from the GCC region to be admitted to the Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI), GCC BDI brings together over 1,700 members to explore the evolving role and value of boards as well as appropriate corporate governance standards.

About the GCC Board Directors Institute
Launched in 2007, the GCC Board Directors Institute (GCC BDI) is an independent not-for-profit organisation that helps board directors of entities, from family-owned businesses to listed companies, acquire the know-how and tools to achieve and sustain effective governance.

GCC BDI was founded by eight leading regional corporations and professional services firms: Saudi Aramco, SABIC, Emirates NBD, Investcorp, McKinsey & Company, Allen & Overy, Heidrick & Struggles and PwC. The institute is supported by the regional regulatory authorities, including the Securities and Commodities Authority of the UAE, the Capital Market Authority and Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority of Saudi Arabia, the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Capital Markets Authority of Kuwait, the Central Bank of Bahrain, and the Capital Market Authority of Oman. For more information, please visit

Emirates Financial Towers, Office 2201 - South Tower,  PO Box 507007, Dubai, UAE
Phone: +971 4 554 7967 | Email:

©GCC Board Directors Institute 2020. All Rights Reserved.