GCC BDI and The Financial Academy award certifications to 35 new graduates from its Board Director and Board Secretary programmes

-           Third cohort of 35 graduates awarded certificates at graduation ceremony in Riyadh

-           The 35 graduates included 18 Certified Board Directors, 15 Certified Board Secretaries, and 2 Directors who received the Diploma award

-           GCC BDI honoured as best institute for professional training


Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, November 30, 2023 — GCC Board Directors Institute (GCC BDI), a not-for-profit organisation that guides board directors of organisations in acquiring the know-how and tools to reach and sustain effective corporate governance, in collaboration with The Financial Academy in Saudi Arabia, are proud to announce the award of certificates to 35 new graduates of its GCC BDI Certificate and Diploma in Board Directorship and Board Secretary Certification Programmes.

This is the third cohort of graduates to be awarded certifications in the board directorship and board secretary programmes. The graduation ceremony took place at the Movenpick Hotel & Residences in Riyadh and the keynote address was delivered by Eng. Khalid Abdullah Alhussan, Board Member & Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Tadawul Group in KSA. Additional speakers at the event included Mana Alkhamsan, CEO of The Financial Academy, John Gollifer, CEO of GCC BDI, Steffen Schubert, Chair of the GCC BDI Education Committee, and Bassam Asiri, Controller, Saudi Aramco and Governor of GCC BDI.

Commenting on the ceremony, John Gollifer said: In the dynamic realm of business, the focus has shifted towards continuous professional development, particularly in leadership positions like board directors and board secretaries. The evolving landscape demands heightened agility, emphasising the critical importance of upskilling and staying current. Each accomplished graduate has undergone assessments aligned with the programme requirements and international standards."

“We are delighted to work with The Financial Academy to create these challenging programmes which test the abilities of the graduates and ensure they will be strong and agile governance professionals, well-prepared to take their organisations boldly into the future. I’d like to congratulate all the graduates in this our third graduation ceremony and I’m sure they will form a new generation of astute and enlightened board directors and secretaries.”

Mana Alkhamsan also congratulated the graduates, adding: “Our partnership with the GCC BDI is designed to ensure that board directors and secretaries are well-equipped to manage corporate governance in an ever-changing landscape where technology and global challenges require great wisdom in order to capitalise on the great opportunities on offer as well enhancing the quality of the GCC’s business ecosystem.”

Omran Al Zamani, Senior Legal Counsel & Board Secretary at Dana Gas, was awarded the board secretary certification. He said: “This programme recognises the pivotal role that board secretaries have in the corporate governance of organisations and the development of a culture of good practice. It will empower graduates to offer sound professional guidance to all stakeholders on the governance implications of strategic decisions.

His Excellency Saad Abdulaziz Nasser Alkhalb, CEO of Saudi Exim Bank, graduated with a Certificate in Board Directorship. He said: “Running a company is a complex operation and this certificate tested our abilities in diverse areas such as strategy management in an evolving environment, performance and talent management, risk oversight and mitigation and creating value for shareholders.”

Mazen Johar, CEO of SAMI Aerospace Mechanic, a wholly owned subsidiary of SAMI, was awarded a Diploma in Board Directorship. He said: “The Diploma is the next step after the Certificate of Board Directorship and expands the knowledge and skills necessary to function effectively and make a valuable contribution within any board.”

At the ceremony, GCC BDI announced that it has been honoured as the "Best Institute for Distinguished Professional Training in Corporate Governance, United Arab Emirates, 2023" by  Global Brands Magazine. “This remarkable achievement reflects our commitment to excellence and positions us as industry leaders in the field of corporate governance,” said John Gollifer, the CEO of GCC BDI.


About GCC Board of Directors Institute

GCC Board Directors Institute (GCC BDI) is a not-for-profit organization that guides board directors of organizations, from family-owned businesses to listed companies, to acquire the know-how and the tools to reach and sustain effective governance. Launched in 2007, it is supported by eight leading regional corporations and professional services firms that serve as its strategic partners.

GCC BDI’s mission is to enhance board member capabilities, create a strong and influential regional network of board members, and disseminate high-quality corporate governance knowledge, leading the regional debate on emerging best governance practices. We aim to accomplish these goals through a combination of effective practice and experience sharing, access to global knowledge, and interaction with regional and international counterparts.

GCC BDI has grown to become the leading organization in the region for board directors. It has delivered over 600 programs and forums to top-tier companies in the Gulf and now comprises over 3500 members, each with extensive knowledge and experience in operating at the most senior levels of business in the GCC.

For more information, please visit https://gccbdi.org/

For media enquiries, please contact:

Mehwish Sarwar

GCC Board of Directors Institute