Impact Egypt! Competition

NEGMA's Impact Egypt! Competition

In August 2011, NEGMA launched it's first call for proposals from all friends of Egypt with an innovative idea for social and economic development in Egypt. The call was open to individuals and organizations pursuing new ideas across all sectors. Proposals were due September 30, 2011, and an external review process was set up with professionals in the various sectors to give feedback on the project proposals. Of the 37 applications that were submitted in its first year, NEGMA will invite the top 10 finalists to present their ideas to the audience at the NEGMA Conference and compete for awards. These 10 finalists will also gain from the opportunity to further network and receive more in-depth feedback through working groups based around their specific proposals. In this way, we look forward to the NEGMA Conference being a practical, roll-your-sleeves up event, in addition to a venue for learning new skills through workshops and engaging in crucial discussions with the larger community about how to strategically invest in Egypt at this momentous time in the country's long history.


The following professional reviewers generously gave of their time to give NEGMA feedback on the viability and impact of the ~40 proposals we recieved for the 'Impact Egypt! Competition.' We would like to thank them for this important contribution.

Khaled Abdou, PhD (Sector: Finance, Business)

Dr. Khaled Abdou is an assistant professor of Financial Services at Penn State University – Berks Campus. He earned his PhD and MS in Financial Economics from the University of New Orleans, his MBA from Eastern Illinois University and his Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from Helwan University. Dr. Abdou has professional experience in the investment analysis, financial consulting and auditing fields and he is a co-founder of Alnoor Asset Management, LLC. Dr. Abdou is a chartered financial analyst (CFA Charterholder) and a certified public accountant (CPA). His academic research interests are in the investments and corporate finance areas.

Ehaab Abdou (Sector: Social Entrepeneurship, Education, Arts)

Ehaab Abdou is co-founder and board member of the Egyptian youth-led NGO Nahdet El Mahrousa, the first incubator for innovative social enterprises in and the Middle East. In 2004, he became one of the first social entrepreneurs in the Arab region to be selected as an Ashoka fellow. Previously, he served as president of Fat'het Kheir, an Egyptian youth-led voluntary organization and was co-founder and first president of the Egyptian Federation of Youth NGOs. In 2007, Ehaab co-founded the Ana Masry (I'm Egyptian) musical band, which aims to promote the values of tolerance and diversity, national unity and citizenship in Egypt and across the region through a unique fusion of Sufi chanting, Christian hymns, Nubian singing as well as Ehaab's own lyrics and music. He also serves as the chairperson of the US-based Ana Masry foundation.

In August 2011, Ehaab started working with the World Bank Institute (WBI) helping to design and launch the Egypt Development Marketplace. Prior to joining WBI, Ehaab worked as an advisor for the Middle East Youth Initiative at the Brookings Institution since July 2009, where he helped develop and lead an action-oriented social entrepreneurship program. He is co-author of the report "Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East: Toward Sustainable Development for the Next Generation" (Brookings, April 2010) and author of "A Practitioner's Guide for Social Entrepreneurs in Egypt and the Arab Region" (Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo, October 2010).

Robert Ayan, MBA (Sector: Entrepreneurship, Higher Education, Technology)

Robert Ayan fundamentally believes in the power of innovation to change the world. The product of the innovation cluster that is Boston/Cambridge, (USA), Robert is an entrepreneur-practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in technology, higher education, innovation and entrepreneurship. Most recently, Robert has been supporting a variety of innovation initiatives around the world, including projects in Egypt, Malaysia and Morocco in support of U.S. President Barack Obama’s policy to establish bi-lateral relationships based upon mutual respect and mutual interests.

As Program Manager of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, Robert has helped innovators commercialize their emerging technologies and supported the launch of several technology entrepreneurship initiatives across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including entrepreneurship centers and venture capital funds. Prior to MIT, Robert worked in Product Management at LiveVault Corporation, a Boston area data storage startup acquired by Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM). Prior to LiveVault, Robert led a Technology Strategy team at MFS Investment Management

Robert currently serves on the Board of a number of startups in the MENA region. Robert is Board Member and President Emeritus of the MIT Arab Alumni Association and is active in several U.S. and MENA professional, technology and entrepreneurship groups as an Advisor, Executive, or Founder. Robert earned his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he was awarded the Carroll L. Wilson Fellowship to study the use of Information and Communication Technology as a means to foster economic development in the Arab World. Robert also earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Boston University School of Management, where he studied Management Information Systems and Computer Science.

Alaa Ibrahim, PhD (Sector: Physics, Science & Technology)

Dr. Alaa Ibrahim is an assistant professor of space astrophysics at the American University in Cairo (AUC). He chairs AUC's science outreach program and the university outreach committee. He graduated from Cairo University in 1991 with a B.Sc. in physics then received his graduate degrees (an M.Sc. in particle physics and an M.Sc and a Ph.D. in Space Astrophysics) from University of Maryland at College Park and George Washington University (GWU) while working at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from 1997 to 2004. He remains affiliated with GWU as an adjunct faculty. In 2008-2009, he was a Fulbright Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His other academic visits include Harvard and University of Cambridge, among others. His most significant research results include the discovery of a new cosmic objects known as Transient Magnetars that possess the highest magnetic field in the Universe. Following more than a decade in the U.S., Dr. Ibrahim returned to Egypt to work towards materializing the paradigm he witnessed of integrating cutting edge research, innovative teaching, and public service and community outreach at academic institutions. In addition to his teaching (that involves Community-Based and Experiential Learning) and research activities, Dr. Ibrahim has a passion for science communication and outreach (he founded the Science and Society Initiative, the Cairo Science Festival, and is a frequent TV science commentator). He is also interested in development and public service activities that sustain and empower the intellectual and scientific capital in the developing world; nurture the next generation of scientists, and enhance the public perception and understanding of science and its role in development (see, e.g., the Scientifica Society and a study that examines the science policy between the U.S. and the developing world and its implications)

Hani Mowafi, MD, MPH (Sector: Healthcare/Public Health)

Dr. Mowafi has several years of experience in consulting and research in emergency medicine and global public health. His research interests include evaluating the burden of injury in low and middle-income countries; improving public health response in humanitarian emergencies; and post-emergency development.

In addition, to his work as an Emergency Physician in the US, Dr. Mowafi has extensive experience working as a global health specialist having led or participated in projects in Haiti, Zambia, Angola, Ethiopia, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza. His recent work in the MENA region has included consulting with the UNHCR to help plan for health programs for Iraqi refugees in Jordan; collaboration with partners in Iran to analyze the long-term functional outcomes of elderly survivors of the Bam Earthquake; a health and human rights investigation in Bahrain; and publication of a chapter on humanitarian crises in Public Health in the Arab World.

Dr. Mowafi is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Co-Director of the Section of Public and Global Health at Boston University. He also serves as Affiliate Faculty of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Dr. Mowafi was trained in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, has a degree from Medicine from the University of Virginia, a Masters of Public Health in International Health from Harvard University, and a certificate in Humanitarian Studies from the joint program on humanitarian studies at Harvard/MIT/Tufts.

Mohamed Zahran, PhD (Sector: Computer Systems, Engineering)

Mohamed Zahran received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Maryland at College Park. He worked as a research scientist at The  George Washington University for a year, before joining the Electrical Engineering department at City College of City University of New York. In 2010 he moved to NYU as a research associate professor. His research interest spans several aspects of computer architecture, such as microarchitecture, memory system design for manycore architectures, hardware support for  secure platforms. Zahran is a senior member of IEEE (including technical committees of computer architecture and microarchitecture), senior member of ACM (including special interest groups in computer architecture, microarchitecture, operating systems, computer science education, and design automation), and Sigma Xi.

Bashar Zeitoun, MS, MPA (Sector: Environment)

Mr. Zeitoon is a program director at the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), where he manages the organization’s corporate environmental responsibility program.Bashar works with corporations toassist them integrate environmental performance goals in business decision-making. In 2009, he organized and led corporate environmental responsibility workshops in 7 Arab countries.

Prior to AFED, Bashar was manager of corporate partnerships at the Environmental Defense Fund, a US environmental group, where he worked with Fortune 500 companies to reduce air pollution and increase fuel efficiency of vehicles.

Bashar has contributed to Environmental Innovations in Business, a report which identifies the most innovative environmental best practices adopted by the business sector. He is co-editor of the AFED 2010 annual report Water: Sustainable Management of a Scarce Resource, and the 2011 report Green Economy: Sustainable Transition in a Changing Arab World.

Mr. Zeitoon holds a Master in Public Administration with a focus on sustainable development from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was a Robert C. Seamans, Jr. Fellow in Science, Technology, and Public Policy. Bashar holds MS and BS in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.