Her Excellency Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), chaired the inaugural meeting of the Advisory Council of Development and Outreach (ACDO) on the AUS campus.
The voluntary body was established following the approval of the AUS Board of Trustees in January 2023 on the recommendation of the board’s Resource Development Committee.
ACDO serves in an advisory capacity as part of the university’s efforts to increase its contribution to Sharjah’s socio-economic, workforce and innovation priorities while deepening its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, research and creative work. It focuses on partnership and resource development, as well as local, regional and international outreach. The council comprises 20 members, including prominent alumni and distinguished global and community leaders.
During the campus visit, ACDO members toured a student showcase highlighting innovative works and the AUS Donor Recognition Wall acknowledging the support of AUS lifetime donors/contributors.
Sheikha Bodour said: ‘The ACDO will take the lead in defining AUS’ overall contribution to society, by training a wide-angle lens on the strategies we pursue as an institution. Our goal is to ensure AUS delivers enduring benefits for humanity, starting in Sharjah but fanning out across the world. This inaugural meeting was a positive first step, and I’m grateful to the ACDO members for donating their time, energy, and intellects to this key undertaking. It’s clear to me they fully appreciate the importance of what we’re trying to achieve, and that they’re committed to working together for our big-picture objectives.’
During the meeting, ACDO members were briefed on the advisory council’s mission and mandate by Dr. Tod Laursen, Chancellor of AUS. Board Member and Chair of the Resource Development Committee Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi then led a discussion on the central role of the committee within the AUS Board of Trustees in overseeing the university’s advancement initiatives and implementation through the Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs. He also spoke about the vital supportive role ACDO will play in the university’s advancement and contributions to the development of Sharjah. ACDO members further discussed forthcoming steps for active engagement and a plan of action.
‘The inaugural meeting of the ACDO represents a step forward in the university’s
comprehensive approach to societal impact and academic excellence. By fostering connections with philanthropic, corporate, governmental and community leaders to establish partnerships, garner support for initiatives and programs, conduct research and enhance student employability, we are fulfilling our mission as a dynamic force for positive change in the community. This engagement ensures that academic programs remain relevant and responsive to the evolving demands of the region, producing graduates equipped with the skills necessary for the workforce. The dedication to excellence in teaching, learning, research and creative work enhances AUS’ reputation, attracting talent and fostering an environment of continuous improvement. In essence, this holistic commitment positions AUS as a cornerstone for both regional development and academic distinction,’ said Dr. Tod Laursen, Chancellor of AUS.
ACDO is chaired by Her Excellency Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President and Chairperson of Board of Trustees of American University of Sharjah. Members of the Council are H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation; Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, Chairperson and Managing Director of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group; H.E. Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry; H.E. Mirza Al Sayegh, Director General of the Office of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Sheikh Fahim Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman, Department of Government Relations, Government of Sharjah; Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises; Faizal Kottikollon, Chairperson of KEF Holdings; Patrick Chalhoub, CEO of Chalhoub Group; Hatem Al Mosa, CEO of Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC); Dr. Dalya Al Muthanna, President of GE UAE, Global Chief of Strategy and Operations, GE International Markets; Hind Abdul Hamied Seddiqi, AUS alumna and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons; Abdulla Majed Al Ghurair, Chairman of Abdulla & Hamad Al Ghurair Investment LLC; Dr. Thumbay Moideen, Founder and President of Thumbay Group; Salah Bukhatir, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Bukhatir Group of Companies; Hussain BinGhatti AI-Jbori, Founder and Chairman of Binghatti Holding Limited; Mohamed Al Musharrakh, AUS alumnus and CEO of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah); Shaji UI Mulk, Chairman of Mulk Holdings International; Mira Al Futtaim, Chairperson of Al Futtaim Group Emiratization Council; and Yusuf Ali, Managing Director of Lulu Group International.