Mar. 26, 2015

Eng. Saad Al Muhannadi


Eng. Saad Al Muhannadi

President, Qatar Foundation

TBY talks to Eng. Saad Al Muhannadi, President of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, on leading the organization, achieving the targets of the National Vision, and participating in international initiatives.


Eng. Saad Al Muhannadi was appointed President of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development in September 2013. A founding member of QF and a member of the QF Board of Trustees, Engineer Al Muhannadi joined in 1995 as Projects Manager. In 2005, he was appointed Vice-President of Capital Projects and Facilities Management, leading the development of Qatar Foundation’s infrastructural development. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami.

What are the key principles that guide you in leading such an influential organization?

Our aim at Qatar Foundation is to positively contribute to the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030) by “Unlocking Human Potential." It is with this principle of developing our people and our future leaders that we established our three pillars of education, science, and community development. By placing emphasis on these areas, our aim is to build a knowledge-based economy that will benefit not only Qatar, but also the region and the world. Qatar Foundation focuses on bringing world-class education, work experience, and career opportunities to our country in order to enable people of all ages to contribute to the country's future. Additionally, we are firmly committed to excelling at R&D.

How do you organize your operations in order to achieve the long-term goals set by the QNV 2030?

The QNV 2030 has given Qatar Foundation the exciting challenge of being the “engine" driving the development of Qatar's community. We organize our operations by making people central to our country's transformation into a modern knowledge-based economy. By using our three pillars, our efforts are developing human resources. Whether it is furthering our work in education, R&D, or community engagement, empowering our people is central to everything we do. One of my roles as the President of Qatar Foundation is to ensure that every member of our organization continues to play a fundamental role in achieving the key pillars and vision set forth by Qatar's leadership. Keeping people engaged and working toward our collective aim to transform Qatar into a knowledge-based economy by 2030 is what will keep us on track to achieve our goal.

Qatar Foundation has become a globally known institute. Through which initiatives is the foundation aiming to have an impact at a global level?

Qatar Foundation has a number of exciting initiatives that are having an impact globally. In particular, we are extremely proud of the progress we are making with our World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) and World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) initiatives. Both are fully aligned with the mission and vision of Qatar Foundation and the QNV 2030, while also serving to highlight Qatar's growing role as an emerging center for innovation in healthcare and education. Our work with WISH aims to promote and facilitate innovation in the delivery of healthcare around the globe. To do this, we bring together a distinguished audience of leaders, key decision-makers, and influencers of global health systems and policy, including heads of state, ministers, senior government officials, academics, and strategic thinkers. We also invite the most influential business leaders in order to stimulate the implementation of practical, sustainable, and innovative solutions to tackle global health challenges. To date, I am proud to report we have already successfully launched a number of invaluable and unprecedented initiatives—from biomedical research to maternal health and clinical care. With our other equally important endeavor, WISE, we are focused on placing innovative education at the forefront of the global agenda. Qatar Foundation established this particular initiative in 2009, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, the Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation. We understand that education is the key to addressing many tough challenges that face our global community, such as poverty, conflict, inequality, unemployment, and environmental sustainability. Rarely addressed in both policy and the classroom, we seek to revitalize education by providing a global platform for the development of new ideas and solutions. We host an annual summit and year-round activities in an effort to bring together stakeholders from 200 countries. Through WISE, our goal is to encourage people to share and collaborate on creative ideas that will address key challenges facing education. Currently, the educational system is outdated in many parts of the world. And in order to progress and meet the needs of future generations, change needs to occur. At Qatar Foundation, we strive to contribute to human development nationally, regionally, and internationally. Therefore, it is important for us to keep education and healthcare at the top of the agenda.