Speakers

Christian Soemmer

Christian Soemmer

Managing Director

Cadillac Middle East, UAE

Christian Soemmer is the Managing Director of Cadillac Middle East following his appointment in October 2016.

As such, he is responsible for leading the luxury brand’s strategy and vision in continuing its transformation plans across the company’s eight Middle Eastern markets.

Prior to joining Cadillac, Soemmer spent a total of seven years with Audi Middle East. He most recently served as the Sales Director, responsible for the design and execution for all sales strategies and operations for the brand. He also held the role of Dealer Development Director and Regional Sales Manager for the Middle East.

Soemmer comes from an extensive sales and operational background in the premium automotive industry, having started his career with Daimler AG in Germany.

Soemmer holds the German equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in International Business Administration from the University of Cooperative Education Stuttgart & Daimler AG.

Faisal Ali Rashid

Faisal Ali Rashid

Director-Demand Side Management

Supreme Council of Energy, UAE

Faisal Ali Rashid, U.A.E national, a degree holder of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Dayton, Ohio University, U.S.A 1991. Also, a certified PMP (Project Management Professional). Has a wide and solid experience in energy management including supply, strategy and demand. Has strong background in process industrial plant including oil & gas, power & water generation process, material handling process, glass manufacturing process, etc.

Current job is energy Demand side director in Dubai Supreme Council of Energy looking after the whole energy demand management spectrum of emirate of Dubai. Served previously in oil and gas industry for many years as project division manager / Project Manager, handled mega feed and EPC projects and worked as general manager in glass manufacturing company as well.

Francois Guichard

Francois Guichard

ITS and Automated Driving Focal Point

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Switzerland

François is a road transport and road vehicle expert dealing with pollution, energy and automated driving. He studied mechanical engineering in a double master degree program in France (ENSAM) and Germany (KIT), started his career in the Internal Management Associate Program of Daimler AG which led him to work in various locations in Germany, in the USA and in South Africa.

He then specialized in the field of vehicle testing and vehicle regulations for the Type Approval of road vehicles. He has advised national and international bodies dealing with safety and environmental regulations linked to the automotive industry.

He has been involved in policy processes in the EU and also in other countries, e.g. Australia, USA, China (Mainland and Taipei) and Japan. In total François has worked more than 7 years in the field of external affairs. Since 2012, François is working for the United Nations in the world of multilateral agreements, as the Secretary of the Working Party on Lighting and Light Signalling, the Working Party on Pollution and Energy and then the Working Party on Brakes and Running Gear, focusing to date on automated driving.

Gary D. West

Gary D. West

Urban Active Operations Manager

GM International, UAE

Gary D. West was named Urban Active Operations Manager across Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East in August 2016. In this role, West oversees the strategic planning, implementation and operations management of GM International’s mobility business. Based in Dubai, he works with the Urban Active group – GM’s mobility incubator, and leads the company’s Connectivity, Autonomous, Sharing and Electrification (CASE) efforts in the region.

West brings extensive business-to-business fleet management experience, working in diverse locations in the USA, China and Singapore. A member of the GM Global Fleet Governance board, GM Global Fleet Sounding Board and the GM Global Export Compliance leadership, he was responsible for channel growth, commercial sales, business-to-business strategy and best practice implementation for the region.

West has over 25 years of global automotive vehicle sales, service, and marketing experience, managing teams in emerging, developing and mature markets.

Ismail Makhlouf

Ismail Makhlouf

Managing Director - Middle East and Africa

Bright Box, UAE

Ismail Makhlouf is the Managing Director for the Middle East & Africa branches at Bright Box.

Ismail has been working in the Automotive industry since 2002, involved in many different roles from sales, marketing, product management to network and business development. A professional team player with over 15 years’ experience in the Automotive industry throughout the Middle East and Africa region. He has created for himself a proven and highly successful track record on both the dealership/distributorship side, as well as the manufacturing side.

During his last designation as Deputy General Manager for product marketing in Nissan Middle East, Ismail lead the project on to develop and deploy Nissan SmartCar (REMOTO) in GCC region in collaboration with Bright Box.

In 2017 Ismail joined Bright Box team as Managing director for Dubai office, leading the company’s growth strategy and operations in Middle East, Africa, India, and Turkey.

His key focus is to asset OEM’s in ramping up their regional connected car strategies aligned with their global intelligent mobility vision by bringing a turnkey solution that can be designed and catered for their customer’s needs, while addressing the varies local governments compliance requirements for over 60 countries across this region.

Ian Machen

Ian Machen

Head of Intelligent Mobility

Atkins Global, UAE
Jan Hellaker

Jan Hellaker

Program Director

Drive Sweden, Sweden
Karim El-Jisr

Karim El-Jisr

Executive Director – See Nexus Institute

Diamond Developers, UAE

As the Executive Director of the Diamond Innovation Center, Karim El-Jisr is responsible for delivering a range of services related to sustainability and environment. This is part of the Center’s remit to host events and activities including exhibitions, training, research, and fellowships, and to monitor environmental performance and the carbon footprint of The Sustainable City.

Prior to joining Diamond Developers, Karim worked for several organisations including The Executive Council of Dubai, The Lebanon Mountain Trail Association, The United Nations and ECODIT Group, a global environmental management and consulting firm.

Karim grew up in Denmark, but originally comes from Lebanon. He started his career in 1999 following his graduation from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, where he gained three degrees in the subjects of Agricultural Engineering and Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Lewis Fulton

Dr. Lewis Fulton

Director, sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS) Program

University of California, Davis, Institute of Transportation Studies, USA
Marine Gorner

Marine Gorner

Transport Analyst

International Energy Agency, France

Marine is a transport analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris where she focuses on data and policy analysis for efficient transport systems. She is involved in the development of the IEA Mobility Model that is the source of transport-related data and projections for the Energy Technology Perspectives annual publication, as well as many other reports by the IEA. She works closely with member countries of the Electric Vehicles Initiative, a platform under the Clean Energy Ministerial providing data and knowledge-sharing with the objective of implementing effective policies to promote electric vehicles. She co-authored the Global EV Outlook 2017, which introduces the latest technology, market, and policy trends in the electric vehicle field. Marine is an engineer and holds an MSc in sustainable energy from Imperial College London.

Martin Tillman

Martin Tillman

Director of Transport Planning

AECOM, UAE
Dr. Miklós Kiss

Dr. Miklós Kiss

Head of Predevelopment Driver Assistance Systems

Audi AG, Germany
Dr. Mohamad Talas

Dr. Mohamad Talas

Deputy Director - Systems Engineering (Intelligent Transport System)

New York City Department of Transport, USA
Dr. Oualid Ali

Dr. Oualid Ali

Director of Training and Smart Solutions Center

German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), Oman; President, FutureCitiesCouncil.org
Rubal Dua

Rubal Dua

Senior Research Associate

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC), KSA
Dr. Shane Rooney

Dr. Shane Rooney

Executive Director

GSM Association, UK
Steve Severance

Steve Severance

Head – Program Management and Marketing

Masdar, UAE
Dr. Tom van Vuren

Dr. Tom van Vuren

Divisional Director

Mott MacDonald, UAE

Dr Tom van Vuren is a Divisional Director in Mott MacDonald and a Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds.  As an internationally recognised specialist in travel demand forecasting, Tom cannot ignore the uncertainties that current transportation trends and emerging technologies  bring to transport planning. Tom’s @tvvuren Twitter profile states that he is passionate about transport modelling. Since 2006 he has organised the annual Modelling World conference, first in London and in more recent year also in Dubai. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association for European Transport. Currently, Tom is the driving force behind the development of Mott MacDonald’s Future Mobility strategy. He is a qualified Transport Planning Professional (TPP).

Prof. Zef Hemel

Prof. Zef Hemel

Strategic Planner

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands