events/rtd
2019 Advisory Board Members

Ali Al-Jassim

CEO , Etihad ESCO

Ali Al Jassim, CEO of Etihad Energy Services and holder of both bachelors of science in Civil Engineering and Masters of business administration with honours, has 18 years of experience in leading roles delivering programs and projects. Ali held top positions in both public and private sector entities such as Head of follow-up and development office at the Dubai Municipality, Acting CEO & Director of Drivers Licensing at RTA and General Manager of Qeyadah Driving Solutions.

Graeme Sims

Executive Director , Regulatory Supervisory Bureau

Graeme Sims is the RSB’s Executive Director and has over twenty years experience of regulation of the water and electricity industries, gained in the UK and the UAE. He studied economics at Oxford University before joining the Boston Consulting Group. He was Deputy Director General at the UK’s Office of Electricity Regulation where he was responsible for the electricity industry in Scotland. He established Abu Dhabi’s regulatory body for its water and electricity sector and was the first Director General. Before joining Dubai’s RSB he was Director of Regulation at United Utilities, the UK’s largest stock market listed water company.

Stephane Le Gentil

CEO , Clean Energy Business Council

Stephane le Gentil is Founder and CEO of Wattaqa since November 2016. Wattaqa provides consultancy, advisory and project management services in end-use energy efficiency, energy Demand Side Management (DSM) and ESCO (Energy Services) activities with a focus on the Middle East region. In 2013 Stephane came to Dubai to found and lead Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad ESCO) as CEO. Etihad ESCO was setup under the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) as the official government organization to reduce significantly the consumption of electricity and water in 30,000 existing buildings in Dubai. Prior to Etihad ESCO, Stephane spent many years at a leading global Energy Services company to build their European activities. Stephane serves as a member of the board at the Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO) who owns the IPMVP and he is past Chairman of the European Association of Energy Service Companies, eu-ESCO.

Aref Abou Zaher

Chief Executive Officer , ARK Energy

Aref is Energy, Water, and Utilities expert with 20 years of North American, EU and GCC in management consulting, OEM, operations management, new business setup and stakeholder management within the conventional and renewable energy sector, Demand Side Management and Energy Efficiency.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Founder and Executive Director of TAQATI, the dedicated Program Management Office mandated by Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to implement the Demand Side Management Strategy of Dubai and attain its energy efficiency targets (Dubai, UAE)
  • Principal at Ernst and Young – Power and Utilities Advisory Services (Dubai, UAE)
  • Head of Infrastructure and Utilities at General Secretariat of the Executive Council (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
  • Global Market Program Leader of Alternative Energy at General Electric - Power and Water (NY, USA)
  • Key executive management and senior advisory roles within the public and private sectors at General Electric (Power and Water), A.T Kearney, ITT (Water and Wastewater), etc

KEY EXPERTISE

At TAQATI and now at ARK Energy, Aref has been focusing on Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management, Building Retrofits, Solar Energy (rooftop and utility scale), Smart Grid and Smart City program design and development, strategic planning, policy design, hybrid solar solutions, expansion and growth strategies, and new DSM initiatives introduction and commercialization mainly in GCC.

EDUCATION

MBA from University of Texas, Post-MBA from McGill, Canada, and BE from the American University of Beirut


 

Eng. Afra Alowais

Chief Efficienology Officer , Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority

Anne Le Guennec

CEO , Enova

 

Anne Le Guennec leads Enova, a joint-venture created in 2002 between Majid Al Futtaim Ventures and Veolia, providing building energy and facility management services for a wide portfolio of public and private clients.

Anne joined Veolia in 1998 and over a career spanning 18 years, has gained considerable experience in all facets of business development, technical and operational management.

Starting her career in France, Anne headed a team in charge of waste management contracts with municipalities and industries. She was then appointed as Project Director for EPC projects. In 2008, she became the Technical Director for Water, Wastewater and Electricity activities at Veolia in Morocco.

Anne was in charge of Veolia’s Business Development in the Middle East prior to her appointment as CEO of Enova in April 2016.


Hassan Younes

Technical Director , Griffin Consultants

Named as the recipient of the Young Energy Professional of the Year 2015 for the Middle East Region by the Association of Energy Engineers. Hassan is Technical Director and Partner at Griffin Consultants, an energy focused consultancy specialized in sustainable designs and energy auditing.

A highly certified professional with extensive experience in the fields of Design, Sustainability, Project Execution and Management, Energy Efficiency, and Value Engineering; he is the first ASHRAE Certified professional outside of the USA to hold all six professional certifications by ASHRAE. The ASHRAE certificates he holds cover high-performance buildings design, buildings energy assessment, energy modelling, and buildings commissioning and operations. He is also a Certified Energy Manager, a Certified Measurement and Verification Professional, a LEED Accredited Professional, and an Estidama Pearl Qualified Professional.

With extensive experience in engineering systems design, analysis, and consulting and a passionate objective of raising the industry and sustainability standards in the region, Younes entered a partnership to establish Griffin Consultants where, as Technical Director, he responsible for all technical and developmental aspects of the firm. Hassan led and completed multiple energy audits with private and governmental entities and identified savings of more than $8 million in 3 year programs. Throughout his career, he was involved in the design of multiple high-end developments including retail, residential, commercial, and hospitality projects some of which are iconic in the Emirate of Dubai like The Beach (JBR) and City Walk.

Hassan is on the Board of Governors of the local chapter of ASHRAE acting as the Vice Chair for Grassroots Government Activities Committee and Vice Chair for Chapter Technology Transfer Committee. He is also on the Board of Directors of CIBSE regional chapter as the Consultants and Industry Liaison Officer. In those capacities, Hassan works to promote the advancement and improvement of the regional construction industry by collaborating with industry professionals, academia, and governmental entities. He currently is the Chair of the Industry Advisory Panel of the Herriot Watt Architectural and Engineering Program.   

He was awarded the Middle East Young Engineer of the Year 2010 and is part of the Griffin Consultant’s team awarded the Middle East Boutique Consultancy of the Year 2014.

Sandrine Le Biavant

Director, Consultancy , Farnek

Sandrine Le Biavant is the Director Consultancy of FARNEK, the Swiss UAE-based renowned Facilities Management company. Lead Auditor for Energy Management Systems and Green Globe consultant, Sandrine is an experienced hotelier and FM consultant also specialized in carbon management processes and GRI sustainability reporting.

Managing a team of engineers and consultants in energy, water, waste, CO2 and social responsibility management advising more than 100 hotels, hotel chains, owning companies and tourist boards in MENA, but also implementing energy management for FARNEK managed facilities (residential, commercial, malls), Sandrine is a passionate consultant. Her specialty is to empower owners and managers of facilities in implementing long term innovative solutions to improve guest experience, operational / managerial performance and profits at the same time.

Andrea Di Gregorio

Director, Energy Efficiency & Renewables Administration , RAK Municipality

 

Andrea Di Gregorio is the Director of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, with the mandate to support the development of the Emirate towards lower energy intensity and a higher share of renewables in the generation mix.

He has more than 15 years of experience in the energy sector in Europe and the Middle East, where he worked for oil & gas majors and leading utilities in the fields of strategy, operations improvement and energy efficiency.

Prior to joining Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, Andrea Di Gregorio supported the activation of the Dubai Demand Side Management strategy as a PMO Director at the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, UAE, and as a Director of Strategy and Continuous Improvement at TAQATI, UAE. Previously, he worked as a strategy consultant at Booz & Company and Oliver Wyman, and as a Business Unit Director at Bertelsmann.

He holds an MSc. summa cum laude in Mechanical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and an MBA from SDA Bocconi, Milan.


Azmi Aboul-Hoda

Publicity Chair , ASHRAE Falcon Chapter

Azmi Aboul‐Hoda is a Publicity Chair for ASHRAE Falcon Chapter. Azmi has 20 years of experience in the built environment field in international and multinational companies, his expertise covers various responsibilities in energy, sustainability, design, engineering, execution, testing, commissioning, and maintenance. During his tenure, Azmi was involved in many audits, surveys, and retrofits to enhance existing buildings’ performance, indoor environmental quality, energy optimization, etc. Azmi was part of the senior management for the electrical and mechanical systems’ works in various projects in Dubai Airport, including the prestigious Dubai International Terminal III / Concourse II Project (1.6 Billion Dirhams). Azmi is an active committee member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air‐Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Falcon Chapter. He is also a committee member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), UAE Chapter.

Eng. Majid Babdoon

Energy Engineer, Roads Department , Ministry of Infrastructure Development

Joyce Honeine

Senior Program Manager, Awareness & Capacity Building , TAQATI

Charles Blaschke

Managing Director , Taka Solutions

Charles Blaschke is the Founder and CEO of Dubai based smart energy efficiency provider, Taka Solutions. He started the company in 2012 after working in the automotive, mining, industrial, and technology consulting industries with four years of building engineering experience since moving from Dubai in 2008. Charles and the company specialize in fully-financed, paid-from-savings Energy Performance Contracting efficiency projects. The goal is to help reduce 20% of the world's energy consumption using technology, finance, and engineering, applying IoT, energy modeling, energy monitoring, asset management and BIM.