5. Satellite and the Transformation of the Humanitarian System

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Presenter: Mr. Samer Halawi, CEO, Thuraya

Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 10:00-10:1004_Samer Halawi_IMG_0205

In this keynote, the CEO of Thuraya looked at how the satellite industry will help transform the humanitarian system within the digital economy and how Thuraya envisions the future technological landscape for communications.

The digital transformation in relief work is dependent on safe, secure and reliable connectivity in order for relief workers to conduct their critical transactional activities and to save lives. Communities and citizens affected by crisis have a need to communicate externally with their families, their governments and the global community that is supporting them. To relief workers, establishing communication links is essential for first responders to assess the scale of the disaster or organize an evacuation, as well as for ongoing coordination and the set-up of relief operations such as hospitals or vaccination clinics.

Satellite technology remains an integral part of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, enabling first responders and relief workers to establish vital communication links when it matters most.

Mr. Samer Halawi, CEO, Thuraya

04_Satellite and the Transformation of the Humanitarian System_photo_Samer HalawiSamer Halawi has served as Thuraya’s Chief Executive Officer since January 2011. Drawing upon his extensive experience in ICT and the global satellite communications industry, Samer is responsible for leading Thuraya’s strategic positioning and driving its growth as a prominent global Mobile Satellite Services operator.

Throughout his career, Samer has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to connecting the disconnected via satellite. He has supported a number of non-profit organizations including the ITU, SOS Children’s Villages, NetHope, the Rory Peck Trust and the International News Safety Institute with free airtime and satellite equipment enabling rural and remote communications. Samer has been responsible for leading the close collaboration between the Company’s Service Partners, NGOs and government organizations to provide satellite communications during times of emergencies in China, Japan, the Philippines and Sierra Leone. Thuraya’s services have resulted in countless lives being saved when terrestrial networks were damaged or destroyed.

Before joining Thuraya, Samer played a leading role in starting-up and growing a new venture involved in the digital space that focused on mobile content, IPTV, mobile advertising and web management. Prior to that, Samer was part of Inmarsat’s global strategy team where he was responsible for running operations for the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. Samer’s other telecommunications experience relates to his roles at Flag Telecom and ICO Global Communications. His role at ICO followed a private placement for the shares of the company that he led during a three-year period he spent in investment banking in the Middle East.

Samer started his career in the automotive industry where he was part of the Chrysler Corporation and Ford Motor Company. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in the U.S.

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