I grew up in New York City and Beirut (yes I know, worlds apart and not just geographically) and in 2000, I graduated from high school and attended the American University of Beirut. In 2003, I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration and soon after landed a job at the Beirut office of the Korea Trade Promotion & Investment Authority (KOTRA). The role of KOTRA is to promote Korean trade and involved marketing research and analysis on behalf of Korean companies as well as the organization of trade delegations in both directions. In Lebanon, the KOTRA office was a part of the [South] Korean Embassy and therefore I was reporting directly to the embassy’s Commercial Attaché.
After working at KOTRA for two years, I was offered a position to join the Dubai-based Amana Contracting Group in Dubai. At the time, the company was a 5,000-strong industrial contractor operating within the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. There was no marketing or communications department at the time with the related decisions made by the Chief Operating Officer on an ad hoc basis. Working with the COO and the Board of Directors, I worked on establishing a marketing department which was cemented in 2011 with the formal formation of the unit and also coincides with the completion of my MBA degree at the Dubai campus of Middlesex University, London. Today, the company has over 13,000 employees across the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman. I have been with the company since joining them in 2005.