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Alumni Awards for Prominent Women

Nahed Taher receiving Alumni Award from Lancaster University

One of the world’s most powerful women and a renowned Kenyan politician have both returned to Lancaster University to receive Alumni awards.

Dr Nahed Taher is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Investment Bank and in 2006 she was voted one of the world’s 100 most powerful women by Forbes magazine.

She was also listed 24th in a Financial Times table of the 50 most prominent international businesswoman in 2010.

Dr Nahed took an MSc followed by a PhD in Economics at Lancaster University Management School. She turned down a down a high-powered job with the International Monetary Fund, and returned to her home country of Saudi Arabia where she became the first woman to be hired by the National Commercial Bank.

She was appointed CEO for the Gulf One Investment Bank in 2005, making her the first Saudi woman to head a bank in the Gulf region. Gulf One, based in Bahrain with $100 million in capital, became operational in the second quarter of 2006.

Professor Hellen Sambili completed a Master’s degree and a PhD in Education at Lancaster University before returning to a political career in Kenya. She was one of only 16 women returned to Parliament in the general elections in Kenya in March 2013.

Before entering politics, she taught at Moi High School in Kabarak, Kenya, and in 1993 joined Egerton University as a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction before becoming an Associate Professor.

Her career has been devoted to improving the academic opportunities for young people in her country and to women’s rights across East Africa.

A former Kenyan government minister for Youth affairs and Sport, she has also served as acting Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology and held a ministerial post in the Ministry of the East African Community.

She was awarded a Commonwealth Fellowship in 1998/1999. Source:


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