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Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan
Business leader, social entrepreneur, and published author, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is President and Chief Executive Officer of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), Founder of the Shamma bint Sultan Sustainability Initiatives social enterprise, Co-Founder of Aurora50 and Founder of Reset MENA.
Sheikha Shamma holds a Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership and a Master of Philosophy in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Cambridge, as well as a degree in Business Administration from Zayed University. She is a well-respected industry expert on sustainability, due to her business and academic endeavours in the field.
In leading the UICCA, Sheikha Shamma is committed to bringing together members of the public and private sector, including academic institutions and non-governmental organisations to drive the nation’s commitment towards net zero by 2050. As such, the UICCA operates as a non-partisan think tank, providing advice and recommendations to stakeholders on positive climate action that facilitate the transition to a green economy.
Sheikha Shamma serves as Chair of Alliances for Global Sustainability, as well as the Advisory Boards of Yale’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy, Pure Harvest and Bamboo Capital. She is the Honorary President of the Emirates Green Building Council, and a member of the UAE Circular Economy Council. She was awarded Inspirational Woman of the Year by the Arab Women’s Awards UAE in 2020, and the Academy of International Business in the Middle East and North Africa (AIBMENA) Windtower Award in 2021. In 2022, Sheikha Shamma was selected as the first woman from the GCC to participate in the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center’s Women Leaders in Energy and Climate Fellowship.
Widely recognised for her contributions to the sustainability and social responsibility sphere, Sheikha Shamma has been socially conscious from a very young age and has, for many years, taken an active role in community development by launching and engaging in programmes and initiatives that have a positive impact on communities in the UAE, and around the world.
Through the Shamma bint Sultan Sustainability Initiatives social enterprise, Sheikha Shamma continues her work in the field of sustainable development. This social enterprise is committed to collaborating with like-minded stakeholders, to further expand community, corporate and governmental efforts to transition the UAE and its surrounding region to a clean energy economy, through impact-driven initiatives, projects and education. One of the main focuses of the social enterprise is on sustainability and natural climate solutions, which encompasses mangroves and other nature-based solutions that make a difference to air quality and the health of the planet.
Sheikha Shamma’s business acumen is further demonstrated by her involvement in several other industries, including the prestigious Al Asayl Show Jumping team, and her work as a published children’s author. To date she has written four books. In addition, she is a regular columnist for The National newspaper, and has co-authored two articles published in “Future Governments – Actions and Insights”.
As an active and passionate researcher, Sheikha Shamma has presented academic papers at global conferences in the fields of gender studies, migration studies, sustainable development, knowledge transfer, consumer behaviour, Emiratisation and financial literacy. In 2019, she was invited to speak at the MENA chapter of the World Economic Forum in Jordan where she discussed policy development for sustainability in the Arab World. In November 2018, Sheikha Shamma was one of the judges on the sustainability panel at the Solar Decathlon in Dubai.
Recognition for Sheikha Shamma’s valuable work has resulted in her being awarded the position of Research Associate at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Zayed University, and she sits on the Industry and Academic Advisory Board of the Academy of International Business MENA.
Sheikha Shamma cites her great-grandfather, the UAE’s founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as a source of inspiration and credits his vision as the reason why she places immense importance on sustainability, philanthropy, and female empowerment. Through her actions, Sheikha Shamma aspires to ensure that Sheikh Zayed’s legacy lives on and that his vision continues to create a positive impact globally.
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