Speaker Profile

Dina Sherif

Dina Sherif is committed to building sustainable societies through the application of a more ‘conscious’ form of capitalism and she founded Ahead of the Curve (ATC) in 2012 to further that goal. ATC is a social enterprise promoting responsible/sustainable management practices, more inclusive and equitable economies and the development of socially innovative business models in growth markets to support both economic growth and social change. As CEO, Dina is responsible for business strategy and business development, as well as overseeing all research related activities within the firm. Ahead of the Curve, established the first impact investment fund in the MENA region called Entrepreneurship with Impact Ventures to support early stage impact entrepreneurs through equity financing and will be launching the first of its kind regional network of women leaders across the Arab region through an online and offline platform. Dina also serves as an Advisor to the President of Egypt for economic development and job creation and is currently an Associate Professor of Practice, holding the endowed Willard Brown Chair for International Business at the American University in Cairo, where she is also Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. Dina comes from a background in economic development, strategic philanthropy and civil society development. Dina is the lead author of several key publications such as the book: From Charity to Social Change: Trends in Arab Philanthropy and key reports including a 7 country study on trends in responsible business practice in the Arab region and the 2015 UNDP Business Solutions Report.

Her current passion lies in using entrepreneurship as a pathway to sustainable economic growth and job creation. Her company established the first fund to support idea and early stage start ups solving major problems in society in the Arab region and will be establishing the first of its kind accelerator in the Arab world to support start-ups that merge technology with the resolution of a major societal challenge in collaboration with the Egyptian private sector. In acknowledgement of Dina’s dedication to creating a new way of doing business through her efforts with Ahead of the Curve, she was given the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Egypt, by the American Chamber of Commerce in 2016, recognized by the Embassy of India as a "Woman of Substance" in 2016, was chosen as one of 10 United Nations Global Compact Sustainable Development Goal Pioneers, and was most recently named as one of the top 50 most influential women by the Amwal Al Ghad Magazine. Dina is an angel investor with a specific focus on healthcare businesses and is an avid supporter of civil society, previously serving of the Chair of the Board of the Arab Foundations Forum and currently a member of the Board of EducateMe and Ruwwad both based in Egypt. Dina is also a board member of two early stage fast growth businesses: Smart Medical Services and Tawseela Transportation Solutions both based in Egypt. Currently, Dina is most passionate about creating an Arab region that will not only provide the jobs necessary for its youth, but the jobs necessary to allow for the region’s youth to thrive.

Professional Highlights

CEO and Co-Founder, Ahead of the Curve, 2012–present
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Assistant Professor of Practice, Willard Brown Chair for International Business, School of Business, American University in Cairo, June 2015–present
Member, Presidential Council for Economic Development, March 2015–present
Senior Advisor for Civic Engagement, Silatech, November 2012–December 2014
John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement, American University in Cairo, 2006–present
Senior Advisor 2012
Associate Director 2006-2011
Technical Consultant, Abraaj Capital, 2008-2012
Consultant to the Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, 2008
Senior Consultant, African Development Bank, 2003–2006

Fellowships

Center for Public Leadership Fellow, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2017-2018
Eisenhower Fellowships Fellow, Global Women’s Leadership Program, 2015
Middle East Task Force Fellow, New America Foundation, 2013

Education

Mid Career/MPA, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2018
MA, Economic Development Studies, American University in Cairo, 2007
BA, Political Science and International Relations, American University in Cairo, 1999