Mr Najib Fayyad (Chairman)

Mr Najib Fayyad has over 26 years’ global work experience serving in leadership roles including Chairman, CEO and Managing Director in the US, Europe and the MENA region. Najib is currently the Group CEO of National Holding Group and also serves as Board member at National Holding and its various entities and subsidiaries.

Mr Fayyad worked across various sectors including financial advisory services and investment banking with large multinational companies, such as Arthur Andersen Global Corporate Finance, KPMG, and PriceWaterhouse. Mr Fayyad has also held various executive management roles in investment banking, such as Managing Director and Head of Global Asset Management and Real Estate. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for a regulated investment and asset management company in Turkey. Most recently Mr Fayyad has been appointed Board Member of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

Mr Fayyad brings hands-on experience and proven leadership skills along with extensive experience in formulating business strategies, executing business plans, mustering transformation programs, streamlining the decision-making process, all while focusing on the bottom line and long-term value creation.

During his time in Bahrain, he helped establish a successful investment bank where, as a founding shareholder, he spent 7 years in leadership positions in various parts of the institution. In advisory services, Mr Fayyad served as lead advisor to a wide client base, structured a number of unique investment products, and managed various assignments, including PE investments, cross border M&A transactions, private placements, project finance, business valuations, financial advisory services, feasibility studies, and preparation and implementations of business plans and strategies.

Lord Maude of Horsham

The Rt Hon The Lord Maude of Horsham, PC is Chairman of Brighton College International Schools and a Governor of Brighton College. Francis Maude was as an MP for 27 years, first in North Warwickshire and later for Horsham. In his early ministerial career, he served as Margaret Thatcher’s Minister for Europe and Hong Kong/China, Minister for Corporate Affairs, and Financial Secretary to the Treasury until he left Parliament in 1992. He was, subsequently, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and a director of Asda. After re-election to Parliament in 1997, Francis served as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Shadow Foreign Secretary and Chairman of the Conservative Party. The 2010 election saw him appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General. Upon leaving the House of Commons at the 2015 election, Francis was raised to the Peerage and served as the UK's Trade Minister between 2015 and 2016. Francis now has a business advising governments on efficiency, is Chairman of Cogent Elliott Group and has a portfolio of advisory board appointments.

Paul Westbrook

Paul Westbrook has been a governor of Brighton College Abu Dhabi (BCAD) since its foundation in 2011 and is a member of BCAD’s Finance and Education Committee.  Paul is one of the Governors from Brighton College in the UK, where he is the Group Bursar overseeing best practice and key functions outside of the academic and bringing that insight to bear for the benefit of BCAD.  In the UK, Paul has also overseen the construction of nine state of the art facilities including classroom, boarding, pastoral, music, design and technology, sports and science facilities and also carried out a refurbishment programme to create some of the best boarding facilities in the UK.  Paul is also a Governor at the other Brighton College schools in the UAE and Chair of Finance for London Academy of Excellence – a sixth form for children from deprived backgrounds in east London.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.  Paul’s wife is a teacher and they are parents of two children in Brighton College in the UK.

The Rt Hon  Sir Nicholas Soames

Nicholas Soames is the Member of Parliament for Mid-Sussex and a former parent at Brighton College UK. Before entering politics, Nicholas served in the British Army and served in Germany and the United Kingdom. Nicholas spent two and a half years on the staff of a Senator in Washington DC and from 1977 for four years was a Director of a firm at Lloyds of London. He is a Trustee of the Amber Foundation and previously sat on the Council of the Royal United Services Institute. Nicholas is a member of the 1922 Executive Committee and President of the Conservative Middle East Council. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2011. Nicholas is the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill.

Mr Saed Arekat

Saed Arekat is the Group Chief Financial Officer of Bloom Holding. He has extensive experience in the real estate investment and development and assets management as well as hospitality and education sectors. Saed has broad responsibilities including strategic and business planning, corporate finance, funding and treasury, financial planning and analysis, and financial reporting. In addition to leading the group procurements and IT functions.

Saed is a member of the Executive Committees, plays a pivotal role as a key member of the Executive Management Team of Bloom Holding, and has a leading role in all aspects of the development and execution of business strategies and transformation plans  to ensure long-term sustainable growth and value creation for Bloom Holding Group. 

Concurrently Saed is a board of governors’ member of Brighton College Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai in addition to Dwight Dubai school.

Prior to joining Bloom in 2007, Saed was an Executive Manager/Director at Ernst & Young Baghdad, Iraq and held different senior positions at Ernst & Young, Arthur Andersen and KPMG in Jordan and Palestine. Saed involvement in a variety of service lines and serving wide range of local and international customers, provided him with an extensive exposure across different industries globally. 

Saed holds an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School. His vast professional experience has been endorsed with prestigious certificates he has attained such as the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from USA. Further, Saed has recently completed the Oxford High Performance Leadership Programme and Oxford Real Estate Programme at the University of Oxford – Saïd Business School.

Ms Nilay Özral

Nilay Özral joined Bloom Education in January 2019 as CEO.  Nilay is responsible for the development of Bloom Education’s prestigious, international schools and nursery portfolio, which includes Brighton College from the UK, Dwight School from New York, and the Singaporean nursery brand, MindChamps. She is also responsible for the management and operations of the Charter Schools awarded to Bloom Education by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Education.

Prior to joining Bloom Education, Nilay held the position of CEO of Aldar Academies from 2010, where she built their educational portfolio from 1,200 students to over 16,000 students during her 9-year tenure.   Nilay transformed the organisation by creating a shared service model to support schools from an operational perspective allowing the schools to focus on academics, whilst realizing significant savings which were re-invested into improving the quality of education delivered at the schools.  This approach resulted in school performance improvements recognised in the formal regulatory inspection reports with the first two schools in Abu Dhabi to receive Outstanding ratings.  Nilay strategically drove the manager/operator model within Aldar Academies, resulting in ADNOC Schools entrusting the organization to fully operate their portfolio of schools in 2017, swiftly followed by piloting ADEK’s first charter school in 2018.  She also led a successful re-branding initiative, changing the face of Aldar Academies from individual schools to a well-recognised and respected brand in Abu Dhabi.

In addition to overseeing Aldar Academies, during 2010 – 2013, Nilay successfully managed a number of Aldar's major assets, including several hotels, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Links Golf Club.   Previously, Nilay spent 17 years in industry, holding senior executive roles at Procter & Gamble, the multinational consumer goods manufacturer, and as Strategic Planning and Business Development Director of Bunge, the global agri-business and food production company.

Nilay holds an MBA from the University of Manchester Business School and the University of Texas at Austin and has completed a number of executive management courses at Washington University, USA, and ESADE in Spain.

Dr Rashid Khalfan bin Amer Al Thakhri

Dr Rashid brings a wealth of experience having been the Director of Strategic Planning, Performance Evaluation and Organisational Change of various offices of the Abu Dhabi government.

Having graduated from Abu Dhabi Police College with a Bachelor of Law and Police Sciences he went to further studies at Manchester University and was awarded a Masters in Change Management and Development with a Doctorate in Management Policy from the same University in 2010.

Dr Rashid is very keen to further develop his skills having received a Professional Masters from George Washington University and attended courses related to Future Leadership at Harvard University.

Richard Cairns

Richard Cairns MA (Oxon) FRSA has been the Head Master of Brighton College UK since 2006. Richard Cairns has presided over a hugely successful period in the College's 167-year history, recording the best A-level results of any co-educational school in England in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He holds a First Class degree in History from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and is a Governor of several other schools. He was Tatler’s ‘Headmaster of the Year 2012’.

Advisors to the Board

Dr Ibrahim Al Dabal

Dr Ibrahim Al Dabal is an internationally recognized expert in the field of drugs, narcotics and toxins and is an accredited consultant to the United Nations, a member of the International Narcotics Control Board and is on the World Assembly of toxins experts.

Over the last decade he has headed the Centre for Drug Rehabilitation in Dubai and since 2006 has been working as Director of International Training with Dubai Police on drug awareness, human development and community service. He is a member of the National Committee on Drug Control as well as the Emirates Medical Association.

His skills have also been utilized in drafting regulations for the Ministry of Education and he has developed and delivered a variety of training courses for teachers. Ibrahim’s connections with young people are reinforced through his work on a range of youth projects as well as being General Coordinator for the Khalifa Empowerment Programme for young Emiratis.

He is closely involved in volunteer work locally. He is on the Board of both the Boy Scouts and the Dar El Ber Garity and is also a member of the UAE Red Crescent.

Dr. Dabal's achievements and awards are numerous and particularly worthy of note is his award for Academic Excellence from Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid and his work on special project for Sheikh Saif Al Nahyan.

Dr Shamma Al-Falasi

Dr Shamma Al-Falasi is the Chair of Social Work Department at the United Arab Emirates  University, Al-Ain, UAE. Shamma has been serving as an Assistant Professor at the college of Humanitarian and Social Sciences at the UAEU since 2009. Dr. Shamma holds a Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA She also has a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago, IL, USA. Dr. Shamma conducts many training and social services programs in the UAE and works as a social consultant for different social organization where she evaluates and designs social programs.