Who is Thuraya Ismail?

Thuraya Ismail is a Saudi Eisenhower Fellow, human and social development expert, youth empowerment specialist, and an art advocate. Born in Saudi Arabia, she grew up in a highly educated family, where her father was a renowned physician in Riyadh. Thuraya studied political science at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and completed her graduate studies in international affairs at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2002. She is a certified human development specialist through the Virtual Development Academy program by UNDP in affiliation with Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs. Additionally, she is a certified ISO 9001:2000 Lead Auditor by the British Standards Institution (BSI) – UK.

Being a strong believer that investing in youth is the main source for sustainable human development; soon after her graduation; Thuraya embarked on a career aimed at improving the well-being of young Arabs through mentoring, education, art, and innovation.

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Years Experience
Events Hosted
International Awards

Eisenhower Fellow, Women Leaders Fellowship Program, USA

Advisory Board Member, Egypt

Ambassador 2018, Egypt

Board Member & Chief Executive Officer, Arab Region

Ambassador of Art D’Egypte to Lebanon and KSA

Leader European Practitioner Honor Award, Portugal

Youth Video Festival, Jury Member, USA

Jury Member, Arab region

Lead Auditor, the British Standards Institution (BSI), UK

Head of Short Films Jury, Arab Region

What People Say

Thuraya has demonstrated critical as well a high managerial skills that would make her a valuable asset to any organization. To name a few, she possesses excellent written and verbal communication skills which, coupled with her overall effectiveness, professionalism, hard work, and great rapport with the many constituents, colleagues, subordinates and other professional organizations, she comes across, would only allow for a glowing testimonial.

Samer Khoury Chairman, Consolidated Contractors Group CCC, Greece

Thuraya has a kind, easy-going demeanor that makes her approachable to others. She is quite knowledgeable and as soon as she speaks, her abilities command the attention and the respect of others. She never shies away from difficult endeavors. Her best qualities appear when she deals with others, she shows great kindness and a determined effort in helping each one to produce at the best possible level. It gives me great pleasure to consider her a friend.

Dr. Farouk El-Baz Director Emeritus, Center for Remote Sensing BU, U.S.A

I first met Thuraya as an 18-year-old Freshman at AUB. She was truly a lion in a canary’s cage—a trait that has accompanied her ever since. She was determined to shatter the glass ceiling looming over the head of all women throughout the Levant. Nothing stuck to Thuraya—no setback, no obstacle, no defeat. Nothing dissuaded her from her mission or pulled her back. She has reaped nothing but success, constantly moving onward, upward, and forward.

DR. SAMI MOUBAYED 2023 Durham University Fellow and founding chairman of the Damascus History Foundation

Thuraya is a highly professional individual, her leadership is characterized by strategic focus as well as execution and good team management. She has a very strong capacity to get the organization to prioritize, focus and deliver excellent results. Under her leadership Mentor Arabia has achieved excellent progress and results. It is very inspiring to work with her.

Yvonne Thunell Former Chairperson, Mentor International, Sweden