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Board of Directors

Eng. Nasser Bin Sulaiman Al Nasser
Acting Group CEO
Mr. Ihab Hinnawi
Group CEO
Dr. Kamal Shehadi
Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer
Etisalat International - UAE
Mr. Talal Said Marhoon Al Mamari
Oman Telecommunications Company
Eng. Atef Helmy
Senior Advisor to Board
Orange, MEA
Eng. Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Badran
VIVA Telecom - Kuwait
Mr. Scott Gegenheimer
Group CEO - Operations
Zain Group
Mr. Osman Sultan
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du)
Mr. Ahmed El Beheiry
Managing Director & CEO
Telecom Egypt
Eng. Tarig Hamza Zain El Abdein
Mr. Marwan Hayek
Chairman and CEO
Alfa (managed by Orascom TMT)
Mr. Bocar A. BA
SAMENA Telecommunications Council


SAMENA Telecommunications Council’s Board of Directors is a body of elected and appointed chief executives or organizational heads of telecommunications companies that are officially part of SAMENA’s membership. The Board currently has seven founding permanent members, made up of CEO personnel from networks operating in the South Asia – Middle East – North Africa (SAMENA) region, three rotating operator CEO’s and CEO of SAMENA Telecommunications Council.

The institution of the SAMENA Board of Directors is governed by the SAMENA Telecommunications Council Charter of Bylaws, effective as of April 4, 2007.


The Board of Directors is elected by their peers to provide leadership and an overall strategic direction for the Council, to deliver leadership points of views on regional telecom business matters, in support of its operator membership. The Board establishes policies for the Council’s not-for-profit operations and makes its recommendations to its membership on issues and matters that concern the telecom business, and concerns raised throughout the industry as regards technology deployment and/or device design.

The Board has the authority to interpret and make amendments to SAMENA Telecommunications Council Charter of Bylaws as it deems appropriate, as long as it is in accordance with the overall purpose of the Council and the welfare of its membership. The Board requires that all communication on issues and activities of the Council be done in writing and no solicitation of inputs be made on an extensive basis.


As membership cannot be truly represented without the inclusion of all directors, all members of the Board must attend all Board of Directors Meetings, typically held during SAMENA’s annual conferences. The chairman of the Board shall be informed in the case of any unforeseen absences.

It is the duty of each member of the Board to best represent and serve the needs of SAMENA’s membership. Each member of the Board shall inform the chairman of the Board, in the event that he/she is approached (by external organizations or media) on the Council’s activities or issues or concerns that the Council may have supported or is in the process of supporting. Further, all responses from SAMENA on any given issues or industry stance shall first be formally prepared under the supervision of the chairman and in full consultation with each member of the Board prior to their issuance to the membership or to the media.

Board Membership, Leadership and Structure

Membership into the Board of Directors is made every three years, on an appointed or elected basis, from within SAMENA’s existing membership. The Board of Directors comprises Chairman, Vice Chairman and Directors. The election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman is done through voting within the membership of the Board. 

The Board’s membership includes:

Eng. Nasser Bin Sulaiman Al Nasser, Acting Group CEO, STC - Chairman, SAMENA Council
Mr. Ihab Hinnawi, Group CEO, Batelco - Vice-Chairman, SAMENA Council
Dr. Kamal Shehadi, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, Etisalat International - UAE
Mr. Talal Said Marhoon Al Mamari, CEO, Oman Telecommunications Company
Eng. Atef Helmy, Senior Advisor to Board, Orange, MEA
Eng. Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Badran, CEO, Viva Kuwait
Mr. Scott Gegenheimer, Group CEO - Operations, Zain Group
Mr. Osman Sultan, CEO, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du)
Mr. Ahmed El Beheiry, Managing Director & CEO, Telecom Egypt
Eng. Tarig Hamza Zain El Abdein, CEO, Sudatel
Mr. Marwan Hayek, Chairman and CEO, Alfa
Mr. Bocar A. BA, CEO, SAMENA Telecommunications Council.

The major constituents of the Board of Directors are inducted from among incumbent operator members, the number of which can be increased to eleven, maximally. Each Board member is appointed or elected by the Board for a term of three years. In the future, members of the Board will be caucused by the Council’s membership.

Board Responsibilities

The Board of Directors oversees the direction of the Council in accordance with its bylaws. Specifically, the Board’s responsibilities are described as follows:

To volunteer time to SAMENA

  • Each Board member, once appointed as Director, contributes his/her time and resourcefulness toward driving SAMENA’s agenda forward.
  •  No monetary compensation to the Board members is made in the shape of salaries. However, all Board members enjoy a level of industry engagement and celebrity status by being the directorial part of a high-level collaborative tri-regional forum.

 To promote SAMENA regionally

  • Play active role at individual level to bring SAMENA to the forefront of major regional and industry-wide happenings, at least as far as regulatory and operator-driven activities are concerned.
  • To initiate, on a self-driven basis, sponsorships for SAMENA’s executive gatherings and for other activities, including research-based studies.

 Expanding Membership

  • The Council’s strength lies in numbers—its members. Historically, the Council has been mainly constituted by comparatively more vendor/manufacturer members than operator members. Being an operator driven organization by default, it is crucial to gain more operator constituents in the membership.

To strategize in positioning SAMENA among leading industry associations

It is in the interest of its membership that the Council secures a credible standing among regulatory bodies of the region as well as other key international bodies such as ITU and FCC.

Measuring performance against internally set benchmarks

Once the Board approves of an approach or a policy, it is to be revisited and its performance assessed.
The Board is to evaluate its own performance in fulfilling established obligations outlined in earlier meetings and as defined in this charter.
The Board is to review the impact of its collective resourcefulness and its physical size on the strength and efficiency of the Council as a tri-regional entity, aiming to encourage dialogue and lay before the industry and its membership real output.

Guiding SAMENA in developing viewpoints on selected subjects

The Council aims to be a part of high-level regulatory undertakings in one form or another. It is imperative that the Board shortlist key areas of such undertakings for a defined interval of time within a year.

Strategic Planning

Meet during the annual SAMENA conferences in addition to one-to-two other gatherings in a year.
Review the Council’s plans, deliverables made and envisioned, budgets approved earlier.
Assess and re-assess the Council’s success measures and provide feedback to the SAMENA team on work accomplished earlier.

Competition and Risk Assessment

Monitoring and evaluating any potential risks to the Council and other challenges that may lead toward controversy and unfruitful engagement.

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