The Council was initially led by Dr. Muhammad Ali Al Wohaibi, then-CEO of Oman Telecom. Subsequently, SAMENA Council was chaired by Orange Jordan Telecom Group’s CEO Mr. Mickael Ghossein and then the group CEO of Saudi Telecom Company, Eng. Saud Al Daweesh. Elected in 2011, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Isa Al Khalifa, Group CEO of Batelco served as a chairman of the SAMENA Council’s Board of Directors until September 2013 and was succeeded by Dr. Nasser Marafih, then-Group CEO of Ooredoo. In 2016, the Board of Directors elected Dr. Khaled Biyari, Group CEO of STC, to lead SAMENA Council. On February 27, 2018, in Barcelona, STC was again elected to chair the Board of Directors under the leadership of STC GCEO Eng. Nasser Al Nasser.
The SAMENA Council is now in its next phase of organizational development. Since its inception in 2006, the Council has made major strides in representing the interests of telecom operators and in playing the role of the agenda-setter. Today, the Council is considered to be the leading platform to provide a unified voice and collaborative approach for leading operators and service providers in SAMENA region. The goal is to position the telecom operators and service providers to be the partner of choice in driving region-wide digitization programs and in realizing socio-economic developments in regional economies.
With an expanding member portfolio, the Council is quickly securing strong footing in the region and beyond. In June 2012, the SAMENA Council was officially selected as a member of the newly formed Arab Multi stakeholders Advisory Group (AMAG) for the Arab Internet Governance Forum. The advisory group’s mandate is to set the theme for the Arab Internet Governance Forum (AIGF) in a way that maintains transparency and inclusion. SAMENA Council collaborates with leading non-profit international organizations, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) the European Telecom Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) and FTTH Council among others.