About Us

Our Leadership
How We Work
Our Values
Our Regional Commitment
Our Contribution to the Debate
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Our Thinking

How Skills Surveys Can More Effectively Identify Workforce Skills Gaps
Through a multicountry review of skills surveys, we propose an alternative approach to establishment skills surveys that can play a more effective role in determining how workforce skills influence achievement of firm business objectives in the Arab World.
Using Social Networking for Change
We see IT as an important enabler for regional development, and we have worked with global technology leaders such as Intel and Microsoft to deepen the impact of regional development programs leveraging technology.
A Regional Institution for Improving the Quality of Education
There are many opportunities for synergies through cooperation between regional education quality programs as well as clear areas of overlap which can benefit from consolidation.
Using Awards Effectively for Social Change
Many award programs in the region focus on large monetary sums to award best practices. We argue that money is not enough, and award programs should reinforce social change through knowledge diffusion, network building initiatives, and follow on training to maximize social impact.
Increasing Female Labor Market Participation With Scholarships
In several countries in the Arab World, women face significant obstacles to obtaining higher education and entering the workforce. We propose an e-Scholarships for Women Initiative to mitigate access, equality, and labor participation challenges.

Our Leadership

Wes Schwalje

Chief Operating Officer
Serves public, social sector, and private clients on a range of issues concerning education and skills formation systems and economic development.

Wes Schwalje is a business and international development strategist with experience in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, including the Arab World, Former Soviet Union, and all of the BRIC countries. He is frequently retained by C-level executives, heads of state, global business leaders, and government officials to provide counsel on organizational strategy and then focus entities on making strategies a reality. His work spans some of the most challenging global development and business issues, involving key areas of policy, strategy, and the implementation of change.

He was a key member of the startup team of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation where he developed strategies for the foundation’s interventions in education and research and development. His research focuses on the impact of workforce skills gaps on knowledge-based economic development and company performance in the Arab World. He is a noted authority on sustainable national systems of skill formation that facilitate economic development and competitiveness and is a frequent speaker at global policy summits, academic conferences, and professional meetings. He is also the author of several articles on education and workforce development policy in the Arab World.