American University of Beirut

Organizing Committee Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference @AUB

​​​​​​Steering Committee:

  • Lama Moussawi

    WiDS @AUB Conference Chair, WiDS @AUB Ambassador​, Associate Professor of Management Science, Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

Dr. Lama Moussawi is an Associate Professor at the American University of Beirut, conducting research and teaching in the field of Management Science. Dr. Moussawi graduated with a BS in Computer Science from the American University of Beirut, and has an MBA, Master in Supply Chain Management, and a PhD degree in Management Science from the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Moussawi is actively involved in promoting and supporting women in the field of Data Science. She is the founder and Chair of the Women in Data Science conference at AUB, and the founding chair of the AUB Committee on the Lives and Careers of Women at AUB. She is also a co-PI of a $1.5 million funded research project to develop an index on the status of women in the formal economies in the Arab MENA region. She is actively engaged in issues related to women in operations research at the WORMS (Women in Operations Research and Management Science) meetings at the annual international INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and Management Science) conference, as well as the WIEA (Women in Industrial Engineering US-Turkey) workshops. Furthermore, Dr. Moussawi played a key role in developing a Master program in Business Analytics in the Olayan School of Business at AUB. Dr. Moussawi is thrilled to be a WiDS Ambassador, and to host the WiDS conference for the third time at AUB and sees it as a great opportunity to inspire young girls to join the field by showcasing global female leaders in Data Science, and educate the community of students, faculty, and business practitioners about the latest developments in the field.

  • Hoda Daou
    Assistant Professor, Suliman. S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

Hoda is an Assistant Professor in Data Science and Business Analytics at the Olayan School of Business, AUB. She is a Woman in Data Science (WiDS) Ambassador,  co-chairing the Women in Data Science conference at AUB. She is a keynote speaker, participating in regional and international conferences, promoting research and applications in data science and fostering inclusivity in the field. She is a member of the advisory board of McGill University Continuing Education, where she worked on developing the proposal for the data science certificate. Before joining AUB, Hoda worked as a data scientist in a corporate R&D setting in Montreal, Canada, where she was part of a very diverse team of data scientists, working on workforce and sales analytics for giant retailers in North America. Hoda holds a PhD in Computer and Electrical Engineering from McGill University, Canada. During her doctoral studies, her research work focused on the area of healthcare, where she worked on analyzing biomedical signals and developing compression techniques targeting EEG signals of patients suffering from epileptic seizures.  The work she has done in both academic and corporate paths focused on multiple disciplines such as information theory, signal processing and big data. With a strong passion for data science, she wishes to transfer this through her teaching at AUB, her research work, and her involvement in the community.

  • Rasha Bohsali
    Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives, Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut
Rasha currently holds the position of Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives at the Olayan School of Business at AUB. She assists the dean in coordinating all financial, human capital, information technology and operational analysis, planning, and forecasting associated with OSB’s daily operations and strategy. She also provides oversight in the follow-up, implementation, and evaluation of strategic initiatives and special projects at OSB. In her previous role as Executive MBA Officer, Rasha spearheaded key projects such as digitizing the EMBA program, re-inventing administrative and operational processes by simplification, shifting the customer service culture and further streamlining the program. Prior to joining OSB, when she returned to Lebanon, Rasha counted several years of experience as a project manager for international construction companies operating in Europe, North America and the Middle East. Rasha was responsible, among other things, for managing large real estate development projects from concept to completion, effectively handling personnel, resources, and budgets, and realizing each project’s intended goals and objectives. She boasts a proven track record in operations, business development, strategy, and organizational leadership. Rasha obtained her undergraduate and graduate education at McGill University in Canada and is PMP Certified from the Project Management Institute. More recently, Rasha has enrolled in the Executive MBA program at AUB and is a candidate of the 2020 class.

  • Fida Kanaan Kharrat    
    Director of Executive Education, Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

Fida Kanaan works closely with partnering organizations to create high-impact, innovative, learning experiences. As such she devises executive education programs for the partnering organizations to develop organizational talent to drive strategy and accelerate business outcomes. Fida is involved in all stages of the AUB OSB Executive Education programs from program inception to overseeing the implementation and post-program activities. Kanaan has worked with numerous clients in the region including Hikma, AlFardan, Bank Audi, Coca-Cola, Janssen, Aramex and NBK. In addition, Fida works with SMBs targeting the scalability challenge of startups. As such she led the Citi Foundation Women Entrepreneurship Program and Family Business Programs. Most recently, Fida led the Growth Readiness Program focusing on scaling-up high-impact entrepreneurial ventures through a highly tailored program to the participating SMBs in preparation of their second round of financing. Prior to joining AUB, Fida took on different managerial positions for leading global and regional organizations. She was the marketing manager for the east coast at HDR; a 7,000-employee, US-based A/E company (ranked in the top 20 worldwide). She also held the position of a project manager for multiple technology organizations managing multimedia and large portal projects. Fida holds an MBA with an emphasis on Management Information Systems from George Washington University and a BS in Computer Science from the American University of Beirut.

Organizing Com​mittee:

  • Fatima Abu Salem
    Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, American University of Beirut

Dr. Abu Salem holds a DPhil in Computing from the University of Oxford. She is Associate Professor at the computer science department and is currently pursuing work in reference to data science and big data processing for the public good, most notably, in detecting fake news around the Syrian conflict, predicting demand on primary health care centers in Lebanon, and analyzing the resilience of the Lebanese power grid in the face of attacks or failures. Her main research interests are interdisciplinary, focusing on parallel and cache efficient algorithm engineering with applications in Computer Algebra, and is currently pursuing work in reference to big data distributed processing using Apache Spark. She has served on a number of professional positions related to Supercomputing, such as secretary of SIAM's activity group on Super computing, as well as on the committees of related conferences. She is also associate editor for Elsevier's Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing. 

  • ​Marriette Awad
    Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, American University of Beirut

Mariette Awad is an associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the American University of Beirut. She received her PhD in electrical engineering in 2007 and she has been a visiting professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Intel Mobile Group, and MIT. Dr. Awad was invited by CVC labs, Google and Qualcomm to present her work on machine learning and image processing. She has published the book “Efficient Machine Learning" in 2015, and has taken part in numerous conferences and as well as managing several grants. She is an active member in IEEE and reviewer for IEEE transactions

  • Dr. Mona Zough​aib
    CO-Founder and General Manager of WE GROW MINDS
    President of Outreach Committee – IT Syndicate, Lebanon 
    President of Marketing and PR committee – Lebanese Association of Information Systems (LAIS) 
    Former Vice President of Marketing – PMI Lebanon Chapter 
    Senior Lecturer, American University of Beirut

Dr. Mona Zoughaib is currently the Founder and General Manager of WE GROW MINDS – a training and consultancy firm established in 2018. Her last employment position was Head of PMO at Middle East Airlines for around four years ended in August 31, 2018. Before joining the aviation industry, Mona was a banker for more than 19 years at Arab Bank, Fransabank, and Byblos Bank holding several senior positions in the domains of IT Development, Project Management, Information System Implementation, Analytics, Business Intelligence Reporting, Process Reengineering, and the application of international project management standards. In addition to her long years of professional experience, Dr. Zoughaib has an overall teaching experience of 10 years and is currently part-time senior lecturer at AUB since more than 6 years teaching MIS, HR Analytics, and Project management for BA and MBA programs. Mona participated in so many events as a speaker and panelist among which are the CIO Lebanon event with Oracle representatives, Dubai International Project Management Forum, and Berlin Leadership Institute Meeting (LIM berlin) as an inspirational speaker among other PMI monthly talks events. She took several awards for being an organizing member of the annual conferences WIDS and CAM held by AUB, CIO Lebanon, and PMI national day, not to mention her wide mentoring and coaching experiences with NGOs executives (Rotaract, Makesense) to grow their project management skills. Mona is currently the President of the Outreach committee for the IT Syndicate. She is as well the president of the communication and PR committee for the Lebanese Association of Information Systems (LAIS). She is a former Vice President / Marketing Board Member of Project Management Institute (PMI) – Lebanon Chapter for more than 5 years. Dr. Zoughaib has a Computer Science (1993) and MBA degree from LAU (2005) and PhD in Management Science from Paris Descartes – Paris V (2009) and is PMP certified.

  • ​Leila Khauli                                                                                                                                Lecturer in Marketing, Suliman S. Olayan School Of Business, American University Of Beirut

Leila Khauli has been a full time Lecturer of Marketing at the Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut since the year 2000. Khauli has taught courses at the Undergraduate, Graduate, and Executive level in the fields of Marketing and Economics.  She has introduced and coordinated several highly specialized courses at the school and was nominated three times for the teaching excellence award at AUB. Her research interest lies in how brands are adopting digital strategies in the region and the Creative industries in Lebanon. Khauli is also a Communication Consultant and has worked with leading local and regional brands in the food and beverage, FMCG, and banking sectors, focusing on developing and implementing Brand Communication strategies both offline and Online. Ms. Khauli assists organizations in creating and managing their digital presence. She is a facilitator of learning and has conducted workshops on digital branding in Lebanon and the MENA region. Khauli holds a Masters of Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing and Econometrics from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. 

  • ​Lina Daouk-Öyry, PhD                                                                                                                      Asst. Professor in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management                                                                                                                                      Director of Evidence-based Healthcare Management Unit (EHMU)| AUB OSB                       Beirut, Lebanon                                                                                      

Lina Daouk-Öyry is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the Olayan School of Business (OSB) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), specializing in employee assessment, development, and retention particularly in the healthcare sector. Lina is interested in exploring personality, competencies, and other individual differences among healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, and hospital middle managers) and how they influence job related variables relevant to today's business context. Lina is also the Founding Director of the Evidence-based Healthcare Management Unit (EHMU), a cross-disciplinary unit based at AUBMC, which promotes the use of data and evidence for improving decision-making and consequently employee experience and service delivery in hospital settings. 

  • Sara Abdul Samad                                                                                                                      Director of Data Services at Boursa Kuwait Securities Company                                            Kuwait City, Kuwait   

Sara is currently the Director of Data Services at Boursa Kuwait Securities Company. Prior to joining Boursa Kuwait, Sara headed the Research Department at an investment company where she was responsible for conducting analysis of the international financial markets including FOREX, Indices and commodities, producing daily market reports based on fundamental and technical analysis including forecasts and recommendations, and conducting trainings and presentations on the financial market. She was also in charge of writing a weekly full-page market analysis in an economic newspaper for around two years. Sara is a CFAÒ Charterholder. She is a holder of a BS in Business Administration and is enrolled in the Executive MBA Program (2020 Class) at the American University of Beirut.  ​

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