Mr. Mark McCollum is President and Chief Executive Officer for Weatherford International plc. Weatherford is one of the largest multinational oilfield service companies providing innovative solutions, technology and services to the oil and gas industry. The Company operates in over 80 countries and has a network of approximately 610 locations, including manufacturing, service, research and development, and training facilities and employs approximately 26,000 people.
Prior to joining Weatherford, Mr. McCollum served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Halliburton. Mr. McCollum also served as senior vice president and chief accounting officer for Halliburton from 2003 to 2007.
Prior to joining Halliburton, Mr. McCollum served in various senior executive positions for Tenneco from 1995 through 2003. Before joining Tenneco, Mr. McCollum spent 14 years with Arthur Andersen LLP and served as an audit and business advisory partner of the firm’s worldwide partnership from 1991 through 1994. He earned a BBA in 1980 from Baylor University.
Mr. McCollum serves on the board of directors for Westlake Chemical Corporation. He is a member of the Board of Regents of Baylor University and he also serves on the board of trustees for Baylor College of Medicine and the advisory board of Every Village.
Khaled A. Mahdi is the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD) and is the Program Director of the Country Plan Action Program of UNDP in Kuwait. He serves several high-level government boards, committees, such as the Public Authority for Industries, the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Researches, the Public Housing Welfare Authority, the National SME Fund, the Economic, Fiscal Reform (Estidama) Committee, the Kuwait Master Plan 2040, and heads the National Committee for the Implementation of the UN Agenda 2030. Currently, he resides as a board member in Enayah Hospital Management Company responsible in privatizing the operation of Jaber Hospital. Since he assumed his current post, Khaled established proudly the Kuwait Public Policy Center (KPPC) with a nudge unit (KPAL) and the National Knowledge Economy Center (NKEC) and initiated the New Kuwait outreach public campaign, Kuwait Sustainable Development Award (KSDA) and Kuwait Distinguished Women Award (KDWA). He received the “People First” Leader GCC HR Award in (2018).
He served as an Advisor for the Kuwait University strategic office (2005) and for the Minister of Planning and Development Affairs office (2013). He sits on the AUK’s College of Business Administration and Economics Advisory board (2016) and The Conference Board executive board (2018)
In the private sector, during the period (2009 – 2013), Khaled chairs the region’s first construction waste recycle plant (BOT project with the Government of Kuwait) and cofound a consultancy services firm besides sitting on several boards of local and regional industrial corporations.
In academia and for consecutive 15 years, Khaled was an Associate Professor in the College of Engineering and Petroleum at Kuwait University where he taught 30 different engineering and management courses, received the best teaching award, co-authored more than 65 publications (Journals, Conferences, Chapters, Technical reports and others). He professionally trained more than 1300 professionals in engineering and management fields. He received the Best Teaching Award in Kuwait University (2009)
Khaled is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds a Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in Chemical Engineering. He is a Certified Consultant Engineer (CEng), a Project Management Professional (PMP) and PRINCE2, a certified GCC Commercial Arbitrator, and is a member in several international professional organizations.
Sara Akbar has over 35 years of expierence in the oil and gas industry and is currently the Chairperson and CEO of OiLSERV, Kuwait; part of the OiLSERV Group, an indigenous oilfield services company operating in the MENA region. Furthermore, Sara serves as a Non-Executive Director of Petrofac [since January 2018].
In addition to her roles in the oil and gas industry, Sara is also a member of the Kuwait Supreme Council for Planning and Development and also an active member of the Board of Trustees of Kuwait’s Silk Territory project. In both capacities, Sara works closely with the Kuwaiti Cabinet of Ministers to set the road map for Kuwait’s strategy and the execution of its 2035 vision.
Furthermore, Sara has been the Chairperson of Advisory Board to the American University of Kuwait [AUK] College of Business & Economics [CBE] since 2016.
In the past, Sara served as Director on various Kuwaiti companies and industry Societies including the Society of Petroleum Engineers [ SPE], Kuwait Society of Engineers [ KSE], Kuwait Gulf Oil Company [ KGOC] and Kuwait Drilling Company [ KDC]
Sara held various senior positions at both government and private oil and gas entities. She started her career in 1981 working for Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and then at Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) where her roles included the Head of the Planning unit and the Manager of New Business Development.
In 2005, Sara co-founded Kuwait Energy, the first MENA-based private independent oil & gas exploration & production company. Up until December 2017, she served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Deputy Chairman.
Sara received many acclaims for her key role in Kuwait’s Wild Well Killers fire-fighting team which was responsible for extinguishing Kuwait’s oil well fires post the Iraqi invasion in 1991. The heroic act earned Sara the designation of ‘Firefighter’ and a ‘Global 500 Award’ presented by the United Nation’s Environmental Program. She was also awarded the prestigious ‘Leader in Energy’ award at the Women in Leadership Awards & Forum in 2009 recognising her as the first and only woman leader in the Oil and Gas industry in the Middle East. In 2013, she received the AIME Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal. Sara was named among the top 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen of 2017 by Forbes Middle East. In September 2018 , she received the Hall of Fame award recognizing her as pioneer in Oil and Gas industry.
Sara received her Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from Kuwait University and has amassed, throughout the years, a wealth of knowledge and experience
Michael Townshend has been with BP for 39 years in roles covering wells, project management, operations, planning, and mergers & acquisitions. Posts have ranged from projects and operations in the Middle East, Caucasus, Turkey, Russia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Australia, UK and the USA.
In 2002 he was CEO of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and managed BP’s onshore business in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. From 2007 he started up BPs operations in Oman, and Iraq, served on the Board of TNK-BP and became President of BP Russia. In 2014 he was appointed BP Regional President for the Middle East.
Michael Townshend holds an honours degree in Engineering and an MBA with distinction.