Peter J. Wells

Chief, Higher Education, UNESCO, France

Since 2016, Peter has lead UNESCO’s priority area of quality higher education with an emphasis on widening access, quality assurance and academic mobility, the latter reinforced by the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education adopted in 2019. Dr. Wells’ current priority is UNESCO’s 3rd World Conference on Higher Education which will take place in Barcelona in May 2022 – a key landmark event which takes place once every 10 years and which will set the roadmap agenda for higher education for HE and the 2030 SDG Agenda. He also co-leads on the UNESCO Qualifications Passport for Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants initiative that aims to support access to learning and employment opportunities for displaced persons. Prior to taking up his current post, Peter was a Higher Education Specialist and Director of the UNESCO’s European Centre for Higher Education for ten years. He is the author of strategy papers and monographs on the topic of higher education reforms, quality assurance, and inclusion in national HE systems. Originally from the UK, Peter has taught at the HE and TVET levels in the USA, Poland, the UAE and Romania. He holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and a PhD in Quality Enhancement of Higher Education Systems.


Patrick Paul Walsh

Vice President of Education, The Sustainable Development Solutions Network Director of the SDG Academy, Dublin, Ireland

Patrick Paul Walsh is the Vice President of Education at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and is the Director of the SDG Academy. He is on secondment from University College Dublin where is a Full Professor of International Development Studies and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies in UCD, Dublin. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has held academic positions in Trinity College Dublin, K.U. Leuven, Harvard University and Columbia University. He has also held positions in the United Nations, European Commission, IMF and World Bank. His current focus is on Sustainable Development Education that is informed by Science, Practice and Policy.

Prof. Barney Glover AO

Vice-Chancellor and President, Western Sydney University, Australia

Professor Barney Glover is the Vice-Chancellor and President of Western Sydney University. He commenced in this role on 1 January 2014. Professor Glover is an accomplished academic leader and experienced Vice-Chancellor. Previously Vice-Chancellor at Charles Darwin University from 2009 to 2013, he has a long record of success in university management and leadership, particularly in research, intellectual property management and major capital development projects. Professor Glover also has significant business leadership credentials through having served on the boards of a range of corporate organisations and several state and national centres covering areas such as health and medical research, energy, mineral exploration and processing and telecommunications.

Prof. Ghassan Aouad

President, Applied Science University, Bahrain President, Applied Science University, Bahrain

Professor Ghassan Aouad has been the President of Applied Science University since November 2014. He spent five years in the Department of Civil and Building Engineering of Loughborough University, where he obtained his MSc in Construction (1987) and his PhD entitled Integrated Planning Systems for the Construction Industry (1991). In 1992, Professor Aouad joined the University of Salford as a Research Fellow and progressed through to the role of Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation and Dean of the College of Science & Technology before he left in December 2011. During that time, he successfully supervised 24 PhD students, externally examined 52 PhD students, authored 3 major research books and co-authored one book, generated more than £10M in research funding as Principal Investigator and £8M as Co-Investigator, published 92 papers in top rated refereed journals, delivered more than 50 keynote speeches and invited lectures, and presented his work in more than 42 countries. In January 2012, he became President of the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) and in May 2013, he became Vice President for Academic Affairs at Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST) based in Kuwait. Furthermore, Prof Aouad was appointed as Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in March 2010 and became President in June 2014 for a year. In July 2016, Professor Aouad received an Honorary Doctorate of Technology from Loughborough University in the UK.

Dr. Narimane Hadj Hamou

Founder & CEO, CLICKS, UAE Founder & CEO, CLICKS, UAE Founder & CEO, CLICKS, UAE

Dr. Hadj-Hamou is the Founder and the CEO of the Center of Learning Innovations & Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLICKS) ; in her capacity as a CEO she both leads the center and is involved in large scale consulting and training projects with universities from more than 11 countries. Prior to that she was the Provost of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University in Dubai, UAE where she has established and led the academic, research and eLearning vision of the first online University to be recognized and accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the UAE. She has assumed a number of leadership roles and served as a senior advisor and consultant to numerous HEIs and organizations including UNESCO. Drawing on over 20 years of experience Dr. Hadj-Hamou expertise and professional background span areas such as technology integration and e-learning in higher education; teaching and learning, quality assurance and accreditation and governance. She has been the driving force in the promotion of online education and blended learning in the Region since 2004 and led a number of pioneering projects and initiatives such as the Middle East e-learning Association (MEeA), the MENA Association of University Presidents and the MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum which she still chairs. Over the years she has delivered more than 250 keynote addresses and workshops and has been active in publishing articles, book chapters and case studies. In addition, she acts as an external reviewer for many accreditation agencies within the region and beyond. Dr. Hadj-Hamou was listed among the 200 most influential Arab Women by Forbes Magazine in 2014; have received the Arab Women Award for Education and the Influential Education Leaders Award at the University of Cambridge, UK.