• Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie
  • Dr Maher Hakim
  • Dr Erik J Stenehjem
  • Dr Nabeel Al-Salem
  • Dr Dirar Khoury
  • Dr Frans Van Den Boom
  • Mr Abdulla Y. Al Mulla

Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie
Executive Director
Qatar National Research Fund


Dr.AbdulSattarDr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie holds a PhD, MSc, and BSc (Honors) in Chemical Engineering, in addition to a DIC and ACGI, from Imperial College London.

Prior to his work at QNRF, Dr Al-Taie held key positions in Iraq with the Ministry of Oil, the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, and the National Committee for Technology Transfer. He was also a key player in a number of strategic projects and science and technology initiatives in Iraq, has taught at a number of Iraqi universities and supervised six PhD and MSc students, and has published more than 40 scientific papers and authored over 50 technical reports.

Over his 37-year career, Dr Al-Taie has accumulated diverse experience in the planning, design and development of chemical plants. He has headed research work in a number of fields, including chemical reaction engineering, environment, water treatment and alternatives refrigerants. He was also involved in the development of the Science and Technology Strategy for the Republic of Iraq, as well as the management of a number of mega research projects.

Dr Al-Taie has received numerous awards and decorations throughout his career, including the Jabir Bin Hayyan Medal from the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, the Reconstruction Medal from the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, and the prestigious Science Medal of the Republic of Iraq from the Iraqi Presidency Office.


Dr Maher Hakim
Managing Director
Qatar Science & Technology Park


Dr Maher Hakim is a sought-out expert and educator in technology innovation and entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship financing, venture capital, and M&A in the tech industry.

He has about 20 years of experience as a high-tech entrepreneur and a corporate executive in the information technology industry. Between 1994 and 2012, he lived in Silicon Valley, US, founding five technology startup companies and serving in various management and leadership roles at large software companies such as Infor and Autodesk. He was involved in many M&A tech transactions on both sides, and participated in taking one company public on the Nasdaq stock market.

Since moving to Qatar, Dr Hakim has worked as an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, and served as head of the AlFaisal-Carnegie Mellon Innovation Entrepreneurship Centre. He also serves on the Council of the European Innovation Academy - a nonprofit educational institution recognized globally for excellence in tech entrepreneurship education.

In addition to teaching, Dr Hakim is a board member, advisor and a mentor to several tech startup companies and an active angel investor, and he frequently writes blog posts on innovation and entrepreneurship. He holds a PhD in Computer-Aided Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BS in Civil Engineering from Damascus University.


Dr Erik J. Stenehjem
Executive Director
Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer


Dr Erik Stenehjem was appointed to take on the responsibility for establishing an intellectual property (IP) and technology transfer office that serves research and development entities working under the umbrella of Qatar Foundation. He is responsible for building the infrastructure and capacity to identify and protect new inventions arising from supported research, and to help transform them into innovations through commercialization for the benefit of Qatar, the region and the global community.

Previously, Dr Stenehjem was Director of Industrial Partnerships at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US, where he was tasked with significantly improving the translation speed at which new inventions were transformed into market-ready innovations - accelerating IP capture and commercialization and taking the organization in a new direction by implementing new strategies to ‘pull’ IP to market. During his six years in his position, he achieved a 78 percent increase in the Laboratory’s IP revenues.

Among the strategies Dr Stenehjem employed was an entrepreneur-in-readiness program, allowing Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to try out new inventions on markets and redesign prototypes to make them more appealing before launching their new business. He also offered IP to major corporate bidders in IP auctions, and persuaded a major financial services firm to take IP on consignment to be able to offer their clients an entirely new service.


Dr Nabeel Al-Salem
Executive Director
Outreach and Communication


Dr Nabeel Al-Salem is responsible for Qatar Foundation Research and Development’s overall outreach and communications strategy, designed to promote the scientific endeavors of Qatar’s research community and contribute towards the enrichment of the nation’s research culture through generating awareness and interest in science and research.

He has held a number of senior positions within Qatar Foundation, including Deputy Executive Director of Qatar National Research Fund. He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University, US, and as the Dean of Qatar University's College of Engineering, he presided over the successful completion of the ABET International Accreditation of the College's four engineering programs in 2005, one of many notable achievements during a 12-year career at the university.


Dr Dirar Khoury
Executive Director
Research Coordination and Special Initiatives


Dr Dirar Khoury manages interdisciplinary and enterprise-wide activities among research and development. In particular, he is responsible for the upkeep of the Qatar National Research Strategy and, under its framework, he fosters science diplomacy both locally and internationally. He also sees that leading-edge strategic R&D initiatives are realized in coordination with the stakeholders.

Dr Khoury was educated in the field of biomedical engineering and held academic positions in medicine and electrical and computer engineering in the US. His numerous contributions include published patents, peer-reviewed manuscripts, and presentations at many international conferences. He has received several awards and research grants from various organizations, including the Lyndon B. Johnson Research Award from the American Heart Association.


Dr Frans Van Den Boom
Executive Director
Policy Planning and Evaluation


Dr Frans Van Den Boom is responsible for an office that directly supports the leadership of Qatar Foundation Research and Development in the vital functions of strategic planning, policy analysis and development, portfolio analysis, monitoring and evaluation, in order to support decision-making and responsible stewardship of Qatar’s significant investments in research, development and innovation.

Previously, Dr Van den Boom held positions with a.o. the Dutch Top Sector Life Sciences and Health (Executive Director and Secretary General), the National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (President and CEO), and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (Vice President and Executive Director Europe).

He has more than 25 years of leadership and management experience in international, multilingual, and cross-cultural organizations, ranging from startups to mature organizations, as well as long-term experience in research, analysis and evaluation, project and program management.


Abdulla Y. Al Mulla
Executive Director


Abdulla Y. Al Mulla is a Business graduate from the University of Arizona who has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of operations, public relations, event management, HR, and administration. He has developed strategies to improve administration and HR policy, organizational structures, cost efficiency, and cross-departmental communication, with his public relations skills achieving recognition for institutions.

In his current position, he is responsible for overseeing HR, procurement, finance, administration, facilities management and HSSE (Health, Safety, Security, and Environment), managing an experienced team of professionals in coordination with other Qatar Foundation directorates. He has excellent international relations and has represented Qatar at various local and international events, as events director.

He represents Qatar as the Director of Protocol with Olympic Council of Asia and has served as Protocol Chief with ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees). He also worked with United Nations as a peacemaker between countries.