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Mr. William D. Hurt

Chief Operating Officer

A seasoned operational strategist with more than 10 years of Middle East experience, Mr. William D. Hurt oversees all business operations and development for AUBH. Beginning his career with a respected management consultancy firm in the U.S., he executed projects for clients in a variety of sectors including education, defense, and pharmaceuticals. During this consultancy role, he focused on solving complex financial challenges in a variety of transactional and operational contexts, often focused on M&A, product development, and strategic procurement.

Prior to his role with AUBH, Mr. Hurt served as a founding team member and later as Managing Director of Middle East Operations for U.S.-based Laureate Education Inc., where he developed market entry strategies and built 11 higher education institutions through private-public partnerships from the ground up. A hands-on leader, he oversaw initial business model creation and operational design across all functions, helping to grow the business to employ more than 500 people dedicated to delivering high-quality educational outcomes.

Mr. Hurt holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce with concentrations in Finance and IT from the University of Virginia, United States. He was the proud recipient of the Schade family scholarship for Scholastic Merit during his studies, and spent a semester in the United Kingdom, gaining an international business perspective at the University of Bath School of Management.

Dr. Jacob Ng

Vice President of Enrollment Management and Global Affairs

Dr. NK Jacob Ng serves as the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Global Affairs at American University of Bahrain (AUBH). He brings over 35 years of leadership in higher education, primarily in the USA. For the past 30 years, Dr. Ng’s commitment to promoting equal access to higher education in the US has positioned him as a trailblazer in global education. Renowned for his innovative approach as a global strategist in higher education, he employs creativity in enrollment management and strategy to increase enrollment for local and international students.

Dr. Ng firmly believes that global education fosters international understanding and contributes to world peace. In 2012, Oakland Mayor proclaimed May 17th as “Dr. Jacob Ng Day” for his contribution to the financial health of Peralta District and the city of Oakland through international education program.  For more than two decades, he served as the PDSO and RO, closely collaborating with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.

Having taught doctoral students at the Defense Institute in Monterey, California, in Strategic Leadership for over 6 years, he also played a crucial role in designing and instructing strategic leadership courses for master’s degree students at SUU for over 3 years. He was the founder of the Early College program at SUU. His extensive career includes serving as Vice Chancellor for the Peralta Colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area, coupled with a tenured faculty position in counseling and psychology in the state of California.

Dr. Ng holds a B.S. degree in Psychology with Summa Cum Laude honor from Evangel University in Missouri. His background includes advanced degree and professional training in Clinical Psychology from Cal Luth University at UCLA research and Mental Health Clinician at St. Mary’s Hospital in SF.  He earned his doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership from Oregon State University, USA.

Dr. Hanan Naser

Interm Associate Provost

Dr. Hanan Naser brings over 20 years of expertise in academia and industry to her role as Associate Professor of Business and Economics and interim Associate Provost at the American University of Bahrain (AUBH).

Throughout her career, Dr. Naser has held various leadership positions, demonstrating her collaborative and effective leadership skills. Prior to joining AUBH, she worked as an Assistant Professor of Business and Economics, local Dean (acting), lecturer of business studies and economics, and graduate teaching assistant. She has also held positions such as education and training specialist reviewer and team leader, professional business studies trainer, professional math and science trainer, education programs consultant, quality controller, and field engineer.

Dr. Naser’s expertise and standing in educational administration are widely recognized. Her knowledge has been sought by several government entities to evaluate and benchmark educational and vocational review frameworks for quality purposes.

Dr. Naser boasts an impressive academic background. She completed the prestigious Study of United States Institute Scholar (SUSI) program in Economics and Business from the Institution of Training and Development Inc, Massachusetts, USA, in 2022. She earned her PhD in Economics from the University of Sheffield, UK, in 2014, where her research focused on using econometric methods to forecast economic growth, future oil prices, and the relationships between Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and energy sources. While pursuing her PhD, she served as a teaching assistant of economics at the University of Sheffield and later became a lecturer in the Department of Economics at Sheffield Hallam University.

Dr. Naser also holds a Master in Business Administration from the New York Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bahrain. This diverse academic background provides her with a unique understanding of the intersection between economics, oil resources, financial economics, and economic development, which is highly relevant to her teaching and research at AUBH.

In recognition of her academic achievements and contributions, Dr. Naser was awarded the notable Fellowship of Higher Education Academy (FEHA) by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in the UK in 2018. This was followed by a Senior Fellowship certificate (SEHA) from the same academy in 2019.

Dr. Naser is a highly skilled researcher in the field of economics. She is passionate about conducting research and excels at analyzing, evaluating, and identifying patterns in data and outcomes. She has reviewed hundreds of academic papers for various international journals, including Energy Economics, Economic Issues, Empirical Economics, and Sustain-ability. She has also actively participated in numerous international conferences, published 22 academic articles in highly respected academic journals, and supervised dozens of theses.

Dr. Naser is a founding member of the Bahrain Research Consortium (BRC), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting research initiatives in the region for academics, entrepreneurs, and SMEs.

Dr. Amal Al Awadhi

Dean of Students

A seasoned education professional with a skill for developing relationships with stakeholders of all backgrounds and ages, Dr. Amal Al Awadhi, as Dean of Students, oversees AUBH’s Admissions function and several other areas of the student experience. She brings over 14 years of expertise in education and development to AUBH, having formerly held the position of Head of the Center for Academic Studies at the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF). This role allowed her to develop an unrivaled eye for quality control, planning, and monitoring the quality of a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in partnership with international universities from the United Kingdom and the United States. A natural collaborator, she is familiar with transnational education policies and procedures, and is able to apply her knowledge to ensure AUBH meets all governance requirements of the Higher Education Council (HEC) and the Bahrain Quality Assurance Authority (BQA).

Before moving to the area of academics, Dr. Al Awadhi previously managed the Assessment & Development Center at BIBF. The position allowed her to work closely with different companies and financial institutions for recruitment and training purposes. Throughout her career, she has been continuously focused on self-development, undertaking internationally-recognized courses and training in coaching and mentoring, HR, and assessment. She is also proud to have been instrumental in managing the Crown Prince International Scholarship Candidacy Program during her time at BIBF.

Dr. Al Awadhi currently holds a Doctorate in Education from University of Bath (UK), and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from the same university, a Master of Science in Human Resources Management from DePaul University (U.S.) and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Kent (U.K.).

Dr. Wafa Al Mansoori

‪Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness

Dr. Wafa Almansoori acts as AUBH’s ‪Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness. She also serves as the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment at AUBH.

In 2007, Dr. Wafa joined the project to set a quality assurance authority in Bahrain, which was one of the initiatives of the Education Reform Project and was managed by the Bahrain Economic Development Board. She assisted in the development of the Higher Education Review System and participated in the pilot projects. She received her BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Bahrain, her Masters Degree in Microelectronic Systems and Communications from the University of Liverpool, UK, and her PhD Degree from Tufts University, USA, in Electrical Engineering.

Mrs. Shayma Abulfatih

Vice President of Finance and Administration

A strategic finance professional and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with a 15-year career in some of the most prominent institutions in the Kingdom, Mrs. Shayma Abulfatih is responsible for all financial operations and governance at AUBH. In her role as Director of Finance, she developed the University’s financial SOP’s and strategy, ensuring regulatory compliance and with a focus on liquidity and credit sources. She also oversees procurement to ensure all contracts and services provided by suppliers represent best value to the University.

Mrs. Abulfatih came to AUBH from an eight-year tenure with real-estate developer Naseej, where as Head of Finance, she structured financial models for the firm’s transactions, and arranged funding for major projects. Her broad experience includes previous roles as Head of Operations for First Investment Bank, and a member of the Operations team at Kuwait Finance House, where she also benefited from customer service exposure. During her role at FIB, she personally established a grassroots accounting system, saving not only human, but financial resources.

Mrs. Abulfatih holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Accounting from the American University of Sharjah and an Master of Business Administration from the University of DePaul. She also regularly seeks out personal development opportunities to keep her at the forefront of the industry, the most recent of which was a Strategy Execution in Financial Services course from Harvard Business School for Executive Education.

Layal Bushehri

Director of Marketing and Communications

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Mr. Ali Janahi

Director of Facilities

A qualified Mechanical Engineer, Mr. Ali Janahi, Director of Facilities Management, is responsible for providing a safe, clean, productive, and well-maintained physical environment for the University community. A role with a large scope and overseeing a dedicated team, he manages the planning and operation of a sustainable and holistic campus ecosystem to support academic excellence. He leads all University infrastructure including Security & Safety, Campus Clinic, Recycling, Landscaping, Maintenance, Energy & Water, F&B Services, Bookstore, and Sports Center. He is also key in creating strategy for ongoing expansion and innovation projects on the state-of-the-art campus, such as new laboratories and technology implementation.

Mr. Janahi brings over 20 years of operational management experience to AUBH, having owned and operated his own renowned construction company as part of a consortium, which remains operational today. He was previously General Manager of multi-faceted Bahraini business Almeer Group, where he was at the helm of a workforce of 800 in the successful management of the company’s interests in Retail, FMCG, Building Materials, Logistics, Food and Beverages, Travel & Tourism, and Training. His practical expertise were honed during his role as Technical Services Manager and Acting General Manager for one of Bahrain’s most ambitious real estate projects, Durrat Al Bahrain. He ran a 24/7 technical response team for infrastructure and utilities, as well as leading procurement, contractor management, and technical regulation for this 15-island mega-project. He has also served as a practicing Mechanical Engineer at the beginning of his career for both GPIC and EWA, responsible for daily troubleshooting activities and maintenance, in the operations of Bahrain’s petrochemicals, power plant, and desalination facilities.

Mr. Janahi holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from King Saud University in Riyadh. Throughout his career, he has traveled the world undertaking international qualifications in his field, including Best Practice Facilities Management in Dubai, Mastering Negotiation in Berlin, and Visual Programming in Saudi Arabia.

Adnan Almahmood

Director of Human Resources

With an overall of 20 years’ experience in HR and operations and most of that time (12+ years) being served in the higher education sector which has led to an in-depth knowledge of his current role. Adnan is a results-focused executive who delivers talent retention and motivation solutions to harness the full power of institution’s most valuable assets, their people. He currently overseas all human resources aspects at AUBH and is dedicated to creating a robust culture that promotes growth by empowering all employees to reach their full potential and bring their best to the job.

Throughout his career, Adnan has served in numerous human resources positions in the private and public sector. He has completed various courses in the HR & finance fields and is certified by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) from the United Kingdom. He also holds a Business diploma from the University of Bahrain and a bachelor’s degree in Business Informatics from AMA University of Bahrain.