I reject stereotypical thinking. Perhaps because I don’t myself fit the mould – as a woman in the male domain of mechanical engineering, as an engineer working among business founders and business leaders, as a Muslim consultant and a government coach.
But actually the main reason why I reject stereotypical thinking is that it doesn’t take me forward. This is exactly what my work is about – making progress while providing coaching and leadership coaching as a company founder, a managing director, a board chairman, a politician and as the general secretary of a think tank, and then also as an author and a guest speaker. It is not that progress is simply the only alternative to going backwards – for me it also stands for dynamism, the zest for life, and success.
You can read a lot about my roles and duties and also my work priorities and my expertise on my homepage. Perhaps you would also like to know what makes me tick above and beyond those things. The first thing I would mention would be my intercultural background. I was born in Tunisia, studied in Germany, obtained my doctorate in Great Britain and have worked in Austria, the USA and South Africa. The fact that I have lived in and had a plethora of experiences in a variety of cultures has shaped me. It has taught me flexibility and has meant that I needed both to learn to let go of my black-and-white way of thinking, and to understand that there are many ways of reaching your goal. Above and beyond that, I love my family, yoga, meditation and dancing; I also love my ‘nomadic’ way of life.
When I look back on what I have experienced to date, the highs and the lows, I can say in summary that I am much more vulnerable than I thought, but also much stronger and resilient than I thought. Doubt prompts me to question my point of view and my orientation; this enables me either to correct my point of view and orientation or to pursue these with increased motivation. Stagnation is not an option for me, either in my working life or in my private life. My goal is clearly defined: forwards!
Important career and academic stages:
Since September 2015
Secretary General of Maghreb Economic Forum (MEF Think Tank)
January 2014 – February 2015
Minister of Tourism for transitional Tunisian government, Tunis
- Successfully realized attainment of safe, credible election process and transfer of government to the new regime
- Increased tourism revenues by 11% (dinar) and 6.4% (€) from four of the main European markets
- Led development and commencement of a three digit M€ seven-year strategy to increase service, quality, diversification, operational restructuring, branding and awareness initiatives
- Provided 13 hours of testimony that resulted in a securing vote to allow visitors of all religions and nations
- Created and deployed effective pioneering digital media publicity and marketing campaign for the government on very limited budget; recognized by World Tourism Market as creative; shared globally as a success.
- Instrumental in the development of both senior government and tourism leadership teams challenged to spearhead transformation. Oversaw efforts of 1.5K direct reports.
July 2007 – January 2014
Change, Leadership & Partners, London, Cologne & Tunis
- Founder and CEO
- Founded and operated global executive leadership, coaching and change management consultancy firm
- Acquired and retained key clients from DAX300, Fortune 500 and private organizations. Built and led project teams through goal setting; coached and supervised performance. Simultaneously provided corporate education as a visiting professor at several leading business universities.
- Led from start-up to profitable, seven-digit revenue generating enterprise with more than 200 internal/external consultants.
- Facilitated resolution or execution of restructuring, new strategy introductions, global challenges; design, implementation and evaluation of interventions during and post-major transformations for industry-leading organizations such as Deutsche Telekom, Daimler, Roche, DuPont, Lufthansa, SAP, Villeroy & Boch and Doctors without Borders.
- Educated leaders and consultants on the field of international leadership, communities of practice, change management and strategy implementation. Designed and delivered programs for organizations such as Bosch, Ergo, Plansee, Stryker, OMV, KWS, Microsoft, UNHCR and World Food Program.
- Conducted workshops throughout six continents—Europe, North & South America, Middle East/Asia, Australia, and Africa.
June 2006 – January 2014
Visiting Professor, Orchestrator & Executive Coach, Duke Corporate Education in the UK, USA, India & South Africa
- Collaborated with CEOs and top leaders around the world by offering new insights to problems; using innovative, engaging learning methods.
- Equipped leaders to raise their games and have increased impact on their organizations’ performance.
- Contributed to achievement and retention of #1 rank in the world in Custom Executive Education for 11 consecutive years by Financial Times and BusinessWeek, 2003–2013.
August 2002 – June 2007
Managing Partner, Consultant, Beratungsgruppe Neuwaldegg GmbH in Vienna, Austria
- Commenced as a consultant; ultimately became one of nine managing partners of think tank dedicated to technological, sociological and systemic change through organizational and leadership development. Established and maintained key account relationships across Europe with mid-large sized companies. Project-managed change management initiatives. Held rotational, cross-functional, back-office line management responsibilities for the group.
- Acquired and managed two largest strategy implementation and change projects/clients in the history of the group.
- Generated among highest revenues in the group; as one of 100+ full-time employees and external consultants.
October 2001 – March 2002
Strategy Consultant, The Boston Consulting Group, in Düsseldorf & Cologne, Germany
- Provided analysis, ideation and implementation support for service innovations undertaken by German-American industry client.
- Analysed industry trends and completed competitive benchmark study to increase the profitability of an insurance company.
November 1996 – September 2001
Manager Knowledge Transfer – Daimler Chrysler AG in Stuttgart, South Africa & USA
- Enhanced knowledge transfer and best practices sharing between Daimler and Chrysler executives through four direct reports and 40 indirect reports.
- Enabled analysis and definition of core business areas—research and development, mergers & acquisitions, purchasing, etc. and linked them with corporation’s strategic needs.
- Built relationships with executives from both organizations and brought them together in networking, learning and working sessions.
- Fostered and increased community of knowledge management agents throughout the organization; facilitated and led community.
- Became an invaluable sparring partner for business unit heads and advisor on how to elevate knowledge transfer and learning within their units and from other global units.
January 1998 – January 2000
Project Leader Innovation Management, Mercedes Benz global procurement and supply
- Led development of the new partnership between Mercedes Benz and suppliers to improve collaboration and co-creation amongst resistance, fear and doubts.
- Orchestrated cross-organizational teams to identify five, major emerging trends in the automobile industry; create new ideas to meet consumer demands and needs; then collectively developed and patented intellectual property for five auto industry technological advances.
November 1996 – December 1997
International Management Associate Program, Daimler in Stuttgart (Germany), East London (South Africa), Tuscaloosa (USA)
- As a junior consultant in a training program; worked independently with five business leaders to support goal achievement. One of ~80 trainees accepted into prestigious program from >18K applicants.
- Undertook a wide variety of projects and learned from broad range of experiences on multiple continents, including the organization of a supplier event for the launch of M-Class in USA and testing of an engine in Germany.
- Resolved a logistics and communication issue in South Africa; realized $7M return on $15K investment.
- Earned five job offers following the training program by developing strong relationships with decision makers and gaining reputation as a valuable contributor.
Since April 2016
Member of Advisory Board at Global Business Coalition for Education (GBCE)
Since January 2016
Commissioner of the UN-International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunities (The Eductaion Commission)
Since September 2015
Founder and Member of Advisory Board at Change, Leadership & Partners (CLP)
Member of Advisory Board of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne
Member of the Global Diplomacy Lab
Ambassador BrandAfrica, an intergenerational movement to create a positive image of Africa, celebrate its diversity and drive its competitiveness. Inspiring a Great Africa!
Member of the “responsible leader” at the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt
June 2013 – January 2014
Ambassador and catalyst leader of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, Berlin & London
Visiting professor at Duke Corporate Education, ZfU International Business School, University Frankfurt, MCI
2000 – 2001
University of Southern California, Virtual Networks Research Project
Doctorate (DCM) in coaching and mentoring at University of Oxford Brookes, UK
September 2001 – October 2006
Coaching education at the Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, USA, Education as systemic consultant and coach at the IFW Institute, Munich; Education as trainer for organization simulation Celemi, “the power of learning”, Sweden
October 1992 – October 1996
Master’s degree Mechanical Engineering at University of Karlsruhe Summa cum laude, award as best in class, Scholarship for intellectually gifted students (DAAD and Tunisian Government)
October 1991 – July 1992
PNDS Intensive German language course, University of Heidelberg, DAAD scholarship
Here you can download my profile as PDF in both English and German.