Our Management Team

Chief Executive Officer
Haifa Dia Al- Attia

Since 2012, and as its founding CEO, Haifa Dia Al-Attia has been leading the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF), an NGO that is charged with influencing national policy and leading innovation in education towards improving the quality and state of that offering in Jordan and improving the learning outcomes of students.  QRF leads nine different independent NGOs and initiatives affiliated with Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, where QRF’s mandate focuses on coordinating and aligning their work with the needed reforms, building and supporting their institutional capacity and sustainability as well as on creating synergy amongst them.  QRF acts as a research hub and develops programmes that address the needs and gaps in educational services to Jordanians and which also respond to opportunities on the local, regional and global levels for the introduction of new initiatives, in cooperation with a host of partners and sponsors, all of whom contribute to the strengthening of QRF’s operations and its brand.

Appointed to the National Committee for Human Resource Development, set up by the Prime Minister in April 2015, under directives from His Majesty King Abdullah II, to oversee the development and implementation of a 10 year strategy covering early childhood education, K-12 schooling, technical and vocational training, Haifa led on developing the strategy covering Early Childhood Development through Grade 12.  Today, Haifa is also the Chairwoman of the Board of Edraak, the first not for profit Arabic language Massive Open Online Courses platform created by QRF in 2014, the Queen Rania Teacher Academy and the Jordan Education Initiative.  She also serves on the board of the Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education. 

A graduate of the American University in Beirut, she moved from an English Language teaching post at the Ministry of Education to the Royal Court where she rose to Deputy Director of the Office of the Crown Prince in 1994 and served as an Education Adviser there until July 2005.  She helped found the Amman Baccalaureate School and served for 23 years on its Board of Trustees.  She was elected Vice President of the International Baccalaureate Organisation’s Council of Foundation  (IBO) where she championed equal access to IB programmes worldwide and she also acted as the IBO’s regional representative for the Middle East for over 20 years.  In 2006, Haifa joined the Aga Khan Academies Unit and worked on this project to set up 18 leadership schools in 14 developing countries.  Over all those years she was also involved with the United World Colleges Movement and with the European Council of International Schools.

A member of the International Women’s Forum, she served on its Global Board for two years and was Treasurer of IWF/Jordan, chairwoman of its communications committee and member of its Leadership Enhancement and Mentoring Programme (LEMP) which offers leadership training to women in middle management allowing them to break the glass ceiling and rise to the top posts in their companies and organisations. 

Outside of education, Haifa was elected as President of the Jordanian Osteoporosis Prevention Society in 2010, on whose board she had served for four years.  Many years earlier and in yet another field, Haifa had helped revamp the Jordanian National Gymnastics Federation and as the Board’s Secretary and Head of its Fundraising Committee, she facilitated the establishment of its training facilities and oversaw the preparations for the first National Under 18 year old Girls Squad which won Bronze in the Arab Games in Amman in 1999 as well as an individual gold medal. 
Married since 1984 and with three adult children, Haifa loves music and traveling.  She is perfectly bilingual in Arabic and English and speaks both Italian and French.  She is a football and gymnastics enthusiast and herself played on the under 18 National Table Tennis Team.

Deputy CEO / Director of Strategic Planning
Walid Ammari

Walid Ammari is the Deputy CEO / Director of Strategic Planning at the Queen Rania Foundation as well as the Secretary of the Board of Directors.  He earned his BA in economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his MBA in marketing and management from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Walid comes with 14 years of diverse experience from the corporate world spanning across multiple business disciplines where he headed local and regional marketing communications programs for local and international brands, lead the creation and implementation of business strategies and developed customer experience management plans for various industries.  Prior to joining QRF, Walid held the position of Regional Customer Development Manager for the corporate division at Nuqul Group where he lead the marketing, customer relations, training, key account management and channel development activities for Jordan, Egypt, UAE, KSA and Morocco.  Prior to that, Walid headed a regional communications team at Ogilvy & Mather and managed several private business operations in Jordan.

CEO - UK Office - QRF
Nafez Dakkak

Nafez currently serves as the CEO of the Queen Rania Foundation’s office in London and is championing the Foundation’s global outreach and positioning as a leader in solving for impact in education in Jordan and the Arab world.

Previously, as the founding CEO of Edraak.org, Nafez had the honor of leading the inspiring team behind largest Arab online learning platform. Edraak aims to provide free high quality online and blended education to Arabic speakers across the region. It is the first Arabic instance of the OpenEdx platform developed by Harvard and MIT. Today, Edraak reaches over one million registered Arabic-speaking learners across the region. Edraak’s learners come from all across the region and include disadvantaged youth in Gaza, Syria, and Iraq. Edraak has played a pivotal role in the setup of other open learning platforms across the region.

Nafez was a strategy consultant with PwC’s Education Practice working with different governments across the GCC, focusing on education to employment transitions. Nafez is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper community (attending the Global Agenda Council Meeting in Dubai in 2012 and the Annual Summit in Davos in 2013 and 2015). Nafez writes on education reform and technology regularly in Arabic and English publications. While at Yale he completed a yearlong, award winning, thesis on the Obstacles towards Curriculum Reform in the Middle East, using Jordan and the UAE as case studies, of which the Mohammad Bin Rashed School of Government published an executive summary. In 2014, Nafez completed a 6 week fellowship with the New America Foundation in Washington D.C. working on the crossroads of Islamic education and Arab identity after the 2011 revolutions.

Director of Research and Program Development
Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer has been working on education and skills reform issues for the last 17 years. He has a PhD in development studies/education from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), and a Master’s degree also from the University of Edinburgh. He is author of numerous peer-reviewed reports and articles, and has technical expertise in various aspects of education and skills development reform, and an excellent knowledge of global education issues.

Robert has been with the Queen Rania Foundation (QRF) since it began and heads the research and program development team. Prior to joining QRF, Robert worked at the Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah as the research manager in the office. He has previously worked as a consultant/researcher for the British Council, DFID, ETF, ILO, UNESCO, World Bank and others.

Edraak - CEO
Shireen Yacoub

As the Chief Executive Officer of Edraak, Shireen has the honor of leading the inspiring team behind the Arab world’s leading online learning platform. Edraak aims to provide free high quality online and blended education to Arabic speakers across the region. Today, Edraak reaches well over one million learners across the MENA region, including disadvantaged youth in Gaza, Syria, and Iraq.  Shireen pioneered the adoption of the Creative Commons License at Edraak, in an effort to catalyze for education reform and dissemination of Arabic open educational resources (OERs).

Previously, as the founding Chief Operating Officer of Edraak.org, Shireen led the platform’s partnerships with local, regional and international universities and managed content design and production operations for more than 300 hours of educational content. She also championed Edraak’s initiatives aimed at addressing the refugee education challenge.  

Prior to joining Edraak, Shireen worked on several economic development and youth employment programs. Shireen holds a B.A. degree in International and Human Resources from Manhattanville College, with minors in Communications and French. She is also a Certified Instructional Designer from the Association for Talent Development and holds several certificates from Harvard University and the GeorgetownX Institute of Georgetown University.

Edraak - Deputy CEO
Bassem Saad

Bassem Sa’ad is the Chief Business Officer at Edraak – the first Arab non-profit massive open online platform of the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development launched in May 2014 using OpenEdx technology. He is responsible for ensuring that Edraak's efforts to educate more than one million learners across the region are sustainable and effective. In his capacity, Bassem also oversees the work of the Media Production department. He also leads on the execution of projects and courses with strategic partners leveraging his wealth of experience.

Bassem has a decade of experience in business and program development in both the national and international arena. Throughout his career, Bassem has led many projects from startup until fruition. He has worked at a variety of industries that have allowed him to gain deep insight and understanding of projects that span different sectors. Among his previous positions, Bassem served as a Project Manager at the Business Development Center and as a Regional Projects & Programs Development Manager at ConsultUs Mena, a leading consultant firm working on different sectors, such as health energy and education. In his latest position at Edraak Bassem led and managed various courses launched on Edraak. He is also a certified instructional designer from the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Bassem is also certified from the GeorgetownX Institute of Georgetown University on “Instructional Design and Blended Learning”.

Program Development Deputy Director
Farah Jadallah

Farah Jadallah is a Program Development Deputy Director at the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF). She is heavily involved in the development of programs that fall under QRF’s four main themes; Teacher Development and Recognition, Early Childhood Education and Development, Equity in Education and Education Technology and Online Learning. Farah has extensively supported the National Human Resource Committee, set up by the Prime Minister in April 2015, under directives from His Majesty King Abdullah II, to oversee the development and implementation of a 10 year strategy covering early childhood education, K-12 schooling, technical and vocational training, Farah led on developing the strategy covering Early Childhood Development through Grade 12.  

Prior to QRF, Farah has also worked for leading NGOs on development programs for youth where she has acquired expertise in designing and implementing business and social entrepreneurship programs. She is passionate about social development and education and was selected for the 2014 John Smith Fellowship in the United Kingdom focusing on the Rule of Law. Farah has earned her Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Exeter in the UK and her Bachelor’s Degree in Italian and English Language and Literature from the University of Jordan.

Senior Finance Manager
Firas Jallad

Firas Jallad has more than 10 years of leadership in Financial Management maintained with a diversified experience in banking, construction & commercial sector refined in non-profit sectors, with a focus in project and cash flow management, startup companies and establishing financial policies and procedures.

Firas previously worked at the Arab Bank as a Reconciliation Controller in the Financial Control Department. He was also the Finance Manager at Mid Contracting Company; and was the Finance & Administrative Manager at Modern Media Company which owns Play 99.6, Sunny 105.1 FM / Nashama Radio Stations, Part-an event management company- & The Online Project.

Firas is the Finance Manager at the Queen Rania Foundation, the finance department is responsible for the sustainability of the foundations’ funds as well as cash management.

Firas Holds a BA in Finance & Banking Sciences from Al-Yarmouk University and holds a CNAP (Certified Non Profit Accounting Professional) from Fiscal Management Associates– New York.

Senior HR and Administration Manager
Tahani Abu Risha

Tahani Abu Risha holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, her career brings together more than 15 years of experience in the field of Administration and personnel management which involved several posts including the Administration Manager at Jordan Health Care Accreditation Project among other projects funded by the USAID.

Abu Risha joined Queen Rania Foundation in 2013 as the HR and Administration Manager and her current integral role involves competitive skills in the field of recruitment and employment while ensuring thorough implementation of all HR procedures and policies related to procurement and office management.

Equipped with the ability to effectively communicate with team members, Abu Risha has excellent planning and organizational skills and is contributing to QRF’s overall vision with a tangible impact in the field of education and learning.

Education Research Manager
Helena Pylvainen

Helena Pylvainen has a Master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard University, a B.A. in International Relations from Wellesley College, and a background in education policy and research. She supports research planning and design, analysis and report writing across QRF's thematic research areas, with a focus on quantitative analysis.   Prior to joining QRF, Helena worked at Education Resource Strategies, a non-profit which supports large urban school systems in the U.S. on strategic resource allocation, where she worked on a major report charting a path forward for Boston Public Schools' complex portfolio of schools. She began her career in educational program evaluation at Goodman Research Group, Inc., where she co-authored a number of evaluation reports for programs seeking to advance underrepresented female and minority students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).