MEPRA unveils first all-Emirati leadership

The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) has announced its new chair and vice-chair, both Emirati nationals for the first time in the organisation's history.

Taryam Al Subaihi (left) and Rashid Al Awadhi are MEPRA's new chair and vice chair, respectively
Taryam Al Subaihi (left) and Rashid Al Awadhi are MEPRA's new chair and vice chair, respectively

Taryam Al Subaihi, head of corporate communications at Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), has been appointed as chair of MEPRA; and Rashid Al Awadhi, chief executive of New Media Academy, as vice-chair. 

The pair will serve as leaders of the association's Executive Board from 2021 to 2023. They will drive its initiatives, which aim to 'promote industry standards, share knowledge and build capabilities of communication professionals in the Middle East'.

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Al Subaihi and Al Awadhi were voted in by the MEPRA Executive Board this week, following an advisory ballot by the wider MEPRA Strategy Board in November. Both will assume their roles on 1 January.

Middle East experience

At EWEC, UAE national Al Subaihi leads a team responsible for managing the company’s branding, marketing and comms. He has also served as director of corporate comms and global head of external comms at TAQA – Iraq, and previously led communications for Masdar and Etihad Airways. He has served on the MEPRA Strategy Board for the past 12 months, while also helping to spearhead the organisation's first Virtual Leadership Majlis and its UAE Cultural Workshops.

Al Awadhi has more than 24 years of marketing and communications experience, including various senior-level positions in Middle East-based multinational companies, as well as UAE government entities. He was named chief executive of the New Media Academy earlier this year, leading its three divisions: Education, Talent and Content. In 2009, he became the first Emirati government employee to win MEPRA’s Young Communicator of the Year award.

'Evolve and grow through positive change'

Speaking on his appointment, Al Subaihi said: “It is an absolute honour and privilege to be elected as chair of MEPRA. I think it’s important right from the start to recognise the outstanding accomplishments achieved by Jonty, Lisa, Sabrina and the team, particularly during these challenging times.

“MEPRA has not only weathered the storm thus far, but has successfully launched new initiatives in 2020 at no cost to its members – including the Workplace Wellness Programme, designed to provide mental health support to MEPRA members; the COVID-19 Resource Centre, offering a dedicated online platform to promote connectivity and knowledge sharing; and the Virtual Summer School, just to name a few.

“My personal commitment is to continue to offer the same unwavering support to our members while focusing on helping our organisation evolve and grow through positive change. I look forward to working with the MEPRA team and Boards in developing a 2021/2022 strategy that will undoubtedly continue to raise awareness and understanding of the communications industry while promoting knowledge sharing and co-operation among communication professionals in the UAE and the region.”

The new chair and vice-chair will present their preliminary strategy for MEPRA during the 2021 AGM, which is scheduled for January.

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