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The First Saudi Woman To Head A Co-Ed University 

Get to know the exemplary Dr. Lilac Al Safadi!

Women in Saudi Arabia continue to inspire across the board with a string of firsts, this time Dr. Lilac Al Safadi for becoming the first woman to head a co-ed university in the Kingdom. Her appointment as President of the Saudi Electronic University was announced this week by the Saudi Arabian Education Minister Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh. 

According to various news sources, Dr. Al Safadi is one of five academics appointed this week to head universities across the Kingdom. She brings to her new role over 20 years of experience in business development, business consulting, project management, and strategic leadership. She is also an accomplished author, having published over 50 research papers in conferences and journal articles on a range of subjects, from ecommerce to commercial intelligence.

Dr. Al Safadi studied at the University of Wollongong in Australia, graduating with both an MSC and a PhD in computer science. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from King Saud University, and in 2009 she was part of the Leadership Executive Program at Said Business School, University of Oxford. Her research area of interest includes blockchain, e-commerce, and artificial and business intelligence. 

Prior to her current role with Saudi Electronic University, Dr. Al Safadi was the vice president and national technology officer at Microsoft and faculty member at the King Saud University, Riyadh. During her long career, she has worked as an adviser to the governor of the Saudi General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monshaat), a consultant for planning, quality, and development at the Saudi Electronic University, and the manager of a women’s technology incubator. 

Dr. Al Safadi’s appointment is not the only first for women in Saudi Arabia to be announced this week. Dr. Jihan Al Omran became the first woman to be named Director of Supply and Logistics in Prince Sultan Military Medical City, bringing with her 13 years of experience in strategic development and sustainability of the medical field.

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