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Massachusetts Institute of Technology Legatum center for development & entrepreneurship

Legatum Center Blog

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Dina H. Sherif

Dina Sherif is a renowned expert in the fields of economic development, risk capital (from philanthropy to venture capital) in addition to entrepreneurship and innovation. With over twenty years of experience, Dina has made significant contributions to shaping and advancing these sectors in various regions around the world. She is known for her 1) ability to build mission driven organizations and teams from the ground up, 2) ability to inspire through public speaking and storytelling, 4) her ability to advise government on policies required to create robust and sustainable private sectors, in addition to 4) her ability to build community and global networks that act as agents for change.

Dina Sherif is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management where she also acts as Executive Director of the MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship. She is also a Founding Partner of Cairo based Ahead of the Curve, which is the Arab region’s leading firm on issues related to sustainable business growth and impact driven entrepreneurship. Dina is also a Partner in Disruptech, Egypt’s first Fintech focused venture capital fund as a Partner, pursuing her passion in building a fund that will support technology being used as a critical tool in creating financial inclusion for a largely unbanked population, most specifically women.

Dina previously held the endowed Willard Brown Chair for International Business at the American University in Cairo (AUC), where she was also the Founding Director of their Center for Entrepreneurship.  Prior to the above, Dina helped establish the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at AUC.

Dina has been lead author of several publications including the book From Charity to Social Change: Trends in Arab Philanthropy and key reports such as the 2015 UNDP Business Solutions Report and the first of its kind 7 country study on trends in responsible business practice in the Arab region, in addition to other key policy pieces and blogs on the importance of entrepreneurship and impact investing to building more sustainable and inclusive societies.

In acknowledgement of her dedication to creating a new way of doing business, Dina was given the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Egypt by the American Chamber of Commerce in 2016; was recognized by the Embassy of India as a “Woman of Substance” in 2016; was chosen as one of 10 United Nations Global Compact Sustainable Development Goal Pioneers in 2016; and was named as one of the top 50 most influential women by the Amwal Al Ghad Magazine. During her time at the Harvard Kennedy School, Dina was also a recipient of the prestigious Lucius Littauer Fellows Award in recognition of academic excellence and service. Dina is also an Eisenhower Fellow and was also a fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School as well as a Research Fellow at the New America Foundation.

Dina is currently a member of the Special Presidential Advisory Council for Economic Development reporting to the President of Egypt; a Global Advisory Board Member in the Eisenhower Fellowships; a member of the Board of Qalaa Holding, a member of the Board of Smart Medical Services, and a member of the Board of EducateMe.

Dina holds a Master of Public Administration and Management from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MA in Economic Development Studies from the American University in Cairo, and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the American University in Cairo. She is also a graduate of the non-credit leadership program delivered by THNK School for Creative Leadership in Amsterdam.

Areas of Expertise: Entrepreneurship and Innovation | Development of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Sustainable Economic Development | Impact Investing | Strategic Philanthropy | Responsible Business Practices | Gender Equality and Economic Inclusion of Women | Qualitative Research


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