MESA 2019 Recipients
Lifetime Achievement Award
Abbas El Gamal is the Hitachi America Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He received his B.Sc. Honors degree from Cairo University in 1972, and his M.S. in Statistics and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering both from Stanford University in 1977 and 1978, respectively. From 1978 to 1980, he was an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at USC. From 2003 to 2012, he was the Director of the Information Systems Laboratory at Stanford University. From 2012 to 2017 he was Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. His research contributions have been in network information theory, FPGAs, and digital imaging devices and systems. He has authored or coauthored over 230 papers and holds 35 patents in these areas. He is coauthor of the book Network Information Theory (Cambridge Press 2011). He has received several honors and awards for his research contributions, including the 2016 Richard W. Hamming Medal, the 2012 Claude E. Shannon Award, and the 2004 INFOCOM Paper Award. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE. He has co-founded and served on the board of directors and advisory boards of several semiconductor and biotechnology startup companies.
Emerging Global Leader Award
Najla Al-Midfa is General Manager of Sheraa - Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center - a government entity that aims to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and provide them with a launchpad for success. She is also Founder of Khayarat, a platform that enables young Emiratis to make informed career choices. Prior to this, she was a Senior Manager at the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, where she led a team of business counselors through the due diligence process, helping to identify and select ventures for financing. During her tenure, she also designed and led several youth-related initiatives. Najla was previously a senior associate at McKinsey and Company‘s New York office, where she worked on a range of strategy-related projects, primarily serving clients across the financial institutions sector. Her work experience also includes key roles within PricewaterhouseCoopers and Shell. Najla is a member of the Board of Directors, and Risk Committee, Chairman of the Audit Committee at United Arab Bank. She is also Vice-Chairman Young Arab Leaders, a founding board member of Education for Employment UAE, and Women Corporate Directors GCC. She holds an MBA from Stanford University; she’s a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network