Established in the region for over 4 years, PwC's Academy is led by a dynamic Senior Leadership Team of industry veterans and education experts with over 75 combined years of adult learning experience; both globally and in the Middle East.
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She has overseen the setup of academies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Doha, Lebanon, Cairo, Jordan and Muscat. PwC’s Academies now represent a core part of the firm’s strategy to help the region develop talent and help our clients address the need to increase skills in the workforce. Amanda’s vision is simple - to provide premium quality teaching and excellent service in a way that leverages the knowledge and experience of PwC as a leading professional services firm.
As a passionate believer in the value of lifelong learning and education, Amanda founded the largest provider of professional training in Singapore. Working together with UK and US-based training companies, she expanded the business across Asia. Over a period of ten years, her academies delivered training to many thousands of individuals across a wide range of professional skills and qualifications. She also acquired two other training businesses, one of which was the largest provider of distance learning degrees in the region. During this time she also lectured extensively on a range of corporate finance and risk management topics.
Upon moving to the Middle East, Amanda provided consultancy services for educational businesses in addition to establishing the Middle East office of the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountant in England and Wales) with a remit to promote high quality financial education and training across the region. She holds several board positions with not for profit organisations.
A seasoned finance professional with a strong operations focus, Mike currently leads the operations and finance function at PwC’s academy middle east, responsible for financial and management reporting, regional resourcing and talent management. Mike leads Academy quality assurance initiatives and continues to drive the Academy’s activities to achieve its strategic priority to be the best in the industry in all areas of its operations.
Prior to joining PwC’s Academy, Mike served as the CFO of PwC Middle East’s Assurance line of service, leading the strategic and operational planning function, implementing key performance and process improvement measures including the establishment of a regional FP&A team.
Mike has held several senior leadership roles in Asia, ME, Europe and USA working across a diverse set of industries including technology, financial services, manufacturing, oil & gas, construction, utilities, government and professional services , including renowned establishments such as Dubai Properties, Oman Oil Company, HP/Agilent Technologies, JDSU, RMJM and Scottish & Southern Electricity.
Gavin is a strong advocate of IFRS as the global financial reporting language and remains actively involved in discussions and consultations around the future development and maintenance of the standards. Training and motivating others is Gavin’s passion and he has sought opportunities, throughout his career, to develop others.
Prior to joining PwC’s Academy, Gavin served as a Director of Qualifications for the ICAEW with responsibility for the design, development and delivery of all certificates and qualifications offered by ICAEW including the ACA. He was involved in the development of ICAEW’s global strategy and operational planning and performance monitoring. He was also a member of the ICAEW Commercial Board and a spokesperson on issues of education, leadership, inequality and stereotyping, financial reporting development and financial services regulation.
Gavin has also worked as the Director of Finance and Tax programmes for BPP Professional Education with responsibilities including the design, delivery and management of the portfolio of professional development programmes from financial awareness programmes for non-finance professionals to advanced business, tax and financial reporting courses for post qualified professionals. In addition to the roles above, Gavin has also worked as a civilian instructor for the Royal Marines and RAF, and worked as a specialist advisor to both the British and US Armies.
Samar has held various senior management positions during her career and has assumed leadership roles in multinational organisations. She is a Certified coach, emotional intelligence practitioner and possesses a Professional Training Certificate from the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Samar’s professional experience spans across Europe and the Middle East which has equipped her with an exceptional understanding of business and training needs across different regions and cultures.
Prior to joining PwC, Samar started up and ran two successful businesses in e-solutions and professional training development where she partnered with leading training and consulting companies from around the globe to design, develop, and deliver training programmes. Samar is fluent in English, Arabic and French and is heavily involved in helping people perform with impact and maximise their potential.
She has worked with renowned organisations to identify and bridge knowledge gaps within their workforce. Samar has initiated and led various training projects on behavioural and technical training. She has also been involved in the design of management development programmes and has conducted training on emotional intelligence and business acumen. Samar is leading a number of key training projects for the Academy in KSA and has been instrumental in providing customised training solutions to clients that address their business needs and objectives.
Chris’ training experience and learnings span across many years and countries, having delivered training to thousands of students and delegates from a wide range of backgrounds including public sector and corporates. With a qualification in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Applied Psychology, Chris has designed, developed and delivered unique trainings in accelerated learning and memory techniques and content generation. He is an internationally recognised and popular figure in the training sector.
Chris’ prior experience includes setting up his own Accountancy College (PTS) which became the fastest growing ACCA college in the UK. Later PTS joined forces with the Financial Training Company (FTC) to head up the Midlands region (within UK) for Accountancy training. Chris became the Midlands Regional Managing Director before being acquired by Kaplan in 2004 and then became responsible for all Kaplan Financials Tutor Training.
Chris served as a member of the Effective Board Member training and development team in the UK before becoming a Director at PwC specialising in strategy, governance and behaviour. He has made a significant contribution towards the development of corporate governance training globally and locally. He has also set and marked professional examinations, has been a content writer and examiner for CIMA and wrote the syllabus for the ACCA on Business Planning and Strategy.
Husam brings with him over fifteen years of experience in the training, assurance and advisory services. He started his career with Grant Thornton and then joined EY’s Assurance services in Oman. He later moved to PwC, in the consulting and risk assurance services where he managed a diverse portfolio of clients covering a broad spectrum of industries including government, real estate, utilities, hospitality, financial institutions, investment funds, retail, and oil & gas.
Husam eventually followed his passion for training. He believes in bringing change in people’s lives and empowering them, through education. Husam delivers training on qualifications training, investment appraisal techniques, working capital management, risk based internal audit, crisis management, and business ethics.
Husam has led numerous successful training projects in Oman, as well as workshops, seminars and in-house customised training on a range of programmes from technical skills to behavioural skills. Husam brings a wealth of experience with him. This coupled with his commitment and drive to enabling human capital, has contributed to identifying skill gaps in organisations and designing and developing training programmes that address the core issues facing our clients.
Dania is passionate about education, training and improving performance through learning. At the Academy, Dania oversees the training activities including workshops, seminars and in-house customised training for our corporate clients, banks and financial institutions covering a wide array of programmes from technical skills to behavioural skills. She has worked with numerous organisations in Lebanon, to identify their training needs, and design and develop training solutions that produce measurable results.
Prior to working with PwC’s Academy, Dania held key positions in the logistics and services industries. First, with Aramex as a Financial Controller where she gathered over a decade’s experience in operational and financial analysis and became responsible for both the New York and Washington offices and later on the Lebanon office. She then joined PwC as Senior Manager for the Tax Advisory Services, providing tax structuring, due diligence and compliance services.
Dania contributed significantly to the growth and development of the tax practice in the Lebanon office where she developed the business and implemented growth strategies. With Dania’s leadership and understanding of the clients’ needs, the Academy has conducted and delivered numerous successful workshops and seminars to hundreds of individuals on finance, IFRS, risk management, leadership, board governance and soft skills.