Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and President of American University of Sharjah
In January 2023, Sheikha Bodour was appointed Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and President of American University of Sharjah to align the institution with Sharjah’s socio-economic, workforce, and innovation priorities. She is working to achieve excellence in teaching, research, and public service to develop global citizen graduates who become future leaders in their communities, the United Arab Emirates, and the world.Sheikha Bodour is forging deeper university-industry R&D and commercialization collaboration as Chairperson of the Board and President of the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park (SRTIP). She oversees SRTIP’s $150 million push to position Sharjah as a global leader in emerging technology fields.
As Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Sheikha Bodour has mobilized more than $4 billion in foreign direct investment, created more than 20,000 jobs and contributed to a 78 percent growth in Sharjah’s gross domestic product. Her work as Chairperson of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) is accelerating the development of Sharjah’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and has supported 150 startups that have raised $128 million in investment and created 1,400 jobs.
Sheikha Bodour was appointed Chairperson of Sharjah Book Authority in May 2023 to solidify Sharjah’s status as an emerging global publishing hub. Sharjah Book Authority manages the Sharjah International Book Fair, the world’s largest book fair, and operates Sharjah Publishing City, the world’s first free trade zone for publishing.
Sheikha Bodour established the Emirates Publishers Association, UAE Board on Books for Young People and Knowledge Without Borders to boost the growth of the UAE’s $300+ million publishing sector. She founded Kalimat Publishing Group, a global, multi-imprint publishing and edtech company with licensing and distribution in more than 15 countries. She also chaired the Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 Committee and led efforts to establish the Emirates Reprographic Rights Management Association.
Sheikha Bodour served as the International Publishers Association’s second-ever female and first-ever Arab President since the influential global association’s founding in 1896. She also founded PublisHer, a 1,000+ member global community of female publishing leaders addressing publishing’s diversity and inclusion challenges.
Sheikha Bodour is taking action on the world’s most pressing challenges through her involvement in international organizations. She has leveraged these global platforms to catalyze action on youth education and employment, female entrepreneurship, small and medium-size enterprise development, expanding funding for the cultural industries, and climate change.