The Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation Board of Directors is an instrumental group of leaders who provide strategic direction and oversight to operations in the United States.
We are thankful for their commitment and dedication to improving the health of vulnerable children and facilities, including that of our founder, Prof. Sir Magdi Yacoub. You can learn more about our history and his story here.
Meet Our Board
Prof. Magdy Ishak, Chair
Prof. Ishak was born in Egypt and currently lives in London, where is the current Executive Chairman of Optive Group. He graduated from Ain Shams Medical School in Egypt and was trained as an Orthopedic and Spinal Surgeon in the United Kingdom.
During his medical career, he pioneered work on lower limb graded pressure stockings, which reduce the risk of DVT and Pulmonary Embolism; currently, these stockings are used worldwide in all type of surgeries. Prof. Ishak was instrumental in the adaptation of the ISO 9001 in healthcare accreditation, and he was chosen by his peers as an Honorary Companion Charter at the Institute of Management, where he also teaches Healthcare Economics to MBA students. He was made Freeman of the City of Glasgow for his civic contributions, including work as a senior adjudicator in disputes between government and private healthcare providers in the UK. Prof. Ishak is one of the early participants in PPP and has three major projects with the British National Health Service, including a project with the Neuroscience Institute in Preston University.
Prof. Ishak is the Chairman of the Egyptian Medical Society-UK and Vice Chairman of The British Egyptian Society. He is a member of the Institute of Directors-UK and the Supervisory Board of the London-Middle East Institute at London University. He is the Founder and former CEO of Covenant Healthcare Group.
Prof. Sir Magdi Yacoub
Prof. Sir Magdi Yacoub was born in Egypt and is currently a Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.
He is the Founder and Director of Research at the Harefield Heart Science Centre (Magdi Yacoub Institute), overseeing over 60 scientists and students in the areas of tissue engineering, myocardial regeneration, stem cell biology, end stage heart failure and transplant immunology. He is also founder and director of the Magdi Yacoub Research Network, which created the Qatar Cardiovascular Research Centre in collaboration with the Qatar Foundation and Hamad Medical Corporation. Prof. Yacoub established the largest heart and lung transplantation program in the world, where more than 2,500 transplant operations have been performed, and he has also developed novel operations for a number of complex congenital heart anomalies.
Research led by Prof. Yacoub includes tissue engineering heart valves, myocardial regeneration, novel left ventricular assist devices and wireless sensors.
Prof. Yacoub graduated from Cairo University Medical School, later training in London and holding an Assistant Professorship at the University of Chicago. He is a former BHF Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Harefield Hospital and Royal Brompton Hospital.
Prof. Yacoub was knighted for his services to medicine and surgery in 1991, awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998 and Fellowship of The Royal Society in 1999. A lifetime achievement award in recognition of his contribution to medicine was presented to Prof. Yacoub by the Secretary of State for Health in the same year.
Prof. Yacoub has an active interest in global healthcare delivery with particular focus developing programs in Egypt, the Gulf Region, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Jamaica. He is Founder and President of Chain of Hope, the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation and Aswan Heart Centre, a charitable tertiary cardiac in Upper Egypt that serves underprivileged Egyptian pediatric and adult patients, as well as patients in need from around the world.
Dr. Hany Findakly
Dr. Findakly, is Vice Chairman and Director of the Clinton Group Inc., an investment management firm in New York. For 30 years, he has advised many governments, central banks, and international institutions in the fields of portfolio management, capital markets, and risk management.
Dr. Findakly previously served as President of Potomac Babson Inc., as well as senior management positions on Wall Street, including PaineWebber Inc. and Drexel Burnham Lambert. He joined Wall Street from the World Bank in Washington, DC, where he served as Director of the Investment Department and Chief Investment Officer.
Prior to this, Dr. Findakly served on the MIT faculty and as OAS Visiting Associate Professor at the Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. He received his Doctor and Master of Science from MIT, where he was Goulbenkian Foundation Fellow and elected to Sigma Xi and Chi Epsilon. He graduated magna cum laude from Baghdad University with his Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering.
Dr. Findakly serves on several academic and public interest boards, including the Middle East Institute, Harvard University Center for Middle East Studies, and University of Maryland Sadat Chair for Peace and International Development. He is the former President of the Arab Bankers Association of North America, and his international activities include the UNDP Steering Committee on Private Finance for Human Development, UN Summit on Financing for Development, and the Council on Foreign Relations Task Forces on the Balkans 2010 and Middle East Trade & Investments.
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Findakly has lectured worldwide on issues of international development, global capital markets, global investing, and financial risk management.
Mr. Alex Shalaby
Mr. Shalaby was appointed Chairman of the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (Mobinil) in 2008; prior to that he was President and CEO since 2005.
Mr. Shalaby came to Mobinil from Washington, DC, where he was AT&T Director for Public Affairs, serving as the company’s link to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and lobbying the executive branch of the U.S. government. He helped in achieving more liberalization of the telecom sector internationally for the emerging nations of the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe through the relevant bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies. He started his professional career with AT&T in San Jose.
Over the years, Mr. Shalaby has served on the boards of the American Chamber of Commerce, where he was also a former President, the Bi-National Fulbright Commission, and Seeds of Peace. He currently chairs the boards of Injaz and Enactus in Egypt. Mr. Shalaby also serves on the board of Enactus Worldwide and Hands Along the Nile, a U.S.-based NGO with significant development activities in Egypt.
Mr. Shalaby graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alexandria and earned a Master’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from San Jose State University in California.
Mr. Aly El Hamamsy
Mr. El Hamamsy is a Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, concentrating his practice in the area of corporate law, with emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and corporate governance.
Prior to joining Freshfields, he was a partner at Cadwalader. He also worked for two and a half years at the National Basketball Association, where he was a Vice President in charge of the NBA’s different businesses in several international markets. Prior to joining the NBA, Mr. El Hamamsy spent eight years as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell’s M&A group, where he advised clients on a variety of corporate matters, including public and private acquisitions and divestitures, restructurings, joint ventures, corporate governance, and proxy contests.
Mr. El Hamamsy received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where was a James Kent scholar and a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar, and his Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) from McGill University, where he graduated on the Dean’s Honor List. He is fluent in French and Arabic, and conversant in Italian.
Dr. Ahmed Shawki
Dr. Shawki has been a Managing Partner at Mostafa Shawki & Co. (MAZARS) since 1992.
Dr. Shawki has been a key participant in the development of audit and accounting standards for Egypt, including work with the Capital Market Authority to rationalize policies for the evaluation and audit of unit trusts. He served as Office Managing Partner at Arthur Andersen Shawki & Co., Senior Auditor at Arthur Andersen, Director of Management Programs at the American University in Cairo, Executive Consultant at the Industrial Company for Extraction, and Senior Process Engineer at the National Research Center. He currently serves as Non-Executive Director of The Arab Contractors Osman Ahmed Osman & Co. and a Director of the Egyptian Society of Accountants and Auditors and the Egyptian Taxation Society.
Dr. Shawki was a founding member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt and served as its President from 1997 to 1999. He also served as Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Vice President of Programs at the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.
Dr. Shawki has spoken at several high-profile conferences on Egypt’s privatization program both in Egypt and overseas in London; New York, Washington, DC and Stanford University in the United States; and in Bahrain. He received B. Sc. in Accounting from Ain Shams University.
Dr. Thoralf M. Sundt
Dr. Sundt is the Edward D. Churchill Professor of Surgery and Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, a position he has held since 2011.
A graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, he trained in Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. Following an additional year of training in transplantation and advanced cardiac surgery at the Harefield Hospital with Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, he joined the faculty at Washington University. During his 7 years at Harefield Hospital, he developed an interest in surgery of the aorta as well as valve repair and arterial grafting for coronary artery disease. In 2001, he relocated to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he advanced to Professor of Surgery and Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery. He also developed an interest in patient safety, medical error and surgical decision-making.
He is a co-director of the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center and Past-President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.
Mahmoud M. Abdallah
Mahmoud M. Abdallah
Managing Partner, MMA Global Investments
President, MMA Global Advisors
Mahmoud M. Abdallah is the founder and Managing Partner of MMA Global Investments LLC, an investment firm. He is also the founder and President of MMA Global Advisors, a strategic advisory firm. He has over 30 years of experience in the insurance and financial industry, including real estate investment, mergers and acquisitions, consulting, privatization and global initiatives. He is a Senior Advisor to Public Pension Capital (PPC). Most recently he was appointed Senior Advisor to the President of the American University in Cairo for Enterprise Risk Management and Strategy. Prior to that he worked as an advisor to The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Mazars USA.
Mr. Abdallah was the architect of insurance reform in Egypt, where he served as Chairman and CEO of Misr Insurance Holding Company (MIHC). He oversaw one of the largest merger and restructurings in the Middle East.
Mahmoud worked for American Re Corporation for 20 years, one of the top providers of insurance and reinsurance in the world. He served as Executive Vice President as well as President of International Operations. He played a major role in the MBO of the company with KKR and the subsequent merger with Munich Re. He served on the board of the International Insurance Council in the U.S., where he was elected Chairman twice.
Mahmoud served on the board of Validus Holdings, Ltd., which was acquired by AIG. He is also on the board of IPR Group Holding in Zurich, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and a member of the National Council for Arts and Sciences at George Washington University. He is also on the board of the director for the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). He has formally served a wide variety of public and private boards, including Orascom Hotel and Development, HSBC Egypt, Egypt Air, Egyptian Resorts Company, and American Re Corporation and associated companies.
Mr. Abdallah is the founder and donor of the MMA Foundation, a 501c3 charitable organization established in 2001 to fund charitable, educational, scientific, medical, artistic and community services. He also serves on the board of directors for the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation.
Mahmoud earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Business degree from Cairo University. He received an Associate of Underwriting (AU) Designation from the Insurance Institute of America.
Dr. Andrew ElBardissi
Dr. ElBardissi is a Partner at Deerfield Management and President of the Deerfield Foundation. Dr. ElBardissi works on the structured transactions team with a focus on private investments. Dr. ElBardissi is currently a board director on Neochord, Acutus, Conventus, Farapulse, vWave, Sollis Therapeutics, Axon Therapies, Singular Genomics, Element Sciences, and Epic Sciences.
Before to joining Deerfield, Dr. ElBardissi was an early stage life sciences investor focusing on medical technology and biotechnology and was previously an investment banker in J.P. Morgan’s healthcare practice. He received residency training in General Surgery at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University. Dr. ElBardissi has been independently funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, has over 30 publications in leading peer reviewed scientific journals and has presented his research at numerous medical and surgical conferences. He holds an M.D. from the Mayo Clinic, an M.P.H. in Quantitative Methods from Harvard University, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. with honors in Biology (Phi Beta Kappa) from the Schreyer Honors College at the Pennsylvania State University.
Meet Our Executive Team
Mr. Reda Athanasios
Mr. Athanasios is the President and CEO of Learning Technology Partners, a Cloud Solution Provider for educational technologies, and the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation.
He has an extensive background in education and eLearning, including founding and serving as the COO and President of Convene, a pioneering eLearning company. He is the former Senior Vice President of Client Services for Affiliated Computer Services, a $12 billion Fortune 500 company, and Co-Founder and Administrator of the British International School in Zamalek Egypt, the premier K-12 school in the Middle East.
Mr. Athanasios has served on numerous panels and presented at eLearning conferences for organizations such as EDUCAUSE, College Board, Syllabus, Converge and numerous investment banking firms. In addition to contributing to numerous articles, Mr. Athanasios has been quoted and interviewed in major media outlets including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week, and Educom Review. Mr. Athanasios is recognized for his major support and contribution to some of the world’s largest eLearning programs including The University of Phoenix.
He currently serves as a director for many non-profit organizations, including Universal Montessori School, an association that serves the children of new US immigrants, the Together Against Terrorism Initiative, and the Egyptians4Egypt database project, of which he is a co-founder.
Dr. Abdel Aal
Dr. Wael Abdel Aal
Is one of Egypt’s preeminent experts in the field of pediatric cardiology, Dr. Abdel Aal is a founding member and the Medical Director of the Aswan Heart Center (AHC), Magdi Yacoub Foundation (MYF) from 2009 to 2019. As of August of 2019, he moved to the USA to serve the Medical Director of the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation. He graduated from Cairo University School of Medicine, and later participated in international fellowships at Boston Children’s Hospital (Harvard University), The Cleveland Clinic, and Harefield Hospital UK.
Dr. Abdel Aal’s involvement in charity healthcare programs exposed him to the deficiencies in healthcare provision particularly in remote and under-served communities. His work subsequently led to his involvement in Telehealth. In 2016 he co-founded and became president of the Egyptian Telemedicine Foundation (ETF). ETF is now spearheading many successful telemedicine outreach programs across Egypt and Africa with a vision that ICT empowers healthcare providers to bring faster, cost-effective, quality healthcare to the under-served populations.
He is a founding member and former President of the Egyptian Society of Congenital Heart Disease, a founding member, former Vice President of the Pan-Arab Congenital Heart Disease Association (PACHDA), former board member of the Egyptian Water Ski and Sailing Federation and was awarded the Honorary Certificate of Merit from the International Olympic Committee.
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