CUBC President and
As president and executive director of the Canada-UAE Business Council (CUBC), Mustafa Sahin leads the premier business-led organization advancing trade and investment between Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Sahin was appointed to this position in September 2017 with a mandate to realize the full potential of the Toronto-based organisation. Since his appointment, he has elevated the CUBC and the bilateral relationship with decision makers in both countries.
Prior to joining the CUBC, Mr. Sahin advised governments and companies interested in growing Middle East-North America business transactions. From 2003 to 2017, he lived in Dubai, where he co-founded the company that brought BlackBerry from Canada to 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Leading a multicultural sales and marketing team, he grew the company’s revenue to $250 million in its first four years. Mr. Sahin lived and worked throughout the United States from 1991 to 2003 most notably as VP of Sales Operations for Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP), the largest payroll services and human resources management solutions in the USA. At ADP, he led a team of 20 to improve organisational efficiency in sales and in a previous product development leadership role positioned his team to exceed targets every year. Mr. Sahin was born and raised in the Niagara Region of Canada and is an alumnus of Western University.
Musabbeh Al Kaabi
CUBC Co-Chair / CEO Petroleum & Petrochemicals, Mubadala
Musabbeh Al Kaabi is the CEO of Petroleum & Petrochemicals at Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s leading strategic investment company and a pioneering global investor in 13 sectors and more than 30 countries around the world. As one of the top CEOs in the UAE, he is responsible for a portfolio of international assets spanning the oil and gas chain and valued in excess of USD$41 billion. Mr. Al Kaabi previously served as CEO of Mubadala Petroleum from 2014 to 2017, after joining the company as Chief Growth Officer in 2013. During his tenure, he led the company successfully through challenging commodity prices, locking in significant cost efficiencies and operational improvements while high-grading the portfolio to focus on value-added assets.
Prior to joining Mubadala Petroleum, Mr. Al Kaabi had a 16-year career with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Mr. Al Kaabi’s areas of expertise include geophysics, petroleum geology, field development, unconventional resources evaluation and petroleum economics. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geophysical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines and a Master of Science in Petroleum Geoscience from Imperial College, London. In addition to being co-chair of the Canada-UAE Business Council (CUBC), Mr. Al Kaabi currently serves as a board member of several oil and gas companies including Dolphin Energy, CEPSA, Cosmo, Borealis, and NOVA Chemicals.
CUBC Co-Chair / Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP
With a public service career spanning almost 30 years, Jean Charest is one of Canada’s best known political figures. He has served both federally and provincially as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Premier of Québec. Mr. Charest was first elected to the House of Commons in 1984 and, at age 28, became Canada’s youngest cabinet minister as Minister of State for Youth. In 1991, he was named Minister of the Environment and Minister of Industry and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada in 1993. The following year, he was chosen Leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party.
Mr. Charest became the Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1998. He then broke a 50-year provincial record by winning three consecutive election campaigns in 2003, 2007, and 2008. Furthermore, the Charest government initiated an unprecedented labour mobility agreement between France and Québec and was best known for a major initiative for the sustainable development of Northern Québec called “Plan Nord”. Jean Charest is notably the initiator of the negotiation for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). He is today a Partner at Canadian law firm McCarthy Tétrault, where he provides invaluable expertise to the firm’s clients with his in-depth knowledge and experience with public policy, corporate Canada, and international matters.
CUBC Vice Chair / Executive Director, Asset Management, Abu Dhabi Power Corporation
Omar Alhashmi is Executive Director of Asset Management at Abu Dhabi Power Corporation. Previously, he was Head of Strategy Development under the Corporate Strategy function at Etihad Airways. Prior to joining Etihad, Mr. Alhashmi spent close to 8 years at Mubadala Development Company where he was a VP in the Industry Unit. During his time at Mubadala, Mr. Alhashmi worked on several feasibility studies in the high-tech sector. He was also the asset manager for Mubadala’s investments in both Suyadi Carbon in China and in Emirates Aluminum (EMAL), which was one of the largest investments in the metals and mining sector in the UAE. Mr. Alhashmi was part of the deal team that worked on the merger between EMAL and Dubai Aluminum (DUBAL) and helped to revamp the supply function with a focus on value creation.
Omar Alhashmi started his professional career as a Mechanical Engineer at Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA OPCO), one of the major oil companies in Abu Dhabi. He holds a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University, a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University, and an MBA from London Business School.
CUBC Vice Chair / Senior VP, Emerging Markets and Chief Strategy Officer, EllisDon
As Chief Strategy Officer, Jody oversees strategic planning for EllisDon. She works directly with EllisDon’s senior management and Board of Directors to forecast areas of growth and to develop execution plans. Working directly with the CEO, Jody prepares EllisDon’s annual strategic planning report and works with all operational divisions to monitor progress with respect to short and long-term objectives.
Jody is responsible for leading EllisDon’s International Division, overseeing all commercial and operational functions in the Middle East and South America. Jody works directly on the development of strategies for further geographic and sectoral expansion of the EllisDon Group. Jody is also responsible for overseeing EllisDon’s Energy & Digital Services division which is comprised of alternative energy; information, communications and technology (“ICAT”); Managed Services; and, Sustainable Building Services. Jody’s mandate is to transform Ellisdon’s business with a view to making EllisDon the most technologically advanced construction services company in Canada. Jody joined EllisDon in 2007 and was subsequently promoted to the role of Senior Vice President and General Counsel to the EllisDon group of companies and was responsible for all of the legal aspects of EllisDon’s business, particularly in relation to the development of projects in the Alternative Financing and Procurement/Public-Private Partnerships (“AFP/P3”) market. She has been a key member of the EllisDon project team for AFP/P3 bids and has been instrumental in achieving commercial and financial close on numerous successful projects valued at nearly $6 billion.
CUBC Secretary / Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Jeffrey Graham is a senior corporate partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG). He has extensive experience working with international corporations and other entities on transactional and regulatory matters, with a particular emphasis on the financial and technology sectors, including life sciences, clean tech and fin tech. He has assisted many international corporations obtain regulatory approvals required to carry on business in Canada and advised on related transactions and other matters to facilitate the successful launch of new businesses in Canada. In his capacity as Co-Chair of the firm’s Middle East Practice, he has helped to create the Canada-Saudi and Canada-UAE Business Councils and has led community efforts to make Toronto the North American centre for Islamic finance. He and his colleagues at BLG have been hosting trade delegations from the UAE for a number of years.
Earlier in his career, Jeffrey Graham practiced corporate and securities law with a major Washington D.C. based law firm, acted as a senior public policy consultant based in Ottawa and Toronto, and served as a senior lawyer in the Government of Ontario. Mr. Graham holds B.Comm. and B.C.L./LL.B. degrees from McGill University and graduate degrees in international legal studies from Cambridge and Columbia universities. He is a member of the Bars of D.C. and Ontario (previously Quebec).
CUBC Finance Chair / CEO, Trimark Capital Group