Beth Hirshfeld is the President of the Canada-UAE Business Council (CUBC), a business advocacy organization committed to advancing stronger trade and investment between Canada and the United Arab Emirates.
A Canadian based in Dubai since 2014, Beth previously served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates (CBC) for 3.5 years and later as a member of its Executive Committee. In this role, she supported businesses to develop commercial and governmental networks and strategic alliances, to understand local practices and regulations, and to grow their businesses successfully in the UAE.
Prior to living in Dubai, Beth practiced as a lawyer at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto, Canada, and was a Senior Policy Advisor and Chief of Staff to the Ministers of Finance and Citizenship & Immigration with the Ontario Government. In these roles, she was responsible for implementing and managing stakeholder relations around several critical government and business initiatives, including managing the services transformation process to ensure the sustainability of public services during the 2008 global financial crisis and beyond.
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, Gowling WLG
Cyrus is a Partner with the international law firm Gowling WLG.
Cyrus is one of Canada’s leading public policy practitioners, with more than twenty-five years of high-ranking experience in both the public and private sectors. Cyrus assists clients in solving public policy, regulatory and business challenges. He is active in the firm’s initiatives in the United Arab Emirates and is co-lead for the firm’s India initiative. Cyrus also advises clients on a range of compliance issues relating to lobbying laws, conflict of interest provisions for public office holders, gifting and hospitality rules, and political advertising and donation provisions.
Prior to joining the firm in February 2017, Cyrus served as Senior Adviser to Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. He also served as Chief of Staff to Mr. Trudeau in his capacity as Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. He served as a key advisor to Mr. Trudeau in the 2015 federal election campaign and then as a member of Mr. Trudeau’s transition team preparing to assume government. In his role as Senior Advisor, Cyrus was the lead advisor from the Office of the Prime Minister on a variety of government wide initiatives.
Cyrus co-chaired the national public policy practice of another global law firm for a decade from 2003 to 2013.
Between 1994 and 2003, Cyrus held several senior political staff positions in the Government of Canada, including Chief of Staff to the federal Ministers of Health and Industry, as well as to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
CUBC Finance Chair / CEO, Trimark Capital Group