Leadership Team

Suleiman Barada

Head of UABdigital & Sr. Advisor Union of Arab Banks

Email: [email protected], Tel: +9613005523

Suleiman Barada is an Independent Technology Business Strategist. A Sr. Advisor at the Union of Arab Banks, and Head of UABdigital where he spearheads the ecosystem digital transformation arm of the Union, with an ecosystem-wide vision and mission, and a mandate to leaving no financial institution behind in the Digital Economy within the Arab countries. Suleiman is also Chair of the Advisory Board at the Arab Banks Innovation Council (ABIC). In that capacity, and reporting into the Secretary General of the Union, Suleiman is leading a Pan-Arab digital banking agenda on FinTech Collaborations, Open Banking, CBDC, and other transformative initiatives affecting the Arab banking sector as a whole.

Suleiman is an Ecosystem Architect with focus on value creation and practices a purpose-driven approach to developing and executing Digital Business Transformation roadmaps while being entirely focused on Benefits Realization and the way they can be measured, attained, and sustained. Suleiman has worked with a wide variety of international technology vendors and possesses a thorough understanding of the global tech ecosystem and their characteristics.

Founder of S2E MEA, an affiliate of S2E Transformation Inc., a Strategy Execution consulting firm based out of New York, USA. .

Suleiman’s cross-industry experience includes Defense, Government, Financial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Construction, Facilities Management, Telco, Utilities, and Retail sectors.


Mick Simonelli

Chief of Innovation

Mick is a dynamic thought leader on innovation in large organizations. As an independent consultant for large companies; Mick leads Simonelli Innovation LLC, a lean, agile, consulting firm that uses proven, practical financial services industry experience to achieve ground breaking, multi-year results. Prior to Simonelli Innovation, Mick served as the senior innovation executive for USAA, where he built and drove the enterprise-wide innovation program to world class status. During his tenure, USAA received numerous awards and accolades including InfoWeek 500’s most innovative, BusinessWeek’s #1 customer service, and peoples choice awards. Before that, Mick served as a lead innovator in multiple positions within the Department of Defense where he helped digitize and transform the US Army. Mick is a certified management accountant and possesses advanced degrees in business and psychology. A natural change agent, Mick is an executive innovation practitioner with his work appearing on NPR, American Banker, Harvard Business Review, Workforce Magazine, Fast Company, and numerous academic articles. For more information on Mick please visit http://micksimonelli.com.

Nihal Abughattas

Chief of Growth

Nihal Abughattas is a Resident Advisor and GTM Consultant. She supports IFC clients (FIs and MFIs) on how to take their financial inclusion and digital transformation projects to market. Nihal is also a Founding Board Member of the MENA Fintech Association; an inclusive, not-for-profit body that fosters an open, cross border dialogue for the region’s Fintech community.

Nihal is hired as a consultant and mentor to a number of businesses in the Fintech space, devoting her time in helping companies with their growth strategy, new product roadmaps, developing new value propositions as well as enabling them with successful collaborations in the ecosystem.

Prior to this, she held assumed a number of roles at Temenos, the leading banking technology vendor serving 41 out of the top 50 banks globally. Nihal was the Regional Head of Marketing for Middle East and Africa, moved on to becoming the Global Head of Campaigns based out of Dubai; and ended her tenor at Temenos being the Marketplace Community Director for the MEA and Asia Pacific, where she drove partnerships between Fintechs and financial institutions.

The above sums up 17 years of experience across the region, including leading Fawry’s market inauguration and it’s early years adoption phase as Head of Marketing & Growth. Fawry has grown to become the region’s first Fintech Unicorn with a market valuation above USD 1 Billion