Our Team

Our Team | Al Qasim Foundation | Ras Al Khaimah | Diversity

Leadership

  • Managing Director

    Dr. Mohamed Abdullatif Khalifa

    Mohamed Abdullatif Khalifa holds a PhD in Management and an MPA in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, United States.

    His extensive work experience includes stints as Chief Consultant—Strategic Planning, Performance Management and Organizational Excellence—Al Ain Municipality and Managing Director—Dubai Real Estate College. He has also held the posts of Consultant—Strategic Planning and Development—Al Ain Municipality and Town Planning Director—Program for Government Excellence—Ras Al Khaimah.

    Mohamed Khalifa’s expertise spans fundamentals of management, organizational behavior, human resources management, and research methods, among several others. He has had papers published in several prestigious journals and delivered dissertations at high-profile conferences.

    He holds professional membership in the Academy of Management and the American Society for Public Administration, United States. He also serves as a member of leading international and regional government and education bodies.

  • Executive Director

    Dr. Natasha Ridge

    Natasha Ridge is the Executive Director of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research. Prior to this, she was the Acting Director of Research at the Dubai School of Government. Natasha has numerous publications, including a book entitled Education and the Reverse Gender Divide in the Gulf States: Embracing the Global, Ignoring the Local. Her additional publications include chapters in the 2016 and 2012 editions of the World Education Yearbook, as well as assorted journal articles, working papers and chapters for a variety of other publications.

    Natasha holds a Doctorate of Education in international education policy from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Master's in International and Community Development from Deakin University, Australia. She is a board member of the Arab Foundations Forum and a founding board member and former president of the Gulf Comparative Education Society. Her latest research focuses on philanthropy and education as well as the nature and impact of father involvement in the Arab World.

  • Chief Operating Officer

    Michael Capel

    Michael Capel is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the Al Qasimi Foundation. He brings nearly 20 years’ experience in strategic and operational leadership for public- and private-sector organizations. Most recently he was COO of a Qatar-based multinational investment group in the consumer products, hospitality, and business services sectors. He also previously worked as a transformation consultant, helping organizations align their strategy, business processes, organization, and technology. Among his clients were private companies, government departments, non-profit organizations, and USAID-funded programs in Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan among others. Earlier in his career, he was a consultant in the United States focused on program management, business process improvement and change management, human capital, and economic and statistical analysis.

    Michael, who is a native of California, received BS and MPA degrees from Cornell University. He served as an instructor in Economic and Social Statistics, and his thesis discussed the use of statistics in employment discrimination litigation.

    michael@alqasimifoundation.rak.ae
  • Director of Research

    Dr. Soohyun Jeon

    Prior to joining the Al Qasimi Foundation and becoming its Research Director, Soohyun taught various courses in education, psychology, statistics, and research methods at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at institutions in South Korea and Mongolia. In addition to her eight years of university teaching experience, she has worked as a research fellow in the department of medical education at Korea University and has served as chair of the department of English education at Mongolia International University.

    Soohyun received her BA and MA in education from Hanyang University, South Korea. She also holds an MA in educational measurement and statistics and a PhD in educational psychology from the University of Iowa in the United States. Her research interests are students’ academic motivation and psychological well being as well as parents’ and teachers’ motivation styles and their influences on student outcomes.

    soohyun@alqasimifoundation.rak.ae
  • Director of Community Engagement and Outreach

    Caitrin Mullan

    Caitrin brings over eight years of higher education experience to her role as Director of Community Engagement and Outreach. Prior to joining the Al Qasimi Foundation, she held several positions focused on student affairs and undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences). In her most recent role as Chief of Staff to the Associate Dean, Caitrin helped lead a strategic planning effort to embed experiential and interdisciplinary teaching strategies into the curriculum. Caitrin’s background also includes work in admissions, advising, student leadership development, study abroad, strategic communications, and diversity and inclusion capacity building.

    A Minnesota native, Caitrin holds three degrees from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus: Journalism (BA), Environmental Science (BS), and Water Resources Science (MS). She also spent a year studying at the University of Queensland in Australia as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.

    caitrin@alqasimifoundation.rak.ae
  • Director of Programs

    Dr. Elisabeth Wilson

    Elisabeth Wilson has more than fifteen years of international education experience including conducting education research, program monitoring and evaluation, and teaching English language to speakers of other languages. She grew up in the U.S., but has worked with a spectrum of international donors, travelled extensively, and lived abroad as both a researcher and instructor in several countries including Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, Uganda, and elsewhere in East Africa. Much of Elisabeth’s research has looked into how cross-border university partnerships address needs at local, national, and global levels. She holds a doctorate in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Michigan State University.

  • Accounts Manager

    Elena Raymunda Laspoña

    Elena Laspoña is the Accounts Manager at the Al Qasimi Foundation. A Filipino national, Elena graduated from the University of the Visayas, Cebu Philippines in March 1996 with a bachelor of science in accountancy. She worked as a bookkeeper and import/exporter-in-charge for 13 years with an international exporter and large shipbuilding company in the Philippines. Before joining the Foundation, she worked as an accountant in Aden City, Republic of Yemen. Elena maintains all financial records for the Foundation.

  • Events Manager

    Suqrat bin Bisher

    Suqrat holds a BA in Applied Communication from the Higher Colleges of Technology-Dubai Men’s Collage. During his studies, Suqrat supported the Foundation by producing short films in connection with its work. During 2012 he also worked as a teaching assistant at the Dubai Men’s College. Suqrat has been involved in the organization of five art exhibitions and has filmed and directed more than seven short films and documentaries including Under the Tree, Sudfa, Ghalia, and Sha’am, some of which were screened at the Gulf Film Festival in 2011. His latest documentary, Drop Outs (Silent Weapon), was produced in collaboration with the Al Qasimi Foundation. Suqrat is also the director and co-founder of the Dubai Students Film Festival.

    suqrat@alqasimifoundation.rak.ae