Our Team

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


  • 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 founding Executive Director of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research. Prior to this appointment, she was the Acting Director of Research at the Dubai School of Government. Natasha has over 20 years of experience working in the international education sector including in Singapore and Australia.

    Natasha holds a Doctorate of Education in International Education Policy from Columbia University, a Master's in International and Community Development from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University.

    Natasha has more than 50 publications, including a book entitled Education and the Reverse Gender Divide in the Gulf States: Embracing the Global, Ignoring the Local published by Teachers College Press. Her latest research focuses on philanthropy and education in the MENA region as well as the nature and impact of father involvement in the Arab World.

    In addition to being a founding Executive Board member and former President of the Gulf Comparative Education Society Natasha is also a member of the NORRAG Advisory Board and the Board of EduAlliance.

    Natasha is passionate about all things related to education and hopes that the work of the Al Qasimi Foundation will continue to make a positive impact on the lives and education of the people of Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE and beyond.

  • 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.

  • Director of Community Engagement and Outreach

    Caitrin Mullan

    Caitrin serves as the Director of Community Engagement and Outreach at the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, where she is responsible for organizational collaborations, competitive grants, and strategic communication efforts. She also helped develop the Foundation’s College Preparation and Sheikh Saqr Overseas Scholarship programs, which prepare and encourage promising Emirati students and young professionals to undertake university studies overseas.

    Prior to joining the Al Qasimi Foundation in 2012, Caitrin worked at the University of Minnesota (United States) for over eight years in positions related to student affairs and undergraduate education. Her higher education experience includes strategic planning, admissions and advising, student leadership development, experiential learning, and diversity and inclusion capacity building. Caitrin holds a Journalism BA, Environmental Science BS, and Water Resources Science MS from the University of Minnesota and spent a year studying at the University of Queensland (Australia) as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. 

  • 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.