Women in STEM in the Middle East and North Africa

Women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have made remarkable strides in education, but they remain grossly underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). These women face numerous obstacles that continue to limit their ability to study or work in these fields.

This event sought to identify and address the structural and cultural barriers preventing the entry and advancement of women in STEM professions in the MENA region. It also aimed to promote a dialogue between stakeholders from academia, policymaking and industry to determine successful approaches to increasing the representation of women in STEM disciplines. 

The event was sponsored by the Baker Institute Women's Rights in the Middle East Program and the University of Houston.

Join the conversation online with #BakerSTEM.


To view the entire conference, please click below:

Panel I
Luncheon Keynote
Panel II




Featured Speakers

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi
Minister of International Cooperation and Development, United Arab Emirates

Sherif Foda
President, Production Group, Schlumberger



8:30 am




9:15 am



Welcome Remarks

Allen J. Matusow, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Academic Affairs, Baker Institute

Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Chancellor and Interim Vice President, Research and Technology Transfer, and Chief Energy Officer, University of Houston




Introductory Remarks Recorded for the Conference

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi
Minister of International Cooperation and Development, United Arab Emirates

9:45 am    

Panel I – Barriers to Women's Access to STEM Fields

Moderator: Kirstin R.W. Matthews, Ph.D., Fellow in Science and Technology Policy, Baker Institute

Nadia Al Hasani, Ph.D.
Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dean of Student Life and Director, Women in Science and Engineering Program, Petroleum Institute, United Arab Emirates

Yasmine El Baggari
Founder, Voyaj Inc.

Catherine Hill, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research, American Association for University Women

Jessica Obeid
Project Coordinator, United Nations Development Programs; Founder and Program Manager, MentorSHE


Luncheon Keynote Address Sponsored by Schlumberger

Sherif Foda
President, Production Group, Schlumberger

 1:30 pm    

Panel II – STEM Employment and Retention

Moderator: Susan Rasmussen, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Houston

Sukaina Al-Nasrawi
Associate Statistician, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

Nagwa El-Badri, M.D., Ph.D.
Founding Chair, Biomedical Sciences Program, and Director, Center of Excellence for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Zewail City of Science and Technology

Randa Fahmy, J.D.
President, Fahmy Hudome International; Former U.S. Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy

Maysoun Ibrahim
Acting Director General, Information and Communications Technology, Office of the Palestinian President

3:45 pm    

Closing Remarks

Marwa Shalaby, Ph.D.
Fellow for the Middle East and Director, Women's Rights in the Middle East, Baker Insitute 

4:00 pm    

Networking Reception and Espresso Bar



Mon, Dec. 7, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central

Event has ended


James A. Baker III Hall, Rice University
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas 77005
United States

Doré Commons