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Future Leader, 2016: Leila Benali, Saudi Aramco

Benali has established herself as an authority on energy strategy, policy and investments. She is consulted by key stakeholders on such matters, particularly in sensitive circumstances. She contributed to the drafting of the Iraqi Hydrocarbons Law, the creation of a gas company in a fast-growing economy, the post-sanctions

National Economic Strategy in Libya and the G20 energy response to the 2008 crisis.

Throughout her career, she has demonstrated commitment to the sustainable future of the energy industry, as well as to energy access and optimal fuel resource allocation for sustainable wealth creation and prosperity.

Before joining Saudi Aramco in 2014, she was a director at Cambridge Energy Research Associates for the Middle East and Africa. Prior to this, she conducted field research on the liberalisation of the UAE electricity and water sectors. She also worked on assessments of the political and social climate in Lebanon and Syria, and as an industrial engineer at Schlumberger.

Benali has extensive experience of managing projects for international companies, investment banks, governments, and industrial outfits, including corporate strategies, investments and acquisitions, country energy masterplans and long-term scenarios. In her numerous roles, she has demonstrated a unique ability to gauge and act on different stakeholder interests, particularly in politically sensitive environments. As an example, she led a team advising eastern Mediterranean governments on fuel supply optimisation after a gas crisis. Several multi-billion dollar energy projects were struck as a result.

Benali is a strong believer in the value of transparency and integration. She firmly maintains that the industry will reinvent itself to capture the opportunities and overcome the challenges of the twenty-first century, and that this transformation can happen if information and data are easily available and computable and if regions, sectors and countries are better integrated.

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