top of page
conference microphone.jpg

conference SPEAKERS

The Conference brought together an outstanding team of speakers for this historic conference. From the worlds of academia, politics, law, and sociology and with perspectives of economics and history, the event was an engaging and all-embracing celebration of the 50th anniversary of the UAE Constitution. This wealth of expertise has to offered a post-conference archive of unrivalled historical value and interest for a myriad of institutions and individuals alike. 





His Excellency Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh is Cultural Adviser to HH the President of the UAE and the Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University.

His continuous government service began in the 1960s, as personal interpreter and adviser to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, founding President of the UAE. After holding leading positions developing national culture, tourism, and heritage authorities he became Minister of State in the UAE Government, to establish the
Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.


He chairs the Board of Trustees of Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and the UAE Rhodes Scholarship Committee. He is board member of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, the Paris Institut du Monde Arabe, the International Prize for Arab Fiction, and Abu Dhabi University. He held Board roles at the LSE Middle East Center, the Alliance Française - Paris, the Wagner Society - Leipzig and Abu Dhabi, and the Aga Khan Museum Toronto.

He holds a master’s degree from Queens’ College, Cambridge, and a PhD (Hon.Causa) from Al Quds Arab University - Jerusalem. He has received manY distinguished international awards and national orders of merit in recognition of his service.

Denis photo(1)#1#.jpg


Denis is Professor of Socio-Legal Studies Emeritus of the University of Oxford, a position he held from 1993 to 2017. He is a Professorial Fellow Emeritus of Wolfson College and Co-Founder of the Foundation for Law Justice and Society, an independent institute for the better understanding of the role of law in society. He also holds a recurrent Visiting Professorship at Princeton University.


His policy-based work includes commissions from the OECD, the World Bank, and DIFD, among others. Professor Galligan has published books and articles on the role of law in society, administrative law and justice, and  on the social foundations of constitutions.

Dr Mariët Westermann.jpg


Dr. Mariët Westermann is Vice Chancellor of New York University Abu Dhabi. She previously was Executive Vice President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, first Provost of NYU Abu Dhabi, Director of NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, Associate Director of the Clark Art Institute, and a faculty member at Rutgers University.


A widely published author on Netherlandish art and on museums, she is currently researching the garden of Eden and the human imagination. She earned a BA at Williams College and a PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts. Westermann serves on the boards of ALIPH (International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas) and the Scholar Rescue Fund.



John J. Coughlin serves as Global Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies and Law at NYU-Abu Dhabi, and he is affiliated faculty at NYU Law School.

He holds a BA Niagara University, MA Columbia University, ThM Princeton Seminary, JD Harvard Law School, and JCL, JCD Pontifical Gregorian University.


Professor Coughlin has taught in the law schools of universities in New York, London, South Bend, and Rome.

Jonathan Aitken Professional.jpg


Jonathan Aitken is a well-known author, broadcaster and former politician with special expertise in the Middle East.

His political career included serving as Special Adviser (then called Political Secretary) to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; twenty-four years as a Member of Parliament; and serving as a Defence Minister and as a Cabinet Minister.


He was a frequent visitor to the Middle East throughout his career where he had a particular expertise on the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. He is the author of 17 books including award-winning biographies of President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.



Lord Udny-Lister is UK Co-Chair of the UAE-UK Business Council and is a British special adviser, political strategist and former politician. He served as Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Chief Strategic Adviser from 24 July 2019 until assuming the position of Downing Street Chief of Staff from 13 November 2020 to 1 January 2021 in an acting capacity following the departure of Dominic Cummings as Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister.[1] He was previously the Deputy Mayor of London for Policy under Johnson between 2011 and 2016, and was also the Leader of Wandsworth Council from 1992 to 2011.


He became Chairman of Homes England in June 2016 and has also served as a Non Executive Director at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from April 2017 until July 2019.



Faris Nasrallah is a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, with eight years of practical experience in international arbitration. He has worked for leading international law firms in London and Dubai and has experience as arbitration counsel and as a sole arbitrator.

Faris has been selected by Oxford University Press to author a practitioners' guide to the new Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) Rules.



Shamsa Qaraiban is the Executive Manager at Emirates Human Rights Association. She holds a degree in Bachelor of  Science  from REGENT  COLLEGE: Member of  the  University of  the  State of   New York. She has worked in many activities in the Human Rights field with the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), an international organization.


She has also worked as a Research Analyst in: “GNRD Report: Human Rights and Counterterrorism” The resulting report shows countries around the world have increased their efforts to counter global threats of terrorism and radicalisation. Recognising the need for mutual co-operation, the international community has adopted a plethora of international treaties and conventions that are designed to combat extremism and different types of terrorism. Her work had shown strength as a Project Senior Coordinator in: “Balancing Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights Challenges and opportunities Conference – Geneva. “ Hosting Government leaders, Academics, Human Rights Defenders and 200 Experts and politicians from 67 countries to discuss a proposal for a joint international convention against terrorism.


Shamsa is currently doing her MBA in International Relations and Diplomacy at Robert Kennedy College in Switzerland.

Mónika is an independent media lawyer with experience of advising and working with major international media enterprises, broadcasting companies, studios and media production companies.


She has extensive experience in project management and completed many successful projects for major international companies. She holds a Master’s Degree in Comparative Constitutional Law and currently is the Managing Director of the UAE50 Programme and Joint Managing Director of Oxford Cyber Academy.

anna9 (004)_edited.jpg




Yoseph M. Edrey, Israeli law educator. Professor emeritus, Haifa University, Faculty of Law; Visiting professor & scholar in numerous U.S. and European Law Schools and Faculties during the last forty years (including, Harvard, Michigan, UCLA, G.W. Penn law schools). 

His major areas of research, teaching, and writing are the Constitutional aspects of fiscal legislation; Tax policy; Distributive and social justice; International taxation; and Tax law. In addition, he publishes quite often op-eds in Haaretz, the very influential Israeli daily newspaper.

His scholarly activity includes, inter alia: Member, academic committee public council of the Israeli Constitution, the Israeli Democratic Institute, Jerusalem, 1996—2004; Consultant Knesset (Israeli Parliament) on Corporate Tax Reform, 2000—2001; member, The The Israeli President's public commission re the Israeli Governmental Systems, 2004—2006; Former member of European Tax Law Professors; Israeli Bar Association.



John Sexton is an American lawyer and academic. He is currently the Benjamin F. Butler Professor of Law at New York University, where he teaches at the law school and NYU's undergraduate colleges. He actively writes, including books for both the academic and popular press.


John served as the fifteenth President of NYU, from 2002 to 2015 and during his tenure as President, NYU's stature rose dramatically into the ranks of the world's top universities.

Maheen Pfeffer.jpg


Maheen has a background in Project Finance, Public-Private Partnerships, private equity and sovereign wealth investments and previously practiced at Afridi & Angell and Abu Dhabi Investment Council.


She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honors) degree as a Britannia Chevening and ICI Scholar from the University of Durham, an LLM in International Business Law from the University of London and a Postgraduate Diploma from City University, London.


She is a Barrister and was called to the Bar of England and Wales, a High Court Advocate of the Punjab Bar in Pakistan and has passed the Uniform Bar Exam pending admittance to the New York State Bar. She is a member of Lincoln’s Inn, the IBA and NACUA and speaks English, Urdu and basic German.

Prof. Abderrahim El Maslouhi.jpg


Prof. El Maslouhi is currently professor of public law at the UAE University - College of Law. His received his PhD degree in public law from Mohammed V University (January 2000). He was a public law professor at the Mohammed V University (2000-2017) and Bahrain University (2017-2018).

Prof. El Maslouhi is a Co-founding member and Executive Committee member of the Arab Association of Constitutional Law (AACL - Tunis) and a Member of the Executive Committee of the African Network of Constitutional Law (ANCLCape Town). Further, he is Consultant to the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies (IRES) and to many national and international organizations (UNESCO, UNDP, European Council, UN-Women...).

He is also a former senior executive at the Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reform (1993-



Frauke Heard-Bey studied history and political science in Heidelberg and received her Ph.D. from the ‘Freie Universität’ of West Berlin in 1967.  Frauke joined the Centre for Documentation and Research (now the National Archive) in Abu Dhabi in 1969. The Centre was her sphere of work for 39 years.

Frauke’s research into the social, economic and constitutional history and current developments of the countries of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula resulted in several books and articles.

bottom of page