Dr. Abdullah Al-Alshaikh has been named president for the 2013-2015 term
Dr. Abdullah Al-Alshaikh, deputy governor for planning and development for Saline Water Conversion Corp. (SWCC) of Saudi Arabia, has been named president of the International Desalination Assn. (IDA) for the 2013-2015 term.
In addition, Emilio Gabbrielli, vice president business development for Toray Membrane, has been named first vice president, and Miguel Angel Sanz, director of development and innovation for Degrémont, has been named second vice president.
Al-Alshaikh's first postgraduate position was working with the Ar Riyadh Development Authority as an engineer from 1988 to 1994. In 1992, he was appointed director of the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and headed the department for two years. He was involved in the construction and maintenance of the Diplomatic Quarter, as well as operations management of such facilities as the Cultural Palace (City Hall) and Twaiq Palace.
He began working with SWCC in 1994 as a project engineer in the studies and designs department, where he was involved in reviewing of designs and technical proposals for the major Shoaiba Phase II Pipeline Project, a 122-km-long pipeline with pumping stations and storage tanks to supply water to Jeddah and the holy cities of Makkah and Taif.
In 1996 he was appointed general manager of projects at SWCC's head office, leading the department involved in bid evaluation, awarding and implementing contracts, and interacting with governmental agencies, consultants and several contractors in the construction activities of major multimillion power and desalination projects.
In 2002 he was promoted to assistant deputy governor of SWCC for projects and technical affairs while continuing to work as general manager of projects, and, in the absence of the deputy governor, conducting the duties of the deputy governor. In 2006, he was promoted to deputy governor of SWCC for planning and development, the position he holds today.
AI-Alshaikh has been a member of the IDA board of directors since 2009 and has served as chairman of the IDA R&D Committee since that time. Additionally, in 2006 he was elected a vice chairman of the Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) and chairman of the Project Management chapter, and, in 2009, was elected a chairman of the Project Management chapter for the second time.
He holds a B.S. in civil engineering from King Saud University and a Master of Engineering in civil engineering from Pennsylvania State University. In 2004, he was awarded a Ph.D. in business administration by Hull University for his thesis, "A Contract Model for Private Sector Participation in Water Resources Management: The Case of Saudi Arabia.”