With King Saud University Delegation to German Universities.

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Dr. Mezyad Alterkawi, CEO of the Riyadh Technology Incubation Center in Saudi Arabia, has agreed to take on the role of program director for the East Asia Middle East Initiative at the Asia Institute. In this role he will bring new leadership with an emphasis on the cooperation between science parks in the Middle East and East Asia, his field of expertise. Dr. Alterkawi replaces Dr. Fahad Altouraif, Vice President for Mergers & Acquisitions at NCB Capital, the primary investment bank associated with Aramco. Dr. Altourif will be returning to his primary work after establishing the East Asia Middle East Initiative.

Dr. Alterkawi has been the CEO of RTIC since May, 2007. RTIC is a leading center in the Middle East for the development of advanced technologies and will form the core of the Riyadh Techno Valley, a next generation science park to open in 2010 under Dr. Alterkawi’s leadership. At present, RTIC serves as a state-of-the-art technology incubator on the campus of King Saud Unviersity that encourages and supports innovation and entrepreneurship locally and throughout the Middle East. King Saud University, with its full range of colleges and educational resources, supports the incubator with programs in the science, engineering, medical, and business areas.

Riyadh Technology Incubation Center (RTIC) is also a critical part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to form a knowledge-based economy.

Dr. Alterkawi works as an associate professor in King Saud University’s College of Engineering. With a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Texas A&M University (1991), Dr. Alterkawi has in-depth training in the technical, economic and social factors critical to science parks and long-term growth in technology. He plays a central role in forming science policy in Saudi Arabia, working with business, government and academia.

Dr. Alterkawi is also an important figure globally in the establishment of global strategies for science parks and technology incubators. He is widely known for his active promotion of closer ties between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world, especially East Asia. His article “Saudi Arabia and South Korea: Partnership for Prosperity” puts forth a vision of a true win-win partnership between East Asia and the Middle East.

Dr. Alterkawi has served as coordinator of the Department of Urban Planning for Administrative Affairs (2001 to 2007) and also on the King Saud University Steering Committee for Upgrading the University’s Master Plan (2001 to 2002). Dr. Alterkawi has published five research papers on science and technology and given numerous talks at international conferences.