FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
AMAL KANDEEL founded Pioneers International, LLC in 2012 to design, implement, and facilitate innovative, progressive solutions that could fill need gaps in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, green construction, and public health provisions in Egypt and other arid countries in North Africa and West Asia. Kandeel is a Western-trained economist and international public policy professional, with extensive firsthand and academic experience in her region of expertise. She is an international advisor, and has been a career consultant to international, government, and private agencies in the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia, with extensive expertise on Egypt and Jordan, since 1998.
Kandeel is also the start-up director of the Climate Change, Environment, and Human Security program at the Middle East Institute, Washington, DC. She has been a scholar and expert at the institute on regional human security issues and on Egypt since May 2017.
Kandeel was a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa during 2018-2019. She was also a Subject Matter Expert at the Library of Congress during 2011-2013. Prior to that, during 2008-2011 she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Amal Kandeel is a writer for the Atlantic Council, Washington, DC. Her analyses and commentary on natural resource, development, and security issues in North Africa and West Asia are published widely inside and outside the United States, with venues that have included the Middle East Institute, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the United States Institute of Peace, and Al-Arabiya, as well as in Middle East Policy, Arab Studies Quarterly, Middle East Economic Survey, the National (UAE), the National (US), Saudi Gazette, and the Middle East Times.
She is a widely sought expert for briefings, lectures, and conferences on climate change, development, peace, and human security issues in North Africa and West Asia. She has given talks or lectured in forums in the US, Egypt, Jordan, Germany, and Italy.
Amal Kandeel’s professional career started with an appointment to a as a junior faculty member, after graduating as the first female valedictorian in the history of Cairo University’s Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences. Her first publication, on the devastating impacts of warfare and UN sanactions on the Iraqi economy, its infrastructure, and its military capabilities, as well as the humanitarian crisis they led to, was published by the faculty’s Center for Economic and Financial Research and Studies in 1993 in Arabic. She became a pioneer among Egyptian females who broke into the English-speaking world of journalism, publishing her first regional analysis on Jordan in the Cyprus-based English language Middle East Times while living in Cairo in 1998.
Kandeel’s passion for and dedication to her present work has its roots in her unique early experiences in Egypt, when she became at age seven co-owner of an agricultural enterprise that her late father, an Egyptian intellectual, economist, and agricultural investor, was overseeing and developing in northern Egypt’s desert reclaimed zone.
Amal Kandeel is fluent in written and spoken English, modern standard Arabic, and Egyptian Arabic. She is also functionally fluent in the Arabic dialects of the Levant and the GCC. She is quite well-versed in the complexities and nuances of intercultural communications, especially between the US and Arab societies, given her extensive and intensive living and work experiences in both.
She has a Master’s degree in International Public Policy from the School of Advanced and International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, a Master’s degree in Economics from American University, Cairo, Egypt, and a BA in Economics from Cairo University, Egypt.
STRATEGIC PARTNER & ADVISOR
SCOTT SKLAR is President of The Stella Group, Ltd., a strategic policy and clean technology optimization firm facilitating clean distributed energy utilization which includes advanced batteries and controls, energy efficiency, fuel cells, geoexchange, heat engines, minigeneration (propane/natural gas), microhydropower (and freeflow, tidal, wave), modular biomass, photovoltaics, small wind, and solar thermal (including daylighting, water heating, industrial preheat, building air-conditioning, and electric power generation). The Stella Group, Ltd. is one of the very few companies that blends distributed energy & efficiency technologies and energy storage, aggregates financing (including leasing), with a focus on system standardization. Sklar founded the company in 1995 and joined it full time as its President in 2000.
Prior, Scott Sklar served for 15 years simultaneously running two Washington, DC-based trade associations, as Executive Director of both the Solar Energy Industries Association and the National BioEnergy Industries Association. Before his move to SEIA and NBIA, he was Political Director of The Solar Lobby, a renewable energy advocacy organization founded by the nine major national environmental organizations. Before joining “the Lobby”, he was Washington Director and Acting Research Director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), founded by Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield and technologist EF Shumacher. This federally-funded applied technology organization assisted low income communities in utilizing energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Sklar began his energy career as an aide to Senator Jacob K. Javits (NY) where he focused on energy and military matters for nine years. During his Senate tenure, he cofounded the Congressional Solar Caucus that lead many of the innovative legislation promoting renewable energy in the 1970’s. Sklar is co-author of two books, The Forbidden Fuel, published in 1985 and updated and re-released in 2010 by University of Nebraska Press, and the Consumer Guide to Solar Energy, which was re-released for its third printing.
Scott Sklar serves on Boards of Directors of national nonprofits including, Business Council for Sustainable Energy (climate change) and The Solar Foundation, and for 15 years he Chaired the Steering Committee of the Sustainable Energy Coalition (national efficiency and renewable energy think tanks, industry associations, and advocacy groups). Scott Sklar lives in a solar home in Arlington, Virginia with solar water heating, geothermal heating & cooling, and photovoltaics/battery system. He has a unique PV system on the roof of his Washington, DC office overlooking Lafayette Park in front of The White House, and a zero energy VA office building with PV roofing shingles, small wind turbine, and a hydrogen fuel cell.
Scott Sklar was selected as the Renewable Energy Industry Representative onto REEEP No Am Adv Committee of UN Int’l RE Activity in August 2006 thru December 2009. REEEP is a Public-Private partnership and was launched by the United Kingdom along with UN agencies UNIDO and UNDP, 30 other governments.
Sklar was appointed in April 2007 onto National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy & Technology (NACEPT) of USEPA (ending January 2010). On November 4, 2010, Secretary Locke appointed Sklar to the Department of Commerce’s Advisory Board on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and was extended on December 4, 2012 by Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank., and once again Secretary Pritzker appointed Sklar to the Department of Commerce’s Advisory Board on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy where is serves as it’s Chairman, term ending June 2016, and reappointed as its Vice Chairman through 2018, and now was reappointed again to serve on RE&EEAC through June 2020.
On June 19, 2014, Scott Sklar was awarded the prestigious The Charles Greeley Abbot Award by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and on April 26, 2014 was awarded the Green Patriot Award by George Mason University in Virginia. Named July 2019 as “Vice Chair for Special Programs” of the American Bar Association (ABA) Renewable Alternative and Distributed Energy Resources (RADER) Committee of the Section on Energy Environment and Resources: Energy Infrastructure.
Sklar is an Adjunct Professor at The George Washington University (GWU) teaching three unique interdisciplinary courses on sustainable energy, and an Affiliated Professor with CATIE, an international graduate university located in Costa Rica focused on sustainability for Latin America. Sklar serves as the Energy Director of GWU’s Environment & Energy Management Instutute (EEMI) – https://eemi.seas.gwu.edu/ firstname.lastname@example.org.
A sample of his publications are:
His peer-reviewed paper on zero-energy buildings was published on zero energy buildings in 2013, “Perspective on multi-scale assets for clean energy technologies in buildings” and is available as ‘Online First’ on Springer Link
“The Future of Personal Energy Use “ presented by Scott Sklar before TEDxTalks
tedxtalks.ted.com/video/The-Future-of-Personal-Energy-U Apr 7,
Coauthor of The George Washington University (GWU) Community Solar Handbook, October 2017
Resiliency, the Electric Grid & Renewable Energy. Solar Today. (pg 14) April 2018
PAUL SULLIVAN, PHD
DR. PAUL SULLIVAN has been a full professor at the National Defense University (NDU) since July 1999.
At NDU he has taught economics, industry analytics, about the energy industry, and electives on economic warfare, Iran, Iraq, the Islamic world, and natural resources and international security. He has run crisis, national security and national mobilization exercises. He ran the Middle East, and the North Africa and Levant Regional Security Studies. Professor Sullivan has been a primary faculty adviser at NDU to flag officers from the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia,
Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Europe, South Asia, Argentina and Northeast Asia while at NDU. Dr. Sullivan has been part of the leadership and faculty of the award-winning NDU Energy Industry Study for 15 years. He has also run field studies related to the energy, environment and agribusiness industries in Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, Spain, Iceland, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, France, Greece, Turkey, the UAE, Qatar, Australia, Japan, Mongolia, China, Chile, and throughout the United States as part of his duties at NDU.Dr. Sullivan was part of the initial point team from NDU to help establish a National Defense College in the UAE.
Dr. Sullivan has been an Adjunct Professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University, where he has taught classes on global energy and international security (which include analyses of energy and security issues for the EU, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, India, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia, the United States, Chile, Venezuela, Canada, and the Arctic.) for over 14 years. He taught a course on natural resources and international security for Georgetown’s STIA department for many years. He has also taught courses on the Arab World, East Asia, natural resource issues, and the economics of conflict for the Yale Alumni College in Washington, DC.
Dr. Sullivan has been selected to be part of exclusive energy meetings at Windsor Castle in the UK over the past three years. He also is a Distinguished International Fellow at the National Council of U.S. Arab Relations and an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Future Global Resource Threats at the Federation of American Scientists. He was a senior fellow at the EastWest Institute, and a VP at the UN Association of the National Capitol Area.
Dr. Sullivan has been involved in the energy work at the UNCTAD with a focus on Africa. He was on high-level working groups on Iraq, Iran, Libya and the Marshall Plan for the Middle East for the Atlantic Council. He was on high-level working groups on Iraq, the Tigris and Euphrates, and Syria for PILPG. He was on high-level working groups at CNA related to water and energy.
In the 1990s, Dr. Sullivan taught classes on the economics of Egypt, the economic development of the Middle East and the economic history of the Middle East at the American University in Cairo for six years. He was also the advisor to graduate students in the economics department at AUC and part of the Middle East Studies Committee and the university senate while at AUC.
Dr. Sullivan has been a regular, active participant and speaker at the Blouin Creative Leadership Summits in New York City. He has spoken at mosques and other religious institutions, and to various community and other organizations over the years. His speaking and media engagements have spanned five continents over the years.
Dr. Sullivan is an internationally recognized expert on the political economy and economic development of the Middle East and North Africa, Northeast Asia, South Asia and parts of The Americas. He has been advising senior leadership in government and the military on economic, energy, water, extremism, US-Islamic, US-Arab and US-Iran relations, the Middle East and North Africa, East Asia, South Asia and other economic and security issues for decades. He has been interviewed 1000s of times by the media on five continents on multiple issue. He is extensively published on a wide variety of issues. He has given hundreds of public, academic and policy talks throughout the world over his nearly four decade career.
Dr. Sullivan obtained his Ph.D. from Yale University with highest honors and graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University. Dr. Sullivan is a graduate of the prestigious Seminar XXI Program at MIT. He has a certificate of completion from the graduate-level Ethnoarchaeology Field Study run by Flinders University in Barunga, Australia.
Dr. Sullivan is well-traveled, and has developed a wide-ranging and powerful international network. He is a member of Chatham House, the IISS, the NDIA, The American Nuclear Society, and The Royal Economic Society.
ALI ABU SEDIRA, PHD
STRATEGIC PARTNER & ADVISOR
DR. ALI ABU SEDIRA is a chemical engineer who has dedicated his career to environmental conservation and development. His expertise includes: integrated environmental management; technical support and environmental consultancy for industrial establishments; management of environmental monitoring, industrial inspection, environmental impact assessment studies, and occupational health and safety; preparation of environmental profile studies and action plans at a regional level; and reviewing of environmental studies for industrial projects.
Dr. Abu Sedira has served in leadership positions in the public and private sectors. He was General Secretary, Under Secretary, Deputy CEO, and head of Regional Branches Affairs of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), held several specialized management positions at the Sakr Factory for Developed Industries, and served as Manager of the Arab Institute for Aerospace Technology. He has served as board member of the EEAA, Environmental Protection Fund, and Cairo University’s Research and Environmental Studies and Environmental Risks Reduction centers. Dr. Abu Sedira has also been a member of numerous committees for projects on water and environmental management.
During his time at the EEAA, Dr. Abu Sedira helped establish nine regional branch offices to serve the neediest villages in Egypt. He supervised the preparation of environmental profiles for 21 governorates and environmental action plans for 15 governorates. He also participated in a project to develop 1,000 of the neediest Egyptian villages, implemented a pilot project and prepared a study to upgrade the Abu Rawash waste-water treatment plant, and drove another pilot project to prepare a study of biological treatment for the Al-Rhawyi drainage canal to reduce pollution of the Rosetta branch of the Nile. Dr. Abu Sedira also supervised projects to develop access to protected areas, such as the establishment of five environmental centers in St. Catherine, scientific and visitor centers in Burrullus, Digla Valley, and Al-Qusair, and he helped create the Cultural Education Center for Environmental Conservation. He also was a representative speaker in numerous local, regional, and international conferences and workshops. These included the first international Natural Resources and Sustainable Development conference, Future Prospects for Environmental Development in the Arab World, Second General Conference of the Federation of Trade Unions of Workers in Agriculture, Fishing and Activities Associated with the Nile River Basin Countries, Modern Technology to Reduce and Control Environmental Pollution (UNIDO), and the first African regional conference for the implementation of the strategic approach to the international management of hazardous materials.
In May 2013, Dr. Abu Sedira received a patent from the Egyptian Scientific Research Academy for a new method of sewage water treatment using natural raw materials.
Dr. Abu Sedira received his PhD and Masters degrees in Chemical Engineering from Cairo University, Egypt.