Posted on January 28, 2013

Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, recently hosted the 7th Annual LeaderShape Program at the Al Sultan Beach Resort in Al Khor. The event, held from January 5-10, 2013, gathered sixty students for an enriching educational experience focused on how to “lead with integrity.”

The six day program contained a variety of leadership related themes such as building community and bringing vision to reality. The program also instilled in its participants the need for meaningful action and encouraged them to fight for a better world.

This year, the LeaderShape Program was supported by Maersk Oil, an international oil and gas company committed to giving back to Qatar and supporting the Qatar National Vision 2030. In addition to covering the financial costs for students participating in the program, a Maersk Oil representative also contributed to the guest leadership panel.

LeaderShape was established in the United States in 1988 and has been offering its program to Doha’s youth since 2007. The program was developed to provide young adults with an experience of self-discovery within a supportive learning environment; its primary objective is to shape youth into future leaders that will contribute to a thriving global society. This international session hosted by HBKU is the only annual session that LeaderShape offers internationally.

“It is a privilege to be able to bring the LeaderShape program here to Qatar on a yearly basis,” said Evan Witt, Coordinator for Campus Life at HBKU and Program Coordinator of LeaderShape.“The program offers unique opportunities for our students to develop as global leaders. The skills that they develop through this program will be valuable for the rest of their lives.”

This guest leadership panel took place on Monday January 7, 2013, and featured three guests from a variety of different sectors. Saleem Al-Yafei, a Maersk engineer, represented the private sector, Essa Ali Al Mannai, Executive Director of Reach Out to Asia, represented the non-profit sector, and Sharoq Almalki, Chief of Human Capital at the Qatar Museum Authority, represented the social sector. Each of the panellists shared their views and experiences on leadership with the participants. The panel was moderated by Dr. Dennis Roberts, Assistant Vice President of HBKU.

Workshops at this year’s LeaderShape focused on helping each student identify their personality style, vision and goals, as well as their ideas of leadership. The comprehensive training included a session that explored different social class systems and their impact on society and individuals. In addition, students were educated on the importance of living and leading by integrity, knowledge that they can immediately apply to their day to day life as well as later on in their future careers.

As one student, Mohammed Al Ramahi from Texas A&M University at Qatar said “LeaderShape gives you an outline on how to tackle a vision and methods you will use to achieve it."

The LeaderShape program takes place on an annual basis and is open to all students of HBKU and its partner universities. To learn more about the program and the Fall 2013 application process for next year’s edition, please visit the HBKU Student Center or contact the Program Coordinator Evan Witt (

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