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Urban View from Window

Speaking at

Welcoming Remarks,

Session I - The Changing Economic Landscape: “The Need for a Meeting of Minds”,

Session III What Science Can Do – Environment,

Session V - What Islamic Finance and Banking Can Offer,

Concluding Remarks

Dr. Ismail Serageldin

Chairman of The Meeting of Minds Forum, Emeritus Librarian of Alexandria and Former Vice President of the World Bank

Ismail Serageldin is the Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), the new Library of Alexandria, inaugurated in 2002, and is currently Emeritus Librarian, and member of the Board of Trustees of the Library of Alexandria. He serves as chair and member of a number of advisory committees for academic, research, scientific and international institutions, including as co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), and as patron of the International Science Council (ISC). He has held many international positions including as vice president of the World Bank (1993–2000). He was also the founding chairman of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP) and chair of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). He also co-chaired the African Union’s high level panel for Biotechnology (2006) and again for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in 2012-2013.


Dr. Serageldin is a member of many academies, and he has received many awards including: First recipient of Grameen Foundation (USA) Award for a lifetime commitment to combating poverty, (1999); Pablo Neruda Medal of Honor, awarded by the Government of Chile (2004); The Bajaj Award for promoting Ghandian values outside India (2006); Order of the Rising Sun – Gold and Silver Star awarded by the Emperor of Japan (2008); Champion of Youth Award by the World Youth Congress, Quebec (2008); Knight of the French Legion of Honor awarded by the President of France (2008); Millennium Excellence Award for Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize, Ghana (2010); The Public Welfare Medal, by the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC (2011); and is a Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters of the French Republic (2011). He also holds the “Dostlug” Order (Order of Friendship) of Azerbaijan awarded by President of Azerbaijan (2015); and the Presidential Medals of Albania (2017), Montenegro (2018) and Macedonia (2019).


He has lectured widely all over the world including delivering the Mandela Lecture (Johannesburg, 2011), the Nexus Lecture (Netherlands, 2011), He was distinguished professor at Wageningen University and at the College de France.


Dr. Serageldin has published over 100 books and monographs and over 500 papers on a variety of topics including biotechnology, rural development, sustainability, and the value of science to society. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Cairo University and master’s degree and a PhD from Harvard University and has received 40 honorary doctorates.

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