SWCC deputy governor elected as IDA president 2013-15

Dr Abdullah Al-Alshaikh, deputy governor for planning and development of Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) will become president of the International Desalination Association (IDA) on 24 October 2013 serving for the 2013‑15 term.

The new president was elected at a meeting of the new IDA board on 20 October 2013.

In addition, IDA announced two new vice presidents: Emilio Gabbrielli, vice president business development of Toray Membrane (1st VP); and Miguel Angel Sanz, director of development and innovation of Degrémont(2nd VP).

Dr Al-Alshaikh’s first postgraduate position was working with Ar Riyadh Development Authority as an engineer from 1988 – 1994. In 1992 he was appointed as 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), Twaiq Palace in the Diplomatic Quarter.

He began working with SWCC in 1994 as a project engineer in the Studies & Designs Department, where he was involved in reviewing of designs and technical proposals for the major Shoaiba Phase II Pipe Line Project, a 122 km long pipeline with pumping stations and storage tanks to supply water to Jeddah and the holy city of Makkah and Taif.

In 1996 he was appointed general manager of projects in 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 his duties. In 2006, he was promoted to deputy governor of SWCC for planning and development, the same position he holds today.

Dr Al-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(PMC). In 2009, he was elected a chairman of PMC for the second time.

He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, and a Master of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, USA. In 2004, he was awarded a PhD degree in Business Administration by Hull University, UK, for his thesis, A Contract Model for Private Sector Participation in Water Resources Management: The Case of Saudi Arabia.