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Dr. Salma Abassi, FRGS

Chairperson and CEO. eWorldwide Group
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Dr. Salma Abbasi is a technologist, philanthropist and social activist, with a proven track record as a visionary leader with dynamic drive and positive energy, she motivates both, professionals and the civil society. She is the CEO, eWorldwide Group, an international company focusing in development and security. A former Senior Vice President, Lucent Technologies, she has over 35 years’ experience in the field of technology, innovation for sustainable development and policy development for economic empowerment.

Dr. Abbasi is a graduate of Civil Engineering (BSc), Electrical Engineering (MSc) and has her PhD in Information Communication Technologies (ICT). This diverse engineering background has given Dr. Abbasi a unique foundation to innovatively resolve complex problems at both the strategic and tactical levels, in the Public and Private Sectors around the World.

Dr. Abbasi started her career in 1981 in Silicon Valley as a design engineer for AMD and rapidly progressed holding a series of diverse executive management positions in fortune 500 companies in fields ranging from engineering, manufacturing, quality assurance and reliability, international business development and customer satisfaction. This rich experience has given her unique capabilities, knowledge and understanding to think outside the box in multiple cultures, challenging situations and in times of crisis. This led Dr. Abbasi to form the eWorldwide Group in 2001, a dynamic consortium of 37 companies, universities and organizations, providing multiple services and solutions focused in two primary areas: sustainable development and security.

As Chairperson of the eWorldwide Group, Dr. Abbasi is using her vast international experience and knowledge, along with her contacts to leverage best practices to develop unique multisector, multi- stakeholder partnerships. She has successfully created strategies and initiatives that integrate policies and promote innovation to focus on ‘win-win’ scenarios, thus laying the foundations for sustainable knowledge economies. Dr. Abbasi advocates that the only way to develop a truly resilient knowledge economy is to engage and equip local SMEs with holistic capabilities to promote entrepreneurship, digital proficiency and innovation to drive financial inclusion and build an inclusive society. This has directly benefited local economies resulting in sustainable socio-economic development, harmonized within the local context.

Furthermore, she is creatively using ICTs to support the inclusion of people with disabilities and bridge the digital gender divide with practical and culturally sensitive solutions along with the inclusion for all, particularly girls’ access to quality education. She is of the view that sustainably empowering girls and women with knowledge and the ability to be economically independent will allow women to gain reliable access to food. This will sustainably tackle malnutrition and create a holistic model for ensuring safer healthier lives across all stages of life for mothers, infants and the girls of reproductive age.

Dr. Abbasi has been a member of various UN agencies over the past two decades and works very closely with Governments across the world, focusing on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Recently, she has developed and implemented a robust agriculture and trade transformation initiative, powered by digitization and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to create resilience at the grassroots level across the rural farming communities, impacting the poorest of the poor, while nurturing a new generation of agric. entrepreneurs, technopreneurs and industries across the entire ecosystem.

In 2009, Dr. Abbasi was invited by the WHO to be part of the international organizing committee for the first global forum on medical devices to build a better understanding of the role that technology can play in improving the lives of people with special needs. This resulted in her developing an innovative concept to holistically address the challenges of people with disabilities (PwDs) and to ensure their inclusion in society by the creation and implementation of the Assistive Technology Centre (ATC).


Subsequently, in 2010, she also developed a concept to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates by using ICT’s for delivering knowledge and awareness at the grassroots level. This was endorsed by the department of Making Pregnancy Safer, at the WHO. In response to the high mortality rate in children caused by infectious diseases, she developed a multi-dimensional school health initiative that targets ‘Preventing Avoidable Deaths from Infectious Diseases (PADID). This was endorsed by UNICEF in 2011 and is currently being implemented in Asia and Africa. In 2014, as a member of Ebola Steering Committee in Nigeria, she established the first purpose built Infectious Disease Control Centre (IDCC) with her team in Kaduna State. WHO commended this facility as being the first in West Africa. More recently, in 2016 in collaboration with key stakeholders, Dr Abbasi developed a holistic multi-dimensional emergency nutrition strategy and action plan to sustainably tackle malnutrition and food security at the grassroots.

Dr. Abbasi has also been actively working to drive interfaith understanding, dialogue, and awareness to bridge the socio-religious gap and promote human security in multi-cultural societies since the early 80’s. She is also working with Governments and development agencies to promote ‘effective’ community cohesion to prevent extremist violence and radicalization. In 2004 she designed unique models to holistically transform Madaris (Quranic schools) to promote interfaith harmony, understanding and social-economic development for youth. As a result of this work, the following year Dr. Abbasi was invited to be a senior associate fellow in the International Policy department and later in the Conflict, Security and Development department at King’s College, London. Dr. Abbasi is currently an advisory board member of the EastWest Institute in the US, which focuses on building trust and dialogue, influencing policies and delivering solutions threating regional and global stability.

Also as a member of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) High Level Experts Group (HLEG) for Cybersecurity, she is working on defining national level security strategies and policies for cybercrime and security. In this context, Dr. Abbasi authored the concept paper for ‘Child Online Protection’ (COP), focused on protecting children from the dangers of the internet. In June 2008, the ITU’s Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, subsequently endorsed and adopted this concept and it is now a global strategic initiative for the ITU and its member nations.

Subsequently, she joined hands with UNESCO in 2010, to help support and drive the ‘power of peace’ initiative. Recognizing the impact of the digital society on youth, she founded and championed the creation of an international network of ‘Global Cyber Ambassadors for Peace’ (GCAP). This network engages school children from around the world to embrace the ‘concept of understanding, peace, tolerance and respect’. In March 2010, Dr. Abbasi was awarded the Ibn Khaldun Award for Excellence for promoting understanding between global cultures by the UK Ministry of Communities and Local Government.

Dr. Abbasi has been described as a “visionary leader who executes” and pushes for results. It is her personal goal to make a difference in everything she does by striving to improve the quality of life of marginalized people all over the world. She continues to spread her positive ideas, energy, experience and understanding, by delivering key notes at various global conferences on multiple platforms ranging from sustainable development, health and general wellbeing, gender empowerment to security and policy review to create a safe space for debate and knowledge creation to support peace, understanding and harmony in the world.

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