ArteEast is led by a dedicated board that brings a range of professional expertise to the organization, including nonprofit, arts, banking, business management, marketing and law.

Board of Directors

Naila Farouky, President

With over 20 years of experience in project management, media production, and strategic communication, Naila Farouky is a Peabody Award-winning executive who has built a career across several continents. She currently serves as CEO at Arab Foundations Forum.

With 13 years of experience at the iconic Sesame Workshop in New York, Naila was responsible for managing the project, content production, and creative aspects of Sesame Workshop’s multi-media co-productions in 17 countries over the course of her career.

She has worked as a Media and Communications consultant on a wide range of projects, including a project funded by USAID and the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) focused on a Decentralization and Local Administration Reform initiative to introduce and secure the inclusion of democratic governance principles in the Egyptian Constitution. In this role, Naila was the Project Director responsible for creating a Media and Communications strategy around the initiative.

As a consultant for the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo, Naila co-authored a scan narrative on philanthropic giving in post-January 25th revolution Egypt – part of an 83-page paper highlighting case studies of different forms of philanthropic giving and the current state of philanthropy in Egypt vis-à-vis the political environment post the political uprising. The scan was published in January 2013.

In 2014, Naila assumed the role of CEO for the Arab Foundations Forum (AFF) – a regional, membership-based association of foundations and philanthropic entities working across the Arab Region. Headquartered in Brussels, and with a registered administrative branch in Amman, Jordan, AFF is now a virtual network with team members based across the region in Cairo, Amman, and Tunis.

Naila grew up mostly in Cairo, Egypt, and has lived in Kenya, New York, Washington DC, Jordan, Switzerland and South Africa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the American University in Cairo.

Diana Abouali, Vice-President
Diana Abouali is Director of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. She has worked in the higher education, cultural heritage and museum sectors in the United States, Palestine, and Jordan. She holds a PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.
Hazam Gamal, Treasurer
Born in Cairo to an Egyptian father and American mother, Hazem spent the majority of his youth between Cairo and Beirut.  Frequent travel early on inspired undergraduate studies in hotel management which took him across the US, China and Europe for the first decade of his career.  An MBA from Thunderbird, The International School of Graduate Studies, in Phoenix helped him leverage his international living and work experience towards a new career in the financial services industry initially with American Express then for more than 15 years with OppenheimerFunds in various roles in New York.Hazem brings a broad interest in the arts and his deep organizational skills to the board of ArtEast where he hopes to share his experiences and interests to help continue the program’s reach and growth.

Heba Elkayal, Secretary

Heba Elkayal is an independent curator and art advisor working in the fine arts industry in the Middle East and the United States. Her articles have appeared in Al Fanar Media (website, London) and Canvas magazine (print, Dubai), and she was the lifestyle editor for Daily News Egypt from 2008 to 2012. She was previously an Instructor in Christie’s Online Education Program. Elkayal earned her Master’s Degree in Modern Art History & Curatorial Studies from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Nathaniel Bowditch

Dr. Nathaniel Bowditch is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences a Long Island University (LIU Post). Prior to joining LIU, Dr. Bowditch served as Professor of Philosophy and Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the American University in Cairo (AUC). During his eleven-year tenure at AUC, Dr. Bowditch was successful in program and curriculum development, faculty recruitment and advancement, cultivating global relationships, strategic planning, and securing external funding for the school. In addition to his own scholarship and teaching on ethics and the History of Philosophy, Dr. Bowditch spearheaded ambitious initiatives that resulted in establishing the first English-language M.A. in philosophy in North Africa, a grant from the Mellon Foundation to create a humanities and social sciences ‘research laboratory’, USAID grants to support the arts, and a milestone for the region—the first psychology department in the Middle East and North Africa to offer APA-recognized Masters degrees in counseling and community psychology.

Dr. Bowditch holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University. He has taught at John Hopkins University, Loyola College of Maryland, and Goucher college. He lives with his family and their dog, Spinoza, in Kew Gardens, Queens.

Angela Edens
Angela Edens is currently Executive Director, Strategy and Development for the JP Morgan Chase Compliance team. She has worked in process transformation and strategy roles since 2001, predominantly in financial services. Prior to JP Morgan Chase, she worked in Operations at CIT, Controllership at American Express and in the Engineering Process Improvement team at Motorola. During the same time, she also dabbled in real estate, was a professional musician, and provided cross-cultural business consulting within her family’s extended network. Angela moved to Cairo as a child and considered it her home base for the 17 years that her parents lived there. She appreciates the ability of the arts to build connections and bridge cultural barriers. She has enjoyed supporting the ArteEast residency program by hosting many of ArteEast artists-in-residents at her Brooklyn home.

Zein Khalifa

Zein Khalifa is co-founder of TINTERA, Egypt’s first fine art photography gallery. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, New York and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. She obtained her MA in the History of Photography examining the work of Egyptian photographers, both historical and contemporary. From 2014 to 2016 she was Associate Director of Sales at HackelBury Fine Arts, a London based gallery focusing on pioneering contemporary mid-career artists. During her tenure there she participated extensively in international art fairs and worked closely with collectors, artists and curators successfully assisting in placing many works in important private collections and leading art institutes.

Zein divides her time between Cairo and London.

Mayssam Latif

Mayssam Latif is a cultural affairs advisor based in New York. She currently works in the field of public diplomacy where she creates diverse programming through arts and culture, philanthropy, education and trade that foster understanding and appreciation of different cultures. Mayssam has over 10 years experience working in the cross-cultural and community arts development sector in the U.S., U.A.E. and Australia. Mayssam received her M.A. in Art Management from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Ellen Brooks Shehata
Ellen Brooks Shehata is a Vice President in the private banking division of JPMorgan Chase, where she is responsible for managing Middle Eastern relationships and investment. She holds a degree in Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master’s of International Affairs in International Finance and Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University. Prior to joining JPMorgan, Ellen worked for the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, in Cairo, Egypt, where she ran the U.S. Relations portfolio and founded the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Committee. She currently lives on the Upper West Side of New York City with her husband.
Walid Nagi

Walid Nagi is a senior level executive with a global vision and experience in International Relations, Diplomacy and Sustainability. Walid has more than 25 years of work experience in the Middle East and the United States. He has worked in the private sector in Egypt, the United Nations in New York, and has also contributed to several start-ups and non for profit organizations in New York as a consultant.  Over the years, he has built himself a solid practice and understanding in the fields of sustainability, corporate social responsibility, governance, marketing, corporate communication, project management, operations, and social development. Currently, he serves as the Director of Networks and Relationships at the Arab Foundations Forum.

Walid started his career in 1993 in the Marketing field and moved in the hierarchy to reach the position of Group Brand Manager in 2000. In 2002, building on his experience, he moved to head Corporate Affairs at Mansour Group and was requested to build the group’s CSR and corporate communication strategies where he refocused his career on sustainability ever since.  In 2010, Walid moved to the United Nations Global Compact Office in New York in his capacity as a Regional Network Manager. In 2013, he became the Chief of the Local Networks managing the global operations of the office and as of end of 2014, he also became the New York Executive for the UN Global Compact Cities Program and a senior Advisor on partnerships. Over the years, Walid has built a strong global network for the UN Global Compact and has also managed to put emphasis on inter countries and regional collaboration especially with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and encouraging partnerships.

Walid has acted as an independent consultant for several technology start-ups based in New York advising them on matters related to sustainability and linking them to the UN and worked with the International Rescue Committee focusing on the internal governance processes and capacity building programs. He has also supported the organization in finding creative ways to increase financial contributions in countries where the IRC is not present.

On the art front, Walid manages the estate of the renowned Nagi family (Mohamed and Effat Nagi) and he is an art lover and collector. He has also founded Dress Art NYC; a New York based company that promotes upcoming visual artists by printing their work on wearables and selling them on line with the objective of creating a platform uniting art lovers with upcoming talented artists.

Walid is a graduate of the American University in Cairo with a BA in Economics and currently resides in New York.