Abeer Al-Fouti

Champion of human capital development in nonprofits

I am a passionate supporter of diversity and inclusion. I have spent much of my career working to support human capital development in nonprofit organizations and promoting acceptance in the workplace and community.

My career began at Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Humanitarian City rehabilitation center. I oversaw training, talent and career development. My success led to an opportunity to lead Alf Khair, a social enterprise founded by Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US.

Abeer Al-Fouti Faces of Saudi by Arab News
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I worked on empowering women across Saudi Arabia by helping them identify their personal and professional development goals. We helped equip women to be integrated members of their communities.

I was born in the Eastern Province, in Alkhobar, and grew up in a small town in the largest oil field in Saudi Arabia. 

My parents were from the holy city of Madinah. My father, a businessman, moved to the Eastern Province in his teens. 

I remember going to school in Abqaiq in the late 70s, I looked and sounded different to my classmates with my skin color and Hejazi accent. 

Conversely, when we visited our family in Madinah, although going there always gives me a great sense of pride in my heritage, I never felt completely connected.

This helped me not just to realize the importance of acceptance and tolerance, but also gave me the skills needed to build strong connections with people no matter how different they are.

I always remember my late father’s wise advice with his great emphasis on the importance of tolerance, empathy and respect for others as the key to leading a successful life.

When I married my British husband, we created Smile Entertainment, a platform dedicated to encouraging cultural dialogue through live comedy.

When people laugh together, all barriers are broken down.

Currently, I manage the Global Initiatives arm of Alwaleed Philanthropies. I am responsible for international projects, which includes women and youth empowerment, community development, disaster relief and interfaith/intercultural dialogue.

Where voices that call for division are loud, it is vital to invest in impactful and collaborative cultural bridging initiatives. 

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