Meet the 2017-18 EMENA Region Board

Alex Malouf
As 2016-17 Chair, Alex oversees the activities of the EMENA Board to ensure accomplishment of the region’s mission, goals and objectives. He leads the planning and delivery of the annual IABC EMENA EuroComm conference, which will take place in London in Q1 2017. He is also liaison for development chapters, and is the region’s representative at the international level of the association, including a seat on the IABC Council of Regions. Alex is a marketing communications executive who has spent the last ten years in the Middle East. With a cultural mix that is both European and Arabic, Alex’s expertise spans communications for both multinationals in the energy, technology and FMCG space as well as several Gulf-based government institutions. When he’s not putting pen to paper, Alex can be found advocating for the region’s communications industry through not-for-profit organisations, with other like-minded comms professionals. Alex has a particular interest in change and cultural communications, as well as sustainability. Alex holds the position of corporate communications manager for the Arabian Peninsula at Procter & Gamble.

Mike Klein
Vice Chair
Mike is the 2017-18 Vice Chair, and provides counsel to the Chair on direction and progress of the region, such as the strategic plan, and managing the EMENA Leadership Institute in 2017. He will automatically succeed Alex as Chair. Mike is the Principal of Changing The Terms, a communication practice focused on identifying, connecting and mobilising informal leaders at all levels of organisations. Based in Delft in the Netherlands, Mike has worked with large global organisations on internal communication issues for nearly 20 years – including VimpelCom, Cargill, Shell, easyJet, Barclays and the United States Department of Transportation – and is a also a former political campaign consultant. He is a graduate of London Business School and the University of Wisconsin, and is passionate about tribes, travel, Tottenham Hotspur FC and is the author of From Lincoln to Linked In, the 55 Minute Guide to Social Communication.

Nikki Edwards
Past Chair
As Past Chair, Nikki counsels the Chair and the board, ensuring a smooth transition and capturing gained knowledge and experience for posterity. Nikki will oversee the election process of the 2018/19 board. With more than 20 years of experience in employee communication and engagement, in both agency and global corporate environments on four continents, Nikki has worked with leading brands such as Visa, Bupa, Barclaycard, Rolls-Royce and more. She is an independent consultant currently working for, among others, London-based multinational financial organisations, on a range of strategy and communication projects. Nikki is also a managing partner at a boutique agency ( which provides end-to-end content, web development services and e-commerce solutions. Most recently, she founded a Provence-based business that offers bespoke executive event management services to corporate clients (

Jasna Suhadolc
Jasna is owner at communications agency Virtua PR and an experienced digital communications professional. She works with Slovenian and international clients and provides consulting, training and speaking. She is a specialist in digital PR, social media, internal communications, corporate communications, content marketing, and more. Jasna is also an author of the book New opportunities in e-communication (in Slovenian) and a frequent speaker at conferences.

Alba Perez Grandi
Alba is a passionate communications executive with eight years of experience in corporate communications, PR, digital marketing, public affairs and organising high-level events. Alba is currently the Communications Team Leader at ENISA, the EU Cybersecurity Agency where she leads the stakeholders relations and communications, corporate events, social media strategy and press/media areas. As a digital addict, she volunteers for TEDx social media team.

Nahla Nana
Nahla is Director MarComms, Research and Innovation at Orient Planet Consulting (MENA) and has broad marketing, communications, and consulting experience. She has an Executive Education from Harvard School of Design, and a Masters Degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Nahla provides insightful advice on innovative business solutions to governments, corporations, and non-government organisations for which she has garnered a wide range of accolades and recognition. She is a board member of Global Fletcher Women Association, a member of the UNGC local network, and has published numerous articles on business management, innovation, sustainability, security, environment and energy, and smart cities.

Susan Walker
Susan is an Accredited Business Communicator (IABC), a Fellow of the Institute of Internal Communication and Fellow of the RSA. She was VP of professional development, IABC UK chapter board, a Gold Quill evaluator and currently serves on the Washington World conference advisory board. In 2015 she received the Chairman's award for dedicated service to IABC. In addition to her research work, she is carries out pro bono/volunteer work for literary festivals, the Banbury Historical Society and Compton Verney. Susan is author of "Employee Engagement and Communication Research - measurement, strategy and action". Based on her experience in the communication field and as research director and partner at MORI, Susan covers the basics, strategy and advice on action planning for effective internal surveys.

Willem de Ruijter
Willem is Executive Director at VMA Group where he started as Head of Europe in 2012. It was his passion for the (marketing) communications profession that motivated him to join VMA after having led a Dutch recruitment company for four years. In earlier years he developed his career from marketing research to marketing and communications management to general management positions in the FMCG sector, and he also worked as a business consultant for a couple of years. At VMA he has been responsible for candidate placement in positions across Europe. A recently published study by VMA – "Beyond Communications: A CEO perspective of reputation leadership" – clearly underlines the growing impact of the (marketing) communications function.

Ross Bethell
With more than 17 years of experience gained from agency and in-house roles, Ross is an award-winning expert in strategic communication. As Director of Strategy at Cicero & Bernay, he works with clients to distil research and organisational requirements into insights and strategic approaches to reach and influence stakeholders. His experience has been gained working in Canada, the UK, and the UAE with private and listed companies, multi-national brands, not-for-profit organisations and government entities. He has developed global, regional, and local communication strategies, and has provided strategic counsel to government officials, senior business leaders and boards of directors. Ross holds an MSc in Corporate Communication specialising in communication measurement, and is an experienced trainer, lecturer and workshop facilitator. He is a past Middle East PR Association Board Member and a 2017 Awards Judge, and a judge for the ICCO Global Awards 2017.

Vija Valentukonyte-Urbanaviciene
Vija is currently Interim Head of Corporate Communications at Telia Lietuva, the leading telco, IT and TV provider in Lithuania. She has eight years of communications experience in a variety of sectors and companies, such as Barclays, Lithuanian Power Co, MTV and ING Bank. Vija is passionate about change communications, as well as cultural transformation of organisations. She is a certified trainer and trains others to be better communicators. Her work has been recognised by the Institute of Internal Communications (“30 under 30” awards 2012) and just recently won two IABC Gold Quill awards for merger/change programs at Telia.