Senior Adviser, Chatham House; Deputy Chairperson and CEO, Olayan Financing Company, Saudi Arabia
Lubna Olayan

Summary

Lubna S. Olayan is the CEO and Deputy Chairman of Olayan Financing Company (OFC), the holding company through which The Olayan Group’s trading, real estate, investment, consumer and industrial related operations are conducted in the Gulf region.

In 2004, Ms Olayan became the first woman to join the board of a Saudi publicly listed company when she was elected to the board of Alawwal Bank, and she currently serves as the board’s Vice Chairman.

She has been a member of the board of Schlumberger since 2011, and in 2016 she joined the board of Ma’aden, a Saudi public company operating in the mining sector, and she served on the board of WPP plc from 2005 - 2012.

Ms Olayan also sits on several international advisory boards, including those of Rolls Royce, Akbank, Allianz SE, McKinsey & Co and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

She is currently a trustee of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), as well as the Asia Business Council.

Ms Olayan chairs Alfanar, a UK based charity that is one of the first venture philanthropy organizations in the Arab world. She is also a board member of the Down’s Syndrome Charitable Association in Saudi Arabia.

Ms Olayan was selected by Time as being amongst the 100 most influential people in the world and has been on Fortune’s list of Most Powerful Women for many years running; she was also selected by Forbes as an influential business leader.

She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from Trinity College, Dublin and the insignia of Member First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star by His Majesty the King of Sweden, Carl Gustav XVI.

Ms Olayan holds a BSc from Cornell University, and an MBA from Indiana University.

She resides in Riyadh with her husband, John Xefos, and they are the proud parents of three daughters.