Board of directors


Robert Cats

Robert worked for more than 20 years in the International ‘arena’ in different management positions and moved to Qatar in 2015 to work for Katara as Interim Director. As it happens in (Int’l) business whilst planning to go back to Europe, Robert was offered the position of Country Manager for a leading Facility Management company in Qatar. Robert studied Commercial Economics and several international Management courses ‘which gives me great advantage with doing business in Qatar’, says Robert. ‘The friendly Qatari people, diversity in cultures and business opportunities that Qatar offers makes it a great country to work in’.

Robert is the Chairman of the Dutch Business Council Qatar.

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Matthijs Westra

Matthijs has over 15 years of international banking experience in different roles across investment banking, wealth management and treasury. After working in the Netherlands for 6 years, he moved to the GCC region in 2007 where he has lived and worked in three countries. Besides his interest for Financial Markets, Matthijs has a passion for sports and fitness and started his own business in 2017 as he became the master franchisee for a Dutch boutique fitness brand called fit20. Matthijs holds a bachelor’s degree in international marketing and Management.

Matthijs is the Treasurer of the Dutch Business Council Qatar.

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Ali Bin Mohamed 

Ali is the Advisor to Kasada Fund a $1 billion investment fund between Katara Hospitality and AccorHotels. In his current role Ali is bridging the gap between Qatar and Africa across the hospitality sector.  Ali has also been involved in a variety of Islamic financing deals, capital raising and advisory transactions across the GCC and Sub Saharan Africa and described by high ‘net-worth’ individuals in Africa and Qatar as the “Pride of Africa and Qatar”. Ali has spent many years of his career in different countries across the globe and brings a wealth of Int’l Businesses experience with him.

Ali is the Chairman of the PTA at Royal Grammar School Guilford in Qatar and has several Advisory Roles of which the Advisor to Clarmondial AG is one aside being Board member of a few local entities in Qatar and Africa.

Ali is responsible for Content and External Communication

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Gizem Demet Heukelom

Gizem is a self-employed NLP Master Practitioner-  Life & Executive Coach and part time Management Trainer at Qatar Skills Academy. Gizem has over 16 years of experience in Business Development, Sales, Communications and Event Management in different (Senior) Management positions. Before relocating to Qatar, she lived and worked in several other countries including India, UAE, The Netherlands, Turkey and South Africa. Throughout her life Gizem has always been involved and trained in personal development and behavioral sciences. 

Gizem is responsible for Event Management & Sponsors

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Nick Leissner

Nick has over 10 years of experience in financial consultancy and project (cost and controls) management in a variety of sectors, including Banking, Insurance, Consumer Electronics and Energy. Before moving to Qatar during early 2012, he has worked/lived in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Nick holds an MSc in both Business Administration as well as Financial Law, and is a qualified Project Management Professional (Prince2, Ipma D).

Nick has a passion for sailing, diving, and travelling.

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