Grant Brings Top Executive Education to Egypt

 Nassef Sawiris, the CEO of OCI N.V., together with the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, has awarded a grant of $6 million to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to create an executive education program in El Gouna, Egypt. Part of a larger $24.1 million award to the university to improve education in Egypt, this grant gives Egyptian public and private sector institutions the opportunity to strengthen their emerging leaders’ skills with a program designed for the Egyptian context and available at a fraction of usual training cost.

The Business School

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is well-known and well-regarded worldwide. It has a long history in management education as the first university to introduce an Executive M.B.A. program specifically for working professionals, back in 1943. With campuses in London and Hong Kong as well as Chicago, Booth attracts top faculty internationally. Nine of its faculty have won Nobel Prizes in areas including economics, business, and psychology.

The Booth School of Business regularly makes appearances in popular rankings. This year its M.B.A. program ranks number one by The Economist, and is tied for the number three spot with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in U.S. News and World Reports Best Business School rankings. Its executive training programs ranked in the top ten worldwide in the latest list from the Financial Times, and were judged first for preparation (candidate selection and provision of advance information) and second for content design.

The El Gouna Program

A two-week program will be held in El Gouna in each of the next three years. The first will be held October 7-20, 2019, for 50 Senior Executives, from both the private and the public sectors in Egypt (public sector participants are only nominated through the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Admin Reform). The next two rounds of the programs are expected to open up to a broader regional audience.

“We tailored this program with the Egyptian private and public sectors in mind, drawing on the expertise of our renowned faculty and input from business leaders in Egypt” said Meena Wehrs, Associate Dean of Executive Education at Chicago Booth. 

The program will include renowned international speakers, high-level networking opportunities, and individual and group project work as well as experiential activities during which participants take frameworks and lessons learned in the classroom and apply them to real-world situations. A few of the topics to be covered in the classroom include

  • Strategic Risk Management and Financial Fragility
  • Innovation Leadership
  • Strategic Project Management
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Negotiations and Decision-Making
  • Marketing Analytics for Growth
  • Strategy and Digital Transformation
  • High-Performance Leadership

And more. Additional background on program content can be found online.

Thanks to the grant from Nassef Sawiris, the cost for the 2019 El Gouna program comes with an 80% subsidy amounting to $12,000 per participant. Participants are expected to be nominated and sponsored by their employers, and group rates are available if multiple participants are enrolled by an employer. 

“I would tell them not to hesitate and make the investment in their employees”, says Wehrs. “This will be a unique and impactful program that will reap rewards for the organization well into the future. By investing in their emerging talent/senior leadership, they are investing in their organization’s future growth, success, and long-term sustainability”.

Participant Qualifications and Deadlines

The El Gouna program is not for everyone; it is designed for quite high-level executives. Here is a summary of who should attend:

  • Twelve or more years of work experience
  • English language proficiency
  • Senior executives responsible for leading and/or managing a large team
  • Individuals identified as high performers within their organization
  • “P&L owners,” responsible for the strategic direction of their department and/or business unit, managing one or more lines of business. May have a title such as country manager or regional head.

Employees must all be nominated by their superiors. The deadlines for application are July 14 for private sector participants and July 28 for public sector participants. Click here to begin your application process. 

Learn More. Visits Week of June 23, 2019

A team from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business visited Egypt this May. They met with a number of Egyptian private sector companies and organizations to discuss the El Gouna Executive Education Program. The program was met with great interest and application requests. Chicago Booth are also currently working with the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development and Newton Education Services to arrange more visits to company and organization CEOs during the last week of June to further discuss the program. If you are interested, or have general questions about the program, please contact us via phone, email, or through the comment field below. For questions about group rates offered to multiple participants sponsored by the same organization, please contact Chicago Booth at +1 312.464.8732, or