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Sheikha Bodour is Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and President of American University of Sharjah where she oversees the institution’s mission of contributing to Sharjah’s socio-economic, workforce, and innovation priorities. She is forging deeper university-industry R&D and commercialization collaboration as Chairperson of the Board and President of the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park, a $150 million initiative to position Sharjah as a global leader in emerging technology fields.
As Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Sheikha Bodour has mobilized more than $4 billion in foreign direct investment, created more than 20,000 jobs and contributed to a 78 percent growth in Sharjah’s gross domestic product. Her work as Chairperson of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) has supported 150 startups that have raised $128 million in investment and created 1,400 jobs.
Sheikha Bodour also serves as Chairperson of Sharjah Book Authority, which manages the Sharjah International Book Fair, the world’s largest book fair, and operates Sharjah Publishing City, the world’s first free trade zone for publishing. Sheikha Bodour established the Emirates Publishers Association, UAE Board on Books for Young People, and Knowledge Without Borders to boost the growth of the UAE’s $300+ million publishing sector.
She founded Kalimat Publishing Group, a global, multi-imprint publishing and edtech company, and she served as the International Publishers Association’s second-ever female and first-ever Arab President. She is also the founder of PublisHer, a 1,000+ member global community of female publishing leaders addressing publishing’s diversity and inclusion challenges.
Rosidayati Rozalina (Ida) is co-owner and President Commissioner of PT Remaja Rosdakarya, a family-owned publishing and printing company founded by her parents, based in Bandung, Indonesia. She also founded her own publishing company, PT Mekar Cipta Lestari in July 2020. Ida is a past President of the Indonesian Publishers Association (IKAPI), and is now on the Advisory Board. She was a member of the Programming Committee and vice chair of the Organizing Committee for the 33rd International Publishers Congress, in Jakarta.
Arpita Das is the Founder-Publisher of Yoda Press, an independent publishing house based in New Delhi, India. From 2009 to 2013 Arpita also ran an independent bookstore in New Delhi, called Yodakin, which became a hub for book culture-related events and discussions. In 2013 she created a self-publishing platform called AuthorsUpFront, and from 2016 to 2018 she founded and curated the Word to Screen Market at the Mumbai Film Festival, bringing book and screen industry professionals together for the first time in India.
Arpita also founded and directed a writing festival focused on Indian cities, called City Scripts, for the Indian Institute of Human Settlements in Bangalore between 2014 and 2017.
She frequently writes on book culture, publishing, popular culture, gender and bibliotherapy for various outlets, and gives workshops for authors and editors. Arpita has also taught as Visiting Faculty on the Creative Writing Programme at New Delhi’s Ashoka University, and as Adjunct Faculty at the School of Business and the School of Creative Expression, at Ambedkar University.
Elena Pasoli is the Director of Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF), a member of the Executive Committee of the Italian Centre for Books and Reading, and of the Executive Committee of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). She coordinates many international activities, such as co-organizing the China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF), and tours of children’s illustration exhibitions in more than 30 countries. In 2018 she led the Bologna Children’s Book Fair to win the international Eric Carle Honor, in the Bridge Category. Elena has a degree in Classical Literature.
Flavia Alves Bravin is head of Saber Education and partner at Cogna, Brazil’s largest publishing group.
As well as a 25-year publishing career, Flavia is a board member at IFRRO (representing publishers/IPA), Fundacao Pitagoras and Minha Biblioteca (STM consortium), Vice-President of Abrelivros (Educational Content), Director at the Brazilian Union of Book Publishers and former President of ABDR (Copyright Association).
Flavia holds a PhD from thew University of São Paulo, attended the Stanford Professional Publishing Course (SPPC) and the ‘Leading Change’ course at London Business School. She is a professor of publishing and leadership on MBA programs.
Latoya West-Blackwood is a publisher, creative project manager, and consultant, based in Kingston, Jamaica, whose creative industry work focuses on promotion of cross-cultural understanding, gender equality, inclusion, and social justice. With Latoya as its chair for two terms, the Book Industry Association of Jamaica has strengthened its work to promote reading and literacy as tools of transformation, with a focus on early-grade reading and access to literature for all, particularly people with disabilities.
Latoya was a member of the National Consultative Committee of Latin America and Caribbean Reads (LAC Reads), a USAID-funded project implemented in Jamaica by EduConnect. LAC Reads works to fill research and knowledge sharing gaps in teaching and content development in early grade reading, delivering 30 new culturally relevant titles for children. She was recognized by the Yale School of Management Publishing Course as the 2020 International Innovative Leader in Book Publishing Awardee.
Emma House is an independent publishing consultant from the UK whose specialty is international markets. Her career began in B2B magazine publishing before she entered the book world, working at the London Book Fair for seven years. Prior to setting up her business she was the Deputy CEO at the UK Publishers Association, where she spearheaded its diversity and inclusion work over 11 years. Emma has served on the IPA Membership Committee, she is a trustee of the UK’s Publishing Training Centre, a regular contributor to the trade press and a sought-after moderator for publishing events.