Govern is led by a Managing Director and supported by a team of Senior Advisors and Research Associates.
Experts with specialised geographic or technical expertise are solicited on specific projects as required.
Alissa Amico is the Managing Director of GOVERN.
Until 2015, Alissa was responsible for overseeing OECD’s work on financial markets and corporate governance in the Middle East and North Africa. Alissa joined the OECD in 2005 to establish a regional programme on private sector development in the MENA region with the relevant Ministers in the region.
In 2008, she launched a regional project on financial markets and corporate governance. In this capacity, Alissa provided technical expertise to a number of governments in the design of regulatory initiatives and institution building, including in particular to stock exchanges, securities regulators, central banks, ministries of finance and economy as well as corporate governance centers.
Alissa was involved in the formulation of corporate and capital market laws and regulations in Egypt, Oman, Morocco, the UAE and other countries of the region. She has also provided policy advice to governments on broader economic policy challenges such as through a recent initiative to establish an economic advisory council to the President of Egypt. Over the past decade, she has accompanied executives and boards of leading companies in the region on a range of governance reforms.
Alissa has authored a number of books and publications including The Role of MENA Stock Exchanges in Corporate Governance (2012), State-Owned Enterprises: Engines of Development and Competitiveness? (2013), Corporate Governance Enforcement in the Middle East and North Africa (2014), The Role of Institutional Investors in MENA Capital Markets (2015). Her contributions have included articles in academic journals, regional and international newspapers and she has been interviewed by television and online media. She is a regular contributor to key fora in the region (GCC Regulators Summit, Capital Markets Forum, Euromoney, etc.)
Alissa holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business, York University (Canada) and a Masters degree in Political Economy with a specialisation in the Middle East from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK). She is a member of the French Institute of Directors’ International Commission. Alissa was named one of the Top 100 Leaders in Europe and the Middle East by the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence in 2011 and was recognised by Columbia Law School as the Rising Star of Corporate Governance in 2014. She is trilingual in English, French, and Russian and speaks basic Arabic.
Stephen Davis, Senior Advisor
Stephen Davis is an associate director of the Harvard Law School Programs on Corporate Governance and Institutional Investors and a non-resident senior fellow in governance at the Brookings. From 2007-2012 he was the Executive director of the Yale School of Management’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance. Stephen pioneered the field of international corporate governance when he founded the global unit at the IRRC, in Washington.
Stephen currently has multiple senior advisory and board positions, including serving as a board member of Hermes EOS, Member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Long Term Investing, Member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the Global Corporate Governance Forum; and member of the advisory boards of the Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa at Stellenbosch University and the Center for Corporate Governance at Handelshochschule Leipzig.
Stephen is the author of several books on corporate governance including The New Capitalists: How Citizen Investors are Reshaping the Corporate Agenda (Harvard Business School Press, 2006), An Agenda for Corporate Renewal (Brookings, 2012), a contributor to multiple other academic and professional association projects and is a frequent media commentator on corporate governance. He has also held a number of influential policy advisory roles such as to US SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee and has previously testified in US Congressional hearings.
He has been named Winner of the 2011 ICGN Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance and by Directorship as among the 100 most influential figures in corporate governance; by Trust Across America as among the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior; and by Competia as among ‘the most influential corporate governance tweeters.’
Dr. Davis earned his doctorate in international business and security studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and completed undergraduate studies at Tufts and the London School of Economics. Other books include Apartheid’s Rebels: Inside South Africa’s Hidden War (Yale University Press, 1987), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Vedat Akgiray, Senior Advisor
Vedat Akgiray is currently the Director of the Center for Research in Financial Regulation and Corporate Governance and a Professor of Finance at the prestigious Bogazici University in Istanbul established in 1863 as first American higher education institution founded outside the United States. Vedat holds a number of advisory positions to prominent corporate governance initiatives, including being a member of the Advisory Board of the Millstein Center at Columbia University in New York and in the past he has led several advisory and research projects for the Bank of Canada and various financial institutions in New York.
In March 2009, he was sworn in as the Chairman of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey, the country’s security’s regulator, where he served until 2012. In this capacity, he oversaw the CMA team in the development of the new Capital Markets Law, which was enacted in 2012. Between 2010 and 2012, he also served as the Chairman of the Emerging Markets Committee of IOSCO, vice-Chairman of the IOSCO Board, member of the Financial Stability Board of G20, member of the Monitoring Board of the IFRS Foundation, member of the International Integrated Reporting Council, and member of the IOSCO Expert Group on Financial Benchmarks. In these positions, he led and participated in global efforts on re-designing the international regulatory architecture in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008-2010.
Prior to assuming the role of the Chairman of the CMA, Vedat served as a Professor of Finance at Bogazici University, where he designed and directed the Doctoral Programme in Finance from and co-founded the Master of Sciences Programme in Financial Engineering. During his academic career, he has advised more than 70 graduate students, published and presented more than 100 academic papers.
Vedat’s recent work at the University focuses on financial regulation and corporate governance, including through building models of the relation between corporate governance and informational efficiency of financial markets, aiming to demonstrate the critical contribution of "economic-value-based" corporate governance to the sustainable growth of capital markets and to economic development globally.
Vedat received B.A. in Management from Bogazici University in 1980, M.B.A. from the School of Management in 1982, M.A. in Economics from the Maxwell School in 1985, and Ph.D. in Finance in 1985, all at Syracuse University in New York. Between 1985 and 1990, he taught at various universities in the U.S.A., including as an Associate Professor at the Clarkson Institute of Technology in 1990.
Ryan Lemand, Senior Advisor
Dr Ryan Lemand is currently the Head of Managed Solutions and Business Development in the ADS Securities Asset Management Team based in Abu Dhabi, where the focus is on bespoke and customised mandates for high net worth and institutional investors. Until 2015, Ryan was the Senior Advisor to the CEO and Head of Risk Management at the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority, the UAE’s federal securities regulator.
In this capacity, Ryan led and contributed to initiatives which led to the development of a number of fundamental regulations including the collective investment scheme regulations, as well as regulations of financial analysis and consultancy services, market making and others.
His was principally responsible for leading the Funds and Investment Management team that handles the licensing and approvals for local and foreign mutual funds and investment managers. Additionally, he helped develop a risk management framework for UAE licensed brokers.
Prior to that, Ryan was the Lead Portfolio Manager at Fortis Investments in London and Paris, where he was responsible for managing a 15 billion euro portfolio of assets, namely in the space of credit derivatives.
Dr Lemand holds a PhD (summa cum laude) in Financial Econometrics from the École Normale Supérieure, France, and is the author of two books on financial contagion, as well as a number of research articles on financial correlation. Dr Lemand also taught financial econometrics courses at the Paris II-Assas University and Paris IX-Dauphine University in Paris, France. He is a sought after speaker and contributor to major financial markets discussions and events in the UAE and in the wider MENA region.
David Beatty, Senior Advisor
David Beatty is the Chair of the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics and Board Effectiveness at the University of Toronto in Canada. In addition to Chairing the Clarkson Center, David is currently a Professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management where he teaches corporate strategy and corporate governance. He is the creator of the Directors Education Program (DEP) has so far trained over 4,000 participants and remains curriculum overseer for the Programme. He also teaches for the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Asia.
Over his career he has served on 39 different boards of directors in Canada, America, Mexico, Australia and England and been chairman of 9 public companies. David spent a decade managing one of North America’s largest food companies. Currently, he serves as chair of Rubicon Minerals (a start-up gold company in Canada) and on the board of Colliers International, both traded Toronto and New York. He also serves on the boards of privately held Canada Steamship Lines in Canada and City Financial in the UK. In the not-for-profit sector, David had served on Peter Drucker’s Foundation Board in the United States for over a decade and as a Vice Chairman and was Chair of Upper Canada College.
David was the founder and Managing Director of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (2003-2008), an organisation that now represents 50 institutional investors with $1.3 trillion Canadian dollars of assets under management. He has has initiated and led a number of other recognised initiatives in corporate governance, including the creation and leadership of the Joint Venture Directors Course for Saudi Aramco. He is also a Senior Advisor to the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation on corporate governance and a Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Co. on governance and joint ventures.
In 2013 he was inducted into the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor and in 1994 he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for his services to Papua New Guinea. David holds an MA in Economics from Cambridge University and a BA in Political Science & Economics from the University of Toronto.
Steffen Hertog, Senior Advisor
Steffen Hertog is an associate professor at the Department of Government at the London School of Economics. He was previously the Kuwait Professor at Sciences Po Paris and a lecturer in Middle East political economy at Durham University, and a post-doctoral research fellow at Princeton University. He has been travelling and working in the Middle East since 2000, both as an academic and as resident consultant for a Saudi government agency.
Dr. Hertog's main research interests lies in Saudi, Gulf and Middle East political economy. He is a leading expert on public administration and labor market issues in the MENA region and has participated in and led policy and consultancy projects on administrative restructuring, public industry and labour market reform issues, often working on ministerial or cabinet level.
His academic publications have appeared in leading social science and area studies journals, including World Politics, Comparative Studies in Society and History, European Journal of Sociology, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Review of International Political Economy. He is the author of a book on the political economy of the Saudi administration, "Princes, brokers and bureaucrats: oil and the state in Saudi Arabia" (Cornell University Press, 2010) and "State-owned enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa: engines of development and competitiveness?" with Alissa Amico (OECD 2012) and is the editor of "National employment, migration and education in the GCC" (Gerlach 2013).
Steffen has worked with numerous public and private institutions in Europe, the US and the Gulf region, including a variety of GCC government agencies, the European Commission, the World Bank, GIZ, the OECD, European and GCC chambers of commerce, Accenture, BCG, Deloitte and Touche, PWC, McKinsey, Oliver Wyman as well as numerous private clients. Steffen holds a PhD from the University of Oxford.