Team Member

2019 Bursary
Naila Farouky

Naila Farouky


In 2014, Naila Farouky assumed the role of CEO for the Arab Foundations Forum (AFF) – a regional, membership-based association of foundations and philanthropic entities working across the Arab Region. AFF is headquartered in Brussels, with a registered administrative branch in Amman, Jordan.

Naila took the lead at AFF at a time of great upheaval for the organization, and at a time of much unrest across the Arab region. During her 5-year tenure, Naila has successfully revitalized the network, recognizing a significant (300%) growth in membership, an increase in the geographic footprint of the network, bringing the number of countries represented in the network to 11 (up from 4 countries in 2013), and a 256% increase in funding for the organization.

Naila also currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the WINGS Network (Worldwide Initiative for Grantmaker Support) – a global membership association of over 140 members in over 40 countries, as well as serving on the boards of ArteEast (New York) and The Family Hub (Egypt).

With over 20 years of experience in philanthropy management, project management, media production, and strategic communication, Naila is a Peabody Award-winning executive who has built a career across several continents.

Prior to AFF, Naila enjoyed a successful, award-winning career at the iconic Sesame Workshop in New York, Naila was responsible for managing the project, content production, and creative aspects of Sesame Workshop’s multi-media Sesame Street co-productions in 17 countries.

She has also worked as a Media and Communications consultant on a wide range of projects, including a project funded by USAID and the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) focused on a Decentralization and Local Administration Reform initiative to introduce and secure the inclusion of democratic governance principles in the Egyptian Constitution. In this role, Naila was the Project Director responsible for creating a Media and Communications strategy around the initiative.

Following the political uprisings in Egypt in 2011, Naila served as a consultant for the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo, and co-authored a narrative on philanthropic giving in post-January 25th revolution Egypt – part of an 83-page paper highlighting case studies of different forms of philanthropic giving and the current state of philanthropy in Egypt vis-à- vis the political environment post the political uprising. The narrative was published in January 2013. Additionally, Naila has been published and peer-reviewed in a variety of philanthropy-focused publications and, most recently, contributed a co-authored chapter on NGO Governance in the Arab Region in the book “Global Best Practices for CSO, NGO, and other Nonprofit Boards: Lessons from Around the World,” published by Wiley.

Naila grew up mostly in Cairo, Egypt, and has lived in Kenya, New York, Washington DC, Jordan, Switzerland, and South Africa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the American University in Cairo.