More than 700 family members, friends, faculty, staff and members of the Doha, Qatar community were in attendance at the graduation celebration for Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar's third graduation ceremony.
Thirty-four students — 24 in Business Administration, 6 in Computer Science and 4 in Information Systems — received diplomas. In the Scottish tradition of Carnegie Mellon, a bagpiper in full regalia led the formal procession of students and faculty.
Dr. Hessa Sultan Al-Jaber, the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology, ictQATAR, delivered the keynote address. The event was attended by graduating students, their families, Carnegie Mellon faculty, Carnegie Mellon staff, VIPs from Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon and members of the Doha community.
"I count Dr. Hessa as a very good friend," says Charles E. Thorpe, Dean, Carnegie Mellon Qatar. "And she is, of course, a friend to the university: she was on our Joint Advisory Board for years, she is working to build up the ICT industry, she sponsors many interesting and valuable initiatives. In addition, she is a personal friend, to whom I have always looked for advice and encouragement. And now I am very pleased that she will share that same valuable advice and encouragement with the graduating students and their families."
In her years of leadership at ictQATAR, Dr. Hessa has led Qatar's information, communication and technology (ICT) strategy across sectors, spearheading major initiatives in government, education and business. She has overseen the liberalization of Qatar's telecommunications market, ushering in an era of choice and competition, and directed the modernization of Qatar's ICT infrastructure.
Passionate about ensuring that the benefits of technology reach all sectors, Dr. Hessa has led numerous initiatives to make Qatar a more inclusive society through ICT. She has spearheaded the modernization of Qatar's government through ICT, streamlining process, making government more transparent and accessible to its people, and also launching an online portal to the government, Hukoomi.
Dr. Hessa has also been instrumental in the creation of Mada, an assistive technology center that serves persons with disabilities in Qatar, as well as the development of the Center for Arab Women in Technology.
The graduation ceremony is an important event for Carnegie Mellon Qatar because it engages the entire community in the history, life and future of Carnegie Mellon, celebrating its achievements and heralding the promise for a bright future for its graduates.
Carnegie Mellon Qatar has seen two graduating classes, with more than 70 students receiving diplomas since the inaugural graduation in 2008. More than 90% of the graduates from Carnegie Mellon Qatar are either in the workforce or studying at prestigious graduate schools in the United Kingdom or the U.S.