Nibal Idelbi

Nibal Idelbi - Syria

Young Entrepreneur - 2020

Dr. Nibal Idlebi is the chief of Innovation at the United Nation-Economic Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA). She is a senior policy expert in ICT, information society, knowledge economy and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for inclusive sustainable development. She has extensive expertise as well in digital transformation policy including e-government, digital Arabic Content, and cyber legislation.  Ms. Idlebi leads regional projects and activities on Innovation policy, Entrepreneurship ecosystem, technology for development and digital government.  She is a member of several UN Working Groups and steering committees, and she is a Jury Member of several Awards such as L'OREAL-UNESCO Award "For Women in Science", MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Award, and the World Summit Award.  

Dr. Idlebi leads the preparation of studies and reports, the organization of expert meetings and capacity building workshops and the implementation of regional projects in the various domains related to a knowledge-based economy, information society and STI for SDGs. She also provides advisory services in these areas, and she is currently leading, among others, the ESCWA project on Open Government in the Arab region. 

In the last years, she was focusing on Innovation Policy and its impact on social and economic development. In 2019, she led the preparation of the ESCWA study on “Arab Horizon 2030: Innovation Perspectives for achieving SDGs in the Arab Region”, and the report “Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities for Arab Youth and Women” and the meetings on “Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Arab region” and on “Intellectual Property Systems in the Arab Region”. These activities showed the importance of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for job creation in the Arab region and for boosting economic and social development. 

Previously Dr. Idlebi led regional initiatives in the Arab region such as “Harmonization of Cyber Legislation for building Knowledge Society in the Arab region” and “Promoting Digital Arabic content through Incubation”. She also directed research for the preparation of various reports as "Regional Profile of Information Society in the Arab region", "Cybersafety in the Arab region" and "Digital Arabic Content". These initiatives and activities supported the development and advancement of the information society in the Arab countries. 

Dr. Idlebi is an active member of several UN working groups working and steering committees related to Innovation and Technology for sustainable development. She was also a member of several Arab working groups related to the development of information society, and a jury member in regional and national awards on e-government in the Gulf countries. She is currently a jury member in several innovations, entrepreneurship, and digital content awards. 

Before joining ESCWA, from 2002 to 2004, she was Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Communications and Technology (MCT) in Syria. During this period, she supervised Information and Communication Technology and International Cooperation activities. She also participated in the formulation of the National ICT Strategy for Social and Economic Development and coordinated the activities of the Strategic ICT Programme for Social and Economic Development implemented in cooperation between UNDP and the Ministry.

Dr. Idlebi worked at the Higher Institute of Applied Science & Technology (HIAST) in Damascus for more than 8 years as a lecturer and researcher in computer architecture and parallel processing. During her academic years, she was also the supervisor of cooperative projects between the European Union and HIAST. Moreover, she was a Board Member of the Syrian Computer Society (SCS) from 1997 to 2002 and she led the professional training programs at SCS and the national program for ICT training.

Ms. Nibal Idlebi has an engineering degree from “Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité (Supelec)” in France, a “Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies (DEA)” with specialization in operating systems and software engineering from “Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Informatique et de Mathematique Appliquee de Grenoble (ENSIMAG)” in France and a Ph.D in computer science from Nancy 1 University in France with a specialization in Parallel Processing and Distributed Systems.

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