Hesham Mekawi, Regional President, BP North Africa

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Mekawi, who is Egyptian, is BP’s regional president for North Africa, responsible for $4-billion of annual investments in four countries and a workforce of around 10,000 in BP and its joint ventures. From 2001 to 2013, he was the regional president of BP Egypt.

He previously worked in London and Houston for Amoco and BP in commercial and economic roles. He holds an MBA from Boston University and an engineering degree from Cairo University.

His listing in the UPstanding Top 100 reflects the work he has done to support the creation of a more national workforce, particularly in Egypt. When he became regional president, only 35% of staff were Egyptian, whereas today the figure is around 85%, with 90% of leadership team roles based in Egypt held by nationals.

He said: “I feel very honored and privileged to be recognized among such eminent leaders who all strive to achieve broader diversity in their workplaces. Throughout my career with BP leading to my current role as regional president for North Africa, I have seen first-hand that with the right leadership and a supportive environment, there are no boundaries to what a person can achieve and I have endeavored to create an environment where promising nationals can succeed and become leaders in their own right.”

I have seen first-hand that with the right leadership and a supportive environment, there are no boundaries to what a person can achieve.
Malawi’s nomination was supported by Bernard Looney, chief executive officer, Upstream, who said: “It’s fantastic to see Hesham recognized in this way.

It is a testament to his success in delivering business results, passion for building a more diverse and inclusive workforce and making a real difference to local communities. He is an exceptional leader.”

Malawi has led contributions to the Egyptian community that include providing opportunities for talented Egyptian post-graduates to study in the UK, as well as support for health, education, and business programs. He has personally worked with organizations that train students in business skills and offer finance to small enterprises.