Leena Al Olaimy
I started my career in Bahrain at 18 years old working for a leading global PR firm developing communications strategies for Fortune 500s. After studying Culture & Communications at NYU (during 9/11), I worked in events – organizing everything from pre-Grammy parties to high-profile forums convening dignitaries like Middle Eastern Heads of State, G8 Foreign Secretaries, and the World Bank Resident. Restless to find my place to contribute to social change – rather than being a facilitator for others to shape public and global policies – I spent one year exploring other sectors; from working at the Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs to volunteering at the World Health Organization Iraq. I had also become consumed with trying to figure out how we can more effectively counter terrorism through nonviolent interventions. So I ended up at Dartmouth College on a Fulbright scholarship to research just that. It was there, during a War and Peace class, that I discovered "social entrepreneurship."
After grad school, I moved back home and co-founded a people+planet strategy consultancy and think-do-tank with my brother. Through 3BL (Triple Bottom Line) Associates, we address a multitude of interconnected sustainable development issues like peace, climate change, and inclusive economic growth – recognizing that in a world of complexity cross-cutting issues cannot be solved in a silo. Our think-do-tank has innovated award-winning social ventures like Public-Planet Partnerships and Diversity On Board.
When I'm not working, I'm singing (most recently jazz), scuba diving, meditating, and practicing inter-species communication. I recently published my first book, Compassionate Counterterrorism: The power of inclusion in fighting fundamentalism.