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Mepra announces new chair and vice-chair

The Middle East Public Relations Association will be led by Hanover's Jonty Summers and Hill+Knowlton Strategies' Lisa Welsh

The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) today announced its new Chair and Vice Chair, who will serve as the leaders of its Executive Board from 2019 to 2021. Jonty Summers, Managing Director, Hanover Middle East, has been appointed as Chair and Lisa Welsh, Managing Director, Hill+Knowlton Strategies MENA, as Vice Chair for a two-year period.

Jonty and Lisa were voted in by the MEPRA Executive Board this week, following an advisory ballot by the wider MEPRA Strategy Board in November. Both will assume their roles on 1st January 2019.

Through his role as the Managing Director of Hanover Middle East, Jonty advises senior management of government entities, listed companies and international organisations on leadership communications, reputational issues and corporate positioning. A former journalist with more than 20 years’ experience, Jonty moved to the UAE in 2009. He has served on the MEPRA Executive Board for the past 12 months while also spearheading MEPRA’s partnership with PR Week UK and participating in the planning and execution of the prestigious MEPRA Awards.

MEPRA Chair, Jonty Summers said: “I’m looking forward to continuing to build on MEPRA’s strong foundations as a champion of excellence in public relations. MEPRA’s work is shaped by the dynamics, creativity and energy that characterise the region. Signature events like last month’s REMAP creativity conference, the Majlis and the Awards, as well as partnerships with international bodies like CIPR, reflect this mission as we look to encourage ever greater levels of professionalism in the industry.

“As the largest forum for PR practitioners in the region, we will continue ensure that MEPRA is a clear voice for the industry as we look to promote good work, support the development of young talent and uphold the reputation of the PR industry and our members.”

Lisa’s role as the Managing Director for Hill+Knowlton Strategies MENA includes a regional focus on the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Levant and Bahrain. Lisa has rich and varied experienced, with more than 15 years of working both in-house and with international communications firms. Lisa was listed as one of the world’s most influential PR professionals in the 2016 PR Week Global Power Book. She has served on the MEPRA Executive Board for the past 12 months where she led the planning and implementation of MEPRA’s successful inaugural REMAP Festival.

MEPRA Vice Chair, Lisa Welsh said: “MEPRA is transforming the communications industry as we know it, driving creativity, excellence and development across the region. I am honoured to take on the Vice Chair role, and thank both Ray and Deema for their exceptional work to date, along with the executive and strategy board. We look forward to announcing next year’s strategy in January, and taking MEPRA to the next level.”

Nominations are now open for four vacancies on the MEPRA Executive Board. Nomination forms can be requested by emailing [email protected]. The new Executive Board Members will be voted for during the MEPRA Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 30th January 2019.