Leena Al Olaimy is a leading social innovator in the Arab world and award-winning author of Compassionate Counterterrorism: The Power of Inclusion in Fighting Fundamentalism. In 2010, she cofounded 3BL Associates (3BL), a people+planet strategy consultancy working on interconnected sustainable development issues like peace, environment, innovation, and equitable economic growth. Through 3BL’s consultancy arm, she advises companies, governments, multilaterals, and international NGOs on designing inclusive and financially sustainable models to advance social and environmental progress. Through 3BL’s think-do-tank, Al Olaimy cofounded award-winning ventures like Public-Planet Partnerships, Nonviolent Resilience, and Diversity On Board.
Al Olaimy serves on the Chatham House steering committee for the Future Dynamics in the Gulf project. She previously served on the advisory board of His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan’s West Asia-North Africa Forum and on the Board of Trustees for the Bahrain Foundation for Dialogue. Post-Arab Awakening, she was invited to meet with leaders representing both sides of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland and with the African National Congress and former de Klerk administration government leaders from South Africa’s Apartheid era to learn from their experiences in reconciliation.
Al Olaimy also served as an impact advisor to the London-based impact investment firm Future Planet Capital. She is a cofounding board member of Global Entrepreneurship Network-Bahrain, and she has served as a judge and mentor for numerous entrepreneurship competitions like MIT’s Arab Enterprise Forum and MIT’s Innovate for Refugees.
Al Olaimy is a Dalai Lama Fellow, a Fulbright scholarship recipient, a Wall Street Journal “Woman of Note,” a Salzburg Global Fellow, a Business for Diplomatic Action Fellow, and a Soliya Conflict Resolution Fellow. She is listed among Bahrain’s most influential women, and has given over 200 talks globally. Her work and op-eds on politics, entrepreneurship, and sustainability have appeared in the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda blog, openDemocracy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Huffington Post, Forbes Middle East, and Arabic Knowledge@Wharton.
Of Bahraini origin, Al Olaimy began her career as a communications consultant in 1998 advising Fortune 500s, and later she worked at the Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs on key regional security forums convening Middle Eastern heads of state, G8 foreign secretaries, and other dignitaries. She holds a BS in Culture and Interpersonal Communications from New York University and an MA in Globalization Studies from Dartmouth College, and is an alumna of both the THNK School for Creative Leadership in Amsterdam and Singularity University. Al Olaimy was the first Arab woman to be trained in the Porter-Kramer Shared Value Initiative. She is a lover of jazz, lions, and nature and is learning interspecies communication.