First Solar, Inc. announced on August 19th, 2013, that it has expanded its regional business development capabilities, with the appointment of Dr. Raed Bkayrat as Vice President (VP) of Business Development for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Additionally, Ahmed S. Nada, VP of Business Development for the Middle East, will also oversee the company's commercial growth in North Africa. Raed and Ahmed will report to Christopher Burghardt, VP of Business Development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
"First Solar's growing footprint translates into a winning combination of local insights and global expertise, which is driving our efforts to enable the region's solar energy goals," Christopher Burghardt said. "Our decision to expand our business development team is a reflection of the tremendous potential that we see in the region. Both Ahmed and Raed bring extensive experience to their roles and there is no doubt in my mind that, together, they will successfully lead efforts to grow our presence across the Middle East and North Africa."
With over 15 years of experience, Raed joins First Solar from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), where he was responsible for establishing the institution's successful Industry Collaboration Program (KICP). During his four year stint at KAUST, he also created a demonstration and testing program for solar and other clean energy technologies. Prior to that he was part of the core team behind Direct Drive Systems, a US-based start-up that was acquired by an oil and gas major, and previously spent eight years in various roles at Siemens. Raed holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering from the Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Jordan.
Ahmed joined First Solar from General Electric in January 2013 and was tasked with leading the company's business development efforts across the Middle East, excluding Saudi Arabia. As VP of Business Development for the MENA region, he will now also be responsible for a number of fast-growing markets, including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, in addition to his existing remit.