Who’s Who: Deema Al-Athel, technology services delivery leader at IBM
Deema Al-Athel was recently appointed technology services delivery leader for tech corporation IBM, covering the Middle East and Africa.
One of her key roles will be implementing software services such as artificial intelligence, automation, security, and cloud and systems services in the MEA region.
Al-Athel joined IBM Saudi Arabia in early 2019 as a strategy leader and was then promoted to a data and AI business development position within the company in the US, focussing on strategic engagements in the Kingdom.
Later, she worked as a strategic business development leader at IBM before taking up her recent appointment.
With more than 15 years of experience in developing and managing IT solutions, often working closely with senior management, she has become a specialist in crisis management, developing her strategic and operational planning skills while executing a range of projects and initiatives.
Al-Athel gained a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences from King Saud University in 2000, and five years later a master’s degree in the same field of study, also from KSU. In 2015, she obtained a Ph.D. in computer science from the George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., specializing in AI.
In 2020, she was featured in Forbes business magazine as one of the world’s leading women in AI.
Before joining IBM, she served as a chief information officer on KSU’s women’s campus and was a part-time consultant for several government and nongovernment agencies, such as the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, the National Digital Transformation Unit, and the Bunyan Women’s Charity Association.
She has also participated on numerous occasions with the Saudi delegation for the Human Rights Commission at the UN in Switzerland.