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Distinguished Alumni

Distinguished Global Alumni

The Office of Global Initiatives stays connected to you, no matter where in the world you are – to maintain those Wildcat ties.
Wherever you make your new home on the globe, we actively also help you to stay engaged with the UA:

Become a Wildcat for Life member
-  It changes the lives of students through scholarship and leadership programs
-  It is the foundation for key alumni programs that grow the Wildcat Nation
-  It creates a global network of alumni connecting Wildcats to the UA and each other
-  It preserves our treasured heritage and traditions
-  Plus, you get some cool benefits!

Become a UA Global Network Ambassador
-  Connect UA alumni who live in your country or region
-  Be a contact for faculty who are visiting or doing research in your country/region
-  Talk to students who are interested in studying in the US about considering the University of Arizona
-  Connect with UA students who are studying abroad in your country/region.

Distinguished UA Global Alumni
The UA has an extensive worldwide network with partners and alumni. The Office of Global Initiatives retains databases of international researchers, scholars and industry leaders. Read about some of our distinguished alumni:

Roberto Cláudio Rodrigues Bezerra
roberto claudio rodrigues bezerra UA president Hart

Roberto Cláudio Rodrigues Bezerra is only 39 years old, barely completing his postgraduate studies at the University of Arizona, but he is the mayor of the city of Fortaleza, the state capital of Ceará, located in northeastern Brazil.  He also just recently visited us here on campus in June 2015. He holds a master's degree in public health (2002) and a doctorate in epidemiology (2006) from UA's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Roberto Cláudio is concerned lately with health care resources of his city, which currently have been lacking due to things like high crime rate, drug addiction and traffic safety problems. His solution: to start with the poorest areas and work his way up. 

"A major priority is to improve the quality of life in the poorest neighborhoods of the city, and that takes a multidimensional approach.... We must destroy the Berlin Wall of shame that separates the rich city from the poor city."

Help with this project is coming in the form of I3For, an initiative involving the University of Fortaleza, the city of Fortaleza, and the UA. The initiative will involve research, community development, an innovation ecosystem that connects to industry, and a partnership of the universities. Describing his city's challenges as "very profound," Roberto Cláudio said the initiative with the UA is unusual. "It will be one of few international collaborations to address a city's problems," he said. "We are very hopeful about the outcomes."  UA News

Mohammed Sharaf

Mohammed Sharaf, CEO DPW, Dubai ports
















Since 2005, Mohammed Sharaf has served as the Chief Executive Officer of DP World, the third largest port operator in the world. 

His advice for students: "Whatever you do: Ask yourself, why are you doing it? When you answer that question, then you decide how you are going to do that. Be inspired. This world is full of opportunities; if you're looking for pessimism, you will get there.  But if you are looking for optimism, you will get there."

Mohammed Sharaf received his degree in Business Administration from the University of Arizona and is the first CEO of DP World, the global port operator formed in 2005 with the integration of the domestic and international arms of the Dubai Ports organization. Mr. Sharaf has also been the Chief Executive Officer of DP World Limited of Dubai World Corporation since May 30, 2007. He serves as Chief Executive Officer of DP World Antwerp N.V. He served as Co-Chief Executive of DP World - UAE. He is also Chairman of Tejari World FZ LLC. 

He began his shipping career working at Holland Hook terminal in the Port of New York/New Jersey.  He joined Dubai Ports Authority (DPA) in 1992 and rose rapidly through the organization holding a number of senior positions at the Port of Dubai including Commercial Director and Managing Director, playing a central role in the extraordinary development of Dubai’s container terminals at Jebel Ali and Port Rashid, which combined have become a top ten global terminal facility.

In 2001, he became the first Managing Director of the newly established Dubai Ports International (DPI), the international ports management arm of Dubai Ports, DP operates over 50 ports in 24 countries and employees over 34,000 people.  In this position he oversaw the successful application of Dubai’s port management model to its first international operations at the terminals of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Constanta (Romania) and Vizag (India).

Mr. Sharaf managed a major international growth strategy that included the successful acquisition of CSX WT in 2004 and of the P&O Group in 2006, making DP World one of the top terminal operators in the world with a multinational team of around 30,000 people and a network spanning five continents.

Mr. Sharaf was awarded the UA Alumni Association Global Achievement Award.  To see an interview with the UA College of Management dean, click here.

Ghaith Al Ghaith

Ghaith Al Ghaith

Ghaith Al Ghaith holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.

Following his graduation from the UA in 1986, Ghaith Al Ghaith was hired by Emirates Airline as a sales trainee and, by 1995, had his way up to executive vice president of commercial operations worldwide.  In 2008, he was named CEO of FlyDubai, Dubai’s first low cost airline, which is part of the Emirates Group.  The airline began operations  in 2009 and now the airline has a fleet of 16 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft and a network of 33 destinations, including Bahrain, Colombo, Doha, Karachi and Muscat.    FlyDubai Cargo, launched in January 2012, transports goods to points in Europe, the US, Australasia and the Far East along with destinations in the MENA.


Mr. Al Ghaith is responsible for the strategic direction of the airline and works closely with its Chairman, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

He was named Aviation CEO of the Year at the 2009 CEO Middle East Awards.  He was named #184 on a list of the 500 Most Powerful Emeratis by Arabian Business Magazine in 2012.


Sultan Bin Hamdoon Al Harthi

Sultan Hamdoon Al Harthi
















His Excellency Sultan bin Hamdoon Al Harthi is mayor of Muscat, the Sultanate of Oman's capital and its largest city. (The equivalent title in Oman is Head of Muscat Municipality and the Municipal Council.) In addition, he chairs the Sohar Development Office, which directly supervises urban planning for Oman's Sohar district. He has held numerous other governmental positions, including Undersecretary for Heritage Affairs in the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

Aside from these government roles, His Excellency is chairman of the board on some of Sultanate's largest companies, including Oman Telecommunications Company, Oman Mobile, The Wave, Haya Water Company, Oman Environmental Services Company, and Waterfront Investments. His Excellency is ranked 255th in "Power 500--the World's Most Influential Arabs" listed by Arabian Business Magazine. He received his BA and MA in Architecture from the University of Arizona.

In 2012, Mr. Al Harthi made it possible for University of Arizona to travel to the Middle East for research and field work in Muscat, the capital city of Oman. While there, students and faculty from Sultan Qaboos University worked together to examine urban revitalization projects for the city. The students evaluated a variety of projects from public transportation to urban farming to wastewater management. They developed planning recommendations for public officials in the Muscat municipality. Read about it in UANews.


Jorge Galo Medina 















Born in Mexico, Jorge Galo Medina graduated as Agricultural Engineer from Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro ( where he has taught since 1974. At the university, he started the student international team for range plan identification, which has since renowned at the Society for Range Management. 

He worked for his M.Sc and Ph.D. degrees at The University of Arizona (1974) and Colorado State University (1980). In 1999 he earned a degree as a Doctor of Strategic Management at Torreón, Coahuila, México. His past career has seen him serve as México's House of Representatives, as Secretary of Rural Development at the State of Coahuila Government, Deputy Academic Director at the national office of Technological Agriculture Education of México's Ministry of Public Education, and evenutally as President of his own Alma Mater.

Agricultural and higher education issues have always been dominant in his life. In January 2013, he was apppointed as General Director of Capacity Development and Rural Extension at México Ministry of Agriculture (Sagarpa).

"In the confines of your life, the way you talk, you think, act and dress is built by you. Each experience creates new realities in the mind. Hence, your inner dialogue is what empowers your vision and informs your appreciation of how the world is woven."  From Paradigmas: La Veta del Cambio y la Sustentabilidad (Paradigms: The Vein of Change and Sustainability)



Esterlyta "Lyta" Pandjaitan

Esterlyta Pandjaitan














A member of the Indonesian Student Association while a student at the UA, Esterlyta “Lyta” Pandjaitan graduated from the College of Engineering in 2001 and is now a telecommunication consultant in Jakarta.

She is connected with several Wildcat alumni in Jakarta, and she would like to reach out to the rest of the country to help Wildcats stay connected and support the UA in Indonesia.

"As a professional, I offer project management solution for a living. My background in telecommunication industry shaped me to be systematical, dynamic and running along with the speed of technology. I'm a blend of North American formal education with professional experience in accelerated Asia."

Masahiro Miki

Masahiro Miki

Masahiro Miki earned an MA in Economics. As a student he founded and was the first president of the Japanese student club. Masahiro has experience in a wide range of industries including director of market communications at Merrill Lynch, senior director at Microsoft, and head of communications at Banyi Pharmaceuticals, as well as serving in advisory positions to several other businesses.

Most recently, Masahiro Miki has joined the Japan Weather Association (JWA) as consulting advisor with a mission of setting up the vision 2020 for their course of business directions and branding effort. Global warming, nature hazards, and all the nature environment we find around us today, the Japan Weather association (JWA) is at critical moment to compete, advance and expand portfolio of business operations further by providing innovative solutions to our clients in the various industries, including national and local governments. Mr. Miki is excited to join the team in re-engineering the company team to pursue the growth of the organization on a global level.

Abdulla Al Mulla

Abdulla Yousuf Al Mulla

Abdulla Al Mulla visited UA in June 2013 from his home country of Qatar.  Mr. Abdulla Yousuf Al Mulla is Executive Director of Operations for the Qatar Foundation’s Research and Development division.  He is responsible for developing the infrastructure for R&D—building labs and research facilities that will support the ability to do world-class research. While visiting Tucson, he toured labs and research facilities on campus and met with several professors and deans about his passion: to foster a knowledge-based economy in Qatar, not based on oil and gas revenues.

He suports the message of the foundation: "While many large economies are downsizing their investments in research, Qatar remains committed to a greater vision. It is one of the most progressive nations when it comes to research investment. In fact, on the global scale, Qatar is one of the five biggest investors in research and development. The country’s increased focus on scientific research has propelled a new generation of Qataris that is now at the forefront of change and innovation."

The Qatar Foundation (QF), which was founded in 1995 by the former Emir and his wife, focuses on the strategic importance to the needs of the State of Qatar and the wider Middle East and North African region, including technology,biomedicine, information technology, and social and human sciences.  QF receives both private and government support. In 2006, QF launched the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), which has since awarded $649 million in research grants to local researchers and international collaborations.


For more information on the UA Global Alumni Network, or to become a global ambassador, please contact:

Hassan Hijazi
Director, International Alumni Development Initiatives
The University of Arizona, Office of Global Initiatives
888 N. Euclid Avenue, PO Box 210158
Tucson, AZ 85721 USA
Tel: +1-520-621-903

Nancy Daru Yaeli, J.D.
Senior Associate Director, Alumni Relations
Senior Vice President, Campus and Global Partnerships
The University of Arizona Alumni Association
1111 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA
Tel: +1-520-621-903

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