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Power hour 2022

Power Hour 2022: Donna Sultan. CEO at KEO International Consultants , Ranks 27th

A passionate and motivational leader, Donna Sultan has proved to be a role model to many in the construction field. She is a true example of a successful leader, taking over a construction business that has since flourished, to become one of the leading consultants in the GCC and worldwide.

Donna has held the title of CEO at KEO International Consultants for more than 30 years (1991-till date) and was appointed as President in 2016. With her excellent business leadership, the firm has grown over the past 50 plus years, from a handful of employees in 1991, to more than 2,000 professional and technical staff, drawn from more than 60 different nations.
She has more than 45 years of experience in the Middle East. Born in France, and raised in the United States, she primarily identifies herself with the Gulf region.

Her background includes strategic planning and management consulting.  Donna is the only female President and CEO of a globally ranked multi-disciplined Architectural/Engineering/Construction (AEC) firm in the GCC.  Donna has recently also been appointed Member of the Mass General Hospital International Advisory Board, in Boston, MA USA.
Donna has personally been awarded many accolades for her efforts. These recognitions are a testament to Donna’s exemplary leadership and her efforts to meet market challenges, inspire her team, find innovative ways to improve the robustness of the businesses, and identify promising avenues for sustainable, long-term growth.
Donna has previously been named ‘Construction Executive of the Year’ and received a highly coveted ‘Women in Leadership’ award in recent years. She has played an active role within the GCC as a mentor and supporter of such initiatives as the UN supported Forum of Tolerance and Peace Organization, receiving its top prize in Kuwait in 2015.
Her latest awards and rankings include:
• 2022 CEO of the Year at Design Middle East Architecture Leaders Awards 2022
• 2022 Middle East Women Leader
• 2020 #38 Construction Business News Power Hour
• 2018 #52 Forbes Middle East’s Most Influential Women

She has managed to propel KEO up the international rankings while ensuring double-digit turnover growth through the expansion of services and markets, making it one of the top consulting firms in the world.

Leading the business to great success and further growth, Donna has succeeded in pursuing her passion, leading a remarkable career and changing the face of the construction industry, which for long years has been a male dominant one.  She has fostered and developed the firm’s renowned blend of design innovation, technical aptitude, sustainability principles, local knowledge and global insights. This has resulted in the highest levels of client confidence and industry respect.

Under her guidance, the firm’s core offerings have expanded within all specialist areas of architecture, engineering, planning, landscape design, project and construction management and sustainability specialties. She personally oversaw the development of the allied practices, as subsidiaries, bringing in new revenue streams from new business streams: InSite, C-Quest and Black Mule.

Donna has skillfully positioned the firm as a globally recognized multidiscipline practice working on some of the region’s largest and most prestigious construction projects in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Since her tenure as CEO, KEO’s impressive portfolio has grown to include finished or ongoing developments such as the Emirates Palace, Louvre Abu Dhabi, DAMAC Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts, the Kuwait Investment Authority headquarters, and many developments underway in Saudi Arabia.
She has expanded the business throughout her reign. Today KEO has 9 offices in 8 locations across the Middle East and Europe.