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Recipients of the Bireme Awards of 2023

December 14, 2023

For its 5th Bireme Awards edition, LebNet is pleased to recognize outstanding professionals in the technology field in 7 different categories: 

Lifetime Achievement Award 

Abdo George Kadifa - Managing Director, Sumeru Equity Partners

Abdo George Kadifa is currently the Managing Director and Co-founder at Sumeru Equity Partners and has an extensive leadership background. Formerly the Executive VP/General Manager of HP Software and an Operating Partner at Silver Lake Partners, he led HP's $4-billion software business and contributed to various leadership roles at firms like IBM, Corio, Oracle, and Booz-Allen. Recently elected as the Chairman of the AUB Board of Trustees, Kadifa is deeply engaged in the Lebanese diaspora community, exemplified by his past role as LebNet's chairman, fostering global success for tech professionals of Lebanese descent and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion. Kadifa holds a BE EE from AUB, MSEE from Caltech, and MBA from the University of Chicago.

Executive of the Year   

Sassine Ghazi - President and CEO of Synopsys

Sassine Ghazi is set to assume the role of CEO at Synopsys in January of 2024, following his tenure as president and COO since 2021. With a wealth of 25 years of expertise in chip design and related applications, coupled with over a decade in executive leadership roles, Ghazi brings a formidable depth of expertise to the position.  Recognized for driving innovation and possessing robust operational experience, he has cultivated trusting relationships with both customers and partners. Synopsys, established in 1986, stands as a forefront technology leader in electronic design automation, design IP, and software security, boasting around 20,000 employees and a revenue of $5.5B over the last twelve months.

Technologist of the Year  

Gabriel Rebeiz - Professor at University of California San Diego and Owner, RF MEMS, LLC

Prof Rebeiz, with over 35 years as a professor at UCSD in Electrical Engineering, is an eminent figure in the RF/microwave field, celebrated globally for his pioneering technological advancements.  Recognized as an innovator worldwide, he was the first to introduce MEMS and micromachining to RF/microwave, leading the development of novel components. A trailblazer in integrated phased arrays for communication and defense systems, Prof. Rebeiz has founded 2 startups, consults for top 100 companies and directs the UCSD/DARPA Center on RF MEMS Reliability and Design Fundamentals.  His extensive contributions also include authoring the best-selling book, “RF MEMS: Theory, Design and Technology”.

Entrepreneurs of the Year

Marc Atiyeh - co-Founder and CEO, Pawp Andrew Malek - co-Founder and CTO, Pawp

Mark Atiyeh and Andrew Malek, co-founders of Pawp in New York City, have revolutionized pet care as creators of the largest digital pet health clinic, offering round-the-clock access to licensed vets. In a landmark collaboration, Pawp joined forces with Walmart to significantly enhance access to affordable, convenient, and high quality pet care. Their impactful contributions and innovation earned both Mark and Andrew well deserved recognition in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for the class of 2022.

Mentor/Youth Champion

Aya Mouallem - Engineering Education PhD Candidate at Stanford

Aya is at the forefront of revolutionizing electrical engineering education through her research in developing innovative ed-tech tools. She initiated the LebNet Tech Fellows program, empowering young adults in Lebanese universities, particularly targeting first generation, low income students for success in a tech career. As a co-founder of All Girls Code, Aya has inspired hundreds of girls in the Arab world to pursue STEM fields. Recognized globally for her leadership, Aya was named one of the ten women transforming the landscape of leadership worldwide by The New York Times.  Her relentless advocacy for equitable education has been featured by Forbes, Cosmopolitan Middle East, and UN Women in the Arab States. Aya also holds a bachelor’s degree in computer and communications engineering from AUB.

Young Scientist

Hadi Salman - Research Scientist at OpenAI

Hadi Salman is a researcher at OpenAI with a recently earned PhD in Computer Science from MIT. His research focuses on establishing the foundations for robust and reliable machine learning systems and is committed to ensuring the safe and responsible deployment of AI in the real world, Hadi started a Global Lebanese slack channel on AI connecting 100s of Lebanese globally. He holds a Masters in Robotics from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, a BS in Mathematics and a BE in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut.

Philanthropist of the Year

Youmna Chamcham - Co-Founder & CEO, MiniStudio.AI

Youmna, a Brooklyn NY based entrepreneur, designer, and artist, co-founded Live Love in 2012, a non-profit offering global environmental and humanitarian solutions that locals can implement. Stemming from her hashtag #livelovebeirut, Live Love transitions citizens from social media to social action. The organization has developed programs in collaboration with the UN, the EU, the World Food Programme, and more and has over 280 chapters worldwide, including in Beirut, Armenia, Jordan, Egypt, Italy, Spain, and France.  Youmna also co-founded the digital agency TeTaTeT and her latest startup is MiniStudio.AI, infusing storytelling with artificial intelligence, and a touch of magic.

Congratulations to the award recipients for their great accomplishments and for being an inspiration and a role model to all young Lebanese who are starting their journey in tech. They are a great source of pride for LebNet and provide hope for a better future for Lebanon. 

LebNet, a non-profit organization, serves as a multi-faceted platform for Lebanese professionals residing in the US and Canada, entrepreneurs, investors, business partners in a broad technology eco-system, and acts as a bridge to their counterparts in Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East


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