Dr. Ramakrishna Sithanen

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Dr. Ramakrishna Sithanen Former Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance, Mauritius

Rama Sithanen’s professional career of almost 40 years is split among public sector, private sector and international consultancy and advisory work. He has held senior positions in the private sector as an economist, a partner in a consulting firm and a group strategist in a large conglomerate in Mauritius.

He was Minister of Finance between 1991 and 1995 and was instrumental in shaping policies to diversify the economy and laid the foundation for the emergence of Mauritius as an international financial centre.

He has acted as an international consultant and an adviser, working in Africa and the Indian Ocean, advising Governments and public sector bodies on public policies.

He was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance between 2005 and 2010. He introduced bold institutional, policy and fiscal reforms that turned around the economy and moved Mauritius from dependence on trade preferences to global competitiveness.

He worked as Director of Strategy at the African Development Bank in Tunis, Tunisia in 2011.

Since 2011, he is Chairman and Director of International Financial Services, one of the largest management companies in Mauritius, engaged in providing fund administration services for capital market and private equity/venture capital funds to global corporates and institutions.

He was Chairman of the Rwanda Development Board between 2013 and 2017.

He was adviser to the Government of Rwanda and tax, competitiveness and financial services issues between 2013 and 2015.

He is Chairperson of 4 Sights, a fourth industrial revolution technology company that is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and operates in many countries.

He also chairs Thomas Cook (Mauritius), a company engaged in foreign exchange transactions and tourism –related activities.

He also sits on other corporate boards.

He was chosen by the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum in 1994, as one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow for contribution in both the public and the private sectors at the age of 40.

He was bestowed with the highest mark of distinction of Grand Commander of the Star and Key (GCSK) in 2009 for contribution in the economic and political fields.

He speaks, reads, writes and understands English and French.

Dr Sithanen holds a BSc Economics (with First Class Honours), an MSc Economics (with a Mark of Distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a PhD in Political Science from Brunel University, UK.

Gerald Lawless

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Gerald Lawless
Director ITIC &
WTTC Ambassador

Former Chairman, World Travel and Tourism Council. Now Ambassador for the WTTC.
Non-executive Director Dubai Expo2020 Advisory Board.
Non-executive Director Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority advisory board.
Non-executive Director Temes Hotels and Resorts, Greece.
Non-executive Director, Adnec, Abu Dhabi.
Former President and CEO Jumeirah Group.
Director International Tourism Investment Corporation

Gerald Lawless started his career with Forte Hotels which culminated in him setting up and growing Forte’s operations in the Middle East.

After a 23-year career with Forte Hotels, he joined Jumeirah in 1997 and helped establish it as one of the premier luxury hotel brands in the world. Taking on the challenge of launching Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel, after the successful introduction of Jumeirah Beach Hotel to an eager travelling public, Mr. Lawless went on to become President and Group Chief Executive Officer of the Jumeirah Group. He then lead the development of the group for the next twenty years.

  • At the beginning of 2016, having served at the helm of the Jumeirah Group, Mr. Lawless assumed a new leadership position responsible for tourism and hospitality in Dubai Holding, the Group’s parent company. During this period he served as Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council.He has now retired from these roles and continues to reside in Dubai.

Mr. Lawless is a Graduate of Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland and holds the following Honorary Degrees:

  • Doctor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management at the Johnson & Wales University, State of Rhode Island, USA;
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws at the National University of Ireland, Galway;
  • Honorary Doctorate at the Middlesex University Dubai.

He served as a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Mobility with the World Economic Forum. He is fellow member of the Institute of Hospitality; and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.

Recipient of the 2017 Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.

During his 45 year career he has worked in the following locations: Galway, Geneva, Southampton, Swindon, Glasgow, Dubai 1978 to 1982, Durban, London, Bahrain, Dublin, and Dubai again since 1991.

He has been responsible for the development of hotels in various regions and has visited many cities within these countries and regions including North Africa, virtually all countries of the Middle East, the CIS and Asian countries such as Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Cambodia.He has participated in UAE trade delegations to China where he has negotiated management agreements for over 8 hotels.

He has also been responsible for the Caribbean division of Forte hotels in Bermuda, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados and Guyana.

In his capacity as Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council 2016 to 2018 he has addressed conferences throughout the world.

He has also attended the Annual World Economic Forum in Davos on nine occasions.

He has been a member of the Farmleigh Forum and the advisory Board of the Global Irish Network.