Thuraya Ismail is a Saudi Eisenhower Fellow, human and social development expert, youth empowerment specialist, and an art advocate. Born in Saudi Arabia, she grew up in a highly educated family, where her father was a renowned physician in Riyadh. Thuraya studied political science at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and completed her graduate studies in international affairs at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2002. She is a certified human development specialist through completing the Virtual Development Academy program by UNDP in affiliation with Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs. Additionally, she is a certified ISO 9001:2000 Lead Auditor by the British Standards Institution (BSI) – UK.
During her studies in the UK, fundamentalism was overrunning the Arab World, raising Thuraya’s concern over the future of Arab youth. She began a career aimed at youth empowerment and improving the mental and psychological well-being of young Arabs.