Former Aramco executive appointed as first woman on Saudi Central Bank board

Sheila Al-Rowaily served in various trading and investment roles at the energy company for more than 20 years

Sheila Al-Rowaily is among a growing number of women taking on senior leadership roles across the Gulf region. Photo: Wisayah
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Sheila Al-Rowaily, who once served as treasurer of Saudi Aramco, has become the first woman to be appointed to the board of the Saudi Central Bank.

Her appointment comes after a royal decree issued by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.

Ms Al-Rowaily is among a growing number of women taking on senior leadership roles in the kingdom and across the Gulf region.

Increasing the number of women in the workforce could raise the Mena region's gross domestic product by up to 57 per cent, or $2 trillion, a recent report by PwC showed.

Ms Al-Rowaily has served as chief executive of Wisayah Investment Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aramco, since 2019.

Wisayah manages Aramco’s pension funds, defined contribution funds and other long-term investment portfolios.

Ms Al-Rowaily has served in different trading and investment roles at Aramco for more than 20 years. She joined the world’s largest oil-producing company in 1998 as a money market trader and later worked as a financial analyst based in Dhahran, according to her LinkedIn profile.

In 2006, Ms Al-Rowaily moved to the energy company's office in Houston, Texas, where she served as treasurer until the end of 2007.

She subsequently returned to Dhahran to lead Aramco's portfolio management team, then became director of the investment management department before joining Wisayah.

Ms Al-Rowaily, a Sloan Fellow, attained a master's degree in business administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

She obtained a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture from King Faisal University and then earned an MBA in finance, from the American University of Beirut in 1997, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Apart from Ms Al-Rowaily, the decree also approved the appointment of Hamad Al-Sayyari, Khaled Al-Juffali, Rashed Al-Humaid and Abdullah Al-Abdulqader to the banking regulator's board, which is led by Saudi Central Bank Governor Fahad Al-Mubarak.

Updated: June 10, 2022, 8:05 AM