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Sofana Rabea Dahlan

Founder and Managing Partner, Sofana Rabea Dahlan Law Firm

Sofana R. Dahlan (سفاّنة ربيح دحلان) is an accomplished Saudi lawyer and social entrepreneur. She holds the prized distinction of being among the first three female lawyers to have been granted the permit to practice law in Saudi Arabia. Dahlan has served as a legal consultant in different parts of the Arab world including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Kuwait. Dahlan was also the Vice Governor for Entrepreneurship Advancement at the Small and Medium Enterprises Authority of Saudi Arabia from 2016 to 2017, making her the first Saudi female senior economic policymaker. Most recently she has enrolled at King’s College, London in order to pursue a Ph.D. in Culture Media and Creative Industries specialising in: The Obstacles Facing the Development of Creative Industries in Saudi Arabia: A Deep Dive into Intellectual Property Infringement and its Implications. Dahlan is also the founder of many social enterprises that focus on developing the creative industries in the region. She is the founder of Tashkeil – a Saudi based social enterprise that incubates, accelerates and promotes creative entrepreneurs. She is also the founder of Kayan Space and Studios – a membership-based environment for creative professionals, entrepreneurs and freelancers. In 2013, Dahlan initiated, the Saudi National Creative Initiative (SNCI) which is a collaborative creative knowledge transfer platform that was established in 2013. Stimulated profoundly by Dahlan’s passion to work with youth and the Saudi Vision 2030, SNCI aims to map and understand the Saudi Creative Industry in order to reinforce creativity and utilize the youth to unleash its full potential and drive Saudi Arabia to a knowledge-based economy. Dahlan is an active member of the board of directors of Khadija Bint Khuwailid Centre - a businesswoman and lobbying enter at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Dahlan is also regarded as an icon for female empowerment for her advocacy to advocate cultural, heritage and socially oriented issues. She has spoken at public platforms such as Pecha Kucha in Beirut, Beirut Design Week, TEDxWomen in Barcelona, and BOLDtalks Woman and has penned numerous articles on topics such as women’s rights, social values, and interreligious dialogue. She has completed an undergraduate degree in Law (LLB) from Cairo University, a postgraduate degree in Islamic Law from the Higher Institute of Islamic Studies in Egypt along with an MBA degree from the American University of Technology. In 2009, she was involved in the Harvard Executive program “Leading for the Future: The Arab Region in a Changing World” and has also obtained an executive degree in Global Leadership & Public Policy from Harvard University in 2013.