IFSJ Leaders in Fire & Safety Conference: Meet the advisory panel

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The one-day event for industry leaders returns to the Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina, on 09 May 2024

IFSJ is pleased to announce the advisory panel for the IFSJ Leaders in Fire & Safety Conference, scheduled to take place on May 9, 2024, at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in Dubai Marina.

This year’s conference aims to surpass the success of its inaugural year, setting a new standard for industry discourse.

Register to attend the IFSJ Leaders in Fire & Safety Conference

The advisory panel shaping the conference

The IFSJ Leaders in Fire & Safety Conference 2024 features an advisory panel comprising

  • Terry Johnson, Conference Chair and Technical Assistant Expert for Fire Safety Training at the United Nations Development Programme (UNIDO) and Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC);
  • Engineer Salma Al Ali, Head of Engineering Section at Dubai Civil Defence;
  • Mark Buckingham, Head of Emergency Preparedness at Abu Dhabi Airports;
  • David Campbell, General Manager at Dubai Civil Defence’s Emirates Safety Laboratory;
  • Sinclair Duffie, Chief Fire Officer at Nawah Energy Company;
  • Sawsan Dahham, CEO of SIENA;
  • Dana Kamal, NFPA Director of International Development (MENA);
  • Ghaith Bakir, Senior Regulatory Engineer at UL Solutions;
  • Robert Davies, Operations Director at WSP in the Middle East;
  • Peter Stephenson, Director at Hydrock Fire Safety Division;
  • Saif Essa Al Maskiri, Senior GHSE Manager at Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC);
  • Steve Apter, Director for response at the Red Sea Fire and Rescue Service;
  • Tarek Al Assil, Executive Director at IFM Facilities Management LLC.

The conference owes much of its direction and content to an esteemed advisory panel comprised of seasoned professionals.

Their expertise is instrumental in shaping the conference, ensuring it addresses the most pertinent issues in fire safety today.

Meet the panel

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Terry Johnson

Conference Chair

Terry Johnson’s career began in the UKFRS and progressed to international development with the United Nations Development Program (UNIDO) as an ‘Technical Assistant Expert’ Fire Safety Training in the Oil & Gas sector. He spent some time at the Fire Service College UK looking at international development subsequently seconded to Dubai Civil Defence (DCD) UAE.

He represented DCD on various Emergency Crisis committees and working groups as a Senior Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services Professional, disciplined for All Operational requirements, including Major Emergency Incident planning and crisis liaison. Now, Johnson is currently engaged by Emirates National Oil Company ENOC, looking at sustainable and environmental solutions to match the resilience needed for asset and response team protection for ENOC assets.

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Engineer Salma Al Ali

Head of Engineering Section, Dubai Civil Defense

Engineer Salma Humaid Saeed AlAli is an accomplished fire safety engineer at Dubai Civil Defense. Her work plays a critical role in ensuring buildings and structures in Dubai meet the highest fire safety standards. She has helped implement fire safety regulations and codes, delivered presentations at various conferences, and worked closely with architects, contractors, and engineers to promote fire safety education and training. Her contributions have been recognised numerous times, and she continues to make Dubai a safer place for residents through her expertise in fire safety engineering.

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Mark Buckingham

Head of Emergency Preparedness at Abu Dhabi Airports

Mark Buckingham is an industry professional of some 27 years, having started his career with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in the UK. Progressing through the ranks to Station Officer, he took the opportunity to diversify his fire career by taking a role as Deputy Senior Officer at Luton Airport. Changes over the next few years saw him achieve approval to operate a Civil Aviation Fire Training College in the UK, before moving to the UAE, operating initially an Emergency Response contract in an Industrial mega project. In July 2022, Mark accepted has been developing the Emergency Planning function within the 5 airports of the Abu Dhabi Airport Company.

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David Campbell

General Manager, Dubai Civil Defense’s Emirates Safety Laboratory

David Campbell is General Manager for Dubai Civil Defence’s Emirates Safety Laboratory, educated in Applied Sciences – Fire Technology, Fire Engineering and Environmental Sciences – Natural Resource Management and Digital Transformations with 33 years working in the sector of which the past 13 years supporting the Middle East region.

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Sinclair Duffie

Chief Fire Officer, Nawah Energy Company

Sinclair Duffie joined the Scottish Fire Service in 1983 with Central Region Fire Brigade. In 1993, he moved into Fire Prevention as Station Officer in and remained there and promoted to Station Manager in 2004. Duffie spent the remaining nine years of service between operations, training, and community safety before retiring in early 2012 with 29 years’ service. In 2012, Duffie joined ADNOC offshore operations on Das Island as Incident Command System Coordinator responsible for major incidents response planning and development. In 2017, he joined Nawah as a Team Leader. He was promoted to his current position which he has been held since 2018. Duffie has been active on the Middle East conference circuit. He currently lives in Al Dhannah city in Abu Dhabi.

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Sawsan Dahham


Sawsan Dahham, CEO of SIENA, leads an engineering consultancy dedicated to advancing the fire and life safety engineering industry worldwide. With 17 years in specialist engineering consultancy, fire and life safety (FLS) design strategy, and business management, she’s an established expert. Authorised as an NFPA instructor and a noted speaker, Sawsan formerly served as the Global Head of Fire and Life Safety at Dar Al Hadassah. There, she amassed significant experience in designing, reviewing, and managing diverse projects ranging from mixed-use complexes and airports to healthcare facilities across the Arab Gulf, Middle East, and Africa.

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Dana Kamal

NFPA -Director, International Development (MENA), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Dana Kamal brings 22 years of experience in healthcare engineering, specialising in business development, project facilities, and education. Recently appointed as the NFPA Director of International Development (MENA), she focuses on regulatory, legislative, and technical aspects. Kamal champions building safety and fire protection standards, promoting code compliance in the built environment. She also leads the NFPA MENA Advisory Committee to achieve its regional vision and liaises with sector leaders. Holding a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering and a master’s in healthcare management, Dana possesses certifications from IBFCSM, e-Cornell, and IMAC. She’s an active member of ASHE and AHA.

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Ghaith Bakir

Senior Regulatory Engineer at UL Solutions

Ghaith Bakir is a Senior Regulatory Engineer at UL Solutions, specialising in regulatory support across the Middle East and Africa. Based in Dubai, he offers technical expertise in regulations, codes, standards, and product installations, aiding various stakeholders such as regulatory authorities and manufacturers in code compliance. Ghaith represents UL Solutions in code development meetings, delivering technical presentations. Before UL, he was a project engineer for a top fire and life safety solution provider in the UAE, overseeing the installation and maintenance of fire protection systems. He also served as a fire engineer for a Dubai developer, focusing on fire safety management and ensuring compliance with global fire safety norms.

Robert Davies

Robert Davies BSc (Hons) MSc CEng MIFireE CFPS

Operations Director at WSP in the Middle East

Robert Davies has over 20 years’ experience in the field of fire safety engineering with expertise in fire engineering solutions, fire safety strategies, liaison with local authorities, fire risk assessments, fire safety management, fire testing, fire safety in large mixed use/high rise developments and industrial projects, 15+ years of experience of living and working in various countries within the Middle East region and liaising with local authorities. He is also a Chartered Fire Engineer with the Engineering Council UK, a Certified Fire Protection Specialist by NFPA. In October 2010 Davies returned to the UAE and joined WSP as Head of Fire & Life Safety. He is now the Operations Director for Advisory Services within WSP in the Middle East.

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Peter Stephenson BEng (Hons) Fire Engineering, FIFireE

Director, Hydrock Fire Safety Division

Peter is a Director in the Hydrock Fire Safety Division based in Dubai. With over 40 years of experience, he oversees international projects in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and UK. He has a strong record of delivering projects globally, focusing on collaborative design and international best practices.

Saif Essa Almeskiri

Saif Essa Al Maskiri

Senior GHSE Manager – Emergency Preparedness & Response, Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC)

Saif Essa Al Maskiri is a highly experienced and safety focused leader and fire safety engineer, enjoying continued successes in the arena of Fire Protection Management Systems and Emergency Preparedness/Response development, leading fire department operations, change management, process improvement. With more than 25-years’ experience in developing Fire Protection Management Systems and Emergency Preparedness response with an operational understanding of the risks and processes relating to maintaining a safe working environment. He is currently leading EPCL Fire Refinery and six other facilities within the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) for fire protection, fire prevention and fire suppression.

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Steve Apter QFSM MSc

Director for response for the Red Sea Fire and Rescue Service

Steve Apter is a former UK Chief Fire Officer and Deputy Commissioner of London Fire Brigade. As Deputy Commissioner for LFB, Steve had responsibility for the Fire Service Counter Terrorism capabilities including its response to CBRN incidents and advised COBRa, Ministers and Gold commanders during some of the UK’s most significant incidents including Grenfell, the Westminster Bridge attack and the Salisbury poisoning. As well as Coordinating the Service response to the Covid pandemic. Since retiring from the Fire Service in 2021, Steve established his consultancy, working with public and private sector specialising in crisis leadership, strategy planning and executive coaching. Steve was also contracted by the NHS to Chair the Strategic Co-ordinating Group as the Omicron variant of COVID emerged.

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Tarek Al Assil

Executive Director, IFM Facilities Management LLC

Tarek, a seasoned Business Leader, boasts 15+ years in GCC’s Facilities and Properties Management. He excels in crafting integrated solutions for iconic facilities. Holding a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, he’s a certified CFM, SFP, FMP, and PMP, showcasing expertise in sustainable practices and properties management.

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Sajid Raza, BEng (Hons), MBA

CEO of BUTLER ENGINEERING – The Fire Consultants

Under his leadership, Butler has been providing FLS Consulting services to various sectors for over 20 years globally. Being member of the UAE Fire Code Council, Sajid has provided a unique dimension to the FLS philosophy advocating a continuous fire-safety improvement.

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