Sara Akbar, a chemical petroleum engineer, worked in the oil sector at the Kuwait Oil Company from 1981 to 1999, and at KUFPEC (Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co.) from 1999 to 2005. She played an important role in oil production recovery efforts following the 1990 Iraq invasion, shortly after Saddam Hussein’s army had blown up 80 percent of the Kuwaiti wells. Her action earned her the name “firefighter”, and she received the “Global 500 Award” from the UN Environmental Programme in recognition of her work.
Akbar – currently the CEO and deputy chairman of Kuwait Energy -- is the only woman holding a senior position in the oil and gas industry in the Middle East. Last November, she received the “Leader in Energy” award at the 2009 “Women in Leadership” Awards and Forum in Dubai.