RIYADH: Sheila Al-Rowaily, who worked as a financier with Saudi Aramco, has become the first woman to join the board of directors of Saudi Central Bank.
The bank, also known as SAMA, confirmed the appointment in a statement, citing a royal decree.
Al-Rowaily is the CEO of Wisayah Investment Co. since 2019, and is also a board member of Saudi Aramco Power Co. and Hassana Investment Co.
She led many innovative projects for Saudi Aramco, including the creation of Wisayah, which invests Saudi Aramco Group Companies’ pension funds, defined contribution funds and other long-term investment portfolios.
According to London based economist Mohamed Ramady, Al-Rowaily’s appointment to the SAMA Board should not come as a surprise to all those who knew and worked with her.
“She has a polite and unassuming character that belied her quick grasp of key issues and long-term implications for Aramco investment decisions demonstrated many times during meetings with her to discuss investment and treasury products, and one came away having learned from her,” he said.
Al-Rowaily joined Saudi Aramco in 1998 as a money market trader, and from July 2005 to June 2006 she worked as a financial analyst in Dhahran. Al-Rowaily moved to Houston, Texas in July 2006 and worked there until December 2007 as treasurer.
She returned to Dhahran in January 2008 and worked as head of portfolio management at Aramco until January 2009.
From February 2009 to January 2019, Al-Rowaily worked as director of the investment management department at Aramco.
Al-Rowaily earned a Sloan Fellowship for MBA in business from MIT Sloan School of Management in 2017-2018.
She obtained a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture from King Faisal University and then earned an MBA in finance from American University of Beirut in 1997.
The other members of the SAMA board of directors are Hamad Al Sayari, Khaled Juffali, Rashed Al Humaid, and Abdullah Hasan Al-Abdulqader.