Board Members

Her Royal Highness Princess Rima bint Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Chair

HRH Princess Rima bint Sultan is a leading philanthropist and role model for young women and entrepreneurs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Well known for her generosity, she dedicates herself to promoting and funding entrepreneurial ventures for female-owned small and medium sized businesses. In addition, she is a strong advocate for individuals with special needs and plays a pivotal role in their empowerment by supporting organizations and projects that help them manifest their capacities and live to their fullest potential.

HRH Princess Rima bint Sultan’s affiliation with the Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Schools for Down Syndrome (formerly the Al Nahda Schools for Down Syndrome) dates back to 1986 when she introduced Ericka Koffroth Sabaan - a mother looking for early intervention services in Riyadh for her young daughter with Down syndrome - to the Al Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women. This introduction triggered the establishment of the first dedicated schools for students with Down syndrome in the country. Today, HRH Princess Rima bint Sultan is once again playing a critical role in educating students with Down syndrome in Saudi Arabia. As Chair of the board, she is overseeing the society’s expansion and is personally involved in ensuring that the new Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Schools for Down Syndrome in Jeddah are built in line with the required specifications and in record time.

In 1990, together with a group of pioneering Saudi women, she co-established Al Manahil Company – a lifestyle center created by women for women. From there, she became a member of Deem Al Manahil Foundation – an innovative organization that directs the profits from Al Manahil company to funding, training and empowering budding female entrepreneurs throughout the Kingdom. After the recent spate of terrorism directed at the Kingdom, she was commissioned by the Ministry of Interior and the Al Saud Women’s Forum to follow up and track the affairs of all the martyrs and injured members of the Special Forces and Police. She also serves as a trustee for the prestigious Princess Seetah bint Abdulaziz Award for Excellence in Social Work, recognizing and rewarding deserving individuals and organizations for their positive contributions to social welfare.

A staunch supporter of women’s issues, individuals with special needs, education, social service and healthcare, HRH Princess Rima bint Sultan’s impact is immeasurable.
 Her unwavering commitment to service over the past few decades has truly transformed the health and prosperity of individuals, families and communities throughout the country.

Mrs. Nawal Mohammed Babgi

Vice Chair

Mrs. Nawal Babgi brings a wealth of experience to the board through her extensive work with non profit organizations spanning more than three decades.  As Vice Chair of Saut: The Voice of Down Syndrome Society, she is a tireless advocate for the empowerment and education of individuals with Down syndrome. She plays a pivotal role in showcasing the society’s efforts and is a driving force behind the implementation of Saut’s strategic plan. Her interest in working with Saut stems from the belief that all people can improve their lives and the communities in which they live if given access to the right opportunities. In her capacity as Vice Chair of the Board, she demonstrates her passion by successfully delivering Saut’s message to a variety of stakeholders from corporations to government entities. In addition, she enjoys meeting and interacting directly with the children and hosts an annual carnival where children with special needs gain free access and enjoy an afternoon of entertainment and games.

She draws inspiration and support from her husband, Sheikh Abdullah Bahamdan - a staunch Saut supporter and member who is equally dedicated to the advancement and promotion of issues relating to children, special needs, and education among others. In addition to Saut, Mrs. Nawal Babgi enjoys membership in several other non profit organizations in Saudi Arabia including Bahamdan Charitable Organization,  Al Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women, Sanad (Children’s Cancer Support Society), Saudi Alzheimer Disease Association, Zahra Breast Cancer Association, Saudi Heritage Preservation Society and the Home Health Care Forum.

Her Royal Highness Princess Moudi bint Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Secretary General

HRH Princess Moudi bint Khalid has more than 30 years of leadership and experience in philanthropic and development work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome and it is largely thanks to her vision and leadership that the first school for Down syndrome was established in Saudi Arabia in 1987. Under her guidance, this single school grew into an independent national society serving infants, toddlers, preschool children, students and vocational trainees across six model programs. Today, as secretary general of Saut: The Voice of Down Syndrome Society, she shapes and approves the organization’s strategies, advocates for the education and empowerment of individuals with Down syndrome, and sets the organization’s overall direction. 

She is also the secretary general and investment committee chair of the King Khalid Foundation which has developed and implemented a number of development and research projects since its inception in 2001 while awarding millions of riyals in grant money to deserving non-profit organizations and capacity building programs throughout the Kingdom.

HRH Princess Moudi bint Khalid is also secretary general of the Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women - well-known for its pioneering work empowering underprivileged Saudi women socially, economically and legally since 1961. In addition, she chairs the board of Takatuf – a Saudi organization dedicated to promoting the culture of volunteerism in communities.

In 2011, HRH Princess Moudi bint Khalid and her family established two fellowships at the Legatum Center – part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The aim of these fellowships is to support those MIT students who are citizens or long-term residents of Saudi Arabia and who wish to establish businesses that will contribute to the Kingdom’s economic and social progress. In January 2013, she became one of the first 30 women in the history of Saudi Arabia to be appointed to the Consultative Assembly (Majlis Al Shura).

Her Royal Highness Princess Bessma bint Bader bin Abdulmohsin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Treasurer

HRH Princess Bessma bint Bader is passionate about child development and education. This interest led her to join Saut’s board in 2010. As treasurer, she plays a pivotal role in generating awareness around the abilities of children with Down syndrome and encouraging their inclusion and acceptance within the community. She is the co-founder and owner of The Playroom – a play center in Riyadh catering to children 4 years of age and younger that is built around the belief that child-led play fosters creativity, encourages divergent thinking and builds good social skills. An avid writer, she shares her insights about parenting young children in Saudi Arabia through her blog. Her four children, her "tribe", provide her with endless inspiration and stories. She also contributes to World Moms blog, allowing her to communicate her thoughts as a Muslim Arab woman to a larger international audience.

Mrs. Shamma Mohammad Al Shenaifi

Board Member

Mrs. Shamma Al Shenaifi has over 35 years of experience in social work and philanthropy. She joined Saut’s board in 2010 because of her keen interest in children’s issues and her desire to showcase the abilities of those with special needs.  As a mother of five with a background in teaching, she brings a relevant perspective to the board and plays an important role in generating awareness and using her extensive network of contacts to support Saut’s activities. She is passionate about volunteering her time and effort to worthy charitable causes and enjoys membership in several prominent non profit organizations in Saudi Arabia. These include Al Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women, The Saudi ADHD Society (AFTA) , and the Down Syndrome Charitable Association (DSCA).

Her Royal Highness Princess Banderi bint Abdulrahman Al Faisal

Board Member

HRH Princess Banderi Abdulrahman Al Faisal has been the Director General of the King Khalid Foundation from 1999 till the present. She is a member of Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women, The ADHD Society & Support Group (AFTA) and the Takreem Jury Board.

She has contributed to launching several social development initiatives and programs across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and has also participated in numerous conferences and forums both locally and internationally to promote the concept of strategic philanthropy.

HRH Princess Banderi graduated with a BA in English Literature from King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1994, and with a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1998.

Dr. Nadia Awni Sakati

Board Member

Dr. Nadia Awni Sakati is a pediatric endocrinologist and senior consultant for the Genetics Research Center at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh. Dr. Sakati joined the board in 2010 and led the effort to establish an outreach medical clinic for the Saut Schools. She received her medical degree from Damascus University in 1965. She then went on to become a pediatric resident at the American University of Beirut (Lebanon) and at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami (USA). In 1969, she became a Fellow in Genetics and Metabolism at the University of California, San Diego (USA). Since 1978, she has been affiliated with the King Faisal Specialist Hospital. She is credited with the co- discovery of the Sanjad-Sakati syndrome – an autosomal recessive disorder found exclusively in people of Arabian origin. Dr. Sakati is widely published in her field and is a member of the American Board of Pediatrics, the American Society of Human Genetics, the British Society of Clinical Genetics, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr. Huda Abdullah Abbas Kattan

Board Member

Huda Abdullah Kattan, MB, BcH, FRCPC heads the General Pediatrics Department at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSHRC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She joined the board in 2010 and has helped guide the society’s development, particularly when it comes to healthcare programs and services. She has a solid track record in starting and managing new medical initiatives. She developed a combined Spina Bifida Clinic with Orthopedics and Urology at KFSHRC (1993), established the Spina Bifida Registry in Saudi Arabia (2003), the Combined Newborn Screening Clinic at KFSHRC (2003), and the National Family Safety Registry in Saudi Arabia (2009).