Shihana Alazzaz has been general counsel at Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) since August 2018.
Alazzaz began her studies at Durham University in 2005 and received her bachelor of laws (honors) in 2008.
While in law school, she served as a Saudi representative in the US Middle East Partnership Initiative.
She received further training in Dubai and Kuwait, and later accepted a job at a New York legal firm where she provided legal advice on topics including defense, aviation, telecommunications, health care and securities.
After graduating, Alazzaz worked as an associate at law firm Baker McKenzie for more than three years.
Her next workplace was Vinson & Elkins, where she acted as a senior associate for almost five years until 2016 when she was promoted to counsel.
After leaving the firm, Alazzaz joined PIF as head of transactions in 2017. The following year she became general counsel, a position she still holds.
She is a member of the organization’s management committee and chairs other executive committees. She also serves on the boards and board committees of several PIF portfolio companies.
Her appointment was part of PIF’s strategy to attract top-caliber local and international candidates, with a particular emphasis on providing high-quality career opportunities for the next generation of Saudis. In addition, the number of female team members at PIF has grown to almost 250, representing 26 percent of the total workforce.
Alazzaz is the first woman to work at an elite Saudi law firm and one of the first female lawyers in the Kingdom.
She won the International Financial Law Review’s 2019 Women in Business Law award.
As a female pioneer in Saudi law, Alazzaz works to nurture young talent in the industry.