Faisal Al-Zahrani was recently re-elected to the board of the London-based International Public Relations Association for the Middle East.
Al-Zahrani, a Saudi computer engineer, worked in various related posts in Saudi Aramco for more than 20 years, joining Aramco’s public relations department in 2006.
He also served as an engineering consultant, an assistant to executive heads, a performance improvement consultant, and a director of the continuing excellence department.
For four consecutive terms, he was elected president of the International Public Relations Association’s Gulf Chapter, where he served from 2008 to 2015.
During his tenure, he hosted the Public Relations World Congress in Dubai in 2012 for the first time in the Middle East and the Public Relations Golden World Awards in Doha in 2014, also for the first time in the region.
He also served as general director of media and public relations at the Saudi Ministry of Health, former adviser to the ministry, and official spokesman for the ministry from 2015-2016.
Al-Zahrani received the Public Relations Excellence Award from Abdullah Badawi, former prime minister of Malaysia, in 2013 for his outstanding contributions to public relations services.
During his high school days, Al-Zahrani feared public speaking and avoided any engagement where he might have to speak to a group.
In 1999, however, he joined Toastmasters International, a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills.
Within six months of joining, not only he had overcome his fears of public speaking, but he also won the first-place award in a speech contest at the annual Toastmasters convention in Manama, Bahrain, before a large audience.
Following this achievement, he served as an MC, a moderator of Saudi Aramco corporate events, and a speaker at several local, regional and international conferences.
Al-Zahrani holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, US.