Interview with Lamia Kamel, CEO of CC Plus and Founder of “Narrative Summit”

Saturday June 27, 2020

By: Dina Al Mahdy

Lamia Kamel, CEO of CC Plus and Founder of “Narrative Summit”, a leading international public relations firm that applies global standards and operates in the local and regional markets.

She is also an executive in strategic communications and a consultant for political public relations, as well as leading a number of successful public relations campaigns. Lamia Kamel has a proven track record in helping clients integrate global political, economic, cultural and communications trends in the development of innovative future strategies and plans.

Lamia Kamel is one of the pioneers of political communications in Egypt. As a communications strategist, she has participated in several highly visible campaigns in Egypt. She played an essential role in the presidential election campaign for President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and the presidential election campaign for Mr. Amr Moussa

In 2006, Lamia Kamel established CC Plus as a public relations organization, and over the years the company has grown into one of the leading consulting firms in Egypt. In 2016, she founded Narrative PR Summit “Voice of Egypt” and had 3 editions of prominent line up of speakers that became a platform for promoting Nation Branding under the patronage of Egypt’s Prime Ministry.

Lamia started her career working for Vodafone Company when the company started in Egypt. Then she shifted her career to consulting, working with the Malaysian National Oil and Gas Company (Petronas), the American Group Insurance Company and ICTDAR, the United Nations Development Program specialized in the development of ICT in the Arab world. She is a lecturer at the American University in Cairo and the International University of Egypt (MIU). In addition, she is a strategy consultant working with large local Egyptian companies to help specify gaps and enable those companies achieve international quality standards.

Lamia Kamel received her Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Business administration from the American University in Cairo. She also received extensive training in developing creative PR campaigns and Crisis Management in London, UK.

WoE: What is the vision behind the establishment of the ‘Narrative Summit’? And what are the goals that you seek to achieve through it?

LK: The Narrative Summit is meant to be the first international platform for nation branding and instigating our message of leadership and growth. 

Several developments occurred in Egypt and globally over the past years, and we found that Egypt was moving rapidly towards a new era. Many achievements took place and on all levels, whether government, or the private sector. There was also an increasing role played by entrepreneurs in enriching the country’s economic life. Egypt needed a new story and an unorthodox means to promote its narrative. 

The goal of the Summit is to promote Egypt’s story in a progressive manner, through carefully selecting high-profile and prominent lineup of speakers who present their inspiring experiences that contribute to forming the brand of Egypt. We attempt to establish this though strategic partnerships with international institutions, UN bodies, embassies and media. 

We also work to be a platform for young people to learn and be inspired and eventually become a voice that is heard by decision-makers. Since the inception of the Summit in 2016, we have been able to become a powerful presence and in 2018 we received the patronage of HE PM DR. Mostafa Madbouly. In 2019, the Narrative Summit was invited to be part of the Arab Week for Sustainable Development, which was held by the Arab League and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, under the patronage of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. 

WoE: What are the contributions of CC Plus and the Narrative Summit in supporting women and helping them reach more leadership positions?

LK: I believe that it is not possible to talk about empowering women separately from discussing the economic, cultural and moral challenges of the society as a whole. We can not separate women from society or women issues from the general societal issues of poverty, health and education. Generally, we, at Narrative Summit, do not follow the traditional approach of women’s empowerment, talking about them as if they are different. Our selection criteria is based on merit and achievement. The women participants at the Narrative Summit are all role models. When women have the opportunity, they show a strong commitment and great results. 

WoE: What are the obstacles and challenges that you encountered as a working woman in your personal and professional live? How do you manage to achieve a balance between the two?

LK: Achieving the balance is the most difficult task that a woman can have. It is undeniable that we, in the traditional societies, place huge social burdens on women and, in the case of a working woman, the challenges are more. I believe that women have developed a great skill in multitasking.  However, the key to this point is good time management and acknowledging that the family does come first. 

WoE: Have gender perceptions changed with respect to accepting women in leadership positions? And what is required to make these perceptions firmly established?

LK: Generally speaking, there has been a rise in women representation in leadership positions around the world, whether in parliaments or cabinets, in a number of countries. However, it is still far below the level of gender parity in most countries. In Egypt, we seek to bring the percentage of women in leadership positions to 30%. Nonetheless, it is vital that this empowerment be real and not just honorary positions; it is also necessary that this representation be balanced across the various sectors i.e. that it is not limited to the tasks that are believed to be better suited for women. In fact, there should not be tasks for women and others for men. I believe in instilling a culture of competence for both genders based on hard work and achievement.

WOE: As a working mother, how have you raised your children? And how did your work affect their view of life? 

LK: I think a working mom is automatically cultivating in her children the importance of work, perseverance, commitment, independence, and self-reliance, as well as the significance of thinking rationally and away from any superficial judgment. 

My work has already affected my children, by making them more open to accepting differences and appreciating diversity. 

WoE: Given your contributions to promoting outstanding images of prominent and inspiring models of Egyptian women and change makers, what advice would you like to convey to Egyptian women all over the world?

LK: Never give up. This is because we face issues and obstacles all the time. It’s part of the journey and the sense of pleasure we receive after. I also advise them to continue learning, Knowledge opens for us new horizons and opportunities that we might not have imagined to be part of. My advice for them is also to consider ‘balance’ to find harmony and happiness. 

WoE: What are your future plans, both at the professional and personal level?

LK: At the professional level, I hope that I support Egypt’s story and solid brand across the country and internationally.  

And at the personal level, I hope that I can help my children become more connected to their homeland, and that they know they have a lot to do for their country.

WoE: Who are the most influential and inspiring persons in your life? Who are the persons that you like to hear their opinion about your work most?

LK: The late President Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat and Angelina Jolie are two people that I find very inspiring.

All my teachers have a special place in my life, and I always turn to them, especially Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, the United Nations Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda, Dr. Atef Helmy, the former Minister of Communications and Information Technology; Dr. Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development; Dr. Ghada Waly, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; and Amr Moussa, the former Secretary-General of the Arab League.

For more visit Narrative Summit website and Facebook page

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