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Fall 2012
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Outstanding Alumni Awards

Lubna Olayan ’77

Lubna OlayanLubna Olayan is an influential businesswoman and philanthropist. She is the CEO and Deputy Chairperson of Olayan Financing Company (OFC), the holding entity for The Olayan Group’s operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, OFC holds and oversees all of the Olayan Group’s investments and commercial businesses, including 40 affiliated companies, in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

Olayan has been recognized as a “Global Power 50 Women” by Fortune, one of the “World’s Most Powerful Women” by Forbes, and one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time. In May 2012, she was awarded the Insignia of Member First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star by His Majesty the King of Sweden, Carl Gustav XVI, for her contributions to good relations between Sweden and Saudi Arabia.

Olayan has served on the boards of INSEAD, an international graduate business school; KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology); Al Fanar, a non-governmental, non-profit venture that supports grassroots organizations in the Arab world; and the Asia Business Council. In addition, she sits on the Board of the Down Syndrome Charitable Association in Saudi Arabia and is a trustee of the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon.

Olayan was elected to the Cornell University Board of Trustees in 2007 and delivered the keynote address at the 2008 Trustee and Council Annual Meeting. She was selected as the 2010 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year.

Olayan met her husband John E. Xefos AB ’77 while a student at Cornell. They have three daughters, Sarah, Serene, and Talia, and live in Riyadh.