Sohail ELABD

ESRI • Director, International Strategies

Sohail Elabd is an accomplished figure in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Information Technology (IT) industry, with 27 years of comprehensive experience. His distinct background in civil engineering, enriched with robust scientific and engineering knowledge, complements his deep understanding of geospatial technologies. His experience extends to the area of Remote Sensing and its integration with Artificial Intelligence (AI), utilizing these capabilities to drive governmental efficiency and innovation.

Sohail obtained his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Alexandria University in Egypt. This academic foundation in engineering principles provided him with a unique perspective on GIS, establishing a bridge between the practical applications of civil engineering and the data-driven domain of geospatial technology. Sohail further honed his technical expertise by earning a Master's Degree in Information Technology and GIS from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, cementing his position as a leader in the field.

Over his illustrious career, Sohail has contributed to numerous country-wide implementations of cadastral and land management, mapping productions projects across the Middle East and Africa. He's also led major geospatial initiatives, including National Spatial Data Infrastructures (NSDI) and addressing projects, delivering considerable value to governments and communities in the region.

Sohail's expertise in remote sensing has significantly bolstered these efforts. He has a deep understanding of how this technology can be employed to enhance governmental services and operations, often integrating it with advanced AI techniques to drive innovation and efficiency in public service delivery.

In 2005, Sohail joined Esri, the global leader in GIS technology, and has since served in various roles, including consultancy, business development, and management. Notably, he played a critical role in developing the Africa GeoPortal, a free-to-access comprehensive geospatial portal providing African maps and satellite imagery. This initiative has been instrumental in democratizing GIS technology in Africa, empowering local communities to solve their challenges using GIS and IT tools.

As the head of International Strategies at Esri, Sohail's commitment to supporting emerging markets is evident. He has focused on introducing Esri's technology to less developed countries, leveraging bespoke programs that cater to these markets.