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 The technology giant appoints J.K. Khalil as Division President for East Arabia

Mastercard has announced strategic enhancements to its leadership roles in the Middle East. The move is part of the company’s efforts to strengthen its regional leadership with a focus on fast-tracking growth, deepening stakeholder engagement and enhancing its focus on its multi-rail capabilities in key markets.

Continuing Mastercard’s successful digital transformation journey, its regional leadership will build on the momentum with a refreshed organizational design. The technology company has optimized its regional network through restructured division operations, combining the power of scale with its deep local market knowledge.

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The former MENA East cluster will now make up the East Arabia division, while the MENA Central cluster will form the West Arabia division.

In this context, Mastercard has appointed J.K. Khalil to the new post of Executive Vice President and Division President for East Arabia. The Mastercard veteran will continue to work closely with his team to connect and power more inclusive and sustainable digital economies in each of the division markets where more people can continue to thrive.

Khalil has almost 20 years of experience in banking, strategy consulting and technology and has been at Mastercard for eight years. He started as Middle East Region Lead for Mastercard Advisors in the UAE before transitioning to the position of Country Manager for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Levant, and more recently Cluster General Manager for MENA East. Khalil holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is the President of its UAE Alumni Club chapter.

“Mastercard has been driving payment innovation and boosting financial inclusion for more than 50 years, and has been active in the Middle East for over 30 years. The creation of the East Arabia division is a clear indication of not only the potential, but also the incredible growth witnessed in what used to be the MENA East cluster. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our partners, who have been with us on this journey, to the MENA East team for their passion and dedication, and to the Mastercard leadership for recognizing the incredible growth and potential in these strategic markets,” said Khalil.


Under Khalil’s leadership, Mastercard’s former MENA East cluster has made great strides in advancing digital transformation and building a robust payments ecosystem. He was instrumental in initiating the global long-term collaboration with FAB, the largest bank in the UAE, that will see the two partners drive accelerated growth and innovation in the UAE and scale expansion plans in international markets. Khalil also played a key role in the opening of the Center for Advanced AI and Cyber Technology in Dubai in partnership with the UAE Prime Minister’s Office. Khalil’s latest achievement involves taking Mastercard’s women’s empowerment efforts in Pakistan to the next level with the launch of the Strive Women program in collaboration with CARE International. The initiative seeks to strengthen the financial health and resilience of women-led small businesses in the country.

 In addition to Khalil’s new role, Mastercard has appointed Adam Jones to lead its West Arabia division.

 As part of Mastercard’s One Africa Strategy, the company’s Northwest Africa markets have been consolidated into the expanded Africa division under the leadership of Mark Elliott.

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