44 years of SAMDS

2023 SAMDS group visits Houston and Washington as program resumes

The Saudi Aramco Management Development Seminar is considered the most prestigious of Aramco’s executive development program.

2023 SAMDS group visits Houston and Washington as program resumes

The Saudi Aramco Management Development Seminar (SAMDS) made its first visit to the United States after a three-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the 18 members of the 2023 cohort participating in the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston before taking part in an engaging program in Washington, D.C. in March.  


Now in its 44th year, the SAMDS is designed to broaden and deepen knowledge of the energy industry and provide rising leaders with opportunities to interact with global thought leaders about top strategic and commercial trends.



SAMDS is considered the most prestigious of Aramco’s executive development programs.


It is important that this program has resumed its activities, because for decades it has played a key role helping to prepare leaders for the future.
— Tom Palmer, Aramco’s vice president of Executive Development and Compensation


The SAMDS program focuses on geopolitics, technology, economics, and international finance with a chance to integrate theory and industry application.  Members of the cohort are also able to develop a network of relationships with leaders across academia, industry, government and within Aramco.  


SAMDS participants come from five main Aramco business/service lines: Upstream, Downstream, Technical Services, HR/Corporate Services, and Finance.  


In Houston, CERAWeek, the influential global energy conference, offered a great forum to hear about the latest insights from across the industry. 


The conference themes touched on today’s energy conversations related to the energy transition, technology and innovation, sustainability, financing the energy future, supply chains, and commodity markets. 


Aramco Americas president and CEO Nabeel I. AlAfaleg hosted a dinner to welcome attendees to Houston and briefed them on the company’s operations and impact in the region. 

From Houston to the capital

After a week in Houston, the cohort went to the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. for a series of briefings, discussions, and meetings with a broad group of experts to gain new perspectives and insights.  The Aramco Americas Washington DC office staff was instrumental in setting up these opportunities.  


The cohort met with think tanks including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Atlantic Council, and the Brookings Institution.


The group also met with leaders from the Environmental Defense Fund as part of Aramco’s commitment to sustainability initiatives and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business group.


A reception at the Metropolitan Club was held for the cohort and attended by 45 influential figures from top Washington think tanks, environmental groups, and business, arts, and culture organizations.


SAMDS alumni include Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser, who completed the program in 1999.  


“The robust engagements and seminars organized during these visits help strengthen and accelerate professional development. We are grateful to have had excellent hosts,” said Henry Shim of Aramco’s Executive Development and Compensation Department and manager of the SAMDS Program.    


Caption for top photo: The SAMDS 2023 cohort in Houston. (Top row from left) Mohammed A. Al Khaldi, Fahad A. Al Sahali, Imran A.Hariri, Wayel Y. Basrawi, Yousef M.. Al Tahan, Yaser A. Alshehri, Rashed M. Al Dossary, Hamad M. Al Marri, Ahmed S. Al Mulhim, Yousef M. Al Iraani, Mazin M. Dabbagh, Henry Shim.

(Bottom row from left) Hussain N. Hanbazazah, Nader A. Al Arfaj, Ahmed A. Al Harbi, Khalid S. Al Hajri, Mutib A. Al Harbi, Bassam M. Al Dossary, Khalid K. Al Jehairan.


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