Tarek Kamel

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Affiliation: ICANN
Country: Egypt
ICANNLogo.png Currently ICANN Staff

Tarek Kamel is a Senior Advisor to the President at ICANN, on issues of Governmental Engagement.[1] He is an Egyptian expert in global Internet governance issues. He is considered the father of the Internet in Egypt.

In August 2012 ICANN appointed Tarek Kamel to serve as a Senior Advisor to its President. And by that he is the first one from the developing countries to take one of the leading roles at ICANNs senior management. Prior to joining ICANN, he was a board member of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority of Egypt from April 2011- July 2012.

Kamel served as the Minister of Communication and Information Technology from July 2004 to February 2011, where he was responsible for the reform of the ICT sector and the development of telecom services and the Internet industry in Egypt. Kamel joined the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology since its formation in October 1999, where he had been appointed Senior Advisor to the Minister following his pioneering efforts in ICT. He was board member of Telecom Egypt from 2000 to 2004 and a board member of Egypts Private Public Technology Development Fund (TDF) to support start ups and incubators in ICT from 2002 to 2004.

Besides being Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Kamel was the Chairman of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA), the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), the National Telecommunication Institute (NTI) and the Information Technology Institute’s (ITI) Boards of Trustees.

Kamel is known for his visionary strategy in driving and developing Egypt's ICT sector, leading Egypt into the global Information Society. He has led many national initiatives to increase Internet and broadband penetration in Egypt. Over the last several years, he has been the main proponent of Egypt's programs to reform and deregulate the telecommunications sector.

Kamel has played a pivotal role in developing the ICT enabled O&O (outsourcing and offshoring) industry in Egypt. During his tenure as a Minister he has led a local and global team to formulate and implement a national strategy that has positioned Egypt as a regional role model in call centers, Business Process Outsourcing, Knowledge Process Outsourcing and Innovation based services. The strategy implementation has occurred in a public private partnership cooperation and has included the buildup of business parks, the development of a large talent pool, the establishment of business incubators and VCs as well as the development of the necessary environment for entrepreneurship and business development to attract global players to invest in Egypt. The yield on Egypt’s socioeconomic process has been remarkable in youth employment and GDP and exports growth.

Tarek Kamel served as a member of the Internet Society (ISOC) Board of Trustees in Virginia and as Vice President for Chapters from 1999 – 2002. He is a founding member and a previous board member of AfriNIC. He acted as Chairman of the Executive Bureau of the Arab Telecommunications and Information Council of Ministers from 2004 to 2008 and the Chairman of the Ministerial Conference on Communication and Information Technologies of the African Union from 2006 to 2008. In recognition of his leadership in the ICT sector, the South African Ministry of Communications named him, in 2005, "Top Minister in Africa with an ICT Portfolio".

Kamel graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University with a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and then completed an M.Sc. in the same school in Electrical Engineering also. From 1989 to 1992 he pursued his Ph.D. (Dr.-Ing.) in Germany at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of the Technical University of Munich with the support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Kamel started his career as a network support engineer for the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, then an assistant researcher at the Electronics Research Institute. Returning to Egypt from Germany, he became manager of the Communications and Networking Department at the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC/RITSEC), and gained a professorship at the ERI. It is during this period (from 1992 to 1999) that he established Egypt's first connection to the Internet, steered the introduction of commercial Internet services in Egypt and founded the Internet Society of Egypt.

Kamel has been very involved in global Internet Governance issues over the last decade and he is well known for his support to the multistakeholder governance model of the internet. He hosted in Egypt several IGF, ICANN and ITU regional and international events.

Tarek Kamel was born in Cairo, Egypt on May 8th, 1962. His mother tongue is Arabic and he is fluent in English and German and has fair French capabilities. He is married to Iman El Azab, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Cairo University, and has two children, Omar (born 1995) and Heba (born 1998).


  1. Staff, ICANN.org