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Annabel Harper

Annabel firmly believes that old models of leadership no longer work in these changing and disruptive times. Leaders need to adapt quickly and develop different ways of being in order to move into the future with confidence.

Having worked with clients to develop themselves and their businesses into collaborative organisations which are agile and fit for the future, Annabel has extensive experience working with leaders in the Middle East and is becoming recognised as an authority on leadership in the region, with a particular focus on developing women into leadership roles.

She has a MA in Middle Eastern Studies and her research explored women and leadership in the United Arab Emirates.

Annabel’s experience includes

  • Publication of “Shujaa’ah: Bold Leadership for Women of the Middle East”, her first book in November 2020 and Finalist 2021 Business Book Awards
  • Speaking engagements:
    • Speaker on “Bold Leadership in the Middle East” at the WIN/GCF Conference in Dubai (2021)
    • Panel speaker “Women in the Middle East” at London Business School Women in Business Equall Conference (virtual) (2021)
    • Panel speaker “The Role of Women in Crisis Management” Blue Ocean Women Leadership Development (BOWLD) International Women’s Day Conference Dubai (virtual) (2021)
    • Emirates Literature Foundation as part of Abu Dhabi Literature Festival “Women and Leadership in the Middle East” (2021)
    • National Leadership Institute of Kuwait “Women and Leadership” (2021)
    • Abu Dhabi Federal Education Authority Youth Hub “How to become more confident and build a ‘can-do’ mindset” (2022)
  • Selected by UN Women UK as a volunteer delegate to attend the first-ever online Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65) in March 2021 and again in March 2022 (CSW66)

As well as her leadership consulting work, Annabel is a tutor on the Diploma in Coaching at Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education.

Previously a radio and TV journalist, Annabel worked for more than 25 years in the UK and Northern Ireland for ITN, Channel Four News and the BBC. After moving into management at the BBC, she became involved with coaching, mentoring and training, before leaving to set up her own coaching business in 2007.

Annabel is available for speaking engagements on a wide variety of topics related to women and leadership and leadership in the Middle East.  If you would like to have an exploratory conversation please get in touch at info@changeconnections.com




  • MA Middle Eastern Studies, Merit (King's College, London)
  • MA Coaching & Mentoring Practice, Merit (Oxford Brookes University)
  • BSc (Soc Sci) Hons (Southampton University)
  • Cert de Civilisation Française (La Sorbonne, Paris)


  • Accredited Workplace Mediator
  • Association for Coaching Accredited Executive Coach
  • Diploma in the Neuroscience of Leadership
  • ORSC Alchemy: the Art of Creating Relationships
  • ORSC: Organisational and Relationships Systems at Work
  • Nancy Kline’s The Thinking Partnership Course
  • Nancy Kline’s Time to Think® Foundation Course
  • Accredited Time To Think® Facilitator
  • British Psychological Society: Level A and Level B Occupational Testing
  • NEO PI-R Accredited
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Accredited
  • Hogan: HPI, HDS, MVPI Certified
  • AEM Cube Certification
  • Essentic: Point Positive Accreditation
  • Mental Health Aware First Aider
  • MTS 360 Trained Facilitator
  • Work Interests Schedule Accredited User
  • Belbin Team Role Accredited User
  • Certified Confidence Coach using CBT
  • Leading and Managing Teams (BBC); Coaching and Mentoring (BBC)
  • Fluent French


  • Fellow, Royal Society of Arts
  • Associate Member, Professional Speaking Association