Middle East Human Rights and Technology Expert
Rend Shakir Sumaidaie is CEO and co-founder of Cambridge Matrix, an exciting mesh company focussed on communications networks for security, surveillance, and intelligence gathering. Repeatedly making it onto Red Herring’s list as one of the top 200 Private Companies in Europe, Cambridge Matrix is also a member of the Prince of Wales’ Mayday Network and devoted to tackling the issue of Climate Change.
Before founding Cambridge Matrix Rend served as CEO of Cambridge Technology Exchange, and her skills in turning around this organization earned her Runner-Up Businesswoman of the Year 2003. Her first company, Oxbridge Advertising, which specialized in media buying for recruitment in the Oxford and Cambridge Markets, was set up in her college room and successfully sold two years later. She has led the Cambridge Matrix team since its inception in 2004.
Rend has a First Class Honours Degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Durham, and is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where her contributions to the student paper won her a nomination for the Guardian media awards. Rend is also on the Academic Advisory Board of the Cambridge University Scientific Society, and previously served as its President.
Ms Sumaidaie has a deep concern for civil liberties and an interest in promoting communication between Muslims and non Muslims to mobilize support for fundamental freedoms and human rights. She has campaigned for secular government in Iraq, and for women’s representation in parliament. As an Expert at the Iraqi Permanent Mission to the UN in 2006 Rend participated in OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) sessions resulting in a joint response to the Danish Cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed, as well as UN sessions on the global definition of terrorism. Rend spoke at March for Free Expression Rally in Trafalgar Square London in March 2006 and used her position as a guest speaker, and her family heritage to contact both sides of the conflict in an effort to prevent the kind of violent scenes that were taking place elsewhere around the world.