Visa (NYSE:V) today announced the appointment of Dr. Saeeda Jaffar as Group Country Manager, and Senior Vice President, for its operations across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.  Dr Jaffar will join the global digital payments leader to oversee its presence in six countries and will be based in Dubai.

Jaffar joins Visa with deep financial services and payments expertise.  She has spent the past five years serving as Managing Director for the Middle East at Alvarez & Marsal, while previously holding leadership positions in the Middle East for both Bain & Company and McKinsey & Company, working with private and public sector clients.  In her new role, Jaffar will report directly to Andrew Torre, Regional President for the Central Europe, Middle East & Africa (CEMEA) and will be part of the CEMEA Leadership Team.

“The past year has brought tremendous change to commerce in the Middle East with consumers and merchants shifting to digital with greater speed and urgency,” said Dr Jaffar. “As we continue the path towards recovery, Visa’s mission to help individuals, businesses and economies to thrive is more important than ever. With digitization high on the regional government agenda, I am looking forward to further helping establish Visa as a partner of choice, while unlocking growth opportunities for new and existing clients and partners across the GCC.”

“At Visa, our commitment to the GCC region remains as firm as ever, and as we further strengthen our presence, I am delighted we will be joined by a leader of Saeeda’s expertise and experience,” said Andrew Torre, Regional President, CEMEA, Visa. “The GCC region is rooted in payments innovation, and with an expanding network of banks, fintechs and partners, Saeeda will play a critical role in further accelerating consumer payments, while advancing some of the new and exciting areas where there is demand for seamless, fast and secure money movement.”

Dr Jaffar holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University, and a Masters of Science and a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which she gained through the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum EDAAD Scholarship.