Government and public sector work
Since 2016, Mahdi as served as the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development in the Government of Kuwait.Prior to this appointment, he was the Assistant Secretary General for the Follow-up and Future Forecasting besides being the Acting Assistant Secretary General for Planning.
Mahdi sits in several government boards and higher committees, mainly the Public Authority for Industry (PAI), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), and the Public Authority for Housing and Welfare (PAHW). He is a member of the Supreme Council for Education and is on the Board of Trustees of the National Center for Education Development (NCED). He serves as member in high-level committees such as the Economic and Fiscal Reform Monitoring Committee, the Humanitarian Foreign Aid Committee, Fiscal Budgeting Framework, Kuwait Demographic Disparities Committee, the Development of Kuwait Islands Committee, the Executive Committee of the Silk City, Kuwait Master Plan 2040 Committee, Kuwait Bond Debut Roadshow, and the Kuwait University Mega Projects Committee.
He also serves other government sub-committees and leading government work groups, and has spoken extensively at national and international conferences, such as the Kuwait Housing & Residential Development Forum in 2017.
Mahdi chairs the Consultants Selection Committee and is the National Director of the Country Program Action Plan of the United Nations Development Programme in Kuwait, and currently presides over the National Permanent Steering SDGs Agenda 2030 Committee.
Education and teaching
Mahdi received his PhD in chemical engineering from Northwestern University, USA, where he specialized on applications of statistical mechanics on complex thermodynamic systems. He received his Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from University of Toronto, Canada, and his Master’s in the same field from the Illinois Institute of Technology, USA. Mahdi starting his academic career working in the Water Resource Division in the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Researches before moving to Kuwait University to become Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, where he taught 30 different courses in general engineering, chemical engineering as well as management sciences.
He received Kuwait University’s Best Teaching Award and Best Electronic Course Award among other honors and awards. Mahdi has authored or co-authored more than 75 journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, patents, and books in different fields. His primary interest is the study of modeling complex systems and process optimization. Mahdi and collaborators also established SYNERGY, the first research group to study complex networks including social, biological and financial networks in the Middle East.
Private sector work and experience
Mahdi resided in the board of industrial and consulting corporations in Kuwait representing a major investment companies such as Industrial and Financial Investments Companies. He is a board member in Al-Dhow Environmental Projects Company, vice-chairman of Arab International Industrial Projects and International Quarries Company, and is also chairperson of Environmental Preservation Industrial Company. Mahdi also co-founded and co-chaired FOCUS Consultancy Services and SGC regional real-estate development.
Mahdi also served as a consultant for Kuwait University Office of Academic Affairs, advising on the university’s strategy plans in 2005. He later served as an Advisor of the Minister of State for Planning and Development Affairs in 2014. Khaled participated in many consulting projects with several organizations such as the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), Kuwait National Focal Point (KNFP)}, Kuwait Petroleum Company (KPC), Environment Preservation Industry Company (EPIC), Ministry of Education (MOE), Kuwait Industries Union (KIU), Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and many others. He has trained more than 1000 professionals and engineers in project management and leadership, and since 2002 has participated in more than 90 training courses in the public and private sectors, locally as well as regionally and internationally. Mahdi is additionally a project management professional (PMP), PRINCE2 and a certified consulting engineer (CEng) as well as a certified Gulf Cooperation Council expert and commercial arbitrator.
He is a senior member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and associate member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). He is a member of several professional societies including the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), the Society for American Value Engineers (SAVE), the International Association of Engineers (IAE), the International Association for the Development of the Information Society (IADIS), the Kuwait Engineers’ Society (KES), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).