Update: Since we published this piece, Surina Shukri has since been confirmed as the new CEO of MDEC.
Earlier this week, an article on Digital News Asia revealed what they report as the highly probable appointment of a certain Surina Shukri as the new CEO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
According to the piece, a reliable source told them that Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo was close to appointing Surina to fill the vacancy left by outgoing incumbent Yasmin Mahmood, with the new appointee coming from a background in investments and venture capitalism.
If the reports are true, Surina will walk into a leadership role at a company that will be vital in taking Malaysia’s digital economy forward, especially with the advent of new innovations within sectors such as AI, blockchain, and fintech all playing increasingly important roles in the global scheme of things.
Here are a few things to know about the potential new CEO of MDEC.
1. A Kuala Lumpur local
Surina was raised a Klang Valley local, having attended high school at SMK Damansara Jaya before moving on to Mara Junior College, Taiping, and then attending The Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania where she received dual degrees in Finance and Systems Engineering.
2. 17 years of Wall Street experience
Surina moved to New York in 2001 and has lived there ever since, gleaning valuable experience as an investment banker at JP Morgan Chase & Co for the better part of the last 17 years.
During her time at Wall Street, she honed her skills advising on multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions, capital raising transactions, and even served as a member of the Commercial Banking Executive Committee at JP Morgan Chase & Co.
3. Active player in blockchain
Drawing from her years in investment and commercial banking, Surina founded SheNovation Ventures in 2018. Based in New York, SheNovation Ventures focuses heavily on the blockchain sector and in addition to providing capital, also advocates and provides education and insights into using the still nascent technology for social good.
Additionally, Surina also is part of the core team at Women 4 Blockchain, a female-centric group that aims to help build nurture the blockchain ecosystem by connecting and educating groups and individuals about the tech.
Aside from focusing on blockchain ventures, Surina is also an angel investor, having been part of the 37 Angels network since early 2018, where she uses her network to help screen and invest into startups via SheNovation Ventures.
4. Fierce promoter of equal opportunities
Surina is also a a strong supporter of equal representation in entrepreneurial leadership positions. As such, she is also a leader at Parity Partners. an online database and platform dedicated to helping companies recruit diverse talent with a special focus on helping develop females become leaders through targeted curricula and and community building projects
5. Breast cancer survivor and advocate.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and coming out a survivor, Surina is now a strong advocate for breast cancer awareness, participating in runs such as Race For The Cure and other campaigns to educate on and provide support for other sufferers and survivors of breast cancer.
She even has a Twitter account dedicated to her battle against breast cancer, check it out here.
Aside from all of these, Surina professes to be one focused on promoting change for the better within herself and others by always progressing and learning.
“I’ve learned that success comes from continuous learning while resilience and happiness come from knowing what to care about, and most importantly, what not to care about,” she said on her LinkedIn profile.
“My belief system pushes me to be a change agent, bring my authentic and best self to work every day and I want to inspire others to do the same.”
We’ve reached out to Surina for comment, and will update the piece accordingly.
Feature Image Credit: MDEC and Innovation Leader