Creating Systemic Change for People and Planet




Founder and chief executive officer executive coach


Roberta is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of GHAYA, a ‘purpose2impact’ consulting firm with a quest to inspire and transform leaders, governments, and organisations to make positive enduring change in the world through leading with purpose.

A strategic advisor with 25 years of experience in the fields of leadership, financial services, investment banking, policy making, international relations, corporate and board governance, data protection, regulatory matters, real estate and family office.

Today Roberta operates at the intersection of leadership with purpose, sustainability, women and youth empowerment, culture transformation to enable a thriving planet for all.

Public Sector

In 2002, Roberta joined the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) where she spent twelve years developing a comprehensive policy and legal framework that allowed the DIFC to become one of the top financial centres in the world and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.  During her tenure in DIFC, Roberta held many positions including Chief Legal Officer and Secretary General of DIFC Authority, Data Protection Commissioner, Chairwoman of the Legislative Committee of the Board of Directors, and Director Policy and Legal Services of the Dubai Financial Services Authority. In those years, Roberta led many of the international discussions with fellow regulators which resulted in the signing of many memoranda of understanding (”MoU”), including the International Organisation for Securities Commissions multilateral MoU. She also led extensive discussions with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) on corporate governance standards for listed and non-listed companies in the DIFC, with the European Community on data protection and obtaining an adequacy decision for the DIFC and with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on several different initiatives. As a member of the DIFC Executive Committee, Roberta proudly served as a brand ambassador to promote the DIFC and develop key strategic and economic relationships with other countries through collaboration and sharing of expertise and solutions to development challenges for financial centres.

Private Sector

Roberta started her career in 1996 as an investment banking lawyer with Goldman Sachs in London, followed by ABN Amro and Prudential Bache. Later on, she became the Chief Legal Officer and Executive Committee member of Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa.   In her role, she contributed to the evolution of the retail and real estate sectors in the UAE and was the leader behind the creation of the first female leadership empowerment program in the 20-year history of the company.


In 2014, Roberta joined forces with the Al Rostamani Group to bring to life Apartment 51, a modern contemporary online homeware store where every product is driven by their obsession for quality and design.   Roberta is also the founder of Kanzi Jewels a modern contemporary jewellery brand that inspires women to be bold.   Kanzi Jewels was launched in 2012 in Harvey Nichols and has been featured in all the top fashion and jewellery magazines worldwide.  It was also selected by Bergdorf Goodman as one of the emerging brands of the Middle East.   Kanzi Jewels is the expression of Roberta’s desire for creativity and a compulsion to be audacious and to date remains a wonderful hobby.

Leadership Transformation

Following a deep journey of introspection in the last five years, in 2022, Roberta founded her own management consultancy firm GHAYA on leading with purpose.   GHAYA’s objective is to lead humanity through the next evolutionary leap by inspiring leaders to start their inner journeys and organisations to define their purpose and embed it into their strategy in the preservation of planet Earth and future generations.

Board positions

A seasoned and accredited board member, Roberta sat on the board of the United Arab Emirates Tennis Federation (2014-2022) contributing to the development of the youth and sport in the UAE.  Other board positions include Vice President of the board of directors of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the UAE (2004-2016), Chairwoman of Art Dubai (2012-2014), board member of Majid Al Futtaim Finance (2015-2020).


In 2013, Roberta was voted Best Female Lawyer for the Middle East by the International Financial Law Review.  Roberta also received, on behalf of the DIFC, the award for Best Government Initiative by the UK Society for the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners for the drafting of the first Trust Law in the Middle East.

Executive Coaching

As an experienced executive coach, Roberta specializes in empowering leaders to unlock their full potential and drive meaningful change within their organizations. With extensive training in leadership development, she offers tailored coaching programs designed to enhance self-awareness, refine strategic thinking, and cultivate effective communication skills focusing on equipping executives with the tools and insights necessary to navigate complex challenges, inspire high-performance teams, and achieve sustainable success in today’s dynamic business landscape.


Roberta holds an LLB from Warwick University and an LLM for University College London (UCL).

Executive Education and online course attended:

  • “Leading from the Emerging Future” MIT U-LAB 2022
  • “Social Presencing Theatre” MIT U-LAB 2023
  • “Sustainability and Circular Economies” Cambridge University 2022
  • “Essentials of leadership” London Business School 2012
  • “Executive and NLP Coach” certified by ICF and NLP Federation
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