Dr. AlSharekh is the Director of Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy, an Associate Fellow at the Chatham House MENA Program and the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, and has held senior consultative and teaching positions in academic, governmental, and non-governmental institutions in the Arabian Gulf and abroad. She is a board member of several academic and non-governmental organizations, co-founder of the EU Chaillot Award-winning Abolish153 campaign to end honor-killing legislations in Kuwait and the neighboring region, its sister organization Eithar that works with domestic violence survivors, and a co-founder of Mudhawi’s List, a platform to support women running for political office. She has been Visiting Fellow conducting research on GCC demographics at the LMEI, SOAS, a Senior Fellow at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, a Strategy Advisor at the Kuwait National Security Bureau, a consultant researcher at the Supreme Council for Development and Planning in Kuwait, and a gender politics consultant for international public and private organizations on academic and social outreach projects in Kuwait and the GCC.
Dr. AlSharekh holds a BA from King’s College, London, and a Masters and Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where she has been involved in supporting “Islam in Britain”, a multi-disciplinary course over the past 14 years. Other teaching posts Dr. Alsharekh has held include full-time posts at Kuwait University, Gulf University of Science and Technology, and the Arab Open University. She was also a visiting lecturer at Uppsala University, Sweden, Fulbright Scholar on Women and Islam at Whittier College, USA and she was their CEC Distinguished Fellow for Engagement with the Communities (2017-2018). Her research won the Arab Prize for best publication in a foreign journal in 2014 and includes books such as The Gulf Family, Popular and Political Cultures of the Arabian Gulf States, and more recently Tribalism and Political Power in the Gulf, examining the persistent importance of family and tribe in modern Gulf politics and society. She was awarded the knighthood of the National Order of Merit by the French Government in 2016 for her dedication to improving women's rights in the region. She was chosen as one of the 100 most influential and inspiring women in the world by the BBC for 2019/2020.
Since 2018, Dr. Alsharekh has been leading Ibtkar’s training programs that have been offered free of charge to participants who are either Kuwaiti or living in Kuwait. These include the Empowering Kuwaiti Women in Politics program, where 15 Kuwaiti women were trained in political leadership, an equal number from various NGOs were also trained in partnership with enV which resulted in the Manara program and 20 young men and women received training in campaign and political support management. The Women: Dialogue and Leadership program in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which took 10 Kuwaiti women leaders to Berlin in September 2019, Ibtkar's Political Leadership and Campaign Management program training 25 young men and women from Kuwait in 2020, the Women’s Leadership in the GCC series in 2020 with 43 participants from all 6 states, and lastly “The Power of Youth” virtual program in 2021 training 33 male and female participants. Under her leadership, Ibtkar was the consulting partner of the Women’s Mentor Forum which supports women in the corporate sector, and the ASAP Initiative which focuses on mental health awareness, and a number of other training and research consultative projects for local and international organizations.