Meet our alumnus: His Excellency Dr. Fahad Toonsi

Positively impacting our communities one day at a time.

Fahad Toonsi

His Excellency Dr. Fahad Toonsi

Entity: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Position: Advisor at Royal Court
Worked at PwC until: July 2013
Line of Service: Consulting

What have you been doing since leaving PwC?

I left PwC to join the government. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first members to join HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s team. He is an extremely ambitious man.. And as you can imagine his ambitions translate to a lot of work which i have been doing a lot of ever since!

I specialize in governance and therefore I have been helping a lot in institutionalizing work. I started off with an appointment at the Crown Prince Court back when HRH Prince Salman was crown prince. There I was in charge of a department called Boards & Committees - His Majesty King Salman used to be the chairman of so many boards and committees as crown prince and I was helping out through that department in making sure that Chairmanship duties are fulfilled in each of those Boards and Committees. Following that, when His Majesty extended to the throne, I started working on building as many institutions as necessary to fulfill those ambitions of His Majesty and His Royal Highness. I started with a project of the transformation of the Royal Courts which is still ongoing, and I believe this is an ongoing project forever as institutional development is something that should go on forever. I’ve also helped kickstart all the giga projects in Saudi Arabia like Neom, The Red Sea, Qiddiya, and Amaala. I also helped in developing the overall apparatus of the government, improving the effectiveness and productivity of these places through my position as Advisor in Royal Court.

How did working for PwC help you achieve your career goals?

Working for PwC gave me a lot of exposure to institutions, spanning the private, public and the third sector. It also gave me exposure to as many industries as possible and to as many great people that I've learned from. PwC, to me, was a great school. If you have a normal job, you would be doing the same things day in and day out. On the other hand, with a Consultancy firm like PwC, you get to do multiple things at the same time - but you also almost get to change careers every couple of months. One day you are advising a bank, another day you are advising a government institution and it's almost like you're working for these institutions so you really learn about the way these industries and institutions work and you get to meet a lot of great people.

What made you shift direction in your career?

I actually never planned to work for the government. It was more of a call of duty - to serve a bigger purpose. When I met HRH Prince Mohammed, I hadn't met him before, I was actually headhunted - sitting in my office when I got called to a meeting there and I thought there is something different here. HRH Prince Mohammed, back then, appeared like his ambitions and philosophy were very much in line with what I believed in and I truly believed that this man will change the country and it happened.

Tell us your favorite part of your Job?

I think it’s the ability to impact as many people as you can, the reach, doing something in your office and seeing it on TV the next day, the number of lives you can positively impact, it's the sense of purpose that really helps a great deal. The beauty is you get to see the results immediately, although the work and the change itself takes a lot of time, but the impact is immediately felt and sensed across a very wide community and number of people.

What do you enjoy doing when you have free time?

I like to go out to sea - to sail, fish, and dive. I enjoy the sea more than anything else in the world and I like to spend any free time I have with my family out at sea.

What is the best advice you ever received?

Actually - it was advice from the partner I used to work for at PwC - Mr. Nabil Diab. Nabil, as part of him loading me with work, would always tell me that you will never realize your full potential until you try. On the back of that, I started to accept more jobs and responsibilities as a consultant and therefore it turns out i do have a lot of bandwidth to handle multiple jobs and that's how it has taken off from there. Nabil is a great man and I have a lot of respect for him.

Who are the two people (dead or alive) you’d invite to dinner?

I would love to be able to have dinner with Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) out of sheer love, respect and admiration.

I really enjoy conversations with economists - I think they're great at conversation - and the father of classical economics is Adam Smith and I would love to be able to have dinner with him.

If you had a magic pill that could grant you any superpower, what would it be?

Sleeplessness - I think life is too short.

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