Graduating Senior Profile: Dana Al Ansari


Photo by Shakeeb Asrar

In 2012, when the faculty advisor for Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar’s debate club left the university, the club was left with no debate coach. Dana Al Ansari, who was then its president, used her expertise at debating to transform the club into the first independent, student-lead organization at CMUQ.


Al Ansari, a Qatari business administration senior graduating in May 2014, has represented CMUQ’s debate club at various international platforms, including the European Championship in Ireland and the World University Championship in Botswana and Philippines.


“She has that intuitive feel [which debate delegates] can do well and that’s very important to have, especially when you are in a competitive landscape. She makes you appreciate the value of practice in debating,” said Narcis Jafarian, the current president of CMUQ’s debate club.


In 2012 and 2013, Al Ansari was part of CMUQ’s team that won Qatar Universities National Debate Championship and Qatar Universities Debating League (QUDL), respectively.  At QUDL 2013, Al Ansari also won the Second Best Speaker Award.


But Al Ansari, now a recipient of CMUQ’s Student Leadership Award 2014, wasn’t always prized for her talents.


“I don’t think at the beginning of her college experience that people appreciated just how good Dana was. I found that she was underrated,” Jafarian said. “A lot of people [later] were surprised at how brilliant she is at debating.”


Al Ansari has already secured a job with McKinsey and Company, a world-renowned consulting company considered a “dream placement” among business administration students. In the long run, though, she plans to get into entrepreneurship.


“After finishing with McKinsey and maybe doing my masters, hopefully, I plan to pursue my own business.  That’s something I am very interested in,” said Al Ansari.

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