Chief Creative Officer / J. Walter Thompson MEA
A former journalist, theatre director, pirate radio DJ and TV news anchorman, Ramsey escaped his native Lebanon’s civil war to study further and work in the UK in 1985. Having collected an MA from Hull University and worked with media consultancies as well as small ad agencies, he joined the London-based Middle East arm of JWT in 1994, before returning to Beirut in 2001. He was appointed as Chief Creative Officer for JWT Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in 2004, and subsequently CCO for JWT MEA in 2012.
JWT MENA became one of the region’s most awarded networks under Naja’s stewardship, with first-time international recognition in high-profile award shows such as D&AD, One Show and Cannes. It took the largest share of awards at Dubai Lynx 2008, including Agency Of The Year for JWT Dubai, while 8 of its offices received various gongs – a unique achievement in the region. JWT MENA went on to secure the Network of the Year award at the regional MENA Cristal awards in 2009, a performance it repeated with the Network Of The Year title at the 2010 edition of Dubai Lynx. In 2013 JWT MENA again won Network of the Year at the Cristals and was named the most effective network in MENA by the Global Effies Index. It also brought home the first gold Cannes Lion for Egypt.
Ramsey has also been instrumental to JWT MENA’s business performance, which has constantly kept it in the regional Top 2. He has led most of the agency’s regional and local major pitches as well as large-scale, regional projects during his tenure, by harnessing and networking the collective resources of 15 offices.
Ramsey is a member of JWT’s Global Creative Council, a columnist in Campaign ME, and a regular contributor to industry forums and publications. He has been a guest lecturer at a number of universities and a speaker at industry events, including MENA Cristal. He has also sat on a number of local, regional and international award show juries including the Cristal Festival Europe and New York Festival. He is based in JWT MEA headquarters in Beirut but is normally found in an airport lounge. Ramsey lives in Beirut with his wife Marianne, a psychologist. Yes, it helps.