Dr Ilham Kadri

Advisory Board Member

Major Career Roles

  • CEO, Solvay
  • CEO, Syensqo SA/NV
  • Independent Director, L’Oréal and A.O. Smith Corp.
  • Chair, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Other Career Highlights

  • President/CEO, Diversey Inc.
  • Senior VP/Division President, Sealed Air Corp.
  • General Manager, Dow Chemical Co.
  • Founder, Hygieia Network and the Solvay Solidarity Fund

Dr Ilham Kadri is a highly experienced CEO of BEL 20 and CAC companies, which she has acquired over her 25+ years of international senior leadership. This has allowed her to attain a multi-industry knowledge in chemicals, water treatment, oil and gas, service industry, home and personal care, M&A, equity and debt financing, and private equity, making her experience invaluable.

Ilham is CEO of Syensqo SA/NV; and a Board member at L’Oréal and A.O. Smith Corp. She is also the Chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) since 2022, and Vice President of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC).

Ilham was CEO of Solvay. Under her leadership, Solvay launched its new purpose, its G.R.O.W. strategy, Solvay One Planet committing to carbon neutrality, and Solvay One Dignity targeting an inclusive and equitable culture to promote diversity. She consistently reformed, transformed and unleashed the company’s potential, delivering record financials and non-financials results in her 4-year tenure.

Ilham was the first female General Manager at Dow in the Middle East and Africa region and launched the first non-fossil fuel water-treatment plant in the region’s history.

True to her humanist values, she founded two non-profits: the ISSA Hygieia Network in the US, and wrote the blog post “Invisible Heroes”, dedicated to women who clean our world; and in 2020 she founded the Solvay Solidarity Fund, which supported 7,000 people around the world impacted by the pandemic and other hardships. She currently hosts a podcast called “AND is the future”, bringing together thought leaders in business, science and art.

Prior to leading Solvay, Ilham was CEO and President of Diversey in the US. She led the company’s turnaround, transformed it into a leader in hygiene and cleaning, and executed its spin-off and successful sale to private equity. She has also held various positions at top multinationals Shell, Dow and Sealed Air.

Ilham was decorated with the Légion d’honneur and was ranked 21st in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International in 2019. In 2016 and 2017, she took home eight Stevie® awards and won the Golden Award for Woman of the Year in the industry (2017). She is a Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Namur (BE) and EWHA University (KR). Ilham is a member of the Belgium Royal Academy of Sciences, the European Round Table, and the IBC’s World Economic Forum.

Ilham is a chemical engineer and holds a Doctorate in Macromolecular Physics and Chemistry.