Sam Lam


Sam LamSam cofounded Manas Development Group in 2005. As President, he defines strategy and oversees operations for the firm’s projects. Sam built a business in Xinjiang, China that helped local businesses develop Western export markets. Sam served as a Senior Analyst with America Online’s Business Affairs group, where he negotiated and structured agreements and strategic partnerships with sports and personal finance companies. At AOL he negotiated key project scope terms of a $400 million interactive media rights agreement with the NFL, CBS, and CBS Sportsline. Sam is a graduate of Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Studies, and speaks five languages.

Nigel Rea

Vice President

Nigel ReaDr. Rea is a seasoned executive with 17 years of professional experience in the UAE. Recently he was Advisor to the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, reporting directly on a broad range of subjects, including tourism, education, science, and development. He managed the recruitment of several appointments to CEO-level positions within the Emirate.

Prior to this Nigel has filled senior positions in several companies in a variety of sectors in Dubai including healthcare, education and aviation. Previously he was a management consultant for 6 years with McKinsey & Company, based in the USA, the UK and finally the UAE.

John Glass

Project Manager (Morocco)

JohnJohn represents Manas in Morocco, with a particular focus on management, business development and operations. He has overseen efforts in telecommunications, security, manufacturing, and training & education. John helps companies integrate and execute in Morocco, thanks to a large network in North Africa, extensive experience in Europe, and studies in the Middle East. John’s background is in Finance and Professional Sports. He is fluent in English, French and Spanish, and is conversational in Arabic.

Kevin Cates

General Manager (Afghanistan)

Kevin CatesKevin provides overall management to the group’s activities in Afghanistan. He has experience serving multinational corporations, development organizations, and multilateral agencies such as the UN and USAID. Previously, Kevin launched and led a successful manufacturing company in Mazar-i-Sharif, delivering high-quality steel products and security equipment to customers across the country. Kevin was also a general commercial and residential contractor in NC. He has also served his community in the United States as a fireman, and maintains the accompanying fire and safety certifications.

Shahab Saqeb

Vice President (Afghanistan)

Shahab SaqebShahab is responsible for Afghanistan operations. Previously, Shahab was the CFO for a local NGO in Mazar-i-Sharif, responsible for management and distribution of project related funds totaling more than $1.2 million annually and overseeing all projects and local staff. Shahab has also started his own school to teach English and computers to local residents of the community. His school employs 15 teachers and has trained over 200 students since its inception.

Robert Schmidt

General Manager (Saudi Arabia)

RobertRobert has experience delivering project management services across the Gulf region. Since 2011 he has been based out of Riyadh handling such projects are the 2014 and 2015 Copa Coca-Cola and the World Cup Trophy Tour. He has also worked in the transportation and management and security field since 2006, overseeing projects in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In this role he has been involved in both planning and execution for traditional and VIP transportation and security arrangements for travel throughout the Gulf and Levant region. Robert established Gulf Fitness Enterprises in 2007 and secured rights to represent Lift 1-2-3 and Shapes for Women in the Gulf Region. Robert led, as project manager, the opening of 4 gyms in Riyadh, Qassim and Abu Dhabi, all of which are still in operation. He led GFE to expand their role from equipment supply to soft-skill management training and business consulting which he has been leading since 2012. Robert speaks Arabic and English.