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Get to know our KTL team! This month, we are catching up with Senior Consultant Maram Salaheldin. Maram has been with KTL for almost five years and is based in the Washington, DC metro area.
Tell us a little bit about your background—what are your areas of expertise?
Unlike most of my colleagues, I am an attorney, so I bring a legal background to KTL’s work. My overall expertise lies in international regulatory affairs, with a focus on environmental, health, and safety (EHS) issues. I provide compliance support services to multinational and multilingual clients in government and various industries—that ranges from developing and implementing information management tools, to conducting audits, to providing EHS regulatory analysis.
Given the nature of our work, I often help manage cross-functional teams and “translate” between different backgrounds and perspectives. That could mean assisting an IT department in communicating with and understanding the needs of an organization’s environmental staff or helping environmental specialists to work more effectively with their legal teams—and many other scenarios. In a more literal sense of “translating”, that could also mean using my language skills to work on projects in English, Arabic, French, and even some Spanish.
What industries or types of clients do you work with, and what are the kinds of compliance issues they face?
A significant portion of my project portfolio is providing environmental compliance contractor support to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help ensure the environmentally sound design and management of international development projects, particularly within the realm of global health. This often poses a unique set of challenges due to varying regulatory frameworks and capacity and resource limitations.
Besides USAID, I have gotten to work with clients in both the private and public sectors (e.g., oil and gas, maritime, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and most recently, foods). Virtually every client or industry that I have worked with has had at least one common issue: how to safely and properly manage the waste they generate. From jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the requirements can vary greatly, especially for our international clients. Our team researches and analyzes these different requirements and suggests tailored solutions for our clients—including any transboundary issues, such as waste exportation under the Basel Convention. This is important because implementing the right waste management procedure for an organization can improve both compliance and operational efficiency.
Think about this: Did you know that most of the waste generated by a health facility is actually nonhazardous? The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 75% to 90% of waste produced by health facilities is comparable to municipal solid waste—things like packaging, food, or paper waste. The remaining 10% to 25% is considered hazardous waste (or “regulated medical waste”), requiring special management to avoid harming people or the environment. Proper classification and segregation of different types of waste can help ensure the appropriate and efficient allocation of resources. It also gives an organization the chance to consider more environmentally preferable alternatives to landfilling, like recycling or composting.
What would you say is a highlight of your job?
I really enjoy working with clients to navigate through complex regulations, permits, and other requirements and understand what those requirements mean for them from a practical standpoint. That “practical standpoint” can look very different for each client, depending on the nature and scope of their work, as well as the location of their operations. This has meant significant travel for me in order to conduct evaluations, provide training, and deliver onsite technical assistance and support to clients all over the world, including in Haiti, Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Kazakhstan, as well as several U.S. states and Indian reservations. Those trips have definitely been a highlight of my work with KTL!
What do you like to do in your free time?
I really enjoy traveling and exploring new places, both locally and abroad. Living in the DC area, we are very fortunate to have easy access to so many historic sites, parks, and other landmarks, including one of my personal favorites, Old Town Alexandria. With the recent restrictions due to COVID-19, I’ve also taken up a couple of new hobbies, like many people have—in my case, jogging and cross-stitch. I am also active in a few different Bar Associations, including the DC Bar and the American Bar Association.
Read Maram’s full bio.