Basel Ismail co-founded Blockgram in 2017 and in doing so, combined two of his greatest passions: technology and helping others. As a long-time blockchain enthusiast, he sees the potential for the technology to revolutionize the way people do business, and he is interested in supporting individuals and businesses to further develop that potential. He defines the mission of Blockgram as helping clients to fully realize the benefits of blockchain technology by matching the best available talent to clients’ needs.
Mr. Ismail began his career as a product manager for Yahoo!, where he led a team in developing a new business opportunity for the company. He also gained project management experience early in his career at Scotia Bank in the International Business Banking Group.
In 2006, he began working for American Express, where he held several different leadership positions over the next five years. These included market business analyst, data scientist, and technology strategy manager. During this period, he led 15 technology projects and launched an initiative that improved data quality to the highest level ever at that time.
From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Ismail served as senior manager in the business analytics division of the Global Client Group at Goldman-Sachs. In this position, he managed the risk governance and compliance program and innovated systems, including a travel optimization tool, that significantly decreased expenses for the company.
In 2012, Mr. Ismail returned to American Express, where he served as the director of business architecture in the Global Pricing and Revenue division. In this position, he led the Pricing Infrastructure and Data Analytics team in improving revenue and market forecasting as well as developing the use of data analytics for predictive modeling. During his time at American Express, his performance was rated among the top 1% of all employees, and he was presented with an Excellence in Leadership award given by the Senior Vice President in New York.
Mr. Ismail has earned two advanced degrees, an MBA from Cornell and an MS in Information Security and Risk Management from Norwich University. He also received a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Computer Network Engineering from Ryerson University. He is also fluent in three languages: English, French, and Arabic.
His other professional activities have included conference presentations and writing. Mr. Ismail is currently in the process of publishing a book on information security, particularly as it has implications for decentralized data management systems built on blockchain technology. The book can be used to ensure program compliance to the recently published Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (CWF) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This interagency-approved framework includes a data management function geared towards the development and administration of databases and/or data management systems that allow for the storage, query, and utilization of data.