Our management team

Imad Malhas, co-founder and CEO

Imad Malhas co-founded irisguard in 2001, which now has its headquarters and manufacturing base in Milton Keynes, UK and a regional office in Amman, Jordan.  He serves the organisation as both its CEO and Chief Strategist.

Imad pioneered the concept of using iris recognition to secure mass-transit national borders and the large scale cross-country registration of millions of UNHCR refugees in the Middle East.  In 2008, he led irisguard's deployment of the world’s first iris-enabled ATM machines, which to date have processed over half a billion dollars in cash.  In 2013, Imad spearheaded the development of the irisguard EyePay® platform, the world's first and only iris-enabled retail POS that is currently used by the UN's World Food Programme in a number of supermarkets in refugee camps across Jordan.

Imad is the co-inventor on many international patents, an Endeavour Entrepreneur since 2009 and was awarded personally in 2018 with a CEO Today Europe Award.


Imad Malhas

H.E. Karim Kawar, co-founder and Chair

H.E. Karim Kawar also co-founded irisguard in 2001, and serves as the Chairman to the Board of Directors.

Karim is the President of Kawar Group, is a serial entrepreneur, a former diplomat (served as Jordan's Ambassador to the USA from 2002 to 2007) and an angel investor. 

He also serves as Chair to Kawar Energy, NatHealth, EDAMA for Energy, Water and Environment and JWICO, and is the founder of 10 companies in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT). Karim is also co-founder and director of Oasis500, the Arab World's first and largest accelerator and seed-capital fund.  He founded the Jordan Strategy Forum and was appointed by Royal Decree to the Economic Consultative Council by His Majesty King Abdullah II.

Ambassador Kawar is a Member of the 100 Best Arab Startups Selection Committee, Global Agenda Council; Young Global Leader; Global Leader for Tomorrow of the World Economic Forum; Eisenhower Fellow; Member of the World Presidents’ Organization (YPO/WPO); and the co-founder and President of Bridges of Understanding Foundation.


Karim Kawar


Bashar Arafeh, Managing Director MEA

Bashar Arafeh is Managing Director MEA, heading up irisguard's Middle East and Africa regional office in Amman, Jordan. Bashar is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic plans across this vast region and the operations of the company. Bashar has built a solid business development team responsible for managing existing contracts with a number of United Nations organizations, governments and private sector companies, leading a state of the art technology implementation across the region.

With over 20 years' prior to IrisGuard in the ICT and mobile sectors, Bashar's experience as COO of Zain Group and Vice President, West Canada for Wind Mobile, make him ideally placed to drive irisguard's future mobile strategy.  Bashar is now instrumental in developing the first secure iris-enabled mobile platform, Android application and EyePay®mobile handsets.




Bashar Arafeh

Tony Knight, Finance and Compliance Director

Tony Knight is an experienced Finance Director with a proven track record in supporting the growth of SME's organically and through targeted acquisition. 

A qualified Chartered Accountant, Tony spent a decade in senior positions at Ernst & Young before moving into industry.  He has since spent the last 20 years supporting a range of companies in the technology sector, helping them to achieve their growth ambitions.





Tony Knight



Andrew Holland, Research and Development Director

Andy has worked in the Electronic Security field for over 25 years and in the early 1990s pioneered the concept of image capturing security systems over PSTN (pre-internet) and was granted the patents for the software and hardware technologies.

After working with IrisScan Inc. as a consultant supporting the engineering and evangelistic education of the benefis of iris biometric technology in the EMEA region, Andy joined Switzerland-based Iridian Technologies Inc to further the cause.

Andy joined irisguard in 2005 to spearhead iris camera hardware and software development, and the devices he has designed and manufactured are recognised worldwide in the iris biometric industry.

Andy is the co-inventor of many international patents in the field of iris biometric technology and heads up a team of scientists and engineers in irisguard's UK headquarters in Milton Keynes.


Andy Holland