The Marque The Marque

Yousef Al Otaiba

Ambassador of the UAE to the US

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates

Washington, DC, USA


Yousef Al Otaiba
Shurick Agapitov
Xsolla
Michael Alen-Buckley
RAB Capital Limited

Yousef’s Biography

His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba has served as the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States since his appointment in 2008. Leading the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C., his contributions toward furthering U.S.-UAE ties led to his being promoted to Minister of State in 2017.

Over the course of his career, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has leveraged his role as the nation’s most senior diplomat in the U.S. to advance the UAE’s strategic interests. To further develop U.S.-UAE ties, Yousef has assisted in advancing cultural understanding and economic cooperation for a more united, prosperous future through the Embassy’s UAE USA United campaign. In 2020, the Ambassador was a featured participant of the campaign's 50 Years | 50 Faces project which highlighted stories of collaboration between Emiratis and Americans in honor of the five decades of U.S.-UAE friendship.

Yousef Al Otaiba has led strategic initiatives in sectors such as healthcare, sustainable energy and education. Through establishing relationships with organizations such as the U.S.-UAE Business Council,...
His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba has served as the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States since his appointment in 2008. Leading the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C., his contributions toward furthering U.S.-UAE ties led to his being promoted to Minister of State in 2017.

Over the course of his career, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has leveraged his role as the nation’s most senior diplomat in the U.S. to advance the UAE’s strategic interests. To further develop U.S.-UAE ties, Yousef has assisted in advancing cultural understanding and economic cooperation for a more united, prosperous future through the Embassy’s UAE USA United campaign. In 2020, the Ambassador was a featured participant of the campaign's 50 Years | 50 Faces project which highlighted stories of collaboration between Emiratis and Americans in honor of the five decades of U.S.-UAE friendship.

Yousef Al Otaiba has led strategic initiatives in sectors such as healthcare, sustainable energy and education. Through establishing relationships with organizations such as the U.S.-UAE Business Council, he has supported the UAE’s economic partnership with the U.S. Ambassador Al Otaiba was also integral in establishing the UAE as the US’s biggest export market in the MENA region and has worked with US administrations to advance defense, armed forces and security alignment to address regional challenges.

Yousef Al Otaiba has led numerous philanthropic, social and cultural projects as both an Emirati Ambassador and a private citizen. He also assisted in the facilitation of the first-ever Special Olympics World Summer Games held in the Middle East – eventually joining the Special Olympics Board of Directors in 2019.

After completing his studies at Cairo American College, Yousef attended Washington, D.C.-based colleges Georgetown University and National Defense University.
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Yousef’s Newsfeed

Science & Diplomacy
Looking Towards a Sustainable Future: A Conversation with Ambassador Al Otaiba

Ambassador Al Otaiba spoke with Kim Montgomery, Director of International Affairs and Science Diplomacy at AAAS and Executive Editor of Science & Diplomacy, on the UAE’s approach to science and technology diplomacy.

The National News
President Sheikh Mohamed meets delegation heads at COP28

Yousef Al Otaiba joined international delegates to discuss climate action and instilling change through cooperation and collective action at the COP28 conference in Dubai.

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Yousef’s Background

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
Ambassador of the UAE to the US
Jul 2008 - Present
Washington, DC, USA
Yousef Al Otaiba is the current Ambassador of the UAE to the U.S. The embassy is the UAE's diplomatic mission to the US. Appointed in 2008 the Ambassador has prioritized preserving and expanding the alliance between the UAE and the US. Al Otaiba’s was recognized as Ambassador of the Year by the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce in 2010. He was promoted to Minister of State in 2017.
 
Government of the United Arab Emirates
Minister of State
2017 - Present
Washington, DC, USA
As Minister of State and the UAE's top diplomat in the US, the Ambassador has a unique opportunity to disseminate a forceful message of tolerance and inclusion while focusing on the shared values that bind the UAE and the US together.
 
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Yousef’s Gallery

Current Board Positions

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Member | Global Polio Eradication Initiative
2011 - Present
Washington, DC, USA
The United Arab Emirates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are collaborating to enhance world health. Since 2011, the UAE has partnered with the Gates Foundation to help distribute life-saving vaccines to those who need them most.
 
Special Olympics
Board of Directors
Washington, DC, USA
The Special Olympics was formed in 1968 with the goal of encouraging all persons to be included and accepted. It leverages the power of sport to give persons with intellectual disabilities a space to explore their talents, skills, abilities and successes.
 
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Previous Board Positions

EastWest Institute
Board of Directors
New York, NY, USA
The EastWest Institute's continuing programmatic work connects a diverse network of professionals and influencers around the world. The EWI participates in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, brings diametrically opposed parties to the bargaining table and anticipates and develops answers to global concerns.
 

Media

Yousef Al Otaiba
Washington, DC, USA
On his website, Yousef shares insights, media, news and information about his philanthropic endeavors in one extensively curated space.
 
UAE, German Embassies Co-Host Event Celebrating 2023 Special Olympics World Games
May 2023
New York, NY, USA
UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba says, "Four years ago, we committed to make the Abu Dhabi Games the most inclusive event in the 50-year history of Special Olympics. Tonight, it is my honor to pass on the torch of the Special Olympics World Games to our German friends."
 
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Interviews

A new center in Abu Dhabi focuses on coexistence
Jun 2023
New York, NY, USA
The ADL's Jonathan Greenblatt and UAE Amb. to the U.S., Yousef Al Otaiba, join Morning Joe to discuss the Manara Center, launched in March and based in Abu Dhabi. The center is focused on co-existence in the region, and it is partnering with the Anti-Defamation League.
 
50 Years | 50 Faces Campaign Spotlights Yousef Al Otaiba
Nov 2021
As part of the UAE Embassy's 50 Years | 50 Faces campaign, Yousef Al Otaiba reflects on his lifelong journey leading up to becoming Ambassador of the UAE to the US.
 
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Features

Yousef Al-Otaiba Is The Most Powerful Man in Washington You've Never Heard Of - The Huffington Post
2015
Yousef Al Otaiba, Ambassador of the UAE to the US, has worked to strengthen ties between the UAE and the US throughout his career. This feature highlights Al Otaiba’s contributions to various organizations around Washington, DC and his role in the US political landscape.
 
Amb. Yousef Al Otaiba deserves a Nobel Peace Prize
Sep 2021
Washington, DC, USA
This feature highlights Yousef Al Otaiba's diplomatic career, notably his role in facilitating the Abraham Accords.
 
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Publications

U.S. Policy Toward Arab States, Palestinians, and Israel: Ideas and Approaches for the Biden Administration
Author
Feb 2021
Washington, DC, USA
Yousef Al Otaiba and other officials, business executives and scholars examine the economic, political and human consequences of regional normalization initiatives, as well as their potential to re-ignite Palestinian peace talks.
 
Shalom, salaam and welcome
Author
Aug 2020
Washington, DC, USA
Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the US, praises the new agreement with Israel as a stepping stone to a better future in the Middle East, including increased prosperity and innovation, greater chances for young people, and the dismantling of long-held stereotypes.
 
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Memberships

Center for Public Leadership | Harvard Kennedy School
Member
Boston, MA, USA
The Center for Public Leadership Research was established in 2000 as a gift to the Harvard Kennedy School from the Wexner Foundation. The center undertakes research to provide effective leadership skills to leaders in government, non-profit organizations and business.
 
Meridian International Center
Supporter
Washington, DC, USA
Meridian is a nonpartisan, nonprofit diplomacy center that links leaders through culture and collaboration to drive global solutions.
 
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Awards & Recognition

100 Most Influential People of 2020: Yousef Al Otaiba
Honoree
Sep 2020
New York, NY, USA
Yousef was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People. As the UAE's long-serving Ambassador to the US, Yousef holds significant influence in Washington, which greatly advances the small Gulf nation.
 
Joseph E. Robert, Jr. Prize in Philanthropy
Award Recipient
Mar 2015
Washington, DC, USA
The Joseph E Robert Jr Philanthropy Prize was established to recognize families who have given back after a personal encounter with the institution. Ambassador Al Otaiba was instrumental in the establishment of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation in 2009, which specializes in advanced surgery, pain treatment, and other pediatric-related advances.
 
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Specialist Courses

Georgetown University
Leadership Seminar at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy
2007
Washington, DC, USA
The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy in the School of Foreign Service organizes and hosts the annual Georgetown Leadership Seminar, a prominent executive education program. Over the course of 30 years, more than 900 people from over 100 countries have taken part in the program.
 

Speaking Engagements

CAIS24 Cayman Alternative Investment Summit
Speaker
Jan 2024
UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba joins a panel of world-class speakers and financial industry experts to impart opinions, ideas and takes on alternative investments. The event takes place at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
 
Venture funding in the UAE: Evaluating the gender gap and the role of women-specific programs
Panelist
Jul 2023
Washington, DC, USA
H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba joined other panelists to discuss the existing challenges facing women in the UAE when it comes to venture funding and, among other topics, examine the transformative impact of women-specific programs.
 
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Charitable Interests

Goodwill Fund: King Hussein Cancer Center
Amman, JO
Created by Yousef and Abeer Al Otaiba, the Goodwill Fund supports the King Hussein Cancer Center in providing patients with comprehensive care, raising awareness for cancer prevention, and supporting nonprofit initiatives in Jordan and around the world.
 
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation logo Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation logo
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Donor
Seattle, WA, USA
Ambassador Al Otaiba has pledged over $150 million on behalf of the UAE in to fund vaccination efforts and medical treatments to help eliminate polio, particularly in vulnerable communities.
 
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Community Engagement

NYU Abu Dhabi
Commencement Speaker
Abu Dhabi, AE
His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, an early and important supporter of NYU Abu Dhabi and the UAE Ambassador to the United States, delivered keynote remarks at NYU Abu Dhabi’s 3rd graduation ceremony on Monday, May 23, 2016.
 
County officials and McLean Youth Soccer celebrate opening of newly converted Holladay Field
Tysons, VA, USA
Yousef Al Otaiba attended the grand opening of the Holladay Field project in November of 2021. Also a donor of the facility’s renovation project, Yousef sees this as an important project that helps highlight the importance of youth sports for kids, families, and the community.
 
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Press Releases

UAE Embassy in Washington, DC Hosts Annual Interfaith Iftar; Ambassador Highlights UAE's Commitment to Tolerance, Religious Diversity in UAE
May 2019
Abu Dhabi, AE
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, hosted an interfaith Iftar at the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC. More than 150 religious leaders, senior government and community officials, and members of the media were in attendance.
 
UAE Embassy in Washington DC Celebrates Nation’s 50th National Day
Dec 2021
Washington, DC, USA
On December 2nd, diplomats gathered at the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington, DC to celebrate the UAE’s 50th National Day and Golden Jubilee. The event is a tribute to the UAE’s five decades as a nation.
 
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