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Yousef Al Otaiba

Ambassador of the UAE to the US

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates

Washington, DC, USA

Yousef Al Otaiba
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Yousef’s Biography

His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba is the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States. Yousef has also served as Minister of State for the UAE since 2017.

As the nation’s most senior diplomat in the US, Yousef has advanced the UAE’s strategic interests and set ambitious goals to further peace talks among Middle Eastern nations. In September 2020, his article on Israel’s decision to annex the West Bank resonated with international leaders and played an important role in convening Emirati, American, Israeli and Bahraini representatives to sign the normalization deal.

The Accords have brought significant economic and social advantages to the UAE and US. With organizations such as the US-UAE Business Council, he has headed strategic initiatives in sectors such as healthcare, climate change, sustainable energy and education. Yousef was also integral in establishing the UAE as the US’s biggest export market in the MENA region. He has also worked with US administrations to advance defense, armed forces and security alignment to address regional challenges. Al Otaiba’s efforts...
His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba is the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States. Yousef has also served as Minister of State for the UAE since 2017.

As the nation’s most senior diplomat in the US, Yousef has advanced the UAE’s strategic interests and set ambitious goals to further peace talks among Middle Eastern nations. In September 2020, his article on Israel’s decision to annex the West Bank resonated with international leaders and played an important role in convening Emirati, American, Israeli and Bahraini representatives to sign the normalization deal.

The Accords have brought significant economic and social advantages to the UAE and US. With organizations such as the US-UAE Business Council, he has headed strategic initiatives in sectors such as healthcare, climate change, sustainable energy and education. Yousef was also integral in establishing the UAE as the US’s biggest export market in the MENA region. He has also worked with US administrations to advance defense, armed forces and security alignment to address regional challenges. Al Otaiba’s efforts have been instrumental with forging meaningful bonds between the UAE and US, particularly with campaigns such as UAE USA United.

Yousef has led numerous philanthropic, social and cultural projects between the UAE and the US, such as the Emirates Leadership Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School; the first ever Special Olympics World Summer Games held in the Middle East; and humanitarian relief throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Following his involvement with the World Summer Games, the Ambassador joined the Special Olympics Board of Directors. Additionally, he has continuously supported the UAE Embassy’s Community Soccer Program.

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

The National News
US Remains UAE's Most Important Ally, Says Ambassador Al Otaiba in End-of-Year Statement

Ambassador Al Otaiba reflects on the UAE’s successes over the past year in space exploration, climate action, and advancing the relationship between the US and the UAE.

The Jerusalem Post
Ambassadors Herzog and Al Otaiba Meet Governor DeSantis in Florida

Emirati Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and Israeli Ambassador Mike Herzog met with Florida Governor DeSantis to discuss the importance of the Abraham Accord agreement and the opportunities it has presented to the world.

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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 Officials Assist Biden Administration With Securing Brittney Griner’s Release
Dec 2022
UAE officials, including Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, assisted the US with negotiations to free US basketball player, Brittney Griner, from Russian detainment.
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Interviews

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.
Impact of the Abraham Accords
Jun 2021
In this interview with The National News , Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba discussed his widely read op-ed, “Annexation Will Be a Serious Setback for Better Relations with the Arab World,” and the future of UAE-Israel normalization.
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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.
50 Years | 50 Faces
Contributor
2021
50 Years | 50 Faces is a UAE Embassy storytelling initiative that features contributions from a range of Emiratis and Americans who share their personal stories on the UAE’s history and relations with the US.
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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

Liberty University hosts ambassadors for Abraham Accords discussion
Panel Member
Apr 2022
Lynchburg, VA, USA
Yousef Al Otaiba joined other global leaders in a discussion on the road to signing the Abraham Accords peace agreements and how they see the agreement's role in future efforts at peace in the region.
Ambassador Al Otaiba Reflects on Abraham Accords with US and Israeli Counterparts
Mar 2022
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and other world leaders gathered to discuss the progress made following the official signing of the Abraham Accords.
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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

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.
NYU Abu Dhabi
Partner
Abu Dhabi, AE
NYU Abu Dhabi, a research university with a fully integrated liberal arts and scientific college, is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be run abroad by a major American research institution.
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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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