Building the Bridge between the US and UAE

Appointed in 2008, Yousef Al Otaiba has served as the Ambassador to the United States representing the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Since his appointment, he has quickly gained favor among those in charge of the interests of the United States for his skills and understanding of the issues which face both nations. This has led to him being responsible for proposing solutions which satisfy the interests of both countries.

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba did post-graduate studies in International Relations at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The combination of immersion in American culture and studying at a world-renowned university allowed the Ambassador to gain insights which serve both the UAE and the US during the turbulent times which exist today.

Due to the strategic location of the UAE coupled with its liberal social and economic policies, the UAE has become the most important ally of the US in the Middle East. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba works daily to ensure that this alliance grows stronger. One example of how Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba helped the alliance was the airstrike on ISIS forces in Syria in 2014. The Ambassador proposed to have the UAE Air Forces strike at the heart of ISIS under the command of a female combat pilot. This ingenious act affirmed the UAE’s shared values with the US while inflicting physical and psychological damage to ISIS.

Although working to strengthen the alliance, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has consistently represented the interests of the UAE. He continues to work to persuade the US that a two state solution to the Palestinian problem is most favored. He puts forth the concerns of the UAE that Iraq must maintain its integrity as a nation which allows the participation of all its citizens regardless of their religion.

The Ambassador understands that although there are always differences between allies, successful alliances are based upon common interests and goals. He knows that the common interests should be emphasized while respecting the differences. He recognizes that both the US and the UAE are dedicated to eradicating the radical extremism which produces so much fear and suffering. He understands that the Middle East is the pivot point in fighting terrorism. He also recognizes that both the US and the UAE are best served by healthy and vibrant economies.

With all of this, Yousef Al Otaiba has proven a most competent Ambassador for the UAE while cementing the friendship with the US.

• • •

Get to Know: Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba

Yousef Al Otaiba ( is the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States. He began the diplomatic mission for his country in 2008. The focus of the Ambassador’s mission is to improve bilateral security and economic relations between the two nations.

Background and Family
The Ambassador’s father, Mana Al Otaiba, was the UAE’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and owner of the Royal Mirage Hotels located in Morocco. Ambassador Al Otaiba is married. His wife’s name is Abeer and they have two children.

Yousef Al Otaiba graduated from Cairo American College. As a student at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, he earned a degree in international relations. He was an International Fellow in Washington, DC, at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University.

Interests and Home Life
The UAE Ambassador and his wife were married at the home they own in McLean, Virginia. He enjoys entertaining guests at his home with his wife and spending time with their children and two dogs.

Job Experience and Appointment as UAE Ambassador
Yousef Al Otaiba was appointed as the Director of International Affairs for the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi’s court. During that time, he worked as Senior Advisor to HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and was Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the UAE. He became the UAE’s Ambassador to the United States in 2008. The Ambassador was appointed to his position by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE.

Political Accomplishments
As the UAE Ambassador, Al Otaiba has worked diligently to improve cooperation between his country and the United States. Areas of intelligence, counterterrorism, and military support have improved since he ascended to his position. He played a critical role in passing the United States and UAE Agreement for Peaceful Civilian Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement that went into effect in 2009. Cultural, educational, and healthcare facilities based in the US have opened branches in the UAE. Since Yousef Al Otaiba became Ambassador, trade between the Middle Eastern country and the US has increased dramatically.

The Guggenheim and New York University now have branches in the UAE. Philanthropy is important to the Ambassador. He assists Children’s National Medical Center in Washington with its fundraising projects. The UAE Embassy helped with the recovery and reconstruction projects after natural disasters including the Joplin tornado and Hurricane Sandy. The Embassy of the UAE has built five soccer fields in the US in underprivileged communities.

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has been instrumental in improving trade relations between his country and private businesses, has enhanced the security of the UAE, and has aided in counter-proliferation efforts.

• • •

Through the Pink Ceiling

While most woman-centered initiatives focus on getting women into positions of power, Pink Ceiling takes a unique approach. Its mission is to help pioneer solutions that make women’s lives better. But this isn’t surprising if you know anything about the company’s founder, Cindy Whitehead.

Whitehead, who is most well known for developing the “female viagra”, burst back into the spotlight just four months after selling Addyi and Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Pink Ceiling, a nod to her signature pink lipstick, is one part venture capital fund, one part consulting firm, and one part incubator. Her first project for Pink Ceiling, Undercover Colors, was a wearable nail polish that would discretely let women know if date rape drugs were present in their drinks.

Sharing What She’s Learned
Pink Ceiling has billed itself as a capable team that has billions of dollars worth of experience in building a company from concept to market. They even know a thing or two about selling a successful company. The team, ten women, are keen to partner with companies that “propel the conversation” about women in society forward.

Whitehead, in an interview with Fortune magazine, said she thought pharmaceutical companies would benefit from her knowledge of regulatory practices and standards. And while companies that are women-led are preferred, the focus is mainly on being woman oriented. However, Whitehead maintains that Pink Ceiling was inspired by the experience of seeing women advocate for other women. In an attempt to break away from the one size fits all, boxed coursework that tells up and coming entrepreneurs how to build a successful brand, she built a mentorship element into Pink Ceiling that seems to be paying off.

Businesses hoping to benefit from the experience of the Pink Team can go to the website nad submit a “Pink Pitch”. If the proposal is in line with Pink Ceiling’s mission, then the company will be considered for investment and strategic support.

The Pinkubator?
Whitehead and Crowdfunder CEO, Chance Barnett, recently announced a shared venture, the Pinkubator. The startup was recently launched by Pink Ceiling. The project aims to focus on women-led business across the globe, empowering budding entrepreneurs to change their economic future.

Crowdfunder, the company credited with democratizing the equity process, has recently made headlines in pushing for women’s equality within its own structure. Unveiling pay transparency and announcing an equal pay policy, the team seem to be a perfect match.

• • •

Tim Berners-Lee: I invented the web. Here are three things we need to change to save it

Today marks 28 years since I submitted my original proposal for the worldwide web. I imagined the web as an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries. In many ways, the web has lived up to this vision, though it has been a recurring battle to keep it open. But over the past 12 months, I’ve become increasingly worried about three new trends, which I believe we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool that serves all of humanity.

1) We’ve lost control of our personal data

The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data. Many of us agree to this – albeit often by accepting long and confusing terms and conditions documents – but fundamentally we do not mind some information being collected in exchange for free services. But, we’re missing a trick. As our data is then held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the benefits we could realize if we had direct control over this data and chose when and with whom to share it. What’s more, we often do not have any way of feeding back to companies what data we’d rather not share – especially with third parties – the T&Cs are all or nothing.

Read the full list here.

• • •

5 Startups to Keep on your Radar in 2017

Say Goodbye to 2016 and Welcome these Five Startups in 2017
What will the year 2017 bring? If you’re interested in business and technology you think about new companies coming into the market with products that could blow your mind. There are many lists, and many startups, but these five caught my attention because of their innovation and my personal interests.

1. Magic Leap

Much has been written about Magic Leap. In their own words: “to…rethink the relationship technology has with people.” Who can’t be excited about that? This year is the year most people expect that CEO Rony Abovitz and his team will move away from marketing hype and deliver something tangible that people can use. By describing their technology as “magic in your hands” they have set themselves a very high bar to clear.

2. Undercover Colors

If you are at a bar, Undercover Colors is asking you to dip your fingernails into your drink and then take a close look at them. Why?-for safety of course. Two years in the making, their wearable nail technology to detect date rape drugs in drinks seem to be ready for prime time. Their tagline is “Power At Your Fingertips” and it makes a lot of sense in today’s world. This one comes from North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus laboratory. Started by engineering students, the company has been able to raise $5.5 million to turn prototypes into reality.

3. Nomiku

Who doesn’t like to eat delicious food in their own home? Nomiku has created a Wi-Fi connected sous vide device that allows anybody to cook like a professional chef. A mobile app controls the device to automate the cooking process. Chefs love to hear about other chefs and learn new recipes so the app also connects to a community to share instructions for cooking that delicious meal.


The Internet of Things(IoT) grows every day. Some say it’s the driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. IFTTT has been adding third-party integrations-applets-to allow things like your car, refrigerator, Amazon Echo, messaging apps, cooking hardware, and Google Home to talk to each other and make things happen. You will no longer be bound to just one manufacturer’s offering.

5. Clarifai

Face recognition, health diagnostics, games, and chess have become associated with artificial intelligence and it would not be surprising if more applications are found for this technology. Clarifai has the brainpower to do it. Started by Matt Zeiler, a former Google Brain intern, and expert in machine learning, it develops tools for integrating visual recognition services into other apps.

• • •

Metropolitan Partnership Ltd. Proposes 33-Story Apartment and Office Building

Metropolitan Partnership Ltd. is planning to build a 33-story building, complete with an adjoining parking garage at the address of One Light Street in downtown Baltimore. Metropolitan submitted its proposal and met with the city’s design panel and architectural review board and later sat with the zoning council. At this stage, the details of the project have not been discussed but are being presented to the city for consideration.

What is known is that the plans call for a 404-foot tall building with both apartments and retail space, adding 10 additional floors to the plans it proposed for the site last year. It would hold 340 apartments, have 10 stories of office space, and host shopping outlets on its corners. It would sit on top of a parking garage holding 646 spaces. The proposal calls for two-story apartment building to be constructed on President Street.

Architectural firm Hord Coplan Macht expressed that the building would bring much needed vitality to the area and that it will serve as the impetus for further expansion of the district. Architect Lee Driskill expressed similar viewpoints to that of the company, saying that he believed that, “momentum that is growing here”. City leaders, along with Downtown Partnership, have backed the project, with Downtown Partnership saying it made supporting the project a priority.

Planning Director Thomas J. Stosur is excited about the project and expressed that the site is one which has presented challenges to those bringing forth building proposals. Mirecourt Associates Representative J. Joseph Clarke added that the property was purchased 25 years ago and that the intention has always been to build more offices. The site used to be home to the Southern Hotel, until it was torn down in the year 2000.

City officials view the merger with Metropolitan Partnership Ltd. as a clear sign that a new construction may finally fill the now vacant lot. Decades of discussion have taken place over potential projects for 1 Light Street, including with developer Madison Marquette. Metropolitan CEO Cary M. Euwer Jr. said that this project will be a further expansion of Baltimore’s financial district.

• • •