Get to Know: Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba

Yousef Al Otaiba (https://twitter.com/yousefalotaiba1?lang=en) 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.

Education
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.

Philanthropy
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.