The Middle East at an Inflection Point
This event is the first in a speaker series on the challenges faced by and in the region in 2016, including the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, the fifth anniversary of the Arab uprisings, and a potential turning point in the battle against the Islamic State group. The first session highlights the view from the region.
H.E. Amb. Yousef Al Otaiba
Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States of America
Dr. John Hamre
President and CEO, Center for Strategic and International Studies
H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba was appointed Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States in July 2008. During the last eight years, he has helped strengthen UAE-U.S. economic and security relations. During his tenure, bilateral trade has increased by more than 400 percent and the UAE became one of the United States’ largest sources of foreign direct investment. The UAE’s airlines have also become the world’s largest buyers of U.S. commercial aircraft, and three million people traveled between the two countries in 2015. Ambassador Al Otaiba has also helped forge important partnerships with major U.S. institutions such as New York University, the Cleveland Clinic, the Guggenheim Museum, the Children’s National Medical Center, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the security arena, Ambassador Al Otaiba has helped forge closer ties and cooperation with the United States and other allies in the global fight against extremism and terrorism. UAE forces have participated in six military coalition initiatives with their U.S. counterparts over the last 20 years, the only Arab nation to do so. The UAE has also launched a wide-ranging set of initiatives in cooperation with the United States to block the flow of foreign fighters and funding to extremists, and to contest radicalization and extremist recruitment online. Before taking up his post in Washington, the Ambassador served for seven years as international affairs adviser to H.H. General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Ambassador Al Otaiba obtained a degree in international relations from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. after graduating from the Cairo American College. He also attended the Industrial College of the U.S. Armed Forces at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. as an international fellow.