Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba

Message from the Ambassador

Greetings Students and Visitors,

I would like to thank you for visiting the website of the Cultural Division at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, DC.

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba

The mission of the Cultural Division is to provide you, the student, and all those seeking to further their education all the tools necessary to help achieve your goals. Strengthening our education system is a shared responsibility of all UAE citizens that goes beyond our classroom walls and into our communities. As the founder of our nation, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan once said, “The greatest use that can be made of wealth is to invest it in creating generations of educated and trained people.” The UAE has collaborated with several world renowned educational institutions to help develop a strong educational foundation. These partnerships encourage shared experiences and resources among countries. Therefore, to ensure our students are ready and poised for life in our rapidly changing and globalized environment of the 21st century, I and the Cultural Division are ready and able to provide you with the resources and support to do so. I encourage you to visit this website often, keep in touch with the Cultural Division and let us know how we can help achieve your educational goals.

Thank you and good luck.


Yousef Al Otaiba

UAE Ambassador to the US and Minister of State


About Yousef Al Otaiba

Yousef Al Otaiba is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to the United States (US), taking up his post in Washington, DC in 2008. He was previously Director of International Affairs for Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the current President of the UAE.

Over the course of his careerAmbassador Yousef Al Otaiba has dedicated himself to the advancement of the UAE and the deep-rooted values of its founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This includes the region’s commitment to higher education, cultural diversity and to empowering the next generation of Emirati leaders.

With this future-oriented outlook, he’s developed cultural exchange programs with world class organizations across the US. Al Otaiba serves on the leadership council for the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership. Additionally, he was extensively involved in launching the school’s Emirates Leadership Initiative (ELI). Funded by the UAE government, this initiative sponsors up to 10 graduate fellowships to students from the UAE and the MENA region to study at HKS each year. Since 2014, the program has provided specialized training in public management and leadership development to help prepare the future government leaders of the Arab World.

Ambassador Al Otaiba was also an early supporter of New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi, the first US university to establish a liberal arts and science campus in the region. The university is now home to one the most diverse student bodies in the world. As a result, he was presented with the university’s Global Leadership Award and had the opportunity to deliver a keynote speech during the Class of 2016's commencement ceremony. Since then, he’s participated in several university events, including a 2020 virtual commencement ceremony during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ambassador has also supported international academic partnerships such as the MIT and Masdar Institute Cooperative Program. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the American University in Cairo.

Outside of higher education, he’s worked with the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC to promote security and intelligence, grow the economy, and advance culture, innovation, humanitarian relief, and philanthropy. His dedicated efforts influenced the UAE USA United campaign. UAE USA United aims to address challenges across both countries and around the world to create equality for a better future together. Ambassador Al Otaiba has been a strong supporter of this campaign and has been involved in several initiatives, such as the Community Soccer Program. The Ambassador also assisted with the first ever Special Olympics World Games hosted in the UAE capital. He has since become a member of the Special Olympics Board of Directors.

A leading voice for regional stability, Al Otaiba has contributed to the development and improvement of relationships across the MENA region. His opinion piece addressing the potential for normalizing diplomatic relations between Emiratis and Israelis initiated conversations that led to the White House signing of the Abraham Accord agreement.

The Ambassador was born in Cairo, Egypt and studied at the Cairo American College. After moving to Washington, DC he enrolled in Georgetown University and the Industrial College of the US Armed Forces at the National Defense University.


Related Links