Razan Al Mubarak to speak at NYUAD's 2023 Commencement

May 12, 2023

Dear members of the NYUAD community,

I am delighted to announce that Her Excellency Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for the leadership team of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in the UAE, will deliver the keynote speech at NYU Abu Dhabi’s 10th Commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 24.

Razan Al Mubarak is an extraordinary leader on climate and biodiversity for the UAE and the world. As a true environmental champion, she has worked tirelessly over many years to preserve nature across the UAE and to make the world a more sustainable place. She is a role model as the second woman to lead the IUCN in its 72-year history. She was also the youngest person to be appointed to lead an Abu Dhabi Government entity.

Responding to our invitation to speak at the 2023 Commencement, Her Excellency said “I am honored to serve as the commencement speaker at NYU Abu Dhabi, an institution that continues to make significant strides in its second decade, fostering a culture of academic excellence, innovation, and global engagement. Commencement day is a celebration of the remarkable achievements and transformative experiences of the graduating Class of 2023. NYU Abu Dhabi is a beacon of knowledge that nurtures outstanding graduates who will help shape the future of our planet. Its commitment to sustainability, social justice, and the preservation of our natural world aligns with my own values as President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28.”

Razan Al Mubarak’s role as UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, announced in January this year, includes mobilizing climate action among non-state actors, including cities, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and investors, through advocacy, representation, and fundraising.

For more than 20 years, as founding managing director of the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, managing director of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, and managing director at Emirates Nature, Razan Al Mubarak has played a leadership role in the UAE’s commitment to a more sustainable future. She also serves as a board member of several environmental organizations in the UAE, and she was recognized by the World Economic Forum in 2018 as one of the top 100 Young Global Leaders.

It is a great honor for NYUAD to have such a thoughtful and energetic climate leader address our students during our tenth Commencement and in the UAE’s Year of Sustainability. I am grateful for her, and look forward to celebrating a memorable and inspiring Commencement with many of you on May 24.