His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the United States, will deliver keynote remarks at NYU Abu Dhabi’s 3rd graduation ceremony on Monday, May 23, 2016. NYUAD’s graduating class is comprised of 133 students from 59 countries, and represents some of the world’s leading young talent in the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The commencement exercises will take place at the University’s campus on Saadiyat Island.
Ambassador Al Otaiba has served as the UAE’s top diplomat in the U.S. since July 2008. During his tenure, he has been a passionate advocate for improving ties between the UAE and the US. He has actively promoted deeper links and greater cooperation between both countries in trade, security, education, health care, the arts and philanthropy.
He was an early and important supporter of NYU Abu Dhabi. He has also played a key role in developing partnerships between the UAE and leading US health care institutions, such as Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Additionally, Ambassador Al Otaiba marshalled UAE reconstruction and recovery support for US communities following Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and devastating tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri.
NYUAD Vice Chancellor Al Bloom commented: “We are incredibly honored to welcome His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US, as the keynote speaker for our 2016 Commencement. Ambassador Otaiba is one of the leading voices of the UAE, a true friend of NYU Abu Dhabi from its inception, and a powerful advocate for the values of openness, diversity and peace. His presence will make the 2016 commencement an historic event in the history of our university. The community is truly privileged to have him as our speaker.”
Prior to joining the UAE’s foreign service Ambassador Al Otaiba served as the Director of International Affairs for the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The focus of his portfolio during this time was the strengthening of the UAE’s security and economic relations throughout the Middle East region, with the US and other nations.
In addition to Ambassador Otaiba, NYU President Andrew Hamilton, NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Chancellor Al Bloom, and Class of 2016 student speaker Layan Abu Yassin will offer remarks to graduates. Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth and an NYUAD Class of 2014 graduate, will also be presented with the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award.