Minister of State and Ambassador of the UAE to the US
On July 28, 2008, H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba formally took up his post as the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United States (US). He was promoted to UAE Minister of State in 2017.
Ambassador Al Otaiba has led efforts to strengthen UAE-US relations through increased cooperation, particularly in the economic and security arenas. His leadership has been instrumental in finalizing the US-UAE 123 Agreement for Peaceful Civilian Nuclear Energy Cooperation (2009), the hosting of the Special Olympic World Games in Abu Dhabi (2019), and facilitating the historic UAE-Israel normalization agreement (2020). His involvement in the Abraham Accords led to his inclusion on TIME's list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
Since he became Ambassador, bilateral trade increased over 70 percent and fortified the UAE’s position as the US’ largest trade partner in the MENA region. UAE investments in the US have grown, and world-class US institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic and New York University opened new branches in the UAE. In addition, the UAE and US governments established a formal Economic Policy Dialogue (2012) and launched an inaugural bilateral Strategic Dialogue (2020).
The Ambassador has also worked to advance philanthropic and community programs in the US. Through the UAE Embassy’s Community Soccer Program, 11 new soccer fields have been built in underserved areas throughout the US. In 2014, he partnered with the Meridian International Center to put on an international exhibit of contemporary Emirati artwork. He also helped UAE nationals return home while promoting humanitarian relief efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
He is a current member of the Special Olympics Board of Directors and the Leadership Council at the Harvard Kennedy School. He previously served on the Board of the EastWest Institute.
Prior to his ambassadorship, Yousef Al Otaiba served as Director of International Affairs for the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.