H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), chaired the inaugural Advisory Council's meeting held in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to lay out the Academy’s strategic vision for 2020.
The Advisory Council comprises leading international figures from politics, academia, and policy-making, including Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi; Rt. Hon. Valerie Amos, Director, School of Oriental and African Studies; Youssef Amrani, Minister, Charge de Mission at the Morocco Royal Cabinet; Nabil Fahmy, Founding Dean, American University of Cairo; Frederic C Hof, Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East; Jean-David Levitte, Distinguished Fellow, Brookings Institution; Shivshankar Menon, Distinguished Fellow, Brookings Institution; Ghassan Salame, Professor of International Relations at Sciences-Po (Paris), and Dmitri Trenin, Director, Carnegie Moscow Centre.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Member of the EDA’s Board of Trustees, Bernardino Leon, President of the EDA, Omar Al Bitar, Vice-President of the EDA and former UAE Ambassador to China, and EDA’s senior management were also present at the Advisory Council meeting, the first in a series of semi-annual meetings to carve out the strategic direction of the Academy.
The meetings aim to examine proposed initiatives and collaborations between governments, universities, think-tanks and multilateral institutions.
Bernardino Leon said, "Our first Advisory Council meeting has been extremely productive. I look forward to working with the Advisory Council members. Each member has a deep understanding of the nature of an ever-changing landscape in international relations and diplomacy acquired through years of working on foreign policy frontlines. The appointment of the Advisory Council will have a significant impact on the Academy’s strategic direction and help the UAE nurture a highly qualified cadre of future ambassadors capable of navigating the turbulent waters of 21st century diplomacy."
The Advisory Council has been set up with a mandate to ensure the development of the EDA as the region’s leading center of excellence for diplomatic capacity building, research and thought leadership.