Farewell Receptions in Honor of U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. The Honorable Barbara A. LeafMarch 11, 2018
The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, the American Chamber of Commerce Abu Dhabi (AmCham Abu Dhabi), and the American Business Council in Dubai and the Northern Emirates (ABC Dubai), co-hosted two luncheon receptions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai on March 7 and 8 to say farewell and thank you to The Honorable Barbara A. Leaf, outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. At each event, Ambassador Leaf was received by over one hundred senior government officials and business leaders from the U.S. and U.A.E. who had an opportunity to celebrate and recognize her tremendous accomplishments throughout her time as U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E.
During both receptions, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Danny Sebright, AmCham Abu Dhabi Chairman Sharief Fahmy, AmCham Abu Dhabi Executive Director Theresa Weber, and ABC Dubai CEO Bilal Sabouni provided sincere messages of thanks for her support of the American business community.
In Abu Dhabi, Mr. Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi – who serves as the Mubadala Investment Company’s Deputy Group CEO and Chief Executive Officer, Alternative Investment and Infrastructure – congratulated the Ambassador on bolstering the overall U.S.-U.A.E. bilateral relationship and for successfully navigating a range of challenges to ensure an ever-stronger partnership between the two nations.
In Dubai, Paul Malik, Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Dubai, highlighted the close working relationship he has enjoyed with the Ambassador since taking up his duties as Consul General in September of 2015. He thanked her for her service, for tirelessly working to promote increased cooperation between the U.S. and U.A.E., and for bridging the cultural ties between the two countries.
Abu Dhabi–From L to R: Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, Bilal Sabouni, CEO of ABC Dubai, The Honorable Barbara A. Leaf, U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E., Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Executive Officer of Alternative Investment and Infrastructure at Mubadala Investment Company, and Sharief Fahmy, Chairman of AmCham Abu Dhabi
Ambassador Leaf thanked both Mr. Al Muhairi and CG Malik for their heartfelt messages, the attendees in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for their warm reception, and all of the American and Emirati organizations who helped promote the U.S.-U.A.E. commercial relationship. Ambassador Leaf then reflected on some of her fondest memories and proudest accomplishments as Ambassador. She also applauded the U.A.E.’s forward-leaning leadership for pushing the Emirates closer to becoming a true knowledge based economy. Finally, she expressed confidence in the enduring nature of U.S.-U.A.E. relations, and the U.A.E.’s promise to be a driver of safety and security, progress, and prosperity in the region.
Dubai–From L to R: Paul Malik, Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Dubai, Bilal Sabouni, CEO of ABC Dubai,The Honorable Barbara A. Leaf, U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E., Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, and Theresa Weber, Executive Director of AmCham Abu Dhabi
Ambassador Leaf remarked, “The U.S. and U.A.E. have been working together since the first days of the U.A.E.’s founding in 1971. But in the intervening years, the bilateral relationship has evolved remarkably from one based almost exclusively on hydrocarbons to the closest of strategic military, political, and economic partnerships. In fact, in this region, it is singular in that respect.”
“And after three years, I can say that the U.S.-U.A.E. trade relationship remains strong, and that the U.S. will continue its key partnership role as the U.A.E. transitions to becoming a leading hub for innovation.”
“I am proud to have been part of that relationship, and working with the U.A.E. government, and the U.S. business community to deepen trust and friendship has been a career highlight for me.”
Following her remarks, the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, AmCham Abu Dhabi, and ABC Dubai presented Ambassador Leaf with a special gift in honor of her service.
Since 2015 the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, AmCham Abu Dhabi, and ABC Dubai were honored to have closely collaborated with Ambassador Leaf on a range of policy issues. We wish her continued success in her future endeavors.
Please click here to view Ambassador Leaf’s complete remarks:
Barbara A. Leaf was confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates on November 17, 2014. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Arabian Peninsula in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from 2013-2014, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq from 2011-2013. Ambassador Leaf directed the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team in the strategic province of Basrah, Iraq from 2010-2011, leaving an assignment as Political Minister Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy, to oversee the PRT’s transition to a U.S. Consulate General. Prior to Rome, Ambassador Leaf served as the first Director of the Department of State’s Office of Iranian Affairs.
From 2004-2006, Ambassador Leaf served as Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where she helped advance key U.S. policy goals on democratization and political reform, counter-terrorism, and regional reintegration among the former combatant states of the former Yugoslavia. From 2003-2004, she directed the Regional Headquarters of the Office of the High Representative (OHR), in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, enforcing implementation of civilian aspects of the Dayton peace accords, including the return of refugees to areas from which they had been ethnically cleansed.
From 2001-2003, Ambassador Leaf served as Advisor to the Department’s Medical Director, in a position created in the wake of September 11 to develop medical and security programs to counter and respond to chemical/biological/nuclear threats to U.S. diplomatic installations abroad.
From 1996-2000, Ambassador Leaf served as the Department’s Middle East “Watcher” at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, reporting on French policies on Iraq, Iran, the Arab-Israeli dispute, Libya, and terrorism issues.
Ambassador Leaf’s previous tours include assignments in Cairo, as Kuwait Desk Officer during the first Gulf War, Jerusalem, the Department’s Operations Center, and Port-au-Prince.
Ambassador Leaf is a member of the Senior Foreign Service, and has received six Superior Honor and four Meritorious Honor Awards during her career. She received a B.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary and a Master’s Degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, with a focus on Soviet Affairs.
Ambassador Leaf speaks Arabic, French, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian.Back to News