Nawaf bin Mubarak bin Saif Al-Thani Joins National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations as Fellow

Washington, D.C.: The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations [ncusar.org] is pleased to announce that Sheikh Nawaf bin Mubarak bin Saif Al-Thani has been named a Distinguished International Defense Affairs Fellow. Serving in a personal capacity and offering his own individual views, Sheikh Nawaf joins a group of respected individuals who further the National Council’s educational, bridge-building mission through their scholarship and analysis. The Council’s Fellows and Scholars do not have a governing role in the organization. They contribute strategic support through their cutting-edge insights, research, and understanding of the complex global challenges facing Americans and Arabs alike.

A man in a suit and tie with a lapel pin showing the flag of Qatar

Sheikh Nawaf bin Mubarak bin Saif Al-Thani is the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations first Distinguished International Defense Affairs Fellow.

In announcing the appointment, National Council Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony remarked, “We are honored that Sheikh Nawaf Al-Thani has accepted our invitation to join the Council as its first Distinguished International Defense Affairs Fellow. His record of public service is extensive, and the Council will benefit from his ability to provide critical frames of reference on defense and strategic issues in the Gulf too often absent in regional analyses. We look forward to sharing what he has to offer. Having the opportunity to benefit from Sheikh Nawaf’s views on geo-strategic issues will be very valuable for the Council as we work to continuously improve, strengthen, and expand our U.S.-Arab relations leadership development and educational efforts.”

Accepting his appointment, Sheikh Nawaf noted that he was “honored” to receive the National Council’s invitation. He added, “I have always appreciated Dr. Anthony’s vision and the Council’s mission. As I am pursuing my academic and research interests in the field of small state security I find it of great relevance to add a voice that represents the Arab and Gulf region that focuses on defense and security through the lens of research and the support of academe. The Council, with its reputation and resources, offers an excellent platform for me to contribute to the academic discourse.”

Two men in suits and ties shake hands

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony (left) with Sheikh Nawaf bin Mubarak bin Saif Al-Thani (right) at the National Council’s office in Washington, D.C.

Sheikh Nawaf has served in Qatar’s Armed Forces since 1996, including as the former Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché of Qatar to the United States, Mexico, and Canada in the rank of Brigadier General as well as the former Official Spokesperson for Qatar’s Ministry of Defense. He has an extensive background working with Qatar’s friends, partners, and allies, and has been a leader pioneering new roles through the growth and development of the Qatar Armed Forces. In recognition of his service, he has received numerous distinguished commendations and citations from the Qatar Armed Forces along with several NATO militaries and multinational organizations. Sheikh Nawaf has also been a columnist for Al-Arab and Al Raya daily newspapers (Qatar), and a lecturer at various institutions including Georgetown University. He holds a Master’s Degree from King’s College London and is currently a pursuing his PhD research at Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom.

About the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations: Founded in 1983 and based in Washington, D.C., the National Council is an American non-profit, non-governmental, educational organization. The Council pursues its educational mission through a diverse array of programs, projects, events, and activities. Each is dedicated to enhancing American awareness and appreciation of the extraordinary benefits that the United States has long derived from its special relationships with countries in the Arab region – and vice versa.

At the center of the National Council’s efforts to advance American knowledge and understanding of Arab culture, societal dynamics, and systems of governance – and the nature and extent of their impact on U.S. national security, economic, and related interests – are the Council’s flagship education, training, and leadership development programs. These are designed to elevate the leadership skills and empirical Arab-centric educational experiences of the emerging generation of young Americans and Arabs. Upon their shoulders will rest the responsibility for ensuring that the relationships between the American and Arab peoples are continuously deepened, improved, and sustained far into the future.

Information about the Council can be found at ncusar.org.

Evaluating the Impact of President Biden’s Visit to the Middle East

On July 22, 2022, the National Council convened an online briefing program on “Evaluating the Impact of President Biden’s Visit to the Middle East.” It included Saudi Arabian and U.S. analysts, scholars, and former diplomats who reflected on the recent visit of U.S. President Joe Biden to Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Saudi Arabia.

 

 

Joining the program were:

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO; Author, inter alia, of Arab States of The Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum.

Featured Specialists:

  • Dr. Abdulaziz Sager, Gulf Research Center Founder and Chairman, and National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations International Advisory Board Member.
  • Mr. David H. Rundell, Author of Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads, Former United States Diplomat, and National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations International Advisory Board Member.
  • Ambassador (Ret.) Michael Gfoeller, Former United States Diplomat, and Consultant on Foreign Affairs and International Security.

Moderator:

  • Colonel (Ret.) Abbas K. Dahouk, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Board of Directors Member; Former U.S. Department of State Senior Military Advisor; Former U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia Defense and Army Attache; HyphenPoint LLC President.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“Evaluating the Impact of President Biden’s Visit to the Middle East” podcast (.mp3)

National Council Administers Summer Arab-U.S. Relations Student Educational and Career Development Program

Washington, D.C., U.S.A.: The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ (“National Council” or “Council”) Annual 10-week University Student Summer Internship Program is successfully underway for 2022. It includes professional development opportunities, an academic seminar on the Arab region, and visits to central policymaking institutions in Washington, D.C. The program has resumed its in-person meetings and visits this summer after being administered exclusively online for the past two years. Serving as the lead lecturer and resource specialist for the program is the Council’s Founding President and CEO, Dr. John Duke Anthony.

Students gathered together at George Washington University with National Council President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony

Participants in the National Council’s 2022 University Student Summer Internship Program together with Council Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony (center front) following a lecture at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. In addition to professional development opportunities, the program includes an academic seminar heavily focused on Arabia and the Gulf as well as visits to a variety of Washington, D.C., institutions with international portfolios.

Twenty-one students and young professionals from as many schools across the United States are taking part in the National Council’s Summer Internship Program. Their backgrounds and areas of study are diverse, representing majors and minors from Mechanical Engineering to Political Science to Economics, Marketing, International Relations, and beyond. Four of the participants are alumni of the Council’s Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League. Council Student Programs Coordinator Katie Grandelli is herself an alumna of that educational activity.

Throughout his presentations, Dr. Anthony has placed a special emphasis on empathy with the Arab and Islamic countries and peoples analyzed and examined. He has simultaneously stressed the need for the development of leadership skills that are vital to success in whatever path the students’ futures take.

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President Biden’s Visit to Saudi Arabia: Implications and Opportunities

On June 24, 2022, the National Council convened an online briefing program “President Biden’s Upcoming Visit to Saudi Arabia: Implications and Opportunities for the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Relationship.” Specialists with decades of experience navigating day-to-day aspects of the U.S.-Saudi Arabia relationship discussed dynamics affecting the various parties ahead of the trip.

 

 

Joining the program were:

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO; Author, inter alia, of Arab States of The Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum.

Featured Specialists:

  • Mr. David H. Rundell, Author of Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads, Former United States Diplomat, and National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations International Advisory Board Member.
  • Ambassador (Ret.) Michael Gfoeller, Former United States Diplomat, and Consultant on Foreign Affairs and International Security.

Moderator:

  • Colonel (Ret.) Abbas K. Dahouk, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Board of Directors Member; Former U.S. Department of State Senior Military Advisor; Former U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia Defense and Army Attache; HyphenPoint LLC President.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“President Biden’s Visit to Saudi Arabia: Implications and Opportunities” podcast (.mp3)

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and Adalah Foundation Collaborate to Bring Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League to Yemen

United States Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, Ambassador of Yemen to the United States His Excellency Mohammed Al-Hadhrami, Ambassador (Ret.) Richard Schmierer, and Distinguished Guests Attend Signing Ceremony To Celebrate Cooperation Between American and Yemen Non-Profit NGOs

Washington, D.C., U.S.A. & Mukalla, Hadhramout, Yemen: The Washington, D.C.-based National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (“National Council” or “Council”) recently executed a Memorandum of Understanding for strategic cooperation on educational programs for students with the Mukalla-based Adalah Foundation For Legal Development (“Adalah Foundation”). The agreement will expand the National Council’s Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League in the Arab region to include secondary and university students from the Republic of Yemen. Under the Memorandum of Understanding each party will maintain its independent status.

The National Council’s Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League is an experiential learning exercise where students have the opportunity to practice representing the needs, concerns, interests, and objectives of someone other than themselves during the course of simulating a diplomatic summit. The program has been educating and training leaders of tomorrow since its inception in the early 1980s. There are over 55,000 program alumni, and conferences in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia augment the roughly 20 conferences with 2,000 total students who participate in the activity in the United States each year.

Individuals stand together after signing an agreement

The cooperation agreement between the National Council and the Adalah Foundation was celebrated at a signing ceremony this week at the office of the National Council. In attendance were United States Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, Ambassador of Yemen to the United States His Excellency Mohammed Al-Hadhrami, and guests from the Adalah Foundation, the National Council, and the Embassy of Yemen in Washington, D.C., including Council Chairman John Pratt and Council International Advisory Committee Member and Middle East Policy Council President & Chairman of the Board Ambassador (Ret.) Richard Schmierer (not pictured).

With educational resources and support made available to the Yemeni participants by the National Council, the Adalah Foundation will implement the Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League’s educational components of diplomatic simulations, workshops, and conferences to provide learning and training opportunities for Yemeni youth. The Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League helps young individuals develop professional skills that will be vital to their success in whatever path their future takes. Through the Adalah Foundation’s efforts and with the Council’s support, the Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League will provide opportunities for Yemen’s emerging leaders to grow intellectually and professionally to prepare them to address challenges confronting their country, region, and the global community.

National Council Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony praised the collaboration between the Council and the Adalah Foundation to further learning and leadership training in Yemen. He remarked, “Involvement in Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League could hardly be more essential. Few programs are as effective in introducing and exploring the complexities facing the people and nations of the world. Just imagine what happens as young leaders of tomorrow analyze and address issues from a perspective different from their own. Not only does it dramatically improve their ability to think critically and empathetically, it also enhances their ability to address the multifaceted range of challenges facing our shared future.”

Student raise placards in the air to vote on a motion during a meeting

Students utilize parliamentary procedure during Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League sessions. Understanding and utilizing basic rules of meetings helps to train future leaders how to consider viewpoints and make decisions in a fair, consistent, and effective manner.

At a signing ceremony celebrating the cooperation agreement, Founder and Chairman of the Adalah Foundation Mr. Mohammed Bin Hamdeen shared his passion for youth leadership development education, remarking that “this invaluable collaboration with the National Council will train, educate, and uplift Yemen students who are eager to promote diplomacy and peace for the benefit of a peaceful and prosperous Yemen. Youth represent a large percentage of the population and we must engage our future leaders in programs and projects that will prepare them for opportunities and meaningful lives.”

About the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations: Founded in 1983 and based in Washington, D.C., the National Council is an American non-profit, non-governmental, educational organization dedicated to improving American knowledge and understanding of the Arab region. Information about the Council’s program, projects, events, and activities can be found at ncusar.org.

About the Adalah Foundation: Founded in 2012 and based in Mukalla, Yemen, Adalah (meaning ‘Justice’ in Arabic) is a non-profit foundation dedicated to enhancing effective community participation and youth capabilities toward promoting peace and building the state of law responsive to Yemen’s needs and aspirations. Information about the Adalah Foundation can be found at www.adalah-ye.org.

Carolinas Committee on U.S.-Arab Relations Spring 2022 “NEWSLINES”

Cover of the Spring 2022 NEWSLINES newsletterThe Carolinas Committee on U.S.-Arab Relations (CCUSAR), with Dr. Joe P. Dunn serving as Director, is an initiative of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. Dr. Dunn is an alumnus of the Council’s Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies Program, the coordinator of the Southeast Model Arab League conference, and the faculty advisor heading the Converse College Youth Leadership Development / Model Arab League program.

CCUSAR recently published its Spring 2022 “NEWSLINES” newsletter, available for download through the link below.

The issue features:

DOWNLOAD “CCUSAR NEWSLINES (Spring 2022)” [PDF]

A Conversation About Humanitarian Aid With His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah

On May 31, 2022, the National Council convened an online briefing program “A Conversation About Humanitarian Aid with His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah.” The featured specialist was the leader of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre (KSRelief), Saudi Arabia’s leading aid organization that serves people and communities in more than fifty countries around the world.

 

 

Joining the program were:

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO; Author, inter alia, of Arab States of The Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum.

Featured Specialist:

  • His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre Supervisor General; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Royal Court Advisor; Former Saudi Arabia Minister of Health.

Moderator:

  • Colonel (Ret.) Abbas K. Dahouk, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Board of Directors Member; Former U.S. Department of State Senior Military Advisor; Former U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia Defense and Army Attache; HyphenPoint LLC President.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“A Conversation About Humanitarian Aid With His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah” podcast (.mp3)

U.S. Central Command Combatant Commander General (Ret.) Kenneth F. McKenzie Joins National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations International Advisory Board

Washington, D.C.: The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations is pleased to announce that General (Ret.) Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., who stepped down as the Commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) last month, has joined the National Council’s International Advisory Board. The Board provides strategic support to the Council’s Board of Directors together with its Founding President and Chief Executive Officer.

In announcing the appointment, National Council Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony stated, “We are honored that General (Ret.) McKenzie has accepted our invitation to join the Council’s Advisory Board. His exemplary record of public service is long and impressive. Few individuals can match General McKenzie’s experiences of having been immersed in the day-to-day management of security and defense relationships with America’s Arab friends, allies, and strategic partners. He will be an extraordinarily valuable resource, advisor, and conceptualizer with a wealth of problem solving experience as we work to continuously improve, strengthen, and expand the Council’s U.S.-Arab relations leadership development and bridge-building educational efforts.”

General Kenneth McKenzie speaking at the NCUSAR annual conference.

General (Ret.) Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., has been a Featured Keynote Speaker at several of the National Council’s Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conferences.

National Council Board of Directors Chairman John Pratt added, “General McKenzie has distinguished himself through a long career of effective leadership and selfless service during a time of enormous consequence for the United States and its partners in what is arguably the world’s most strategically vital region. The Council’s Board of Directors is delighted that he will be on hand to lend his hard-earned insights and analyses in furtherance of the Council’s educational mission. General McKenzie’s empirical involvement in navigating the shoals of the region’s strategic and geopolitical challenges and opportunities is unrivalled and not to be underestimated. It will be highly valued in determining how the Council’s programs, projects, events, and activities can continue to strengthen and expand the U.S.-Arab relationship.”

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