Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US
On behalf of the United Arab Emirates Embassy in the United States, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba serves as the inaugural host of Podbridge, a live podcast dedicated to discussing the most critical issues, emerging solutions, and ideas of shared values within the US and the Middle East. By maintaining an open and honest dialogue, he hopes to inspire global leaders to get involved and create a world founded on acceptance and cultural understanding.
Yousef Al Otaiba is the current UAE Ambassador to the US and Minister of State. Prior to his current roles, he served as non-resident ambassador to Mexico, Senior Advisor, and later Director of International Affairs for H.H. Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Since joining the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, he’s become a leading catalyst for unity, innovation, and peace between the United States and the Middle East. His diplomatic strategy has largely contributed to the success of the UAE-US relationship and brought forward new embassy projects including Podbridge, the Cultural Diplomacy Department and UAE USA United. In the context of international relations, he also opened the door for the UAE’s historic normalization deal with Israel and found himself on the annual TIME 100 list for 2020.
For nearly two decades, the Ambassador has worked with the UAE government to initiate philanthropic grants and partnerships that support a better global future. In 2019, he joined the Special Olympics International Board of Directors and helped organize the first World Games to ever take place in Abu Dhabi and the larger MENA region. Also an active member of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, he played a leading role in launching the Emirates Leadership Initiative Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Additionally, he’s formed close connections with Meridian International Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and New York University.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Ambassador Al Otaiba worked closely with UAE and US counterparts to embrace digital diplomacy, facilitate humanitarian relief and contribute to socio-economic recovery. During this time, he teamed up with his wife, Abeer Al Otaiba, and leading US organizations like Children’s National Medical Center to fund vital testing facilities, medical supplies and food security programs across the country.
As the world continues to navigate our new normal, he’s underlined the UAE and the US’ shared commitment to solving global challenges related to COVID-19, foreign policy, climate change, human rights and religious extremism.
Learn more about the Ambassador’s diplomatic mission to build and strengthen UAE-US relations: