At The Helm of Affairs

Keeping in line with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations this year, the Emirati Women’s Day celebrations held on August 28 brought the limelight on the remarkable achievements of the Emirati woman of today. Under the theme ‘Women: Ambitions & Inspiration for Next 50 Years’, the event was a tribute to the significant contributions that women have been making in the development of this nation, across all levels including key government and leadership roles. The UAE Cabinet, with its nine women ministers, is a shining example of this

Published: Thu 2 Dec 2021, 12:00 AM

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi

Minister of Culture and Youth

Named Minister of Culture and Youth in July 2020, Al Kaabi was appointed as Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs to act as the key link between the Cabinet and the Federal National Council. Al Kaabi is Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi (MZA) and twofour54. She is also a board member of the UAE’s National Media Council, Abu Dhabi Media, Image Nation, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the United Arab Emirates University. Al Kaabi holds BA in MIS from the UAE University in 2001, and has also completed the executive leadership programme from the London Business School in 2011.

Dr Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi

Minister of State

Joining the Federal Government in 2008 as Minister of State, Al Shamsi presided over the Marriage Fund until February 2016. Between 2013 and 2014, she was entrusted with the presidency of Zayed University. Al Shamsi is consultant to Her Highness Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation. Previously she held several administrative, academic and research jobs at the United Arab Emirates University. As an expert, Al Shamsi has participated in several international conferences and she has represented the UAE in several UN organisations such as ESQUA, UNIFEM and UNESCO. Al Shamsi holds a PhD in sociology and she has authored several books, research articles and studies in different fields such as demography, development and women and education.

Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri

Minister of Climate Change and Environment

In this capacity, Almheiri leads the Ministry’s mission of spearheading the UAE’s drive to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, protect the country’s ecosystems, and enhance its food and water security through developing and implementing effective measures, policies, and initiatives. Prior to her current role, Almheiri was Minister of State for Food and Water Security. Her responsibilities included monitoring national food stocks and water supply, channelling investments in food and water technology innovation, and building international partnerships in this area. Previously, Almheiri was appointed as Minister of State for Food Security following the Cabinet reshuffle of October 2017. She also represented the UAE in the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) as well as the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA). Almheiri has previously served as Assistant Undersecretary for Water Resources and Nature Conservation Affairs at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Almheiri received her bachelor and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) in Aachen, Germany.

Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy

Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai

Sworn in on February 2016, Al Hashimy additionally holds responsibility within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, for the UAE’s bilateral relations with Sub Saharan African countries. Since her first ministerial appointment in February 2008, Al Hashimy has and continues to manage, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai’s Office for Political Affairs. In November 2013, as managing director of Expo 2020 Dubai bid, Al Hashimy oversaw a historic success at the Bureau International des Expositions. Al Hashimy also serves as Chairperson of Dubai Cares, a philanthropic organisation with the aim of improving access to quality education in developing countries, since its launch by Sheikh Mohammed in 2007. Al Hashimy completed her undergraduate degree at Tufts University, earning a BA in International Relations and French, followed by a degree in MA from Harvard University.

Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid

Minister of Community Development

Appointed in October 2017, Buhumaid’s responsibilities include promoting community and family cohesion; activating them to participate in the development of the UAE. She was the Assistant Director General for Government Services in the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future. She oversaw the Emirates Government Service Excellence Programme aiming to raise the efficiency of government service delivery. Buhumaid also had a role in launching the Government Services Factory, and the Customer Satisfaction project. She was also the Coordinator General of the Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Programme.

Buhumaid holds an honour Master's Degree in business administration from the American University of Sharjah, and an honour bachelor in business sciences from Zayed University. She also holds an executive diploma in public administration from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore.

Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri

Minister of State for Advanced Technology

In her role, Al Amiri spearheads efforts to empower the adoption of fourth industrial revolution technologies and promote research and development in the advanced science and technology sector. She is the Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, responsible for overseeing the agency’s mandate of pioneering the space sector. Prior to her Ministerial role, she was the Director of Research and Development at Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), and was involved in DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2, and in the project development for KhalifaSat.

In 2014, she was tasked with and led the establishment of the Advanced Aerial Systems Programme. The project resulted in a successful 24-hour flight of the unmanned vehicle, which recorded the highest altitude of any unmanned aircraft over UAE airspace. In 2015, the World Economic Forum honoured her as one of its 50 young scientists for her contributions to science, technology, and engineering. Al Amiri holds a bachelor's and a master’s degree in computer engineering from the American University of Sharjah.

Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrui

Minister of State for Youth

Appointed in 2020 to her current role, she was the Minister of State for Youth Affairs in February 2016. Her tasks are focused on representing youth issues and aspirations at the UAE Cabinet and setting development plans and strategies for improving youth capabilities, in addition to further utilising their energy in various fields. Earlier, Al Mazrui worked in private equity at one of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds. She also previously worked as a public policy analyst at the UAE Mission to the United Nations, as a ministry policy analyst with the Prime Minister’s Office, as a Research Analyst at the UAE Embassy in DC, and as an Education Policy Researcher at Tamkeen (UAE Strategic Affairs Authority).

Al Mazrui obtained her Masters of Public Policy with Distinction from the University of Oxford in 2015. She was the first UAE Rhodes Scholar and ranked within the top of her class. She completed her BA in economics with a concentration in finance at New York Abu Dhabi in 2014.

Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi

Minister of State for Government Development and the Future

The World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Agile Governance in its 2021 Agile 50 List named Al Roumi as one of the world’s most influential people. As well as her Ministerial role, Al Roumi is also the Chairwoman of the Federal Authority for Government Human Recourses (FAHR), the federal entity responsible for the growth and development of UAE federal government human resources. She is the Vice Chair of World Government Summit Organisation and also member of the Emirates Competitiveness Council. In 2016, Al Roumi held the position of Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, the first ministerial position of its kind in the world introduced by the UAE government. The United Nations Foundation appointed Al Roumi as member of the UN’s Global Entrepreneurship Council (GEC) in 2015, making her the first Arab member to hold that position. Additionally, she has held several leadership positions within the UAE federal government and the Government of Dubai. Al Roumi holds an executive master’s degree in business administration (EMBA) from the University of Sharjah and a bachelor’s in economics from the College of Business and Economics, United Arab Emirates University.

Jameela bint Salem

Mesbeh Al Muhairi

Minister of State for Public Education

Appointed in February 2016, Al Muhairi has more than 20 years of experience in the field of education management. She has been working towards the development of a world-class school performance management system for schools in Dubai through her post as the chief of Dubai Schools Inspections Bureau at KHDA since 2006.

Al Muhairi had served as deputy director of the Special Education Department at the UAE Ministry of Education from 1995 to 2004, then held the position of Executive Director of Dubai Knowledge Village from 2004 to 2008, following which she served as executive director in charge of the private education sector in Dubai Education Council. Al Muhairi is a graduate in management from the UAE University.

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