Most people know Yousef Al Otaiba as the long-serving United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States. But this isn’t the first time that Ambassador Al Otaiba has made Washington, DC his adopted home. In the early 1990’s, Ambassador Al Otaiba attended Georgetown University and was a walk-on member of the Hoyas men’s soccer team.
Today, the Ambassador has taken his affection for sports and used it to help kids in communities around the US. Since becoming Ambassador in 2008, he has directed a nationwide philanthropic program that has resulted in the construction of new soccer fields and funding of youth training programs in Harlem, East Los Angeles, Dallas, Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, Washington, DC and other communities around the country. He is also a member of the Special Olympics Board of Directors, and has hosted groups of women’s soccer and hockey teams from the UAE as they toured the United States. From sports to diplomacy, the Ambassador’s positive impact on UAE-US relations has created a lasting legacy that will benefit future generations of Emiratis and Americans.
“The feeling of being on a team is probably more important than anything else,” reflects Ambassador Al Otaiba. “Understanding what it is like to be part of something bigger than you – whether you are a diplomat or whether you’re an athlete – is what allows us to become better at our jobs.”