Yves van Balen
Muhanna Al Lawati
Ambassador Patrick Theros
Ambassador Patrick Nickolas Theros is Strategic Advisor and Senior Fellow at Gulf International Forum. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar from 1995-1998. Prior to his appointment, he served as Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, responsible for the coordination of all U.S. Government counterterrorism activities outside the United States. From 1991-1993, Ambassador Theros served as the Political Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of Central Command (CENTCOM).
Ambassador Theros joined the Foreign Service in 1963, and served in a variety of positions in Washington D.C., Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Nicaragua and Syria, including charge d’affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassies in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.
In 1999, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah Al-Thani awarded Ambassador Theros the Qatar Order of Merit for his efforts in service of the U.S.-Qatar bilateral relationship. His commitment to national service also earned him the President’s Meritorious Service Award and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service (1992). Ambassador Theros has also earned four Superior Honor Awards, the highest awards for distinguished service given by the Foreign Service.
After his retirement from the Foreign Service Ambassador Theros assumed the office of President of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council in March 2000 until his retirement in 2017.
Ambassador Theros’ personal commitment to community and public service earned him the rank of Knight Commander of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem (1999), as well as the Ellis Island Medal of Freedom (2005).
In addition to his duties as President of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council, Ambassador Theros is also active in the following organizations: The Middle East Policy Council, Board of Directors; The Council of Foreign Relations, Member; The Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, Member; and The American Academy of Diplomacy, Member.
Ambassador Theros graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1963. He has done advanced studies at the American University in Washington, D.C., the Universidad Centroamericana in Nicaragua, the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia, and the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He is married to Aspasia (nee Pahigiannis) and has three children. He speaks and reads Spanish, Arabic and Greek professionally.
Dr. Yagoub Y. Al-Kandari
Dr. Yagoub Al-Kandari is member of the Advisory Board. Dr. Al-Kandari is a Professor of Sociology and Anthropology. He received his Master and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University, USA, Major in Anthropology. He is now the Director of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Center, Kuwait University. He was the former Dean of the College of Social Sciences. Dr. Al-Kindari was a Chief Editor of Peninsula Region and its Geographical Vicinity and the vice President Council for Center of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies and chief-in-editor of Annals of Arts and Social Sciences. Also, he served as Dean Assistant of College of Graduate Studies of Academic and acting chair of Sociology and Social Work Department at Kuwait University. He has 145 published works (30 books and has 70 published scientific papers in refereed journals with many other publications in conferences proceedings). Dr. Al-Kandari is a member of many local, regional, and international associations. He is the Recipient of six scientific awards; one of them is the State Award for Scientific Production Award.
H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada
His Excellency, Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada is member of the Advisory Board. His Excellency was Minister of Energy and industry and Chairman of the Board of Qatar Petroleum during the period from 2011 to 2018. He was also Managing Director of QP during the period from 2011 – 2014. Earlier, from 2007 to 2011, H.E. was Minister of State for Energy and Industry Affairs and Member of the Cabinet.
During his tenure, His Excellency assumed leading roles in various government and semi-government organizations. He was a member of the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment, Chairman of RasGas, Chairman of Qatar Gas Transport Company Ltd. (NAKILAT) and Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC). H.E. was also the Chairman of the Permanent Water Resources Committee (PWRC) at Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa).
H.E. Dr. Al-Sada has over 35 years of experience in the energy sector. In 1983, he joined Qatar Petroleum (QP) and started a lifetime career in the oil and gas business. He moved up the corporate ladder and assumed a number of managerial positions. In 1997, he was appointed QP Technical Director, where he successfully directed the execution of a number of major oil, gas and infrastructure projects. In 2006, he was appointed Managing Director of RasGas Company Limited (RasGas).
In 2017, the Energy Institute of the UK presented Dr. Al-Sada with The International “Oil Diplomacy Man of the Year” Award. The award was in appreciation of Dr. Al-Sada’s efforts and contribution to the restoration of balance to the oil market during Qatar’s tenure as President of OPEC Conference in 2016.
In November 2020, His Majesty Emperor Naruhito of Japan awarded HE Dr. Al-Sada the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, the highest decoration conferred by the Japanese Government, for his efforts in developing and further strengthening friendship and cooperation between Qatar and Japan. His Excellency currently holds the position of “Chairman of Qatar Solar Technologies” (QSTec).
An active member of the Qatari community, His Excellency was a member of the Qatar Foundation Board of Directors. In addition, he is the Chairman of the Joint Advisory Board (JAB) at Texas A & M University Qatar (TAMUQ) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Doha for Science and Technology. And a member of the Advisory Board of GCC Supreme Council. He is also the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Children’s Museum, and He was the Chairman of the Qatar University Alumni Association.
H.E. Dr. Al-Sada was a founding member of the National Committee for Human Rights. He also served as a member of the Permanent Constitution Preparation Committee and the Supreme Education Council.
His Excellency holds an MSc degree and a PhD from the University of Manchester in the UK and a BSc degree in Marine Science and Geology from Qatar University.
His Excellency is married and has five children.
Dr. Baqer Al Najjar
Dr. Baqer Al Najjar is member of the Advisory Board. Previously, he served as a Member of Bahrain Shura Council, Dean and Professor of Sociology at the University of Bahrain. He is one of the most prominent Arab authors in Sociology; some of his books are; “Voluntary Social Work in the Arabian Gulf,” 1988, “Labor Productivity in the Industrial Sector in Bahrain,” 1993, “Sociology of the Arab Community in the Gulf, Women and the Modernization,” 2000, and “Religious Movements in the Arabian Gulf,” 2007. Dr. Al Najjar holds PhD in Sociology from University of Durham.
Sheikh Abdulla Al-Ali Al Sabah
Sheikh Abdulla Al-Ali AlSabah is member of the Advisory Board. AlSabah is a Kuwaiti academic and researcher. He holds MSc in Middle East politics from the University of London and received his MA in International Relations from Kuwait University. Al Sabah researches and writes on the geopolitics of the Gulf region. Al-Sabah has participated in many seminars and conferences related to Middle East politics.
Dr. Abdulaziz Sager
Dr. Abdulaziz Sager is member of the Advisory Board. Dr. Sager is a Saudi strategic expert specializing in international politics and regional security issues relating to the Middle East and North Africa region. Dr. Sager is the founder and chairman of the Gulf Research Center. Dr. Sager is a member of various councils, advisory and academic committees, institutes, and international research centers. He is also a guest professor at several universities.
Dr. Sager participates in a wide range of international and regional conferences that address issues pertaining to the Gulf region. Notably, he has authored and edited numerous publications and has many articles in local and international newspapers relating to Gulf affairs and regional issues, and he frequently contributes to major international media outlets. He is also the editor-in-chief of both Araa, a monthly Arabic-language magazine focused on Gulf affairs, and The Gulf Yearbook.
Dr. Sager holds a PhD in politics and international relations from Lancaster University, a master’s degree from the University of Kent, and a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Economics and Administration at King Abdulaziz University
Ms. Rachel Ziemba is a Non-Resident Fellow. She is the founder of Ziemba Insights, a macroeconomics and policy due-diligence advisory firm. Additionally, Ms. Ziemba is an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and an Adjunct Lecturer at NYU, Center for Global Affairs. Ms. Ziemba is also a Strategist at Alpha Z Advisors and Advisor at Globalwonks. Her research focuses on the interlinkages between economics, finance and security issues. Her research topics include coercive economic policies such as sanctions, economic resilience and the role of state-owned investors including sovereign wealth funds.
Dr. Tarik M. Yousef
Dr. Tarik M. Yousef is Senior Non-Resident Fellow. He is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Council on Global Affairs. Prior, he served as Senior Fellow and Director of the Brookings Doha Center and was a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. He is a research fellow with the Economic Research Forum in Cairo.
His career has spanned the academic and think tank world at the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings. His involvement with public policy includes working in the Middle East Department at the International Monetary Fund, the Middle East and North Africa region at the World Bank, and the UN Millennium Project.
He has contributed more than 75 articles, chapters, and reports, and co-edited several volumes including most recently “The Belt and Road Initiative: China-Middle East Cooperation in an Age of Geopolitical Turbulence” (Brookings Doha Center and the Shanghai Academy for Social Sciences, 2019); “Public Sector Reform in the Middle East and North Africa: Lessons of Experience for a Region in Transition” (Brookings Press, 2020); and “The Gulf Cooperation Council at Forty: Risk & Opportunity in a Changing World” (Brookings Press, 2021).
Yousef has served on the boards of the Middle East Economics Association; United Nations Development Programme Human Development Reports; Arab Human Development Report; Arab Knowledge Report; Gender Economic Research and Policy Analysis in the Arab World; The Social and Economic Survey Research Institute; the Global Agenda Councils of the World Economic Forum; and the Arab Banking Corporation.
Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri
Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow. He is the Director of Gulf Studies Center and Associate Professor in Contemporary Politics of the Middle East at Qatar University. Before joining Qatar University in 2010, Dr. Zweiri was Senior Researcher at the Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan. He was also a Visiting Professor to School of Government & International Affairs at Durham University. From March 2003 to December 2006 he was a Research Fellow and then a Director of the Centre for Iranian Studies in the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Durham University. Dr. Zweiri has more than 80 publications in the areas of Iran and Contemporary Middle East history and politics. In addition to Arabic, Dr. Zweiri is fluent in Farsi and English.