|Lana Nusseibeh (photo via www.weforum.org/Norbert Schiller)|
Lana Nusseibeh has become the UAE’s first woman delegate to the United Nations.
HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai swore in Nusseibeh on August 1.
The announcement comes as no surprise following last December’s UAE Cabinet decision that made it compulsory for corporations and government agencies to include women on their boards of directors.
Sheikh Mo, as we fondly refer to His Highness, announced to his more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter on December 9, 2012: “We have also made a decision to make the representation of women, in all the boards of directors of companies and government entities, compulsory… Women proved themselves in many workplaces and today we want them to have a strong presence in decision-making positions in our institutions.”
Very few nations have implemented such far-reaching regulations to ensure the representation of women.
Norway became the first country to introduce board gender quotas in 2003. There, if a board has more than nine directors, each gender must be represented by at least 40 per cent of directors.
In Europe, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain and Iceland have also introduced quotas.
Elsewhere, Malaysia last year announced it would be compulsory from 2016 for women to have 30 per cent representation in decision-making positions.
Hence, Nusseibeh joins a growing number of women decision-makers in the Emirates, including:
-- Four ministers -- HE Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, HE Maryam Mohammed Khalfan Al Roumi, H.E Dr. Maitha' Salem Al Shamsi and HE Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy);
-- Seven Federal National Council members, one of them Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, who made history as the first deputy speaker of the FNC and chaired the House session in January 2013); and
-- Four ambassadors.
Nusseibeh was director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s Policy Planning Department.
She joined the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (FNCA) in August 2006 as Director of Communications running regional and international media and communications strategy for the first UAE elections to the FNC in December 2006.
Nusseibeh developed key position statements for UAE government spokespeople and handled domestic and international media relations as well as communications management during the election period.
From August 2007, she established and directed the Research Unit at the Ministry to provide policy research and recommendations on key issues that impact the development of the UAE.
Aside from parliamentary issues, Nusseibeh works directly with Minister of State for FNCA Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, who is also Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, chairperson of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, chair of the committee to monitor issues that Impact the reputation of the UAE and deputy chair of the National Population Committee.
Nusseibeh is frequently part of UAE delegations abroad as part of the minister’s team. Her areas of policy work include parliamentary affairs, human trafficking, human rights issues and labor market reform.
Prior to that, she was a research analyst at the Dubai Gulf Research Center (GRC) in the Security and Terrorism Program. She contributed to research publications on Gulf security issues as well as articles for regional and international media.
As a researcher on security and terrorism studies at the GRC, Nusseibeh also edited the Security and Terrorism Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication produced in both English and Arabic tackling key security and terrorism issues in the Gulf.
Her research interests focus on regional security and strategic affairs with particular emphasis on “The Gulf as a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone Project,” which the GRC launched in December 2004.
Before joining the GRC, Nusseibeh worked at UNESCO in Paris as a consultant. She has also worked for the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CABU) in the UK, where she wrote briefs and reports for MPs regarding British foreign policy in the Middle East.
She received her BA and MA in History from Cambridge University. Nusseibeh also completed research on Israel, Zionist ideology and the evolution of the Israeli political system. Her second MA thesis at SOAS focused on the political and ideological relationship between the Christian Right in the United States and Israel for which she was awarded a Distinction.
She has several published articles and research papers, including:
“Palestinian crisis demands proactive GCC role” -- Article, December 6, 2004.
“The Year that was – Qatar 2004” -- Research Paper, February 1, 2005.
“Iran has Bush to thank for its growing power” – Article, Daily Star, Qatar Peninsular, August 29, 2005.
“Defusing Iran’s nuclear issue” -- Article, October 30, 2005, Daily Star, Arab Times.
Nusseibeh has also published a book, “Gulf States: Counterterrorism -- Laws and Treaties,” co-authored with Mustafa Alani and Farida Al Ajamy.