30 July 2007

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note



United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Bader al-Dafa of Qatar as Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

Mr. al-Dafa has recently served as Ambassador of Qatar to the United States and Permanent Observer to the Organization of American States (OAS).  In this capacity, he played a special role in promoting access to education and the arts in the Arab-American community and among other minority populations in the United States.

Mr. al-Dafa has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in foreign affairs and non-governmental services, which has included representing Qatar as Ambassador to the Russian Federation, France, Egypt and Spain.  He has also served as the non-resident Ambassador to Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Switzerland and Mexico.  Mr. al-Dafa has also served as Director of the European and American Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Highlights of Mr. al-Dafa’s service with international non-governmental organizations include supervision of programmes for building housing for families with limited income in Africa and participation in landmine-removal programmes in the Balkans.  In addition, he has actively participated in fund-raising programmes with various children’s hospitals that support the social needs of children in Asia and in North America and helped to raise funds and support for the empowerment of women in North Africa and Central Asia.  He has also been involved in organizing conferences on democracy and free trade and inter-religious dialogue.

Wherever he has served, Mr. al-Dafa has focused on international arts and culture as a means to build better understanding between the Arab world and the international community.  To this end, he has hosted many international art exhibitions and cultural events.

At the local level, Mr. al-Dafa has championed education through the Qatar Foundation by helping prominent United States universities establish themselves in Doha’s " Education City".  He is also instrumental in supporting religious freedom in Qatar by coordinating with various religious communities.

Mr. al-Dafa received his master’s degree in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University and his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Western Michigan University in the United States.  He has been awarded the Ordre du Mérite from France.

Mr. al-Dafa is married to Awatef al-Dafa and has one son and two daughters.  He is fluent in Arabic, English and Spanish, and speaks nascent French.

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For information media • not an official record