Monash alumnus joins UAE Cabinet

Monash alumnus, Dr Ahmad Belhoul, has been appointed the UAE’s new Minister of State for Higher Education Affairs.

Dr Belhoul has a strong connection to Australia. He received his Master of Science degree from the University of Melbourne and completed his PhD at Monash in 2007. Dr Belhoul’s PhD thesis at Monash was supervised by Dr Ahmet Sekercioglu and Dr Nallasamy Mani at the Department of Electrical and  Computer Systems Engineering.

In a recent trip to the region Professor Abid Khan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Global Engagement) and Dr Nizar Farjou, Associate President-Middle East, North Africa & Central Asia (MENACA) and Director of MENACA Engagement-Global Engagement met with Dr Belhoul to congratulate  him on the appointment and discuss future collaboration in research and education.

“The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is in transition to a knowledge-based economy. An emphasis on youth, innovation and education is driving this transformation,“ says Professor Khan.

“Monash has a strong and active alumni network. We are proud to see their contributions and impact across the region.”

“We are looking forward to further strengthening our relationship with the UAE. Opportunities exist in contemporary education, and professional training as well as research led professional practice and institutional capacity building.

Prior to his new role as Minister, Dr Belhoul was CEO of Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company). He was formerly CEO of strategy and tourism sector development at Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and vice president, Industry Unit of Mubadala Development Company.

Earlier this year the Ministers of the UAE’s 12th Cabinet took the oath of office before Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Eight new ministers, five of them women, have joined the federal Government. The Cabinet’s new generation of young ministers has made headlines around the world. With a strong focus on the future, developing education, and combating climate change, new portfolios include a Minister of State for Tolerance and a Minister of State for Happiness.