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Dr Omar Rifai

Director-General
Dr Omar Rifai

Dr Omar Abdul-Monem Rifai is the Director-General of the WANA Institute as well as the Senior Advisor to HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal at the Majlis El Hassan, The Royal Hashemite Court.

From 2015 until 2017, he was the Director of the Arab Affairs Unit and the Representative of the Commissioner-General at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Amman. Prior to that, Dr Rifai was a Secretary-General of the Jordanian Foreign Ministry (twice), President of the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy, and the first Executive Director of the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Forum.

Dr Rifai joined the Jordanian Diplomatic Service in 1975 and served in Jordan’s missions in Cairo, Bern, New York, London and Washington between 1976 and 1994. Between 1994 and 1996, he held the positions of Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Director of the Special Bureau at the Foreign Ministry in Amman. He was also a member of the Jordanian delegation to the Jordan-Israel peace talks in 1994. In 1996, Mr Rifai was sworn in as an Ambassador. Between 1996 and 2008, he headed Jordan’s diplomatic missions in Israel, Italy and Egypt, and was also Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League in Cairo. From 2004 until 2005, and 2009 until 2017, he was a part-time lecturer in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Jordan, and regularly lectured foreign students in Study Abroad Programmes in Jordan. Dr Rifai holds a number of Jordanian and foreign decorations. The career diplomat is a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University.

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