Complex Made Simple

Former Assistant Secretary-General of UN appointed as CEO of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation announced the appointment of Dr. Rima Khalaf Hunaidi, former Assistant Secretary-General of United Nations and the driving force behind the induction of the Arab Human Development Report, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Foundation.

Born in Kuwait and a Jordanian citizen, Dr. Khalaf Hunaidi, who was also the Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS), will spearhead the Foundation’s efforts in achieving its strategic objectives.

H.E. Mohammed Al Gergawi, Chairman of the Board of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, said: “Dr. Khalaf Hunaidi has had one of the most distinguished careers in addition to being an expert in the field of Arab human development. With her wealth of experience, in-depth knowledge and understanding of the key requirements for the region’s knowledge creation and distribution, she will add immeasurable value to the foundation.””Building a strong team with exceptional competencies is crucial to the functioning of the aspiring foundation. Dr. Khalaf Hunaidi is a renowned expert widely acknowledged globally for her achievements. We are confident her insight and capabilities will also add enormous value to the foundation’s mission in enhancing the Arab region’s knowledge potential.”

Dr. Khalaf Hunaidi said: “I am quite honored to join such an illustrious Foundation and be part of a team seeking to generate a positive impact on the future of the region. I look forward to working closely with the team to fulfill the Foundation’s mission.”

“The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation has set new trends in the region by promoting knowledge as a principal prerequisite for development. This principle is close to my heart and I will spare no effort in putting the Foundation’s projects and programmes into effective action.”

Since its debut in 2002, the Arab Human Development report has been recognized as the first documented initiative to monitor the status of development in the Arab world. The report has highlighted the need to enhance the Arab world’s knowledge capabilities while urging the countries to initiate more efforts in improving education standards.

Prior to joining the UN in 2000, Dr. Khalaf Hunaidi held a number of senior government posts in her native Jordan, including Minister of Industry and Trade (1993-1995), Minister of Planning (1995-1998), and Deputy Prime Minister (1999-2000). During her tenure as head of Jordan’s ministerial economic team, she was successful in pushing forward the drive for economic reform, while simultaneously spearheading the effort for poverty alleviation and strengthening the social safety net.

Dr. Khalaf Hunaidi started her professional career in 1979 as lecturer, Business School, Department of Economics with the Portland State University in Oregon. In 1988, she was appointed Director of Planning and Research Department, Ministry of Planning in Amman. Between 1990 and 1993, she successively held the posts of Director-General, Jordan Export Development and Commercial Centers Corporation and Director-General for the Investment Promotion Department in Amman.

From November 1997 through September 2000, she served as a Senator in the Upper House of the Jordanian Parliament. Simultaneously, she also served as a member of the Economic Consultative Council, a public-private sector initiative established and directly supervised by His Majesty King Abdullah to promote economic reform and modernization in Jordon.

In September 2000, she was appointed Assistant Secretary-General and Director, Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS), at the UNDP.

Dr. Khalaf Hunaidi has a Bachelor’s degree from the American University of Beirut (Economics), and a Master’s from Portland State University (Economics) as well as a Ph.D. in System Science.
She is a proud recipient of the Grand Codon of the Order of Al-Kawkab Al-Urduni (The Star of Jordan), bestowed upon her in 1995 by late King Hussein of Jordan.