UAE’s cabinet reshuffle and the rise of women in power

Three more women have been named as state ministers in the United Arab Emirates, bringing the total number of women in the cabinet to nine.

Three more women have been named as state ministers, bringing the total number of women in the UAE cabinet to nine.

During a cabinet reshuffle last week, Sara Al Amiri was named Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, Maryam Al Mehairi as Minister of State for Food Security, Hessa Eisa Bu Humaid as Minister of Community Development, and existing cabinet member, Noura Al Kaabi was appointed Minister of Culture and Development.

Announcing the reshuffle via Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed stressed that the new government seeks to “develop knowledge, support science and research, and involve youth in the leadership of the nation” as the UAE prepares to roll out its 2071 strategy.

Here’s what we know about these three new female role models.

Sara Al Amiri

Al Amiri holds a master’s degree in computer engineering, has served as chairperson for the UAE Council of Scientists and is associated with the Mohammad bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), where she has championed the inclusion of women in STEM. She is also the UAE Mars Mission Deputy Project Manager – Science Team Leader at MBRSC. Prior to this, Al Amiri was the director of the Department of Research and Development, MBRSC’s earlier form, the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology.

Maryam Al Mehairi

Al Mehairi is the new Minister of State for Food Security. She has served as the assistant undersecretary for Water Resources and Nature Conservation Affairs at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. In this role, Al Mehairi has been pivotal to finding solutions to the issue of groundwater depletion in the UAE.
She began her career soon after graduating from one of Europe’s leading engineering universities, with specialization in Development and Design Engineering. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Rheinish-Westphalian Technical University (RWTH) in Aachen, Germany.

Hessa Eisa Bu Humaid

Bu Humaid, appointed Minister of Community Development, is a graduate of the Programme for Leadership Development and served as the executive director of the Government Services Sector at the Prime Minister’s Office. In that role, she was at the helm of developing government services in the UAE through the Emirates Government Service Excellence Programme. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Science and Focus Marketing from Zayed University and Master’s in Business Administration from the American University of Sharjah, an Executive Diploma in Public Administration and Policies from Lee Kuan Yew School, Singapore.


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