Posted by on April 05, 2012 in Blog

This year, the Arab American Institute Foundation’s (AAIF) Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala features a number of exceptional awardees. Receiving the Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service is Ambassador Theodore H. Kattouf, president and CEO of AMIDEAST. Since 1972 Ambassador Kattouf, a former U.S. Ambassador to the UAE and Syria, has led a distinguished Foreign Service career, serving throughout the Middle East, including posts in Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Today his commitment to fostering cross-cultural understanding and international cooperation is embodied in his work as president and CEO of AMIDEAST, a non-profit organization engaged in international education, training, and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. Since joining AMIDEAST in 2003, Ambassador Kattouf has overseen a tripling of the organization’s size, and its endowment has quadrupled.

“I am both humbled and honored to receive AAI's award for public service, named for Najeeb Halaby--patriot, New Frontiersman, and corporate leader,” Ambassador Kattouf said. “He was an Arab-American success story that inspired many of my generation to reach high.” Ambassador Kattouf joins a long line of extremely accomplished and well-known past recipients including the Hon. Spencer Abraham, Hon. Judge Rosemary Barkett, Gov. Mitch Daniels, Hon. Teresa Isaac, Hon. Ray LaHood, Hon. Nick Rahall and Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni.

Jim Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute, lauded the decision by AAIF to award Ambassador Katouff with the honor:

Ted’s commitment goes so far beyond the standard definition of “public service.” He served in the military, in the Foreign Service, he represented the United States in embassies around the Middle East, serving as Ambassador to the UAE and Syria. And when he left the State Department, he turned right around and went back into serving the public through his work at AMIDEAST.

Ted has created a legacy of promoting cooperation between the U.S. and the Middle East and Maghreb regions. His contributions to America’s image abroad have been invaluable. He is truly a role model not just for Arab Americans, but for all Americans in public service.

The AAI Foundation is proud to call Ted not just an honoree, but a longtime friend and partner.

Join us Wednesday, April 18 at this year’s Gibran gala at the DC Renaissance Hotel.

Launched in 1999 by the Arab American Institute Foundation, the awards focus attention on acts of leadership and dedication that promote the common good. Named for the renowned Arab American poet and author of The Prophet, the Kahlil Gibran Awards recognize individuals, corporations, organizations and communities whose work, commitment and support make a difference in promoting co-existence and inclusion in all walks of life


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