Posted by Arab American Institute on April 09, 2018 in Blog
Thursday, April 26, 2018
1331 Pennsylvania Ave, NW | Washington, D.C.
5:30 Reception | 6:30 Gala
Ambassador Marcelle M. WahbaNajeeb Halaby Award for Public Service
Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba’s 22-year tenure at the Department of State epitomizes the deep dedication public servants demonstrate to citizens and country. As we gear up to celebrate our 20th anniversary of the Gibran Gala, the Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF) continues to identify and recognize individuals and organizations who embody Kahlil Gibran’s belief that we must serve others to serve ourselves. For her commitment to service and international cooperation, AAIF is proud to honor Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba with the Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service at the 2018 Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala.
Ambassador Wahba’s extensive career at State led her to take on a variety of roles, displaying excellence in all of them. After completing an undergraduate degree at Western College for Women, she entered the Foreign Service as a deputy policy officer in the Near East Office of the United States Information Agency in 1987. Through her hard work and dedication, she was quickly promoted and reassigned to minister counselor in Cairo. Over the next 13 years, she rapidly rose in rank, eventually serving as U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. Her work and dedication to diplomacy in this role led her to be honored with both the White House Presidential Meritorious Service Award, which recognizes individuals for sustained accomplishment, and the UAE’s Order of Independence (First Class). After several years in the Service as a foreign affairs advisor to the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, and as a deputy at the National War College of the National Defense University at Fort McNair, Ambassador Wahba retired in 2008.
After her retirement from the foreign service, she went to work to build economic bridges between the U.S. and the Arab world. Ambassador Wahba was appointed as the first president of the Washington-based Arab Gulf States Institute in 2014, where she continues to serve. Dedicated to fostering intercultural understanding, she maintains a position on the Board of Directors with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) to facilitate study abroad and student exchange programs. Ambassador Wahba also serves as a distinguished member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as holding a board position with the Bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce.
Ambassador Wahba embodies Gibran’s belief of serving community and maintaining a commitment to creating connections between nations and people. Her years in the Foreign Service and in the Middle East remind us that we can all help unite our communities through cultural cooperation and understanding. In receiving the Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service, Ambassador Wahba joins a distinguished group of honorees, including Governor Mitch Daniels, Judge Rosemary Barkett, Senator George J. Mitchell, and Secretary Ray LaHood.
Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba will accept her award alongside fellow awardees Irish Senator Frances Black, José Andrés and World Central Kitchen, and the American Civil Liberties Union at AAIF’s 20th annual Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala. Get your ticket today!