Omar Rifai, Affiliated Faculty

Omar Rifai, Affiliated Faculty

Omar Rifai is the director-general of the West Asia North Africa (WANA) Institute in Amman and a senior advisor to His Royal Highness Prince Al Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan at the Royal Hashemite Court. Dr. Rifai was the representative of the commissioner-general and director of Arab Affairs at the UNRWA headquarters in Amman. He is a former president of the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy, former executive director of the WANA Forum, and former secretary-general of the Jordanian Foreign Ministry. The career diplomat is a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University. 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 position 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, Dr. Rifai was sworn in as an ambassador, and from 1996 to 2008 he headed Jordan’s diplomatic missions as ambassador to Israel, Italy, and Egypt, where he was also Jordan’s permanent representative to the Arab League in Cairo. During the periods of 2004 to 2005 and 2009 to 2014, he was a part-time lecturer in political science and international relations at the University of Jordan. Dr. Rifai holds a number of Jordanian and foreign decorations.