DUBAI, UAE, Sept 28: Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Chairman, Al Habtoor Group received Francis J Ricciardone, the new President of The American University in Cairo (AUC) at his office on Al Wasl Road in Dubai on Tuesday 27 September, 2016. Also present was Dina Abulfotuh, Vice President for Advancement and Communications; Dina el-Gassar, Director of Development, Office of Institutional Advancement; and Raymonda Riad, Executive Director. Ricciardone took the helm of AUC in July 2016 to become the 12th president of the respected university in the Egyptian capital.
Ricciardone is a distinguished career diplomat and former ambassador. He previously served as Vice-President and Director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the US-based Atlantic Council. Prior to that he was US Ambassador to Turkey, Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy US Ambassador to Afghanistan, US Ambassador to Egypt and US Ambassador to the Philippines and Palau. Chairman Al Habtoor first met Ricciardone on a recent visit to Cairo.
The Al Habtoor Group Chairman is one of the biggest supporters of university. In 2010, he donated $5 million to finance the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Football and Track Stadium, an Olympic-standard facility boasting a full-sized football field and a 400 metre, 10 lane track.
In 2015, the Chairman established the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship, giving 10 students from across Egypt the opportunity to study at AUC in perpetuity. Khalaf Al Habtoor said, “I wish Francis J Ricciardone all the best in his new role leading AUC. Education is the base of a good nation. When you invest in education you are investing in the future of the country.”
Al Habtoor has long been an advocate for quality education. In 1975, he founded the Al Ittihad School in Dubai and became its first Chairman of the Board of Trustees. In 1991, he established Emirates International School — Jumeirah, one of the top international schools in Dubai. It was the first school in Dubai to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. In 2005, he opened Emirates International School — Meadows. In the United States Al Habtoor has also established a leadership programme and lecture series at Illinois College to foster young leaders at the university.