Graphic by Mariko Kuroda/The Gazelle

BREAKING: US and UAE Foreign Ministers to Speak at NYUAD Commencement

John Kerry announced as 2018 Commencement speaker. H.E. Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs also speaking.

Apr 30, 2018

John Kerry and His Excellency Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, will both speak at NYU Abu Dhabi's fifth commencement ceremony.
John Kerry, who most recently served as the 68th United States Secretary of State, will be the 2018 NYU Abu Dhabi commencement speaker. Kerry served as Secretary of State during the second term of President Barack Obama from 2013 until 2017, preceded by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and succeeded by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. As Secretary of State, Kerry worked extensively with Middle East policies, reportedly a strong advocate within the Obama administration for more active intervention in Syria, as well as closer relationships with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Kerry was the Democratic nominee in the 2004 election when he was narrowly defeated by incumbent President George W. Bush. Kerry was an outspoken critic of Bush’s policies in the Middle East, notably the Iraq war. Before being nominated as Secretary of State, Kerry served as a Senator from Massachusetts, a position he held continuously from 1985 until his nomination to Secretary of State in 2013.
Kerry attended Yale University and Boston College Law School. Kerry was a decorated member of the United States Navy, but an outspoken critic of American policies in Vietnam.
After his term of Secretary of State expired, Kerry has largely withdrawn from public political life. A memoir from Kerry is reportedly scheduled to be published in September, while Kerry has also been delivering lectures on college campuses in the United States.
“A decorated veteran, a highly respected US Senator, and a historic chief diplomat for over four decades, Secretary Kerry has been distinguished by extraordinary courage, commitment to building bridges of understanding, and singular focus on fostering enduring peace. Recognized for his qualities of leadership from the Vietnam era to the Obama White House, his presence is certain to inspire the Class of 2018 as they seek to build a more just and cooperative world,” commented NYUAD Vice Chancellor Al Bloom on the announcement in a press release.
Kerry joins President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba as high-profile political figures to deliver commencement speeches at NYUAD.
Kerry will also be joined by His Excellency Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Dr. Gargash graduated from George Washington University and holds a PhD from Cambridge University. Currently a member of the UAE Federal Cabinet, Gargash has served in his current position of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs since 2008.
“For the last 10 years as Minister, he [Gargash] has played a central role advancing the UAE’s profile on the international stage, building a model looked to across the region, and around the globe, as a source of enlightened leadership and optimism. His presence offers a powerful example to the Class of 2018 of the UAE’s foresighted international outlook, made all the more meaningful as we mark the Year of Zayed,” said Bloom.
NYUAD students Abda Kazemi and Maitha Salem Al Memari, both Class of 2018, will also speak at the ceremony.
The 2018 commencement ceremony will be held on May 20 on NYUAD’s Saadiyat Island campus.
Herbert Crowther is News Editor. Email him at
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