Washington, DC, April 18, 2012 ― AMIDEAST President and CEO Theodore Kattouf was honored by the Arab American Institute today for his long and distinguished public service career in government and as the head of AMIDEAST. The AAI awarded him its Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service in recognition of his 30-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, which included service as U.S. ambassador to the UAE (1998-2001) and Syria (2001-03), as well as the nearly nine years since he joined AMIDEAST.
“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,” noted AAI ahead of the Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala, held this evening in Washington.
In accepting the award, Amb. Kattouf said “it recognizes the six decades of good works done by AMIDEAST across the entire arc of the Middle East and North Africa.” He also noted the many ways that AMIDEAST is working to of expand educational and training opportunities, particularly during this historic time, when two of the most pressing needs throughout the region are preparing young people for new employment opportunities and improving the quality of education they receive prior to entering the workforce.
Amb. Kattouf joins a long line of extremely accomplished and well-known Arab Americans who have received the award, 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. “I am both humbled and honored to receive this award, named for Najeeb Halaby, an Arab American success story that inspired many of my generation to reach high,” he said.