Cablegate: Bio for Newly Appointed Jordanian Ambassador To
UNCLAS AMMAN 010034
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL EG JO
SUBJECT: BIO FOR NEWLY APPOINTED JORDANIAN AMBASSADOR TO
1. Omar Abdul-Monem Rifai has been appointed as the new
Jordanian Ambassador to Egypt. Biographical information on
BIOGRAPHY: RIFAI, OMAR
2. Omar Rifai is a Muslim East-banker and the son of late
Prime Minister Abdul Mun'em Rifai and Nahla Qudsi. The Rifai
family has ancestral ties to Safad in the West Bank, but the
family moved to Jordan in the 1830s and is now considered
staunchly East-bank Jordanian. Omar Rifai is the cousin of
the current President of the Senate, Zaid Rifai, and Zaid's
son, Royal Court Minister Samir Rifai. Nahla Qudsi married
the well-known Egyptian singer, Abdul Wahhab, after divorcing
Omar Rifai's father.
3. Omar Rifai is a career diplomat and served as the
Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from
2003 until his recent appointment as the Jordanian Chief of
Mission in Cairo. He served as Ambassador to Italy and
Permanent Representative of Jordan to the U.N. Agencies in
Rome from 2000 to 2003. He concurrently served as the
non-resident Ambassador to Bosnia-Hezegovina (2001-2003), San
Marino (2002-2003), and Croatia (2003). From 1996 to 2000
Rifai served as Jordan's Ambassador to Israel. Prior to his
posting in Israel, he held the position of Coordinator for
the Middle East Peace Process at the MFA and participated in
the 1994 Jordan-Israel Peace Talks. Rifai served in Jordan's
missions in Cairo, Bern, New York, London and Washington
between 1976-1994. He originally joined the Jordanian Foreign
Service in 1975.
4. Rifai lectured in political science part-time at the
University of Jordan in 2004. He has a Ph.D. in International
Relations from the American University in London. He took
postgraduate courses in oriental studies at Oxford and has a
masters degree in history from Georgetown University. Rifai
received a bachelor's degree in government from Harvard
University. He has attended Arab Summit Conferences, U.N.
General Assembly sessions, Arab League Foreign Ministers'
meetings and other regional and international conferences.
5. Rifai was born on October 5, 1952. He is married and has
five children. He speaks Arabic, English, and French.
Visit Embassy Amman's classified web site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/amman or access the site
through the State Department's SIPRNET home page.