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Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Scholars Meet US Ambassador to the UAE

March 3, 2009

The 16 students that comprise the inaugural class of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars Program today met with the United States Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Richard Olson, as part of an intensive leadership development course provided under the program.

During their visit to the Embassy, students discussed key aspects of leadership with Ambassador Olson, and shared some of the experiences they have gained as part of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars Program.

Ambassador Olson said, “I’m pleased to participate in this prestigious program. New York University’s presence is a symbol of the UAE’s commitment to academic excellence and intellectual development, and the focus on nurturing national leaders shows an important commitment to the future growth and strength of the UAE.”

Diane Yu, executive director of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars Program, and deputy to the president of NYU, said, “Ambassador Olson’s gracious invitation to meet with our inaugural class of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars is a testament to the high esteem in which these young men and women are held both in the United Arab Emirates and in the United States.”

The Scholars Program — named after His Highness, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces — is a major initiative of the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, which was established in the fall of 2008 to jump-start academic and intellectual activities while the NYU Abu Dhabi campus is being developed. The program recognizes outstanding students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and provides them with special academic and leadership opportunities.

Her Highness Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, co-chair of the Scholars Program Steering Committee said: “The Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars Program continues to provide its students with rare opportunities to learn about leadership in all of its forms, and encourages individuals to become better leaders in their own chosen fields in the future.”

During the year-long program, selected students have participated in the first NYU course to be taught in Abu Dhabi, taught by NYU President John Sexton. In addition, the scholars have been provided with a world-class leadership development course that includes both an introduction to basic leadership theory and concepts, as well as interactive meetings with notable leaders in the U.S. and the UAE. They have also received extensive counseling on graduate and professional education admissions, and will receive full scholarships if they are admitted to any NYU graduate or professional school in the future.

Thus far this academic year, the inaugural class of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars has:

  • Taken a course in fall 2008 taught by NYU President John Sexton on religion and government, the first NYU course to be taught in Abu Dhabi
  • Participated in special English language training and enrichment programs
  • In January, traveled to the U.S and met with current and former justices of the Supreme Court, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Khalid Latef, the Imam at the Islamic Center of New York
  • Visited NYU’s Washington Square campus and met with a number of the University’s core constituencies, including the Student Senators Council and members of the University’s leadership team

About the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars Program
The Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars Program, created in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), draws on outstanding students in their third and fourth years of study in the UAE’s Federal institutions of higher learning - Zayed University (ZU), United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT).

About NYU Abu Dhabi
NYU Abu Dhabi will consist of a highly selective liberal arts college, distinctive graduate programs, and a world center for advanced research and scholarship - all fully integrated with each other and connected to NYU in New York. Together, NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi will form the backbone of a unique Global Network University, with faculty and students from either New York or Abu Dhabi spending “semesters away” at one or more of the numerous study abroad sites NYU maintains on five continents. NYU Abu Dhabi’s first students will arrive in fall 2010.

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Josh Taylor | (212) 998-6838

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars with United States Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Richard Olson, (pictured center)

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars with United States Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Richard Olson, (pictured center)


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