President of the Emirates Policy Center, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Dr. Ebtesam Al-Ketbi is the President of the Emirates Policy Center (EPC), which she founded in September 2013, in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The EPC examines and anticipates regional and international geopolitical developments, and their impact on the Arabian Gulf region, taking into account the region’s perspectives, concerns and interests. The EPC is also focused on exploring current and future issues that impact UAE and regional security, in addition to providing strategic analyses and policy papers for the UAE government and Gulf states. The EPC is considered one of the region’s leading think tanks, while Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate, organized annually by the center, has become a globally recognized dialogue platform, discussing regional and international security affairs. In 2020, the EPC ranked first in the Arab world, and second in the Middle East and North Africa region, in the University of Pennsylvania’s global think tank index. Since 2018, the index has also ranked the EPC’s annual conference among the world’s top 10 conferences.
As the director of one of the Arab world’s leading think tanks, Dr. Al-Ketbi has gained broad recognition, and is a renowned political expert in the UAE and Gulf region. In 2015, Dr. Al-Ketbi was appointed a member of the Consultative Commission of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), and in July 2018, was featured in Arabian Business magazine’s list of ‘50 Most Influential Women in the Arab World’ – as the first woman to lead a major think tank in the region. In February 2019, Dr. Al-Ketbi received the ‘Women Super Achiever Award’ at the World Women Leadership Congress in Mumbai, India, and was given the Arab Social Media Influencers Award in the politics category by Dubai Press Club in December 2018. In 2021, she was chosen as an advisor in the Global Commission for Post-Pandemic Policy, in recognition of her valuable contributions to research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East and wider world.
Prior to founding the EPC, Dr. Al-Ketbi was Professor of Political Science at the United Arab Emirates University. Previous positions have also included General Coordinator of the Gulf Development Forum and member of the Executive Committee of the Arab Political Science Network. Dr. Al-Ketbi has also been a member of the board of trustees at the Centre for Arab Unity Studies, the Arab Thought Foundation and the Arab Anti-Corruption Organization. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, serves on the Global Advisory Board of the Observer Research Foundation in India, and the Advisory Board of the Washington-based Middle East Institute.
Dr. Al-Ketbi has published a number of research papers on Gulf security, US-GCC relations and the war on terrorism. Recent publications include The UAE Power-Building Model and Foreign Policy Shifts (EPC, 2021), and Iran and the Biden Administration: A Potential Return to Negotiations (EPC, 2021). She regularly participates in conferences that address regional and global affairs, and frequently appears on Arabic news channels as an expert in Gulf and Iranian affairs. She holds a PhD in political science from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University.