SEOUL, South Korea — The United Arab Emirates has appointed Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi as the new director-general of its national space agency, in a reshuffle executed by a federal decree issued Oct. 11 by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Al Qubaisi replaces Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, who has served as director-general of the UAE Space Agency since its formation in 2014. The agency is the federal entity that oversees UAE’s space sector, including its development and regulation. Sarah Al Amiri, minister of state for advanced technology, is the chairwoman of the agency.
The decision to appoint Al Qubaisi was “in line with the goals the UAE government has set for the country’s 50-year plan, which include improving the performance of the public sector and updating its strategies,” according to Emirate News Agency.
Al Qubaisi, who previously worked for the UAE Armed Forces, will “lead the agency’s efforts to develop space sciences and advanced technologies, set up related regulations and policies, establish bilateral and multilateral international partnerships, and promote national capabilities,” according to The National, a UAE-based English newspaper.
Al Qubaisi holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering from California State University Sacramento, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, according to Khaleej Times, a Dubai-based English daily.