Adel al-Jubeir becomes new foreign minister, succeeding veteran Prince Saud al-Faisal, who served for four decades
RIYADH (Saudi Arabia) – Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, replaced veteran Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. Adel al-Jubeir, as part of a dramatic reshuffling of his top officials.
The changes were announced in a statement from the royal court carried by the state-controlled Saudi Press Agency. Prince Saud, who became foreign minister in 1975, will continue to supervise foreign affairs as a state minister, the royal court said.
Profile of new Saudi Foreign Minister Adel A. Al-Jubeir
Newly appointed Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Adel A. Al-Jubeir is a high-flier personality and a career diplomat who had been serving in the United States as Kingdom’s Ambassador for more than seven years.
Eight year ago Adel A. Al-Jubeir was appointed by the then Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz as Ambassador to the United States on January 29, 2007.
When Adel A. Al-Jubeir was named for such a sensitive position in Washington he was 44 years old (his predecessor was 61) and but within a short span of time he became popular in Diplomatic Circle of Washington D.C.
During his assignment in the U.S. he was known as “very hardworking” diplomat who remained engaged for at least more than 14-hour a day, huddling with aides and was remained in touch with top Saudi leadership.
It is said that the Saudi King preferred face-to-face meetings with Ambassador Jubeir and he had to fly Saudi Arabia some time twice a week.
As an Ambassador he becomes popular as an astute political strategist in the U.S. and earned gratefulness for his command over English language.
As a graduate of Georgetown University, Adel A. Al-Jubeir initially worked as the Saudi Arabia’s Embassy’s Congressional and media liaison person and appeared regularly on the Sunday talk shows.
According to former Jordanian Ambassador to the United States, Marwan al-Muasher “On Capitol Hill, Adel was the Saudi liberal face to the Western world, and he was very effective with it.”
Al-Jubeir was born February 1, 1962 in Majma’ah (Riyadh Province), Saudi Arabia, and attended schools in the Kingdom, Germany, Yemen, Lebanon, and the U.S. He obtained a B.A. summa cum laude in political science and economics from the University of North Texas in 1982, and an M.A. in international relations from Georgetown University in 1984.
In 1987 Mr. Al-Jubeir was appointed into the Saudi Diplomatic Service and posted to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC, where he served as Special Assistant to the Ambassador. In 1990-91, he was part of the Saudi team that established the Joint Information Bureau at Dhahran during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He was a member of the GCC delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference in October 1991, and a member of the Saudi delegation to the Multilateral Arms Control Talks in Washington, DC in 1992. In December 1992 he was dispatched with the Saudi Armed Forces to Somalia as part of Operation Restore Hope.
Mr. Al-Jubeir was appointed Director of the Saudi Information and Congressional Affairs Office in Washington in 2000, and was named Foreign Affairs Advisor in the Crown Prince’s Court in the fall of 2000. In August 2005, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz appointed Mr. Al-Jubeir to the position of Advisor at the Royal Court.
Mr. Al-Jubeir has lectured at universities and academic institutions in the U.S. and appeared frequently in the media. In 2006, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the University of North Texas.
Al-Jubeir is also fluent in English, and German apart from Arabic which is his mother tongue.
As long as he served as the Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Jubeir remained a trusted adviser of late King Abdullah and later King Salman bin Abdulaziz and was perceived as a future leader of the Kingdom’s foreign policy. Finally on April 28, 2015 King Salman appointed him as the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia.