American Univesity of Beirut

Pioneering diplomat and AUB alumna Al Mulla appointed on UN Boards

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Safa Jafari Safa, Office of Communications, communications@aub.edu.lb​​

Ambassador Nabeela Al Mulla (BA '68, MA '72) has been appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as member of the United Nations' Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters (ABDM) and the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). ​

Al Mulla is distinguished lecturer at the American University of Kuwait and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kuwait College of Science and Technology. She made history as the first woman from Kuwait and the Gulf Cooperation Council to serve as ambassador in 1993, trailblazing a rise in number of female diplomats in Kuwait and becoming a role model for women in the region. She repeated the feat again when she became the first woman from the Middle East and Southern Asia (MESA) to serve as chairperson of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 2002-03, and once again when she became the first Arab woman to serve as permanent representative to the United Nations in 2004. ​

Upon receiving her BA in political science from AUB in 1968, Al Mulla joined the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While serving in the International Organizations Department of the Foreign Ministry, she earned a postgraduate degree in international relations from AUB. In 1973, she received her first overseas posting to the UN in New York, and continued to serve her country for two more decades until she was appointed deputy permanent representative to the UN, and in 1993 ambassador.  Between 1994 and 1995, she was ambassador to Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Mauritius and Botswana, with residency in Harare. From 1996 to 1999, she served as ambassador to South Africa, Namibia, Mauritius and Botswana, with residency in South Africa.

Later Al Mulla was ambassador to Austria, and on a non-residency basis to Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia.  She was also her country's resident representative to the United Nations Office at Vienna, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  

Between 2002 and 2003, she was chairperson of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), prior to which (2001-02) she had served as governor on the same board. ​

Ambassador Al Mulla was presented with the Austrian Grand Golden Decoration of Honor for First Class Merit in 2004, the Belgian Grand Cross Decoration in 2013, and the SOS Children's Villages Badge of Honor in Gold in 2014. She was nominated by civil society for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of work within the IAEA during the Korean and Iranian crises. 

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