Designation: Minister International Cooperation and Development
Country: UAE (UAE)
There won’t be many people who are surprised to see Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi retain top spot in this power list, such is her influence not only throughout the region, but across the world.
Number one for the fifth year in a row, Sheikha Lubna has continued to boost the UAE’s role as a major donor and key player in global human development through her role as the Federal Government’s Minister of International Cooperation and Development.
Carrying out her responsibilities with her trademark energy and enthusiasm, Sheikha Lubna has ensured the UAE’s overseas aid donations have continued to increase. A recent report shows that aid of this type more than tripled to nearly $6 billion in 2013 - the year she took up her role, after a lengthy spell as Minister of Foreign Trade.
During her time as Minister of Foreign Trade, and before that as Minister of Economy, from 2004-2008, the UAE enjoyed its most prosperous period and highest volumes of foreign trade.
As well as her numerous ministerial responsibilities, Sheikha Lubna is also a board director at the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, a member of the governing board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy - National University of Singapore, a board director at the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, a member of the board of trustees of the Dubai School of Government, and co-founder and board member of the Friends of Cancer Patients.
Also a great champion for women in business, Sheikha Lubna is a regular advocate for womens rights, education, and empowerment.
Earlier this year, in her role as president of Zayed University, she helped forge ties between the university and Dubai Women Establishment, in a bid to unite their efforts in boost the participation of UAE women, and to help them reach their personal and professional goals.
Last month, she also spoke at the Government Summit, calling for improvements for women, and highlighting UAE grants to educate girls in other countries such as Pakistan and Yemen.
She said: “When a society doesn’t focus on female education, you see after a while that it does not provide women with enough opportunities. In the UAE today, we’ve seen that education for women has been a priority since the inception of the state and women were able to access many sectors because of education.”