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Spotlight: Shaikh Abdullah Bin Rashid Al Khalifa ’01, MBA ’03
This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
The alumnus was appointed Bahrain’s ambassador to the United States in July 2017. He credits Bentley for teaching him to collaborate with peers and for providing the foundation to work in government and beyond.
Al Khalifa began his career in the Bahraini Royal Court, advancing to lead Educational, Medical and Social Affairs. He went on to work for the General Organization for Youth and Sports, and served on the Bahrain Olympic Committee. In 2016, Al Khalifa was among 76 people honored for significant contributions toward advancing sports in Bahrain.
“Volunteering can change your entire trajectory,” he says. “I started volunteering with sports organizations, and that helped me progress my career.”
One stop along that progression was serving as governor for seven years of the Southern Governorate, an appointment that Al Khalifa describes as “one of the highest honors I received by His Majesty. It gave me an opportunity to put into practice skills that I acquired at Bentley when dealing with community issues.”
Accomplishments during this time as governor include launching a partnership with D.A.R.E. to develop an anti-violence and addiction program for local elementary and secondary schools. This grew into a national program sponsored by the National Anti-Drug Committee, on which Al Khalifa served until stepping into the post of ambassador.
In September 2017, the double Falcon visited the U.S. — and Bentley — for the first time as ambassador. He shared memorable experiences, including how welcomed he felt on campus immediately following what he describes as the heinous 9/11 attacks.
“Bentley was a supportive environment for me as a foreign student during that challenging time, and I decided to remain on campus and live in the dorms with my peers, although it was outside my comfort zone. Working under pressure will no doubt get to you, but don’t let that scare you out of challenging yourself to do more and be better in everything that you do.”
Alison Davis-Blake, the former business school dean at the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota, was inaugurated as the eighth president of Bentley University in a ceremony attended by students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the extended Bentley community.