New US envoy to UAE meets White House security officials

Ambassador John Rakolta met Robert O’Brien and Victoria Coates

The incoming US Ambassador to the UAE, John Rakolta (L), poses with Victoria Coates, Senior Director for the Middle East at National Security Council, and the US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien
The incoming US Ambassador to the UAE, John Rakolta (L), poses with Victoria Coates, Senior Director for the Middle East at National Security Council, and the US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien

The new United States ambassador to the UAE met White House security officials on Friday.

Shortly after he was sworn in at the State Department, John Rakolta conferred with Robert O’Brien, the national security adviser, and Victoria Coates, senior director for the Middle East at the National Security Council.

He is expected to start the role in Abu Dhabi soon, taking over the post from Barbara Leaf.

Mr Rakolta was confirmed when 63 senators supported his nomination, with 30 opposing it.

He was nominated for the position in March last year but the process was stalled because of disagreements between the Trump administration and the Democrats in Congress.

Mr Rakolta, from Michigan, is a business executive and civic leader who has been the chairman and chief executive of Detroit construction company Walbridge since 1993.

The 102-year-old consultancy builds factories, hospitals and government offices.

Mr Rakolta is also a strong advocate for Detroit schoolchildren.

Updated: September 29, 2019 11:27 AM

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