Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah
Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah is the Founder and Chairman of the Kuwait America Foundation’s Annual Gala Dinners (2005-Present), and a National Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency (January 2015-Present).
Over the last 12 years, her gala dinners have raised over $18 million to support the education of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan (in 2017 and in 2015 for UNHCR); to support injured American service members, veterans, and their families (in 2014 for The Bob Woodruff Foundation); to provide graduate studies scholarships for Arab women (in 2013 for Georgetown University); to establish endowment funds in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia that provide micro-credit loans for women (in 2012 for Women’s World Banking); for the care of America’s wounded warriors (in 2011 for USO); to provide education for girls in underserved regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan (in 2010 for Central Asia Institute); to benefit the fight against climate change (in 2009 for Conservation International); to support the fight against Malaria in Africa (in 2008 for Malaria No More); to fund the Basra Children’s Hospital in Iraq (in 2007 for Project Hope); to build schools for girls in Afghanistan (in 2006 for UNICEF); and to assist Iraqi women and children refugees (in 2005 for USA for UNHCR).
Award Recipients and/or Keynote Speakers at her galas have included First Lady Melania Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (in 2017); Secretary of State John Kerry (in 2015); President Barak Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (in 2014); Secretary of State John Kerry and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (in 2013); CIA Director David H. Petreaus and U.N. Woman Goodwill Ambassador actress Nicole Kidman (in 2012); former President Bill Clinton and actor Ben Affleck (in 2011); Senator John Kerry and U.N. Messenger of Peace actor Michael Douglas (in 2010); Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio (in 2009); US President George W. Bush (in 2008); First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (in 2006, 2007 and 2008); Secretary of State Colin Powell and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador actress Angelina Jolie (in 2005).
Besides her work with the Kuwait America Foundation, Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah has also organized and chaired fundraising dinners at her residence for Cure Epilepsy (November 2013), The See Forever Foundation (October 2012), Susan G. Komen Foundation (October 2012 and October 2010), The Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School (October 2008), Vital Voices (January 2007), and Save the Children (November 2005).
Washingtonian magazine (November 2015, November 2013, October 2011 and October 2009) named her one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, DC for her work in Advocacy and Nonprofit; The Salonniere 100 (October 2015) named her one of the 100 best party hosts in the United States, The New Republic (July 2011) noted that “Al-Sabah skillfully brings together heavy weights from all arenas – including A-List actors, corporate tycoons, and people from the non-profit world;” Politico (September 2009) called her the leading diplomatic and most popular hostess in Washington, DC; and in an article titled “The Most Powerful People You’ve Never Heard Of” Marie Claire (April 2007) gave her credit for having “single-handedly strengthened ties between the U.S. and Kuwait and changed our view of Arab women.”
Sheikha Rima was born in Beirut, Lebanon and has a B.A. in Political Science from the American University of Beirut. She has worked as a political editor for the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut, Lebanon (1984-1985) and as a political reporter for United Press International covering the Lebanese civil war (1986-1987).
She is married to the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the United States (2001 – Present) and resides in Washington, DC with her husband and four sons.