Ms. Elawad is currently the Director of Congressional and Political Military Affairs at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Washington, DC. In this role, she focuses on further bolstering the US-UAE bilateral partnership, and building and strengthening relationships with the appropriate entities and personnel at the US Congress, US Department of Defense, and the US Department of State. Her work also entails monitoring regional issues of concern and advising H.E. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba on policy-related matters.
Ms. Elawad began her work at the Embassy of the UAE in 2008 as the Director of Congressional Affairs. In this role, she established the Congressional Affairs Department and continues to serve as the lead congressional liaison handling a portfolio that includes regional developments, defense and arms procurements, export controls, energy, labor, human rights and trafficking, women empowerment, and more recently space and satellite technology, and aerospace.
In early 2016, Ms. Elawad established and is leading the Political-Military office where she tracks US foreign military sales to the UAE.
During her tenure at the Embassy, Ms. Elawad was instrumental in ensuring the passage of unprecedented partnerships and transactions. Some of these high-value transactions included the US-UAE Nuclear Agreement known as the “123 Agreement” (2009); the first overseas sale of the multibillion-dollar Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, also known as THAAD (2013); and, the US preclearance facility that opened in Abu Dhabi (2014), the first of its kind in the Middle East, which allows for enhanced and more efficient checking of airline passengers flying to the US.
Prior to joining the Embassy, Ms. Elawad worked for Chemonics International where she managed the implementation of projects concerning gender, crisis prevention and recovery, and democracy and governance primarily for the Middle East and North Africa region.
Ms. Elawad received her BA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and her master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC.