Her Excellency Najla Faisal Al Awadhi is a former Member of Parliament of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a distinguished media pioneer in the Middle East.
She is one of the first women in the history of the UAE to become an MP and also held the distinction as the youngest parliamentarian in the UAE.
During her four-year parliament term she served on the Education, Youth, Media and Culture Committee; as well as the Parliamentary Steering Committee established to develop a scheme to modernize the Parliament’s practices and overall effectiveness. She also previously served on the Foreign Affairs, Planning, Petroleum, Mineral Wealth, Agriculture and Fishery Committees.
Al Awadhi is also the first Arab woman to hold a chief executive post in a state run media organization. With a particular focus on television, she served as the Chief Executive Officer of Television Channels at Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI). DMI is a Dubai Government media group which comprises a number of print, radio and TV channels including: Dubai TV, Sama Dubai TV, Dubai One TV, Dubai Sports TV, Dubai Racing TV, Noor Dubai TV, Noor Radio, Al Bayan (newspaper), Emarat Al Youm (newspaper), Emirates Business 24|7 (newspaper), and Masaar Printing Press. She also previously served as the General Manger of Dubai One TV.
In 2011 Al Awadhi was selected as one the ‘500 Most Influential Muslims’ by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in Jordan. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and also a Member of the Global Agenda Councils of the World Economic Forum. In addition, Al Awadhi was acting chairperson for the regional board of Young Arab Leaders (YAL). Previously, she was also on the Advisory Board of the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy, and a board member with YAL’s UAE Chapter and headed its Education initiative that sought to provide higher education
As an advocate for the equitable rights of women, in 2010 Al Awadhi started a non-profit initiative (Najla Al Awadhi Consulting) to help contribute to closing the gender gap through capacity building for women in the UAE.
Since 2007 she has been a regular columnist for local newspapers in the UAE. Her articles cover a range of socio-economic topics, including women’s rights, democracy, social justice, cultural perspectives, and education challenges throughout the Middle East.
Al Awadhi holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.