Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa of Bahrain
Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa is a lawyer and diplomat from Bahrain who was the President of the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly. She was the first Muslim woman to hold the position and also the first woman in Bahrain to be appointed ambassador when she was sent to France to represent her country from 1999 to 2004.
Sheikha Haya is a member of the ruling Al Khalifa family of Bahrain and a cousin of King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa. She obtained a law degree from the University of Kuwait in 1974 and pursued her studies at the University of Alexandria and the University of Ain Shams in Cairo. She was one of the first two women in Bahrain to practice law when she was admitted as a lawyer in 1979. A champion of women’s rights in Islamic courts, Princess Haya later set up her own practice, the Haya Rashed Al Khalifa Law Firm. From 1997 to 1999, she was the vice chairwoman of the International Bar Association. She is also the legal advisor to Bahrain's royal court.
Sheikha Haya is currently a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration Committee and a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration. She is also a member of the Bahrain Supreme Council for Culture, Arts and Literature.
Sheikha Haya is fluent in Arabic, French and English.
Read Princess Haya’s speech at the Aladdin Project’s launch conference