Biographies

Dr. Abdulla Alraisi earned his PhD in English Language and Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin in the US in 1997 and a Master’s degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the UAE Higher Colleges of Technology in collaboration with Harvard, MIT and Stanford in 2007.

He served  at the Ministry of Education as a school teacher and principal from 1978-1990. In 1990 he joined UAE University as a Teaching Assistant and later was appointed as Professor of Applied Linguistics. During his tenure at UAE University, Dr. El Reyes published numerous research papers in the field of linguistics in international scientific journals. He is a founding member of Zayed University, where he was Director of Community Relations and Cultural Affairs from 1998-2000. In March 2000, he was seconded from UAE University to work as Director General of the National Archives (then known as the Center for Documentation and Research), a division of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.

Dr. Alraisi was appointed the President of the Arab Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives from 2002 to 2006. During this period, he also served as Deputy Head of the Arab Club for Information, Head of the Reconstruction Committee for the Archives of Iraq before being elected as Vice President of the International Council on Archives in 2005.  Dr. Alraisi now also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum’s 1971 Initiative, Member of the Board of Directors of HH The UAE President’s Scholarship Program, Chairman of the Consultative Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences at Abu Dhabi University, Member of the Institutional Review Board at New York University Abu Dhabi, Member of the Committee for the Geographical Names of Abu Dhabi, Chairman of the UNESCO International Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World Program, Member of  the Executive Board of Sheikh Zayed National Museum and Qasr Al Hosn Festival.
A former international athlete, Dr. Alraisi represented the UAE National Team in track and field competition during the Pan Arab Games in Syria in 1976. He played handball for Al Ahli Club and represented the UAE University team in 1977. Dr Alraisi was the chief developer of the sport of bowling in the UAE, representing it as both player and administrator from 1978-2002. He held the posts of Chairman and Secretary General of the International Bowling Federation as well as Assistant Secretary General of the UAE National Olympic Committee, Vice President of the International Committee of Youth Games, and Deputy President of the School Sports Federation. He also served as a member of the Sports Committee of the Olympic Council of Asia, Member of the Sports Medicine Committee and Member of Planning and Follow-up at the UAE National Olympic Committee. In 2004, He led the UAE delegation to the Olympic Games in Athens as Chef de Mission, when the first ever UAE Olympic Gold Medal in the Shooting competition was won by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hasher Al Maktoum.
Dr. Alraisi was honored by the government of France in being named Officier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, in addition to being given the Order of Merit by the French Parliament, for his contributions in fostering the cultural relationship between the UAE and France. He was designated Graduate of the Last Decade by the University of Wisconsin in 2005, and three times was awarded the Order of Merit by the UAE Olympic Committee for his contributions to the development of Sport in UAE. 

Since 2014, Dr. Alraisi has continued to show distinguished leadership in the fields of archival science, scholarship, and international engagement. His work has resulted in elevation of the National Center for Documentation and Research to the National Archives of the UAE, responsible for maintaining and promoting the memory of the nation through authentic evidence of administrative, cultural and intellectual activities. Reflections of the evolution of Emirati society are showcased prominently in National Archives displays at the Qasr Al Hosn Festival and the Zayed Heritage Festival.
Dr. Alraisi has initiated the construction of a major new facility for records storage, preservation, and conservation while working with leading specialists internationally to advance the quality and accessibility of archival resources: with the University of British Columbia in Canada to implement Arabic language capability in the Multilingual Archive Terminology database maintained by the International Council on Archives; with the Issa Cultural Center in Bahrain to optimize accessibility to historical records throughout the Gulf region; with the Google Cultural Institute and the National Archives of the UK to make available world-wide electronic access to the photographic and documentary heritage of the UAE; and, through the innovative Watheq initiative, to facilitate retention and preservation of the rich documentation of UAE family histories.
Dr. Alraisi organized major international symposia in Abu Dhabi in September 2014 and January 2015, bringing to the National Archives prominent leaders from archival institutions throughout the world for discussion and evaluation of techniques in electronic archiving and records preservation as the UAE moves ever closer to the full realization of M-Government. In October 2015, he hosted the 12th meeting of the International Advisory Committee of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program, a distinguished committee of which he was unanimously elected Chairman. His exemplary leadership of the UAE National Archives along with the prominent roles he plays in support of other key organizations in the world are marked by persistent innovation in a framework of managerial excellence.