QATAR - Diplomacy
Acting Deputy Chief Mission, American Embassy in Qatar
Michael J. Schreuder has been serving as the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassy Doha since 2020. He graduated from Western Michigan University and began serving as a foreign service officer soon after graduation. He foreign service career has spanned across the Middle East and Latin America, having served as a consular officer in Bogotá, economic reporting officer in Mexico City, a student of the Arabic language in Tunis, a reporting officer on the Palestinian economy and Gaza humanitarian issues in the US Consulate General in Jerusalem, a counter-narcotics program officer in Bogotá, political and economic section chief in the US Consulate in Jeddah, and deputy political and economic section chief in Montevideo. In Washington, D.C., Schreuder served as the Oman and Qatar desk officer and the Arabian Peninsula Affairs’ Senior Advisor on the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA).
In 2022, Qatar and the US celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ties. How would you define this anniversary?
The US Embassy in Qatar is proud to celebrate 50 years of the US-Qatar relationship, which has broadened and deepened in recent years on a variety of fronts, including trade, education, humanitarian assistance, and defense and security cooperation. In January, the Amir visited the US and met with President Biden, who recognized our partnership with the designation of Qatar as a Major Non-NATO ally. In further recognition of the importance of this relationship, President Biden nominated Timmy Davis, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and the former Consul General in Basra, to be the next US Ambassador to Qatar.
An estimated USD110 million will be invested in the local economy and approximately 1,200 third-country nationals will be employed during construction of the new US Embassy. How will this represent a new resilient platform for diplomacy in Qatar?
During our 20 years in the current US Embassy compound in Al Luqta, the US’ relationship with Qatar has strengthened. The new diplomatic compound will reflect that growth, giving us more space to best accommodate the staffing resources to advance our common interests in investment, trade, education, humanitarian assistance, security, and defense. In line with US sustainability goals as well as Qatar’s National Vision 2030, the new US Embassy compound will be an eco-friendly facility. The project is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification by the US Green Business Council. It will meet rigorous energy-saving and sustainability standards and take advantage of the local climate to reduce energy usage. This careful design will reduce the compound’s environmental impact and enhance the surrounding space.
What have been the major strategies to enhance investments in the education sector and translate them into a mutually beneficial human capital development?
We are pleased that despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, educational cooperation continues to grow through professional exchanges like the Fulbright program. In 2021, Qatar Foundation’s Education City institutions received US Fulbright Scholars for the first time, and the program expanded in 2022, with Qatar University also hosting a Scholar. We hope to facilitate an additional three US Fulbright Scholar exchanges to Qatar within the next year. Separately, Fulbright Specialists have recently been placed at Qatar National Library and Qatar University’s Center for Law and Development. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education will host a Fulbright Specialist later this summer, as well. In tandem with our strong partnership with Education City, we seek to increase enrollment by Qatari students in universities across the US. We value our partnership and university engagement via support and collaboration on programs like EducationUSA and through US university engagement in events like University Expo Qatar, which will take place on September 19-20 in Doha. These educational exchanges broaden our people-to-people ties and contribute to the strengthening of our bilateral cooperation in areas such as health, law, environmental sustainability, infrastructure, education policy, and library science.
What are your expectations for the development of partnerships between US and Qatar for the upcoming years?
The US Embassy facilitates trade and investment ties that go both ways. We stand ready to grow US jobs by supporting US manufacturers and service companies in growing their business via exports. For Qatari companies, we also welcome the opportunity to work with Qatari businesses to facilitate and develop commercial partnerships and joint ventures with US companies, as well as to promote Qatari investments into the US. US companies are already providing technical expertise, project management, equipment, and construction services to Qatar’s multitude of ambitious projects, such as the North Field LNG expansion and the FIFA Men’s World Cup build out. In the future, we aim to foster even more US participation in such projects as Qatar moves forward in fulfilling its 2030 National Vision.
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