Dr. Al Kuwaiti was appointed by the Cabinet as the Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government since 2020. As the Head of Cyber Security, his mandate includes responsibilities as the Chairman of the UAE Cyber Security Council as well as Managing Director of the National Data Centre under the Supreme Council for National Security. As the Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government by investiture, Dr. Al Kuwaiti has legal authority over all aspects pertaining to securing the cyberspace for the entire Nation.
In his current role, Dr. Al Kuwaiti is tasked with the responsibility of charting the cyber security strategy for the Nation that not only equips the UAE to enter the digital era with capabilities to deal with the new threat landscape exacerbated by the pandemic, but also ensures UAE’s leadership in cyber security globally; towards establishing the UAE as the world’s leading trusted digital hub and supporting the Nation’s digital transformation agenda and the digital future of all residents who made UAE their home. Towards that end, he leads the Council to outline an implementation plan to protect the UAE cyberspace through emerging technologies such as Cloud, Big Data and AI in a whole-of-government approach coordinating and orchestrating efforts between Emirates and government entities via a unified platform built and managed by the Council.
Under Dr. Al Kuwaiti’s leadership, the UAE has advanced 42 positions in the ITU Global Cybersecurity Index, rising to the 5th place globally from 47th in the previous assessment. Dr. Al Kuwaiti has also led UAE to many firsts, including Guinness World Records for having the most users in a cyber capture the flag (CTF) competition, the largest bug bounty competition and the largest cyber drill; all initiatives that aim at capacity building in cyber security and improving the technical competencies of cyber security professionals and enthusiasts. More importantly, he has been instrumental in advocating for realizing the value of cyber security by demonstrating cyber security as a critical business enabler. Since 2021, Dr. Al Kuwaiti plays the role of an ambassador for collaboration between the government and cyber agencies, helping to bridge the discussion between the two major stakeholders in the digital economy.
Under his chaperone, key public-private partnerships were established between the UAE Cyber Security Council and leading local and international cyber security organizations with the goal of making a positive contribution to the UAE cyber agenda and be a major force that will benefit the global cyber security industry. Additionally, bilateral agreements established with countries both within the region and across the world contributed towards mutual information sharing, capacity development and legal assistance aid treaties, all key outcomes as a result of the National Cyber Security Strategy that he has put in place to realize the vision of the UAE for the next 50 years.
Underscoring the UAE’s leadership in cyber security on a global stage under Dr. Kuwaiti’s tutelage, UAE plays a pivotal role in the Arab Regional Cybersecurity Centre with UAE being elected as the Vice Chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Computer Emergency Response Team to respond to cyber emergencies during the 10th Regional Cybersecurity Week for Arab Countries and OIC Member States in 2022. UAE also co-chairs the Information Sharing Committee in the White House Counter Ransomware Initiative, a coalition of 37 international partners. His contributions to accelerate the cyber security maturity of the Nation and fostering a vibrant cyber security ecosystem in the UAE have been recognized in multiple forums, including the (ISC)² Government Professional Award for EMEA. Dr. Al Kuwaiti also sits on the Boards of the UAE Council for Digital Wellbeing, Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), Federal Geographic Information Center and is on the Advisory Committees of the College of Information Technology under United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and Emirates ICT Innovation Center (EBTIC) under Khalifa University. Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor under the Homeland Security Program at Rabdan Academy and a visiting lecturer on Cyber Security at universities such as Khalifa University and National Defense College in Abu Dhabi.
Prior to his current appointments, Dr. Al Kuwaiti was with the National Electronic Security Authority in various appointments and capacity since 2013 where he was most recently the Executive Director of Government Operations managing National and International government relations. He had served as the Chief Technical Analyst at the Ministry of Interior where he had held other positions, such as Operations Director and CTO of the Counter Terrorism Center. Dr. Al Kuwaiti started his 20 year-long career as a Defense, Air, and Naval Military Attaché with the Embassy of The United Arab Emirates based in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Al Kuwaiti has published numerous papers and keynoted at many conferences such as IEEE, RSA,Cyber Warfare Europe, Tele Strategies, ISS World MEA, IDEX, International Anti-Cyber Crimes Conference and Future War Summit. He is a highly sought after speaker internationally and has provided the main keynote address for more than 50 international, regional, and national cybersecurity events such as GITEX, GISEC and the World Government Summit, and has presented the UAE Cyber Security Framework at INTERPOL Global Cyberspace and Cybercrime Complex located in Singapore.
Dr. Al Kuwaiti holds a Doctorate in Computer Engineering and Network Security from George Washington University in the U.S. and a master’s degree in Telecommunications and Computer Networks. He also holds a M.A. degree in International and Civil Security. Dr. Al Kuwaiti is an honorable member of the Society of Engineers, IEEE Society, Golden Key National Honor Society and Computer Society. His research interests are detecting, monitoring and responding to cyber warfare, network forensics, corporate governance & processes, and national cyber policy.
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