Taleb Rifai

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Secretary General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Spain


Taleb Rifai is Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). He began his four-year term on 1 January 2010 and has been elected to a second four-year term, starting January 2014, by the 20th Session of UNWTO General Assembly held in August 2013.

Mr. Rifai has an extensive background in international and national public service, the private sector and academia. Positions held include: Assistant Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), several ministerial portfolios in the Government of Jordan (Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Minister of Information and Minister of Tourism and Antiquity), CEO of Jordan’s Cement Company, Director of the Economic Mission to Washington DC and Director General of the Investment Promotion Corporation of Jordan.

Mr. Rifai was involved in research, teaching and practising Architecture and Urban Design in Jordan and the USA. He has a PhD in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, an M.A. in Engineering and Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, and a BS.c. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Cairo in Egypt.