Secretary-General of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Taleb Rifai is Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). He began his four-year term on January 1, 2010 and has been re-elected for a second term, starting January 2014, by the 20th Session of UNWTO General Assembly held in August 2013.
Dr. Rifai has an extensive background in international and national public service, private sector and academia. He held various positions including Assistant Director General of the International Labour Organization, several ministerial portfolios in the Government of Jordan including Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and 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.
Dr. Rifai was involved in researching, teaching and practicing Architecture and Urban Design in Jordan and the USA. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in 1983, a Master of Arts in Engineering and Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago in 1979, and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the University of Cairo, Egypt in 1973.