The Saudi-US Trade Group (SUSTG) works to inform and elevate discussion and analysis of the U.S.-Saudi Arabia relationship. SUSTG has a special interest in issues related to economy, trade, commerce, energy and finance and also provides coverage of an extraordinary range of other matters critical to the U.S.-Saudi relationship including political, social and other topics as well as key issues related to intelligence, security and defense.
The SUSTG website (www.sustg.org) is the most comprehensive site available for U.S.-Saudi coverage and provides an up-to-the-minute survey of current reporting and analysis via its ‘Saudi News,’ ‘Regional and Related,’ ‘Editor’s Choice,’ ‘Life in Saudi’ and ‘Features’ categories. SUSTG also provides original commentary via its ‘SUSTG Blog’ service and through the Saudi-US Relations Information Service (SUSRIS).
SUSRIS is a ‘sister site’ sponsored by SUSTG which offers objective, comprehensive news and information on the history, breadth and depth of the US-Saudi Arabia relationship. In addition to being a chronicle of the US-Saudi Arabia relationship and an unparalleled resource for information related to the relationship, SUSRIS provides extensive original material with timely and informative interviews, analysis and blog posts; all of which are part of the SUSTG library as well.
In addition to the SUSTG website and daily News Review e-mail newsletter, SUSTG partners with respected US and Saudi institutions to implement delegations, forums, meetings and other special projects. SUSTG is an organizing sponsor along with the Saudi Committee for International Trade (CIT) and the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council of the US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum initiative.
These Forums attracted over 1,100 American and Saudi business people to Atlanta, GA in December 2011 and Chicago, IL in April 2010. The third in this Forum series will be held September 16-18, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA at the the JW Marriott LA Live (www.us-saudiforum.com). This initiative is part of SUSTG’s ongoing efforts to strengthen business, commercial and cultural ties throughout the United States.
The Saudi-US Trade Group is a 501c6 not-for-profit business association. Its members include the Exxon Mobil Corporation, the El-Seif Group and the (Saudi) Committee for International Trade.
Board of Directors
Abdulaziz Al Fahad is Chairman for the Committee for International Trade (CIT) for the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Al Fahad is also the Principal of the Law Office of Abdulaziz H. Fahad in Riyadh. He practices in the areas of corporate, banking, litigation, intellectual property, international transactions, and arbitration. A Member of several public, joint-stock and private corporate boards, Mr. Al Fahad also writes and delivers lectures on Middle Eastern law, politics, and economics. He was a Member of the Advisory Commission for the Supreme Economic Council from 1999-2003.
Mr. Al Fahad has a B.A. in Economics from Michigan State University. He received a M.A. in International Relations in 1980 from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a law degree in 1984 from Yale University. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Research at Harvard University’s law school.
Mr. Al-Fahad is Chairman of the Board of the Saudi-US Trade Group.
Abdullah A. Alireza is Executive Director and Vice Chairman of the Xenel Group of Companies. Mr. Alireza most recently served as Minister of Commerce and Industry from March 2008 to January 2012. Previously, he served as a Minister of State without portfolio when he was appointed by King Fahd in 2003. He has been a Member of the Supreme Economic Council since 2005 and serves on the Board of Trustees of King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for the Gifted.
During the last twenty years, Mr. Alireza has been Chairman of multiple businesses and organizations, including the Saudi Services & Operating Company, Saudi Energy Services Company Limited, Saudi Trade & Export Development Company, and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he is a former Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Mr. Alireza has been Co-Chairman of the National U.S. Arab Chamber of Commerce since 1999, and is a member of the Commission for Industrial Cities & Technology Parks, and the Human Resource Development Fund.
Mr. Alireza works closely with academic institutions and non-profit organizations around the world promoting education and cross-cultural understanding. Mr. Alireza obtained his B.A. in Political Science from Whittier College in California, and performed graduate work at Washington, D.C.’s American University and Georgetown University.
Khaled Musaed Al Seif is a leading member of the business community in Saudi Arabia who manages one of the largest business groups in the Kingdom. He is active in various committees and councils dealing with the promotion of international trade and bridging relations with the West.
Mr. Al Seif currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Saudi Committee for International Trade (CIT) at the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry. He has officiated as Co-Chairman of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council since 2007; Member of the Board of U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council since 2006, Member of the Advisory Board for Economic Affairs at the Saudi Supreme Economic Council since 2005, Board member of Royal Philanthropic Society for Science (Prince Sultan University) since 1999; Board Member of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, London, UK since February 1996; on the Board of Directors of Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1993-2001 and 2004-2008); and President and CEO of El Seif Group of Companies, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia since 1975.
As the President and CEO of El Seif Group of Companies, Mr. Al Seif is the Chairman of the following Saudi and International companies: El Seif Commercial Investment Company Ltd; Musaed Al Seif & Sons Company; International Management Development Company; Dana Investment and Development Company; El Seif Engineering Contracting Company, and Marina Towers S.A.L.; and El Seif Holding Company in Lebanon. He is Also a Board Member of some other domestic and international companies which include but not limited to: Saudi Medicare Company; National Power Company; Modern Arab Construction Company: Arabian Medicare Company; Universal Advanced Systems Company; and El Seif Development Company.
Mr. Al Seif holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the American University in Beirut.
Abdulaziz M. Al-Abdulkader is owner and President of the AMA Group of Companies which includes the Al-Abdulkader Furniture Co., Al-Abdulkader Furniture Manufacturing Company and AMA Investment S.A. Mr. Al-Abdulkader is also Chairman, Osool Capital; Chairman, Chem-Tech W.L.L. (Bahrain); Chairman and CEO, Gulf Ferro Alloys (Sabayek); Vice Chairman, Gulf International Bank; Partner and Director, National Installment Co.; Partner and Director, Retail Arabia; Partner and Director, Carolina Phone Company and Partner; Atlantic Partners (U.S.A.). He has also served as Chairman, Tihama Advertising; Chairman, Bank Al-Jazira and Chairman, Al-Ahsa Medical Services Company.
Mr. Al-Abdulkader earned a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington.
Omar Bahlaiwa is Secretary General of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce, the official federation of the 28 Saudi Chambers. He is also Secretary General of the Committee for International Trade (CIT) within the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce. CIT is extremely active on external trade issues involving Saudi Arabia and numerous foreign nations including the United States. CIT is a founding member of the Saudi-US Trade Group.
In his capacity as Secretary General of both the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and CIT, Mr. Bahlaiwa works to enhance and promote Saudi Arabia’s international relationships. He leads prominent delegations to Europe, North America and other key OECD nations and works closely with both local and international business communities to promote exports and attract investment to Saudi Arabia.
An engineer by qualification, Mr. Bahlaiwa was formerly Senior Technical Analyst at the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), Plant Manager for Al-Moajil Sack Factory, VP Sales & Marketing for Saudi Industrial Export Company, General Manager for MATTEX and Assistant Secretary General for Foreign Affairs for Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
George R. Salem serves as Strategic Advisor with DLA Piper, where he is focused on assisting in the development of DLA Piper’s Middle East and US Department of Labor practices.
From 1990-2004, Mr. Salem was a partner at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, where he headed that firm’s Middle East and USDOL practices.
On behalf of various Middle East clients, Mr. Salem headed the legal teams that handled the acquisitions of major assets, including refineries in the Middle East. In addition, he headed the legal team that successfully brought suit against the Department of Treasury on behalf of the owners of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that was destroyed by the U.S. Navy.
He was named by The National Law Journal as one of the top 26 labor lawyers in the United States. From 1985-89 he served as Solicitor of Labor, the U.S. Department of Labor’s chief legal officer. He is the first Palestinian Arab American to have been nominated by a President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Mr. Salem played key roles in the campaigns of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush. He chairs the Arab American Institute, which he co-founded in 1985, serves on the board of United Palestinian Appeal, Inc., is past chairman of the National Association of Arab Americans and has served on the board of the ADC.
In 1992 Mr. Salem received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, presented annually to Americans of diverse origins for outstanding contributions to their own ethnic groups and to American society.
Richard Wilson is President of the Saudi-US Trade Group. Mr. Wilson was previously Senior Advisor with Committee for International Trade (CIT) within the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry and also Executive Director of the Middle East Policy Council. Mr. Wilson has more than 25 years experience in the Middle East with particular emphasis on the Arabian Gulf. Having lived, studied and traveled extensively in the region he has developed a deep understanding of the business, social and political environment along with high-level contacts in the public and private sector.
Mr. Wilson has a B.A. in Political Science from Davidson College and earned his M.A. in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University where he focused on economics and Middle East studies. He has also studied at the University of Yarmouk in Jordan and King Saud University in Riyadh.
SUSTG Analysis Contributors
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