Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi was recently awarded the United Arab Emirates Head of State Merit Award in recognition of his patriotism and achievements. United Arab Emirates president H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan presented Al-Suwaidi with the award in December 2013. Al-Suwaidi is the director general of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) in Abu Dhabi and a professor of political science at the United Arab Emirates University in Al-Ain. He has been a University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs board member since 2007 and has served as director general at two conferences in Abu Dhabi co-hosted by the school and paid for by the ECSSR. Al-Suwaidi said winning the award is an honor that fills him with pride for his home country. More information on the award and the UMaine School of Policy and International Affairs is available online.