Farouk El-Baz Joins RAND-Qatar Policy Institute Board

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Qatar Foundation

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June 7, 2004

DOHA, Qatar – Dr. Farouk El-Baz, who is a research professor and director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University and a former science adviser to the president of Egypt, has joined the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute Board of Overseers, the institute announced today.

El-Baz is a noted geologist and has been involved in many high profile projects around the world. A native of Egypt, his specialty is desert studies and he is known for his pioneering work in the applications of space photography to the understanding of arid terrain, particularly in the location of groundwater resources.

The Qatar Foundation and the RAND Corporation established the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute one year ago to harness the research and analytic skills of hundreds of RAND experts in the United States and Europe to study important issues facing the greater Middle East region.

El-Baz was appointed to the Board of Overseers of the Institute by the Board co-chairs: Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Misnad, chairperson of the Qatar Foundation and consort of the Emir of Qatar; and RAND Executive Vice President Michael Rich. El-Baz is the only member of the Board who is not affiliated with either of the RAND Corporation or the Qatar Foundation.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. El-Baz on the Board of Overseers to advise the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute on ways to better serve the region and its people,” Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Misnad said. “His efforts will strengthen Qatar’s position as a center of world-class scholarship and innovation.”

“Dr. El-Baz will help the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute build regional policy analytic capabilities,” Rich said. “Qatar has been in the forefront among Middle Eastern nations in applying careful and objective analysis to key policy problems.”

The nine-member Board of Overseers provides counsel to the director of the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute and the president of RAND on the Institute's public affairs, and project and business development efforts.

El-Baz worked on America’s Apollo program that landed men on the moon from 1967 to 1972, particularly in the selection of lunar landing sites and training the astronauts for the Apollo missions. He then joined the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C, to establish and direct the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum.

From 1978 to 1981, El-Baz served as science adviser to Egypt’s then-President Anwar Sadat. He was tasked with selecting areas of desert to develop that would help address issues of population growth and agricultural needs without harming the environment. Many of the projects begun as a result of his work continue to benefit the people of Egypt. In 1997, the Geological Society of America established The Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research, an annual award to encourage excellence in arid land studies.

El-Baz is the author or editor of 12 books and more than 200 scientific papers and has received numerous awards and honors. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Missouri, a M.S. in geology from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, and a B.Sc. in chemistry and geology from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. He was elected member of the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He is also member of the African Academy of Sciences, Arab Academy of Sciences, Islamic Academy of Science and the Third World Academy of Science.

The Qatar Foundation is a private, non-profit chartered organization founded in 1995 aiming to develop and utilize human potential through a network of centers and a unique Education City with branch campuses of some of the world's leading universities.

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