The 29-year-old Sara Al Ameri has served as Emirates Mars Mission Science Team Leader at the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre. She was also former director for the Department of Research and Development at Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News

Dubai: A day after unveiling a new Cabinet on Wednesday, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, appointed 29-year-old Sarah Amiri, Emirates Mars Mission Science Team Leader at the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), as Chairperson of the UAE Council of Scientists.

The new council, which was unveiled during the structural changes in the federal government by Shaikh Mohammad at the World Government summit on Monday, will include a selected group of scientists, researchers and specialists.

The council will launch development programmes in order to create generations of scientists, researchers and specialists.

It also aims to regularly review national policy for science, technology and innovation in the UAE, and provide decision-makers with advice based on scientific knowledge.

Amiri, who has served at MBRSC as Emirates Mars Mission Science Team Leader, has worked on building technical and operational efficiencies for the MBRSC. She was also the former director for the Department of Research and Development at Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST).

Speaking of her selection, Amiri told Gulf News, “I take this as a strong indication that the UAE has a dynamic, sustainable government and a leadership that has a great vision on how to take the country forward and understand the challenges of moving in a fast-paced world and not being worried about change, but actually embracing the change.

“When it comes to science and technology, the leadership understands that we need to move towards a knowledge-based economy and one of the foundations of this economy is science and technology which we need to build upon and the government sector is one of the cornerstones of that economy. The other cornerstones are the private and academic sectors. This brings different sectors to the table.

“This is a new era for the UAE. We’re always at the cutting edge of change in the region and that’s what we hope to see moving forward.”

Also on Thursday, Shaikh Mohammad appointed Abdullah Mohammad Al Basti Al Marri, as Secretary General of the Cabinet.

Al Marri served as director general of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Executive Office and the executive director of the Government Development Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office.

With 23 years of experience in the government sector, he also worked in the armed forces for more than 11 years, and supervised the launch of the Emirates Government Service Excellence Programme.

Al Marri has a Master’s Degree in Total Quality Management from the Dubai-based University of Wollongong. He is a member of a number of councils such as Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives’ board of trustees.

Along with leading a team to launch a number of initiatives such as the Rating System for Service Centers and Common Standards for Government Services initiative, Al Marri also served as the director of UAE Government Leaders Programme. He was a member of a team which was dedicated to revise the strategic and operational plans for federal entities.