Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, a Ras Al Khaimah, UAE native, was appointed by the AURAK Board of Trustees on August 23, 2011 to the position of President. Professor Al Alkim has over 30 years instructional, research, and academic administration experience in universities in the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Middle East.
Professor Al Alkim received his BA degree in Political Science from Seattle University, USA, in 1981, earning Magna Cum Laude honors. He joined the University of Exeter, UK, for his graduate studies where he successfully completed his MA and his PhD in International Relations in 1986. Professor Al Alkim joined the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in January 1982 as a teaching assistant before acquiring his PhD. From September 1986 to February 2012, he was a full time faculty member at UAEU. During his years at UAEU, Professor Al Alkim taught all International Relations courses, as well as some General Requirements offered by the Department of Political Science. He served the University in different capacities, including serving on various academic committees. Professor Al Alkim was appointed Head of Department of Political Science in 1995, and continued in that role until 1998. He was actively involved in development initiatives at UAEU. Prof. Al Alkim spent part of his academic life visiting other academic institutions including: UCLA in the spring of 1991 as a Fulbright Scholar, the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London 1992-1993, and the University of Reading, 2009-2011. He holds memberships on several local, national, regional, and international academic and social associations and societies. Professor Al Alkim is also a member of several international research institutes, which includes the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London, since 1992, the Royal Institute for International Affairs, London, since 1997, and the Academy of Political Science (New York) since July 2000. Professor Al Alkim has an extensive list of publications in both Arabic and English. His book publications include: The Foreign Policy of the United Arab Emirates (1989), The GCC States in an Unstable World: The Foreign Policy Dilemma of the Small States (1994), and The Dynamic of the Arab States Foreign Policy-Making in the Twenty First Century (2011). Professor Al Alkim has more than 28 articles in both Arabic and English published in internationally abstracted or refereed journals in his field. Prof. Al Alkim held some official positions before being appointed as the President of the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK), which include: the Chair of the RAK Research and Follow-Up Authority, the Director General of RAK Economic Development Department, Chairman of the Department of Political Science, UAEU, and Advisor to the RAK Government.
As President, Professor Al Alkim is the principal visionary, inspirational and transformational leader at AURAK. His approach to leadership is influenced by his faith, vision, values, and respect for leaders within and outside of the university he oversees. Being a man of modesty and humility, he sees himself as the first among equals, where he empowers his leaders to lead but holds them accountable for agreed upon strategic outcomes. He is passionate about higher education development within the UAE and the region and has a strong commitment to encourage others to adopt best practices, accomplish educational excellence, and ensure compliance with quality standards. Professor Al Alkim ascribes to the concept of building world-class universities as established on excellence models with effective governance, abundance of resources and exceptional talent. Since his assumption as President of AURAK in 2011, Professor Al Alkim has led the university through several key strategic changes and development pathways/projects that have increased its reputation among students, alumni, employees, regulators and accreditors, local and federal government, and the international community.