Rola Dashti

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Rola Abdulla Al-Dashti (Arabic: رولا عبدالله علي حاجيه دشتي‎, born 1964[1]) is a Kuwaiti economist and business executive and former politician and minister. Dashti lobbied for the May 2005 decree permitting Kuwaiti women to run for parliamentary elections for the first time and was one of the first female MPs elected to the Kuwaiti parliament. She subsequently served as minister of state planning and development affairs and State Assembly affairs.


Dashti earned a bachelor's degree from California State University, Chico in 1984, a master's degree from California State University, Sacramento in 1985, and a Ph.D. in population dynamics from Johns Hopkins University in 1993, with a dissertation on the dynamics of teacher supply in Kuwait.[2]


Dashti is CEO of FARO International, a financial services consultancy,[3][4] and a board member of Damac Kuwaiti Holding Co.[5]

Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait that took place in 1990–1991, Dashti managed emergency reconstruction contracts for the State of Kuwait[6] and then participated in the effort to bring about the release of Kuwaiti prisoners held by Iraq.[7] She was the first woman elected president of the Kuwait Economic Society[8][9][10] and the first woman ever elected to head a Kuwaiti professional association[11]

Dashti lobbied for the May 2005 decree permitting Kuwaiti women to vote and to run for parliamentary election.[4][8][11][10][6] She was one of 28 female candidates in the 2006 parliamentary election, the first open to women.[1][12] In 2006 and 2008 she did not win election; in May 2009 she was one of the first four women elected to the Kuwaiti Parliament.[5][13] She ranked seventh in her political district.

In parliament, Dashti chaired the social affairs, labor, and health committee.[14] In October 2011, she was also appointed to the budget committee and the committee for responding to the Emir's speech.[15]

Dashti was not reelected in 2012.[5] She was subsequently the only woman appointed to the new Kuwaiti cabinet, as state minister for planning and development and state minister for National Assembly affairs;[11][3][16] she was reappointed that December.[5]

Dashti has also served as Manager of Economics at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and as an economist for the Kuwait National Bank, and has been a consultant to the World Bank. She is on the Executive Committee of the Kuwait chapter of Young Arab Leaders.[11] She chaired the 2015–2016 World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Middle East and North Africa.[17]


In 2005, Dashti won The King Hussein Humanitarian Award.[8][18] She was listed by Arabian Business among their 100 most influential Arabs for 2007[19] and 2008.[20]

In 2010 she won the North–South Prize alongside Mikhail Gorbachev.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Dashti is from a Shi'ite Muslim family and has 23 siblings.[1] Her father, Abdullah Ali Dashti, also served in the Kuwaiti parliament;[1] her mother is Lebanese.[7][16]


  1. ^ a b c d McDonough, Challiss (2006-06-28). "Kuwaiti Women Appear on Political Landscape This Election". Voice of America. Archived from the original on 2008-04-06.
  2. ^ 1993 Commencement, Johns Hopkins University, p. 86.
  3. ^ a b "Authors: Rola Dashti". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  4. ^ a b "Rise Up Kuwaiti Women 2007". Ms. magazine. Summer 2003. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  5. ^ a b c d "رولا عبدالله علي حاجيه دشتي : Rola Dashti". Kuwait (in Arabic). Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  6. ^ a b "Women as Global Leaders: Communities in Transition. Dr. Rola Dashti: Chairperson, Kuwait Economic Society". Zayed University. 2006. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  7. ^ a b Omran, Mohamed (4 April 2014). "رولا عبد الله دشتي .. ناشطة اقتصادية طالبت بحقوق المرأة السياسية". Hayatouki (in Arabic).
  8. ^ a b c "About Board of Directors". Kuwait Economic Society. Archived from the original on 2009-06-20.
  9. ^ Ibrahim, Barbara; Sherif, Dina H., eds. (2008). "Acknowledgements". From Charity to Social Change: Trends in Arab Philanthropy. Cairo: American University in Cairo. p. viii. ISBN 9781936190614.
  10. ^ a b Etheridge, Jamie (2005-05-19). "Progress on political rights for Kuwaiti women". Christian Science Monitor.
  11. ^ a b c d "Rola Dashti appointed to Kuwaiti Cabinet". Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  12. ^ "Global Advisory Council Members". Vital Voices. Archived from the original on 2009-06-20.
  13. ^ "About Kuwait: The Role Woman in Kuwait". Government of Kuwait, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of Kuwait in Canada. 2012. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  14. ^ "Interview with Dr. Rola Dashti, Member of the Kuwaiti Parliament". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  15. ^ "Kuwaiti parliament selects permanent, short-term cmtes". Kuwait News Agency. 2011-10-25. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  16. ^ a b "بورتريه / رولا الغائبة ... عندما تمطر الذكريات "صداماً" ودموعاً !". Al Rai (in Arabic). 21 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Accelerating Economic Reforms in the Middle East and North Africa: A Private-Sector Perspective" (PDF). Middle East and North Africa Regional Business Council, World Economic Forum. January 2017.
  18. ^ "King Hussein Leadership Prize". King Hussein Foundation.
  19. ^ Power 100, The World's Most Influential Arabs, Rank List 2007 -
  20. ^ Power 100, The World's Most Influential Arabs, Rank List 2008 - Archived 2008-05-06 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "The North South Prize of the Council of Europe". North-South Centre, Council of Europe. 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-07-11.

Further reading[edit]

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