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Mohamed Benaissa

Morocco
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (Kingdom of Morocco), Secretary General, Assilah Forum

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (1999-2007), Ambassador of Morocco to the United States (1993-99), Minister of Culture (1985-92), he was an elected member of Parliament (1977-92) and elected Mayor of Assilah his home town in 1983, a position he has held for 27 years to date. He formally began his career as a Press Officer for the Moroccan Permanent Mission to the UN. He joined the United Nations as an Information Officer in New York and Addis Ababa (1965-67) and the FAO as Regional Information Advisor for Africa and Communication Advisor (1967-73), where he became Director of the Information Division (1974-76). In 1978 he co-founded The Al-Mouhit Cultural Association (presently the Assilah Forum Foundation) a non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to social and economic development through cultural and art exchange. Laureate of the Aga Khan Award for Islamic Architecture for the rehabilitation of Assilah (1988), of the Foundation of Arab Thought (Cultural Man of the Year 2003) and of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. In 2008 he received an Honoris Causa Doctorate in Law and Public Services from the University of Minnesota. He is currently an active member of several national, regional and international organizations and an active international consultant in development communications and international relations.