H.E. Rola Dashti

  • Position: Under-Secretary-General Executive Secretary Economic and Social Commission
  • Organisation: Western Asia
  • Country: Kuwait

Ms. Dashti is a leading Kuwaiti economist and long-time champion of women’s rights, gender equality and democratic reform. She served as member of the Supreme Planning Council in Kuwait. From 2012 to 2014, she was Minister for Planning and Development and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs. Ms. Dashti played a pivotal role in advocating for a decree to allow Kuwaiti women to vote and run for parliamentary elections. In May 2009, she and three others became the first women to be elected to the Kuwait parliament.


She has served as chairperson for the Arab Planning Institute, and for the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for the MENA region. She was a member of the advisory panel for the World Bank on Middle East political and economic transition, of the advisory council for the Arab Human Development Report 2009, of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development in Kuwait, and of the Executive Committee of Young Arab Leaders-Kuwait Chapter. She served on the executive board of the Pan-Arab Women Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Violence against Women, and on the board of the Arab Women Parliamentarians Network for Equality (Ra’edat).


She won the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe for 2010 together with Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev. She also received the Clinton Global Citizens Award for 2009, the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award for 2006, and the King Hussein Humanitarian award for 2005. She is listed among the top 150 women leaders by Business Week, among the top 20 businesswomen in the Arab region by the Financial Times, and among the world’s 100 most powerful Arabs by Arabian Business.