Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani is the Chairman of WISE and Vice President for Education of the Qatar Foundation. Dr. Abdulla knows the United States well, having gone to graduate school at Colorado State University. I spent a few minutes with this soft-spoken, focused and optimistic leader on the first day of WISE. He was very clear about his high hopes for the event.
Not on the tape but revealing: When Dr. Abdulla learned that I live in California, his face lit up. He told me with great excitement about the time he and a cousin rented motorcycles, took a 1-hour driving lesson, and then drove down our Route One from Big Sur down to Santa Barbara. He told his parents, he confessed, only after the trip had concluded successfully.