Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida'ie
Ambassador of Iraq to the United States, 2006-2011
Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations, 2004-2006
Ambassador Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida’ie was appointed Iraq’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in July 2004. In April 2006, he moved to Washington DC as Iraq’s first ambassador to the United States of America for fifteen years. He retired as Ambassador in December 2011.
Prior to his appointment to the U.N., Ambassador Sumaida’ie served as the Minister of Interior in Baghdad. In this capacity he managed a domestic security force of over 120,000 and made considerable progress in reconstituting, and reorganizing the Ministry and its operations. In addition, Ambassador Sumaida’ie served as a member of Governing Council (GC) in Iraq. In the GC, he was Chairman of the Media Committee, and in that role he played an integral role in the founding of the Iraqi Telecoms and Media Commission and the Public Broadcasting Institution. He was also Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and member of the Security and Finance Committees.
Prior to the removal of the Baathist regime, Ambassador Sumaida’ie was actively involved in opposition efforts. From his exile in the United Kingdom, he co-founded the Association of Iraqi Democrats and later, the Democratic Party of Iraq. And, as leader of these organizations attended practically all opposition conferences throughout the world, and built close working relationships with other leaders of the opposition who went to become principal political leaders of the New Iraq.
A successful businessman, Ambassador Sumaida’ie founded a procurement agency in 1978 and embarked on a number of entrepreneurial ventures in his career. In the 1980’s, he established a design office in London, pioneered the use of computers in Islamic art and completed important works in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. In the mid-nineties, he expanded his activities into China and opening an office in Beijing as a business consultant.
Ambassador Sumaida’ie was born in Baghdad. Upon finishing high school in 1960, he won a scholarship to study abroad, in the UK where he graduated from Durham University with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1965, and took a diploma in Computing in 1966. He then returned to Iraq as one the first few computer specialists, to work with the Baghdad Electricity Board and Iraqi Petroleum Company before leaving the country in 1973.
Ambassador Sumaida’ie enjoys a wide range of cultural interests, including writing Arabic poetry in classical form, Calligraphy and design in the Islamic decorative medium.