Carnegie Mellon University
January 17, 2012

Press Release: CMU, State of Qatar Exemplify Innovation, Pioneering Spirit

2022 Secretary General describes how Qatar transformed from a ranked outsider to a serious contender

Contact: D. Murry Evans / +974 4454 8490 / or
Kimberly Mathern / +974 6645 5177 /

QatarDOHA, QATAR—Hassan Al-Thawadi, one of the most powerful sport industry figures in the Middle East, stirred a packed hall with a passionate speech on the power of sports as a means of socio-economic development, at Carnegie Mellon Qatar's Dean's Lecture Series yesterday.

Following the lecture, the Secretary General of Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee led his side over to a signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with one of the world's leading technology and entrepreneurship schools, and which sees the two parties commit to the successful hosting of 2022 FIFA World Cup projects and programs.

Opening the lecture, Ilker Baybars, the dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, reaffirmed the university's commitment to supporting Qatar's National Vision 2030.  "Carnegie Mellon's business strategy is in line with the four pillars of the country's national vision — human, economic, social and environmental development. Through our world-class education, training and outreach training programs, we teach our students to be thinkers and entrepreneurs, and guide them to manage challenges with reason and creativity."

The academic curricula at Carnegie Mellon is designed to prepare young nationals to be able to compete in the global labor market, and keep pace with the growth and development taking place in Qatar including mega-projects such as the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

In his lecture titled, 'Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup: The Path to Success,' a candid Al-Thawadi recalled the journey of Qatar's bid to host the planet's foremost tournament and shared the many challenges and myths it sparked. Qatar eventually won the vote of confidence by FIFA members and was awarded the hosting rights on Dec. 2, 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland.

"The opportunities that lie ahead are vast and varied. It may seem now that the future I speak of is a long way off, and you might be concerned with the more immediate obstacles and challenges that you face — but I have no doubt that the education you are receiving here is the ideal foundation for success in whichever fields you decide to focus," said Al-Thawadi as he advised students to grab the chances head-on in becoming the future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in Qatar.

"What you are experiencing here at CMU and Qatar Foundation is the realization of the innovation and pioneering spirit that Qatar as a nation has exemplified. This pioneering spirit was what convinced us that not only should we bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, but that we were capable of winning," added Al-Thawadi before sharing personal highlights of the 18-month-long intense campaign.

The MoU between CMUQ and Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee reflects the pledge the two sides have made to work together in the fields of scientific research and strategic studies, cooperation and training on executive leadership, and encouraging students to be part of the tremendous projects that are required to make the FIFA World Cup in 2022 a success.

"Through this MoU, Carnegie Mellon Qatar is looking forward to being a strategic partner of Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee in national capacity-building efforts, scientific research projects and Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup projects, empowering a generation of future leaders in Qatar," added Baybars.

Al Thawadi said, 'Working with local partners is an important part of the Supreme Committee's strategy moving forward.  Our goal is to harness the expertise of institutions in Qatar, ensuring that the delivery of a successful event in 2022 is a nationwide effort.  We look forward to maximizing the potential of the strategic partnership that we have entered into with Carnegie Mellon Qatar today."

Based on the agreement, CMUQ will make available its world-renowned expertise in research, strategic studies and executive education available to Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee as well.


Pictured above are Ilker Baybars, dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, and Hassan Al-Thawadi, Secretary General of Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee.