Bonum Certa Men Certa

Cablegate: Bill Gates Lobbies to Integrate Programmes in Dubai With Microsoft


Summary: How Bill Gates lobbied for Microsoft in 2008 (when he claimed to have moved on to a charitable foundation)

BACK at the beginning of 2008, "Microsoft 'Bought' Dubai Away from GNU/Linux" following a visit from Bill Gates. Later on we saw this reinforced and then we saw people being sent to court/jail. Over three years after the act we discover that, based on the following Cablegate cable, Bill Gates did some clever lobbying even after his alleged departure from Microsoft. According to this, "Bill Gates would visit Dubai on January 27, 2008 to meet with with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai) and members of the MbRF staff to discuss integration between Microsoft and the MbRF [Mohammad Bin Rashid Foundation] Programs." Here is the cable:





E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/1/2017 TAGS: PREL [External Political Relations], PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PHUM [Human Rights], AE [United Arab Emirates] SUBJECT: FURTHER DETAILS ON ANNOUNCED AND UNANNOUNCED, PLANS FOR MOHAMMED BIN RASHID FOUNDATION

REF: A) DUBAI 601 B) DUABI 425 C) ABU DHABI 949 D) DUBAI 363

DUBAI 00000614 001.2 OF 002

CLASSIFIED BY: Paul Sutphin, Consul General, Exec, Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

Classified 1.4 b & d by Consul General Paul Sutphin

ۦ1. (U) This is an action cable; see para 12.

ۦ2. (SBU) Summary. During a November 1 meeting in the newly established offices of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Foundation (MbRF), Nabil Alyousuf (Director General of the Dubai Executive Office and defacto managing director of the newly established MbRF) and Dr. Yasar Jarrar (Executive Dean of the Dubai School of Government) elaborated on several of the fifteen (Reftel A) recently announced programs under the auspices of the MbRF, as well as a number of initiatives in the offing that have not been publicly discussed, including a number of joint programs with US universities. Jarrar will be in Washington, DC, Monday, Nov. 4 and then in Boston Nov. 5-8; Alyousuf will be in Boston November 8 and is unlikely to go to DC beforehand. They asked for USG assistance in a number of areas (see para 12), most immediately in contacts for the Washington office of the Gates Foundation. End Summary.

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Announced Programs with US Connections

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ۦ3. (U) Referencing the US's Teach for America model, Jarrar elaborated on the MbrF's announced "Pioneers" Program: an educational initiative focused on providing financial assistance to the top 10% of graduate students at select Arab universities in return for their commitment to teach for an as-yet unspecified period of time in their home country/community. Jarrar pointed to the nascent "Teach for All" partnership between the US program and its counterpart UK program (Teach First) and mentioned that adding the Pioneers Program would be a logical extension into the Arab world.

ۦ4. (U) Continuing on educational programs, the announced Leadership Program is being modeled after the US's Eisenhower Fellowships Program. Under this initiative, two or three individuals would be selected from each Arab country to go to the UAE in order to participate in two to three months of leadership training, likely at the Dubai School of Government. The program is currently envisioned as a three way partnership between the Dubai School of Government, the Aspen Institute and the London School of Business.

ۦ5. (SBU) The MbRF has signed an agreement with the Harvard Business School Press (HBSP) that will allow the MbRF the rights to translate all HBSP-owned titles into Arabic and then subsidize printing and distribution of the texts throughout the Arab world. Translation rights to other authors' publications through HBSP will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

ۦ6. (SBU) Under its announced translation program, the MbRF also hopes to expand Western awareness of Arab literature and legacy by translating Arabic texts (both popular press releases, such as the recently translated "Girls of Riyadh", and more formal literature) and working with Western publisher's to produce and promote these works. Jarrar said he would appreciate USG assistance in identifying likely publishing partners in the US. (See action request, para 12.)

ۦ7. (SBU) Focusing on entrepreneurship, the MbRF's announced Business Incubator Program will work with the top regional business schools to develop curriculums focusing on entrepreneurial skills and creating incubators that allow students to test out their entrepreneurial concepts. In a second tier, the MbRF plans to select the best new ideas, and bring those innovators to Dubai and provide further resources for developing and testing the concepts. For concepts that have passed the second round of screening, the MbRF wants to develop joint venture relationships with top corporate innovators (3m, Philips, Google, Microsoft were among those named) that would at the minimum allow MbRF-sponsored entrepreneur's access to the corporate labs (on fellowships) or ideally allow for full joint venture development of the projects. Jarrar requested possible USG assistance in facilitating corporate contacts. (See action request, para 12.)

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DUBAI 00000614 002.2 OF 002

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Unannounced, but Ambitious, Plans for Joint Initiatives with US Universities and Businesses

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ۦ8. (C) As yet unannounced, Jarrar revealed an imminent agreement between the MbRF and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management establishing a Dubai-based branch of the renowned MBA program. The first year would see the launch of an executive training program, followed the next year by the matriculation of 40 students in a standard MBA curriculum. Jarrar envisions the school eventually maintaining around 100 active students. Farther down the road, the MbRF is also looking to create a similar, undergraduate, joint venture between the American University of Dubai and a world class US journalism school (preliminary discussions are currently underway with the Columbia School of Journalism in New York).

ۦ9. (C) In ongoing discussions with Harvard, Jarrar is hoping to convince the Harvard Business School (HBS) to place one of its Research Centers in Dubai (Jarrar noted HBS has research centers in 5 locations world-wide, including Paris, Hong Kong and Buenos Aires. These centers focus on researching local businesses and developing the case studies that form the core of the HBS curriculum).

ۦ10. (SBU) A firm advocate of development via technology, the MbRF intends to partner with US hi-tech giants such as Intel, Microsoft and others to further the utilization of online programs for teacher training throughout the Arab world (thus bringing best-practices training directly to instructors without expensive and lengthy overhead and development issues). Jarrar indicated that initial conversations with Intel have commenced and that Bill Gates would visit Dubai on January 27, 2008 to meet with with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai) and members of the MbRF staff to discuss integration between Microsoft and the MbRF Programs.

ۦ11. (SBU) In a similar vein, Alyousuf noted the MbRF has a longer-term plan to develop a "traveling museum" focused on the civilizations of the region and their contributions to humanity through out the ages. The MbRF would like to work with US museums in developing the concept and possibly a partnership for the traveling museum. We agreed to try to facilitate contacts with the Smithsonian on this initiative. (See action request, para 12)

ۦ12. (SBU) ACTION REQUESTS: Most immediately, Jarrar asked for USG assistance in contacting and possibly meeting the leadership of the Gates Foundation office in Washington DC (both indicated a senior management meeting with the Gates Foundation in Seattle would be premature and expressed a desire for a lower level, preliminary meeting in DC as a precursor to subsequent Seattle-based conversations). Jarrar asked for a name and contact information for the Washington office. Given the impending travel by Jarrar, Post (1) requests appropriate Department contacts pass this information directly to him at HYPERLINK ""yasar.ja; or call him on his mobile phone at 971-50-640-7281. (2) Jarrar expressed openness to possible further consultations with the USG during his visit to Washington, noting he was in direct contact with S/P; he said he would welcome direct outreach from any of the offices with which he met on his previous visit to Washington with Minister of Cabinet Affairs (and MbRF Chairman) Mohammed Gergawi.

Medium-term action requests:

-- Possible contacts for English to Arabic publishing partners.

-- SG assistance in facilitating corporate contacts for the business incubator program.

-- Appropriate initial contacts at the Smithsonian for the Traveling Museum concept. SUTPHIN

We have more examples of such lobbying.

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