EBRAHIM RASOOL is South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States. Before joining the Embassy, his most recent positions have included Member of Parliament in the National Assembly, Special Advisor to the State President of the Republic of South Africa and Premier (governor of the Western Cape Province).
Ebrahim Rasool has a long history of involvement in the anti-apartheid struggle starting at High School and including leadership in the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the African National Congress (ANC). He has had to make sacrifices like spending time in prison and being under house arrest.
His social and political involvement has consistently been faith-driven. He has been involved in both the Islamic Movement as well as the Interfaith Movement, and has been active in mobilising Muslims and the broader faith communities for a deeper understanding of Islam and faith under conditions of oppression (under apartheid) and currently under conditions of globalisation.
Ebrahim Rasool has built up extensive experience of Government having led various Departments like Health, Welfare, Finance and Economic Development, and as Premier of the Western Cape was instrumental in, amongst others, attracting foreign investment into the Province worth R8 billion (approximately $1 billion) having the highest provincial economic growth rate, and making significant strides towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
For his contribution to South Africa, Ambassador Rasool has been the recipient of a number of leadership awards. In 2008 he was awarded the Visionary Leadership and Public Good Award from the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, and the Award for Commitment and Leadership in Fight Against Crime from Business Against Crime. In 2005 the London Financial Times awarded Ambassador Rasool the Foreign Direct Investment Africa Personality of the Year Award. Mr Rasool is also the recipient of the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights presented to him by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 1998. Founder of the World for All Foundation – a foundation that rethinks the intellectual tools available to Muslims and faith communities, that creates co-operative relations between faiths, cultures and communities at a global level. Ambassador Rasool is dedicated to overcoming the potential for conflict in the World.
Ambassador Rasool is a prolific speaker on a range of topics covering politics, governance, religion, Islamic and cultural themes across the world. He received a Bachelor of Arts and a Higher Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Town. He is married with two children.