Marcelle M. Wahba

Former U.S. Ambassador, President Emeritus & Distinguished Fellow The Arab Gulf States Institute (Retired)


  • Marcelle M. Wahba is the first president of The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, D.C., an independent, nonprofit think tank dedicated to increasing the understanding and appreciation of the social, economic, and political diversity of the Arabian Gulf countries. Previously, she led DerMar International, LLC, a consulting firm that helps American businesses and academic institutions establish or expand their presence in the Middle East, and served as senior advisor at PineBridge Investments, an asset management firm based in New York City.

    During her 22-year Foreign Service career, Marcelle rose from deputy policy officer in the Near East Office of the United States Information Agency to minister counselor in Cairo, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and international affairs advisor and deputy at the National War College of the National Defense University. In 2006, she was assigned to the Pentagon as the foreign policy advisor to the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. Marcelle received the White House Presidential Meritorious Service Award and was decorated by His Highness President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan with the UAE’s Order of Independence (First Class) during her time in the Foreign Service.

    She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on several boards.

    Marcelle holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in international relations from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, and a diploma in national security from the National War College, National Defense University.