Brunei’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Serbini Ali?

Sunday, August 14, 2016
Serbini Ali (photo: Twitter)

Dato Paduka Serbini Ali, a longtime member of Brunei’s Foreign Service, was appointed his country’s Ambassador to the United States on Jan. 23, 2016. It’s his third ambassadorial posting.

 

Serbini was born April 10, 1955, in Brunei. He has a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

 

Serbini joined Brunei’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980 and his first overseas posting came two years later, when he was named second secretary in the High Commission in Singapore. He moved to the Bangkok embassy in 1984 as first secretary and returned to Brunei the following year as assistant director in the Protocol and Consular Affairs Department. He was promoted to deputy director the following year.

 

In 1989, Serbini was made first secretary in Tokyo and came home in 1992 as deputy director of the Economic Affairs Department. He was made Director for Asia and Pacific Affairs of the Politics Department of the ministry in 1996 and the next year moved over as Director of the Multilateral Economics Department.

 

Serbini was made deputy director of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat in 1999 and its director the following year. He was then sent to New York as Brunei’s permanent representative to the United Nations and Ambassador to Colombia. He returned home in 2002 to serve as Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and two years later was named Brunei’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health. In 2008, he was made Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

Serbini returned to diplomacy later that year as permanent representative to the European Union and Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, a post he held until coming to Washington.

 

Serbini is married to Rafiah Ariff. They have four children.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

The Leaderboard: Serbini Ali (Center for Strategic and International Studies)

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