Morocco’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Lalla Joumala Alaoui?

Monday, June 26, 2017
Lalla Joumala Alaoui

Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui, a cousin of Morocco’s king, who most recently served as her country’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, was appointed in February 2016 to take over the embassy in Washington and was sworn in on October 13, 2016. She presented her credentials to President Donald Trump on April 24, 2017.


Morocco was one of the first countries to recognize the United States as an independent nation.


Lalla Joumala was born in 1962 in Rabat, Morocco, daughter of Princess Lalla Fatim Zahra and Prince Moulay Ali. Lalla Fatima Zohra was the eldest daughter of King Mohammad V and half-sister to the then-king, Hassan II, making her a cousin of current ruler Mohammad VI. Lalla Joumala’s aunt, Princess Lalla Aicha, was the world’s first female Arab ambassador, serving in the United Kingdom from 1965 to 1969. Lalla Joumala was the goddaughter of Marcia Israel, the founder of the Judy’s clothing chain.


Lalla Joumala attended Lycée Descartes in Rabat, then studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, part of the University of London, where she earned a degree in politics and history. She married an Iranian, Muhammad Reza Nouri Esfandiari, in October 1986.


Lalla Joumala served for a time as an executive at Bank Al Maghrib, but turned her focus to diplomacy in the late 1990s. She served briefly as an attaché at Morocco’s mission to the United Nations in New York from 1999 to 2000. In 2001, Lalla Joumala led her country’s delegation to the UN session on HIV/AIDS.


Lalla Joumala founded the Moroccan-British Society, promoting improved relations between the two countries, in 2003. Then, in January 2009, she followed in her aunt’s footsteps when she took over as ambassador to the United Kingdom. She served there until being tapped for the U.S. post.


Lalla Joumala and her husband have an adult daughter, Lalla Nezha, who was born in 1989.

-Steve Straehley, David Wallechinsky


To Learn More:

Lalla Joumala, une Princesse Dans le Vent (by M Sehimi, Maghress)

Official Biography


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