Ambassador John Rakolta Jr.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates
Ambassador John Rakolta Jr. was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates on September 17, 2019. Rakolta was a business executive and civic leader in Detroit, Michigan. He previously served as chairman and chief executive officer of Walbridge, a family-owned construction company that has completed projects across the globe. A dedicated supporter of his community, Rakolta worked with the Detroit Public School System, Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, and the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition to build education, economic opportunity, and civic involvement across the Detroit region. He earned a BS in civil engineering from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rakolta has received several awards and honors, including the 2005 Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He was named Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News in 2018 for his advocacy for public schools.