Skip to content ↓

MIT hosts visit from leading Saudi Arabian minister

Discussion focuses on the country’s long-term future and policy plans.
Press Inquiries

Press Contact:

Abby Abazorius
Phone: 617-253-2709
MIT News Office

Media Download

President L. Rafael Reif (left) with Khalid Al-Falih
Download Image
Caption: President L. Rafael Reif (left) with Khalid Al-Falih
Credits: Photo: Bryce Vickmark
Khalid Al-Falih
Download Image
Caption: Khalid Al-Falih
Credits: Photo: Bryce Vickmark

*Terms of Use:

Images for download on the MIT News office website are made available to non-commercial entities, press and the general public under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license. You may not alter the images provided, other than to crop them to size. A credit line must be used when reproducing images; if one is not provided below, credit the images to "MIT."

President L. Rafael Reif (left) with Khalid Al-Falih
President L. Rafael Reif (left) with Khalid Al-Falih
Khalid Al-Falih
Khalid Al-Falih
Photo: Bryce Vickmark

MIT hosted Khalid Al-Falih, head of Saudi Arabia’s new Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, for a wide-ranging talk and discussion on Friday about the country’s long-term directions in economic and human development.

The event convened a group of leaders from academic and business circles in Massachusetts, who participated in a discussion after opening remarks by Al-Falih and MIT President L. Rafael Reif.

In his introductory comments, Reif called Al-Falih “a visionary, strategic thinker,” adding: “He is passionate about education, human resource development, and science and technology ventures.”

Reif also noted that over half the population of Saudi Arabia is under age 25. “It is a country of the future,” he said.

Al-Falih’s remarks and the ensuing discussion covered many issues related to Saudi Arabia’s widely-discussed “Vision 2030” project, a new policy agenda released to the public in April. “Vision 2030” seeks to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy beyond its traditional strength in oil, to include greater capacity in petrochemicals, services, logistics, tourism, and even renewable energy, starting with some solar and wind projects.

All told, as the public report on “Vision 2030” states, Saudi Arabia aims to increase its non-oil-related government revenue roughly sixfold by the year 2030, while building further partnerships with private industry.

During his career, Al-Falih has held multiple positions in the Saudi Arabian government, including leadership of the Ministry of Health. He has served as CEO of Saudi Aramco, the oil and gas producer, and is currently chair of the company.

Al-Falih has been an instrumental supporter of the Ibn Khaldun Fellowships at MIT, which provide support for female Saudi Arabian scientists and engineers to do postdoctoral research at MIT. Saudi Aramco is also a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative.

Related Links

Related Topics

Related Articles

More MIT News