Date: Friday, September 30, 2016
Location: Houston, TX
The long history of friendship and cooperation between the United States and Tunisia continues to be strengthened within the framework of mutual understanding and common adherence to the ideals and values of liberty, democracy, and free enterprise. On September 30th, 2016, the Bilateral Chamber was pleased to host a timely roundtable briefing featuring His Excellency Faycal Gouia, who offered his insights into the current state of U.S. -Tunisia relations, along with opportunities available for U.S. businesses looking to invest and/or sustain ventures in the region.
On May 18, 2015, President Barack Obama accepted the credentials of H.E. Fayçal Gouia, a longtime high ranking member of his country’s foreign service, to be Tunisia’s Ambassador to the United States. This is the second time Ambassador Gouia has been posted to his country’s embassy in Washington.
Ambassador Gouia, who was born on July 10, 1959, attended the National School of Administration in Tunis, Tunisia. He received a Master’s degree in 1984 and went into government service, beginning in the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs as the head of the International Relations Department. After two years, he returned to the National School of Administration and earned an advanced Master’s degree in 1989 (Laureate). He later attended the National Defense University in the United States and the National Defense Institute in Tunis.
Ambassador Gouia went back into government service in 1989, as Head of the Budget Management Division at the Ministry of Finance. He moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993, first as Deputy Director for South Asia and later as Director for the Americas.
Ambassador Gouia’s assignments to the Tunisian Embassy in Washington began in 1995 as Cultural and Press Counselor, then went on to be its Economic and Commercial Counselor in 1997 as its Deputy Chief of Mission in 1999.
He returned to Tunis in 2001 to head the Americas Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Gouia received his first ambassadorial assignment beginning in 2006 in Jakarta, Indonesia. He was accredited to Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and, beginning in 2007, to Malaysia and Brunei as well.
Ambassador Gouia returned home in 2010 to become Director General for Africa and the African Union and in 2011 he was appointed Director General for the Americas and Asia in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In January 2014, he was named Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. One of the issues he worked on was the number of kidnapped Tunisians in neighboring Libya. He held that job until being named Ambassador of his country to Washington.
Ambassador Gouia is Chevalier of the Republic Order and was granted the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in 2013.
Ambassador Gouia is married and has two daughters. He speaks Arabic, English and French.