Ohood Al Roumi

Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi
UAE first Minister of State for Happiness, Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi talks during the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)Kamran Jebreili — AP
  • Title
    Minister of Happiness
  • Affiliation
    United Arab Emirates

How do you define happiness for an entire nation? As one of the world’s few cabinet officials tasked with improving a country’s mood, Al Roumi is reorienting the oil-rich UAE toward a more holistic understanding of quality of life, even as the country struggles to make progress on gender equality, freedom of speech, and the rights of migrant workers. Since her appointment last year, Al Roumi has tasked her subordinates to study the science of well-being; her next challenge will be converting that science into concrete reforms.