Gamal Helal is a former Senior Diplomatic Interpreter and Special Advisor to the US Government. Throughout Helal’s twenty years with the US Government, he has been the Senior Diplomatic Interpreter for Presidents George H.W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, as well as numerous Secretaries of State and Defense and National Security Advisors.
Helal began as an Arabic interpreter in the Department of State and played a critical role during talks with Iraq before the 1991 Gulf War. In 1993, he became the senior diplomatic Arabic interpreter for the White House and US Government. In addition, he has served in the following capacities: Senior Advisor to the Middle East Special Coordinator for Arab-Israeli Negotiations at the Department of State and a member of President Clinton’s team on Arab-Israeli negotiations (1996-2000); Senior Advisor to the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the US Department of State on Arab-Israeli negotiations and US bilateral relations with the Arab World (2000-2008); Senior Advisor to Palestinian-Israeli Negotiations (2009); and Senior Advisor on Gulf Security for the US Department of State (2009).
Helal has received several awards throughout his career, as well as recognition from the State Department and the White House. He was chosen by GQ Magazine in September 2007 as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Washington, DC. Helal has been interviewed by CNN, BBC, CBS, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Newspaper, Awan Kuwaiti Newspaper, Al-Watan Al-Arabi Magazine, and Atlantic Weekly, as well as other foreign magazines.