Prof. Riyad Y. Hamzah, Bahraini, is the President of the University of Bahrain (UoB), the largest and only national university in the Kingdom of Bahrain. He was professor of environmental biotechnology at the Arabian Gulf University (AGU) and Secretary General of the Council of Higher Education in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Prof. Hamzah earned his PhD in biochemistry in 1984 from the University of Houston, U.S.A. He was involved in the establishment of the Arabian Gulf University, Bahrain, since its inception in 1984 and established and directed numerous new programs in various scientific and educational fields. He served in key academic and administrative posts including Director General of Finance and Administration, Dean of the College of Applied Sciences, and as the Vice-President of AGU from 1994 to 2005. Prof. Hamzah founded the Biotechnology Program at the Arabian Gulf University in 1987, the first academic program in the Arab World to offer degrees in biotechnology. Prof. Hamzah has devoted his research to the microbiology and biochemistry of biodegradation of toxicants and pollutants by microorganisms, with special interests in biodegradation and bioremediation of crude oil and hazardous waste contamination, in addition to the process of biodesulfurization, using bacteria to lower the sulfur content in oil and its derivatives. Prof. Hamzah has organized and presented plenary lectures at numerous international conferences, has numerous publications in prestigious international scientific journals, and supervised numerous M. Sc. and Ph. D. degrees in the field of biotechnology. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research (1999-2006 and is the coeditor of the book National Biodiversity Planning in the Arab World (2001).