WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Special Olympics International Board of Directors held a meeting in Washington, D.C. hosted by Georgetown University where they were pleased to award their flagship event and world's largest humanitarian and sporting event of 2019, the Special Olympics World Games, to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Special Olympics International Board of Directors unanimously voted to award the World Games to Abu Dhabi based on a comprehensive bid proposal, a site visit by a Board Committee, and the country's vision to create inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities throughout the UAE, their region and the world. A press conference detailing the event will follow at a later date in Abu Dhabi. "Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi is revolutionary for our movement and for the Middle East region," shared Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman. "There's no better or more profound location than Abu Dhabi to invite the world to come together in celebration of sport, in celebration of people of all kinds, and to demonstrate to the world that the lines of division can be erased. We are thrilled to be the first fully global multisport Games of this size to be staged in the Middle East region of the world." During the session the Board elected Dr. Wing- Kun Tam, Past President of Lions Clubs International, to the Board and welcomed back Olympic Gold Medalist Bart Conner and Mr. Raymond (Ray) Lane, partner with venture capital firm, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, who are both returning to the Board for a second time. Mr. Lane will also serve on the Executive Committee along with Bank of America's Anne Finucane who joined the Executive Committee in September. Former Under Secretary of State and current Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government Professor Nicholas Burns, Mr. Benjamin Haack and NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo were all re-elected to serve a 2 nd three-year term on the Board. Dr. Elisabeth Dykens, Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, and Olympic figure skating champion Michelle Kwan were both re-elected to serve a 3 rd three-year term on the Board. Dr. Timothy Shriver, Chairman, Special Olympics, was re-elected for a 2 nd extended three-year term and Mr. Stephen Carter, former Chief Executive Officer of Superior Essex, a worldwide leader in the wire and cable industry, was reelected for a 3 rd extended three-year term to the Board. Three Board Officers were elected to serve three-year terms through 12/31/19: Dr. Timothy Shriver to continue as Board Chair, Ms. Angela Ciccolo to continue as Secretary and Professor William Alford was elected as Vice Chair of the Board. Professor Alford also serves as Lead Director of the Board. The Board expressed their thanks to Mr. Carter for his many years of service as Lead Director. Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia welcomed the Board and helped host an intimate dinner reception with a roundtable discussion around inclusion in sport. Dr. Timothy Shriver moderated the panel discussion with participation from Georgetown University Basketball Coach Natasha Adair, Faculty Member Ray Kent, Loretta Claiborne, Chief Inspiration Officer for Special Olympics, and Olympic Gold Medalist Donna de Varona. The Special Olympics International Board of Directors is the ultimate governing authority for the Special Olympics movement and is composed of Special Olympics athletes and leaders in the areas of business, government, disability, sports and entertainment. The Board is responsible for the global affairs and strategies of Special Olympics; it determines its policies and programs and oversees all top-level management. Board Members are elected to a three-year term and may be re-elected twice - for a maximum of nine consecutive years of service.