- Mr. Rifai is Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) based in Madrid, Spain. He holds this position since 1 January 2010. He was unanimously elected at the 18th session of UNWTO General Assembly (October 2009), following the recommendation of the UNWTO Executive Council made in May 2009.
- From March to December 2009 he was UNWTO Secretary-General ad interim. From February 2006 to February 2009 he was Deputy Secretary-General.
- From January 2003 to February 2006, Mr. Rifai was the Assistant Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
- Prior to this appointment, Mr. Rifai served in several ministerial portfolios in the Government of Jordan as Minister of Tourism and Antiquities; Minister of Information; and, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.
- +During his term as Minister of Tourism, Mr. Rifai served as Chairman of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
- From 1997 to 2000, he was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jordan Cement Company, one of the largest public shareholding companies in Jordan; and directed the first large-scale privatization and restructuring scheme in Jordan.
- Mr. Rifai was also actively involved in policy making and developing investment strategies in his capacity as Director General of the Investment Promotion Corporation (IPC) in Jordan (1995-1997).
- From 1993 to 1995, Mr. Rifai headed Jordan’s first Economic Mission to Washington DC, promoting trade, investments, and economic relations between Jordan and the USA..
- Mr. Rifai began his career as Professor of Architecture, Planning and Urban Design at the University of Jordan from 1973-1993. He received his Ph.D. in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia – USA (1983); and a MSc. in Engineering and Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago – USA (1979). He also attained a B.Sc. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Cairo in 1973.
- Mr. Rifai is a Jordanian national born is 1949. He is married and has five children.