His Excellency Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United States, pictured with Ambassador Robert C. O’Brien, Chairman of the Richard Nixon Foundation Board of Directors and his wife Lo-Mari O’Brien.

Transformational gift will build a new exhibition hall at the Nixon Presidential Library

The Richard Nixon Foundation announced last evening a $20 million charitable gift donation from the government of Qatar in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Qatar, which was undertaken by the Nixon administration in 1972.

The government of Qatar’s gift will enable the Richard Nixon Foundation to build a new hall at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum designed to house large-scale, rotating and traveling educational exhibitions and programs.

 “The Nixon Foundation is very appreciative of this transformative gift. It will allow the Nixon Library to present the highest quality educational exhibitions that will appeal to visitors from around the world,” said Ambassador Robert C. O’Brien, Chairman of the Richard Nixon Foundation Board of Directors. “This undertaking directly supports the Foundation’s mission of engaging the public with American civics and history. It’s an extraordinary day for the Nixon Foundation and Presidential Library.  The Foundation is incredibly grateful for the Government of Qatar’s generosity.”

This gift supports the Nixon Foundation’s American Civics Campaign, also announced by Ambassador O’Brien last evening while speaking before 150 American Prisoners of War, held in captivity in North Vietnam, at a celebration reunion at the Nixon Presidential Library 50 years to the day that President and Mrs. Nixon hosted them at the White House.

The Yorba Linda-based Nixon Library, which includes the President’s birthplace, underwent a $15 million renovation in 2016 to overhaul its presidential museum galleries, integrating new technologies that have reimagined the experience for visitors.

While relations between the U.S. and Qatar began 50 years ago, the relationship took a major step forward in 2022. On January 31, 2022, President Joe Biden announced that he would designate Qatar as a Major Non-NATO Ally of the United States. “Qatar is a good friend and a reliable and capable partner,” said President Biden from the Oval Office. Qatar became a Major Non-NATO Ally of the United States shortly thereafter on March 22, 2022.

According to the U.S. Department of State, the Major Non-NATO Ally designation is a powerful symbol of the close relationship the United States shares with those countries and demonstrates deep respect for the friendship for the countries to which it is extended. Currently, only 18 nations are designated as Major Non-NATO Allies of the United States. 

This designation is a major step forward in the relationship President Nixon began half a century ago.  The Board of Directors and the Nixon family are proud that the friendship between the United States and Qatar will be memorialized through the new Exhibit Hall at the Nixon Library.