Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa (Arabic: عيسى بن سلمان آل خليفة) was the first emir of Bahrain from 1961 until his death. Born in Jasra, he became emir upon the death of his father, Salman ibn Hamad.
His reign began in December 1961 when his father Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa died in November. His term saw Bahrain gain its independence from the United Kingdom in 1971.
While the government initially considered joining the United Arab Emirates, Isa had his country withdraw (along with Qatar) over his dissatisfaction with the proposed constitution. He then attempted to introduce a moderate form of parliamentary democracy, and men (though not women) were given the vote in parliamentary elections in 1973. In August 1975, however, he dissolved Parliament because it refused to pass the government-sponsored State Security Law of 1974. The parliamentary system was never restored.
During his 38 years as Emir, the economic transformation of Bahrain into a modern nation and a key financial center in the Persian Gulf area took place.
Note: on commemorative coins, his titles and names are rendered in English as His Highness the Amir of the State of Bahrain Shaikh Isa bin Sulman Al-Khalifa.
He was succeeded by his eldest son, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.