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Egypt hails appointment of LSE's Egypt-born director to Britain's House of Lords

Last week, the UK government announced that Shafik, the director of the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE), was made a Life Peer in the House of Lords

Ahram Online , Tuesday 4 Aug 2020
 Minouche Shafik
LSE Director Minouche Shafik (Courtesy of LSE)
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Egypt hailed on Tuesday the appointment of leading Egyptian-born figure Minouche Shafik to Britain’s upper house of parliament as a “new accomplishment” for Egyptian women abroad.

Last week, the UK government announced that Shafik, the director of the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE), was made a Life Peer in the House of Lords.

Egypt’s Emigration Minister Nabila Makram congratulated Shafik, whose first name is Neamat and is known in the UK as Minouche, on her appointment during a phone call on Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement.

The minister hailed Shafik’s efforts over the past years, which have led her to this respected appointment.

The statement added that Shafik will become a baron in the House of Lords and her sons will be granted honorary titles.

During the call, Shafik expressed her pride in her Egyptian nationality, attributing her successes to her home country, whose culture and civilisation has influenced her, the ministry quoted her as saying.

Shafik has been nominated to sit in the House of Lords as a Crossbench Peer, without political party affiliation, granting her the right to directly and independently scrutinise and vote on legislation and question government policy, according to LSE.

“I especially look forward to highlighting how social science and humanities have a vital role in tackling enormous challenges facing the UK and the wider world – from managing the impact of pandemics and combating climate change, to supporting economic recovery and wellbeing,” Shafik said last week.

Shafik’s successful portfolio includes leading roles such as Vice President of the World Bank, where she became the youngest VP in the history of the bank, and Permanent Secretary of the UK Department for International Development and Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

She also served as the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England prior to her appointment as LSE Director in 2017.

Shafik, 57, was born in Alexandria. Her childhood in Egypt was brief, as she left the country for the US when she was four. She later returned to the country briefly as a teenager, according to interviews.

She holds a BSc in economics and politics from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and an MSc in economics at LSE before completing a PHD in economics at St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. Her doctorate thesis was on the role of the private sector and the public sector in Egypt.

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