Who's who in El-Sisi's new cabinet

Ahram Online, Monday 16 Jun 2014

Ahram Online presents a biography of all new ministers - plus those who are returning to their posts - in the new cabinet headed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab

Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab (Photo: Reuters)

Ministers who will remain in their posts are:

1. Minister of Tourism – Hisham Zaazou

Zaazou, 59, continues in his post as tourism minister.

He is a political independent who was appointed tourism minister in August 2012. He was previously assistant to former tourism minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour.

Zaazou resigned in June when a member of militant Islamist group Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya was appointed governor of Luxor. He later withdrew his resignation and continued as minister after the governor resigned.

2. Minister of Communication – Atef Helmy

Helmy was originally appointed communications minister in January 2013. He resigned from the cabinet on 1 July in protest at then-president Mohamed Morsi's failure to respond to nationwide protests against his rule.

A graduate of a military technical college, Helmy obtained a diploma in computer science from Ain Shams University in 1979.

After leaving the army in 1983, he began his career in the civilian IT sector, working at several Egyptian and multinational corporations, including Oracle Egypt, where he became managing director.

3. Minister of Industry – Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour

The 68-year-old served as tourism minister from February 2011 until August 2012 under Essam Sharaf.

Abdel-Nour claims to have refused a ministerial position under Mohamed Morsi.

As secretary-general of the Wafd Party, he was the first minister from an opposition party to hold a cabinet post for 30 years.

He is also the founder of the Egyptian Finance Company and was a member of the National Council for Human Rights.

He is a director of the Egyptian Federation of Industries and the Egyptian Competition Authority.

4. Minister of Planning – Ashraf El-Araby

El-Araby served as planning minister from August 2012 until May 2013 under prime minister Hisham Qandil. He was replaced by Muslim Brotherhood figure Amr Darrag.

An economist by training, El-Araby received his doctorate from Kansas State University in the United States. For the majority of his career, he worked at the country's National Planning Institute.

From 2006 until the end of 2011, he headed the technical advisory office of former planning minister Fayza Abul-Naga.

After a brief interlude, during which he worked at the Arab Planning Institute in Kuwait, El-Arabi was called back to head the ministry.

He was a key part of the Egyptian team negotiating with the International Monetary Fund over a $4.8 billion loan.

5. Minister of Petroleum – Sherif Ismail

Ismail is chairman of the state-owned Ganoub El-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company which manages exploration and production concessions, establishes joint ventures with private companies and constructs oil infrastructure.

6. Minister of Religious Endowments – Mokhtar Gomaa

Gomaa is dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies at Al-Azhar University and a member Al-Azhar's senior clerical institute.

He was born in 1939 in Qalioubiya governorate. He earned his degree in Arabic in 1965 and later completed a master's degree and a doctorate.

Gomaa worked at several newspapers as an Arabic proof-reader and has been a member of the Journalists' Syndicate since 1972.

He is also the author of several books on religion.

7. Minister of Education – Mahmoud Abou El-Nasr

Abul-Nasr was formerly head of the ministry's technical education sector.

He was a faculty member at Cairo University's mechanical engineering department.

8. Minister of Sports and Youth – Khaled Abdel-Aziz

Abdel-Aziz was the head of the Shooting Club, a private sports club in Giza, and then became chairman of the National Council of Youth.

He is a member of the Egypt Party, founded and led by moderate Islamic preacher Amr Khaled.

Abdel-Aziz was director of the 2006 African Cup of Nations, which Egypt hosted and won.

9. Minister of Military Production – Ibrahim Younis

Younis is a major general in the army and chairman of the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI), a military-owned company considered one of the largest industrial organisations in Egypt.

The AOI supreme committee is headed by the country's president and includes several other cabinet ministers.

10. Minister of Health – Adel El-Adawy

El-Adawy served as an assistant to two former ministers of health, Ashraf Hatem and Amr Helmy.

He is also vice president of Banha University with responsibility for graduate studies and research, as well as the head of the Egyptian Society of Orthopaedics.

11. Minister of Housing – Mostafa Madbouly

Madbouly is retaining his position from the previous cabinet as he took up the position of minister of housing in February succeeding Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahleb.

He is an architect and urban designer who was director of the UN's HABITAT Regional Office for Arab States.

Madbouly holds a PhD in urban planning from Cairo University and a postgraduate diploma in urban management from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam.

He served as chairman of the General Organisation of Physical Planning for almost four years.

12. Minister of Supply – Khaled Hanafy

Hanafy is chair of the Internal Trade Development Authority (ITDA), a governmental body belonging to the ministry of supply. He was appointed chair of ITDA after a decision by outgoing prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi in late November 2013.

He is also dean of the International Transport and Logistics faculty at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport.

13. Minister of Social Solidarity – Ghada Waly

Waly is the secretary-general of the Social Fund for Development (SFD), a government entity that provides start-up companies with financial help and other services. Her past experience includes a stint at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) where she worked towards poverty reduction and job creation.

She has previously called on the Egyptian government to encourage entrepreneur innovation and development in the microfinance sector.

Waly was also a board member of the Consumer Protection Agency, the first government body for consumer protection, which was created in 2006.

She studied at Colorado State University in the US, earning a bachelor's in arts and humanities in 1987 and a master's in 1990.

14. Minister of Aviation – Mohamed Hossam Kamal

Kamal was appointed as the chairman of the national aviation company EgyptAir in August 2013. That same year he was also chosen as a representative for Arab airlines in the International Aviation Union.

Kamal's career in the aviation industry has seen him involved with cooperation projects for fuel and equipment purchase as well as a plan to exchange used parts to cut costs on Arab airlines.

15. Minister of Local and Administrative Development – Adel Labib

Labib, 68, served as governor of several provinces under Hosni Mubarak, including Qena in Upper Egypt, Beheira in the Nile Delta, and Alexandria.

There were major protests against him in Alexandria, with some local groups accusing him of mismanagement.

In 2011, prime minister Essam Sharaf appointed him governor of Qena for a second time after local protesters backed him over an unpopular alternative.

He was Qena governor until June 2012 when he was replaced in a reshuffle by president Mohamed Morsi.

16. Minister of Finance – Hany Kadry Demian

Demian was first deputy finance minister for seven months from October 2012 to April 2013, when he resigned for apparent unease over the rising influence of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated economists, according to sources from the finance ministry. Before this post, he was deputy minister for five years.

Demian has been a key Egyptian negotiator with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In 2008, he was appointed as the Chairman of Deputies for the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). He was the IMFC's deputy at a G20 summit and chaired the IMFC communiqué drafting sessions.

He was close to Youssef Boutros Ghali, a powerful finance minister from the Hosni Mubarak era who fled the country in February 2011.

Demian attended Columbia University in New York, where he received a master's degree in international affairs and economic policy management.

17. Minister of Urban Development – Laila Iskandar

Although the ministry of urban development is a new addition, Iskandar served in the previous cabinet as minister of environment.

Iskandar is an Egyptian social entrepreneur who has worked on environmental projects that have received international recognition, notably with garbage collectors in Cairo, for which she won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1994 and the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Schwab Foundation at the World Economic Forum in 2006.

During her ministerial post, she was opposed to cement plants and sought was also critical of the government's plans to start using coal as an alternative source of energy due to shortages in traditional fuels like natural gas. The issue remains unresolved.

Iskandar studied economics and political science at Cairo University. She then went on to gain a master's in teaching and a doctorate in education at UC Berkeley, California and Columbia University, New York respectively.

18. Minister of Defence – Sedki Sobhi

Sobhi was made a colonel general by interim president Adly Mansour, a rank historically reserved for defence ministers.

Since graduating from Egypt's Military Academy in 1976, Sobhi has held a number of senior posts, including commander of the Third Army, stationed in Suez and South Sinai, and deputy chief of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which he now heads.

19. Minister of Interior – Mohamed Ibrahim

Ibrahim was originally appointed in a cabinet reshuffle in January 2013, and was one of the few ministers to keep his post after the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

Human rights activists and opposition figures have been calling for his dismissal since the dispersal of pro-Morsi protest camps in Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda squares left hundreds dead.

Under Ibrahim's leadership, the police have launched a broad crackdown on Islamists and more recently on secular opposition activists.

Ibrahim's main challenge has been a militant insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula and a growing number of terrorist attacks across the country that have killed dozens of police and soldiers.

20. Minister of Electricity – Mohamed Shaker

Shaker is chairman of Shaker Group, a consultancy and engineering firm that specialises in electricity projects.

His firm is currently designing and constructing the power generation plant of the Cairo Metro's third phase. It has also built major transmission lines and power generation plants across Egypt and other countries.

21. Minister of Manpower Nahed El-Ashri

El-Ashri headed the department of labour relations and collective bargaining at the ministry under Morsi and in El-Beblawi's cabinet.

She has worked with most of the other cabinet ministers, and has played a major role in negotiations with striking workers.

The newly-appointed ministers are:

1. Minister of Transport – Hany Dahy

Dahy served as head Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) from 2011 until his retirement in 2012. In his capacity as EGPC head, Dahy was one of the authorities responsible for the decision to terminate Egypt's natural gas export contract with Israel.

2. Minister of Environment – Khaled Fahmy

Fahmy served as Egypt's minister of environment during Morsi's reign from January to July 2013, quitting as part of mass resignations in the cabinet before Morsi's ouster.

He received his PhD in economics in 1984 from the University of Economic Sciences, Bruno Leuschner. He was Deputy Chief of party in Chemonics International from 2005 to 2008.

3. Minister of Foreign Affairs – Sameh Shoukry

Shoukry served as Egypt's ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2012.

He received his bachelor's degree in law from Ain Shams University in 1975.

Shoukry previously served as secretary for information to deposed president Hosni Mubarak from 1995 to 1999.

He was also Egypt's permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva from 2005 to 2008 and ambassador to Austria from 1999 to 2003.

4. Minister of Culture – Gaber Asfour

Asfour served briefly as minister of culture following the 25 January 2011 uprising, from 31 January to 8 February 2011.

A literary critic and author, Asfour held the post of the General Secretary of the Supreme Council for Culture, where he focused on the department of literary translations.

Asfour later left the department to create the National Translation Foundation, which he headed and secured funding for from the Ministry of Culture.

For several years, Asfour was also editor-in-chief of Fousoul, a literary quarterly publication. In 2008 he was awarded the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture.

5. Minister of International Cooperation – Naglaa El-Ahwany

El-Ahwany is the second woman to be appointed as minister of international cooperation, in the footsteps of Fayza Aboul-Naga. She was appointed as economic advisor to Egypt's cabinet in May 2011.

An economic researcher at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Cairo, she has published several studies on informal labour and rural development, issues that are particularly relevant to Egypt's economic agenda.

She is also responsible for many publications on development issues, workers' rights and legal empowerment of the poor.

El-Ahwany served as director of the European Studies Centre at the faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University and is a member of the National Council for Women's (NCW) economic committee.

6. Minister of Investment – Ashraf Salman

Salman is currently CEO of Cairo Financial Holding, a Cairo-based investment bank of which he was a co-founder. Founded in 2008, the bank has as an authorised capital of LE500 million and a paid-in capital of LE240 million.

Salman is an experienced financier, with over 20 years of experience with the public and private sector. A member of the Management Development Centre for Industry, Salman was one of the architects of Egypt's privatisation program under the Mubarak regime in the 1990s, taking part in the restructurings and valuations of public and private companies.

7. Minister of Justice – Mahfouz Saber

Saber is head of Mansoura's Appeals Court. He was the secretary-general for the parliamentary election commission in the 2010 parliamentary polls, which are widely known to have been rigged.

8. Minister of Higher Education – Sayed Abdel-Khalek

Abdel-Khalek is head of Mansoura University, where he was previously dean of the law school. He graduated from Cairo University in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in law.

9. Minister of Transitional Justice – Ibrahim El-Henedy

El-Henedy is head of Egypt's Illicit Gains Authority, which in the past has investigated corruption charges on a host of prominent figures from Mubarak's regime.

10. Minister of Scientific Research – Sherif Hamad

Hamad is the dean of engineering at Ain Shams University, where he also received his PhD in engineering in 1992. He previously served as the engineering department's dean for student affairs.

11. Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources – Hossam El-Din Moghazi

Moghazi wrote his Master's thesis on groundwater hydrology in Wadi El-Natroun, and a PhD thesis at London University on the optimal design of wells to exploit groundwater in arid regions.

He has been a professor of irrigation engineering at Alexandria University since 2000 and department head since 2010.
He has worked as a consultant to the irrigation ministry on several projects.

12. Minister of Agriculture – Adel El-Beltagi

El-Beltagi has a PhD in plant physiology from a British University, and is a fellow of the World Academy of Sciences. He has headed the Global Forum for Agricultural Research since 2006, the International Association for the Development of Dryland since 2003, and the Council of Agricultural Research and Development since 2007.

His research focuses on agriculture in arid lands. He has participated in the authorship of more than 140 scientific publications at the national and international level.

He was awarded the State Award for Agricultural Science and Developed Technological Sciences in 2008; the Sultan Qaboos Insignia for Science, Culture and Arts; the Insignia of Independence from King Abdullah II of Jordan in 2005; the Medal of Honour from France in 2003; the Gold Medal of the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture in 2003; the Golden Pen of the International Society for Horticultural Science in 1982 and an honorary doctorate in science from Khartoum University in Sudan in 2006.

13. Minister of Antiquities – Mamdouh El-Damaty

Head of the antiquities department at Ain Shams University since 2006, El-Damaty received his BA and MA in ancient Egyptian antiquities from Cairo University, and a PhD in ancient Egyptian antiquities from a German University.

He was deputy secretary of the Egyptian Museum from 1981 to 1987, and secretary of the Museum of the Faculty of Antiquities, Cairo University from 1988 to 1996. He has been on the board of directors of several cultural, scientific and archaeological institutions in Egypt.

El-Damaty received the Order of Knight from Italy's president in 2004.


 *This story has been been corrected to add Minister of Manpower – Nahed El-Ashri

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