Egypt’s new interim cabinet

Hend Kortam
22 Min Read
Interim President Adly Mansour presided over the swearing-in Tuesday evening of the transitional cabinet (Presidency handout photo)

By Hend Kortam, Charlie Miller and Rana Muhammad Taha

Interim president Adly Mansour presided over the swearing-in Tuesday evening of the transitional cabinet, which is scheduled to function for six months.

In total, 34 ministers were sworn in. The following is a profile on the new ministers.


Hazem El-Beblawi, Prime Minister (AFP Photo)
Hazem El-Beblawi, Prime Minister
(AFP Photo)

Hazem El-Beblawi, Prime Minister:

Co-founder of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), El-Beblawi held the position of undersecretary-general at the United Nations from 1995 to 2000, and also served a brief term as Minister of Finance under Essam Sharaf from July 2011 to October 2011.

El-Beblawi was nominated for the premier position after presidential elections in 2012, but was unsuccessful. He was appointed as interim prime minister on 9 July, and has since suspended his membership from the ESDP.

El-Beblawi is a law graduate and obtained postgraduate degrees in economics from the University of Grenoble and the Sorbonne in Paris. He is the interim prime minister tasked with streamlining the transition.


Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, Minister of Defence (AFP Photo)
Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, Minister of Defence
(AFP Photo)

Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, Minister of Defence:

A highly decorated career army officer, General Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi succeeded Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi as general commander of the army, chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and Minister of Defence in August 2012. Prior to this, Al-Sisi was head of military intelligence and also the youngest member of the SCAF, who were tasked with the country’s affairs in the transitional period after Mubarak’s resignation.

Al-Sisi became a regular face on news and television networks after issuing the military ultimatum to the political parties of Egypt on 1 July, and when the ultimatum passed on 3 July, Al-Sisi broke the news of Morsi’s ouster to the world, drawing mixed reactions from opponents and supporters of the former president.


Abdul Aziz Fadel, Minister of Civil Aviation:

A graduate of aeronautical engineering from the Egyptian Military Technical College, Fadel is a veteran of both the Egyptian Air Force and state-operated airline EgyptAir, reaching the level of Vice Chairman of the latter. Fadel’s air force career began in 1972, and he rose to the rank of Major General, tasked with upholding safety and quality standards.

Fadel joined EgyptAir in 2003, was subsequently promoted to chairman of maintenance and engineering and later became vice-president of the company.

Adel Labib, Minister of Local Development:

Former governor of Alexandria, Qena and the Delta town of Beheira under Hosni Mubarak, Labib has been selected as the Minister of Local Development. Labib actually held the office of governor of Qena twice, from 1999-2006 under Mubarak. He was re-appointed in 2011, but was replaced in June 2012 in a governor reshuffle.

Labib was the governor of Alexandria at the time of Khaled Said’s death in 2010, an event oft-deemed one of the major contributing factors to the January 25th Revolution.


Ahmed Boraie, Minister of Social Solidarity:

Boraie is a law professor, holding degrees from the University of Rennes in France, and from the University of Cairo. He is a highly published and accredited scholar, and has been a visiting professor to a number of foreign institutions.

He was appointed Minister of Manpower under Essam Sharaf in March 2011, but was replaced in August 2012 following the election of former president Mohamed Morsi.


Nabil Fahmy, Minister of Foreign Affairs (AFP Photo)
Nabil Fahmy, Minister of Foreign Affairs
(AFP Photo)

Nabil Fahmy, Minister of Foreign Affairs:

Fahmy has had a lengthy career in the Egyptian Diplomatic Service, having served as ambassador to the United States from 1999-2008, ambassador to Japan from 1997-1999 and political adviser to the foreign minister from 1992-1997. Fahmy held a number of positions in government office for over 20 years prior to these postings.

He is the founding Dean of the School of Public Affairs at the American University in Cairo, and is extensively published in the fields of Middle East politics, peacemaking, regional security and disarmament.  Fahmy has also participated in several UN assemblies as a member of the Disarmament and Political Affairs section of the Egyptian Mission to the UN.


Ahmed Galal, Minister of Finance
Ahmed Galal, Minister of Finance

Ahmed Galal, Minister of Finance:

For the last six years, Galal has been the managing director of the Economic Research Forum (ERF) in Cairo. The ERF are the leading regional research institution covering the Middle East, Iran and Turkey. Prior to this, Galal spent 18 years at the World Bank in a number of positions, including as an industrial economist and an economic adviser to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Galal has a PhD in economics from the University of Boston and also participated in a programme of economic development in December 2012 under then-Prime Minister Hisham Qandil. The scheme attempted to unify a number of social and political factions to combat Egypt’s economic challenges through dialogue.


Ziad Bahaa El-Din, Minister of International Cooperation
Ziad Bahaa El-Din, Minister of International Cooperation

Ziad Bahaa El-Din, Minister of International Cooperation:

Bahaa El-Din was a co-founding member of the ESDP alongside Prime Minister Beblawi, and also comes from a legal background. A graduate of AUC and Cairo University, Bahaa El-Din also studied at the London School of Economics, obtaining a doctorate in financial law.

Bahaa El-Din was chairman of the Egyptian General Authority for Investment and Free Zones from 2004-2007, where he was tasked with the regulation and facilitation of domestic and foreign investment. Prior to this, he was a senior legal advisor to the economy ministry.

Bahaa El-Din was a contender for the post of prime minister, but he was met with opposition from the Al-Nour Party.


Dorreya Sharaf El-Din, Minister of Information (Photo Public Domain)
Dorreya Sharaf El-Din, Minister of Information
(Photo Public Domain)

Dorreya Sharaf El-Din, Minister of Information:

Sharaf El-Din is the first female candidate to be appointed Minister of Information. She has maintained a long-term presence in the state-run Radio and Television Union, as well as serving as undersecretary of the information ministry as chief of the satellite channels division.

She has hosted a number of television shows on state-run and privately owned channels and was also a member of the women’s committee of the now-dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP).


Mohamed Amin El-Mahdy, Minister of Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation:

This newly-created position replaces the old post of Minister of Justice, and has been filled by El-Mahdy, a career judge and lawmaker who has participated in a number of high-profile investigations, including as the sole Egyptian member of an International Criminal Court investigation into war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.

El-Mahdy served with the United Nations in a tribunal following the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005 and has played a major role in a national committee tasked with the recovery of Egyptian funds from overseas.

El-Mahdy is also a member of the National Human Rights Council.


Hossam Eissa, Minister of Higher Education:

A former member of the Nasserist Party’s political bureau, long-term political analyst Eissa is also a law professor and was on the committee of the Al-Dostour Party, which he co-founded with Mohamed ElBaradei.

A graduate of the Sorbonne University in Paris, Eissa has taught at a number of institutions in Algeria, Japan and Cairo and has worked as a consultant to the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).


Mokhtar Gomaa, Minister of Religious Endowments:

Gomaa has authored a number of books on religion and has been a member of the Journalism Syndicate for over 40 years. Prior to accepting this position, Gomaa was Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies at the prestigious Al-Azhar University, where he was a member of the senior clerical institute.


Sherif Ismail, Minister of Petroleum:

Mohamed Shoeb, former head of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, had been expected to take the position of the Minister of Petroleum; however Sherif Ismail, chairman of the state-owned Ganoub El-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company was sworn in to the role on 16 July.

His company focuses on the construction of oil-related infrastructure, establishing partnerships with private companies and manages elements of petroleum exploration and production.


Ashraf El-Araby, Minister of Planning:

A career economist, El-Araby served under ex-premier Hesham Qandil as the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation until May 2013. He holds a PhD from Kansas State University and a large portion of his career at the National Planning Institute, but has also worked at the Arab Planning Institute in Kuwait.

He was also involved in negotiating a $4.8billion loan for Egypt from International Monetary Fund (IMF).


Mohamed Abdul Muttalib, Minister of Irrigation:

A long-time member of the World Water Council, Abdul Muttalib has over 20 years of experience in the fields of water resource management, river morphology, hydraulics and environmental impact assessment. He leads the Cairo-based National Water Research Centre since 2012.


Ayman Abu Hadid – Minister of Agriculture

Abu Hadid worked in the Faculty of Agriculture at Aim Shams University, and was appointed agriculture minister in Ahmed Shafiq’s cabinet, formed after the January 25th  Revolution, where he remained until 2012.


Mohamed Abu Shady, Minister of Supply:

Major General Abu Shady is a senior police officer whose previous responsibilities included investigating supply crimes. He also served in Mubarak’s cabinet as the head of the international trade sector, a division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, Minister of Industry:

Secretary General of the National Salvation Front (NSF) Abdel Nour previously served as Egypt’s Tourism Minister in Shafiq’s cabinet. Abdel Nour is a Coptic Christian, and was a member of the National Council for Human Rights.

Mahmoud Abou El-Nasr, Minister of Education:

Abou El-Nasr is a lecturer of mechanical engineering at Cairo University, and used to lead the ‘Technical Education initiative introduced by the Ministry of Education.

Reda Mahmoud Hafez, Minister of Military Production:

General Reda Mahmoud Hafez is a member of the SCAF. A 1973 war veteran, Hafez has been the commander of the Egyptian Air Force since 2008. He was appointed as Minister of Military Production first in 2012 by Qandil, which makes him one of the few ministers who held on to their position in the new cabinet.

Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Interior (AFP Photo)
Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Interior
(AFP Photo)

Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Interior:

Mohamed Ibrahim, a former deputy minister and head of Egypt’s prison authority, was appointed Minister of Interior by Qandil in January 2013, replacing Ahmed Gamal.

Ibrahim took office right before the wave of protests which swept the country during the second anniversary of the January 25th revolution. Opposition figures suggested he was appointed to repress anti-Muslim-Brotherhood protests.

Ahmed Imam, Minister of Electricity:

Another minister to remain in his post despite the reshuffle is Ahmed Imam, who assumed his post in early 2013. Before that, Imam appointed was deputy minister in December 2013. Imam headed the Cairo Electricity Production Company until 2011.

He was repeatedly criticised for the frequent power cuts which mired the country ahead of the 30 June protests. He told the press on Monday that the power cuts have stopped since the 30 June due to the decrease in consumption of electricity during Ramadan.

Laila Rashed Iskander, Minister of Environment:

Iskander is a social entrepreneur who graduated from the faculty of economics and political sciences at Cairo University. She then got a master’s in teaching at UC Berkeley, California, and a doctorate in education at Columbia University, New York.

Iskandar is the chairperson of CID Consulting (Community and International Development Group) which received an award for Social Entrepreneur of the Year from the Schwab Foundation at the 2006 World Economic Forum. The CID works on garbage collectors in Cairo.


Hisham Zaazou and his delegation will meet with Iranian government officials, tourism companies, and travel agencies to discuss easing restrictions on tourists from both countries to travel between Egypt and Iran. Photo: Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou (Photo Courtesy Tourism Ministry official Website)
Hisham Zaazou, Minister of Tourism

Hisham Zaazou, Minister of Tourism:

Zaazou was assistant to former Minister of Tourism Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour before he himself was appointed as minister in August 2012 by Qandil. He is yet another minister who remains in post despite the post-Morsi reshuffle.

Zaazou resigned from his post in June in protest over the appointment of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya member Adel Al-Khayat as governor of Luxor. Though he returned to his post as soon as Al-Khayat resigned, Zaazou resigned yet again following the 30 June protests calling for Morsi’s ouster.


Khaled Abdel Aziz, Minister of Youth:

Abdel Aziz is a member of the Egypt Party, founded by Islamic preacher Amr Khaled. He was head of the sports Shooting Club, and chairman of the National Council for Youth during former Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury’s term after the January 25th revolution.

Abdel Aziz was recommended for the post by Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby member Khaled Teleima, who became his deputy. Teleima was one of the nominees for the post.


Ramzy George,, Minister of Scientific Research

George was sworn in as Minister of Scientific Research graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, in 1984. George, 50, remained in the faculty for years, starting out as a teaching assistant and working his way up to college professor.


Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Antiquities

Mohamed Ibrahim was appointed to the post for the second time, having served as minister under the Cabinet of El-Ganzoury. When Qandil selected his ministers in 2012, he kept Ibrahim in his post until his 7 May cabinet reshuffle when Ibrahim was replaced by Ahmed Eissa.

Ibrahim studied Archaeology at Cairo University and graduated in 1975. In 1987, Ibrahim went to France where he studied at the University of Lyon for both a diploma and a doctorate. When he returned to Egypt, he taught at the University of Alexandria and the University of Ain Shams. Eventually, he became head of the Tourism Guidance Department at the Faculty of Arts, Ain Shams University.

This appointment comes after Dr Raafat Al-Nabarawy rejected the post.

Mohamed Saber Arab, Minister of Culture

After being appointed as minister by El-Ganzoury and Qandil in 2012, Arab was sworn in as Minister of Culture for the third time. He was first appointed on 29 May, 2012. He resigned in June and El-Ganzoury commissioned Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim, to act As Minister of Culture. On 2 August, Arab was reappointed by Qandil.

In February, Arab resigned once again without providing a reason. He retracted it after several days and said he would remain in his post until parliamentary elections are concluded or until there is consensus on national dialogue.

Qandil replaced Arab with Alaa Abdel Aziz in the 7 May Cabinet reshuffle.

Arab is a Modern Arabic History professor at the History and Culture Department, in Al-Azhar University.

He was offered the post after Inas Abdel-Dayem, former head of the Egyptian Opera House, withdrew her acceptance of her appointment as minister of culture.

Maha Al-Rabat, Minister of Health

Al-Rabat is head of the Public Health Department at the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University. After she was sworn in as minister, she told state-run MENA that there are several issues that need to be resolved including a project for a health insurance scheme and a staff law for medical professionals. She graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in 1982.

Taher Abu Zeid, Minister of Sports

Abu Zeid is one of the most prominent football players in Egypt. Abu Zeid, 51, was born in Assiut. When his family moved to Cairo, Abu Zeid started playing football with Al-Ahly Club, one of the most popular Egyptian clubs, in his early teens. He came to be known as the “Maradona of the Nile” and won several tournaments and cups with his team, locally and internationally. After his resignation as football player, he became a sports TV show host.

Kamal Abu Eita, Minister of Manpower

Abu Eita, 60, was born in Boulaq El-Dakrour, and is the general manager of the Giza Real Estate Tax Authority and the head of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions. Abu Eita is also a co-founder of Al-Karama Party. He is a labour rights defender who led several strikes including the real estate workers’ strike that lasted over 100 days, during the era of former president Hosni Mubarak.  He helped found the first independent union in Egypt: the Real Estate Tax Authority Employees’ Union.

Atef Helmy, Minister of Communication
Atef Helmy, Minister of Communication

Atef Helmy, Minister of Communication

Helmy was first appointed to this post on 6 January, along with nine other ministers. On 1 July, amid rising tensions in the country and shortly before the removal of former president Morsi, Helmy handed in his resignation along with three other ministers. Helmy studied Electrical Engineering at the Military Technical College and graduated in 1973. He completed a diploma and masters at the University of Ain Shams in 1979 and 1981 respectively. He served in the military for ten years.

Ibrahim Mahlab, Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development

Mahlab has worked at the public Arab Contractors Company since 1972. He was appointed by former Minister of Housing Ibrahim Seliman as chairman of the company, and served for 11 years until his resignation in September 2012.

Osama Saleh. Minister of Investment (DNE File Photo)
Osama Saleh. Minister of Investment
(DNE File Photo)

Osama Saleh. Minister of Investment

Saleh, 53 had served in this position under Qandil’s Cabinet but was replaced by Yehia Hamed Abd El-Samie in the 7 May Cabinet reshuffle. Saleh studied Commerce and served as head of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones but gave up the post when he was appointed as minister. He also served as head of the Mortgage Finance Authority for four years.

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