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Members of Iraq's Government - Who's Who

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An EPIC Resource

Last updated on Friday, July 14, 2006.

Corrections or updates are welcome at Erik@epic-usa.org  Eric(at)epic-usa.org (substitute @ for (at))

Updated versions will be posted at http://dev.epic-usa.org/files/EPIC/IRAQ_Government.pdf

Members of Iraq's Government -Who's Who

The President

Mr. Jalal Talabani

- Head of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) which is a member of the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan.

- President of Iraq since 5Apr 2005

- A Kurd, born in 1933 in the village of Kelkan in Iraqi Kurdistan

- High school education in Erbil and Kirkuk

- Was denied admission to medical school owing to his political activities.

- Trained in law at Baghdad University

- Editor of two publications, Khabat and Kurdistan

- Founder and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) -affiliated Kurdistan Students Union.

- Went into hiding in 1956 to escape arrest for his activities as leader of of the Kurdistan Student Union.

- Elected to the KDP's central committee in 1951, at the age of18

- Served in the Iraqi army after graduation in 1959

- Became a leading member of a separate faction within the KDP ("KDP-Political Bureau") from the mid-1960s.

- Formed the PUK in 1975 with other members of KDP-Political Bureau

- Advocate for Kurdish rights and democracy in Iraq

Deputy President

Mr. Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawir

- Founder Leader of Iraqiyyun, a coalition list of Sunni parties that won 5 seats in the January 2005 elections.

- Selected as vice-president on 5 Apr05

- President of the Governing Council from mid-May 2004, and was selected by the Governing Council to retain this role on 31 May. Jun 2004 - Apr 05

- Born in Mosul in 1960, a Sunni Arab, from the Shammar tribe.

- Trained as a civil engineer at Georgetown University in Washington.

- Was vice-president of Hicap Technology Co., a telecom company in Saudi Arabia (where he has lived for the past 15 years) until June 2003.

- Shaykh Muhsin al-Yawir, his uncle, is head of the Shammar tribe.

- When member of the Governing Council he was strongly critical of US military operations in Falluja in April 2004, referring to them as "genocide" and threatening to resign.

- His brother Faris Mashal al-Yawir was appointed as Iraq's ambassador to the UAE on 19 July 2004.

Deputy President

Mr. 'Adl 'Abd al-Mahdi

- President of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) which is a member of the United Iraqi Alliance.

- Selected as vice-president on 5 Apr 05.

- Deputy member for 'Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim on the Governing Council.

- Finance Minister on the Interim Government.

- Was actually SCIRI's candidate for the position of Iraqi Prime Minister in the Interim Government but gave way to Ja'afari, after negotiations within the United Iraqi Alliance on 15 February 2005.

- Born in Baghdad in 1948 as son of a 1920s guerrilla fighter.

- Joined the Ba'th Party in the early 1960s, but left it in 1964.

- Was imprisoned for political activism and fled to France in 1969.

- Received a PHD in Economics and also studied politics.

- Served as head of the French Institute of Islamic Studies.

- Has four children.

- SCIRI's representative in Iran from 1992-96.

The Prime Minister

Mr. Nouri Kamil Mohammad Hassan Al-Maliki

- Deputy leader of al-Da'wa, a member party in the United Iraqi Alliance

- Spokesman of the United Iraqi Alliance.

- Prime Minister on 22 April 2006.

- Also served as acting interior minister until 8 June 2006.

- Born in 1950 in al-Hindiyya in the Babil province west of the city of Hilla.

- From a Shia tribe known as Bani Malik.

- Grandson of the famous poet and religion scholar who was the minister of Education during the Monarchy of Iraq and also was one of the leaders of the 20th revolution.

- Married with 4 daughters and one son.

- Completed high school in Al-Hindiya city and studied Arabic Literature at the Baghdad University .

- Finished his Masters Degree in Salahaddin University in Arbil.

- Joined Al-Dawaa Party in the late 1960s and continued his studies while doing his political duties.

- Was sentenced to death in 1979 and then fled from Iraq to Iran.

- Left for Syria in 1980 (as he refused to fight on Iran's side after the war with Iraq began in 1980).

- Headed al-Da'wa's office in Syria & Lebanon.

- Participated in most conferences of the Iraqi opposition.

- Was editor-in Chief of Al-Mawqif, al-Da'wa's newspaper in Syria.

- Convenor of the March 1991 Beirut conference of opposition groups.

- Returned to Iraq after the removal of Saddam in 2003.

- Elected to the interim National Assembly and was chief of Defense and Security Committee.

- Senior member of committee that drafted the permanent constitution.

- Was al-Da'wa's representative on and Deputy Chief of the Debaathification Commission.

- Was the main negotiator in the UIA-Shiites Alliances with other political blocs.

Deputy Prime Minister

Dr. Barham Salih

  • Affiliated with PUK, a member party of the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan.

- Was Deputy to the Iraqi Prime Minister Dr Ayad Alawi in 2004.

- Was the Minister of Planning in the Iraqi Transitional Government.

- Became Deputy PM in May 2006.

- Born in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1960.

- Holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Cardiff University.

- Holds a PH.D (Philosophy Degree) in statistics &computers from Liverpool University.

- Joined the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) under the leadership of Jalal Talabani.

- Was arrested many times during the former regime.

- Fled Iraq in 1979.

- Was the spokesperson for the PUK in London.

- Was an engineering consultant in the UK.

- Represented the PUK and the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) in the USA for 10 years after 1991.

- Prime Minister of the PUK region of northern Iraq since February 2001.

Deputy Prime Minister

Dr. Salam Zakem Ali Fadhli Al-Zubai

- Ran for Election with the Iraqi Accord Front, a consensus Sunni list.

- Appointed to deputy prime ministership in May 2006.

- Also served as acting defence minister until June 2006.

- A Sunni Arab born in 1959 in Baghdad.

- Earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Mosul University, Agriculture College, soil science Department in 1982.

- Was deprived from completing his Masters for 5 years because he was an independent (not a Baath party member).

- Received his Masters Degree in 1988.

- Employed as Assistant teacher in Anbar University 1992.

- Headed the Union of Agricultural Engineers of Anbar 1993-1997.

- Headed the National Union of Agricultural Engineers from 2004.

- Joined Agriculture College’s Soil & Water Dept. in 1997.

- Received his PhD from Baghdad University 2000, and received an award for completing his PhD in less than standard time.

- Became a lecturer at Anbar University in 2000.

- Was manager of Tharthar Poultry Company 1992-1997.

- Was manger of developing Al-Naemiya Forest 1990-1992.

- Specialized in potato nutrition & fertilization.

- Participated in many conferences in Iraq and outside the country.

The Ministries

Minister of Interior

Jawad Al-Bolany

- Currently known to be politically independent.

- Former Member in the transitional National Assembly.

- A Shia born in Al-Bader, Diwaniyah Province, 1960.

- Earned a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from the Technological University in Baghdad in 1984.

- Worked as an engineer for the Iraqi Air Force.

- Has worked with several NGOs.

Minister of Defense

Abdu Alqadir Al-Ubaydi

- The Commander of the Iraqi Ground Forces.

- Extensive military background gained from working for the Iraqi Army since 1973 after attending several military academies.

- A Sunni who was discharged from the military after the first Gulf War because of his open opposition to the Saddam invasion of Kuwait.

- Was arrested and sentenced to 7 years in addition to the confiscation of his properties on June 1, 1994.

- Joined the Iraqi Army after the removal of Saddam. The last post he held prior to assuming the ministry of Defense was the Commander of the Iraqi Ground Forces.

Minister of Oil

Dr Hussein Al-Shahristani

- Member of an independent Bloc in the UIA.

- Parliamentary speaker from April 2005.

- 1st Deputy to the Parliament chief in 2005.

- A Shia born in 1942 in Karbala.

- Of Shi'a origin, and remains close to the Hawza.

- Served as an advisor to Ayatollah Sistani in 2003.

- Earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering 1965.

- Masters of Science in Chemical Engineering 1967.

- PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1970 from Toronto University, a nuclear chemist.

- Refused to participate in weapons development, and was imprisoned at Abu Ghraib from 1979 – 1991.

- Escaped and fled to Iran in 1991.

- Member of the Iraqi National assembly.

- Political prisoner from 1979 – 1991.

- Professor at University of Baghdad, 2004.

- Visiting Professor at Surrey University/Britain, 2002-2004.

- Chief of Iraq National Academics for Sciences, 2003.

- Advisor of the International Center for Technical Research/London, 1998-2002.

- Served as the chief scientific advisor to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission until 1979.

- Chief of Nuclear Chemist Dept., 1977-1979.

- Chief of the Radioisotope Production Dept., 1975-1977.

- Assistant Professor at the University of Baghdad, 1974.

- Lecturer at Mosul University, 1973.

- Science researcher at a nuclear research center, 1970-1973.

- Chief of the Political Prisoners’ Union in Iraq, 2003.

- Chairman of the Iraqi Refugee Aid Council in London 1995-2003.

- Chief of the Gulf War Victims Organization, 1991-1995.

- Made prominent calls for early elections during late 2003.

- Autobiography is Escape to Freedom (1999).

- Was widely reported as being nominated as a compromise candidate for the post of Iraqi prime minister on 26 May 04; he ended up declining, with the post given instead to Iyad Allawi.

Minister of Finance

Mr. Bayan Jaber Solagh

- Member of the SCIRI of the United Iraqi Alliance.

- Was Minister of Housing and Reconstruction in the Governing Council.

- Was elected as Advisor to Ayad Alawi for Construction Affairs, and a member in the committee of reconstruction for the city of Najaf in the Interim Government.

- Was the Minister of the Interior in the Transitional Government.

- A Shia Turkoman born in Maisan in 1946.

- Earned a Bachelors in Civil Engineering in 1969.

- Left Iraq in 1982 after the former regime executed 12 members of his family.

- Member of the Political Bureau of the Mujaheddin Movement 1984.

- Founder of daily newspaper Nidaa Al-Rafidain and editor in chief of Al-Adhwaa magazine in Beirut 1990.

- Representative of the SCIRI (Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) in Syria and Lebanon.

- Participated in many Opposition conferences in Salahaddin, Arbil and Beirut.

Interim State Minister (without post)

Hasan Radhi Al-Sari

- A Member of the central Shura of the SCIRI in Iraq.

- Born Shia.

- Earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Diploma in Life Science from the University of Baghdad.

- Holds a Bachelor Degree and Masters in Political Science from Imam Al-Sadiq University.

- Was the General Secretary of “Hizballah God Party” in Iraq which claims to have had 1,000 martyrs and more than 1,600 members imprisoned during Saddam’s regime.

- Member of the preparation conference of the National Assembly.

- Member of the previous and recent Parliament.

- Deputy for the Chief of Marsh Restoration.

- Participated in many conferences of the Iraqi opposition.

- Founder of “Albaina” newspaper that is published by Hizballah Iraq.

- Has experience against the former regime since the age of 18.

- Was arrested and tortured many times by Saddam’s regime and was sentenced to life in prison twice while family members were arrested.

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Hoshyar Muhammad al-Zebari

- Minister of Foreign Affairs in all the four different governments after the fall of Saddam.

- A Kurd who was born in Akra, north of Mosul 1953 .

- Grew up in Mosul.

- Earned a Bachelors in political science from a Jordanian university, 1976.

- Holds a Masters degree in Sociology from Essex University (UK), 1979.

- Participated as a guerrilla fighter in the Kurdish opposition against Saddam regime.

- Is the maternal uncle of Massoud Barzani, one of the two leaders who control the Kurdish areas.

- Member of the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Barzani) since 1979.

- Secretary-general of an association of Kurdish students in Europe in the late 1970s.

- Representative of the KDP in Europe, 1979-1981.

- Chief of the Foreign & international affairs bureau of the KDP, 1988-2003.

- Chief of the foreign relations of the Iraqi opposition blocs.

- Member of the INC's executive council from 1992, and its presidential council from 1999.

The Minister of Trade

Dr. Abdul Falah Hassan Hammadi

- A Shia who is a member of the al- Da’waa Party.

- Born in Basra in 1947.

- Bachelor of Science from University of Basra, 1970.

- Holds a PH.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wells, 1981.

- Member of the Royalty Board for Biological Science (Britain).

- Professor and researcher in Chemistry in Wells University/Suwanzi.

- One of the participants in establishing the “Islamic house” in London.

- Chief of the Muslim Youth League in London since 1977.

- Chief of ‘Al-Mashriq” center for studies in London.

- Has been published many times.

Minister of Education

Khudair Al-Khuzai

- Ran For Elections with the United Iraqi Alliance List.

- A Shia born in Maysan in 1947.

- Has a Doctorate degree in Philosophy of Islamic Thought and Quranic Studies.

- Has worked for universities and has written books on Quranic interpretation.

- Member of the Islamic Call Party – Iraq Organization Party.

- Was elected to the Iraqi National Assembly in January 2005 and December 2005 as part of the United Iraqi Alliance list.

Minister of Water Resources

Dr. Lateef Rasheed


- A Kurd born 1944 in Sulaimaniya.

- Active member of the PUK.

- Obtained his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering 1968 from Liverpool University, and both his Masters

Degree in 1972 and PH.D in 1976 from Manchester University.

-      Certified Engineer and member of the British civil engineering institute MICE and the international committee

for irrigation & drainage ICID.

-      He has been the Minister of the Water resources since April 2003, and he is responsible for all Iraqi water resources.

-      Was a senior manager in Food and Agriculture in the UNFAO in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

-      Member of the INC (Iraqi National Council).

-     Representative of the PUK in United Kingdom since 1986 and the spokesperson of the Kurdistan Front.

Minister of Municipalities

Riadh Ghareeb

- A Shia who is a member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

Minister of Electricity

Kareem Waheed

- A Shia who is a member of the UIA.

Minister of Health

Ali Al-Shimmery

- A Shia who is a member of al-Sadr's bloc.

Minister of National Security

Sherwan Al-Waili

- From Nasriyah City (South of Baghdad).

- A Shia who is a member of the al- Daw’wa Party.

- Former officer in the Iraqi Army.

Minister of Sport & Youth

Jassim Mohamad Jafar

- A Turkmen.

- Born in a town south of Tikrit called Tuzkhurmatu.

- Holds a degree in civil engineering from Salahaddin University.

- Was previously the Minister of Housing and Reconstruction under the Interim Government of Jaafari.

- Founded the Turkmen Islamic Union, one of Iraq's leading Turkmen political organizations.

- After being sentenced to death for anti-Baath Party activities in 1981, he fled to Kurdistan.

Minister of Agriculture

Yaarub Nadhim Al-Aboudi

- A Shia who is a member of al-Sadr’s bloc.

- A member of the United Iraqi Alliance.

- His name has many spelling variations in press reports.

Minister of State for Tourism and Archeology

Liwaa Sumaisem

- A Shia who is a member of al-Sadr’s bloc.

- Listed as a Doctor on the DOD website, but no information on what the degree is in.

- Newspaper reports say he has offered his resignation. See: Minister of Transportation Kareem Mahdi Salih's profile above.

Minister of Transportation

Kareem Mahdi Salih

- A Shia who is a member of al-Sadr’s bloc.

- Listed as a Doctor on the DOD website, but no information on what the degree is in Arabic language

- Press reports said Salih, along with two other Sadr bloc ministers, Liwaa Semeism and Saad Taher al-Hashimi will resign because of initial complaints that they were incompetent. It is also reported that according to member of National Accord Front, Dhafir al-Ani, the resignation of the 3 Sadrist ministers is not based on “incompetence in office” but because they used to be members in the dissolved Ba’ath Party.

Minister of Migration & the Displaced

Abdul Samad Rahman Sultan

- A Faili Kurd (Shia).

Minister of State for Parliament Affairs

Safa Al-Safi

- A Shia born in 1957 in Basra.

- Trained in Law in Kuwait and Egypt.

- Served on the preparatory committee for the new Iraqi constitution.

Minister of Culture

Asad Kamal Al-Hashimi

- A Kurd who is a member of the Iraqi Accord Front.

Minister of Industry

Fawzi Fransso Hareeri

- A Kurd who is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

Minister of Housing & Construction

Mrs. Bayan Dizaei

- A Kurd who is a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

Minister of Planning

Ali Baban

- A Sunni who is a member of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP).

Minister of Higher Education

Abed Thiab Al Ujaily

- A Sunni who is a member of the Iraqi Consensus List.

Minister of State for Foreign Issues

Rafia Al-Eesawi

- A Sunni who is a member of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP).

Minister of Communications

Mohamad Tawfiq Aliawi

- A Shia member of the Iraqi National Accord, which is under the Iraqi National List.

Minister of Science & Technology

Raed Fahmi Jahid

- A Sunni who is a member of one of the Communist parties that joined the Iraqi National List.

Minister of Justice

Hashim Al-Shibly

- Was previously appointed as the human rights minister, but rejected the post saying he had not been consulted.

- A Sunni who is a member of the Iraqi National List.

Minister of Human Rights

Mrs. Wijdan Mikhael

- A Christian who is a member of the Iraqi National List.

Minister of Environment

Mrs. Nermeen Osman

- A Kurd who is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

- Was the Minster of Education in the Kurdistan region.

- Was superintendent in the ministry of Justice, and minister of social services in the Kurdistan region.

- Was the Minister of the State for Women affairs in the Allawi government and the Acting Minister of Health.

Minster of State for Women’s Affairs

Mrs. Fatin Abdul Rahman Mahmoud

- A Sunni who is a member of the Iraqi Accord Front, the Sunni Consensus List.

Minister of National Dialogue

Akrem Al-Hakeem

- A Shia who is a member of the United Iraqi Alliance.

Minister of Labor & Social Services

Mr. Mahmoud Mohammad Jawad Al-Sheikh Radgi

- Member of the Independent Bloc in the United Iraqi Alliance.

- A Shia born in 1944 in Najaf.

- Earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Baghdad in 1966.

- Member of the national assembly in the former transition government.

- Member of the present National Assembly.

Minister of State for Civil Society Issues

Adil Al-Assadi

  • A Shia who is a member of the United Iraqi Alliance.

Minister of State For Governorate Affairs

Saad Taher al-Hashimi

  • A Sunni who is a member of the Iraqi Accord Front, the Sunni Consensus List.

- Newspaper reports say he has offered his resignation. See: Minister of Transportation Kareem Mahdi Salih's profile above.

Minister of State

Mohammed Abbas Auraibi

- A Shia who is a member of the United Iraqi Alliance.

Minister of State

Ali Mohammed Ahmed

- A Kurd who is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

Minister of State

Hassan Rhadi Khazim

  • A Shia who is a member of the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA).


Note: The following four governments have formed since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Iraqi Governing Council (IGC): With a rotating 9 member Presidency. Sept. 2003 - June 2004

Iraqi Interim Government: Headed by Ayad Allawi. June 2004 until transfer of sovereignty on April 2005

Iraqi Transitional Government: Headed by Ibrahim al-Jaafari. Members were elected in Jan. 2005 and the government was formed in late April 2005 and dissolved in May 2006.

Iraqi Permanent Government: Headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Members were elected in Dec. 2005 and after intense negotiations, a government was formed in May 2006.

Also Note: Political parties such as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) should not be confused with electoral coalition lists such as the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) and Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan. Where both are included, the party name precedes the name of the coalition list that the party is a member of.


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