Update – Who’s Who: Ministers in Egypt’s New Cabinet

Egypt’s newly formed cabinet, led by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb, was sworn in on Saturday afternoon.

Mehleb was appointed by President Adly Mansour after the resignation of Hazem El-Beblawi last Monday.

Twenty ministers from the cabinet of outgoing prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi will retain their positions in the new cabinet; while eleven new ministers have been selected.

The cabinet reshuffle saw 12 ministries merged to become six: the ministries of trade and investment were combined, as were the planning and cooperation ministries, the youth and sports ministries, the higher education and scientific research ministries, the local and administrative development ministries, and the ministries of transitional justice and of parliamentary affairs.

Many of the outgoing cabinet’s most highly recognised figures will not be joining the new lineup, including Hossam Eissa, who served as deputy prime minister and higher education minister, Kamal Abu-Eita, who was manpower minister, and finance minister Ahmed Galal.

Ministers from El-Beblawi’s government who remains in their posts are:

1- Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – Minister of Defence

Born in 1954, Field Marshal Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi graduated from Egypt’s military academy in 1977. He went on to serve in the mechanised infantry, specialising in anti-tank warfare and mortar warfare.

El-Sisi, who is also the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, will continue as defence minister. If El-Sisi stands for president — as is widely expected — he must resign from his ministerial post and his position as head of the armed forces.

In 2008 he became the commander of the northern military zone in Egypt.

When the 25 January revolution erupted in 2011, General El-Sisi was head of military intelligence as well as the youngest member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the body which went on to rule the country until presidential elections in June 2012.

In August 2012, Mohamed Morsi appointed El-Sisi minister of defence to replace Field Marshal Tantawi.

On 1 July 2013, the Egyptian armed forces, headed by El-Sisi, delivered an ultimatum to political groups in Egypt, requesting that they solve the ongoing political deadlock within 48 hours or face an army-imposed roadmap.

On 3 July, El-Sisi declared on television that President Morsi had failed Egyptians and that he was no longer president, to be replaced by the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court. El-Sisi maintained that the army was acting solely to preserve Egypt’s national security.

General El-Sisi currently enjoys a significant level of popularity among different classes and groups in Egypt, although the Muslim Brotherhood accuse him of leading an illegitimate coup against Morsi.

2- Major General Mohamed Ibrahim – Minister of the Interior

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 several opposition figures have been calling for his dismissal since the dispersal of pro-Morsi protest camps in Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda Square 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.

3- Hisham Zaazou – Minister of Tourism

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.

4-   Ibrahim El-Demeiri – Minister of Transportation

This is the third time El-Demeiri has been chosen as transportation minister. His first term was from 1999 to 2002. He was removed from office after an overcrowded train caught fire in February 2002, killing 373, in Egypt’s worst train disaster.

5- Eng. Atef Helmy – Minister of Communications and Information Technology

Helmy was originally appointed communications minister in January 2013. He resigned from the cabinet on 1 July in protest at 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.

6- Major General Adel Labib – Minister of Local and Administrative Development

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.

7- Dr. Ayman Abu Hadid – Minister of Agriculture

Abu Hadid was first appointed agriculture minister in the cabinet of Ahmed Shafiq, which was formed during the January 2011 uprising. He continued to serve as minister in the following cabinet under Essam Sharaf.

He was replaced as minister under Hisham Kandil in 2012.

8- Mohamed Ibrahim – Minister of Antiquities

Ibrahim was appointed minister of antiquities in December 2012 in the cabinet of prime minister Kamel Ganzouri, and continued in the role under Hisham Kandil until May 2013.

A professor of antiquities at Ain Shams University, Ibrahim has many critics among Egyptian archaeologists and Egyptologists, including ministry employees.

A webpage representing antiquities ministry employees announced their rejection of Ibrahim’s appointment and their plans to go on strike and stage a sit-in in front of the ministry building in Cairo’s Zamalek.

Critics of Ibrahim say that during his tenure failed to address corruption, did not provide temporary ministry employees with permanent contracts, and allowed the situation at archeological sites to deteriorate.

9- Mohamed Amin El-Mahdy – Minister of Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs

An international judge and a prominent lawmaker, El-Mahdy, 77, is a member of the advisory committee of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) and the National Human Rights Council.

Graduating with a degree in law in 1956, El-Mahdy started out as an associate in the technical office of president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, and later became an advisor to the justice and finance ministers.

Over his extensive career, El-Mahdy has assumed several leading judicial posts. From October 2000 to September 2001, he chaired the Egyptian State Council and the High Administrative Court.

From 1994 to 1997, he served as a constitutional advisor to the Kuwaiti emir.

He was the only Egyptian judge to serve on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the body tasked with prosecuting crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

In 2007, El-Mahdy was selected by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to be member of the tribunal trying suspects in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

He served on a fact-finding committee tasked with investigating violations committed during the January 2011 uprising.

He also heads a national committee tasked with retrieving Egyptian funds from overseas.

His post – minister of transitional justice and national reconciliation – is a new one, replacing the position of minister of justice.

10- Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour –  Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

Mounir Fakhri Abdel Nour has been appointed minister of a consolidated ministry merging trade and investment.

Abdel Nour was Minister of Trade and Industry in el-Beblawi’s government that submitted its resignation last Monday, while Osama Saleh was the Investment Minister.

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

He is currently secretary-general of the National Salvation Front, the main opposition bloc under Morsi’s regime.

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

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.

He is a Coptic Christian.

11- Mohamed Saber Arab – Minister of Culture

Mohamed Saber Arab is a history professor at Al-Azhar University. He was head of the Egyptian National Library and Archives from 2006 until May 2012.

He was first appointed Minister of Culture in May 2012, succeeding Shaker Abdel-Hamid. Arab resigned from the post in June to be allowed to win a state prize for social sciences worth LE200,000, which sparked controversy at the time.

Arab was reinstated in Hisham Kandil’s cabinet in June 2012.

Arab resigned again in January 2013 in protest at brutal treatment of anti-government protesters by police. However, he returned to his position shortly afterwards at the request of Kandil.

He was replaced by controversial figure Alaa Abdel-Aziz in the cabinet reshuffle of May 2013, who faced weeks of protests from members of the arts community after his sackings of high profile culture ministry figures.

12- Dr. Ashraf El-Araby – Minister of Planning and International Cooperation

El-Araby served as planning minister from August 2012 until May 2013 under prime minister Hisham Kandil. 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-Araby 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 – a role he is expected to take up again.

13- Nabil Fahmy – Minster of Foreign Affairs

Fahmy is dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo, and was Egypt’s ambassador to the US from 1999 to 2008.

Previously, he was the country’s ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 1999. He also served as political advisor to the foreign minister from 1992 to 1997.

The career diplomat has worked extensively on issues of Middle East peace and regional disarmament.

Fahmy was born in New York in 1951. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics and a master’s in management, both from the American University in Cairo.

14- Dorreya Sharaf El-Din – Minister of Information

Sharaf El-Din was appointed by El-Beblawi and is the first woman to hold the post.

The information ministry has long been criticised for its control over the media, and since the January 2011 revolution many have called for it to be abolished.

Sharaf El-Din is a significant figure in the state-run Egyptian Radio and Television Union. She previously served as the first undersecretary of the information ministry, heading the satellite channels division.

She has also hosted several television shows including Sual (Question) on a state channel and Ahl El-Raey (People of Opinion) on the privately-owned Dream channel.

Sharaf El-Din was also a member of the policies committee and the women’s committee of Hosni Mubarak’s now-dissolved National Democratic Party.

15- Laila Iskandar – Minister of State for Environmental Affairs

Laila Iskandar is an Egyptian social entrepreneur who has worked on environmental projects that have received international recognition.

She has worked extensively with garbage collectors in Cairo, particularly the community in Moqattam, winning the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1994 for her work. She also set up a recycling project in Sinai working with the local community.

Iskandar was chairperson of CID Consulting (Community and International Development Group) that works with garbage collectors in Cairo on environmental initiatives such as recycling.

CID Consulting received the award for Social Entrepreneur of the Year from the Schwab Foudnation at the World Economic Forum in 2006. Iskandar received the award from then-prime minister Ahmed Nazif in Sharm El-Sheikh where the forum was held.

During her ministerial post, she stood against cement plants seeking to obtain cabinet approval to render coal an alternative source of fuel due to shortages in traditional fuels such as 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.

16- Eng. Sherif Ismail – Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources

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.

Ismail’s name was not announced until just before the swearing-in ceremony on 16 July 2013.

17- Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa – Minister of Religious Endowments

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 proofreader and has been a member of the Journalists Syndicate since 1972.

He is also the author of several books on religion.

18- Mahmoud Abul-Nasr – Minister of Education

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

He is currently a faculty member at Cairo University’s mechanical engineering department.

19- Eng. Khaled Abdel-Aziz – Minister of Youth and Sports

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.

20- Mohamed Abdel-Muttalib – Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources

Abdel-Muttalib has been the chairman of the National Water Resource Centre since 2012. He has over 25 years of experience in the field of water resources management.

He holds a doctorate from Colorado State University and is a member of the World Water Council.

Newly-appointed ministers:

1- Hany Qadry Demian –  Minister of Finance

Key Egyptian negotiator with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been named the new minister of finance in Mehleb’s new Cabinet. Demian has been working closely to the economic decision making circles in the government of Egypt since the early 1990’s. He joined the Ministry of Finance in July 2004 as a Senior Advisor and Director of the Macro Fiscal Unit, in the Minister’s office.

He holds a Masters degree of International Affairs (MIA) in Economic Policy Management from Columbia University in New York, USA.


2- Dr. Mohamed Shaker – Minister of Electricity

Professor of Electrical Engineering at Cairo University. He is also a businessman who has worked with the ministry on various projects. He is an expert in Electrical Engineering, making him offering electrical consultancy in the MENA region as well.

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.

3- Dr. Ghada Wali – Minister of Social Solidarity

Waly is the secretary-general of the Social Fund for Development (SFD), a government entity that provides startup 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.

Waly 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 USA, earning an M.A. in Arts and Humanities in 1990 and a B.A. in 1987.

4- Dr. Mostafa Kamal Madboly – Minister of Housing

Dr. Mostafa Kamal Madbouly IS Regional Director of the Regional Office for Arab States (ROAS) Cairo of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT.

5- Khaled Hanafy – Minister of Supply

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.

6- Captain Hossam Kamal – Minister of Civil Aviation

Capt. Hossam Kamal has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EgyptAir Holding Company since December 7, 2011. Capt. Kamal has headed EGYPTAIR Investment Plan committee which contributed towards the development and cost reduction initiatives and has even led the branding committee that managed the transition period of EGYPTAIR to the new brand and upgraded customer service. Capt. Kamal is an active B777 pilot, trainer & examiner with an experience of over 13000 flying hours. Capt. Kamal serves as a Director of EgyptAir Holding Company. Capt. Kamal has B. SC. in Aviation and a Diploma in Administration Management.

7-    Nayer Abdel-Moneim Othman – Minister of Justice

Othman is the former deputy head of the Court of Cassation.

8- Major General Ibrahim Yunis – Minister of State for Military Production

Ibrahim Yunis served as Chairman of Arab Organisation for Industrialization/Air Craft Factory (AOI/ACF), a military-owned company considered one of the largest industrial organisations in Egypt.

9- Adel El-Adawi  – Minister of Health

El-Adawi 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, and head of the Egyptian Society of Orthopaedics.

10- Nahed Hassan Ashry – Minister of Manpower and Immigration

Born in 1956, Ashry graduated from Faculty of Law at Cairo University. She has been working for the Ministry of Manpower since 1982. She was gradually promoted in Manpower Ministry, until she became in April 2013 the Head of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs.

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.

11- Wael El-Degwi – Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research

El-Degwi was dean of Cairo University’s Engineering Faculty from August 2008 until July 2012. He was appointed to the prestigious position in 2008 as there were no elections for the role at that time, but following the 2011 revolution, the dean position was put up for election and El-Degwy won.

He was the head of the committee of elections for the president of Cairo University in 2013 and was appointed in late September 2013 as the aide to Cairo University’s president, Gaber Nassar.

He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Cairo University in 1975, and received both his masters (1981) and PhD (1987) degrees from the University of Calgary in Canada.

He was nominated for the post of minister of housing in Kamal El-Ganzoury’s cabinet which was formed after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, but did not take up the post.