SAN FRANCISCO--An electronics engineer by the name of Abdel Rahim al-Kib has been appointed Libya’s interim Prime Minister by the country’s National Transitional Council, just a week and a half after former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed by rebels October 20, effectively liberating the country.
Dr. al-Kib won 26 of 51 of the NTC’s votes, beating eight other candidates for the position, and will now be tasked with appointing a transitional cabinet within the next few days. That new cabinet will form the basis for an interim government until multi-party elections are held in Libya in 2013. A national congress should, however, be elected within eight months, says the NTC.
Dr. al-Kib started his academic career as an assistant professor of electrical engineering in 1985 at the University of Alabama where he went on to become a full professor in 1996.
He also purportedly taught electrical engineering at The University of Tripoli, North Carolina State University, the American University of Sharjah, and more recently at The Petroleum Institute in UAE. There, Dr. al-Kib supervised students writing their MSc and PhD theses and led efforts towards development and accreditation of the electrical engineering undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as the PI Master of Science program.
The recipient of several teaching and research awards for his papers, Dr. al-Kib has received research grants from the U.S. based National Science Foundation, the Electric Power Research Institute, the U.S. Department of Energy, Southern Company Services, and Alabama Power Company.
His primary area of research, Emissions Constrained Dispatch and VoltlVar compensation on primary distribution feeders, has apparently been implemented by several U.S companies.
According to TheEconomist, in 2009, 7 percent of the world’s politicians hailed from an engineering background, with China boasting the largest concentration of engineers holding higher office.
The current leader of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao is a hydraulic engineer, while his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, was an electrical engineer. China’s current prime minister, Wen Jiabao, also sports a geological engineering degree.
Other notable world leaders with engineering backgrounds include first President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin – a civil engineer- and current Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a transportation engineer.
In general governments across globe could use more pragmatic and systematic thinking that engineering offers but not at the top where different qualities as discussed in some posts above indicate...Kris
You're right, KB. The proof will be in the leadership pudding. If he does a good job, that would be fab and I'm sure a lot of people would be very happy. If he does badly, it's likely not anything to do with his engineering background and more to do with not being suited for that particular role.
It seems that Sylvie is making the assumption that only geeks choose to study engineering. What about people with leadership quality who chose to study engineering? Personally, i prefer the cream of the crop from my country's top universities to run the country, rather than a career politician or businessman who's just good at talking.
Engineering can be both constructive and destructive (9/11 terrorist had engineering backgrounds). As does politics. One can only hope that the leader/engineer uses tools that resources for the common good and applies logic and methodologies to raise the level of civility in the society he/she is asked to lead. Unfortunatly it takes more than engineering to build a 'global village'.
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