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Cabinet reshuffle sees five ministers in, four out

By Omar Obeidat - Mar 02,2015 - Last updated at Mar 02,2015

AMMAN — A Royal Decree was issued on Monday approving Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour’s second Cabinet reshuffle.

The reshuffle saw five new ministers join the government, including two women, while four others left their post.

The ministers who joined the government are: Imad Fakhoury as minister of planning and international cooperation, Nayef Al Fayez as minister of tourism and antiquities, Maha Ali as minister of industry, trade and supply, Labib Khadra as minister of higher education and scientific research, and Majd Shweikeh as minister of information and communications technology. 

The reshuffle saw the appointment of Minister of Education Mohammad Thneibat and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh as deputies for prime minister in addition to their posts. 

The new ministers were sworn in before His Majesty King Abdullah. 

The reshuffle also brought three first-time ministers — Khadra, Shweikeh and Ali — and two who have served in previous governments — Fakhoury and Fayez.

The four ministers who left their posts are Mohammad Hamed (energy and mineral resources), Hatem Halawani (industry, trade and supply), Amin Mahmoud (higher education) and Azzam Sleit (information and communications technology).

Nidal Katamine, who was assigned two portfolios, was sworn in as minister of labour, while under the reshuffle Fayez will handle the tourism ministry. 

The reshuffle raised the number of women in the Cabinet to five as Shweikeh and Ali will join Minister of Social Development Reem Abu Hassan, Minister of Culture Lana Mamkegh and Minister of Transport Lina Shbeeb. 

Ibrahim Saif, who held the planning and international cooperation portfolio, remained in the government but to take charge of the energy ministry. 

Defence portfolio

Observers expected Ensour to name a minister of defence in the recent reshuffle, but an informed senior official told The Jordan Times that appointing a defence minister was delayed as there are procedures related to infrastructure and regulations still need to be completed to pave the way for such a portfolio. 

In August 2014, King Abdullah directed the government to activate the Ministry of Defence to assume the political, economic, legal and logistic functions related to national defence.


Cabinet list

Following is the list of Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour’s Cabinet members:

Abdullah Ensour: Prime Minister and Minister of Defence

Mohammad Thneibat: Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister

Nasser Judeh: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister

Hussein Majali: Minister of Interior

Hazem Nasser: Minister of Water and Irrigation

Akef Zu’bi: Minister of Agriculture

Taher Shakhshir: Minister of Environment

Umayya Toukan: Minister of Finance

Khleef Al Khawaldeh: Minister of Public Sector Development

Imad Fakhoury: Minister of Planning and International Cooperation

Nayef Al Fayez: Minister of Tourism and Antiquities 

Nidal Katamine: Minister of Labour 

Ahmad Ziadat: Minister of State for Prime Ministry Affairs

Walid Masri: Minister of Municipal Affairs

Mohammad Momani: Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications

Reem Abu Hassan: Minister of Social Development

Ibrahim Saif: Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources

Sami Halaseh: Minister of Public Works and Housing

Bassam Talhouni: Minister of Justice

Ali Hiasat: Minister of Health

Salameh Neimat: Minister of State

Hayel Dawood: Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs

Khaled Kalaldeh: Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs

Lana Mamkegh: Minister of Culture

Lina Shbeeb: Minister of Transport

Maha Ali: Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply

Labib Khadra: Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research

Majd Shweikeh: Minister of Information and Communications Technology


Profiles of new ministers

Imad Fakhoury
Minister of Planning and International Cooperation 

Fakhoury received a BSc in biomedical engineering and an MSc in engineering management from Case Western Reserve University, an MA in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. He was appointed as a senator and chairman of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development board of trustees in November 2014, after serving as King’s office director from 2011 to 2014. Between 2009 and 2011, Fakhoury served as minister of public sector development and minister of state for mega-projects. He has also served as regional programme and policy manager at the bureau for Arab States of the UNDP in New York; director of research and economic affairs and economic adviser on the peace process at the Foreign Ministry; president and COO of an industrial holding group; commissioner for investment and economic development at the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority; chief of staff to His Majesty King Abdullah for planning and programming at the Royal Court. He was awarded Al Hussein Medal by King Abdullah in recognition of his efforts towards economic development. 

Nayef Al Fayez
Minister of Tourism and Antiquities 

A graduate of Brigham Young University, Fayez holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in international relations. He started his professional career at the Royal Court serving as assistant chief of royal protocol for His Majesty the late King Hussein and for His Majesty King Abdullah. He also served as the director of HRH Prince Feisal’s office and as the head of Her Majesty Queen Rania’s Protocol. In 2007, he was appointed as managing director of the Jordan Tourism Board. Prior to that, he served as an adviser in the Prime Ministry and as managing director of the Dead Sea Institute Project. He served as tourism minister in the governments of Awn Khasawneh and Fayez Tarawneh. He has also served as minister of tourism and environment in Abdullah Ensour’s government in 2012. 

Maha Ali
Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply 

Ali, who has been working at the Trade Ministry since 1998, was appointed as secretary general in 2010. She has a BSc in industrial engineering, a trade policy diploma from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and an MBA from the German-Jordanian University/Talal Abu Ghazaleh Graduate School of Business. Ali has served as director of the foreign trade policy department and deputy economic counsellor at Jordan’s mission to the UN. She also hosted the trade and investment pillar of the Deauville Partnership meeting in 2012, was a member of the negotiation team for Jordan’s accession to the WTO and negotiation technical lead for the Kingdom’s free trade agreements with the US, Singapore, Canada, and Turkey. She was awarded the Royal Medal of the third order in 2008 and of the fifth order in 2000.

Labib Khadra
Minister of Higher Education 

Khadra, who has a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Texas, is an engineering professor. He served as the first president of the German-Jordanian University between 2005 and 2013 and was a member of its founding committee. He has also taught at the university’s School of Computer Engineering and Information Technology and served as vice president of the Jordan University of Science and Technology. A recipient of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Khadra received a stipendium from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to study at Aachen University in 1976. In 1991, he was a visiting professor at Heilbronn University.

Majd Shweikeh
Minister of Information and Communications Technology 

Shweikeh holds a BSc in finance from Yarmouk University and is a Certified Management Accountant. She also has degrees in global senior management, educational leadership and administration from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and the IESE Business School at the University of Navarra. The minister, who served as president of the International Women’s Forum’s Jordan chapter between 2011 and 2013, has worked as a senior telecom executive in several companies. She has served as CEO of VTEL Holdings, vice chairperson of Africell Tempo (2010-2012), vice chair of Itisaluna, and CEO of Orange Jordan. She is also executive coach at World Coach Institute and president of Masharek 360 Solutions – Middle East. 

 


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