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Somalia:Professor tapped for key Somali post – Amherst – The Buffalo News

Friday, June 24, 2011

Laaska News  June 24,2011

Professor tapped for key Somali post
Niagara University scholar has taken over from Grand Island man

A state worker from Grand Island is out as prime minister of Somalia, and you won’t believe who’s replacing him.

A professor from Amherst.

Abdiweli M. Ali, an associate economics professor at Niagara University, was appointed prime minister of the troubled country in northeast Africa today, succeeding Mohamed A. Mohamed, the local man who resigned the post under pressure earlier this week.

The story has been peculiar from the beginning and gets even more so as it goes on. One Western New Yorker’s improbable rise to prime minister is hard enough to believe, but now two?

Ali’s appointment was announced during a ceremony today in the presidential palace in Somalia’s capital.

Ali said that “he will build on the progress of his predecessor,” and that he “will form [a] highly competent cabinet who shall strive to serve the Somali people who face immense challenges,” according to a press release.

Mohamed named Ali, 45, to the prime minister’s 18-member Cabinet in November. Ali has served as minister of planning and international cooperation, as well as Somalia’s deputy prime minister.

Mohamed agreed to step down Sunday, on the condition that Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, Somalia’s president, would appoint his friend from Amherst to succeed him in running the government’s day-to-day operations, said a person familiar with the situation.

Ali was named acting prime minister on Sunday until the president named a permanent replacement. Reports from Somalia indicated that Ali could be selected.

A Somali native, Ali was a research and forecast manager for the Commonwealth of Virginia before joining Niagara’s faculty in 2003.

Ali has a master’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard and a doctorate in economics from George Mason Univer

via Professor tapped for key Somali post – Amherst – The Buffalo News.

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