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Barham Salih

President of the Republic of Iraq

Barham Salih is a former Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, former Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq and is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani.

Dr. Salih is a veteran Kurdish politician with years of public service and leadership in both the Kurdistan Region and in Iraq.  Dr. Salih served as Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region most recently from 2009-2012. After the fall of the Baathist regime, he became Deputy Prime Minister of the Interim Iraqi Government in mid-2004, Minister of Planning in the Transitional Government in 2005, and then Deputy Prime Minister in Nouri Al-Maliki’s cabinet after the 2005 elections.  In addition to his role as Deputy Prime Minister, he was also in charge of the economic portfolio and Head of the Economic Committee.

Dr. Salih earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and Construction at the University of Cardiff, graduating in 1983, and went on to receive a doctoral degree in Statistics and Computer Applications in Engineering from the University of Liverpool in 1987.

In 2007, Dr. Salih founded the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani. It has already evolved into a center of academic excellence and debate about the future of the region. The University convenes the annual Sulaimani Forum which bring together policy makers and academic from the across the region and international community to discuss issues and challenges facing Iraq and the Middle East.