Ali Tarhouni

Ali Abdussalam Tarhouni (Arabic: علي عبد السلام الترهوني, born 1951) is a Libyan economist and politician. Tarhouni served as the minister for oil and finance on the National Transitional Council, the provisional governing authority in Libya, from 23 March to 22 November 2011.[3][4][5] He acted in the capacity of interim prime minister of Libya during the departure of outgoing incumbent Mahmoud Jibril from 23 October 2011[6] until Abdurrahim El-Keib was formally named to succeed Jibril on 31 October.[7]

Ali Tarhouni
علي الترهوني
Ali Tarhouni cropped GNC.jpg
President of the Constituent Assembly of Libya[1][2]
Assumed office
22 April 2014
Prime Minister of Libya
In office
23 October 2011 – 24 November 2011
PresidentMustafa Abdul Jalil
Preceded byMahmoud Jibril
Succeeded byAbdurrahim El-Keib
Chairman of National Centrist Party
Assumed office
27 February 2012
Preceded byOffice established
Deputy Prime Minister of Libya
In office
2 October 2011 – 23 October 2011
Prime MinisterMahmoud Jibril
Preceded byAli Abd-al-Aziz al-Isawi
Succeeded byMustafa Abushagur
Minister of Finance
In office
23 March 2011 – 22 November 2011
Prime MinisterMahmoud Jibril
Abdurrahim El-Keib
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byHassan Ziglam
Minister of Oil
In office
23 March 2011 – 22 November 2011
Prime MinisterMahmoud Jibril
Abdurrahim El-Keib
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byAbdulrahman Ben Yezza
Personal details
Born1951 (age 70–71)
Marj, Cyrenaica (now Libya)
Political partyNational Centrist Party
Alma materUniversity of Libya
Michigan State University

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Libya, Tarhouni studied economics at the University of Libya, until fleeing the country in 1973. He was stripped of citizenship, sentenced to death in absentia, and put on a government hit list in 1981.[3] After immigrating to the United States, Tarhouni continued his studies, earning a master's degree (1978) and a PhD (1983) from Michigan State University. From 1985 up until the outbreak of the Libyan revolution, he had been a popular senior lecturer in business economics at the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business where he won numerous teaching awards.[8][9]

Political careerEdit

Tarhouni was named to head both the oil and finance ministries of the National Transitional Council, an opposition council formed to coordinate anti-Gaddafi elements during the Libyan Civil War in March 2011.[3] He acted as a frequent spokesman for the council and wielded considerable influence as a prominent liberal in the opposition.[10] He officially announced the transfer of the NTC from Benghazi to Tripoli on 25 August 2011.[11]

On 3 September 2011, Tarhouni, acting as deputy chairman of the NTC's executive board, announced he was also chairman of a Supreme Security Committee, responsible for all security matters in Tripoli.[12]

Tarhouni was named as deputy prime minister on 2 October 2011 after acting in the position for several months.[13] He succeeded Mahmoud Jibril as acting prime minister following Libya's declaration of liberation just 21 days later.[6] On 31 October 2011, Tarhouni's term as acting prime minister ended with the election of Abdurrahim El-Keib in a vote taken by the 51 members of the NTC.[14]

In 2012, Tarhouni founded the National Centrist Party, becoming its first leader. He said that his party would collaborate with Mahmoud Jibril's National Forces Alliance. He was elected as the head of the constituent assembly on 22 April 2014.[15]

After politicsEdit

Tarhouni said at a press conference in late November 2011 that he was offered a position in Keib's government, but he declined, claiming the new cabinet was "supported from the outside by money, arms and PR" in an apparent reference to the role of Qatar in backing the NTC. He criticised Keib's selection of government ministers as "the elite" and said the government was not sufficiently representative of the country.[10]

In December 2011, Tarhouni returned to Seattle for a week. He gave a brief speech at the University of Washington on 20 December in which he reflected on his role in the Libyan revolution and talked about his hopes for a democratic transition, including his aim of forming a new political party. Tarhouni also walked back his earlier criticism of the interim government, expressing confidence in its good intentions.[16]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Ali Tarhouni voted head of Constitutional Assembly -".
  3. ^ a b c Tahim, Kareem (23 March 2011). "Rebel Insider Concedes Weaknesses in Libya". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Long, Katherine (24 March 2011). "The double life of a popular UW lecturer". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Libya's NTC announces new cabinet". Al Jazeera. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  6. ^ a b Daragahi, Borzou (23 October 2011). "Libya declares liberation after Gaddafi's death". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Abdel Rahim al-Kib named new interim PM". BBC. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  8. ^ Lucas, Ryan (24 March 2011). "UW faculty member working with Libyan rebels". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Ali Tarhouni Faculty Profile". University of Washington Foster School of Business. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  10. ^ a b Gera, Vanessa (25 November 2011). "Libya's Ex-Oil Minister Criticizes New Leaders". ABC News. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  11. ^ "NTC to Start 'Governing' by Moving from Benghazi to Tripoli". The Tripoli Post. 26 August 2011. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011.
  12. ^ Nordland, Rod (3 September 2011). "Libya's Interim Leaders Aim to Harness Rebel Fighters". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "New cabinet takes shape in Libya". Al Jazeera. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  14. ^ "Abdul Raheem al-Keeb elected Libya's interim PM". Reuters Africa. 31 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Libyan charter panel elects liberal to lead constituent assembly". Daily News Egypt. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Ali Tarhouni, Libyan leader and former Foster School lecturer, returns to campus". University of Washington Foster School of Business. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2017.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Libya

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Position established
Leader of National Centrist Party