A prominent minister in Lebanon’s new government, formed in December 2009
Raya Haffar al-Hassan
Position: Finance Minister
Biography: Lebanon’s first prominent female cabinet minister, Raya Haffar al-Hassan, is one of the new appointees to the coalition cabinet.
A close confidante of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, she previously led a UN development programme aimed at supporting decision-making at the office of the prime minister. Al-Hassan belongs to Hariri’s Future Movement and, as such, is the leading Sunni member of the cabinet.
The 43-year-old mother of three has taken on one of the toughest briefs in government – managing the country’s massive public debt and ensuring that key targets adopted in 2007 under Lebanon’s Paris III debt commitments are delivered.
She is expected to be a proponent of privatisation. Al-Hassan worked on the government’s economic and social reform agenda under the Paris II and Paris III International Donor Conferences, and in the 1990s advised finance ministers.
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