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Profiles: Four women hold ministerial positions in Egypt’s new government

The new cabinet reshuffle has seen the appointment of four female ministers: Maya Morsi as Minister of Social Solidarity, Manal Awad Mikhail as Minister of Local Development and Rania Abdel Moneim al-Masha as Minister of Planning & Economic Development and International Cooperation while Yasmine Ahmed Fouad continues her role as Minister of Environment.

The cabinet reshuffle also includes 26 male ministers, 23 deputy ministers, and two deputy prime ministers to Mostafa Madbouly.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had previously set out a number of criteria for the formation of the new government.

These criteria comprised selecting individuals with distinguished competencies and experience, capable of achieving a number of objectives at the top of which is preserving Egyptian national security in light of regional and international challenges.

It also places developing the livelihood of Egyptian citizens at the top of the list of priorities, especially in health and education, and continuing efforts to further political participation.


  • Maya Morsi, Minister of Social Solidarity

The former President of the National Council for Women, Maya Morsi has been appointed Minister of Social Solidarity, succeeding Nevine al-Qabbag.

This follows from her tireless duties as President of the National Council for Women since February 2016.

She is the third President of the Council since its establishment in 2000, and the youngest woman to hold the position as President of the National Council for Women.

Morsi previously held the title of head of the Regional Working Group for Women Empowerment Programs and Policies at the Regional Center for Arab States of the United Nations Development Program from 2013-2016.

She also served as Country Director of UN Women Egypt from 2010-2013.

Morsi is further distinguished by her success in managing and leading more than 50 programs and preparing more than 45 training manuals, books, articles, research, and policy papers in various fields, including public policy, development, gender equality, women’s empowerment, and financing for development.

She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Human Security for Arab Women from the Institute of Arab Studies and Research at the League of Arab States, and also holds two Master’s degrees, one in Public Administration (1998) and the other in Business Administration (1997), from Seattle University in the US.


  • Manal Awad Mikhail, Minister of of Local Development

Manal Awad Mikhail served as the Governor of Damietta in 2018, making her the second woman to hold this position in Egypt’s history.

Prior to taking the oath of office as Governor of Damietta before President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, she served as Deputy Governor of Giza.

She is also the first woman in Egypt’s history to hold the position of Minister of Local Development.

Mikhail graduated from Benha University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine. She received her master’s degree in 1995 and her doctorate in medical sciences from Alexandria University in 1999.

She received the UNESCO Learning Cities Prize in 2017, one of 16 winning cities worldwide, as part of the third World Conference on Learning Cities held in Cork, Ireland.

She won the State Encouragement Award in Scientific Studies in 2007.

Manal also served as a member of the Egyptian Poultry Medical Association, the World Association for Avian Veterinarians, and the Egyptian Society for Immunology.

In 2013, she assumed the position of Undersecretary of the Veterinary Serum and Vaccine Research and Studies Institute at the Ministry of Agriculture.

And in 2015, she was appointed Deputy Governor of Giza for Community Service and Environmental Development.


  • Rania al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Planning:

Mashat has over 20 years of international experience in financial institutions, central banks, financial systems, monetary policy frameworks, sustainable development, international cooperation policies and strategies, and climate finance.

She joined the Egyptian government in January 2018 and has served as Minister of International Cooperation since December 2019.

She also served as the first female Minister of Tourism in Egypt from January 2018 to December 2019.

Mashat designed the national platform for the “TOFFEE” program linking water, food, and energy projects, to maximize the benefit of international partnerships and mobilize climate finance to accelerate the nation’s green transition.

Additionally, she served as Senior Economist and Chief of Staff to the Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC (2016-2018) and as a Senior Economist at the Fund (2001-2005).

She received the “Most Outstanding Minister of International Cooperation in Africa” award, presented by the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University – African Studies Institute in partnership with the GE7 Initiative.

She has been selected for various prestigious awards including one of the 50 most influential women in the Egyptian economy, and was named one of the top 100 young leaders in Africa in 2014 and 2015 according to the French Sciences Po Institute.

Mashat represented Egypt in many international financing institutions and served as Egypt’s governor to the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and other international institutions.


  • Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment:

Fouad has served as Minister of Environment since June 2018 and was reappointed in the new cabinet as part of the ministerial reshuffle on Wednesday.

She has over 25 years of experience and previously served as Assistant Minister of Environment since 2014.

Fouad has held various positions in the Egyptian government, United Nations organizations, NGOs, and universities.

She played a leading role in the preparation and issuance of the Waste Management Law No. 202 of 2020.

She participated in the preparation of the first green bonds in Egypt and the Middle East, as well as in leading the integration of environmental sustainability aspects into national investment plans.

The minister played a key role in advancing the biodiversity agenda and preparing the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, serving as President of the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP14) since November 2018.

Fouad has overseen the implementation of numerous tasks in the environmental field, providing support to the Earth Institute in designing the Center of Excellence for Climate Change Adaptation.

She has also overseen the African Ministers of Environment Conference in leading and managing two climate change initiatives, the African Adaptation Initiative and the African Renewable Energy Initiative, and the Nile Basin Organization, a regional NGO specialized in preparing a study on the impact of climate change the Nile Basin’s water resources.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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