Abdurraheem el-Keib, a dual US-Libyan citizen, has been elected prime minister of Libya by members of the National Transitional Council who voted in a televised event on Monday, sticking ballots into a transparent box.
Expectations are high for el-Keib in a country with persisting battles going on in loyalist pockets of Libya, large unsecured weapons stockpiles, serious charges of war crimes committed by NTC fighters, and a war torn country to try to mend together.
Keib attended University of Tripoli in 1973, earned his M.S. at the University of Southern California in 1976, and his Ph.D. at North Carolina State University in 1984. He has taught as a professor for many years at the University of Alabama, the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Most recently, he served as Chair of the Electrical Engineering Department at The Petroleum Institute in UAE before joining Libya’s interim council last spring. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the US Department of Energy (US DoE), Southern Company Services (SC), and Alabama Power Company (APCO).
The fact that the new Libyan Prime Minister is a US citizen and has at least tenuous ties to the petroleum and energy industry is raising the eyebrows of some who viewed the US-NATO intervention as an attempt to change the Libyan regime to one more favorable to Western interests. How it will play out among the people, who had no say in his election, remains to be seen.