Barham A. Salih is a Senior Fellow with the Middle East Initiative and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs for the Spring 2024 semester and 2024 - 2025 Academic Year. He is the founder of American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, and served as the eighth President of the Republic of Iraq from 2018-2022. He is a veteran Iraqi Kurdish politician with years of public service and leadership experience in both the Kurdistan Region and federal Iraq. His Excellency has assumed several high-ranking positions in the Iraqi federal government.

He was appointed Prime Minister of the KRG in Sulaimani from 2001-2004. After the fall of the Ba'athist regime, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of the Interim Iraqi Government in mid-2004, the Minister of Planning in the transitional government in 2005, and Deputy Prime Minister again from 2005-2009. 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 served as Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region from 2009-2012.

Dr. Salih earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and construction at the University of Cardiff, and a doctoral degree in statistics and computer applications in engineering from the University of Liverpool in 1987. He is married to Dr. Sarbagh Salih, a botanist and women’s rights activist. He is fluent in Kurdish, Arabic and English. 

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