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April 11, 2005

Alumnus Named Speaker of Iraq’s National Assembly


Hajim Al-Hasani
Hajim Al-Hasani, Iraq's new assembly speaker, a Ph.D. graduate of UConn's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, met with media at Bradley International Airport on August 29, 2004. At right is Ron Cotterill, al-Hasani's former thesis advisor.

Photo by Daniel Buttrey

UConn alumnus Hajim Al-Hasani was named speaker of parliament by the Iraqi National Assembly last week, one of the first steps in the creation of the country’s new government.

Hajim Al-Hasani, a Ph.D. graduate of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, had been serving as Iraq’s minister of industry and minerals. In that role, he had oversight of about 70 companies with 280 factories, and had been working on privatizing some sectors of the economy that had been state-controlled for decades.

While at UConn, Al-Hasani specialized in agricultural economic analysis of industrial organizations. He also spent several years conducting research for the department after graduating in 1990.

During a brief stop in Connecticut last fall, Al-Hasani called UConn his “second home” and remarked that, after serving as a deputy member of the Iraqi Governing Council and deputy chair of its finance committee, he had expected to be named as Iraq’s minister of finance. But when officials reviewed his curriculum vitae and saw his doctorate in industrial organization from UConn, he was given responsibility for his nation’s business interests as industry minister.