Saudi Arabia names new economy minister in number of royal appointments

Faisal bin Fadel was previously deputy economy minister and held several positions in state oil company Aramco

Powered by automated translation

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has appointed Faisal bin Fadel bin Mohsen Al Ibrahim as the new economy and planning minister, in one of a number of royal decrees issued early on Monday.

Mr Al Ibrahim was the deputy minister of economy and planning prior to this appointment.

He held several senior positions at the Saudi Arabian Oil Company and was an adviser at the Economy and Planning Ministry, as well as on the Finance Committee Secretariat at the royal court.

The new economy minister holds a Master’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, US, and a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, US.

Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan had served as acting economy and planning minister after Mohammad Al Tuwaijri was transferred in 2020 to serve as an adviser to the royal court.

There was also a royal decree naming Iman bint Habas bin Sultan Al Mutairi as deputy minister of commerce – the first woman to hold the role.

With a PhD in biochemistry from the UK's University of Bristol, Ms Al Mutairi was previously assistant to the commerce minister in 2018, after starting her career as a teacher at King Faisal University's chemistry department in 1993.

Replacing Ms Al Mutairi as assistant commerce minister is Bader bin Abdul Mohsen bin Abdullah bin Hadab.

Saudi Arabia's first man in space, Prince Sultan bin Salman, was appointed as a special adviser to the king, with the rank of minister.

The prince made history as the first Arab and Muslim man to go into space, as a payload specialist aboard a Nasa Space Shuttle mission in 1985.

(20 May 1985) --- Seven 51-G crew members take a break from training and other preparations for their June flight aboard the Discovery to pose for a group photograph. Kneeling in front are astronauts Daniel C. Brandenstein (left) and John O. Creighton, commander and pilot, respectively. Astronauts Shannon W. Lucid, Steven R. Nagel and John M. Fabian, mission specialists (l.-r.) join Payload Specialists Sultan Salman Abdelazize Al-Saud (second right) and Patrick Baudry on the back row. NASA
Prince Sultan bin Salman, third from right, with fellow Space Shuttle crew members in 1985. Nasa

In 2018, the prince was appointed as chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Space Commission, serving at the rank of minister.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Abdullah bin Amer Al Swaha will take over from Prince Sultan at the Saudi Space Commission.

National Cybersecurity Authority governor Khaled bin Abdullah Al Sabti was appointed chair of the board of directors of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission – a position he has previously held – taking over from Ahmed bin Mohammad bin Ahmed Al Issa.

Mr Al Sabti will also serve as an adviser to the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers at the rank of minister. He previously served as higher education minister, is a co-inventor with two patents for data mining and holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Syracuse, US.

The newly established Digital Government Authority to automate government services will be headed by Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Ali Al Suwaiyan.