In January 2019, Mrs. Haffar El-Hassan was appointed as Minister of Interior and Municipalities in the Government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri. She is the first female Minister of Interior to be appointed in the Arab World. During the handover ceremony, Minister El Hassan promised that during her tenure, she will further consolidate efforts to enhance the security and to enhance collaboration between the different security apparatus under the Ministry of Interior. In this respect, she stressed that future security measures will not compromise the sanctity of freedom of speech and expression. She also promised to intensify cooperation with civil society, support local development efforts and ensure the strict implementation of laws related to domestic violence, traffic safety, unlawful gunfire and the protection of the environment.
Before her appointment, she served as the Chairman-General Manager of the Tripoli Special Economic Zone Authority. She was in charge of establishing the first project of its kind in Lebanon to develop a multi-use economic zone designed to attract foreign direct investments, enhance exports and create job opportunities for the local population.
Since 2013, she has served as member of the board of directors of Bank Med, Méditerranée Investment Bank, and Saudi Lebanese Bank. She also serves on the advisory committees of the Rafic Hariri University-Business School and the Beirut Arab University-Northern Branch. In 2016, she was appointed vice President of the Future Movement.
From November 2009 until June 2011, Mrs. El-Hassan served as the Minister of Finance, the first female in the Arab world to assume such a post. As a Minister, she contributed to mitigating the impact of the 2008 financial crisis and on Lebanon and strived, in conjunction with the monetary authorities to adopt a prudent macroeconomic policy. During her tenure GDP growth averaged 8 percent.
Previously, she was a senior member of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. She oversaw several UN, World Bank and EU public-sector reform projects and worked on the elaboration and the implementation of the government’s economic and social reform agenda under the Paris II and III International Donor Conferences for Lebanon. Earlier in her career, she was an Advisor to the Minister of Economy and Trade and a program specialist for the Economic Governance and Pro-Poor portfolio at UNDP Lebanon.
Mrs. El-Hassan holds an MBA degree in Finance and Investments, from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut. She is perfectly bilingual in Arabic and English and has working knowledge of French.