Profile

Profile

Professor Hassan Diab was appointed President of the Council of Ministers (PCM) of Lebanon on 19 December 2019 after a nationwide protest led to the resignation of PM Saad Hariri two months prior to Dr. Diab’s appointment. He had served in office once before as minister of education and higher education, from 2011 to 2014, but had otherwise focused on his career in academia.

Professor Diab is among the very few Lebanese politicians that are independent and technocratic. He was the first Lebanese minister of education with a long professional background in education. As PCM, he and his cabinet of experts were appointed the difficult task of “rescuing Lebanon” against a backdrop of civil unrest, economic collapse, and political tensions that resulted from decades of mismanagement, as well as a global pandemic that brought the biggest economies to their knees.

As an academic, Professor Diab pursued teaching, research, and administrative opportunities within academia. His interests within computer engineering —his area of expertise— include cryptography, embedded systems, reconfigurable computing, as well as simulation of parallel processing systems and parallel applications. After serving as minister of education and higher education, his interests broadened to include higher education in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as global issues in education.

Professor Diab was born on June 1, 1959, in Beirut to Bahaa Eddin Diab and Rifca Taji. He spent his formative and adolescent years in Lebanon, where he attended Brummana High School. In 1976, Dr. Diab moved to the United Kingdom (UK) to continue his education and escape the civil war back home. In the UK, he obtained his O-levels and A-levels, a bachelor’s degree in communications engineering (Leeds Beckett University), a master’s degree in systems engineering (University of Surrey), and a PhD in computer engineering (University of Bath).

In 1985, at the age of 26, Dr. Diab returned to Lebanon to work as an assistant professor at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He earned the rank of full professor in 1997, becoming the youngest full professor working there at the time. He spent 34 years at AUB, during which he also served as chairman of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and vice president for Regional External Programs (REP). 

Professor Diab became a chartered engineer in the Engineering Council, UK, in 1988. Then, in 1991, he became a chartered professional engineer in the National Professional Engineers Register (NPER), Australia, replaced by NER in 2015. In 1992, he became a member of the Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut, Lebanon.

Moreover, he is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), USA, since 1993; a fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia (IEAust) since 1995; and a fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), UK, since 2002.

He is globally recognized for his efforts and is the recipient of 25 international and regional awards and scholarships, including a Fulbright research award in 1988 and the 1992 Young Arab Scientists Shuman Prize in Engineering. More recently, in 2018, he was included in Those Who Inspire LEBANON, a book by the international movement, Those Who Inspire Ltd., which aims to inspire youth everywhere. 

He is currently serving as Lebanon’s Caretaker PM until a new cabinet is formed after resigning from office on 10 August 2020.

 

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