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Mustafa Abushagur      

Libyan Politician, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology

How do you lead a country recovering from 40 years of a brutal dictatorship? Mustafa Abushagur is no stranger to the challenge. He is an engineer-turned-politician who arrived on the global scene during Libya's volatile transition in 2011. After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime and his death in October 2011, Abushagur served as Libya's first Deputy Prime Minister. The following year he was elected by the General National Congress to serve as Prime Minister; however, after the GNC rejected two of Abushagur's cabinet proposals, they dismissed him from his post. Abushagur's experience speaks to the struggle of building responsive and accountable governmental institutions from the ground up in a still fractious region.

Outside his political career, Abushagur has been an electrical and computer engineering professor specializing in micro-optical systems in the U.S. since the 1980s, founding two startups. He teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he helped launch the satellite university RIT Dubai.

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