The Egyptian Parliament approved on Sunday the appointment of Rania A. Al-Mashat as tourism minister, replacing Yehya Rashid.
Al-Mashat previously served as a senior economic adviser to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which made her the first Egyptian woman to hold the position.
Al-Mashat obtained a BA in Economics from the American University in Cairo in 1995 and a Master of Economics from the University of Maryland-College Park in the US in 1998. She then obtained a PhD in Economics from the same university in 2001.
Her areas of specialisation include macroeconomy, international economy, and monetary policy.
As young as seven years old, Al-Mashat sought early on to be an economic decision-maker in Egypt—a dream that came true thanks to her parents’ prayers and support, according to what she told Daily News Egypt in previous remarks.
Al-Mashat believes that there are four principles of excellence and improvement; speciality, efficiency, communication with the various colleagues, and self-confidence.
Between June 2001 and July 2005, Al-Mashat worked as an economist at the IMF. She was the youngest person ever to join the organisation at 25 years old.
In August 2005, Al-Mashat held the post of deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy, until she left in May 2016, when she returned to work at the IMF.
During her tenure, she developed the CBE’s monetary policy and participated in the country’s total economic policy management in cooperation with the relevant ministries and economic agencies. She also took over as a liaison between the CBE and the IMF, as well as international credit rating institutions, and was on the negotiations team for the financial and economic reform programme between 2011 and 2013.
Al-Mashat has received numerous awards for her research efforts and contribution to public work, economic policies, and development. She was selected amongst the 50 most influential women in the Egyptian economy in 2015 by a specialised magazine.
In 2014, she was also named a young leader during the Young Global Leaders during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The Institut Choiseul for International Politics and Geoeconomics in Paris also chose her as one of its 100 young African leaders in 2014 and 2015. The French government also named her among future leaders in 2013. She was also the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award from AUC.
Al-Mashat will also be the first woman to hold the position of Minister of Tourism in Egypt.