Ibrahim Al-Assaf is Saudi Arabia’s new minister of foreign affairs. He served in the past as the country’s finance minister. He is also a board member of the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Born in 1949, Al-Assaf completed his BA in economics and political science from King Saud University in Riyadh in 1971.
He later obtained an MA in economics from the University of Denver, Colorado in 1976, as well as a Ph.D. in economics from Colorado State University in 1982.
Al-Assaf began his career as a part-time lecturer in economics at King Abdul Aziz Military Academy from 1971 to 1983.
He was then appointed as associate professor of economics and head of the administrative sciences department until 1986. During that time, he was also an economic adviser to the Saudi Fund for Development.
In 1986, after leaving academia, Al-Assaf moved to Washington, where he represented Saudi Arabia as the Saudi executive director of the International Monetary Fund.
He left in 1989 and became executive director for Saudi Arabia at the World Bank Group for six years before being briefly appointed vice governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency in 1995.
Al-Assaf then joined the Council of Ministers and became minister of state until 1996, when he was appointed finance minister.
In addition to being Saudi Arabia’s long-serving finance minister, Al-Assaf is a member of the board of directors at Saudi Aramco and chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development.
In July 2017, he led the Saudi delegation at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany.
In November 2017, Al-Assaf was briefly detained during Saudi Arabia’s corruption crackdown, but investigators found no evidence of foul play and he immediately resumed his duties.