Pitt Alumnus Mahmoud Jibril to Present Distinguished Lecture on Campus Oct. 31

Issue Date: 
October 29, 2012

University of Pittsburgh alumnus Mahmoud Jibril—president of Libya’s National Forces Alliance and a former prime minister of Libya who played a leading role in Libya’s 2011 revolution—will deliver a University Distinguished Lecture during an invitation-only luncheon on the Pitt campus on Wednesday, Oct. 31. 

"In the 1980s, the University of Pittsburgh helped nurture the intellect of a very bright political scientist," said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "His Excellency Mahmoud Jibril went on to play a key role in Libya and its continuing efforts to lay the foundations for a democratic civil state. We are honored to host his Excellency as he delivers a distinguished lecture and delighted that he will be returning to our region and our campus."

During last year’s Libyan revolution, Jibril led the team that began securing the recognition of the Interim Transitional National Council as the true and sole representative of the Libyan people. He held the post of Interim First Minister and Foreign Minister from March 23, 2011, until he announced his resignation from that post in October 2011 upon the liberation of Libya. 

After the revolution, Jibril cofounded the National Forces Alliance with a wide range of political parties, civil society organizations, independents, and regional community leaders from throughout the country. The alliance is working to build the foundations of a democratic civil state in Libya. 

Jibril earned both his master’s and PhD degrees in political science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980 and 1985, respectively. Known as Mahmoud Gebril ElWarfally when he was a student at Pitt, he served as a teaching assistant for undergraduate courses on foreign policy and centered his PhD dissertation on U.S.-Libyan relations during the years following Muammar al Qadhafi’s military coup that overthrew Libya’s monarchy in 1969, when Jibril was 17 years old. In 1988, the University of Pittsburgh Press published an adaptation of his dissertation, Imagery and Ideology in U.S. Policy Toward Libya, 1969-1982. The book was reviewed by several academic publications, including the Middle East Journal, which wrote, “the author evaluates the reasons behind the policies of the Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations within a well-constructed theoretical framework.” 

After earning his Pitt degrees, Jibril returned to the Middle East, where he focused his career on the field of human and institutional capacity development. In 2007, he entered politics when he was appointed secretary general of the National Planning Council in Libya and led the work on Libya Vision 2025. During that period he also presided over the National Economic Development Board, which initiated a number of key socio-economic structural reforms.

Born in 1952 in Benghazi, Libya, Jibril received a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science with honors from Egypt’s Cairo University in 1975. 
The University of Pittsburgh is hosting Jibril’s visit to Pittsburgh in collaboration with the American Middle East Institute and with support and assistance from the U.S.-Libya Business Association in Washington, D.C.