Dlawer Ala’Aldeen

Professor Dlawer Ala’Aldeen is the Founding President of the Middle East Research Institute, former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Kurdistan Regional Government (2009-2012), and Professor of Medicine in Nottingham University, UK.

Dlawer was born and brought up in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, studied medicine in Baghdad and completed his postgraduate studies (MSc, PhD, FRCPath) in London, UK. He was a Medical Research Council Fellow before his clinical academic appointment in Nottingham University in 1994. He held a number of senior board and executive positions at several national institutions and learned societies in the UK, including the Royal College of Pathologists, the Medical Research Council, the Health Protection Agency and Society for General Microbiology. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed international journals and co-authored several books in the field of medicine. Dlawer co-founded the Kurdish Scientific and Medical Association, an advocacy organisation focused on protecting Kurdish human rights and influencing UK and USA policies on the Kurds. He also took an academic interest in, and investigated and published scientific evidence for, the use of chemical weapons in Kurdistan. He was a member of the British Working Party on Chemical and Biological Weapons. He took part in the production of numerous television documentaries and his publication, ‘Death Clouds’ was used in indictment of members of the former Iraqi regime. He later published his memoires on lobbying activities in his book: ‘Lobbying for a Stateless Nation’ in 2007.

Dlawer has been involved since 1992 in supporting the nation-building and capacity building projects in Kurdistan Region. In October 2009, he joined Dr Barham Salih’s Cabinet of Kurdistan Regional Government as Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research (until 5 April, 2012). He initiated an ambitious programme to radically reform the system of Higher Education in Kurdistan.  The programme focused on improving quality of higher education and training, preparing Universities for independence, modernising research, reforming the governance system to achieve social justice, equal opportunities and gender equality. He also led his Government’s major scholarship program for sending thousands of students abroad for Masters and PhD studies.  His latest book, Nation Building and the System of Self-Governance in Kurdistan Region, highlights the challenges faced by the KRG and possible directions it might pursue.