Ghassan Hitto

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Ghassan Hitto
Prime Minister of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces
Acting
In office
18 March 2013 – 14 September 2013
President Moaz al-Khatib
George Sabra (Acting)
Ahmad al-Jarba
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Ahmad Tu'mah al-Khader
Personal details
Born 1963 (age 50–51)
Damascus, Syria
Political party Independent
Alma mater Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
Indiana Wesleyan University
Religion Sunni Islam

Ghassan Hitto (Arabic: غسان هيتو‎; born 1963) was the first Prime Minister of an interim government established by the Syrian opposition National Coalition.[1][2] Born in Damascus into a Kurdish family, he left Syria to the U.S. in 1980, became a naturalized American citizen and worked as an information technology executive and lived in Texas until recently. In late 2012, he relocated to Turkey.[3] He was elected prime minister on 18 March 2013 by a narrow margin over former Syrian Arab Republic agricultural minister Assad Mustafa.[4] Hitto resigned on 8 July 2013.[5]

Education[edit]

Hitto graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis in 1989 with degrees in mathematics and computer science.[6][7] He also received an M.B.A. at Indiana Wesleyan University in 1994.[3][6]

Career[edit]

Hitto is a former businessman who has lived in the United States for decades, most recently in Murphy, Texas.[2][8] Before joining the opposition, he worked with Inovar, a Telecommunication firm, from 2001 to 2012.[6]

Hitto is married to Suzanne Hitto, an American schoolteacher; they have four children, Amer, Imran, Obaida, Lama all born in the United States.[4] He has worked in the technology sector and supported the private school Brighter Horizons Academy[9] founded in 1989 by the Islamic Services Foundation (ISF).[10] He is also a founding member of the Muslim Legal Fund of America[11] created after the 11 September 2001 attacks to give legal aid to Muslims.

Hitto received 35 of 48 votes cast for the premiership, according to the BBC.[12] Following his election, at least 12 key members of the SNC have suspended their membership partly as a result of Hitto's election on a majority vote instead of a consensus vote.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Syrian Opposition Elects "Ghassan Hito" as Head of the Interim Government or Al Ma’rada Al –Suriyya Tintikhib "Ghassan Hito" R’iyysan Lilhukuma Al mu‘qita" (in Arabic). International Islamic News Agency. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Syrian opposition elects Hitto as provisional premier". Reuters. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Syrian Rebels Pick U.S. Citizen to Lead Interim Government". New York Times. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Barnard, Anne (19 March 2013). "Syrian Opposition Picks Ghassan Hitto as Interim Prime Minister". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "BBC News - Syria opposition government head Ghassan Hitto resigns". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  6. ^ a b c "New Syrian opposition leader educated Indianapolis". NPR. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "New Syrian opposition leader educated Indianapolis". Indystar. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Syrian opposition elects interim prime minister". USA Today. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Brighter Horizons Academy". Bhaprep.org. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Islamic Organization, Education, and Books: Islamic Services Foundation". Islamic Services. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Muslim Legal Fund of America". MLFA. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Syria opposition names Ghassan Hitto PM for rebel areas". BBC. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Syrian opposition elects Hitto as provisional premier". Al Arabiya. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
Political offices
New office Prime Minister of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces
Acting

2013
Succeeded by
Ahmad Tu'mah