Humza Yousaf

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Not to be confused with Hamza Yusuf.
Humza Yousaf
Minister for Europe and International Development
Minister for External Affairs and International Development (2012-2014)
Assumed office
6 September 2012
First Minister Alex Salmond
Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Office created
Parliamentary Liaison Officer
to the First Minister of Scotland
In office
May 2011 – September 2012
Preceded by Aileen Campbell
Succeeded by Mark McDonald
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow
Assumed office
6 May 2011
Personal details
Born (1985-04-07) 7 April 1985 (age 30)
Glasgow, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Scottish National Party
Spouse(s) Gail Lythgoe (m.2010)
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Profession Community worker
Religion Islam

Humza Yousaf (born 7 April 1985) is a Scottish politician who is the Minister for Europe and International Development and a Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow. He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011 and became a junior minister in 2012.

Early life and education[edit]

Yousaf is the son of immigrants who came to Britain in the 1960s: his mother came from Kenya and his father from Pakistan. Yousaf was educated at Hutchesons' Grammar School, an independent school in Glasgow.[1] He studied Politics at the University of Glasgow, graduating with a MA in 2007.[2]

From an early age, Yousaf was involved in community work, ranging from youth organisations to charity fundraising.[3] He was the volunteer media spokesperson for the charity Islamic Relief,[3] worked for community radio for 12 years and on a project which provided food packages to the homeless and asylum seekers in Glasgow.

Yousaf worked as a Parliamentary assistant for Bashir Ahmad, from Ahmad's election as Scotland's first Muslim MSP in 2007 until Ahmad's death two years later.[4] Ahmad was a personal influence. Yousaf then worked as Parliamentary assistant for a few other MSPs including Anne McLaughlin, Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond who was then the First Minister.[5][6] In 2008, while working as an aide, Yousaf took part in the IVLP programme- an exchange that is run by the US State Department.[7] He was awarded the “Future Force of Politics” at the Young Scottish Minority Ethnic Awards in 2009, which was presented to him in Glasgow City Chambers.[8]

Scottish Parliament[edit]

In May 2011, he was elected to the Scottish Parliament as a regional member for Glasgow.[9] At just 25 years of age, he was the youngest MSP to be elected to the Scottish Parliament.[10] When being sworn in, he took his oath in English then Urdu reflecting his Scottish-Pakistani identity;[11] he was dressed in a traditional sherwani decorated with a Partick Thistle tartan touch and a plaid draped over his shoulder.[12] Yousaf was appointed to the Justice and Public Audit Committees. On 25 May 2011 he was appointed as a Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Office of the First Minister, remaining in this post until 4 September 2012.[13]

Junior minister[edit]

On 5 September 2012, Yousaf became the Minister for External Affairs and International Development after Alex Salmond had undertaken his first major cabinet reshuffle of the parliamentary session.[14] This junior ministerial appointment saw him working under the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs. He is the first Muslim Minister to be appointed to the Scottish Government.[15][16] Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister in November 2014, keeping Yousaf as a junior minister, although the name of the position he held was changed to the Minister for Europe and International Development.[17]


Yousaf is a columnist for the Evening Times.[18]


Yousaf married Gail Lythgoe in 2010.


  1. ^ "FPs Humza Yousaf and John Mason elected as MSPs". Hutchesons' Grammar School. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Alumni: Our alumni: Life after Glasgow: Notable alumni". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Allan, Vicky (13 January 2013). "Exclusive: SNP aims to make independent Scotland a world leader in aid". The Herald (Newsquest). Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Robertson, Alan (18 December 2012). "Home and away: Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf". Hoyrood magazine. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "MSPs: Current MSPs: Humza Yousaf: Personal Information". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Paterson, Stewart (16 November 2012). "Nicola Sturgeon named Scotland's top politician ... again". Evening Times (Newsquest). Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Current MSPS: HumzaYousef: Register of Interests". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Young Scottish Minority Ethnic Award Winners 2009". 14 December 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Vote 2011: Scotland elections: Regions: Glasgow results". BBC News (BBC). 8 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Stars who have risen and fallen". The Herald (Newsquest). 5 September 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "MSPs to take oaths in six languages". STV News (STV Group). 11 May 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Paterson, Stewart (12 May 2011). "Glasgow's magnificent seven sworn in as MSPs". Evening Times (Newsquest). Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Scottish Parliament Fact sheet: Ministers, Law Officers and Parliamentary Liaison Officers by Cabinet: Session 4" (PDF). Scottish Parliament. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Who is in the Scottish cabinet?". BBC News (BBC). 5 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "Democracy live: Ministerial appointments debate". BBC News (BBC). 5 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Building links with Pakistan" (Press release). Scottish Government. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "Nicola Sturgeon announces new Scottish cabinet". BBC News (BBC). 21 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "Humza Yousaf: Columnist". Evening Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 

External links[edit]