Youssef Boutros Ghali

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Youssef Boutros Ghali
Youssef Boutros Ghali.jpg
Minister of Finance
In office
1 July 2004 – 31 January 2011
President Hosni Mubarak
Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif
Preceded by Mohamed Medhat Hassanein
Succeeded by Samir Radwan
Personal details
Born (1952-08-20) 20 August 1952 (age 64)
Cairo, Egypt

Youssef Raouf Boutros Ghali (يوسف بطرس غالي) or "YBG" (born 20 August 1952) is an Egyptian economist who served in the government of Egypt as Minister of Finance from 2004 to 2011. He was succeeded by Samir Radwan on 31 January 2011.[1][2][3]


Youssef Boutros-Ghali was born in Cairo on 20 August 1952. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics at Cairo University in 1974. He then earned a Doctor of Philosophy in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. He was also a lecturer and research assistant during his stay at MIT. His uncle, Boutros Boutros Ghali, was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1992 to 1996.


Upon graduation, Boutros-Ghali joined the International Monetary Fund as an EP (Economist Program). He became Senior Economist. He worked in both area and functional departments: first in the Middle East Department (MED) and later in Policy and Development Review (PDR) on Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries. He gained profound knowledge of the economic problems and policy challenges of countries as diverse as the Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire, the Philippines, China, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. He also did background work on the Latin American debt crisis of the early 1980s.

After leaving the Fund in 1986, Boutros-Ghali was appointed as Economic Advisor to Egypt's Prime Minister and to the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (1986–1993), where he took a prominent role in negotiating the 1987 and 1991 stand-by arrangements with the Fund and the debt rescheduling agreements with the Paris Club. The reform programs initiated then ushered a turnaround in the Egyptian economy and laid the groundwork for economic reforms that are being pursued to this day. Thereafter, Boutros-Ghali was appointed Minister of State for the Council of Ministers and Minister for International Cooperation (1993–1996), where he continued to be active in overseeing program relationship between Egypt and the Fund. He was subsequently named Minister of State for Economic Affairs (1996–1997). Thereafter he assumed the position of Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade (1997–2001), and later Minister of Foreign Trade (2001–2004).

A firm advocate of trade liberalization, as Minister of Foreign Trade, Boutros-Ghali participated in the Seattle, Doha and Cancun ministerial meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and played a prominent role in launching the Doha round. He was also instrumental in concluding the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Agreement between Egypt and the European Union in 1998. Through the joint body created by the US–Egypt Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), Boutros-Ghali was active in advancing the negotiations on the free trade agreement between Egypt and United States. He also headed the negotiations leading to the Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) agreement between Egypt, the United States, and Israel, established in 2004.

As Minister of Finance, Boutros-Ghali headed the Ministerial Economic Committee in charge of overseeing the design and implementation of Egypt’s economic reform programs. He is credited with implementing a series of reforms that helped modernize and reinvigorate the Egyptian economy and deepen its global integration. Chief among these is a major income tax and trade reforms, coupled with deregulation and liberalization in key areas of economic activity. The tax reform program was hailed as one of the most successful reforms among developing countries, which earned Egypt the position of top reformer among developing countries in 2007 by the World Bank.

Boutros-Ghali received the Emerging Markets award for Finance Minister of the Year for the Middle East region twice (2005 and 2006).

Boutros-Ghali also received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 2008 [4]

On 6 October 2008, Boutros-Ghali was elected chair of the IMF's policy-setting committee. He beat India's Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram to chair the 24-member International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). Boutros-Ghali is well suited to assume the chairmanship of the IMFC. Having served both at the Fund and as a prominent government official, he is well aware of the concerns of the membership and of the reforms needed at the Fund. As IMFC Chairman, Boutros-Ghali will work to promote consensus on the Fund’s most pressing reform agenda, particularly on governance reforms to enhance legitimacy and evenhandedness in surveillance, establishing a new and sustainable income model for the Fund, and adapting our instruments to better suit the evolving needs of the membership in a global economy.

In 2010 Boutros-Ghali enacted a far-reaching reform of the social security and pension systems in Egypt. He introduced modern concepts of pension systems notional accounting of accumulated benefits and enacted structural changes to account for the erosion of pension benefits and the burden of pension contributions on the national economy.

Boutros-Ghali resigned from his position as Minister of Finance on 29 January 2011. He declined President Mubarak's offer to join the next government headed by Ahmed Shafik.

Post-revolution exile and corruption conviction[edit]

On 31 January 2011, as part of Hosni Mubarak's responses to the 2011 Egyptian protests, The government of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif resigned and Boutros-Ghali was replaced as Minister of Finance by Samir Radwan.[1][2][3] Then, on 4 February 2011, the IMF reported that Boutros-Ghali had resigned the Chairmanship of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC).[5]

On 11 February 2011, just prior to Mubarak's resignation, the VIP lounge at Cairo Airport opened to accommodate Boutros-Ghali and his wife before they flew to Lebanon[6] while other ex-regime officials, including Mubarak himself, were targeted with travel bans, asset freezes, and even arrests. Boutros-Ghali was accused of corruption and an Interpol international arrest warrant was issued.[7][8]

On 4 June 2011, after a trial that lasted 6 minutes Ghali was found guilty in absentia, and sentenced to imprisonment for 30 years and fined 60 million Egyptian pounds [9] for using a printer belonging to the ministry of Finance for his 2010 electoral campaign, and use of impounded cars for his personal use.[10]

Ghali's attorney denied the charges and produced evidence the cars were given to civil servants which were entitled to official cars. Further accusations and sentences were meted out under president Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood rule. Stranded in the United Kingdom, Boutros Ghali applied for and was granted political asylum by the British authorities after investigations confirmed that all the accusations, trials and sentences were politically and religiously (under the Morsi regime) motivated. Boutros Ghali and two of his three children were granted permanent residence in the UK.


Boutros-Ghali published texts on exchange rate and monetary policy, external debt problems and debt relief issues, IMF programs, fiscal discipline and exchange rate market reforms.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Boutros-Ghali speaks fluent Arabic, English, French, Italian and Spanish. He and his wife had three sons, Nader, Youssef and Naguib. While in London, in October 2011 his wife, Michele, died from an thoracic aneurism. The death was unexpected and sudden and devastated the family.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Gawdat el-Malt denies is new Egypt finmin-Arabiya". Reuters. 31 January 2011. Archived from the original on 9 February 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Shahine, Alaa (31 January 2011). "Egypt Names Radwan Finance Minister in New Cabinet, Replaces Boutros-Ghali". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 9 February 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Egypt minister sorry for 'harsh treatment' of journalists". Manila Bulletin/AFP/DPA. 5 February 2011. Archived from the original on 9 February 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Annual Review 2008: Principal's Review". Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  5. ^ "Press Release: Youssef Boutros-Ghali Resigns from the Chairmanship of the IMFC". IMF. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Youssef Boutros Ghali leaves Egypt". Ahram. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Interpol warrant
  8. ^ Interpol called in over Egyptian ex-ministers Al-Ahram. 27 February 2011
  9. ^ Egypt: Jail term for Ex-Minister Youseff Boutros Ghali BBC News. 4 June 2011
  10. ^ "Egypt on the Brink: An Exclusive Look at the Hunted Men Who Brought Growth and Reform". Newsmax. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Following suicide attempt, fugitive minister negotiates turning himself in". Egypt Independent. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Mohamed Medhat Hassanein
Minister of Finance
July 2004 – January 2011
Succeeded by
Samir Radwan
Preceded by
Minister of Foreign Trade
2001 – July 2004
Succeeded by
Rachid Mohamed Rachid
as Minister of Trade and Industry
Preceded by
Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt
Succeeded by