Hassan Ali Khaire, an Oil Executive, Is Picked to Be Somalia’s Prime Minister

The inauguration of Somalia’s new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, in Mogadishu on Wednesday. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Somalia’s new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, lost little time in nominating a prime minister, as his country works to right itself under a new government after a quarter-century of conflict, terrorism and devastating drought.

In a first for Somalia, Mr. Mohamed announced his choice on Twitter on Thursday, a day after his inauguration. Mr. Mohamed, better known in Somalia by his nickname, Farmajo, then left the country on an official visit to Saudi Arabia, where he was expected to discuss the regional security situation and Somalia’s many troubles with King Salman.

The nominee, Hassan Ali Khaire, 48, is an oil industry executive and former aid worker who has dual Somali and Norwegian citizenship. “I request you to work with him,” Mr. Mohamed wrote on Twitter.

At a news conference at the presidential palace later in the day, Mr. Mohamed’s chief of staff, Ali Fiqi, read out the formal decree nominating Mr. Khaire. The speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawaari, was also present; the nomination is subject to a confirmation vote by lawmakers.

Hassan Ali Khaire, Somalia’s newly appointed prime minister, on Thursday.
Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Khaire was born in central Somalia, and he received degrees from the University of Oslo and the Edinburgh Business School in Scotland.

He worked for a time as a regional director for the Norwegian Refugee Council, and most recently he was executive director for Africa for Soma Oil and Gas, a London-based company founded in 2013 to revive oil exploration in Somalia. He resigned from the company on Thursday.