Narmin Othman Hassan

Narmin Othman Hassan is a Kurdish politician with experience in both the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and the government of the Republic of Iraq. She most recently served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki as minister of the environment, a post she also held under his predecessor, Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Jafari. In that cabinet she also served as minister of human rights. In the interim government, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, she was minister of women’s affairs and briefly minister of health in the cabinet of Ayad Allawi. Othman also established the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues in the KRG and became its first minister. She was the minister of education, as well as temporary minister of higher education and temporary prime minister of the KRG on numerous occasions. She currently sits as a member of the Central Committee of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Additionally, she is responsible for the Professional Board in the Democratic Organization Bureau of the PUK. She is currently affiliated with a number of women’s and democratic organizations in Iraq, including Nergis Magazine, a publication of women’s issues, where she is editor-in-chief. At the same time she is managing director of Hewtaw, an organization that advances democratic causes in Iraq. She has founded or helped to found numerous charitable organizations including the Kurdistan branch of Save the Children; ‘Asuda’, an NGO fighting violence against women; KORD, a Handicap International sanctioned organization; the ‘BAS’ (Balad As-Salam) movement against violence; and Education TV, the first education-based television channel in Sulaimani. Othman earned a B.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Baghdad in 1971. Upon completing her degree she worked in the education sector until 1979. She has published extensively in Kurdish and Arabic and has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. Othman speaks Kurdish, Arabic, Farsi, Swedish and English.