Asharq Al-Awsat Profile: New OIC Chief Iyad Madani
Iyad Madani set to succeed İhsanoğlu as OIC head in January 2014
Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Iyad bin Amin Madani, the newly-elected secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), was born in April 1946 and hails from a family in Mecca. During his career he has assumed a number of ministerial posts in Saudi Arabia, in addition to presiding over several journalistic institutions and serving as editor-in-chief of a Saudi newspaper. He has also authored a collection of books and publications.
Madani finished his secondary school education at Taibah School in Medina. He was later admitted to Arizona State University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in production management. After his return to the kingdom, Madani served as general director in a Saudi Airlines’ administrative office in 1970. Later, he moved on to the field of media, where he was appointed as the first editor-in-chief of the Saudi Gazette newspaper, printed in English. He also worked as an editorial consultant for the Ahlan Wa Sahlan magazine, produced by Saudi Airlines. Finally, Madani served as general director of the Okaz Organization for Press and Publication until he resigned from his post in April l993.
Madani was a member of the board of directors for the Department of Water and Sanitation in Medina, and he also held a similar position with the Banque Saudi Fransi. Over the years, he has been appointed as Saudi minister of culture and information and minister of Hajj, and he is a member of the Shura Council. He was also a member of the Advisory Board of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and a member of the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, where he played a prominent role. He also had a place on the Gulf University’s board of trustees in Bahrain, and participated in the Charitable Society for Social Services in Medina.
During his work in the media, Madani displayed his reformist ambitions and desires through many writings and books, in both Arabic and English. The majority of his work has been circulated in local newspapers and his most prominent book to date is entitled: “The Saudi Challenge.”
The new secretary-general of the OIC has been richly decorated throughout his professional career, perhaps most notably when he received a medal of honor from China. He was also awarded a public service medal from the state of Malaysia, where the International Islamic University also presented him with an honorary doctorate in the field of international relations. The Sultanate of Oman bestowed upon him the order of the second class, while the presidency of Turkey has also delivered a letter of appreciation.
Madani is the second secretary general to be elected via the OIC’s member states, after his predecessor Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu was elected for the period from 2005 until 2013.