March 23, 2011 / 7:48 PM / 6 years ago

Libya rebels name US-based academic as finance chief

BENGAHZI, Libya, March 23 (Reuters) - The Libyan rebel national council on Wednesday named U.S. based academic Ali Tarhouni as the top financial official in a transitional government they are in the process of setting up.

Tarhouni will head the financial and commercial committee, in effect acting as finance minister, spokeswoman Iman Bughaeus told reporters.

Tarhouni has a doctorate in economics and finance from Michigan State University and teaches at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, Seattle.

"He understands the Western mentality," she said.

Tarhouni has been a member of the Libyan opposition for 40 years while living in the United States. (Reporting by Angus MacSwan; editing by Jon Boyle)

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