Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir was appointed as the first Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations in September 2006, tasked with administering KRG foreign policy and bolstering the Region’s relations with the international community for the government’s fifth cabinet.
He was reappointed as the Head of the Department in each successive cabinet, including most recently the eighth cabinet in June 2014.
Minister Bakir’s vision, dedication, and passion to serve the people and the government of Kurdistan have paved the way for a successful Department and rapidly expanding relations between the KRG and foreign governments.
The Minister previously served as the KRG’s liaison officer to the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 and to the Multi-National Forces’ Korean Contingent stationed in Erbil in 2004. He was a Senior Adviser to the KRG Prime Minister from 2002 until 2004, when he was appointed Minister of State.
Earlier in his career, Minister Bakir was the KRG Deputy Minister of Agriculture & Irrigation, from 1999 to 2002. Prior to that, he served as the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Public Relations Officer from 1996 to 1999. Minister Bakir joined the KDP’s International Relations/Public Relations office in 1991.
The Minister regularly represents Kurdistan at regional and international events and conferences, and actively promotes political and economic ties with diplomats and businesspeople around the world.
At the same time, Minister Bakir promotes and encourages cultural and educational exchange programmes, scholarships, and capacity-building programmes designed to benefit Kurdistan’s youth. He regularly provides insight and analysis about the Kurdistan Region and its policies to journalists, researchers, think tanks, and postgraduate students.
Minister Bakir obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Mosul, his graduate degree in Development Studies at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and a senior manager’s executive programme certificate at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
He is fully fluent in Kurdish, English, and Arabic, and lives with his wife and their four children in Erbil. Minister Bakir enjoys Kurdish music and fine art.